About Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies: ELSIT

*Fall 2016 Application Deadline - June 1, 2016
*Spring 2017 Application Deadline - November 1, 2016

Message from the Department Chair

Welcome to the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies, or ELSIT. We are the newest department in the Graduate College of Education, yet we exist to address some of the oldest, most complex, and persistent challenges in education and society—power, inequality, leadership, technology, and learning.

ELSIT is a complex and highly interdisciplinary department with an array of exciting programs, faculty, and students, ranging from challenging graduate programs to community outreach programs for underserved populations that bring in high school students and community members for their first undergraduate experience.

We sincerely invite you to join us. You will find a vibrant, stimulating community of intellectual inquiry and meaningful praxis focusing on issues of equity and social justice in education.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you are ready for a thoughtful educational challenge. Our priority is your success.

Cordially and with respect,

Doris Flowers
Professor and Chair, ELSIT
Email: dflowers@sfsu.edu
Phone: 415-338-2614

Administrative Office Coordinator

Our ELSIT Administrative Office Coordinator (AOC) is Anarose Schelstrate. Anarose is the key point of contact to answer any logistical or administrative questions regarding admissions or advancement that may arise as you progress through the program.

Anarose may be contacted as follows:

Email: aschels@sfsu.edu
Phone: 415-338-1653
Hours: M-F 8-12, 1-5
Location:  Burk Hall 239

Vision and Mission

ELSIT is a dynamic leader in integrating:

  • educational leadership and administration
  • teaching, learning, and research
  • lifelong learning and scholarship
  • emerging technologies and pedagogies
  • collaboration and networking


Social Justice Leadership

The department prepares professionals to critically examine inequities and work to eradicate them via practices that reduce gaps in achievement and opportunities to learn, and to enable all individuals to reach their full educational potential.


Culture of Community

The department builds a community of practice across faculty and students to prepare education professionals to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers. Students acquire interpersonal fluency and digital expertise required to engage in leadership as socially responsible practitioners and global citizens.



ELSIT (Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies) was formally established as a new department in the Graduate College of Education in Fall, 2012. The department was formed out of two pre-existing departments: DAIS (Department of Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies) and ITEC (Department of Instructional Technologies). After over a year of thoughtful collaborative planning and discussion, the faculties of DAIS and ITEC voted to join forces to create the new, dynamic, and proactive educational unit called ELSIT.


Both DAIS and ITEC have long histories of multiple decades in the Graduate College of Education. At the time of the founding of ELSIT, DAIS was already an interdisciplinary department, consisting of multiple programs dating back to the 1970s, and even earlier. ITEC was formed as a department in the early 1980s, and has long been on the cutting edge of technological and learning innovations in education.


Departmental Advisors

The following faculty members and staff are responsible for advising in each of the department’s programs:


M.A. in Education, Adult Education Concentration

Dr. Doris Flowers (BH 267) 415-338-2614 dflowers@sfsu.edu A-M last names

Dr. Ming-yeh Lee (BH 391) 415-338-1081 mylee@sfsu.edu N-Z last names


M.A. in Education, Educational Administration Concentration and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (Tier I)

Dr. Davide Celoria (BH 246) 405-3659 dceloria@sfsu.edu


M.A. in Education, Equity and Social Justice Concentration

Dr. Doris Flowers (BH 267) 415-338-2614 dflowers@sfsu.edu A-M last names

Dr. Ming-yeh Lee (BH 391) 415-338-1081 mylee@sfsu.edu N-Z last names


M.A. in Education, Instructional Technologies Concentration

Dr. Patricia Donohue (BH 166) 415-338-7833 pdonohue@sfsu.edu

Dr. Zahira Merchant (BH 163) 415-338-6384 zahiram@sfsu.edu


M.A. in Education, Special Interest Concentration

Dr. Deborah Curtis (BH 305) 415-338-1076 curtis@sfsu.edu A-M last names

Dr. Helen Hyun (BH 267) 415-338-6449 hhh@sfsu.edu N-Z last names


Step to College Program

Christine Trowbridge (BH 322) 415-338-2027 ctrowbri@mail.sfsu.edu


Transfer Articulation Bridge Program

Paul Mendez (BH 220) 415-338-2899 huichol@sfsu.edu


Degrees, Credentials, and Programs

For full a description of all the ELSIT’s MA Degree programs, please see the University Bulletin.

M.A. in Education, Adult Education Concentration

This program is designed for graduate students who wish to pursue advanced studies on adult learning and educational processes. Program graduates work as leaders in a wide variety of contexts addressing the increasing need for adult education activities in literacy programs, community colleges, the workplace, community-based organizations, and many other settings.


M.A. in Education, Educational Administration Concentration and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program (Tier I)

The Educational Administration program is designed to help candidates acquire knowledge and skills that are essential for effective performance in leadership, supervisory or administrative positions. The curriculum generally includes the following activities: theory and practice under simulated conditions in the classroom; application and analysis of theory in a real situation, usually the candidate’s school or district; and application and performance supervised by a school or district supervisor or administrator. The Master of Arts is regarded as the professional degree for educational administrators. It is possible for the candidate to enroll in a program of studies leading to either a credential or a master’s degree only or both.


M.A. in Education, Equity and Social Justice Concentration

This program addresses issues in culture, language, ethnic, and gender diversity in education. A major component is social activism. The program focuses on theoretical, historical and political perspectives of race, class, gender, language, and sexual orientation as they apply to the theory and practice of education. The pedagogies and teaching philosophies modeled in the classes are facilitative, interactive, and participatory utilizing critical thinking, critical reflection, demonstrations, simulations, dialogue, and other methods of instruction to gain insight into issues related to equity and social justice.  

Students pursuing this degree are interested in social change that will not only affect the educational direction of our schools (both, public and private) but will also impact policy changes necessary to the pursuit of equity and justice in all sectors of society. Career opportunities may include but are not limited to advanced study (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) in higher education, research work, non-profit work, specialists within public school systems, or community-based work. This program does not offer a teaching credential; therefore if students are interested in teaching in public schools, they must obtain a teaching credential in either multiple or single subject areas.


M.A. in Education, Instructional Technologies Concentration

The program provides three areas for graduate study: e-learning design and development, including multimedia development; training design and development; and technology integration for teachers. In addition, the program offers a supplementary authorization in instructional computing for K-12 teachers who complete twelve units of course work in that area. The program offers most of its courses in a hybrid format, called HyFlex, which allows students to choose between attending class in person in the classroom, or attending class online using a combination of online technologies. Other classes may use fully online or traditional hybrid formats combining classroom and online delivery methods.  

The program prepares students for careers as instructional designers, trainers in corporation ad public service agencies, instructional multimedia designers and producers, specialists in instructional computing and instructional software design, and computer-resource teachers. Graduates of the program include corporate trainers, training consultants, instructional materials designers, computer instructors, multimedia developers, instructional software developers, video producers, and classroom and laboratory computing teachers. The program emphasizes the instructional systems approach, instructional message design, practical design experience, technical skills development, and project-based instruction.  During their studies, students develop portfolios that may include computer-based instruction, print-based, video and e-learning, or mobile technology-based instructional programs.


M.A. in Education, Special Interest Concentration

The program is designed to allow graduate students to design and complete, under advisement, a program of specialized study that emphasizes a particular issue or problem in education. It is expected that students’ programs will be interdisciplinary in nature, and that students will display considerable independence in identifying appropriate courses that will comprise their area of specialization. Applicants to the program must specify their area of interest and confer with a program adviser about objectives, study plans, and procedures prior to admission.

People who have completed the MA degree in Education with a Special Interest Concentration have found work in a variety of settings, including: (1) public school district settings, where graduates work as curriculum developers, specialized mentor teachers, resource teachers, and school reform leaders; (2) non-profit organizations, where graduates work as community service coordinators; (3) public non-formal school settings, where graduates work as environmental center leaders, museum educators, public parks and recreation educators, and education specialists for philanthropic foundations; (4) government agencies, where graduates work in county, state and federal education-oriented agencies in fields such as migrant education and Title I education; and (5) the private sector, where graduates work as staff developers, human resource specialists, media specialists, and conflict mediators.


Community Outreach Programs

Step to College Program

The mission of the Step to College program is work to empower underrepresented high school students with the belief that knowledge available through higher education is necessary to accomplish their educational goals. The program was first instituted in 1986 in San Francisco, designed to promote higher education among underrepresented minorities and low-income students who would otherwise not have the opportunity or the means to attend college. The program is a collaborative effort between public high schools and the ELSIT Department to motivate young people in realizing the educational goals.

In 2010, Step to College received the President’s Higher Education Community Service Award, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to community service. In the past 25 years, the program has grown to serve over 13,000 students who achieve academic success throughout the Bay Area.

For further information, go to: Step to College Program


Transfer Articulation Bridge Program

The TAB program is designed to ease students' transition between City College of San Francisco and SF State, particularly for those from low-income, first generation, and underrepresented backgrounds. The program allows City College students to concurrently enroll in an SF State class that introduces them to the campus and its student support services. The class, which is free of charge and takes place on the SF State campus, also allows students to earn three units of college credit before they transfer to the University. It is a proactive approach to retention

First established in 1985, the program helps students get acclimated to the university before they officially enroll. When they do transfer to the university, they quickly get connected. Each class typically includes about five formerly incarcerated students. Nearly 400 students have taken part in TAB in the past decade, and more than 50 percent have successfully transferred to SF State or other four-year colleges.