Karen C. Bryant


Karen Bryant serves as Department Head and clinical associate professor in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the EDAP faculty, Dr. Bryant worked for 30 years in K-12 education; serving as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, district director of curriculum, district director of federal programs, and district leadership development mentor. She teaches current and aspiring leaders in courses that lead to educational leadership certification in Georgia and chairs doctoral committees for candidates who are working toward the EdD in Educational Leadership. Her research interests include collaborative partnerships between school districts and educator preparation programs and action research as a tool to prepare effective scholar-practitioner leaders. She has served as a consultant working with school districts in Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania on leadership development programs, strategic planning, and school improvement. Dr. Bryant received her Ed.D. from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Bryant is a Past-President of the Georgia Educational Leadership Faculty Association (GELFA). Under her leadership, GELFA launched a collaborative effort with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). The mission of the GELFA/GaPSC Virtual Learning Community is to advance communication and collaboration among educational leadership providers and partners, building capacity for educative policy implementation and effective practice. She is active in the International School Leadership Development Network and has presented papers and book chapters at international conferences.

Her service to the Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy Department at the University of Georgia includes active membership on Program and College of Education committees, including the Mary Frances Early College of Education Strategic Planning Committee. She serves as a liaison with leadership development personnel in K-12 school districts. She also serves as a mentor for two graduate students through the UGA Mentor Program.

Areas of Expertise

  • School and District Leadership
  • School District/University Partnerships
  • The Action Research Dissertation Model
  • International Educational Leadership


  • Collaborative Partnerships Between School Districts and Educator Preparation Programs
  • Action Research as a Tool to Prepare Scholar-Practitioner Leaders
  • The Role of Clinical Faculty in Research Universities



  •  Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, 2004
    University of Georgia
  •  Ed.S. in Educational Administration, 1993
    University of Georgia
  •  M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, 1983
    Mercer University
  •  B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education, 1974
    University of Georgia


 706-817-8442 (mobile)

Research Summary

Dr Bryant participates in research with LEAP colleagues as well as colleagues from other research universities and educational agencies in the state, nation, and internationally. Her collaborative research focuses on the effective development of school and district leaders with an emphasis on inclusive, equitable leadership. She works extensively with school district partners to enhance leader preparation.The COVID 19 pandemic spurred research on effective leadership to mitigate inequities during a crisis.

Recent publications: Welsh, R.W., Williams, S.M., Bryant, K., & Berry, J. (2021). Conceptualization and Challenges: Examining District and School Leadership and Schools as Learning Organizations. The Learning Organization, Special Issue.

Bryant, K., Berry, J.R., Christian, R., Davis, N., Dugan, M., Keefer, B., McRae, K., and Smith, S.T. (in press). Building a Stronger Leadership Preparation Model. Book chapter accepted for publication in Inclusive Leadership: From Theory to Practice. Volume 2 in the series, Contemporary Perspectives on Supervision, and Instructional Leadership. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.

Berry, J., Alford, B., Baran, M., Bryant, K., Hipp, K., VanHarpen G. (2021). The International School Leadership Development Network’s High Needs Schools Strand: Ten Years of History, Chapter in Barnett, B., & Woods, P. (Eds.) Educational Leadership for Social Justice and Improving High-Needs Schools: Findings from 10 Years of International Collaboration. International Research on School Leadership Series. Information Age Publishing.

Bryant, K., Berry, J., & Cevik, S. (2019). A south african high-needs school: A case of context driven by history. International Journal of Leadership Preparation, 14, 113- 127

Awards and Accolades

Jim Puckett Outstanding Educator Award

Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, 2019