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Continuous Improvement of UIC’s EdD in Urban Education Leadership

A primary and ongoing client of the CUEL has been UIC’s EdD program in urban educational leadership. We have led and supported various aspects of this program’s continuous improvement work and we discuss this work in these articles:

Cosner, S., & Tozer, S., Zavitkovsky, P., & Whalen, S. (2015). Cultivating exemplary school leadership preparation at a research intensive university. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 10(1), 11-38.

Cosner, S., Tozer, S., & Smylie, M. (2012). The Ed.D. Program at UIC: Using cycles of inquiry and improvement to advance leadership preparation. Planning and Changing, 43(1-2), 127-148.

Through our work with this program we research and design leadership preparation/development interventions and materials that are portable to other preparation/development settings. One aspect of this work has been the design and development of a data system that informs ongoing improvement efforts. Of primary importance has been building a relational database that links together data on the professional development and career progression of UIC-trained candidates with extensive leading and lagging performance indicators from the schools they have led. More recently the focus has broadened to include the design of data dashboards that can be updated regularly with information about UIC school leaders’ placement and retention rates, and the creation of cutting edge Chicago school data displays that more accurately depict long-term trends in student academic proficiency. These new systems have in turn enabled UIC to integrate more timely and pertinent data into the EdD program’s inquiry cycles, and mentor other principal preparation programs around the uses of data for program improvement. Read more.

Our ongoing support of this leadership preparation program’s continuous improvement has led to the design/enactment of a university-based principal preparation program identified as “exemplary” by the University Council for Educational Administration. CUEL was nationally recognized for the quality of this continuous improvement work in 2018 when it received a Spotlight Award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The program has been recognized for its program quality by an assortment of other national organizations such as the Council of Chief State School Officers and the George W. Bush Institute. In 2014-2017 UIC-led schools increased their CPS school quality rankings at all SQRP (district’s school performance rubric) levels more often than CPS schools over that 3-year period.

Leaders of Chicago Public Schools point to their ongoing investment in principal quality, including their preparation partnerships with institutions such as UIC, as a contributor to their district’s student growth trajectories that outpace 95% of the school districts across the US.