Contact Information

Kelly Cross, 211 Ed. Building, Boise State University kellycross@boisestate.edu 208.870.9858

Tim Lowe, Taft Elementary School, Boise tim.lowe@boiseschools.org 208.854.6180

Course Description:

This Capstone Course emphasizes the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to lead educational inquiry as a professional practice to improve the conditions that influence school and district performance. Leadership candidates will have a solid understanding of data-based decision making processes that are aimed at continuous school improvement efforts. Within the internship setting, leadership candidates will develop a professional portfolio and an action research proposal using critical inquiry. Leadership candidates will test their assumptions and theories of action, as well as analyze the gap between the two.

Required Texts/Reading

Five reliable resources are required for the Critical Inquiry Research review of literature. Assorted articles will also be provided throughout the class.

TASKSTEAM: You will be uploading 1) Signed Internship Completion Form, 2) your Electronic Professional Portfolio, and 3) Critical Inquiry Project to TaskStream this semester. In order to use TaskStream, you will need to purchase a license ($25.00) for spring semester. Please bring a method of online payment and a device to class on January 21, 2017.

Major Assignments

Internship Logs and Reflections: Students will continue to keep an internship log that categorizes the activities, projects, and work competed during the administrative internship. This is a critical product in the credentialing of school principals. The internship log is the exhibit of record for fulfilling the practicum along the State of Idaho standards for school administrators. Students must complete at least 250 hours of administrative internship hours to receive a grade for this course.

Gap Analysis: Students will complete a written analysis of the gap between their Theory of Action and their Theory of Use. Students are expected to re-read and review their Theory of Action completed in ED-CIFS 578 (summer) and reflect upon their internship experience, ethnographic sketch, and critical inquiry to compare and contrast their Theory of Action with their current Theory in Use. This analysis should be approximately 3-4 pages, using APA (6th edition) format.

Internship Assessment: Once students have completed their 250 hours of administrative internship, they must complete and submit an Internship Completion Form. The student’s mentor completes the assessment of the student’s internship and signs the form. The Internship Completion Form must be submitted to Dr. Cross and uploaded to TaskStream – no later than May 1, 2017.

Professional Portfolio: Students will continue to develop an Electronic Professional Portfolio of work representing the student’s accomplishments as an administrative intern this year. This portfolio is grounded in the State of Idaho School Administrator Standards. Students must write a brief, one paragraph, reflection for each of the three domain areas describing what the particular domain means to them. In addition, students will write one rationale including two (2) specific examples of work they accomplished for each of the 14 standards. Each rationale should explain: 1) why the examples represent the specific standard; and 2) how the examples demonstrates the student’s application and knowledge of the standard – What was the student’s role with the two examples? The electronic Professional Portfolio must be uploaded to TaskStream no later than April 22, 2017.

Critical Inquiry Project: Students will employ a Critical Inquiry process to develop an action research proposal that addresses an authentic problem of practice. This problem must impact K-12 learning. Students seeking the special education director endorsement must address K-12 special education learning. The final written product shall include the following elements: 1) background information about the school or site, 2) clearly defined problem of practice, 3) initial data collected and analyzed, (how do you know there’s a problem?) and a re-framing of the problem, 4) 1-2 research question(s), 5) school-based data collected and analyzed, 6) review of literature (five sources), 7) specific research-based recommendations, and 8) a method of assessing the recommendations. The Critical Inquiry Project must be submitted to Dr. Cross and uploaded to TaskStream no later than April 13, 2017.

Critical Inquiry Presentation: Students will prepare a 10-minute formal presentation focused on their critical inquiry research. The presentation must answer the following questions: 1) What did you study and why, 2) What type of research did you conduct, and 3) What are you recommending and why? Students are encouraged to include visuals to assist with their presentation. The presentation is included in the participation grade.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to arrive at class on time and prepared to engage in the day’s agenda. It is further expected and anticipated that students will:

Attend all Saturday Seminars and Thursday evening classes

Participate positively—and appropriately—in activities and discussions

Complete assigned readings and come prepared to each class

Prepare written work—Critical Inquiry Project and Theory of Action/Theory in Use Gap Analysis—in APA format and at a level appropriate for graduate level scholarship

Inform Dr. Cross in advance—as much as possible—of unique needs and inability to attend a class meeting or to complete readings or assignment (please see accommodations for disabilities).

Attendance requirements – 90% or more.


Participation in class activities and attendance - 20%

Gap Analysis - 10%

Internship Completion Form - 10%

Electronic Professional Portfolio - 30%

Critical Inquiry Research Project - 30%

Idaho Administrative Standards


1) School Culture: The School Administrator establishes a safe, collaborative, and supportive culture ensuring all students are successfully prepared to meet the requirements for tomorrow’s careers and life endeavors.

2) Communication: The School Administrator is proactive in communicating the vision and goals of the school or district, the plans for the future, and the successes and challenges to all stakeholders.

3) Advocacy: The School Administrator advocates for education, the district and school, teachers, parents, and students that engenders school support and involvement.


4) Shared Leadership: The School Administrator fosters shared leadership that takes advantage of individual expertise, strengths, and talents, and cultivates professional growth.

5) Priority Management: The School Administrator organizes time and delegates responsibilities to balance administrative/managerial, educational, and community leadership priorities.

6) Transparency: The School Administrator seeks input from stakeholders and takes all perspectives into consideration when making decisions.

7) Leadership Renewal: The School Administrator strives to continuously improve leadership skills through professional development, self-reflection, and utilization of input from others.

8) Accountability: The School Administrator establishes high standards for professional, legal, ethical and fiscal accountability.


9) Innovation: The School Administrator seeks and implements innovative and effective solutions that comply with general and special education law.

10) Instructional Vision: The School Administrator ensures that instruction is guided by a shared, research-based instructional vision that articulates what students do to effectively learn the subject.

11) High Expectations: The School Administrator sets high expectations for all students academically, behaviorally, and in all aspects of student well-being.

12) Continuous Improvement of Instruction: The School Administrator uses teacher/administrator effectiveness. The School Administrator also aligns resources, policies, and procedures toward continuous improvement of instructional practice guided by the instructional vision.

13) Evaluation: The School Administrator demonstrates proficiency in assessing teacher performance based upon the Idaho adopted framework for teaching.

14) Recruitment and Retention: The School Administrator recruits and maintains a high quality staff.

Class Schedule

The course is planned around specific themes and activities this semester; updates and some changes to the schedule should be anticipated. Changes to the plan will be discussed and may be sent to your email address.

Saturday, Jan 21 8:30-2:30

Thursday, Feb. 9 6-8:30

Saturday, Feb. 11 8:30-2:30

Thursday, March 9 6-8:30

Saturday, March 11 8:30-2:30

Thursday, April 13 6-8:30

Thursday, April 20 6-8:30

Saturday, April 22 8:30-2:30 . . . . . and

Saturday, May 6

COMMENCEMENT!! Please, everyone plan to WALK!

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