The philosophy, mission, purpose, commitments, and the dispositions of the conceptual framework that are evident in Olivet’s teacher education programs are emulated in the Master of Arts in Education degree in School Improvement Leadership (SIL) program. Olivet’s teacher education programs take pride in expecting candidates to demonstrate a wealth of knowledge and skills that place the teacher as a leader in the educational institution.
The competencies and meeting the standards set forth that govern the University prepare candidates to become expert practitioners/leaders of “best practices” to use in the classroom to bring about true school improvement.
The School Improvement Leadership program’s focus is embedded in the four knowledge strands within the theme of Professional Influencing Lives: foundations, professionalism, curriculum/instruction/evaluation, and Christ-centered character.
The biblical scriptures found in Matthew 20: 25-28 provide the catalyst for servant leadership and the SIL program. An essential aspect of the job as a servant leader is what we do to prepare others to carry on after our season of leadership is completed. Matthew 25:21 clearly states our purpose is to strive for hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”
The concept of the educational administrator as the leader of curriculum and instruction is well established in elementary and secondary educational institutions. The success of the school leader/administrator is measured in today’s society largely by their abilities to provide leadership in school improvement.
An essential, unique, and carefully constructed feature of the SIL degree lies in its approach to developing school leaders who are able to: (a) create personal meaning from new information as well as from prior knowledge; (b) effectively connect in-class learning/knowledge with school-based settings, i.e., the “real world;” (c) develop skills in the areas of problem solving and critical thinking; (d) analytically examine and respond to school leadership and improvement issues; (e) demonstrate and apply knowledge and abilities in authentic settings; (f) set goals and self-evaluate personal and professional performance; and (g) develop professional attitudes conducive to insightful and inspired leadership. Foremost, the SIL program seeks to demonstrate the importance of understanding the diverse factors that inhibit or enable school improvement efforts.
The Master of Arts in Education degree, with a School Improvement Leadership emphasis, allows candidates to complete a 33 credit hour program and clinical experiences to become eligible for the State of Illinois Administrative Certificate with the General Administrative Type 75 Endorsement.
Candidates are required to have a minimum of 2 years teaching experience.
The program of study has been developed to meet the NCATE-Approved Curriculum Guidelines for Advanced Educational Leadership, Illinois Professional School Leader Standards, and the Illinois Principal Standards for Certification.