M.S. in Educational Leadership
The Masters in Educational Leadership degree is a graduate program in which candidates attain professional certification in administration while gaining knowledge and skills in school leadership. This program is designed for the educator who holds a teaching certificate and wishes to complete the requirements for a principal or special education leadership certificate from area states.
The M.S. degree is 36 hours, which must be completed within 10 years. If a required course has been taken previously, an elective may be substituted. A tentative list of classes and calendar are part of our plan of study. The degree consists of 21 credit hours of required classes, 12 hours of concentration classes, and 3 hours of electives. Please see the Related Links to the left of the page.
Classes are scheduled to allow teachers to continue employment and complete the degree in a personalized timeline. The classes are scheduled to be accomplished through one night a week (fall and spring) and/or three days a week (June or July). Most students complete the degree in three summers or a combination of fall, spring, and summer classes in two years. Endorsement can be finished in as little as 18 months, depending upon individual goals.
Alternative FormattingOur classes are in a 50% face-to-face, 50% online/fieldwork format.
This allows students to meet regularly with faculty and peers to practice leadership skills together, while also offering flexible learning through technology. Typically, a class meets every other week; the off weeks provide a ‘flipped class’ where learning is done through reading, online interaction, and fieldwork to meet the student’s choice of learning times. Because classes are not on a weekly basis, we are able to combine 3 hour required classes with a one-hour course taught by a practicing professional.
This unique 3 + 1 format allows students to get a variety of perspectives and insights, and also to move through the coursework in 4-hour sections. Students on financial aid appreciate the 4-hour system, and the 3+1 also supports working teachers who only have to travel to campus one night a week. Some classes have other alternative formats, from week long to year long—to match the content.
Choosing an M.S. Degree or an Endorsement?
The endorsement option is available for those who have already earned a master’s degree in education and seek an administrative certificate. Options for PK-6, 7-12, and PK-12 principal certification, and special education leadership certification are possible to be added.
The three areas of concentration correlate to certification:
- Building administration concentration (principal)
- SPED leader (special education leadership)
- Teacher Leader (Does not lead to certification)
Those earning an endorsement do not complete the 3 hours of electives or the Comprehesive Exam included in the master's degree. Those earning a master's degree choose their certification by selecting the 12 hour concentration.
Those only earning or adding an endorsement complete any required courses not previously taken along with their concentration, but they usually apply to the program as Unclassified in Educational Leadership.