Transformational Educational Leadership Practices

(Grades K-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 129T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42385


Course Description

As a person in a position of leadership, do you sometimes find it difficult to “walk the tightrope” between being a boss and a mentor? With all the plates you need to keep spinning, are you finding it difficult to express your expectations and mission/vision to your staff? If so, look no further! Whether you are a long-time leader, a new leader, an informal leader, or an educator who strives to be a leader, understanding the underpinnings of what it takes to be an effective, respected, and strong educational leader takes time, practice, and persistence. This online course is designed to take you through the best practices of educational leadership. The course begins by teaching the basics of how to create and implement a shared school mission/vision by setting goals and branding their mission/vision. From there, you will learn how to cultivate a strong, positive school climate so that staff are more confident and independent in their ability to manage their own classrooms. The course then takes a deep dive into the four “non-negotiables,” or four foundations upon which academic success is built — standards-based curriculum, data-informed teaching, expecting quality work, and differentiated instruction as the default. You will also learn what it takes to successfully develop and employ professional development, as well as how to build strong professional, community, and student relationships, all without taking it personally. The “nuts and bolts” of school leadership is saved for last, as you learn how to manage meetings and stay organized, all while keeping the big ideas of evaluation in mind as you strive to create a safe school environment. By the end of this course, you will feel more confident and successful in your quest to become an effective and inspirational leader. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$124 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$329 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC42385
Unit One
  • What is a Leader?
  • What Kind of Leader Are You?
  • Best Practices in Educational Leadership
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • It’s All About Vision and Team!
  • Using Your Mission/Vision to Set Goals
  • Branding Your Mission/Vision
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Cultivating a Strong, Positive School Climate
  • Supporting Positive Behaviors
  • Supporting Your Staff
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Non-Negotiables
  • Professional Development
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Building Strong Professional Relationships
  • Building Strong Community Relationships
  • Building Strong Student Relationships
  • Learning to Not Take It Personally
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • The Art of Managing Meetings
  • School Safety Issues
  • Organizational Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder
  • Evaluation: It's Not "Us" Against "Them"
  • Assignment #4: Respond to School Leadership Scenarios
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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