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Department of Educational Leadership

Department of Educational Leadership

Faculty & Staff
Department of Educational Leadership
Aerial view of SDSU library

Dr. Cheryl James-Ward, Associate Professor

Photo: Cheryl James-Ward

Cheryl James-Ward is a Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a principal coach for administrators across California. She has served in her role as principal coach for the last 12 years. As a principal coach, Dr. James-Ward supports administrators in all leadership functions and duties.

Dr. James-Ward's research interests are centered on 21st century learning environments and instruction both in the United States and in China, and on principal coaching. Before coming to San Diego State University, Dr. Ward served in various K-12 administrative capacities including site principal, supervisor of low performing elementary and middle schools, and district/school administrator coach. Her diverse work experience spans from low socioeconomic school communities to affluent ones across the state of California.

Dr. James-Ward also has a great deal of interest in collaborating with countries like China and in building a global perspective for adults and children on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. She travels to China often and has built partnerships for SDSU. Dr. James-Ward also directs the Chinese and American Leadership Symposiums. This 5-day conference brings together administrators from China and the U.S.

Dr. James-Ward also directs the SDSU MA in Educational Leadership Online MA program which a focuses on leadership through the lens of technology. This program is ranked 11th in the nation by

Cheryl James-Ward joined higher education in 2007 after spending 18 years in the K-12 arena serving as math teacher, dean of discipline, vice principal, principal, principal supervisor and principal coach. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Ed.D. from the University of Southern California.

Dr. James-Ward has extensive publications. Her latest book is "Using Data to Focus Instructional Improvement" (with Drs. Fisher and Frey).

Contact information 

Cheryl James-Ward, Ed.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Office: NE162L
Department of Educational Leadership | 619-594-4063