Educational Policy & Leadership Program Information

Ready to meet your leadership potential?

The Educational Policy & Leadership programs at the UNLV College of Education prepare future school leaders and develop current leaders to meet the challenges they will face in Southern Nevada PK-12 schools in the 21st century. Using a systems approach to understanding leadership, the curriculum combines rigorous and relevant coursework with real-world experiential learning.

Designed to develop and strengthen educational leaders who understand the urban environment and the community in which schools exist, program participants receive a firm foundation of knowledge and skills in order to meet the demands and expectations of school administrators – all within a systems approach for transforming schools within an urban community.

Programs are grounded in the belief that PK-12 educational leaders must work alongside other community institutions, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and business and industry, for the well-being of our community’s students and families. Twenty-first century urban education leaders must understand the full array of challenges and the interactive and systemic nature of the institutions and organizations they serve.

These programs also meet the requirements for Nevada School Administrator Endorsement and the Nevada Program Administrator Endorsement.

Ready to learn more? Find more information about each of our programs by using the buttons below:

BYOL with Dr. Michael Hansen, Brookings Senior Fellow in Governance Studies & Director of the Brown Center on Education Policy

Please join Brookings Mountain West and Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways for Students of Color into the Teaching Profession for a very special, though also very informal, lunch-time (BYOL (bring your own lunch) gathering with Dr. Michael Hansen, Brookings Senior Fellow in Governance Studies & Director of the Brown Center on Education Policy.

Thursday, October 11, 2018
12:30 at CEB 238 (see building and parking map)
Please RSVP here!

Dr. Michael Hansen is a senior fellow at Brookings Institution and the director of the Brown Center on Education Policy. A labor economist by training, he has conducted original research on the teacher quality, value-added measurement, teacher evaluation, and teacher responses to incentives and accountability using state longitudinal data systems. Other areas of research include school turnaround and STEM learning.
During the BYOL gathering Dr. Hansen will speak about Teacher Diversity and Achievement Gaps in Nevada: Nevada has one of the largest achievement gaps between racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic groups, in addition to having one of the largest gaps in representation between the student population and teacher workforce. This lecture will discuss the emerging evidence between student and teacher matching on racial dimensions and the impact on a myriad of student outcomes, and discuss policy strategies that the state and districts can pursue to promote a more diverse teacher workforce to help mitigate these gaps.

This event is co-sponsored by:
Brookings Mountain West and Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways for Students of Color into the Teaching Profession
Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways is funded by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE), Great Teaching and Leading Fund (GTLF), Dr. Norma A. Marrun, PI

Social Justice Events with Dr. David Stovall

EquityMatterz Social Justice Dine & Dialogue

“We’ve Been Here Before: Educational Justice and the ‘not so new’ Political Moment”

Friday, September 28, 2018
6-8 p.m. at Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center

This is a public event, co-facilitated by local youth, and organized around topic focused on educational equity for Southern Nevada’s P-12 students. Community members (individual or group affiliated) working to develop youth leaders and/or interested in social change are encouraged to join  the  conversation. Light snacks served.

Please RSVP here. For more information please contact: Tonya Walls or 702-777-4753.

Youth Voices Rising

“You are Right Now:  Youth and the Necessity of Change”

Saturday, September 29 2018
10 a.m.-12 p.m. at CSN, Charleston Campus, Building B, Classroom 104

This is a youth-focused event, open to the public, especially members of educational/community-based entities that are meaningfully engaged with young people in our community.

For more information please contact: Christine Clark or 702-985-6979.

Professional Development

“Revolution is Another Name for ‘Life Fighting:’ Education and the Will to Teach Fearlessly”

Saturday, September 29, 2018
1-4 p.m. at UNLV, Hendrix Auditorium (HEA)

This event is primarily a CU-earning professional development offering for CCSD licensed personnel. For more information click here or e-mail:

If you are interested in attending this event and are unable to secure a spot through the CCSD Pathlore system, and/or if you are not a CCSD employee, please contact: Christine Clark or 702-985-6979.

Download the flyer with all events here.

Dr. David Omotoso Stovall is Professor of African-American Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of equity and justice. His work led him to become a member of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice High School design team, which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice.

These events are collaboratively supported and/or sponsored by:

UNLV’s Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways for Students of Color into the Teaching Profession: Giving Back to the Community through Teaching project, funded by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE), Great Teaching and Leading Fund (GTLF), Dr. Norma A. Marrun, PI.

The “signature” program of the project, #Love2TeachLV works to recruit Students of Color from six Clark County School District (CCSD) high schools to college and then into teaching.

CCSD’s Equity and Diversity Education Office

Touro University of Nevada’s (TUN) Code Switch grant project funded by the NoVo Foundation U.S. Girls of Color Strategic Strategy, Dr. Tonya Walls, PI, an equity-focused university-community-school collaborative with Teaching and Uniting Ladies to Inspire Positive Success (TULIPS) and local K-12 schools through the Peterson Academic Center.

TUN’s internally-funded equity-focused Project LEAD EquityMatterz participatory action research project meant to determine how best to sustain and retain educators of color committed to racial equity and social justice in P-12 schools in Southern Nevada.

Las Vegas NAACP Branch 1111

My Brother’s Keeper’s (MBK)

King of Jewels Mentorship Program

CSN’s Office of Inclusive Learning and Engagement

NSC’s GEAR UP Program and School of Education

Welcoming New Faculty

The College of Education is excited to introduce eight new faculty members joining our organization beginning this fall. A diverse group in research expertise and backgrounds, these new faculty members are an excellent resource of significant knowledge that impact practices in the education and behavioral health fields.

Wonjoon Hong (ORSP Post-Doctoral Scholar), Jackie Cordova, Tina Vo, Patrice Leverett, Hailey Love, Bradley Marianno, Xin Zhang, Heather Dahl and Brett Gleason join the ranks of the UNLV College of Education faculty beginning Fall 2018.

Jacqueline Cordova
Visiting Assistant Professor
Educational Psychology & Higher Education

Jacqueline Cordova received her B.S. in Psychology from South Dakota State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UNLV. She teaches courses in learning and cognition, research methods, and introductory and intermediate statistics. She also coordinates the Educational Psychology Research Management System. Her current research focuses on the role of motivation and emotion in conceptual change learning. Her research has been presented at national and international research conferences, as well as published in peer reviewed scientific journals, including Contemporary Educational Psychology, Educational Psychology, Journal of Geoscience Education, and International Journal of Environmental and Science Education.


Heather Dahl
Assistant Professor
Counselor Education, School Psychology & Human Services

Dr. Heather Dahl received her Ph.D. in Counseling from Old Dominion University, with cognates in Qualitative Research and Supervision. She received her M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Central Washington University. Her research interests include: suicide prevention and assessment, crisis intervention, trauma, research methodology, integration of career issues into clinical practice, and social justice issues in professional practice. She has held service positions at the local, regional, national, and international level, including: current President of the Western Association of Counselor Education & Supervision, Editorial Board Member for Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, and Institutional Review Board Member.


Brett Gleason
Assistant Professor
Counselor Education, School Psychology & Human Services

Dr. Brett Gleason graduated with his Ph.D. in Counseling from Old Dominion University, serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the human services program throughout his doctoral program. His dissertation was titled “Phenomenological Investigation of Wellness and Wellness Promotion within Counselor Education Programs.” Previously, Dr. Gleason was an Assistant Professor in the counseling program at Eastern New Mexico University. During his time at his previous positions, Dr. Gleason has helped with preparing for CACREP accreditation, served as faculty advisor for student organizations, advising students, serving as Assistant Editor for the Journal of Human Services, in addition to teaching several courses in both human services and counseling programs.


Patrice Leverett
Assistant Professor
Counselor Education, School Psychology & Human Services

Patrice Leverett received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in educational psychology. Prior to completing this degree, Dr. Leverett served as a public school special education teacher and as a school psychologist. Patrice is committed to the wellbeing of the whole student and reflects those beliefs in her work as a mentor and an educator. Her current research interests include the design and evaluation of culturally responsive interventions, student advocacy, the impacts of intersectionality on educational outcomes, and ultimately increasing diversity and retention in higher education. Patrice’s teaching interests include consultation, assessment, crisis management, and culturally responsive practice. Patrice completed her M.S. in education at Queens College of New York and her B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh. She is very excited to start her position as an assistant professor in school psychology.


Hailey Love
Assistant Professor
Early Childhood, Multilingual & Special Education

Dr. Hailey Love’s scholarship focuses on high-quality inclusive education across early childhood settings. She has conducted research on inclusive practices, the preparation of inclusive early childhood educators, and environmental features that influence the quality of young children’s inclusive experiences. Additionally, Dr. Love’s research examines family-professional partnerships particularly between educators and families of color. She hopes her work will help early educators better serve children and families with various abilities, recourses, and needs within high-quality inclusive classrooms. In addition to research, Dr. Love has taught courses in inclusive education, child development, and early childhood education curriculum for young children with disabilities.


Bradley Marianno
Assistant Professor
Educational Psychology & Higher Education

Bradley D. Marianno graduated with his PhD in urban education policy from the University of Southern California (USC). He also holds master’s degrees in sociology and economics from Brigham Young University (BYU) and USC, respectively. Marianno’s research focuses on the consequences of local and state education policy change for educational governance with a substantive focus on state and federal teacher labor policy, teachers’ unions and collective bargaining, and the micro politics of local school district policy decision-making and implementation. His recent work includes a study of teacher contracts in California, Washington, and Michigan, a multi-year study focusing on the role of teachers’ unions in state politics, a qualitative case study on teacher contract implementation in California school districts, and a multiple case study of the micro politics of bargaining negotiations in California and Michigan.


Tina Vo
Assistant Professor
Teaching & Learning

Tina Vo earned a PhD from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln focused on science education and technology. Dr. Vo specializes in supporting elementary (K-8) teachers and students to engage in science practices (e.g., asking questions, using models, thinking computationally). As a former middle school teacher, she believes in developing collaborative spaces for teachers and preservice teachers to develop and support critical thinking, encourage the consumption and implementation of relevant information, and personal reflection on learning. To that end, current research focuses include making and modeling towards solving community problems, preparing elementary science teachers for 21st-century classrooms, and the role of epistemological considerations in classroom negotiations. Other research interests include games and simulations tied to scientific modeling, technology integration to support science in elementary contexts, and professional development supporting elementary teachers’ engagement with science and educational geology.


Xin Zhang
Visiting Assistant Professor
Early Childhood, Multilingual & Special Education

Xin Zhang was born and raised in China and earned her bachelor’s degree in English education. Xin came to the U.S. as a visiting scholar teaching Chinese language and Chinese history in the University of Texas at Brownsville, where she completed an MAIS in English and history and government as minors. She also completed a second M.A. in East Asian studies at the University of Arizona, where she received her Ph.D. in language, reading and culture with an emphasis in bilingual and multicultural education. Xin’s total experience ranges from classroom second language teacher in both public school and university levels to preservice language teacher educators in the U.S. and China. Her research focus is on ESL teacher preparation and development through community-based field experience. Specifically, she explores ways to build on and integrate family and community language and culture resources into English and content areas of teaching.