LEAD Elective Courses

Intentional in LEAD’s design is the ability for students to carve out their own path of studies. During the program’s first year, each cohort completes coursework together, building a strong foundation in educational equity, leadership development, systemic reform and research methods. From there – with their focus of research more clearly defined – students’ paths begin to diverge, with elective offerings in a variety of courses both within the BSE, across the university, and within partnering institutions. A sampling of potential elective courses is offered below. In no way is this list exhaustive, nor are any specific courses guaranteed to be available for LEAD students during a particular semester or year.

Potential Elective Courses within the BSE: 

232A. Critical Studies in K-12 STEM. The course examines how ideologies of race, smartness, and gender frame policy and practice in STEM education, and with what impact on minoritized students. The course then presents case studies of STEM curricula and programs designed to disrupt normative frameworks rationalizing STEM for minoritized youth that imagine different social and political imperatives for STEM learning. The course concludes by identifying enduring tensions and new possibilities for STEM education in (and out) schools.

265. Higher Education Policy. Colleges and universities face numerous challenges today - from both the demand, or student and family perspective, and the supply, or institutional viewpoint. This course will utilize frameworks and theories from economics to better understand the costs, benefits, and incentives colleges and students face.

C265C. Research Advances in Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy. This graduate seminar will engage the research literature on race, diversity, and educational policy to provide a foundation for examining contemporary issues in American public schooling. We will examine research on race, culture, and learning alongside more policy driven research on school structures, governance, finance, politics, and policy. In doing so, we will blend micro level examinations of teaching and learning with macro level considerations of politics and policy.

283B. Historical Perspectives on American Education. Public schooling today reflects a long evolution, producing an institution that embodies social inequalities as well as democratic aspirations. Politicians, teachers, school reformers, and others interested in education invoke elements of this history to justify their efforts. This course examines the relationship of the changing goals, organization, and practices of American schools to broader social, economic, political, and intellectual developments.

299. Independent Study. This course allows students to work under the supervision of an advisor to conduct or support research or graduate teaching activities, which can lead to opportunities for pilot studies, publication, conference presentation, graduate teaching or more.

Potential Elective Courses across UC Berkeley: 

PUBLIC POLICY 273. Public Management and Policy Implementation. This course introduces graduate students to the central elements of public management and policy implementation. We will focus on three key challenges that public managers face: managing program performance; managing people; and managing crises. Using both academic literature and case studies, the course will train students how to realistically use data and evidence in government and how to write and negotiate effectively in the public sector. Material is drawn from national, state, local, and international settings. 

PUBLIC AFFAIRS W290. Performance Management. Performance management comprises a range of managerial techniques and strategies based on the systematic acquisition and use of performance information to affect organizational performance improvement. It is closely related to strategic planning, policy analysis and program evaluation. It is distinguished from these forms of organizational analytics in that it strives to incorporate analytics into everyday managerial decision-making. In contrast, policy analysis typically involves a one-shot analysis of alternatives before action is taken and program evaluation typically involves a one-shot analysis of a program after it has been implemented. This course examines performance management from both 1) a technical perspective, how to design and establish a performance management regime and 2) an organizational/political perspective, what constraints and roadblocks are public managers likely to face when they seek to establish performance management regime. From a technical perspective, students will explore 1) the concept and practice of performance management, 2) the goals that should guide managers’ decisions, 3) types of performance metrics, 4) analysis and reporting practices, 5) the organizational routines required to promote accountability and performance improvement, and 6) common techniques employed in by Lean Six-Sigma, a popular form of performance management practice.

MBA 254. Power and Politics in Organizations. This course will provide students with a sense of "political intelligence." After taking this course, students will be able to: (1) diagnose the true distribution of power in organizations, (2) identify strategie for building sources of power, (3) develop techniques for influencing others, (4) understand the role of power in building cooperation and leading change in organizations, and (5) make sense of others' attempts to influence.

MBA 295A. Entrepreneurship. The development of creative marketing strategies for new ventures, as well as the resolution of specific marketing problems in smaller companies which provide innovative goods and services. Emphasis is on decision making under conditions of weak data, inadequate resources, emerging markets, and rapidly changing environments.

Potential Elective Courses Offered through Partnering Institutions: 

UC DAVIS EDU 284B. Policy: Formulating & Influencing Policy. Conduct critical analyses of policy at the federal, judicial, state, regional and local levels. Specific California and federal policy environment structures, processes and people will be examined for intended consequences, ethical dilemmas, social justice and equity issues. 

STANFORD EDUC 266. Educational Neuroscience. An introduction to the growing intersection between education research and emerging research on functional brain development. Students will probe the contributions and limitations of emerging theoretical and empirical contribution of neuroscience approaches to specific academic skills such as reading and mathematics, as well as exposure to general processes crucial for educational success, including motivation, attention, and social cognition. Final projects will explore these themes in the service of interventions designed to improve how these functions.

STANFORD EDUC 379. Moral, Civic, and Environmental Education. An examination of the conceptual foundations that underlie moral, civic, and environmental action in contemporary society, and the social, cognitive, and motivational capacities that make possible constructive participation. The course will discuss both in-school and beyond-schools ways in which young people can be educated for informed and constructive participation. Among the educational methods to be considered will be narrative treatments of exemplary figures in the moral, civic, and environmental domains.

MILLS EDUC 436. 21st Century Learning. The course is organized as a Think Tank/Professional Learning Community, to explore resources and empower students to promote collaborative design of effective 21st century learning environments. Special attention is given to: (1) emerging technologies that are driving systemic change on a global scale and resources for understanding the implications and potential for unintended consequences of Artificial Intelligence, 2) strategies for facilitating organizational change and personal transformation and (3) pedagogies that support features of 21st century learning.

Contact Information

Lihi Rosenthal

Dr. Lihi Rosenthal

Director, Leaders for Equity and Democracy