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A descriptive analysis of the Epda Leadership Project at Atlanta University1973-1974

By Arthur Lake Thompson


An EPDA leadership project for school administrators was conducted at Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, during the year 1973-1974 for the purpose of developing administrators who could function as change agents with particular emphasis given to the mainstreaming of exceptional children. This study is a descriptive analysis of that project for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the program in reaching the goals and objectives as set forth in the project proposal. The program was structured around six time modules of five weeks each. Each module had an educational target or central theme. The theme of the first module was the development of a personal philoso phy and commitment; the second module, a study of systems approach and organizational change; the third module, instructional alterna tives; the fourth module, exceptional children in the schools and the mainstreaming concept; the fifth module, legislation and judi cial and executive decisions governing exceptional children; and the last module, an evaluation of the entire project. The information used in this dissertation was drawn primarily from the Project Proposal, from the documentary written from the tape recorded sessions, from the End-of-Module Reactions completed by the+ participants, and from the End-of-Year Evaluation instruments com pleted by the participants. The evaluation instruments were compiled and summarized in terms of frequency and percentage of responses to each item on the instruments. The summary of the evaluation instruments revealed that of the eleven goals listed, eight of them were evaluated in the top two scales by at least 78 percent or more of the respondents. All nine of the objectives listed were rated in the top two scales by at least 78 percent of the respondents. Whereas a considerable level of agree ment was observable in the evaluation of the goals and objectives, the evaluation of the activities indicates a wider diversity of responses with the rankings being scattered. \u22On-site participation\u22 was the only activity which was ranked at the highest scale by at least 78 percent of the respondents. Responses indicated less general agreement among the fellows on this instrument. In evalua ting the consultants, the fellows indicated consistently that the quality of the consultants was considered outstanding. The strengths of the program were identified as including the quality of the consultants, the value of the field experiences and intern ships, and the development of a new personal philosophy concerning the direction of change and the mainstreaming of exceptional chil dren. Emphasis was given to the value of the interpersonal relation ships among the fellows, the experience of group decision making, and an increased appreciation for group dynamics. The weaknesses of the program as identified centered around time constraints, too much material attempted within too small a time frame, the need for scheduling internships earlier in the program, and not enough interaction among fellows during the second semester. Recommendations from the group included: establish specific criteria for the selection of project participants in order to provide a wide diversity of human resources within the group, restructure the pro ject in order that the use of field experiences is expanded and initiated earlier, plan seminars for the entire membership for free interchange and debate and less for formal presentation, expand the use of human relations laboratory experiences, retain the selfdirected approach, retain the process of translation of project credit into traditional course credits, provide entry level compe tency determination in order that each fellow can evaluate himself in terms of his own strengths and weaknesses for course planning purposes, plan for pre and post evaluation instruments for more valid evaluation of the effectiveness of the project, provide for external evaluation by faculty members and outside consultants, and provide for follow-up of the fellows subsequent to their participa tion in the project

Topics: Education
Publisher: DigitalCommons@Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center
Year: 1975
OAI identifier:

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