Master's Degree Programs in Educational Leadership
Individuals interested in serving in a leadership role within their school system can pursue a master's degree in educational leadership. Potential students will learn about the curriculum and admissions criteria for these master's programs.
Example Coursework for Master's Degree Programs in Educational Leadership
Master's programs in educational leadership will prepare educators to serve in leadership roles such as a principal, district superintendent, and other administrative leadership positions. The curriculum for educational leadership master's programs may include courses on the following areas of study: administrative leadership and implementation; leadership in the educational system; the role of curriculum in educational leadership; legal issues within the educational system; diversity within the educational system; and, the role of research in educational leadership.
Administrative Leadership and Implementation
As an educational administrator, individuals will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of their school system. Master's programs will provide the necessary training in administrative areas like the following: setting budgets, developing human resources policies, managing facilities, utilizing technology and understanding the procurement process. Coursework may also focus on the ethical side of educational leadership and the relationship to individual integrity. Students will learn about leveraging school personnel to create and implement a shared vision for student success, developing an institutional culture, and creating a strategic plan.
Leadership in the Educational System
Students pursuing a master's degree in educational leadership will often learn about the current best practices and relevant legislation for their local educational organization, state, and national levels. They will learn effective leadership strategies for utilizing personnel and financial resources to create the best learning environment for students. Leadership courses may also focus on how graduates can implement changes within their educational system, along with the political, legal, and social aspects that affect leadership.
The Role of Curriculum in Educational Leadership
Students may take courses on how they will utilize curriculum in their role as educational leaders. Topics of study could include the benefits of data-driven decision making to enhance the learning process. These courses could also cover current issues educators are facing, along with how educational leaders can assist with the creation of curriculum and educational programs and development of metrics to analyze their effectiveness.
Legal Issues Within the Educational System
Educational leadership master's programs may provide students with a basic overview of educational law that could include the duties and requirements of serving in an educational leadership position. These courses could cover topics such as school law and educational policies at both the state and national levels. Educational legal classes may also cover the legal rights of students.
Diversity within the Educational System
Master's programs in educational leadership will often include classes on diversity within the educational system in order to prepare students to provide leadership within a diverse educational system. Students may study federally-funded programs, often referred to as special programs, which provide well-rounded curriculum to meet the needs of a broad student body. Courses on diversity within the educational system may also cover topics such as state and national reading programs, gifted and talented education programs, English as a Second Language education programs, and special education programs. Students may also analyze how these special programs can affect students' success in the classroom.
Role of Research in Educational Leadership
Students may learn about utilizing research in their role as educational leaders, such as quantitative and qualitative research processes. Some courses may train students on utilizing data and scholarly research articles to complete an action research project that deals with a current educational issue. Other courses on the role of research in educational leadership may focus on training students on how to develop a prospectus. Areas of study may include various research methods, research design, processes of educational empirical research, components of research writing, and honing analytical skills for professional educational literature.
Admissions Criteria for Master's Degree Programs in Educational Leadership
Applicants will need a bachelor's degree in order to be eligible for a master's program in educational leadership, and for some programs, a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) may be required. Other admissions criteria can include an active teaching certification, two years of relevant work experience as a teacher, and a clear criminal background check. The admissions process for most master's programs in educational leadership is now electronic and may include the following: an online application with an application processing fee that is non-refundable, letters of recommendation or reference contact information, a statement of purpose or a letter of intent, a resume, official transcripts, and a copy of an active teaching certification.