Reflection on Masters of School Administration Program

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and embracing change means allowing one to grow and improve. As an educator, change is necessary in a way that this advances the skills and knowledge of a teacher. Thus, I wanted a change for the better in my life that I entered the Masters in School Administration Program. This program is basically a principal training program that prepares a person to learn and know the tenets of being a better principle and a school administrator. Despite having earned already a Masters Degree in Education from Wingate University, I feel that this is not enough to prepare me for the rigors of a school leader, administrator and principal.

The program is a two-year endeavor and when I initially started, the course was not offered then at Wingate University. Hence, I started the program at another educational institution. Eventually, Wingate University opened up the program and I decided to transfer because it was more convenient and required less travel. Considering it is a new program at the university, no doubt it had to suffer certain "birth pains." Indeed several changes and innovations happened throughout the course and several times I have questioned the wisdom of that decision by the school administration. But I always go back to the premise that anytime something completely new is started you have to expect a few problems.

The course work I have completed has on the whole been informative, challenging and meaningful. I had only one course that I was dissatisfied with, which was the Internship. The Internship course required a student to complete and log administrative duties. I felt it could have been done better and more structured. I feel that the number of hours required (400 hours in 2 semesters) could be reduced such that more emphasis should have been put on quality of learning rather than quantity. I would have rather participated in lesser hours by doing more meaningful duties that would have really prepared me to my future career goals. But that has not been a real problem really - more of an inconvenience. My greatest concern about the program is the constantly evolving program itself. Rules change, requirements are added and specifications are modified. Although I am a positive embracer of change, I believe that for things as critical as masters program like this, planning should have been done to its most detailed level.

Aside from the constant changes, I felt that a class size of 35 to 40 people is too much to really affect efficient learning. I believe that Masters program should be kept small in order to ensure that each student will be able to contribute to class discussions and case studies. Further, programs such as these should have been carefully planned and thought out to the minutest detail to enable achievement of goals and objectives. But going back to the "change premise," the school administration did a great job though putting out an exemplary program in spite of the birth pains. I felt sometimes that since we were the first batch to take the course, we became guinea pigs that helped determine the effectiveness of the program. Despite the "experimental" feeling, I can only hope that lessons learned from our batch will be applied to the incoming batches in order for the program to be further improved.

On truly positive notes, I am very happy that I have taken this principals program. Two instructors stand out in my mind and they have made my experience positive. Because of them, the negative feedbacks I have were overridden by their excellent teaching methodologies. Dr S. DePaul and Dr J. Watkins made a remarkable difference in instilling in each student what it would be like to become a school leader, administrator and principal. When they talked about their academic, professional and personal experiences, I was encouraged us to choose the best I could exemplify and pattern myself from what I chose. Their influence truly made my experience at Wingate College worthwhile. I am sure that future programs will become even stronger than it is today not only from my class' inputs but from the comments and suggestions for improvements made by Dr. DePaul and Watkins.

Whenever something new is started, there are growing pains and I am sure that the program at Wingate will become a model for other schools to follow in the future. Although I listed several negative things, they are not to put down the program but serve as recommendations for enhancement. Having completed the course, I feel more confident now that I will be able to muster enough strength to really fulfill the role of a principal or a school administrator. I now feel also that without such training, I would be missing some important tools and techniques needed to make me a better, effective and more informed educator. In the end, I highly recommend the program to anybody seeking a change in his career from educator to administrator because the Masters of School Administrator will give him the "right stuff" to get the job done[continue]

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