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Jayhawkville is the innovative, virtual school district designed for students in the University of Kansas' online Master's in Educational Administration. Designed to simulate a variety of real-world scenarios, this unique learning tool allows students to work through potential challenges and develop their individual styles of leadership as the program progresses.
Created from a series of case studies, Jayhawkville has over 30 simulated schools that span suburban, urban and rural communities, complete with educators, students and community members representing each real-world experience. In order to gain problem-solving experience in urban, rural, wealthy, low-income, racially diverse, high-performing and other types of schools, future educational leaders would need significant time and resources that aren't readily available to most students.
"Jayhawkville gives students multiple, diverse, applied educational experiences by which they can apply what they have learned in the program to a variety of 'real-world' educational situations within a virtual instruction setting," said Joe Novak, senior lecturer, coordinator of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Master's program and director of KU's Professional Development School Program.
We know that not all future educational administrators will teach or work in an urban school and that some will only work in small rural schools. We want them to have data on and experience with all manner of schools.
Dr. Joe Novak, senior lecturer, coordinator of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Master’s program and director of KU’s Professional Development School program
The online program blends theory and practice, giving students a wealth of data that corresponds to the 30 schools within the "Jayhawkville United School District." An interactive map allows students to access common information on the schools, including news about administrators, board members and teachers. The map also offers a more in-depth view of each school, providing information that isn't always accessible such as hypothetical hiring policies, ethnographic and demographic data, number of students, performance on standardized tests, students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and more.
Launched in the leadership skills course in Spring 2015, Jayhawkville will be integrated into all online Master's in Educational Administration courses, with additional plans to integrate into KU's top-ranking special education programs in the future.
KU's online Master's in Educational Administration is offered through the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. The School of Education is a nationally ranked school, preparing educators and health/sport/exercise professionals as leaders.