Educational Leadership Concentration

Leadership Psychology Doctorate (PsyD)

The Educational Leadership concentration is part of the Leadership Psychology PsyD program at William James College. This concentration is designed for current school administrators (directors, principals, assistant principals, assistant superintendents) or others looking to advance their career in an educational setting and/or in consulting for schools and school districts. This concentration takes a deep dive into what it means to be a successful and visionary leader in pre-K-12 educational settings.

An effective leader is an individual with strong reflective abilities, emotional insight, and a secure sense of self. Modern leaders must be able to create a work culture that inspires employees; they must also be able to collaborate with a wide range of people who may think differently, including students, teachers, parents, community members, and peers. This program prepares leaders to examine issues from multiple perspectives and the resilience to withstand the inevitable emotional and political storms that are part of the dynamics of improvement.

The William James College approach pairs experiential learning with classes and study of organizational and leadership psychology to provide a practical hands-on experience. Throughout their education, students are actively engaged in putting into practice in the field what they’re learning in the classroom.  The application of research linked to systems thinking and theories of change and how they apply to an educational context will prepare leaders and consultants for shaping schools of the future.

A Hybrid Program for Working Professionals

The Leadership Psychology PsyD program and the Educational Leadership concentration are designed for working professionals and are primarily delivered online. On-site residencies at our campus in Newton, MA (just outside of Boston), require three 4-day residencies each year. These are scheduled in advance on Tuesday-Friday in the fall, spring and summer.

Students who choose the Educational Leadership concentration will take the following three courses:

In addition to the 3 courses, students will be required to complete practicum hours in educational settings and focus their doctoral project on an approved topic in Educational Leadership.

Meet our Concentration Director, Dr. John D’Auria

Dr. John D’Auria is a faculty member and the Director of the Educational Leadership Concentration in the Leadership Psychology PsyD program. Prior to joining the William James College faculty, John spent a year at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education as a professor of practice. Prior to his position at Penn, he had a seven-year tenure as president of Teachers21 (now part of William James College as of Spring 2018), a non-profit, professional development organization that supports educational reform and improvement efforts across a wide variety of public and private sectors. Under Dr. D’Auria’s leadership, Teachers21 provided thousands of educators with opportunities to expand their instructional repertoire and deepen their content knowledge, with a special focus on education leadership. In 2010, Dr. D’Auria was appointed by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education to a statewide task force to study and develop a new framework for the supervision and evaluation of all educators in Massachusetts. In addition, Dr. D’Auria has worked with leaders across Massachusetts to strengthen practitioners’ work around social and emotional learning and was appointed to the Rennie Center Condition of Education Advisory Committee, which seeks to build a more coherent, and research-based, vision of a public education in Massachusetts. 

Prior to his work at Teachers21, Dr. D’Auria was Superintendent of Schools in Canton, Massachusetts. His educational career has spanned over four decades as a math teacher, guidance counselor, principal, superintendent, and consultant. Dr. D’Auria has advised hundreds of school leaders on how to sharpen the academic focus of school teams, develop a vibrant school culture, and manage conflict in the workplace. 

If you have questions about our Educational Leadership concentration, please contact Dr. John D’Auria at

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