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Three ways Loyola prepares you for the future of educational leadership

Over the past couple years of pandemic-related school closings and tense political clashes over curriculum, the American education system has experienced a comprehensive shakeup and developed a new education paradigm. Educational leaders are no longer just overseeing the operations of their district or school, they must demonstrate social-emotional strength and compassion for their staff and students while navigating political and economic hot topics. 

Loyola University Maryland is uniquely situated to help build effective and prepared educational leaders through its virtual M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Post-Master’s Certificate in Administration and Supervision programs in the following three ways. 

  1. Leading with relevancy: Loyola is committed to addressing the immediate needs of future educational leaders not only by meeting national and Maryland Blueprint standards, but also by providing our candidates with the resources and tools to solve whatever problems they will encounter. With a data-informed approach, we update and refresh our courses each semester to keep current with the latest issues, both theoretically and through scenario-based work. We have our finger on the pulse especially through Dr. Regina Massella’s board leadership at Maryland Association of School Principals (MASSP), the leading statewide professional association that serves as a voice and resource for Maryland principals. 
  2. Leading through trauma: Nowadays, the community often expects the principal to have all the answers as the plane is being built, as the pandemic has brought to light that there are some things you can’t prepare for. At the same time, the new paradigm demands that leaders figure out how to meet all needs, including the social-emotional wellbeing and health of staff and students. Currently, leaders are looking at how to address teacher burnout while moving their school forward with an unprecedented number of students who are behind. Quite simply, due to the magnitude of trauma from the pandemic, we as a society are in crisis. Now more than ever, education leaders will benefit from understanding the neurological framework on how trauma impacts learning. So we are incredibly proud to launch the new courses, Leading through Trauma and Trauma-Informed Leadership, over the next year for both our certificate and degree candidates. The classes—formed by Dr. Christine Mahady with a background in family therapy—emphasize that learning doesn’t happen when there’s been trauma and challenge our candidates to consider how to make their learners feel safe and loved to ultimately find success. 
  3. Leading through a social justice approach: Our educational, cultural, and political climate is changing, and with this new paradigm of education, principals are feeling increased pressure from all sides. Schools are trying to keep pace, often while facing decisions—from testing to suspensions—now grounded in politics. Here at Loyola, we approach this new paradigm through a social justice lens, because social justice is truly at the cornerstone of everything we do. While other schools might shy away from discussing critical race theory, gender, or other controversial topics, we embrace our Jesuit tradition of empowering educator leaders to speak out, to take action, and to become change agents, so all students feel like they belong and can achieve. 

In short, Loyola is here to help you grow as a self-aware, emotionally intelligent, and competent educational leader, ready to lead collaboratively with your profession, district, and school—no matter the crisis or political issues that might come your way. 

Christine Mahady, Ed.D., and Regina Massella, Ph.D., are both lecturers in the Educational Leadership program. Mahady also serves as the program director.