1.1 Narrative Description
Overview of Cal Poly and the School of Education
Founded in 1901 as a state vocational high school, Cal Poly has evolved into a comprehensive polytechnic university with an emphasis on experiential learning. The School of Education (SOE) embodies Cal Poly’s "learn-by-doing" approach to instruction.
Housed within the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), the SOE closely links education, math, and science faculty with school educators on curriculum, instruction, and supervision; applied scholarship; and service to teachers, schools, and the profession. In addition to housing the SOE, the CSM also houses the Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) and the department of Liberal Studies, which provides subject matter preparation to undergraduates who aspire to teach in the elementary grades.
The SOE vision reflects a universitywide commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Our mission extends the University’s principles of inquiry, collaboration, equity, and pluralism into the expectations for practice and the preparation of education professionals. The SOE recently adopted new Schoolwide Learning Themes that provide a platform for continuous improvement and a common lens for anchoring dialogue, professional development, and inquiry and assessment projects across the SOE.
Overview of the Educational Leadership & Administration Program (ELAP)
Cal Poly offers the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential through the SOE Master of Arts - Educational Leadership and Administration Preparation program (ELAP). The program was approved for elevation from an M.A. – Education specialization to a standalone degree in fall 2017.
ELAP candidates progress through the one-year curriculum in a tight cohort model, with admission and enrollment offered each fall. The program design is structured for working professionals, with bi-weekly evening classes,16 weekend sessions, and five summer weeks of traditional in-person instruction. Independent learning components and online discussions are planned between class meetings.
While designed primarily for K-12 leaders, the ELAP program is beneficial for leaders from many fields, including sports administration, teacher leadership, higher education, and nonprofit leadership. Candidates in ELAP come from a range of undergraduate degrees and prerequisite credentials obtained at Cal Poly or other accredited institutions. Most candidates participate in the combined M.A./credential program, but Cal Poly offers an M.A. only, a credential only, and an internship pathway as needed. The program emphasizes applied theories of educational leadership, mastery of practical skills required for effective leadership and administration, and competence in research methods necessary for understanding and assessing learning organizations.
Because of the combined M.A./credential curriculum, the ELAP program is guided by a mission of advanced disciplinary knowledge, research, and critical thinking. The theoretical approach of the ELAP program also reflects the Cal Poly learn-by-doing philosophy, the universitywide commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the SOE Clinical Practice Rubric, based on the Danielson framework (more deeply explored in Section 6 and 6.1 materials related to Clinical Practice).
Cal Poly’s ELAP program prepares candidates to:
- Be visionary leaders, developing a student-centered vision of teaching and learning and encouraging shared community commitment.
- Be instructional leaders, promoting effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment and supporting teachers to improve their practice.
- Be managerial leaders, cultivating safe and productive learning and working environments through effective leadership of operations, resources, personnel, and budget.
- Be community leaders, collaborating with families and other stakeholders to address diverse student and community interests.
- Be ethical leaders, making decisions and modeling leadership that demonstrates professionalism, ethics, integrity, justice, and equity.
1.1.1 Table of Models and Pathways
|ELAP - Preliminary Administrative Services Credential
(Intern available, but not in use currently)
8 Credential Candidates
(+ additional Master's only)