Cynthia K. Barron

Program Coordinator, Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies, and Leadership Coach

Dr. Cynthia K. Barron is Program Coordinator, Assistant Clinical Professor, and Leadership Coach with UIC's Urban Education Leadership Program.  As EdD Program Coordinator, Dr. Barron works collaboratively with the Center for Urban Education Leadership to strengthen the work and impact of both the Center and the Ed.D. program. She works in partnership with school districts, primarily Chicago Public Schools, on leader pipeline development, residency placement, principal eligibility processes, and development of supports for principal supervision and success.  Dr. Barron leads the continuous improvement of all aspects of the program including mission and vision, recruitment and admissions, data collection, processes of program assessment, and generally overseeing the developmental trajectory of program students.  She leads efforts to secure external funds to support innovations that are not currently funded by the University but that demonstrate next edges of practice for the field. 


As a Clinical Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, she teaches several graduate courses including EDPS559 Internship in Educational Leadershipfor aspiring principals and EDPS 553 System Leadership in Urban Schoolsfor those seeking superintendent endorsement. Additionally, she supervises capstone completion for candidates seeking the EdD degree. In the role of leadership coach, Dr. Barron has supported over fifty Ed.D. candidates through internships in their quest to become high quality school leaders.  Nearly all passed the Chicago Public Schools rigorous eligibility process and are now serving as principals, assistant principals and principal supervisors in CPS schools. Dr. Barron’s coaching continues through their novice leadership years. 


Dr. Barron has more than forty years’ experience in education, with thirty-five spent in Chicago Public Schools as an Area Instruction Officer, Interim Chief Area Officer for High Schools, principal of two schools, assistant principal, counselor, teacher, and athletic coach. She has been recognized for success as both an elementary and high school principal moving each school to new heights. As an Area Instructional Officer, Dr. Barron supervised, supported and developed over 40 high school principals in two different CPS Areas. During seven years as an Area Instructional Officer (currently titled Network Chief) Dr. Barron’s schools demonstrated improved principal leadership, attendance, student achievement, Local School Council engagement, and increased focus on a student centered approach to teaching and learning. 


Dr. Barron has served on the UIC/CPS Joint Committee on College Readiness and Success and the UIC/CPS Course Alignment Committee.  She co-led the Ed.D. program’s high school design committee and the implementation of its recommendations at 20 CPS high schools through the UIC Curriculum Framework Project.  Outside of UIC, she serves on a number of professional advisory boards including Mikva Challenge, ACT State Council and Amandla Charter School Education Committee. She has been recently appointed to the Chicago Catholic School Board/Academic Excellence Committee.  Barron presents nationally for ACT regarding College Readiness, Course Rigor, and Student Preparation, and recently served as Chair of the Illinois ACT Council.  Dr. Barron received her MS from Chicago State University, her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Loyola University and her Superintendent Certification from the University of Illinois at Chicago.