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Dr. Ifeoma A. Amah

Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Amah received her Bachelors and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  She is an assistant professor, who joined UTA in the fall of 2010 after a Chancellors’ Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her research centers on issues of school inequalities in the K-12 education context in order to increase academic opportunities and outcomes for underrepresented groups in higher education.  Her scholarly inquiry includes African American education, postsecondary access and equity, school university partnerships and urban education. She is pursuing these areas of research as a means to examine how those most impacted by educational inequities experience the systemic conditions in schools, communities and society and to identify alternatives to these conditions. She is a 2012-2013 Service-Learning Faculty Fellow.

Service Learning Class

EDAD 5388 Education Policy Issues in the Public Schools.

This course is designed to be an introduction to education policy issues in the U.S. public schools at the K-16 education levels, emphasizing the policies and institutions that affect educational leaders most directly. This course is critical in nature, meaning that issues such as race, class, gender, privilege, equity principles and social justice will be discussed throughout the semester.

While certain concepts and topics may create discomfort, tension, and/or challenge us, the purpose of the readings and the goal of the course requirements are to interrogate the impact of education policy on diverse populations.

Academic Outcomes

1. Gain an understanding of the role of federal, state, and local institutions as well as the process for policymaking as it relates to the U.S. K-16 education system.

2. Identify concepts, theories and perspectives used to examine K-12 and higher education policies in public schools.

3. Examine the role of educational leaders and practitioners in using their leadership skills as advocates, makers, and implementers of policies and social change.

4. Enhance their writing, critical thinking, research, and/or analytical skills.

Service Learning Project

Many education and social policies (e.g. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™), Title I, Top Ten Percent Plan, etc.) are often developed and implemented with limited input from various stakeholders (e.g. educational leaders, teachers, students, families, etc.).  The purpose of this service learning project is to provide graduate students, who are aspiring K-12 and higher education leaders with opportunities to learn about educational and community leaders experiences with an educational or social policy and generate useful resources related to a policy influencing the leaders professional work. Therefore, graduate students will partner with a leader from an educational institution or community organization in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex to accomplish the following goals:  

  1. Conduct an interview with an educational or community leader to learn about the ways in which an education or social policy shapes the leadership, teaching and learning capacities of her/his institution or organization.
  2. Develop a policy memo with details about a policy that: a) the education or community leader is interested in learning more about and/or b) is influencing his/her work at the institution or community agency/ organization.