In the School Leadership Program (SLP), you will join a dynamic and diverse cohort of experienced teachers and education professionals ready to develop and hone your leadership knowledge, practice, and skills. SLP provides an exciting learning experience with a focus on race, equity, and excellence. The combination of research, theory and practice prepares students to lead change, schools and organizations, people, and learning.
Playing a leadership role in education is something that's joyful. It's a way to improve the world; it's a way to provide service and it's a way to benefit children – our most precious resource.
Senior Lecturer Mary Grassa O'Neill, faculty director
SLP is a program that engages you in learning experiences to develop critical leadership skills and make a real difference in the lives of learners. The many strengths of SLP include:
- Cohort and Community – All SLP students share a desire to be influential agents of change, turning around underperforming institutions, and making already good schools and organizations even better. The diverse experiences and perspectives of your close-knit cohort will enrich your HGSE experience and support you as you move into leadership roles. You will develop strong bonds and a supportive learning community through participation in various cohort and community-building virtual activities hosted by your program, student organizations, and HGSE faculty and staff.
- Fieldwork and Internships – Internships provide a lot of value to your academic experience while providing you excellent knowledge and skills to build your resume. While Field Experiences will continue to be an important part of the HGSE learning experience, logistical and other program details are subject to modification for academic year 2020-21.
HGSE and its faculty are launching a series of schoolwide courses, designed to take advantage of active learning and the latest research findings about how to nurture powerful learning experiences online. These schoolwide courses address a range of critical topics that respond to today’s societal circumstances, including leadership and organizations, inclusive and effective teaching, education policy, and more. Your courses are being redesigned to provide the best that digital learning has to offer, combining asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences and an unparalleled curriculum. Program-specific courses will be offered in a variety of formats: seminars, tutorials, classes of varying sizes and models for collaboration and learning, field-based experiences, and more.
You will have even more access to the Harvard network, whose global reach extends far beyond Appian Way. You will also have access to our outstanding faculty, including Professors Mary Grassa O’Neill, Irvin Scott, Monica Higgins, Karen Mapp, and Jim Honan. We will continue to support you as individuals, as a Program, and as a member of the HGSE community on dimensions ranging from academic learning to personal growth to professional development.
The School Leadership Program curriculum is rigorous but flexible, structured in a way that focuses on the development of change agents. You will study core concepts and topics, ranging from management and finance through to entrepreneurship, organizational change, and instructional leadership. Those students who are interested in leadership and entrepreneurial roles in district, charter, independent schools, and education nonprofits will pursue the School Developer strand. You will complete 32 credits in total, with access to courses across HGSE, including the new set of schoolwide courses, and other parts of Harvard University. The Principal Licensure Strand will not be offered in 2020-2021.
View our academic catalog for a full list of courses.
HGSE consists of a faculty of the whole and students can work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty that SLP students most often work with include:
Alumni & Student Profiles
All SLP students share a desire to be influential agents of change, turning around underperforming institutions and making already good schools and organizations even better. Our alumni can be found in leadership positions around the U.S. and the world, working in organizations, and public, charter, independent, faith-based, and international schools, in roles such as: principal, assistant principal, head of school, school founder, director of education and leadership, and program director.
The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for School Leadership reflects on his time at HGSE and looks toward the future.
Why we need to rethink grading in our schools.