Contact: Karie Patton
An administrative policy board is recognizing Mississippi State University's educational leadership program for meeting strict curriculum guidelines and professional standards.
The National Policy Board for Educational Administration recently accredited MSU's educational leadership program in the College of Education. Headquartered at the University of Missouri, the NPBEA is an arm of the Washington, D.C.-based National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The achievement follows a recent state review that also gave the department high marks for its revised master's degree curriculum. The only one of its kind in the state receiving both state and national accolades for its efforts to better prepare future school leaders, the new program is offered at both the Starkville and Meridian campuses of MSU.
Gary P. Johnson, professor of educational leadership, said the department underwent a rigorous reviewing process to become recognized.
"We really reworked this program from the ground up," he said. "Mississippi is in the forefront of leadership education in the nation, and we are proud to be among the leaders in the state in these accomplishments."
Designed in large measure by Mississippi principals and superintendents, the graduate program focuses on the preparation of students for public school administrative positions, including assistant principal and principal positions.
"The reforms came at the perfect time because, according to some state officials and many superintendents, there seems to be a growing shortage of qualified people to fill school administrative positions," Johnson said.
"We are proud to report that every MSU student completing the program so far has passed the Mississippi Administrative Licensure Test, a legal requirement to become a school administrator in the state," he added.
Among features of the revised program are requirements for pre-entry applicant screening and a letter of recommendation from a practicing administrator. The new curriculum also stresses the development of skills necessary to solve "real world" administrative problems.
Additionally, participants must complete:
--Field-based projects and problem-solving activities tied directly to the curriculum and course work, and
--A 500-hour administrative internship in a school under the supervision of a practicing administrator and a university adviser.