Over the past six years, Dr. Daniel Grounard has watched the Longwood College of Graduate and Professional Studies’ Educational Leadership Endorsement grow into a thriving success story. His 2021 article in the National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal examines the endorsement’s performance.
“This case study provides a snapshot of how the program of interest is doing in principal preparation according to the students who were successful completers,” Grounard explained. “The findings here provide a base for continued research along the lines of how to keep improving an already strong offering for emerging school leaders.”
Longwood’s Educational Leadership Endorsement features a convenient hybrid format delivered by triad teaching teams, which include superintendents, directors and principals from across the state. In each of Virginia’s 11 cohorts, these instructors mentor and guide participants as they develop skills to lead.
“The coursework development has been a process of a group think-tank approach, creating a culture of growth in the delivery and quality of each course,” Grounard explained. “There is a sense of pride among the 31 instructors when it comes to creating coursework that benefits our students.”
Grounard’s article, “Student Perceptions of Their Administrator Preparation Program: A Case Study,” placed students at the center of the discussion about how to strengthen school leadership.
“The publication showcases what Longwood University is doing for aspiring school leaders,” Grounard said. “Over 40% of our students have gone on to become administrators and have been very successful.”
A member of Longwood’s class of 1986 and a 35-year veteran in the field of education, Grounard collaborated with Dr. Paul Chapman and Dr. Jeannine Perry to develop Longwood’s endorsement cohort model in 2016. Since then, the program has grown from 80 students to over 200.
Grounard says that the group effort approach to creating coursework is always in process and always improving to the continual benefit of the endorsement.
“There is a second article in the works on how our coursework infuses the Social Justice aspect into leadership.”