Educational Leadership Department

About the Department

The Educational Leadership Department prepares scholar-practitioner educational leaders who will champion social justice for equity and excellence; engage in critical inquiry; serve as ethical, transformative servant leaders; and engage in collaborative processes to implement positive changes for the improvement  of teaching and learning. The programs within the department include the Administrative Services Credential Program for school leaders, which is offered in a cohort, face to face week-night format at a school district location and the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, a 60-unit three-year program of study offered in a cohort, face to face every other weekend format on the Cal Poly campus. The doctoral degree offers two options, which include PreK-12 Educational Leadership or Community College and Postsecondary Education.


The mission of the Department of Educational Leadership of the College of Education and Integrative Studies is to prepare educational leaders to serve the needs of diverse learners, families, schools, and communities across Southern California in ways that are caring, collaborative, and culturally responsive. We are committed to developing transformative educational leaders who embody the values of reflexive self-examination, critical inquiry, and intersectional praxis to lead educational institutions as scholar-practitioners. We commit to providing school leaders with the analytical tools they need to be advocates for equity, social justice, and asset-based approaches that provide opportunities for success to all students, especially historically and persistently minoritized populations.


The vision of the Educational Leadership Department and Educational Leadership is to be recognized as the premier program that prepares transformative, equity-minded leaders who advance a more socially just future across educational systems.

We Value: 

  • The importance of theoretically grounded praxis, in which leaders engage in reciprocal, recursive learning through dialogue, experiential learning, research, action, and reflection.

  • The development of educational leaders who exhibit a sense of agency and commitment to responsibility, care, and authenticity through their words and actions.

  • Culturally responsive leadership in transforming schools to become anti-racist learning environments where culturally responsive teaching practices and asset-based approaches prevail.

  • Authentic school-community-university partnerships that promote spaces for collaboration in achieving positive results.

  • Cultures of care in which educational leaders advocate for social justice, high academic achievement, humanization, social-emotional development, and personal well-being of students, families, educators, and communities.

  • The importance of strengthening organizational cultures where the intersections of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, and disability are respected, where marginalization is disrupted, and where forms of oppression are dismantled.