Program: Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship
Whether you seek to manage a complex learning organization or team, launch an entrepreneurial venture, or drive an initiative that sparks new possibilities within an existing school, district, or network, the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship (ELOE) Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education will help you become an effective, strategic, and innovative leader within the field. Our program prepares you with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to lead with impact in diverse roles, including preK–12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, and philanthropy. With a focus on change management, organizational leadership, and entrepreneurial principles, this program equips you to envision, enact, scale, and transform.
“So many people hear the word ‘organization’ and think ‘business.’ But students who want to improve education and become education leaders – either at the school level, state level, or national level – have to understand how schools work. Recognizing the importance of organizational dynamics, the role of leaders, and the potential impact of entrepreneurship, is critical, and these concepts are at the heart of our program.”
Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell, Faculty Co-Chair
The ELOE Program will help students prepare to lead for impact — to bring greater access, equity, agency, and excellence to education. The program's curriculum is anchored in the following competencies:
- Lead change and think strategically
- Foster productive organizational conditions
- Navigate politics and practice political inclusion
- Communicate effectively
- Develop self and others
ELOE helps you learn, practice, and fine-tune the skills needed for professional leadership and entrepreneurial roles. The six main elements of the 2021-22 academic year curriculum are:
- Highly recommended, but not required, Foundation courses, including Leading Change and Equity and Opportunity, in which students gain core skills central to the profession of education.
- The ELOE Self-assessment and Individual Development Plan, which allow students to reflect on and track their own development over time, across key indicators for each ELOE competency.
- The ELOE Core Experience is a set of year-long, bi-weekly experiences, including program-wide convenings, self-selected concurrent workshops, and micro-learning community (MLC) meetings designed to help students frame, integrate, and synthesize their curricular and co-curricular learning in alignment with the ELOE core competencies.
- The ELOE Course Distribution Framework is a course selection guide designed to help students make curricular decisions to progress on the program’s core competencies in alignment with their personal and professional goals.
- The ELOE Field Experience Continuum catalogues HGSE courses and co-curricular experiences on a continuum describing the range of opportunities for field-based learning, from Awareness to Experience; all ELOE students are required to take at least one course on the continuum.
- The ELOE Career Pathways Guide is an advising tool that curates HGSE courses into sets that are especially important when pursuing particular careers in the education sector, such as school and district leadership, education consulting, higher education administration, and education research.
Students will work closely with faculty associated with their area of study, but students can also work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty co-chairs for ELOE are Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell and Jen Cheatham. View our faculty directory for a full list of HGSE faculty.
The ELOE Program prepares you for a variety of career pathways, including:
- Education nonprofit CEO/COO
- Entrepreneur/organization founder
- College or university administrator
- Principal or head of school
- School district or network leader
- School designer and developer
- Educational advocate and organizer
- Public official or administrator
- Education consultant
Today’s complex education landscape calls for innovative leaders who not only have the ability to design a vision for their learning context, but also deliver it so it becomes a reality. Our Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Program will provide the skills, knowledge, and positions you need to make a transformative impact. Here are profiles of several recent graduates who have studied education leadership:
How one nonprofit is helping students and teachers cope using text, voicemail, and apps.
With his education advocacy group, master's student Andrew Brennen gets young people their seat at the table in discussions around education policy.
Cohort and Community
The ELOE experience is not only about strengthening knowledge, skills and dispositions but also about building a community of colleagues who can provide support during the program and for years afterwards as you work together to transform the field. The ELOE Program purposefully works to honor and build on the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students — from countries and regions around the world – by providing a varied set of cohort-based, community-building experiences. The aim of these experiences is to build a network of current students and future alumni united by a shared commitment to leading for excellence, equity, and impact in the field of education.
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