Campus News Society & Culture

UGA College of Education to analyze Gwinnett schools’ leader academy

Athens, Ga. – A team of University of Georgia College of Education experts is currently analyzing Gwinnett County Public Schools’ leadership program for young principals and assistant principals. The goal of the project is to study, analyze, critique and develop recommendations for the school system’s Quality-Plus Leader Academy.

COE researchers and the leader academy team will investigate national leadership standards and make a recommendation to the district about the possible effects on those standards, conduct assessments of the main components of the leader academy and prepare a report of areas in which improvements could be considered, examine the process and tools being used to admit candidates to the programs, and work with the staff of Gwinnett County Public Schools to identify areas for improvement.

Max Skidmore, a clinical associate professor in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy, is the primary investigator, and Ronald Cervero, associate dean of outreach and engagement, is the co-investigator of the project. Melissa Freeman, an associate professor, and Khalil Dirani, an assistant professor, both in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy, are assisting in the project. Other faculty members are working with specific segments of the study.

In 2007, the Gwinnett County Public Schools established the leader academy, which has received national recognition for its excellence. During the last four years, the program has served as an umbrella to cover all activities associated with the training and development of aspiring school administrators in the school district.

Its main components include the six-month aspiring leader program aimed specifically at preparing teachers to become assistant principals and the year-long aspiring principal program for assistant principals.

Other components of the leader academy are the leader mentor program, which is available for first- and second-year principals and assistant principals, monthly leadership development meetings, leadership seminars and the Gwinnett County Summer Leadership Conference.

The UGA team will analyze leadership standards, criteria and the process for admission to the programs, the components of the programs, two forms of residency, mentoring of graduates and other programs that add value to the knowledge, skills and talents of the focus groups.

The study of the selection and admissions process will include a review of all major parts of the process, which will encompass a study of inter-rater reliability, use of assessment tools and forms of assessment used by other professional groups, such as law and medicine.

UGA received funds from the Wallace Principal Pipeline Project through Gwinnett County Public Schools to fund the project.