James Marshall, Ph.D.

Jim Marshall

Ed.D. in PK-12 School Leadership Program Co-Director & Professor
Department of Educational Leadership



Primary Email: [email protected]


Primary Phone: 619-594-0153


North Education - 162C
Mail Code: 1190


Dr. James Marshall’s life-long work lies at the intersection of people and the organizations in which they work—and optimizing the synergy that fertile convergence holds. His scholarship, teaching, and consulting combine our understanding of human performance and organization development to assess strengths, devise strategy, and improve even the most vexing of challenges. Engagements have found him evaluating everything from virtual reality-delivered training for active shooter containment, to devising strategy that improved the community-focused impacts realized by the national network of over 150 public television stations.

Dr. Marshall currently serves as Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University (SDSU), in the #1 ranked California State University (CSU) College of Education. During his post as Director, SDSU’s Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) became the largest doctoral program across the 23-campus CSU while, at the same time, achieving increased racial and gender diversity. At the conclusion of his five-year Directorship, SDSU’s Educational Administration programs were ranked for the first time on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 list of the nation’s top graduate education programs, premiering at number 26 nationwide. Prior to his current appointment, he held tenure-line positions in both Educational Technology and Learning Design and Technology. In further support of California’s educator preparation, he has been appointed to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Board of Institutional Reviewers, for which he has been designated a Team Lead for accreditation review.

With over 200 publications to his credit, Dr. Marshall’s scholarship encompasses a diverse range of works that include empirical research, program evaluation efforts, and policy development. His program evaluation endeavors are particularly significant and include over 250 individual studies of funded projects and program investments totaling over $120 million dollars. This work has been funded by diverse agencies that include the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Library and Museum Services, the Public Broadcasting Service, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Transportation Security Administration. His work with state and local education agencies, school systems, and regional offices of education encompasses 40 of the 50 United States.

Internationally, Dr. Marshall has influenced human and organization performance through his service on the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI) Board of Directors. Here, his needs assessment-focused research assisted the organization in better understanding its audiences and needs, as it reformulated its long-term strategy and support of learning leaders worldwide.

In his private practice, he serves as a thought partner to leaders seeking to hasten the collective impact of their organization’s investments. From assessing strengths and needs, to conceptualizing strategy and program initiatives, and then measuring return on investment, Dr. Marshall’s unique approach relies on a proven mix of assessment and evaluation, appreciative inquiry, and empathic understanding that predictably yields quantifiable results. Clients particularly note his ability to use data—with novelty and persuasion—to drive change.

Dr. Marshall’s first book, which summarizes lessons learned through evaluation of hundreds of programs in both the public and private sectors, is currently in press with Corwin for May 2023 release. Titled Right from the Start: The Essential Guide to Implementing School Initiatives, the book supports leaders of all types in assessing strengths and needs, and then building responsive initiatives that yield predictable benefits to organization and individual alike.


  • Ph.D., San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University
  • B.A., M.A., San Diego State University

Awards & Honors

  • 2023 SDSU Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award


  1. Hauze, S., & Marshall, J. (2022). Validation of the instructional materials motivation survey: Measuring student motivation to learn via mixed reality nursing education simulation. International Journal on e–Learning, 19(1), 49-64.
  2. Marshall, J., Price, E., & DeLeone, C. (2020). Near–Peer Facilitated Making for Underserved Populations: Lessons Learned through Program Evaluation. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 30(4), 561-576.
  3. Marshall, J., & Garrison, V. (2020). Price watershed heroes: Optimizing program impact through program evaluation and continuous improvement. Journal of the International Zoo Educators Association, 56, 36–40.
  4. Gonzalez, A. O., Marshall, J., & Fisher, D. (2019). Leader preparation programs initial responses to the California Administrator Performance Assessment. Educational Leadership and Administration: Teaching and Program Development, 30, 35–55.
  5. Hauze, S., Hoyt, H., Greiner, P., Frazee, J., & Marshall, J. (2019). Enhancing nursing education through affordable and realistic holographic mixed reality: The virtual standardized patient for clinical simulation. In P. Rea (Ed.), Biomedical visualization. London: Springer.
  6. Marshall, J. (2018). A comparison of evaluation practices based on e–learning and mobile learning delivery rates. International Journal on E–learning, 17(1), 17–38.
  7. Marshall, J. (2018). Bringing the zoo to hospitalized children: Program evaluation results. Journal of the International Zoo Educators Association, 54, 32–37.
  8. Marshall, J., & Fisher, D. (2018). Making preparation practical: Reducing aspiring administrator time to competence through five types of leaderly thinking. Journal of School Administration Research and Development, 3(1), 74–80.