Support Urban Education
Keep up with all the news, events, people and emerging research at UIC’s College of Education.
When COE’s EdD in Urban Education Leadership program was a fledgling program, The W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation was there to help it take off.
As the principal preparation program built its residency, research and coaching-based model, Stone stood by to support it.
Ten years later, Stone continues to fund the program that now produces principals who transform Chicago’s toughest schools, one that is making its mark across the nation.
“I think the goal is to get a UIC-prepared principal in all principal positions as they come open – that would be a marvelous thing for the City of Chicago,” said Executive Director Sandra Treacy.
And that vote of confidence, EdD faculty say, is immeasurable.
“We will always be indebted to the Stone Foundation for their support of our program in our formative years,” said EdD Coordinator Steve Tozer. “They have been instrumental in any success we have achieved.”
So far, the foundation has awarded more than $405,000 in grants to COE’s program. Most of the money has been earmarked to hire and develop faculty who provide leadership coaching to the program’s aspiring and early-career principals.
The Stone Foundation supports programs in education, youth development and early childhood development are designed to tackle the problems children and youth face in obtaining an excellent education, accessing the skills that will serve them as they transition into adulthood, and experiencing quality developmental experiences in their earliest years. School leadership is a focus for the foundation.
“The principal is a highly leveraged position – the principal sets the tone for teachers, and that is a high-leverage investment,” Treacy said.
Stone’s grants have helped the program to develop a model of collaboration between academic faculty, who provide coursework, and clinical faculty, who provide supervision in schools, which according to Tozer, has influenced the new Illinois principal certification law.
All principal preparation programs in Illinois now have to demonstrate substantial, supervised internship experiences for all of their students.
The EdD program developed such a model before the law went into effect – one that shows significant impact in creating visionary leaders.
For example, Tozer said, last year, five out of six first-year UIC elementary school principals led schools that exceeded CPS averages in state achievement test scores for all schools -- regardless of principal experience. UIC principals also outperform their peers on many other measures, he added, and they credit many of their successes to the coaching model.
That model is so effective, Tozer said, that state school systems and organizations across the country are turning to COE to learn more about how it works.
And The Stone Foundation he said, was key in helping the program develop that reputation.
The foundation's latest grant focuses on early childhood. It awarded the EdD program $30,000 to help develop a component that, as Treacy calls it, will help develop “great principals of preschool to third-grade schools.”
If the past is any kind of predictor, then Stone – and the EdD program – are headed toward success once again.