Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS)
Ahead of the Curve
The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program aims to preparing courageous, visionary, and transformative leaders in educational settings at all levels of the education system. To achieve this, we offer intensive, integrated academic and field-based experiences and project-based learning. Our students learn to create learning communities that foster academic achievement, and optimal growth and development for all learners. Our students focus on leadership, policy studies and research that are relevant and appropriate for meeting today’s educational challenges.
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies programs focus on developing skills and abilities necessary for success as a leader in educational settings and developing a strong commitment to core values essential for ethical and responsible leaders.
We collaborate across settings to ensure:
- Leadership for developing systemic supports for optimal growth and development for children and families, preparing all children for educational success;
- Leadership that builds systems and supports to expand pre-K through postsecondary options, access, and success for all youth; and
- Leadership, development and support of lifelong learning communities involving non-traditional students, those seeking continuing education and University personnel.
The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program prepare students as educational leaders who ensure the success of all learners by:
- Facilitating a vision of learning shared and supported by the school community
- Formulating and clarifying core values and beliefs which reflect social justice and the value of continuous learning.
- Advocating a culture and instructional program committed to student learning, social justice and staff professional growth
- Ensuring management of the organization, operations and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment
- Collaborating with families responding to diverse community needs, and mobilizing resources in support of learning
- Acting with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner
- Understanding and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context
Specific program offerings are detailed below and include:
- An academic certificate in principal licensure
- A Master of Arts degree, EdD and PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Students can apply principal program certificate credits toward the master's in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Additionally, our principal preparation programs meet the foundational leadership program requirement to enter the 65 credit EdD program and a portion of the principal preparation or credits can apply toward the PhD.
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies currently offers two program models for principal preparation. Both are designed to be completed in one year; both utilize the same authentic project based learning format and a highly integrated field experience; both lead to principal licensure, and both are approved by the Colorado Department of Education. Each of the principal preparation programs can be completed as a certificate or combined with additional coursework for a master's degree. Both models focus not only on developing the skills and abilities necessary for success as a school leader, but also on developing a strong commitment to core values essential for ethical and responsible leadership.
Executive Leadership for Successful Schools (ELSS)
ELSS is a 30 credit, blended online and in-person cohort model. ELSS is offered on the DU campus for individual students and in the Aurora Public Schools district for APS employees only.
The Ritchie Program for School Leaders
The Ritchie program is a 32 credit in-person, district partnership model. The district and university collaborate to prepare educational leaders specifically for the needs of the partner district. Currently, this program is offered exclusively for employees of Denver Public Schools (DPS) and Adams County school districts (anchored in Adams 12 Five Star).
The MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is completed the year following the principal preparation certificate program. Four additional courses (15 credits) and an action research project build upon the principal preparation curricula to prepare students to assume leadership roles in elementary, and secondary educational settings.
ELPS’ doctoral program, a 65-quarter-credit EdD program, focuses on preparing evidence-driven, transformational leaders for districts, schools, and other educational organizations, is designed to be completed in three years. Students build on previously completed leadership preparation coursework and field experiences. The GRE, a Master's degree, and a prior leadership preparation program (such as principal preparation or a teacher-leadership certificate program) are required to be considered for admission. Students in this program have the option of adding a 6-credit-hour internship to meet the in-field, 300 contact-hour requirement by the Colorado Department of Education for an added Administrator endorsement.