IU School of Education and Evansville Vanderburgh schools partner to prepare school leaders

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Indiana University School of Education is partnering with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. to prepare future leaders for Evansville schools. Working in collaboration with faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, the partnership will initially prepare 25 teacher leaders for future work as school principals, assistant principals and other leadership positions in the district.\

“An investment in professional development opportunities for our employees is important to the overall growth and transformation of this corporation,” said David Smith, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. superintendent. “What better way to have the knowledge and qualities you want in an employee than to identify talent and help them grow? We are pleased to be able to partner with IU to offer this opportunity to our employees.”

Participants in the program receive scholarship assistance from the IU School of Education and Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. Through the program, they’ll participate in field-based internships designed to prepare them to address the unique challenges facing the state’s third largest school corporation. Twenty-five participants were selected for the initial cohort after a rigorous review by faculty and district administrators.

”One of our strategic priorities is to partner with schools and communities throughout the state to offer high-quality programs and professional development opportunities wherever they’re needed,” said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. “The EVSC program is a model of research-based, best practices professional preparation for future school leaders.”

The program builds on the strengths of the IU School of Education’s nationally recognized educational leadership faculty and its nationally ranked online program. IU faculty will teach courses on-site in Evansville and using the university’s online learning management system.

“The partnership between IU and EVSC has created new opportunities for program innovation and an enhanced connection with the needs of practitioners,” said Chad Lochmiller, assistant professor in educational leadership and policy studies and the coordinator for the cohort. “IU faculty will teach core courses, and administrators in EVSC will teach the field-based internship seminars. The partnership serves the needs of the district by ensuring that future leaders are prepared as innovators who are ready to lead improvements in student learning.”

The program provides participants an opportunity to earn school administration certification in a cohort-based setting, which research suggests enhances student experience in the preparation program and provides unique opportunities to align the preparation experience with district initiatives. Further, the cohort-based structure creates relationships that often continue supporting administrators once they complete their program and enter their first leadership position.

“Indiana University is a prestigious university with a renowned School of Education. The opportunity to be selected as a participant in this distinguished cohort is an honor,” said Kristal Dellay, a teacher at Delaware Elementary School in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. “I’m looking forward to gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to grow in this profession and to further my career with the EVSC. I look forward to the opportunity to embark on this journey with my colleagues through collaborative practices where we are able to share our experiences, successes and failures, as we become future administrators.” 

Students begin their program June 11 as participants in the Martha McCarthy Law and Policy Institute. They will complete courses required for certification by summer 2016.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. serves nearly 23,000 students in 39 schools. The school corporation has a culture of collaboration, use of data to inform instruction and continuous improvement that drives its work with students.

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the IU School of Education is internationally renowned for its groundbreaking scholarship and outstanding faculty. Consistently ranked among the top such programs in the country, the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings placed two department specialties among its top 20. It is one of the leading programs at the IU School of Education, ranked among the top 25 schools by U.S. News for 15 consecutive years.