Syllabus for EDL-500
EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP—FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
Effective Leadership—From Theory to Practice provides students an opportunity to investigate, analyze, and apply various theories of leadership and associated concepts specified in the Interstate Schools Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) and NJDOE standards. Students will begin the process of designing a professional portfolio that demonstrates competency as an effective educational leader (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
The key issues and essential questions in this course focus on investigating leadership theories, strategies, and methodologies, as well as understanding the roles and attributes of ISLLC and local standards as they apply to leadership.
School leaders can choose from among several methodologies for school change or school management, but some methodologies may be more effective than others for a variety of reasons. Investigating and determining which methodology or system best suits a given school situation is the first step toward becoming an effective educational leader. On completing the course, you should be able to:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks are available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
Electronic Portfolio Registration
As a capstone experience in the Educational Leadership program, you will prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates your incremental achievement of the program standards. Each course in the program helps you to identify artifacts to place in your portfolio on completion of the course. To this end, you are required to purchase an electronic portfolio registration code upon your entry into the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. Basic directions for purchasing access to and using your electronic portfolio are posted within the Educational Leadership Students Organization (online community).
Effective Leadership—From Theory to Practice is a three-credit graduate course, consisting of eleven (11) modules. Modules include a brief overview, learning objectives, a "read and reflect" assignment (with a reading assignment and discussion questions to consider), and activities (including reflection questions to get you started, discussion forums, and in Modules 4 and 10 a portfolio and interview assignment, respectively). You are also required to complete four (4) reflection papers based on module groupings. Reflection Papers 1 and 4 will also be added to your electronic portfolio. Module titles are listed below.
As part of the course you will maintain a personal learning journal for posting reflections. The journal serves as a central location for posting reflections and recording thoughts, notes, responses, questions, observations, etc.—in short, anything associated with the learning experiences of the class. Items submitted to the learning journal may serve as artifacts for your electronic portfolio, and reflections recorded in the learning journal for later synthesis may become part of your electronic portfolio's reflective narrative.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to maintain a learning journal in which you post reflections on the topics covered in each module, participate in online discussion forums, complete portfolio assignments, conduct and critique an interview with your on-site mentor regarding his or her leadership style, and complete four reflection papers. See below for details.
Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.
Each module in the course has an online class discussion forum.
Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion forum interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.
Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.
The "Getting Started" reflection questions help "jump start" your thinking on the topics covered in each module. The questions are designed to assist your focus during the readings, but not to limit your thought processes. You are encouraged to think of applications beyond those prompted by the reflection questions.
Post your responses to reflection questions in the My Journal forum, located at the the top of the course site, beneath the Class Lounge link.
The Portfolio Assignment gives you practice in completing a portfolio entry for Standard 1 (Part A, Case Study). It also gets you started on creating and activating an electronic portfolio account, uploading documentation, and putting into practice the details of a reflection narrative for a portfolio entry (Part B).
The assignment is in two parts. See Module 4 for details.
The Interview exercise is designed for you to gain exposure to someone in the field. It is one thing to study leadership. It is a deeper reality to visit with someone who spends his or her days "in the trenches."
Elements of the interview will serve as artifacts for your electronic portfolio along with the professional growth plan you develop. See Module 10 for details.
You are required to complete four (4) reflection papers based on the following module groupings:
The reflection paper is the synthesizing activity for the module grouping. In the paper you should draw connections between and among the topics of each module and, where appropriate, between the modules as a whole. The reflection paper is your opportunity to demonstrate understanding of each module as it relates to the course and to the field of study as a whole. You are encouraged to incorporate any resources you have found and are required to use APA format for your work.
For further details on each reflection paper, see the Reflection Papers section of the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for each paper's due date.
You will place four artifacts for this course in your electronic portfolio:
Preface each of these artifacts with a brief Reflection that describes the process of the activity, the ISLLC standards that are addressed for each artifact, and how this prepares you for school leadership.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlines procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:
Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.
A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.
If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.
Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. if you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
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