Educational Leadership & Administration - Program Review Launchpad

1. Program Description

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

Credential Program delivery model location

current enrollment

(Fall 2018)



ELAP - Preliminary Administrative Services Credential


(Intern available, but not in use currently)

Main Campus

8 Credential Candidates 

(+ additional Master's only)


3. Faculty Qualifications

3.1 Distribution Table

Full-Time Instructional Faculty         2  
Part-Time Instructional Faculty         2
Adjunct/Clinical Practice Supervisors         3
Instructional vacancies/anticipated hiring         1
total         8

3.2 Annotated Faculty List with Links to Vitae & Syllabi

Somoza-Norton, Andrea
Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor (FT)

Brescia, James
Fieldwork Supervisor/Lecturer (PT)

Gentilucci, James
Professor Emeritus (FT/FERP)

Koski, Joe
Fieldwork Supervisor/Lecturer (PT)

Additional Adjunct/Clinical Practice Supervisors 
EDUC 518

Butler, Sarah
Edds, Holly
Salucci, Susan

3.3 Published Experience & Qualification Requirements

3.4 Faculty Recruitment Documents

4. Course Sequence

4.1 Published Course Sequence from Catalog

4.2 Support for CalAPA Embedded in Coursework

5. Course Matrix & Syllabi

5.1 Course Matrix with I, P, A Indicated

  • NOTE: In developing hyperlinks to direct evidence within the syllabi, we have observed that links only function properly when viewed in a Google Chrome browser. If using Safari or Firefox, the links will navigate to the first page of the syllabi rather than the targeted evidence. We have annotated all the targeted evidence with comments in order to ease your efforts to search and browse within the syllabi.
Quarter 1


Quarter 2


Quarter 3


Summer Session


6. Fieldwork and Clinical Practice Documents

6.1 Clinical Practice Narrative and Table 

Clinical Practice Narrative & Theoretical Approach
Clinical Practice experiences in the Cal Poly School of Education are deeply grounded in Learn by Doing; future educators work alongside experts in the field to hone their craft through a gradual release of responsibility. This Learn by Doing approach embeds Cal Poly’s innovative polytechnic approach to higher education with best practices and theories in education by building a Community of Practice that emphasizes continuous improvement and a culture of shared learning.

In order to build a successful Learn by Doing Clinical Practice program, great care and thought goes into articulating all facets of the clinical experience, including: roles, coaching, language, and the supports that are leveraged at each phase of field experience. By intentionally articulating shared principles and values throughout Clinical Practice, the SOE builds meaningful connections between the Cal Poly campus and the field.

In the SOE, Clinical Practice roles and responsibilities are expressed through The Triad, a designed collaboration between the Candidate, District-Employed Supervisor, and Clinical Practice University Supervisor. Each member of the Triad participates in learning experiences that help to create a Community of Practice based on shared language, best practices, and theories. This ensures that the strategies, coaching, and evaluation that Candidates experience in the field are consistent with the theories and language promoted in SOE coursework.

The Cal Poly School of Education further advances a shared vision of effective teaching and learning through workshops and professional development resources for our surrounding community and school site administrators. Building these partnerships serves to norm our collective understanding of effective teaching (grounded in the SOE Observation Tool) and encourage common language. By developing shared expectations and norms across our Community of Practice, we tighten the relationship between the School of Education and fieldwork sites, creating a more coherent experience for our future teachers and administrators. 

The final linchpin in Cal Poly’s approach to Clinical Practice is building a community and experience that encourages continuous growth and improvement, along with the risk-taking that is inherent in that process. The Learn by Doing approach requires future educators, and the experts with whom they work alongside, to be open to new ideas, implement innovative strategies, assess, and reflect on resulting successes and inevitable failures. Developing these practices requires vulnerability, willingness to change, and the ability to own missteps. By encouraging these habits, however, the SOE ensures that future educators will be prepared for advanced studies in education, action research, and a commitment to continuous growth that will improve their practice and the outcomes of their students throughout their careers.

6.2 Signed MOU & Placement Profiles 
Robust evidence for the School of Education's Clinical Practice program is located with materials for Common Standard 3 - Clinical Practice.

  • SOE Commitment to Diversity of Placements: The Cal Poly School of Education is committed to preparing future educators who are ready to serve a diverse student population. This commitment is shaped by our accountability to CTC and Cal Poly policies, as well as our personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (outlined in Student Handbooks). Whenever possible, candidates participate in fieldwork experiences that offer significant exposure to school settings that reflect the full diversity of California public schools. In accordance with CTC guidelines, diverse Clinical Practice experiences include: racial and ethnic diversity of students, students from families in lower socio-economic income ranges, English learners from a variety of language backgrounds, and inclusiveness for students with disabilities (CTC Guidance on Clinical Practice Supervision of Teacher Candidates, pg 5). 
  • MOUs (Revised Summer 2018): The amended 2018 MOU includes language that describes each partner districts' commitment to supporting candidates to complete state and program requirements, including: expsosure to socioeconomic and cultural diversity; engagement in planning, assessment, and professional activities of the school; and required Clinical Practice Observations, the edTPA (explicit mention of CalAPA to be added), and required video capture.

6.3 Supervisor Training Materials

6.4 Documentation of Candidate Placements

6.5 Clinical Practice Handbook/Manual

6.6 Fieldwork/Clinical Practice Syllabi


30 hrs of Organizational Leadership


30 hrs of Instructional Leadership

CP III 30 hrs of Managerial Leadership + 30 hrs of Community Leadership

6.7 Clinical Practice Assessment Instruments 

6.7 Support for CalAPA Embedded in Fieldwork

7. Credential Recommendation and Evaluations

7.1 Description of process insuring appropriate recommendation

Evaluation of credential candidates and submission of credential recommendations are provided solely by Cal Poly SOE Credential Office, with final authority and oversight for recommendations entrusted to the Credential Analysts (under supervision of the SOE Director) who will always be current employees of the Cal Poly SOE.

Evaluation of ELAP candidates begins during the initial admissions process (Admissions and Evaluations Flow Chart). Candidate qualifications are reviewed by the Program Advisor or delegate (ELAP Program Advisor Review). The Program Advisor makes a recommendation to the Credential Office whether a candidate should be admitted, conditionally admitted, or declined. The SOE Credential Office then conducts an initial ELAP Credential Office Evaluation for all candidates, which includes formal checks for basic skills, accredited degree, prerequisite credentials, etc. The Credential Office issues a final determination and admissions letter with information on outstanding requirements or conditions for admissions.

Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible to apply for a recommendation for a preliminary credential. Once candidates apply for a recommendation, SOE Credential Analysts perform a final ELAP Credential Office Evaluation, including:

  • Basic skills
  • Pre-requisite credential
  • Prior work experience
  • Possession of a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution
  • Health clearance (TB/Rubella)
  • Successful passage of the Administrator Performance Assessment 
  • Completion of program coursework with 3.0+ GPA
  • Verification of Employment (CS 777 form) if requesting recommendation for a credential

7.2 Candidate Progress Monitoring Documents 

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San Luis Obispo, CA 93407