Expanding CLU’s reach north of Ventura County for the first time last spring, the Graduate School of Education began offering a one-year master’s degree in educational leadership near Santa Maria. With 60 percent of the coursework done on weekends and the rest online, the program is tailored to the needs of fully employed professionals. The first cohort of seven students will graduate in May.
Program director Victoria Kelly cultivates partnerships with school districts all along the Central Coast. Graduate students get additional field experience, and the schools benefit from the creative solutions they bring for everyday problems.
At the Santa Ynez Valley Charter School, Corie Ross helps children in grades three to five with specific weaknesses in reading by asking them to mentor first-graders who are learning the needed skills. Ross downloads games developed by the Florida Reading Research Institute, then prints them and laminates them so that students can use them again and again. She’s also written new guidelines on bullying for the school handbook.
Farther north in Santa Maria, Jennifer Perez works as the dean of activities at St. Joseph High School. For her CLU master’s project, she is preparing teachers there who have been given Apple iPads to use them in the classroom. The Catholic high school plans to purchase iPads for its students as soon as the fall of 2014, and Perez’s project will smooth the transition.
The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program trains students to serve as principals, directors and superintendents and in leadership positions in teaching, higher education and nonprofit administration. Priority application deadlines are April 1 for the summer semester and July 1 for the fall.