Southeastern education master's program rated as one of the best in the south
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s redesigned master’s degree program in education was rated with programs at three other Louisiana institutions as among the best in the southern states in preparing future school principals and other education leaders.
A recent report issued by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a nonprofit coalition that offers guidance on educational policy issues in 16 states, cited Southeastern and the other universities for making progress in six key policy areas evaluated. Programs in most other states have not progressed significantly in training a new generation of school leaders, the report concluded.
“We are extremely pleased that our efforts to design a program that will prepare our future school principals, superintendents and other leaders in education is being recognized,” said Diane Allen, dean of Southeastern’s College of Education and Human Development. “We are especially pleased that Louisiana is being cited as a pacesetter among the southern states.”
The three other institutions cited by the SREB report were the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern University at Baton Rouge and the University of New Orleans.
The report, “Schools Need Good Leaders Now: State Progress in Creating Learning-Centered School Leadership Systems,” said many graduate programs in school leadership and administration are not selective enough, because the universities are primarily interested in enrolling large numbers of students. As a result, most of the programs’ graduates do not go on to become school principals, and many of those who do lack the skills needed to bring about substantial improvements.
“Our institutions were cited in the report because we have made better progress in our selection and recruitment of future school leaders, redesign of the programs to emphasize curriculum instruction and student learning, and developing our programs around school-based experiences that prepare our students to lead school improvement,” Allen said.
Other criteria measured included basing professional-level licensure on improved school and classroom practices, developing alternative pathways for initial licensure, and providing training and support for leadership teams in low-performing schools.
Allen said Southeastern maintains a close working relationship with area public school systems – particularly in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. Helena, Washington and Livingston parishes.
“The partnerships with area school systems have allowed us to identify a strong pool of potential future school leaders who show promise of improving classroom practices and student achievement,” she added. “We are being very selective in our application process, so that those who complete the program will be able to meet the demands of 21st century education.”