Michele Acker-Hocevar’s research interests are centered on broad areas of organizational behavior (leadership, decision making, and power, i.e., social justice) and theory (how organizations learn and adapt to change (e.g., school development and improvement). She has been particularly interested in how schools (and universities) as organizations address such issues as poverty, partnership power, and organizational learning, through their response to external mandates such as standards-based reform. Dr. Acker-Hocevar used action research to study the college through survey research, archival data, and reflective journaling while she was the president of the college faculty assembly. Her research is mainly collaborative as she believes research should not only contribute to the body of knowledge in her field, but engage her in socially constructing new knowledge with other colleagues in her field. She is leading a national study, co-sponsored through the University Council of Educational Administration, of how principals across the U.S. are addressing three areas: social justice, school improvement, and building democratic community.
Dr. Acker-Hocevar teaches classes in educational leadership such as the improvement of instruction, organizational behavior, and courses related to organizational theory and the study of organizations through qualitative inquiry. She teaches in the certification, M.Ed. and doctoral programs and is primarily involved in counseling doctoral students in educational leadership. Prior to coming WSU in 2008, she was a full professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Florida Atlantic University, where she taught the capstone doctoral course in the program called Action Learning. This course won a teaching in innovation award from the university, and was a recurring $5,000 annual award.
- Acker-Hocevar, M., Ballenger, J., Place, W., & Ivory, G.(Eds.) (In-Press). Snapshots of School Leadership in the 21st Century: Perils and Promises of Leading for Social Justice, School Improvement, and Democratic Community (The UCEA Voices from the Field Project).UCEA sponsored publication. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.
- Snyder, K. J., Acker-Hocevar, M. & Snyder, K. M. (2012). Living on the edge of chaos Leading schools into the global age. Ximnin Sang and Shuhua Sang (Trans.) Beijing China: Educational Science Publishing House.
- Acker-Hocevar, M., Cruz-Janzen, M.I., & Wilson, C.L. (2012). Leadership from the groundup: Sustainable school improvement in traditionally low performing schools. Charlotte, NC Information Age Publishers.
- Acker-Hocevar, M., & Touchton, D. (2011). A model of power as social relationships: Teacher leaders describe the phenomena of effective agency in practice. In Eleanor Blai Hilty (Ed.), Teacher leadership: The "new" foundations of education (pp. 239-264). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishers.
- Washington State University, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology, Service Award, for exemplary service to the University Council for Educational Administration, 2011
- Acker, M., Cruz-Janzen, M.I., & Wilson, C.L. (2010). The impact of two policies on principal and teacher preparation programs: No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In J. Zajda (Ed.), 12 volume book series, Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research (pp. 103-126). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media, B.V.
- Ph.D., Interdisciplinary degree, with a cognate in Organizational Studies and a specialization in Educational Leadership, University of South Florida, 1994
- M. Ed. Administration, University of Idaho, 1982
- B. A. Psychology, Certification in Early Childhood Education, University of North Carolina- Asheville, 1974; Certification in Middle School Education, 1976; Certification in Gifted Education, 1976