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Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership

6/25/17 to 6/30/17

Tuition: $4,395

Priority Application Deadline: May 12, 2017

We are currently accepting and reviewing applications as space is available. For consideration, please submit an application at your earliest convenience, no later than June 16, 2017.

Faculty Chair Pamela Mason on The Art of Leadership. 

What You Will Learn

Expand your leadership skills, explore new ways to enhance student learning, and create success for yourself and your school.

Program Overview

Today’s school leaders struggle to balance their roles as instructional leaders with the many other demands of the job. Through Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership, participants will develop their leadership skills, efficacy, and ability to support teacher development and student achievement. Participants will also expand their understanding of leadership and explore multiple approaches for addressing leadership challenges.

The program will help you identify areas of school improvement, establish priorities, develop strategies, and build a base of support around a change initiative. You will explore successful models for school improvement, learn how to lead and manage change, and understand how to implement curriculum innovation.

Through a research-based curriculum, you will focus on effective supervision and evaluation, approaches to solving leadership challenges with an emphasis on U.S. settings, and proven strategies that support teaching and learning. Upon completion of the program, you will have examined your own leadership challenges in the context of instructional improvement and learned how to lead and manage your school more effectively.

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Program Objectives
  • Apply research and best practices in developing school improvement efforts focused on increasing student achievement
  • Develop an understanding of how adult learning and teacher development contribute to school improvement
  • Shape a school culture that supports learning for all
  • Learn techniques for managing change
Who Should Attend
  • School leaders in the early years of their careers who are seeking improved leadership skills and a more focused approach to classroom practice
  • New principals or educators in leadership positions with five or fewer years of experience in their roles, including assistant principals, teacher-leaders, instructional leaders and curriculum specialists
What People Are Saying

“Overall, this program was a life changing moment for me. It will resonate in my heart for infinity.” 

“The instruction was top notch! I very much appreciated the chance to connect with new colleagues. The opportunity was awesome and I look forward to the conversation continuing for many years.” 

“This is the best experience I have had since I became a principal. Great program!” 


Faculty Chair

Pamela Mason is lecturer on education, the director of the Language and Literacy Master's Program and the director of the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab at HGSE. Mason served for 10 years as a reading/language arts curriculum director and for 19 years as an elementary school principal in the Boston area. She is president of the Massachusetts Association of College and University Reading Educators (MACURE) and was past president of the Massachusetts Reading Association. She collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally on preparing reading specialist teachers, implementing literacy coaching developing school leaders and evaluating school-wide literacy programs.


Candice Bocala, lecturer on education, HGSE

Deborah Helsing, lecturer on education at HGSE, researcher and author at Way To Grow, and Director of Coach Learning Programs at Minds at Work

William Henderson, retired principal, Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School

Monica Higgins, Kathleen McCartney Professor in Education Leadership, HGSE

Jeff Howard, founder and president, The Efficacy Institute

Elizabeth City, lecturer on education, faculty director, Doctor of Education Leadership Program, HGSE

Irma Tyler-Wood, principal and founding member, Ki ThoughtBridge

Irvin Scott, senior lecturer on education, HGSE


Enrollment Instructions


Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)

Step Three
You will be asked to upload your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) as a single MS Word or PDF document. Please ensure that the document lists the following elements of your professional and educational background in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most recent activities.

Professional Experience
For each position you have held, include:

  • Organization name
  • Dates worked
  • Title or position
  • A brief description of responsibilities

Educational Background
For each educational institution you have attended, include:

  • College or university name
  • Dates you attended or date your degree was conferred
  • Degree earned


Identify Your Team Coordinator

  • Before beginning the application process, you will need to identify a team coordinator.
  • The coordinator will be the primary point of contact during the application process and preparation for the program.
  • The coordinator does not need to attend the program and will have the opportunity to indicate if they will be attending during the application process.

Application Process

  1. A team application to be completed once by the coordinator.
  2. A team member application to be completed by each member of your team.
  • In order for your team to be considered for review by the admissions committee, each team member will need to complete the team member application. The coordinator will receive a link to the team member application once the team application is complete.
  • Once started, the team application must be completed in a single session. It should take 15–20 minutes to complete.
  • A list of required questions will be provided at the beginning of the team application.
  • When your coordinator is ready to complete the team application, it can be accessed by continuing to the next page.


Fees, Hotel Accommodations, and Policies

The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. 

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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