Welcome from the Chair

Carolyn Pluim
Carolyn Pluim

Greetings from the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF). We are always happy to reconnect with our alumni. It has been a busy year for LEPF, and I am excited to share a few of the many endeavors and accomplishments our faculty have been involved in recently.

This year we welcomed our ninth cohort into our M.S.Ed. in principal preparation. This recently redesigned program, coordinated by Drs. Jim and Becky Surber, continues to grow in number and popularity. The program is testament to our faculty’s commitment to preparing educational leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective change agents in their communities.

In addition to principal preparation we were also thrilled to greet our largest-to-date cohort of educators interested in the superintendency (Ed.S.). This program, coordinated by Dr. Dan Oest, is gaining regional recognition for its ability to prepare educators willing to take on leadership positions that require astute knowledge, professional insight and keen judgment.

Over the summer, we held our inaugural Marguerite F. Key Fellows Institute to honor regional principals who are making a difference in the lives of students and their families. As a donor-sponsored event, the NIU Marguerite F. Key Fellows Program is focused on celebrating and promoting the growth and vitality of Illinois principals. Six recipients received the recognition and a stipend to further enhance their practice. Please consider nominating a deserving principal for the 2019 institute. If you have any questions, feel free to contact a member of the Advisory Board (Alan Clemens, Dan Oest, Jim Surber, Becky Surber and Carolyn Pluim).

James M. Giarelli
James M. Giarelli

In October, we celebrated with Dr. James M. Giarelli, our James and Helen Merritt Distinguished Service Award for Contributions to Philosophy of Education award winner. Dr. Giarelli gave a passionate lecture on the role of schools in society and their capacity to educate citizens to live in a democracy. During his time at NIU, Dr. Giarelli spoke with students, K-12 educators and faculty on the topic.

Exciting innovations are happening in the Educational Psychology program area. Being responsive to student learning needs and staying on the forefront of developments in the field are important to our faculty. After much research, discussion and thought, faculty have taken on the challenge of redesigning the M.S.Ed.in Educational Psychology. Once approved, the new online program will have a greater focus on culture and creativity as this influences learning. We anticipate welcoming a cohort into the newly revised program in Fall 2020.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about the department. I am also very happy to discuss various opportunities to support programs or students in the department.

Take good care,


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