Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harvard Education Leadership Doctorate Program

Professor Robert Elmore
Notes by Lauren Uyeshiro, October 28, 2009
Fort Mason, Firehouse Room

This program is a big event in the history of the school of education and the university. 

Place in School of Education.  The mission of the school of education is the integration of research, policy, and practice.  Leadership takes advantage of the interests and competencies of the faculty and then provides the resources to support them.  The school of education has been pushing more and more towards practice.  Faculty chooses to be involved in schools even if it is not necessary.  One example is Richard __, who created Data Wise, creating a model for how school site teams can improve instruction.  Literacy and language professor Catherine __ works with Elmore in the Boston public schools (one day per week) working with middle school youth navigating academic texts. 

History.  The leadership dimension has a history of five or six years.  Funding is from the MBA class of 1963 to run an executive program for district administrators.  This became the Ed Leadership program.  They recruited nine large districts to participate and create curriculum, asking which problems are central to their work of school improvement.  From this they built a case library.  From this beginning, the school of education was drawn into deep consulting relationships with these large school districts.  They created working relationships with the K-12 sector that they are trying to expand through the EdL program.  The faculty is from the business, policy, and education schools.  The curriculum has been field tested in executive curriculum and field classes.

Design of the Program.  The design of the program is different from any other graduate program in the country.  This is the nexus between policy, research, and practice.  There is a strong emphasis on making sure that the policies and theories taught works in the classroom.  This model is based on the medical model, a professional degree aimed at practice.  Therefore the work needs to be rooted in research but applied in a real setting.

There was previously an Urban Superintendant’s Program, which was to teach five or six leaders for urban school districts.  Donors and network have agreed to meld this program with the EdL program.

They are aiming for a program that trains leaders for the education sector of the future, not only the present.  The sector will be vastly different ten years from now; the question is who is going to lead that new sector. 

Possible Career Options:
·         Large urban school systems as superintendent or chief academic officer
·         Charter network
·         Education support organization, training teachers or principals
·         Nonprofits
·         Philanthropic or organized funding organization with an education agenda

There is a focus on the US education market, although they nod towards international education.  However, the goal is to transform US K-12 education.

To lead effectively, you need to know:
·         What outstanding teaching looks like and how it supports student learning
·         How to lead and manage a large organization to support outstanding teaching and student learning
·         How to lead transformational __ and political environment that also shapes the policy

Curriculum.  The first year curriculum is an integration of education, management, and learning and teaching.   There are no conventional courses or course units.  There is an integrated curriculum across the year.  This requires faculty who are knowledgeable about each others’ teaching, who plan together, who plan curriculum meticulously ahead of time.  It is organized by moduals; students participate in teams.  There are seminars (?).

Second year is an elective year that looks like a traditional program.  Participants design customized courses from education, business, policy.  Cohort courses will also run.  Focus will be on strategic leadership (how you achieve your goals).  This year will also match students with organizations for residency in the third year.

The third year is a residency, a project based upon the residency, and a culminating __.  Salary rate will be based upon full salary in the organization, but Harvard will buy back a third of our time to complete the project.  Not every partner will have an intern every year.  If there is a student with a strong need, then the program will find a partner that fits that need.  These are major change projects for the organizations we work in.  What is the nature of the work?  What will you need to create the culminating project?  The school will give the support that the student needs in order to be effective in the residency.  Partners will regularly be on campus.  So will the donors, who will meet the entering cohort.

Basic Package.  Total cost is roughly $1 million to support each student.  There will be a stipend for living expenses.  They are still working out the relationship between fellowship and loans.

Cohort.  There will be 25 members in the total cohort. 

Resources.  The point is to create a wide-reaching network.  Partners (including placement partners and also funders) are a good resource to connect new graduates.  Business, education, policy schools.  Network includes transformative ed organizations; residency opportunities and supports; continuous collaboration and learning; development of action research agenda with HGSE; annual meetings open to EdLD grads.

Core Beliefs and Assumptions.  The transformation of the sector will require diverse peoples (beliefs, knowledge bases, experiences).  Education leadership will look very different in the future.  The best model for launching leaders is a professional model.

Other School of Education Programs.  Doctor of Education has more of a research focus in mind, with the exception of higher education and international education concentrations, which are also practice-based.  It is for university faculty and policy leaders.  Master of Education has 13 concentrations.  They are year-long intensive programs to make sure that students are not out of profession for long.  Average age of students tends to be higher because they are targeting experienced professionals who want to increase their impact.  Cross-enrollment is common, especially with law, business, policy.  Cross-enrollment is also possible with MIT.

On the application, there is a check-box for consideration into a Master’s program if you are not accepted into the EdLD program.  The speaker recommends that applicants take advantage of this check box.  If you do not get in, you probably need more training and experience.  Master’s program might be a good way to gain that training and experience.
Student Demographics.  Mostly female; from 39 states and 36 countries.  Age is 24 to 44 with average age of 32 years old.  Master’s students are 21 to 61 with average age of 28.  There is a higher Master’s age of students than other programs.  22% students of color.

Application Process.  Requirements are online application form (application, resume, statement of purpose, two short-essay questions, 3 letters of rec); transcripts; GRE or GMAT. 

Statement of Purpose.  This is your chance to give your voice and reason for joining the program.  The applications are read by committee.  The challenge is to crisply define your vision, including background, experiences, accomplishments, and why you are interested in the EdLD.  Long-term vision for where this can take you, and why this is the program to get you to that vision.  Advice: take a lot of time to outline and write the statement of purpose; then read it a few days later with new eyes.  Have outside readers look at it too.

Short Essays.  400 words each.  The first one is about an idea to improve and change education.  The second is about choices.  Choose the one that has the most relationship to why you want to be in this program.

Letters of Recommendation.  Choose three people who know you well and who can cover different areas.  Give the EdLD brochure to the recommender.  Bruce Fisher, Camille Courey, ?.  A general reference letter will not help you; you want to write specifically to this program.

Official Transcripts.  Order ahead of time.

Deadline is January 8, 2010.  Campus interviews will occur March 1-5, invitation only, on campus.  It will be a group activity with individual interviews.  50 candidates will be sponsored to come to Harvard.   There is a “satisfactory” number of applicants.

Online notification will occur on March 26, 2010.

Strong Applicant Profile.  Beginning from the premise that they are looking for early career people with a “large margin of error.”  The applicant pool defines the admissions criteria.  The first question is there something in your background htat demonstrates your capacity to survive the program and create impact?  The second question is how long are you going to be in the sector after you are done with the program?

The distinction between Master’s Level and Doctorate Level is unit level versus system level.  School leadership is about school leadership.  EdLD is to prepare you to run and invent the system. 


Anonymous said...

has anyone been notifed regarding an interviw yet?

Anonymous said...

As of Mon March 1st, I have not received notification either way. When I called the office yesterday I was given the "online notification" will be available on March 26th.

So now I'm looking for other motivated educators who want to change the system without the Harvard degree. Comment back if you're interested too.