Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 2004
School of Education
February 1, 2008
Jonathan Horowitz, Ed.D., Draws Upon 25 years in Public Education in Current Position as Principal of Connections Academy
After 25 years in public education, Jonathan Horowitz (UCI Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 2004) has found his self-described perfect job. He is the principal of Connections Academy, a public, virtual school that services almost 800 students in grades Kindergarten through eleven, with 12th being added in 2008-09.
Connections Academy, one of the largest virtual school programs in the country, with schools in thirteen states, is an accredited, full-time, public school program where students in learn outside the traditional classroom. As a public school “independent study” program, it is open to any student-tuition free. Students learn from home and work one-on-one with a state-certified teacher over the Web and a “learning coach” a parent or caregiver. The school provides a print-rich curriculum that combines high-quality textbooks and hands-on materials with unique technology tools.
“Virtual learning enables schools to deliver education via the Internet and allows educators to address the specific challenges of each individual student,” according to Dr. Horowitz. “As a secondary teacher and administrator, I was always struck by the number of at-risk kids who were allowed to leave our schools without graduating. In our classes are UCI, our cohort would often rail at the inflexibility of traditional schooling and ask, ‘Why don’t we provide an alternative model that worked with these students? No business would allow this type of customer leakage.’ I believe that Connections Academy particularly addresses the needs of these kids because it allows them to work at home, at whatever time, with a first-class curriculum, under the tutelage of credentialed teachers. Everything I envisioned in a better model — the flexibility, responsiveness, individualized instruction — is here in the Connections Academy model.”
The road to Dr. Horowitz’ self-described Valhalla was a varied one. Following high school in the San Fernando Valley he attended CSU Northridge and received a degree in biology and a minor in psychology. After receiving a teacher credential at CSU Long Beach, he attended U.C.L.A. and received a Master’s degree in Public Health. This led to four years teaching biostatistics and epidemiology at CSULB before leaving to become a Project Manager in charge of the employee health program for a large computer company in La Jolla, and later in Silicon Valley. He returned to the Southland to teach physics and chemistry at the high school level for almost twenty years. Subsequently, he entered administration with Capistrano Unified School District, ultimately becoming the Director of Student Services.
“I have been fortunate that every line in my resume has opened a door to the next level. Where I am today, and my future endeavors, is absolutely the result of my positive experiences in the doctoral program within the Department of Education at UCI. The program has the unique ability to dovetail what we need to know and allow us to explore the areas we want to know.”