Academic journal article Planning and Changing

From Coordination to Compliance: The Program Coordinator’s Changing Role during Redesign

Academic journal article Planning and Changing

From Coordination to Compliance: The Program Coordinator’s Changing Role during Redesign

Article excerpt

Redesign has changed the nature of the educational leadership program coordinators' role in Alabama. This changing role has not been recognized by university administration. Facilitators and barriers to redesign were primarily related to internal funding for the activities that were necessary to complete the project. One of the most powerful findings was the importance of the program coordinator in the redesign planning and implementation. An important implication of the study involves the program coordinator's role in developing the university leadership program relationship with K-12 systems. Partnering with K-12 is instrumental in developing a stronger more sustainable program. Little is known about what this looks like or how it is done.

Over the past decade there have been extensive efforts to redesign educational leadership programs. Redesign efforts have been documented in special issues (Brooks, Reames & Reed, 2010; Browne-Ferrigno, 2011; Buttram & Doolittle, 2015; Phillips, 2013) articles, (Kochan & Reames, 2014; Mountford & Acker-Hocevar, 2013), books (Darling-Hammond, L., LaPointe, M., Meyerson, D., & Orr, M. T., 2007; Hackmann & McCarthy, 2011) and edited book chapters (Jean-Marie & Normore, 2010; Sanzo, 2014). Among the issues examined were descriptions of program redesign, unique features of exemplary programs, technology, international perspectives and the changing role of the professoriate. Additionally, these volumes have considered the viewpoint of K-12 partners; university professors; deans and state department of education officials but none have examined redesign from the educational leadership program coordinator perspective. Although there is documented recognition of the importance of the educational leadership program coordinator (Hackmann & Wanat, 2008; Milstein & Krueger, 1997), researchers have not explored how they may have contributed to the redesign efforts.

The dearth of literature and research on this quasi-administrative position was alarming. It was particularly troubling because educational leadership programs, unlike many college and university programs, are also tied to external regulatory agencies such as state departments of education and regional and national accreditation agencies. Secondly, with the massive number of redesign efforts throughout the United States, researchers have not considered the views of program coordinators or how their role may have changed in recent years. Nor have we explored the insights that these leaders may have regarding the redesigns many educational leadership programs have undergone. Finally, the program coordinator is in a unique position to gather valuable data in regards to the redesign efforts throughout the country. These educational leadership program coordinators are a lens for gathering valuable information about the redesign efforts, our programs' current state of affairs, and the future of educational leadership preparation (Young, 2013).

A comprehensive review of the literature reveals only one discussion of the program coordinator's role in educational leadership (Hackman & Wanat, 2008). Furthermore, there is no evident research on the program coordinator's perspective on educational leadership preparation redesign. While the educational leadership program coordinator is an important role in higher education leadership programs, their viewpoint on any number of issues is vacant from the literature. This is of particular importance to examine educational leadership programs that have been redesigned.

Purposes and Methods of Inquiry

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of program coordinators during and after the redesign of an educational leadership master's programs in Alabama. The researchers used four questions to guide the work: (1) How has your role as program coordinator changed since redesign? (2) Was the redesign a needed change for educational leadership programs? …

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