Darden Curry PLE

UVA School Turnaround Curriculum

Through coursework, case studies, interactive discussions, workshops and implementation of action plans, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program is delivered at UVA's Darden School of Business and in participating school districts over the course of two years.

 The University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program's constantly evolving curriculum is developed primarily by leading educators in business and school turnaround from the Darden School of Business, which consistently ranks as #1 or #2 in the world in executive education (according to Fortune and Forbes); the Curry School of Education, which consistently ranks as one of the top 20 graduate schools of education in the country; and from other leading organizations in school turnaround such as Mass Insight and Public Impact

UVA School Turnaround Specialist Program Focus

Unlike typical instruction for education leaders, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program does not prescribe a rigid set of actions. Instead, the program focuses on practices and processes that will help build the internal capacity necessary to not only initiate change, but to sustain success. Accordingly, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program curriculum focuses on:

  • Understanding the school turnaround context and the fundamentals of successful turnarounds
  • Developing and communicating a vision that includes the need for urgent change
  • Establishing a culture of high expectations
  • Building effective coalitions and implementing shared decision-making
  • Using data to drive decisions and to monitor/measure the need for mid-course corrections
  • Identifying innovation opportunities and developing strategic plans
  • Teaching state/district/school administrators to think like leaders, not simply managers 


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