Jackson State University’s College of Education and Human Development has received state approval for an initiative to make professional development training more accessible to K-12 administrators.
JSU is the only university in the state offering a program such as this, said Dr. Ingrad Smith, associate dean and interim chair of Educational Leadership, who proposed the Online School Leadership Training Initiative. The Mississippi Department of Education recently approved the program for the current fiscal year.
The program will provide online courses that school principals and central office administrators can access in their buildings or in their homes.
College of Education Dean Daniel Watkins said the program also will serve as a recruitment tool for the college’s doctoral Educational Leadership program.
Smith said principals and administrators need School Executive Management Institute (SEMI) credit courses for license renewals. Currently, state universities only offer SEMI credit courses in the face-to-face format.
“Traditional professional development requires district administrators to wait until summer to send principals away for training or hire a consultant to come to the district to train administrators after school or on Saturdays,” Smith said. “The reality of the situation is the principals cannot afford to be out of the building too frequently because they are responsible for their schools’ day-to-day activities.”
The online courses will be available 24 hours a day. The JSU program also will offer a face-to-face format for SEMI credit courses.