The Department of Educational Administration and Leadership is comprised of two major components: educational administration and leadership at the masters and doctoral levels, and leadership studies and programs at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, the department prepares leaders for a wide variety of professional positions requiring advanced leadership skills, with emphasis on training licensed school administrative leaders for service in Kansas and other states, with graduates placed in over 70% of Kansas school districts. All graduate and licensure programs are approved by the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The graduate program is also approved by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and is one of only two UCEA-approved programs in Kansas and one of only 71 doctoral universities in the nation that have passed the rigorous program review required for UCEA membership. Both the graduate and undergraduate programs share the mission of preparing knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision-makers for a wide variety of leadership positions.
Quality of Faculty
Quality teaching is the highest priority at both graduate and undergraduate levels. A number of faculty have earned teaching, research, and service awards, both within the university and externally. All graduate faculty are experienced school leaders who remain connected to the field through extensive consulting and service activities. Faculty are widely respected for their research and scholarship, publishing books, chapters, and articles in respected national venues. Faculty service activities include college and university service, as well as sustained service to public school districts, including an extensive array of field studies, inservice contributions, leadership personnel searches, and so on.
Quality of Students
At the graduate level, high admission standards to both M.S. and Ed.D. degree programs help ensure top quality students, as students must present standardized test scores on either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), typically at or above the 50 th percentile; must present grade point averages appropriate to degree level; and must exhibit strong leadership potential through letters of recommendation from employers. The profile of students choosing the undergraduate leadership minor verifies the high quality of students.
At the graduate level, there is currently a growing shortage of qualified school leaders throughout the state of Kansas and nation, due in part to accelerating retirements by the current generation of licensed school leaders. Graduates of M.S. and Ed.D. programs in educational administration and leadership at K-State enjoy remarkable employment opportunities. For example, degree-holders of this department’s graduate programs are employed in leadership roles in more than 70% of Kansas school districts, as well as throughout the nation, including large school district superintendencies in the states of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Washington, and others, in other educational organizations, units of government, or the private sector including the professoriate in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Virginia; and in higher education administrative positions such as the provost for community colleges in the state of Washington.
Although the undergraduate leadership minor has been in operation for only five years, preliminary data indicate demand is very strong for this program, as both students and employers perceive added value by combining it with varied university major fields.
Service Provided to the Discipline, the University, and Beyond
The faculty provides various important services to the college, the university, and the larger profession. In Fall 2002, the department generated 1,563 undergraduate hours associated with the Leadership Studies Minor. This undergraduate program serves students from all colleges on campus. These credit hours amounted to 0.3% of all undergraduate hours in the institution.
Faculty in the department are productive in teaching, with loads averaging three courses per semester plus heavy dissertation supervision responsibilities as exemplified in annual doctoral degree completion rates. Faculty are extensively involved in college and university activities, including serving in administrative leadership roles; participating in formal faculty governance such as faculty senate, college and university committees; and serving in a myriad of other functions inherent to a comprehensive university.
Consistent with K-State’s land grant tradition, faculty have extensive connections to professional practice in public schools in Kansas. Faculty have nearly daily contact with constituencies throughout the state and the nation in ways that provide constant visibility for the university. Examples include aiding in school superintendent employment screening searches; serving on curriculum and accreditation reviews for public schools; presenting inservice programs to local school districts; providing expert testimony in court disputes over educational issues; serving on school facility assessment studies; making research-based presentations to national scholarly organizations; and conducting technical studies for state education departments and other advocacy groups.
For the reporting period 1998-2002, the department’s general use expenditures as a percent of the university’s general use instructional expenditures averaged approximately 0.8% annually. For the same period, the department’s credit hour production totaled 1,639 graduate credit hours, which as a percent of total university credit hour production at the graduate level fluctuated around the 2.5% mark (FY ’02). In Fall 2002, the Ed.D. degree ranked as the fourth largest doctoral program in the university. Given the impact at the graduate level of reductions in faculty numbers and time allocation (-16.7%) due to retirements over the past five years and the explosive growth in the undergraduate leadership studies program, the department has made a meaningful contribution to the university in terms of cost effectiveness. This is especially true when it is considered that the overall departmental credit hour production increased 76% for the same time period.