Quality Leadership Matters Blog


UW’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program named the 2019 Recipient of the EELP Award

September 26th, 2019 by


The University Council for Educational Administration Names the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program as the 2019 Recipient of the Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program Award
“UCEA congratulates the Danforth Program on receiving the EELP award. The EELP award complements UCEA’s core mission and we are so pleased to have such a deserving program as this year’s recipient. Danforth is an exemplar in the preparation of educational leaders, particularly in their drive for equity-focused leadership and continuous improvement.
 ~ Mónica Byrne-Jiménez , UCEA Executive Director

Charlottesville, VA -The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a leading professional organization of higher education institutions focused on advancing the preparation and practice of leaders for the benefit of all children and schools, is pleased to name the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program as the 2019 recipient of the Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program (EELP) Award. The EELP award is sponsored by The Wallace Foundation and given by UCEA to a program within colleges and departments of education that demonstrates exemplary educational leadership preparation.
As research has documented that school leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning, it is imperative that we recognize high-quality preparation programs that support the success of future school leaders. The Danforth Educational Leadership Program is a national model for the preparation of educational leaders.
Led by Dr. Ann O’Doherty, the Danforth Educational Leadership Program is a one-year principal and/or program administrator certification program that offers students the option to concurrently obtain a Master’s degree in Education, Leadership, and Policy. The innovative program combines proven practices for adult learners and cutting-edge research with intensive field-based learning experiences. Unique features that distinguish the program include a purposeful cohort-based model and collaborative approach to leadership, integrated coursework and field-based learning, and the acute focus on equity and organizational change through core values of self-reflection. Over its 31-year history, the program has successfully developed over 740 principals. In the last five years, over 90% of Danforth alumni have been hired as principals, assistant principals, or central office leaders within three months of graduation.
According to ODoherty, the Danforth theory of action begins through collaboration with university, school and district partners to recruit aspiring school and district leaders who have exhibited prior development in equity and successful experience in working with adults to improve learning outcomes. “Once enrolled in the program, our Danforth instructors build knowledge and skills by engaging students in research-informed coursework integrated with authentic field-based experiences. This intentional coherence between coursework and leadership practice, combined with critical self-reflection on personal practice, develops effective, equity-driven, learning-focused and collaborative leaders prepared to cultivate leadership in others to collectively deliver on the promise of equity and improved student learning outcomes.”
The EELP Review Committee found a compelling narrative about the program’s focus and strong evidence of this focus in the program’s design. According to Dr. Shelby Cosner, Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Education Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chair of the EELP Review Committee, the Danforth Program “displayed strong evidence of a continuously improving program rather than a program that has been redesigned at one finite point in time. In addition to sharing a range of data sources and logic model to understand the program’s impact, this program provided strong evidence of the ongoing use of these kinds of data, as well as processes of collaborative inquiry by program faculty to find and solve program problems.” 
To learn more about the Danforth Educational Leadership Program, please visit  www.danforth.uw.edu and connect on Facebook @uwdanforth.
Please join UCEA in recognizing the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program and appreciating this model of high-quality preparation of educational leaders.
About the Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program Award
Quality leadership preparation is essential to quality leadership practice. Research reveals an important relationship between preparation and leaders’ career outcomes, practices and school improvement efforts. To celebrate exemplary programs and encourage their development, UCEA has established the EELP Award. The award is sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. Applications are judged on the extent to which the program 1) reflects UCEA’s research-based UCEA Institutional and Program Quality Criteria on the features, content, and experiences associated with effective leadership preparation, and 2) has demonstrated evidence of program effectiveness. A UCEA Selection Committee made up of individuals with strong expertise in educational leadership preparation review and evaluate the nominees.

Leave a Reply