Course Descriptions

EDU 520: Education Law and Governance (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the Principal/Teacher Candidate with knowledge about policies, laws and regulations enacted by state, local and federal authorities that impact schools and classrooms. The Candidate will use skills to influence lawmakers and advocate for equitable learning opportunities and success for all students. The Candidate will understand that educators, business people, politicians, media, parents and the public at large attempt to influence educational policy to varying degrees. The candidate will explore varying perspectives on educational improvements and use statute, policies, research, data and ethical standards in the decision-making process. The Candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 521: Societal Frameworks in Education (3 credits)

The Principal/Teacher Candidate will understand human rights and implement guidelines that establish a school where all students, staff and community, regardless of background, are afforded equal access and opportunity to a quality education. The Candidate will understand the complexities of poverty and its influence on learning, promote the success of every student and act with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner. The Candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school/community-based experience(s).

EDU 522: Transformational Leadership (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide Principal/Teacher Candidates with knowledge, skills and dispositions that will enhance motivation, morale, and performance of staff and students. Candidates will know how to create a culture for learning, serve as a role model, inspire, develop leadership in others and help build and support an inviting school culture that meets the needs of students, the community being served and the staff. The candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 523: Continuous School Improvement (3 credits)

This course is designed to help Principal/Teacher Candidates with the knowledge and skills to lead in the development, implementation, evaluation and revision of short and long term goals that promote continuous and sustainable school improvement. Candidates will know how to collect and analyze data pertinent to the educational environment that promotes learning and leads to continuous quality improvement. There will be a focus on a systematic continuous improvement process (e.g.; Nebraska Department of Education, Advanced Ed.). The Candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 524: Action Research and School Improvement (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the action research process. Emphasis will be placed on three main areas: 1) helping candidates become good consumers of educational research, 2) providing foundational instruction and guidance in planning, conducting and reporting action research, and 3) applying professional writing skills.  This course is designed to provide Candidates with the knowledge and skills that help them identify and explore research issues related to leading, teaching and learning particularly as it relates to school improvement. The Candidate will learn the requirements/framework for the School Improvement Action Research Paper and begin collaborating with building leadership and the Midland Candidate Advocate to identify leadership needs that could substantially assist eh school with their school improvement. The candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 525: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Programming  (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide Principal/Teacher Candidates with an understanding that curriculum, instruction, assessment and programming represent a set of desired goals that are activated through a developmental process and culminate in successful learning experiences for students. The Candidate will understand that comprehensive, rigorous and coherent curriculum; instruction, assessment, and program development are essential responsibilities of a school leader. The Candidate will know how to implement district, state and federal initiatives and assure legal compliance. The Candidate will understand emerging trends in education, use best practices research, establish curriculum and instructional expectations and accountability measures, know how to lead curriculum reviews, use data to monitor student achievement and support and develop staff. The Candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s). 

EDU 620: Operational Leadership (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the Principal Candidate with knowledge and skills to create systems that support the mission, vision, strategic and school improvement plans of the school with a focus on supporting quality instruction and student learning. Principal Candidates will know the importance of having supporting systems, structures and processes to improve learning, create efficiencies and provide safe and effective learning environments. The Principal Candidate will understand the business of the school, including communication and public relations, facilities and operations, budgeting, finance and other support services. The Principal Candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 621: Strategic Leadership  (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the Principal Candidate with knowledge about developing a compelling vision and a mission that provides direction for the growth and success of students. The Candidate will understand the change process and know how to formulate, implement and evaluate strategic plans. The candidate will understand motivation theory, be able to provide direction for, build ownership in and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders in the planning process. The candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 607: School-Based Experience and School Improvement Action Research (3 credits)

Prior to the start of the course the Principal Candidate will coordinate with the Midland Advisor/Instructor and School Administrator Mentor and develop and submit a plan for the school-based experience with a minimum of 25 clock hours preferably in his/her home school (must be accredited or approved in Nebraska).  The plan should detail observations, participation and leadership in activities related to school improvement. The majority of these hours should provide experiences that are related to and will enhance the Principal Candidates action research.  The Principal Candidate will work through the initial planning process for the Principal Action Research Report (PARR) including crafting a working proposal, formally seeking required support/approvals and feedback, outlining possible research questions, writing an initial review of literature, selecting the action/ intervention including suggested methods and data collection techniques.

EDU 622: Instructional Leadership for the Principal  (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the Principal Candidate with an understanding of the strong correlation between instructional leadership, teacher effectiveness and student achievement. The Candidate will know how to analyze the critical attributes of teacher effectiveness and supervise and evaluate with an emphasis on continual growth and accountability. The Candidate will know how to observe for good instruction and provide effective feedback on instructional strategies, classroom management, curriculum and assessment. The Candidate will be familiar with the Nebraska Teacher Evaluation Framework and know the legal responsibilities when deciding for nonrenewal of a teacher contract. The Principal Candidate will spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in school-based experience(s).

EDU 624: Principal Internship  (3 credits)

The Principal Candidate will coordinate with the Midland Instructor and Administrator Mentor and submit an internship plan that will engage him/her in opportunities to apply and extend leadership knowledge and skills through more intensive/authentic practice in a school setting. The Candidate will be involved minimally in observing and participating and primarily in leadership type activates. The internship is a minimum of 45 clock hours.

EDU 630: Introduction to NBPTS Candidacy  (3 credits)

The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will become acquainted with the process for applying for “Candidacy” for National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification and begin to examine, in detail, the MTC’s teaching practices. The MTC will learn how to organize and obtain the resources for aligning practices with the Standards and engage in meaningful discussions with the cohort/learning community about effective teaching. The MTC will understand the Five Core Propositions and assess readiness and commitment level for applying for National Certification and develop a personal set of goals and timeline for the application and submission process.  The MTC will practice required skills for successful application to NBPTS certification.

EDU 631: Effective Teaching  (3 credits)

The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will demonstrate understanding of students and their learning needs and how the MTC makes decisions in response to student needs.  The MTC will demonstrate that effective teachers are also learners who draw upon theory and research to expand use of instructional and assessment strategies to effectively manage and monitor student learning. The MTC will become more confident with videotaping, analyzing and reflecting on the MTC’s teaching, practices including the connection between thoughts and actions in order to improve student learning. These reflection will be written and part of course discussions with feedback. The MTC will understand the requirements for Component 2: Differentiation in Instruction, Component 3: Teaching Practice and Learning Environment and Component 4: Effective and Reflective Practitioner.

EDU 632: Mid-Capstone - Portfolio  (3 credits)

The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will understand and determine the Featured Lessons for the Components in the portfolio.  The MTC will “Map each Component” and also “Map the Standards.” A minimum of one of the featured lessons for Components 2- 4 and portfolio requirements will be completed during this course.  A plan including a timeline (meeting the submission window, generally April 1 – May 18) will be submitted and approved for the remaining featured lessons and submission materials.  The MTC will understand and apply professional writing skills of description, analysis and reflection.

EDU 633: Leading through Instructional Coaching  (3 credits)

The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will understand research on the impact of instructional coaching and teacher effectiveness, know several models for coaching, and understand the principles behind coaching.  The MTC will understand how coaches are leaders of change. The MTC will know how to begin a positive coaching experience, create learning conversations, know strategies and processes for implementing effective coaching including relationship building, modeling, observing, collaborating, and data analysis. The MTC will understand the significance of focusing coaching and organizing interventions around managing student behavior, enhancing content knowledge, improving direct instruction, and implementing formative assessment. 

EDU 634: Content Study  (3 credits)

The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will prepare for the three, assessment center exercises that are designed by NBPTS to test content knowledge across the age range and for the specified content area requested for national certification. The MTC will have a content mentor who will support his/her study.  The MTC and instructor will design an individual course of study that will include but not be limited to: completing the assessment center exercises (assists with the analysis of content needing further study), addressing areas of study, responding to sample practice prompts, completing the tutorial for the NBPTS assessment and meeting regularly with a content mentor. Currently, the Assessment can be taken annually between March 1 – June 15.

EDU 698: School Improvement Action Research Project-Capstone  (3 credits)

The culminating project is a Principal Action Research Report (PARR) and two presentations. The Principal Candidate will present to a Midland panel of instructors and to an authentic audience. The PARR will synthesize coursework, experiences, and research throughout the Principal Endorsement program related to his/her school's improvement plan. Candidates will have worked closely with a Midland University instructor and his or her school district mentor to plan action research that leads to school improvement.

Total Clock Hours in the Field = Minimum of 250 clock hours.

EDU 699: Capstone Presentation  (3 credits)

The Midland Teacher Candidate (MTC) will complete the requirements for Entry/Components one through four. The MTC will write a final overall reflection including a summary of the portfolio entries, an explanation of the MTC’s growth through the process including; Why did the MTC decide to apply for NBPTS certification? What did the MTC learn from the process? How has this changed the MTC’s teaching? What is different about the MTC’s classroom and why should others pursue/support (or not) NB Certification? The MTC will identify and explain how the Five Core Propositions are inserted in the MTC’s responses. The MTC will present and engage in a professional discussion with a Midland faculty panel.