Field visits are a cornerstone of LEAD, providing an opportunity for contextualized learning and practice in system leadership. After a foundational year of cohort learning, LEADers embark on year two of the program ready to explore personalized pathways. In addition to enrolling in interdisciplinary elective courses designed to support their unique interest areas and needs, each student completes two field visits. Some field visits are completed individually, either at one of our existing partner organizations or a newly identified mission-aligned public agency or nonprofit. Others include group travel alongside faculty members to provide an experiential introduction to different systems promoting educational equity.
Sample Field Visit Vignette 1
To enhance their skill in guiding practicing principals to design for equity, a LEAD student completes one of their field visits within the Graduate School of Education’s Leadership Support Program (LSP). LSP is an induction program in which new administrators participate in order to earn their Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential. During this field visit, the LEADer helps design, deliver and evaluate a monthly seminar for new administrators, focused on problems of practice related to improving access and increasing outcomes. In addition, the student is paired with an experienced leadership coach to provide site-based support to a first year administrator, including through observations at the school site and consultation on emerging issues.
Sample Field Visit Vignette 2
Curious about comparative educational models in the international domain, a LEAD student completes one of their field visits by joining an organized field study trip to Chile, where a number of graduate students and alumni are accompanied by a faculty member to learn from the efforts of Universidad Diego Portales faculty to enhance instructional leadership practices across schools in Santiago. The trip consists of observation of university offerings and local K-12 schools, as well as seminars and workshops elucidating the history of schooling in Chile and the unique political contours of the educational system.
Sample Field Visit Vignette 3
To gain insight into the role Cabinet-level school district leaders play in collective bargaining, a LEAD student shadows an Assistant Superintendent during the negotiation process of a new collective bargaining agreement with teachers and other professional staff. In addition to gaining access to negotiation meetings, the student attends Board meetings, interviews both union and district leaders, and prepares a cross-analysis of working conditions across several neighboring districts to assist the cooperating district leader in locating teacher requests within the context of the local landscape.