The Department of Leadership and Educational Studies is one of five departments in the Reich College of Education, housing the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership as well as offering courses in Educational Foundations and Educational Research.

Mission, Values, and Vision Statements

Mission Statement

The Department of Leadership & Educational Studies is committed to advancing students’ roles as leaders in a variety of educational and professional settings. We foster critically-engaged, reflexive inquiry – informed by empirical and conceptual practices – within inclusive, equitable, and democratic learning spaces.


The following values are reflected in the actions, courses and programs offered through the department:

  • Commitment to developing sensitivity to multicultural, diversity, and gender issues
  • Development of leadership ability and capacity for students and faculty
  • Reflection of moral and ethical principles that address social justice, fairness, inclusion and concern for others in learning, teaching and dealing with students and others
  • Modeling personal and interpersonal leadership qualities
  • Holding and communicating high standards for self, students and colleagues
  • Performing effectively in a self-directed environment
  • Challenging old assumptions and seeking new learning
  • Practicing inclusive, learning-centered planning, decision-making and actions


As a department we strive to support our students as leaders and scholar-practitioners prepared to serve as transformational change agents in a variety of fields, institutions, and roles.

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

The Leadership & Educational Studies Department acknowledges and honors the ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ (Cherokee), the yeh is-WAH h’reh (Catawba), and other Indigenous peoples whose ancestral lands we occupy.

The full Appstate acknowledgement can be found here.

Our Statement on Diversity

Education is transformative, and open intellectual inquiry is the foundation of a university education and a democratic society. In the spirit of shared humanity and concern for our community and world, the Department of Leadership & Educational Studies faculty celebrate diversity as central to our mission and affirm our solidarity with those individuals and groups most at risk. In line with our departmental goals, we disavow all racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, classism, ableism, and hate speech or actions that attempt to silence, threaten, and degrade others.

As educators, we affirm that language and texts, films and stories help us to understand the experiences of others whose lives are different from ours. We value critical reasoning, evidence-based arguments, self-reflection, and the imagination. Building on these capacities, we hope to inspire empathy, social and environmental justice, and an ethical framework for our actions. We advocate for a diverse campus, community, and nation inclusive of racial minorities, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of all religious faiths.