Valentine Fellowship Supports Future Educational Leaders

Jerry Valentine, MU College of Education & Human Development
Dr. Jerry Valentine

Often defined as the “love of humanity,” the word philanthropy dates back hundreds of years. There are countless charities and organizations worthy of philanthropic investment, but when we invest in education, we contribute to changing lives and addressing real-world issues. For Dr. Jerry Valentine, that real-world issue is PK-12 educational leadership. Nationwide, we need more teachers and administrators, specifically, good principals. Typically, one feeds the other. However, we lacked philanthropic support for doctoral students wishing to become professors of educational leadership, especially for students who also have experience as school administrators. Dr. Valentine took note and decided to do something about it.

In 2010, upon retiring from the University of Missouri after more than 30 years of service and advising more than 130 doctoral students, Dr. Valentine established the Jerry W. Valentine Fellowship for the Study of School Leadership. He said, “the notion of a fellowship, a more significant support system for a doctoral student, seemed to me to be an obvious issue.” Arguably, no one impacts school well-being more than a great principal. “It is the position that makes the most significant difference, certainly in a school. If you have an effective principal, student academic successes go up,” notes Dr. Valentine.

How can we as educators scale up those successes? Just as Dr. Valentine advised more than 130 doctoral-level researchers in building-level leadership and comprehensive school improvement, graduate students who receive this fellowship and complete our program will do the same. And lead countless others to do so as well. “I think the best of both worlds is having been a practicing school administrator, and successful at it, and then having a quality degree from a quality university. Folding those together to move into the professoriate and mentoring and leading others to do the same,” per Dr. Valentine, is what motivated him to establish the fellowship, as graduates of this program will become significant leaders in educational leadership across the country.

Who better to teach and advise future academic leaders than those who have walked the walk? Contact the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis (ELPA) to learn more!

The Jerry W. Valentine Fellowship for the Study of School Leadership is specifically designed to support future professors who have real-world administrative experience and are interested in furthering the knowledge base of school-level leadership through research and mentoring of future generations of doctoral students interested in the same field of study.

  • Funding support of $10,000/year for up to two years.
  • Prior experience as a successful building-level school administrator is required.
  • Ph.D. commitment (PK-12 Educational Leadership) is required.
  • Must obtain a GRA (graduate research assistant) position in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis to be eligible to apply for the fellowship.
  • Preference is given to students that have prior experience as a school principal.
  • Preference is given to students with career aspirations to teach and mentor future leaders at the graduate level.
  • Preference is given to students with the capacity to conduct quantitative research and the commitment to supervising dissertation research in building-level leadership and/or comprehensive school improvement.