Teacher Education and Leadership


Our Program

The School of Teacher Education and Leadership is internationally known for its innovated research, teaching and scholarship. Our mission is to inspire and prepare reflective and effective educators, scholars, and leaders through student-centered learning experiences; diverse knowledge and thought; school, community, and global engagement; and research and innovation that inform practice. Applicants interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Education with an interest in the concentration area of Instructional Leadership are eligible for the PDRF. To learn more about the Ph.D. in Education, please visit the TEAL website.

TEAL’s PDRF student will be advised and mentored by Dr. Alyson Lavigne and housed in the doctoral concentration area of Instructional Leadership. Lavigne has achieved excellence in research, led research teams within single and multiple study sites, and has advised and engaged students of all levels on funded research. The PDRF student will work closely with Lavigne on her primary area of expertise—teacher supervision and evaluation. This line of research explores: Does principal feedback to teachers improve instructional practice?

The PDRF will support research activities (e.g., data management, collection, analysis) related to Lavigne’s Spencer Foundation Large Research Grant proposed three-year project, if funded. If not funded, the PDRF will conduct secondary analyses related to previously collected data as part of the Effective Feedback Project—a project that examined the quality and quantity of feedback that principals provide to teachers. Over a period of four years, the PDRF will be mentored by Dr. Lavigne on and gather rich experience in: data collection, data analysis, preparing research proposals for approval by Institutional Review Boards, dissemination of study results to educators, policymakers, and the larger research community, scholarly writing (for publication) and presentations (at local and national conferences), grant writing, and reviewing research proposals for national conferences. The PDRF will also be mentored in all aspects of the academic job market, including the: application materials and process, campus job talk, and the interview and job offer negotiation process. 

PDRF Perks
  • Four-year fellowship
  • $10,000 scholarship (each year for four years)
  • Full-tuition award (each year for four years)
  • Departmental Assistantship
  • Health insurance
  • Enrollment in Research Certification
  • Exclusive socials, special guests, and trainings
  • One-on-one support from the Associate Vice President

Application Requirements

Please contact Dr. Alyson Lavigne at alyson.lavigne@usu.edu with your questions.

  • Meet all School of Graduate Studies requirements for general admission to USU
  • Have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Complete your master’s degree in a related field
  • Apply to the Ph.D. program by February 1, 2022

Alyson Lavigne
Our Faculty

The Presidential Doctoral Research Fellow will work with Dr. Alyson Lavigne, an assistant professor of instructional leadership at Utah State University.

Using her training as an educational psychologist and classroom researcher, Lavigne has conducted research on teacher retention, teachers’ beliefs, teacher supervision and evaluation, and Latinx students’ experiences.  Her work has been featured in Review of Educational Research, Teaching and Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, Journal of Teacher Education, Education Policy Analysis Archives, and Humanity & Society and in three recent books co-authored with Thomas Good, Looking in Classrooms (11th ed.), Enhancing Teacher Education, Development, and Evaluation, and Improving Teaching through Observation and Feedback. Most recently, she has merged her interest in educational policy, specifically teacher evaluation, and teaching and motivation in schools that serve Latinx students to research instructional practices and leadership in schools that serve diverse youth and dual language learners. One such project includes a recently completed cross-cultural project funded by the Jacobs Foundation and conducted in partnership with Dr. Lotte Henrichs at Utrecht University: https://culturallyresponsiveteaching.sites.uu.nl/publications/. To learn more about Dr. Lavigne’s work, please visit her: USU Faculty Webpage, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and Twitter.

To learn more about the other faculty in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership, please visit: https://teal.usu.edu/directory/index.