Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS)

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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS)
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The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program prepares courageous, visionary and transformative leaders in educational settings at all levels of the education system. To achieve this, we offer intensive, integrated academic and field-based experiences and project-based learning. Our students learn to create learning communities that foster academic achievement and optimal growth and development for all learners. Our students focus on leadership, policy studies and research that are relevant and appropriate for meeting today’s educational challenges.

All of our programs use a cohort structure to build learning communities and professional networks. We partner with individuals, schools and districts to build leadership capacity and improve educational contexts.

  • Lead change in K-12 education as a principal, administrator, researcher or policymaker
  • Learn through integrated academic and school-based experiences and projects
  • Create learning communities that foster academic achievement and optimal growth and development for all learners
  • Focus on leadership, policy studies and research that are relevant and appropriate for meeting today’s educational challenges

The George W. Bush Institute recently named the ELPS program to the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), a network of innovative principal preparation programs around the country that are changing the way school leaders are recruited, selected, trained, evaluated and empowered.

University of Denver is an associate member of the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA), a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children.

InContext Learning Experiences

Examples of InContext learning experiences our students have participated in include:

  • Research the core competencies of novice teachers and have these benchmarks inform national education initiatives
  • Completion of an Organizational Diagnosis that explores the data, culture, systems, and market of a school
  • Research educational problems of practice and implement action plans

Principal Preparation Programs

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies offers two cohort models that lead to recommendation for Colorado Principal Certification: the Ritchie Program for School Leaders (Ritchie) and Executive Leadership for Successful Schools (ELSS). Both models offer project-based learning that can be individualized to the leadership needs of the aspiring leader and the needs of the school. Both models focus not only on developing the skills and abilities necessary for success as a school leader, but also on developing a strong commitment to core values essential for ethical and responsible leadership.

The program consists of 4 quarters of coursework (begins and ends in June) and requires a minimum of 300 internship hours that are aligned with coursework. The program can be completed as a certificate or combined with additional coursework for a master’s degree.

Students can expect to work about 20 hours each week in a typical quarter. Each quarter incorporates in-person sessions, inquiry projects, self-assessments, various online learning activities including discussion boards andreflection journals, as well as readings to guide instruction and learning.

Executive Leadership for Successful Schools (ELSS):
  • 30 credit hour blended online delivery model with 2-3 Saturday sessions per quarter (10 days per year) and weekly online interactions within a cohort.
  • Project-based learning experiences and internship opportunities that are integrated with coursework and supported by a mentor principal
  • Currently three cohort options for ELSS: DU Campus, Aurora Public Schools, Denver Public Schools.
Ritchie Program for School Leaders (Ritchie):
  • 32 credit hour district partnership model with 30 weekly in-person sessions during the academic year and 6 full day sessions (including a 3 day retreat) over the summer quarter
  • District partners offer either full-time or release time opportunities for the internship.
  • Project-based learning experiences and internship opportunities that are integrated with coursework and supported by a mentor principal
  • Two cohort options for Ritchie: Denver Public Schools and the Adams County school districts (anchored in Adams 12 Five Star).
Approximate Completion Time:

1 year

Approximate Tuition Cost:

$1,104 per quarter credit hour for the academic year 2013-2014

(Substantial scholarships are available; typical scholarship awards to students in this program reduce tuition by 40% to 50%, resulting in an estimated tuition rate between $555 and $665 per quarter credit hour)

Certifications:

Upon completion of the Certificate program, graduates may apply for the Colorado Initial Principal License through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Apply for ELPS Certificate

MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is designed to be completed the year following the principal preparation certificate program as a continuation of the coursework required for principal licensure.

After completion of the Principal Preparation Certificate program, the MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies  requires four additional courses (15 credits) and an action research project build upon the principal preparation coursework (30 or 32 credits) to prepare students to assume leadership roles in elementary and secondary educational settings. If you’ve already completed one of our principal prep programs within the last 5 years, you can still apply to the MA completion to finish the degree.

MA Cohort Options for 2014-2015:

(select ‘Masters’ as your Academic Level on the application)

Ritchie and ELSS - DPS Partnership Cohorts (application deadline – December 6)

ELSS – Campus (application deadline – February 15)

ELSS – Aurora Public Schools (application deadline – February 15)

Ritchie – Adams County Schools (application deadline – February 15)

Credits Required for Completion:

15 credit hours + ELSS or Ritchie program completion

Approximate Completion Time:

1.5 years

Approximate Tuition Cost:

$1,104 per quarter credit hour for the academic year 2013-2014

(Substantial scholarships are available; typical scholarship awards to students in this program reduce tuition by 40% to 50%, resulting in an estimated tuition rate between $555 and $665 per quarter credit hour)

Certifications:

Upon completion of the Certificate and MA programs, graduates may apply for Colorado Initial Principal License through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE)

Apply for ELPS MA

EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

This 65-credit-hour degree program is designed to be completed in three years, which consists of two years of coursework (two courses/quarter; one research and one content course) and the completion of a Doctoral Research Project. The Doctoral Research Project is independent research that is supported by quarterly research seminars with faculty, and it is focused on important issues of practice.

Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in an education-related field, and have completed principal, teacher-leadership, or other formal leadership preparation.

The EdD offers several field-based options for doctoral level research that address important issues of practice.

Credits Required for Completion:

65 quarter credit hours

Approximate Completion Time:

3-7 years

Approximate Tuition Cost:

$1,104 per quarter credit hour for the academic year 2013-2014

(Substantial scholarships are available; typical scholarship awards to students in this program reduce tuition by 40% to 50%, resulting in an estimated tuition rate between $555 and $665 per quarter credit hour)

Certifications:

Upon completion of the EdD program, graduates may apply for the Colorado Initial Administrator (Superintendent) License through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Apply for ELPS EdD

PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The 90-quarter-credit hour-program is designed for individuals interested in pursuing advanced research. It consists of the same 2 years of coursework as the EdD, but PhD students continue for a third year of coursework specializing in a research methodology and a specialized focus of study. PhD students complete a traditional dissertation with the option of completing a 300 hour Superintendency Internship.

The PhD is ideal for individuals interested in pursuing advanced research.

Tuition Cost:

$1,104 per quarter credit hour for the academic year 2013-2014

(Substantial scholarships are available; typical scholarship awards to students in this program reduce tuition by 40% to 50%, resulting in an estimated tuition rate between $555 and $665 per quarter credit hour)

Credits Required for Completion:

90 quarter credit hours

Approximate Completion Time:

4-7 years

Certifications:

Upon completion of the PhD program, graduates may apply for the Colorado Initial Administrator (Superintendent) License through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Apply for ELPS PhD

Admissions Contact:

Sarah Blizzard
Sarah.Blizzard@du.edu
303-871-2503

Program FAQ

When are the faculty in their offices?
  • Every faculty member sets office hours for each term. However, all of the faculty can meet with students outside of their scheduled office hours. Contact the faculty member to make an appointment.
How many students do you admit each year?
  • We typically admit between 80 to 100 students each year.
Where do the DU students come from?
  • Our students come from across Colorado with the majority of students residing in the Denver metro area. Our hybrid online programs are increasing access to our programs, and our district partnership programs have attracted students from across the country.
Do you have to be an employee of a school to be accepted into one of the programs?
  • No. Our principal preparation and MA programs do require students to have access to a school and principal mentor to complete the inquiry projects and internship; however, our faculty work with students to find a high-quality school site if they are not currently employed in a school setting. We actively seek diversity of experiences as well as a commitment to becoming high-quality educational leaders in the recruitment of students. The networks created by the cohorts provide access to a wide range of educational settings. Our district partnership programs are restricted to employees of the partner district.
What are the requirements for principal licensure in Colorado?
  • The Colorado Department of Education requires the completion of an approved principal preparation program like Ritchie or ELSS, a passing score on the PLACE Principal Exam and three or more years of full-time, successful experience working as a licensed or certificated professional in a public or non-public elementary or secondary school in this state or another state.

General FAQ

General Questions
When does the program start? Can I begin anytime?
  • Most programs begin each year in Fall Quarter which is typically the first or second week of September. Some programs, such as the Teacher Preparation Programs and the Some programs, such as the Teacher Preparation Programs and the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Programs, begin in the Summer Quarter (early June). On rare occasions, students can begin their studies in a different quarter, however, this is arranged on a case-by-case basis only. Students should contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.edu to explore this option.
What does full-time enrollment mean?
  • Full-time enrollment status in a graduate program is achieved by taking a minimum of 8 credit hours per quarter. However, specific funding may require a student to complete 9 credit hours per quarter.
Are classes offered online?
  • The majority of our classes are offered on campus, however, there are a few courses that are offered either in a blended format (online with some on-campus meeting times) or online. Blackboard is an online tool used by most faculty at DU to provide access to selected course materials, no matter the setting of the class meetings.
How many students are in a typical class?
  • Our average class size is generally between 20 and 25 students, but many classes will have 8 to 10 students.

 

Learning More About Programs and DU

Can I set up an appointment to visit the campus and discuss program options?
  • Yes. Although not mandatory, we encourage prospective students to see the campus, meet current students, and attend classes. This is probably your best means of getting a feel for our program. To set up a campus visit call the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services at (303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607, or email at edinfo@du.edu. It is preferable if you would arrange for visits through the Admissions Office and not through individual faculty.
Can I talk to a student from the program?
  • Yes. We encourage prospective students to communicate with current students in order to get the clearest possible picture of graduate life at the University of Denver. We have current Student Ambassadors on hand to meet with prospective students to share their experiences and speak to life in the Morgridge culture.  Contact the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.eduto be connected to a Student Ambassador or another current student in your program of interest.

 

Application and Admissions

How important are my GRE scores for admission?
  • Not all programs require a GRE score. In most programs, GRE scores are not the deciding factor for admittance; they are only one of many criteria used for admissions evaluation.
What if I do not have GRE scores? Can I use another test I took?
  • When required for admissions consideration, the GRE is the only test accepted. Regardless of the requirement to submit GRE scores, all international applicants/non-native English speakers are required to submit an official, valid TOEFL score.
From whom should I get letters of recommendation?
  • It is best to obtain letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who know you well. For recent graduates, ask for recommendation letters from former professors that can speak to your academic abilities as well as your character. For individuals entering the program with years of work experience, letters of recommendation from professionals who have seen your ability to work with children, adolescents and/or families are recommended.Most importantly, choose individuals that are knowledgeable about your past experiences as well as your goals for the future, and who know you well enough to adequately discuss your accomplishments and potential.
Is an interview required for admission?
  • Yes, interviews are required as part of the admissions process. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified of the interview dates and location details. If you are unable to come to your in-person interview, you may complete your interview via Skype or phone.  We strongly encourage you to attend the on-campus interview day as it will provide the best opportunity for you to learn about the program, see the campus, meet current students and experience the Morgridge culture for yourself.
What is required for application to Morgridge College of Education?
  • The application materials may include: a completed online application, a 2 to 3 page statement of goals, resume, official transcripts from every higher education institution attended, letters of recommendation (2 for MA, 2 or 3 for PhD, depending upon the program), a $65 application fee, and GRE scores for specific programs (which should be sent directly to the university).
When will I hear about the status of my application?
  • Applicants will receive an email that their application was received by the DU Graduate Studies Admissions Office and will be notified if there is any missing information. Students are encouraged to check on the status of their application materials by emailing gradinfo@du.edu. Once an application file is complete, the file is sent to the Morgridge College of Education Office of Admissions to be reviewed by program faculty. Typically, decisions about acceptance into a program are made two to three weeks following the on-campus interview day. To check on admission decisions, you may contact the Morgridge College of Education Admissions office at (303) 871-2509 or (800) 835-1607 or email at edinfo@du.edu.
Can I defer my admissions or change my entry term if necessary?
  • Some graduate programs allow deposited students to request a one-time change of admit term to indicate a start term one quarter early or a deferment to the date of his/her intended enrollment for up to one academic year. Contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.edu for more information about changing your admissions term.
 

Waivers and Transfer Credits

Can I transfer credit from an undergraduate class?
  • No, only graduate-level courses can be transferred and the course must have been taken within the last five years and from an accredited program. Transfer credits cannot have been used toward another degree. There is a limit to the number of graduate credits you can transfer into DU based on the degree you are applying to (see below). If it is appropriate to waive a course (e.g. similar course already taken, content knowledge demonstrated, or successful test-out for certain research courses) the course credit hours must still be utilized for another course. A waived course does not mean a reduction in credit hours required. If your undergraduate work is similar in content to a required graduate course, you may be able to waive a required course after a review of the content with your advisor. A waived course allows you to take another graduate course in place of the one we require if you have already taken a course with very similar content. Transfer courses are different than waived courses since they reduce the number of credits you take at DU.
What graduate coursework is accepted as transfer credit?
  • Transferring graduate coursework into DU is discussed on an individual basis with your advisor. If you wish to transfer in comparable graduate-level coursework, you will need to bring in the syllabus, text, other course materials, and you must have an official transcript on file from the institution. The transfer must be initiated through your advisor in the first quarter of your program. The graduate coursework you wish to transfer must be no more than five years old, cannot have been counted toward another degree, and must be transferred in your first quarter of enrollment at the University of Denver. A maximum of 10 quarter hour credits may be transferred into the MA and a maximum of 15 quarter hour credits may be transferred into the EdS, PhD and EdD programs. Graduate coursework that is transferred in will reduce the total number of DU credits you will need to graduate.
Will my graduate coursework for my previous graduate degree count?
  • Credits that have already been applied to a degree cannot be counted again toward another degree. If the credit was not used toward another degree, see above for information on transfer credits. For more information or to discuss your specific situation, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.edu.

 

Internships and Assistantships

Does every student get a paid internship?
  • No, not all internships are paid.  Program faculty will work with you to set up an internship in the community or school of your choice. Some internships are paid and some are not.  All internship sites must meet all program standards and must be approved officially by the Program Chair or designee.
Can I take an internship out of state?
  • Yes. It is possible to complete your internship in another state for most programs; however it does require extra work and planning to ensure that the internship site and supervisor meet our internship requirements. To determine if this is an option for your program, contact the Morgridge Office of Admissions at edinfo@du.edu.
Does the program arrange for the internship placements?
  • Program faculty help mentor and facilitate the internship placement process, but students generally must apply and be selectedby the organization as interns. Students are required to actively pursue particular internships they desire and complete the interviewing process. All internships must be approved by the program director or designee prior to the beginning of the internship year.
What funding or assistantships are there for graduate students?
  • A variety of types of aid are available for graduate students. A select number of stipends are available for incoming students who are paired with a faculty mentor to conduct research in their area of interest. Advanced students often have the opportunity to obtain stipends for similar work. There are a limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships also available to advanced students in the program that provide some tuition reimbursement as well as monthly stipends.

 

Tuition and Financial Aid

What is the cost of tuition?
Will I need to pay out-of-state tuition, or how do I get in-state tuition?
  • The University of Denver is a private institution, thus tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. For an estimate of yearly costs, visit the Office of Financial Aid.
Are scholarships available?
Is financial aid available?
  • In order to apply for financial aid at the University of Denver, and be considered for federal grants and scholarships, you must have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on file. Federal financial aid is available to qualified students. For information on financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid.Student employment may also be available for graduate students. Financial Aid requires students to be enrolled in a minimum of 4 quarter credit hours in a term.

 

Insurance, Immunizations and Housing

What kinds of insurance coverage do graduate students receive?
  • Graduate students have the option of obtaining their own private health insurance or using the health insurance provided by the University of Denver. For specific information regarding the coverage under the University of Denver’s plan, visit the Health and Counseling Center.
What immunizations are required for students?
  • All students must show proof of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunization. (CO Revised Statuses 25-4-901 to 909) Students will NOT be able to register for classes without providing this information. Exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons may be submitted. See the Health and Counseling Center website for more information on immunizations and a link to the Certificate of Immunization form.
What is the cost of housing?
  • Graduate students have the choice to live on or off the University of Denver campus. Information regarding on-campus housing can be found at Housing and Residential Educationand includes information about building options, dining plans, parking and other related information. Off-campus housing information includes links to nearby apartment complexes as well as information about how to find roommates, transportation, childcare, banks and other information regarding living in the area.
Hesbol, Kristina, PhD : Clinical Assistant Professor

Hesbol, Kristina, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

303-871-2479, KRH 360
Kristina.Hesbol@du.edu

Dr. Hesbol received her PhD from Loyola University-Chicago.  In her forty-year career in education, she has taught preK-high school students in public schools, as well as graduate students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and at Illinois State University.   Dr. Hesbol served as building principal in several culturally and linguistically diverse school districts, as the Coordinator of Literacy and School Improvement in a linguistically and culturally diverse suburban Chicago school district, as an assistant superintendent for human resources for a large unit school district, and has consulted nationally in literacy leadership. As a professor at UIUC, she was named one of twelve Stafford Fellows for the National Institute for Leadership on Disability and Students Placed At-Risk (NILDSPAR).  Dr. Hesbol’s research interests include transformative leadership, learning organizations, and equity.   In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, spending time with her family, traveling back roads, and antiquing.

Portfolio site coming soon!

Kipp, Patricia, MA : Lecturer

Kipp, Patricia, MA

Lecturer

303-871-7517, KRH 361
Patricia.Kipp@du.edu

Ms. Kipp received her MA from the University of Colorado-Denver.  She served as a mentor principal for the DPS Ritchie Program during the 2003-04 school year and became an adjunct instructor in 2006. Since 2007, she has served as the lead instructor for the Adams County Ritchie Program. Ms. Kipp came to the University of Denver from a 31-year career in the Denver Public Schools as a teacher, Program Director, Chapter I instructor, Administrative Assistant, and Principal.   She enjoys traveling and sports.

Portfolio

Korach, Susan, EdD : Associate Professor and Program Coordinator

Korach, Susan, EdD

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator

303-871-2212, KRH 356
skorach@du.edu

Dr. Korach received her EdD from the University of Houston.  She co-created the Ritchie Program for School Leaders in partnership with Denver Public Schools.  Dr. Korach is an active participant with the Alliance to Reform Educational Leadership, University Council of Educational Administration, and the National Center for the Evaluation of Educational Leadership Preparation and Practice.  Her research focus is on leadership preparation, learning transfer, university/district partnerships, and institutional change. She enjoys golf, tennis, and spending time with family and friends.

Portfolio

McClure, Rebecca, MA : Lecturer

McClure, Rebecca, MA

Lecturer

303-871-6531, KRH 362
Rebecca.McClure24@du.edu

Ms. McClure received her MA from the University of Northern Colorado.  She retired from the Boulder Valley School District as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in 2011, where she served for six years. Prior to that time, she was the Executive Director of Human Resources, Student Services and Achievement with Brighton School District 27J for 26 years.  She is an active member of the Colorado Association of School Executives and conducts training in supervision and evaluation, human resources, and leadership topics.

Portfolio

Miller-Brown, Ellen, PhD : Clinical Assistant Professor

Miller-Brown, Ellen, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

303-871-2295, KRH 338
ellen.miller-brown@du.edu

Dr. Miller-Brown received her PhD from the University of New Mexico.  She has spent 37 years in education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of professional development, director of middle schools, and chief academic officer in public schools.  Dr. Miller-Brown’s expertise lies in the areas of school improvement, equitable achievement, adult and student learning, and developing positive, collaborative cultures. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends hiking, running, swimming, reading, and gardening.

Portfolio

Seidel, Kent, PhD : Associate Professor

Seidel, Kent, PhD

Associate Professor

303-871-2496, KRH 346
Kent.Seidel@du.edu

Dr. Seidel received his PhD from the University of Cincinnati.  He has been actively involved with school improvement and standards-based reform since 1990. Closely related to his school reform work, Dr. Seidel has been actively involved in arts education and the development of creativity in students, teachers, and school leaders. His primary research in the past decade has focused on performance-based approaches to improving educator support and school quality. He has a theater and music background.

Portfolio

Denver Public Schools Partner Programs – DPS Ritchie Program for School Leaders (Ritchie) & Executive Leadership for Successful Schools (ELSS)
  • Application Deadline: December 6, 2013 - We are no longer accepting applicants for the DPS programs for the summer 2014 cohorts.
  • Interview Days (by invitation): March 7 and 14, 2014
Executive Leadership for Successful Schools Cohort – DU Campus, Mountain and Aurora Cohorts
  • Regular Application Deadline: We will continue to accept and review applications until the summer 2014 cohorts are filled.
  • Interview Days (by invitation): March 7 and 14, 2014 or April 11, 2014 (applicants reviewed after the April interview date will be interviewed on an individual basis)
Ritchie Program for School Leaders – Adams County Cohort
  • Regular Application Deadline: We will continue to accept and review applications until the summer 2014 cohorts are filled.
  • Interview Days (by invitation): March 17 and 18, 2014 or April 11, 2014 (applicants reviewed after the April interview date will be interviewed on an individual basis)
Doctoral Cohort – EdD and PhD
  • Regular Application Deadline: We will continue to accept and review applications until the summer 2014 cohorts are filled.
  • Interview Days (by invitation): March 8 and 14, 2014 or April 11, 2014 (applicants reviewed after the April interview date will be interviewed on an individual basis)

 

 

ELPS graduates are educational leaders within Colorado and across the country. Graduates from our principal preparation and MA programs are successful in obtaining school and district leadership positions. Graduates of our doctoral programs serve as leaders and researchers in a wide range of education-related settings (i.e., school districts, state departments of education, non-profits, government, charter and private schools, etc.).

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