The Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership focuses on the preparation of collaborative change agents for educational settings that promote equitable learning opportunities for all students. The program of study is designed to develop general leadership perspectives and specific technical skills for people assuming roles as teacher leaders, principals, special education directors, curriculum coordinators, or superintendents.
The educational leadership program is divided into three areas of study: administration, for certification as a school principal, as a curriculum director, or as a director of special education. All areas are appropriate for candidates desiring to serve as teacher leaders. Teacher leader candidates may instead wish to pursue the Teacher Leadership program. See the Master of Science in Education in Teacher Leadership section for program information.
There are two pathways for the Educational Leadership program:
- An on campus program that allows for different certifications in principalship, curriculum coordinator, or special education director;
- An accelerated online program that has a focus on K-12 school principalship
Graduates of the educational leadership program will be able to:
- evaluate research and use it as a tool to improve educational practice;
- analyze and understand teaching as a science, an art, and a craft and develop strategies for its improvement;
- plan, implement, and evaluate programs of instruction that promote learning for all students;
- establish clear learning standards and multiple forms of assessment of student learning;
- work effectively as a member of a team and as a developer of teaching and learning;
- demonstrate reflective practice tools, strategies, and habits of mind; and
- utilize appropriate communication when interacting with the internal and external environments.
In addition to these common outcomes, graduates of the administration strands leading to certification as a school principal, curriculum director, or director of special education programs will be able to:
- understand the culture of schools, leadership theories, and the impact of the leadership function;
- assess school climate and culture and develop a positive organizational environment for adult and student learning;
- understand the politics of decision making and how to make decisions that promote the school-wide agenda for teaching and learning;
- fulfill the daily operations and management requirements of the principalship or directorship;
- understand legal constraints and precedents which dictate educational policy and practice;
- supervise and evaluate teacher performance and provide positive mechanisms for the improvement of practice; and
- understand and apply knowledge about adult learning and teacher development.
Although the program may lead to certification as curriculum coordinator or other administrative roles, it is equally appropriate for the classroom teacher who simply wants to make a difference in her or his setting.