Syllabus for EDL-500

Effective Leadership—From Theory to Practice


Effective Leadership—From Theory to Practice provides students with an opportunity to study and apply a problem-based learning approach to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL). This scenario-based approach provides suggested responses that are grounded in theory and best practices. It also provides the prospective leader with an opportunity to move beyond mere reflective discussion by analyzing the suggested responses to the challenges posed in the scenarios. This practice is commonly used in the fields of law, business, and medicine. By using such an approach, the prospective school leaders have an opportunity to reflect, examine, compare, and make judgments about well-documented responses. Additionally, newly hired school administrators can use standards that inform leader behavior, relate those standards to specific theories, and then transform those theories into practice.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Implement the ten Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL).

CO2        Validate the theories of collaborative leadership, educational leaders’ traits, dispositions and characteristics, as well as leadership behaviors.

CO3        Contrast several theories that 21st century school leaders might use to effectively lead a school organization.

CO4        Critique the characteristics of a learning organization in order to determine whether the organization fosters a culture and climate that enhances teaching and learning.

CO5        Recommend communication approaches that educational leaders can use to build a positive interpersonal relationship in schools.

CO6        Recommend strategies and approaches to manage conflicts and make positive school decisions.

CO7        Determine ways to navigate institutional change in 21st century schools.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. You must purchase the enhanced eText version of the textbook from Pearson. Videos are embedded in each chapter of the enhanced eText and are required study materials in the modules. Here is the link to purchase the enhanced Pearson eText version of the textbook: 

Required Textbook

ISBN 13: 978-0134078717


Effective Leadership—From Theory to Practice is a three-credit, online course consisting of eight modules with nine discussion forums, nine written assignments, and a final project. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in nine online discussion forums, complete nine written assignments, and complete a three-part final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Please note: (1) Rewriting or resubmitting assignments is not permitted; (2) no assignments may be submitted after the last day of the course without an approved extension; and (3) extension requests must be approved by the mentor and submitted by the student to the Registrar's Office prior to the last day of the course.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in nine discussion forums. Your initial posts should be a minimum of 100 words in length, well reasoned, detailed, and should utilize at least three references. You may find the additional materials in each module to be helpful when researching your response. Your replies to your classmates should be respectful, thoughtful, and either agree or disagree with their findings, but should build upon the prior discussion. Make sure to reference the readings and cite specific examples when necessary.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete nine written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Each written assignment details its length, source, and formatting requirements.

Final Project

The final project will evaluate your ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize a school-based issue as someone who will be the lead educational leader of the building; apply the concepts of Modules 1 to 8; utilize data when and where necessary, incorporate relevant recent research; and then apply diagnostics in order to arrive at an accurate conclusion to implement within your school.

This will be a three-part final project. You will submit an outline in Module 4 and the completed final project paper and presentation in Module 8. You are also required to submit your presentation in Discussion Forum 9, where you will critique at least one classmate’s presentation.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All graded activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

Lateness Policy

Written assignments should be submitted no later than the due date unless prior arrangements are made with the mentor and a new due date is established. If a student submits an assignment after the due date without having made arrangements with the mentor, a minimum of five points (based on an assignment grading scale of 100 points) or 5% of the total points will be deducted for each week, or part thereof, that the assignment is late. Discussion forum assignments must be done in the week they are due or points will be forfeited.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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