William and Mary Digest for Jan. 2

School of Education leads the way in rethinking the role of K-12 school leaders

The School of Education leadership in education reform was featured in the case study Moving Toward Mastery, a national report on innovations in education from CompetencyWorks, a collaborative initiative which engages a series of organizations in advocacy for K-12 reforms, particularly deeper learning as a tool for equity.

Peggie Constantino, director of executive Ed.D. programs, and Amy Colley, executive director of the School Leadership Institute, were featured for the work they have done to craft and implement the Virginia Profile of a Leader. This collaborative work essentially rethinks the role of educational leadership in response to a new vision of competencies required for Virginia K-12 graduates.

In 2016, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the state’s Department of Education to re-envision future-forward education, which led to the development of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate. The profile updates Virginia’s graduation requirements for the 21st century and opens the way for competency-based and personalized learning.

Constantino and Colley contend that school leaders in the state have a unique opportunity — and critical need — to evolve with the new understanding of outcomes for Virginia students. The change comes after nearly two decades of standards and expectations imposed on educators and administrators through mandated programs such as No Child Left Behind, and would demand a considerable shift in thinking.

“This is exciting because too often we’ve said, ‘if only we had a voice in the change,’” said Constantino. “Well, now we do. It’s messy, and ambiguous, but we have a huge opportunity to bring everyone to the table to talk about where we want to go.”

MBA Students Partner with Williamsburg Hospice House

Founded in 1982, the Williamsburg Hospice was created to support the needs of those facing the last days of their life and their loved ones. In 2002, the Hospice House was built, providing a four-bedroom home for patients to live. The nonprofit also provides several bereavement groups and an online library.

However, last fall there was still a lack of cohesiveness between the community and the organization. The hospice felt as if Williamsburg did not fully understand the purpose of hospice care. Because of this disconnect, they called upon a group of business professionals that were skilled in analytics and interpreting data: second-year MBA students at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.

The full-time MBA program offers a field consultancy program that allows students to work with local businesses and nonprofits to solve a particular problem that is unique to the client. In the case of the Hospice House, “We were looking for a way to get a good pulse on the needs of the community,” says Audrey Smith, executive director. She explains how “there is a national and local increase in the need for hospice services.” With the median age of Americans older than it has ever been before, hospice care services are now more important than they have been in years past.

The MBA students were able to conduct research and create a report that better depicts the needs and wants of the community. “We had a really healthy dialogue,” Smith said. “The students themselves began to better understand what we do and why we do it.”

Items from William and Mary News Releases were used in this article.

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