Educational Leadership Institute

Educational Leadership Institute


Although The Educational Leadership Institute (ELI) is only in its first year of operation, it is well on its way to becoming a preeminent repository and source of scholarly research on the topic of educational leadership. Some of the Institute's achievements and ongoing projects are outlined below.

The Development of an Online MS in Educational Leadership and an Online MS in Catholic School Leadership. With the help of the Distance Learning Center, the ELI and Center for Catholic Urban Education (CCUE) have developed a completely online MS in Educational Leadership and MS in Catholic School Leadership that meets the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s requirements for a Principal/Curriculum Supervisor certification.  This 36-credit degree is ready to be launched in Fall 2012. For more information about our graduate programs, click here.

Grant Proposals. The Center will develop grant proposals to be submitted to foundations, government agencies, and individuals for possible funding. A template is available here.

The Camden Catholic School Partnership.  The founding director of the ELI and CCUE, Dr. Robert Palestini, was the founding executive director of the Camden School Partnership which aims to sustain Catholic elementary school education in the City of Camden through the preservation of five Catholic elementary schools serving over 1,000 children.  The CCUE remains vitally connected to this movement with Dr. Palestini serving as a member of the CCSP board of governors.

Vincentian Fathers’ Leadership Academy.  The CCUE is serving as the leadership training vehicle for the Vincentian Fathers’ Eastern Province.  Three workshops on parish and school leadership have already been conducted at the Vincentians’ motherhouses in Cape May, New Jersey and in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.  The CCUE is providing much-needed leadership training that is not provided to priests as part of their seminary training.

St. Charles Borromeo Leadership Training.  For each of the last three years, the CCUE has provided a leadership workshop for the new seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This new course is the result of the seminary’s consultation with the CCUE to improve the training of seminarians who will be assuming various leadership roles.

Ken’s Krew Connection. The ELI was instrumental in developing a collaboration among the Kinney Center for Autism, the Faith Justice Institute and Ken’s Krew in its effort to provide meaningful work experiences for young people with mental disabilities. 

The ELI 2011-2012 Lecture Series (Upcoming). The ELI and the CCUE are sponsoring a lecture series of six presentations during the 2011-2012 academic year.  Topics include: The Child as Citizen, a discussion of the documentary, Waiting for Superman and the Catholic School Urban Crisis.  Nationally known speakers, Fenwick English, John DiLulio and Marilyn Cochran-Smith will be featured.

The Scholar Practitioner Conference.  In the spring of 2011, the ELI co-sponsored the Scholar Practitioner Conference at SJU, which brought over 50 educational scholars here to discuss their research in educational leadership. 

ACE Graduate Assistant Sponsorship.  The ELI funded a graduate assistantship for the 2010-11 academic year to conduct research for the ACE program at SJU.  The ACE program trains a cohort of Catholic school teachers who work in urban Catholic schools by providing them with a tuition-free MS and certification in elementary education along with free housing.

Roundtable for Leadership and Resource Strategy.  The active agents working on the sustainability of Catholic schools in the region do not have a regular forum for communication, best practices and resource development.  In partnership with the Connelly Foundation, The International Education Foundation and National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, the SJU Center for Catholic Urban Education would host The Roundtable on Catholic Education focused on efforts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.  This forum would go as long as it is needed and assist to harness the dynamics of rapid change in the Catholic education system-ensuring a sustainability of those efforts that best meet the needs of under-represented urban children.

Professionalizing Operations for Catholic Urban Schools. With the movements to create locally controlled charter schools and independent Catholic schools, SJU is well positioned to create a non-profit business that uses the model of companies such as, Your Part-Time Controller!, CFO2Go and others to offer schools high quality operations services that will allow for principals to focus on education, enable excellent stewardship of donor investment and make quality organizational capacity affordable to urban schools. This venture would work closely with the Haub School of Business and the SJU Alumni network to create a venture that would support The Center for Catholic Urban Education in a variety of ways.

Public School - Charter Collaborations. The new chapter bill for Pennsylvania is slated to increase the transformation of urban public schools into charter schools that are not considerate of local need and community participation, are operated by for-profit companies and do not respond to some of the greatest needs of urban districts (special education, bi-lingual education, urban civic education).  There is a need for a charter organization that can fill the need created by the downsizing of the Catholic school system in the city of Philadelphia. The CCCUE can create this locally managed and needs-specific education in partnership with others with a new charter school group.  

Voucher Impact and Catholic School Sustainability. One of the most difficult transitions to manage is the creation and/or cessation of a school voucher program. If the Pennsylvania school voucher bill passes for urban districts, there will be a great need to assist Catholic schools in the management process and plan for eventual changes in such a program, both short and long term.  Voucher programs have created havoc in other Catholic systems (with both implementing and revoking). The Center for Catholic Urban Education will be a prime location to quickly create the expertise needed in this new venture. The voucher mechanism will need to be integrated into a plan that does not forego the right to a quality public education and Saint Joseph’s University is well positioned to create this conversation. 

Ignatian High School Network. The Jesuit Secondary Education Association (JSEA) is a membership organization that serves the needs exclusively of schools sponsored by the U.S. provinces of the Society of Jesus.  Each year they get more than a few requests from Catholic highs schools that would like to appropriate an Ignatian educational philosophy and have an affiliation as a school inspired by the tradition of Jesuit education. The Center for Catholic Urban Education may be able to serve as the organizer of the Ignatian High School Network – being the entity that collects the membership dues, assists in setting standards for mission implementation and creates the mission development programs that each school may purchase.