One of the founding departments of the College of Education was known as the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. It was initially chaired by Dr. Russ Wiley, and provided instruction for the undergraduate course EDG 4620, also named Curriculum and Instruction, which was required for all College of Education students. During a calendar year over 50 sections of this course were taught. The department also offered graduate courses that enabled students to obtain the Florida Certificate in School Administration by completing courses in school finance, school law, school supervision, school curriculum, and electives in such areas as case studies, and school facilities.
During the 1980s, the requirements for certification in school administration were increased by the state of Florida. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction expanded its coursework and was renamed as the Department of Administration and Supervision. Responsibility for the undergraduate course in Curriculum and Instruction continued with Dr. Dan Purdom serving as the coordinator.
Dr. Wiley retired in the late 1970s. Dr. Cal Craig, who had previously served as the Interim Superintendent of Schools in Hillsborough County, joined the department as chair. When he retired, several department faculty members served as chairs for brief terms until 1983. At that time, Dr. Arthur Shapiro was appointed to serve as the department’s chair. After a three-year term, Dr. Shapiro returned to regular faculty status and Dr. Don Orlosky was appointed as the chair. He served in this capacity for ten years until his retirement in 1995.
In 1986, the state of Florida implemented more rigorous requirements for school leadership certification. Thus, the department changed its name once again and became known as the Department of Educational Leadership. The period of 1985 until 1995 saw the emergence of higher enrollments in the master’s degree program, the addition of the educational specialist’s degree, and a major expansion of the Ed. D. degree in the study of educational leadership.
In 1996, the decision was made to merge the Department of Educational Leadership with the Department of Adult and Vocational Education under one chairship. Dr. Bill Young was appointed to chair this department. The department was eventually restructured and returned to be two separate entities once again. Other departments at the College assumed the responsibility of teaching the undergraduate course in Curriculum and Instruction as it applied to their students’ content areas.
The Department of Educational Leadership is now entirely a graduate program. It has added policy studies to it mission and has once again been renamed and is now known as the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. In the 2005-2006 school year, enrollment in the department reached an all-time high, as the demand for new educational leaders for schools in Florida and across the United States continues to grow.