EDL 523 01: The Educational Plant

EDL 523 - The Educational Plant

2023 Summer Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 8678

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

This syllabus describes the requirements and procedures for EDL 523 The Educational Plan. You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced via Blackboard announcement with an accompanying email

Instructor Information

Dr. Jared Schlenker

Email: jared.schlenker@und.edu

Office: EHD #288 or Zoom: https://und.zoom.us/j/6327734190

2023 Summer Office Hours:
By Appointment

Office Phone: 701-777-3584

Cell Phone: 701-740-2961

About the Professor

Dr. Jared Schlenker has 19 years of experience in the field of K-12 education in the state of North Dakota.  He began his career as a secondary language arts teacher in 1998 and transitioned to the role of school administrator in 2007 when he became a secondary school principal. While working as a principal for ten years in two different districts, Dr. Schlenker also held the role of curriculum director, transportation director, athletic coach, and state accreditation team member. In his sixth year as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Schlenker is an instructor of leadership, finance, and communication courses for graduate students and also serves on the State of North Dakota's Council of Educational Leadership board as UND’s higher education representative. In addition, Dr. Schlenker is the Associate Chair for the College of Education and Human Development. 

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide a study of the planning, construction, modification, and maintenance of school buildings and complimentary facilities such as playgrounds, athletic fields and facilities, drop-off zones, and parking lots. This course will include appraisal of school facilities and techniques for developing and using input from the community and building and program audits.

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to: 

  • Discuss the importance of the physical environment on the teaching and learning process. NELP Standard 1, 7 

  • Explain the need for long-range planning in the development and maintenance of school facilities. NELP Standard 5, 6 

  • Identify current issues related to school facilities safety and maintenance. NELP Standard 6 

Course Materials

Earthman, G. I. (2019). Planning Educational Facilities: What Educators Need to Know. Fifth edition. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefied. ISBN: 1475844425 

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

This is an asynchronous online course. All course business will be conducted via Blackboard: discussions/participation, assignments, projects, etc. Every lesson contains a purpose, learning outcomes, and a variety of links to articles, video/audio files, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. New material will be available on every week on Mondays by 9 am and assignments are due by 8:59 am CST on Mondays of the subsequent lesson. See “Course Schedule” below for specific dates. Although this is an online course, it will still be a learning community, where we stay connected, collaborate, and mutually learn from each other. Discussions, blogs, wikis, surveys, quizzes, tests and assignments will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials. 

What Should Students Do First?

Prior to the start of the first week you should have purchased the text and reviewed the syllabus. 

How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities

On the left side course menu in Blackboard there is a “Lessons” tab. Inside Lessons you will find all the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. An overview and “To-Do List” of each lesson can be found in Blackboard under the Schedule tab. 


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.



Announcements will be posted periodically in Blackboard and will come with an accompanying email. 


If you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond back to you within 16 hours during the week or 48 hours during the weekend. 


Each lesson we will have at least one online discussion for you to participate in. You are expected to read and view all assigned discussion boards and VoiceThreads and provide thoughtful contributions. Instructions on how to create a substantive post and how to provide thoughtful comments will be provided in Blackboard. 


When participating in an online class, it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas. 


Paper (30%)

Problem-based Learning Essay60

Major Assignment 

Problem-based Learning Essay (60 Points) 

Students will choose 1 of the 8 Case Studies provided in the Earthman text (pp. 283 – 302) in which to provide an identification of the problem, an analysis of the scenario, and an action plan for the given school district. Students will approach the case study from the lens of a school superintendent and take into consideration several aspects of the content from the course when formulating their ideas. At least 5 chapter topics must constitute the organization of the essay. For example, one section of the essay may be entitled “How I Determined ‘Site Selection and Acquisition.’” A rubric will be provided and more information will be given within Lesson #1. The essay should be 3-5 pages single-spaced and will be due on Friday, June 23rd, at 8:59 AM CST. 

Discussion (70%)

VoiceThread Discussion (VT)40

VoiceThread Discussion (VT) (2 @ 20 points each = 40 points): 

The instructor will pose 2 discussion questions via VoiceThread by 9:00 AM CST on the designated Monday. Students’ initial video or audio response to the instructor’s questions should be at least 30 seconds in length and be completed by Thursday at 11:59 PM CST. Also, provide at least one video comment on each of the 2 prompts on other students’ posts throughout the week and by no later than 8:59 AM CST the following Monday. 


Journals (3 @ 20 points each = 60 points): 

Students will provide 3 journal entries (one page, single-spaced each). Entries may be prompted by several different activities. For example, when you read a chapter for that week’s lesson, you may write in your journal to identify key points from the chapter and how you can use the key points; and/or when you have opportunities or challenges in the work environment, you may want to consider what is happening in light of what you are learning in class. This is an opportunity to analyze and evaluate what youre studying with application to the external world. 

Written Discussion Board (WDB)40

Written Discussion Board (WDB) (2 @ 20 points each = 40 points): 

Active participation is key to learning the material in this course in a meaningful manner. Students’ initial discussion board “substantive post” should be posted by 11:59 PM CST on Thursday evening of the week. Your grade will be based on the quality of your initial post, impact on discussion of your comments to peers, and timeliness. Also, “thoughtful comments” on other students’ posts (at least twice) throughout the week and by no later than 8:59 AM CST the final Monday of the lesson. Your grade will be based on frequency of participation, quality of your comments, and professionalism. Instructions on effective posts and comments will be provided within the Blackboard site. 

Assessment Summary

Assignment                                               Final Grade

  • 3 Journals – 30%                                                        60 Points
  • 2 Written Discussion Boards – 20%                            40 Points
  • 2 VoiceThread Discussions – 20%                              40 Points
  • Problem-based Learning Essay – 30%                       60 Points

                  Total: 200 Points

Grading Scale

A 180 – 200 pts. 

B 160 – 179 pts. 

C 140 – 159 pts. 

D 120 – 139 pts. 

F 0 – 119 pts.

Final Grade Scale

> 89.5% A

79.5-89.4% B

69.5-79.5% C

59.5-69.4% D

< 59.4% F

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
5/15 Chapters 1 – 3 Organization & Policy Planning; Planning Considerations; Planning in Public Schools VT
5/22 Chapters 4 - 7 Long-Range Planning WDB
5/29 Chapters 8 - 10 Development of Capital Improvement Program; Developing Educational Specifications; Site Selection & Acquisition Journal
6/5 Chapters 11 – 13 Employing the Architect; Monitoring the Design Phase; Bidding the Construction Project VT
6/12 Chapters 15 – 17 Managing the Construction Phase; Orientation & Evaluation; Planning for Technology WDB
6/19 Chapters 19 - 21 Green Schools; Planning Schools for Safety; Problem-Based Learning Essay


Course Evaluation 

Near the end of the semester, you will be asked to complete an online course evaluation form (SELFI). Your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me. I read my students’ comments carefully and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it. 

  • When the time comes, please let me know which aspects of the course helped you learn—and which aspects might be modified to help future students learn more effectively.  

  • Please note that the course evaluations are anonymous and that I won’t see the results until after the grades for the course are submitted, allowing you to provide honest and constructive feedback.  

  • And if you have feedback to offer before the end of the semester, please let me know. 

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard. 

Late Work

All assignments must be submitted by the due dates posted in the course. The acceptance of late assignments is at the discretion of the instructor, provided that you contact the instructor before the due date and ask for an extension. All requirements for this course must be completed during the course dates. 

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback 

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities within two weeks. 

  • The instructor will be available during appointed Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.

Class Participation

Students are required to login regularly to the online class site. Students are also required to participate in all class activities such as discussion boards, journals, and VoiceThreads. 


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem is not resolved, meet with Dr. Sherryl Houdek. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.

College/Department Policies

In addition to Course and University Policies, the Colleges and/or Departments may have some of their own.  Please edit this section to add any polices for your college or department.  This could include things like mission statements, professional standards, ethical statements, etc.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email UND.dss@UND.edu or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or UND.dss@UND.edu. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu.

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).

UND Cares about Your Success 

Important information is available to you through Starfish, which is an online system used to help students be successful. When an instructor observes student behaviors or concerns that may impede academic success, the instructor may raise a flag that notifies the student of the concern and/or refer the student to their academic advisor or UND resource. Please pay attention to these emails and take the recommended actions. They are sent to help you be successful! 

Starfish also allows you to (1) schedule appointments with various offices and individuals across campus, (2) request help on a variety of topics, and (3) search and locate information on offices and services at UND. 

You can log into Starfish by clicking on Logins on the UND homepage and then selecting Starfish. A link to Starfish is also available in Blackboard once you have signed in.