Responding to customers’ needs and desires is a given in retail, but in school leader preparation programs? In a recent blog post, the University of North Georgia describes the process of earning the “seal of approval” from one of its customers—Gwinnett County Public Schools—by engaging with the school district to determine how the university’s Educational Leadership Certification Program could better respond to the needs of a district that hires its graduates.
Using a program assessment tool called Quality Measures, representatives from the school leader training program and the large Atlanta-area district worked together to take stock of how well the program was preparing its graduates for the demands of the principalship. The information generated from the assessment guided both institutions in developing an improvement plan for the program.
In January, Gwinnett approved the University of North Georgia program as its newest partner for educational leadership certificates. The university is now one of six Georgia institutions of higher education working in partnership with the school district. The university “is going to help build and improve an assistant principal and principal pipeline for Gwinnett County,” Catherine Rosa, an assistant professor in the program, says in the blog post. She goes on to describe Gwinnett County as a leader in Georgia and the nation in developing effective school leaders.
Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of six large districts that participated in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which tested whether districts could build and improve “principal pipelines” to train, hire, and support and evaluate school principals. A report on the impact of principal pipelines is scheduled to be released in April.
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Header photo: Berkmar High School, headed by Principal Al Taylor, is one of 140 schools in Gwinnett County. Photography by Claire Holt.