Two areas of study at the Curry School of Education have established themselves as leaders in the education arena. Among other recognitions, both the Administration & Supervision (A&S) program and the program in Education Policy have recently been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as top programs in their fields.
The A&S program area develops the next generation of effective leaders in education. Facing the plethora of challenges currently plaguing elementary, secondary and higher education, the A&S students are pushed to reflect on educational institutions as they are and envision what they can become.
The recent recognition by US News & World Report, who ranked the A&S program as the 12th best in the nation, comes on the heels of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) announcing that it will relocate its headquarters to the Curry School of Education.
UCEA is a national consortium of higher education institutions with a mission to advance the preparation and practice of educational leaders for school serving pre-K through grade 12 and to create a dynamic base of knowledge on excellence in educational leadership. The strength of Curry’s A&S program and its commitment to leadership and quality research were a significant part of the organizations decision to select the Curry School as its new home.
“This consortium of universities with highly regarding leadership preparation programs will bring a range of opportunities to students and faculty at the Curry School to engage in national research and policy activities,” said Pam Tucker, program coordinator for Administration & Supervision. “The UCEA headquarters will give Curry a national presence in a variety of activities focused on the importance of school leadership and the institutions that prepare leaders.”
This year, the faculty in the A&S program launched a new doctorate program, Executive Studies in Educational Leadership (ExSEL). The students in this program, while having already served in administrative capacities, have a strong desire for the knowledge and skills to become change agents in education. Graduates of this program go on to occupy top-level positions in forward-looking school systems, public and non-public; state and federal education agencies; associations serving the professional needs of educators; think-tanks committed to exploring new ways to improve schooling; and foundations devoted to supporting educational initiatives.
“The program area faculty have totally redesigned our Doctorate of Education as a rigorous and scholarly degree focused on professional practice,” said Tucker.
“Curry’s programs and initiatives in educational leadership are poised to make a notable impact on the preparation of professionals for leadership roles in our nation’s schools,” said Curry School Dean, Bob Pianta. “Our new state-of-the-art doctoral program combined with the arrival of UCEA gives us the potential to positively shape the competencies of school leaders for years to come.”
The Education Policy program is a relatively new area of study at the Curry School of Education and this year established themselves as a leader in their area with a banner year. Curry’s two-year old Education Policy program was ranked by US News & World Report as the 11th best in the nation.
The doctoral program provides students with a unique opportunity for cross-disciplinary and cross-school focus on Education Policy, providing students with a chance to focus in on a particular area of interest.
The program has also established strong connections to U.Va.’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. This strong and vibrant connection is creating synergy around education policy research and student learning.
The Center for Education Research and Workforce Competitiveness, a collaboration between the Education Policy program and the Batten School, is currently working with several large school districts on their teacher performance assessment systems, exemplifying the very strong connection between policy research taking place in the Center and the needs in classrooms across the country.
“There are many aspects of the development of education policy at UVa with which I am very pleased—our PhD program has blossomed with our partnership with the Batten Masters in Public Policy program and the Center for Education Policy and Workforce Development has developed some good traction,” said Jim Wyckoff, professor of Education Policy and director of the Center for Education Policy & Workforce Competitiveness. I am most pleased with the expanding group of faculty and students who are creating an intellectually vibrant and productive teaching and research environment in education policy.”
“It is a remarkable achievement that Curry’s program in educational policy has risen far and fast in the rankings,” said Pianta. “The exceptional faculty and partnerships with the Batten school and departments such as Economics have made this area a fertile one for exceptional training and research that connects to the needs of the field.”