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Dr. Heidi A. Schmidt Doctoral Dissertation Chair and Associate Professor

Dr. Heidi A. Schmidt

"This is a great time to expand your knowledge and your career options. Your new learning will create opportunities for you to grow and change into that transformational leader."


Degrees Held:

  • PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005
  • Master's in Educational Administration (Curriculum & Instruction) – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1981
  • Bachelor's in Elementary Education (Reading & Language Arts Concentration) – University of Wisconsin-Platteville, 1977

Career Highlights:

  • 36 years as a PK-12 educator and administrator—roles included teacher, associate principal, middle school principal and district administrator. I was the district administrator for 16 years.
  • 10 years as a doctoral instructor (four years in the online STU program)
  • Awarded a $200,000 grant to implement a three-tiered, K-12 school-based mental health program that was recognized by the Wisconsin State Superintendent

What do you want students to learn in these classes?

There is always a syllabus with the course outcomes and weekly announcements, but as a summary for any class, the following are what I would want for every student:

  • To be respectful and considerate of each other
  • To think critically and be able to ask questions or problem-solve
  • To be good communicators and collaborate with other members of their team
  • To be able to write with a scholarly voice
  • To be successful

Why did you start teaching?

My answer is probably the same as so many other educators. I started teaching because I loved students, wanted to continue to learn and wanted to pay the profession forward for the great education that I received.

I truly believe all students can learn, and my mission was always to make sure students had the quality educators and resources they needed to learn at the highest level.

What advice would you give to those considering this degree program?

This is a great time to expand your knowledge and your career options. Your new learning will create opportunities for you to grow and change into that transformational leader. Time management is critical in a doctoral online program, and making sure that you have the support to produce your best work will contribute to your success.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in this field?

  • Focus on using evidence-based practices
  • Understanding the research process
  • Power of communication and developing relationships with students
  • Collaboration and working as a team
  • Transformational leader, focused on learning

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

"In Praise of American Educators: And How They Can Become Even Better" by the late Richard DuFour.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.

We have five children and seven grandchildren who all reside in Wisconsin. We are Badgers.

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