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Specializations & Curriculum

School Leadership

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Taking School Leadership to the Next Level

The School Leadership specialization is designed for experienced K-12 educators who aspire to leadership roles within their schools and communities. The School Leadership concentration features a five-course specialization sequence that addresses essential areas of school leadership including data driven decision-making, instructional leadership, professional learning communities, meaningful engagement with families and communities, and ethical and professional norms. All courses are grounded in a social justice foundation and are designed to prepare school leaders who advance equity and excellence in their schools and communities.

Students who graduate with a M.Ed. specializing in School Leadership will be well prepared to complete the examinations and/or performance based assessments required by their individual states for administrative credentials.

Course of Study

Earn this online Master of Education degree specializing in School Leadership by completing 10 courses (3-units each) for 30 units of coursework. The online Masters in Education program consists of five foundation courses including a capstone action research project as well as five specialization courses. You may begin your study in any semester with any of the courses offered. The Capstone Seminar is the final course in the program and builds on knowledge gained in the research and specialization courses. Course descriptions reference the ten standards of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL).

*Note: Courses are not approved for the Education Administrative credential required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to be an administrator in a California public school.


At a Glance

20 months
30 Units
$710
January 10
December 2

PROGRAM COURSE CURRICULUM

The Master of Education with School leadership specialization program spans over five different semesters which includes a mandatory orientation course. Each semester is fourteen weeks and is split into two different courses. The first course is seven weeks and the second course is seven weeks. Below is a sample outline of what the span of the Master of Education with School Leadership specialization program may look like:

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Orientation

This course introduces you to the University of San Diego and provides important information about the program. Throughout the orientation, …

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Semester 1

Course Units

Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surve…

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3

Rigorous exploration of how school leaders use data, including standardized and school-based assessments, to drive continuous improvement th…

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3

Semester 2

Course Units

Analysis of the American educational system with a particular focus on issues of diversity, inequity, conflict and social justice within a s…

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3

Contextualized within the evolving high stakes accountability context of public K-12 education, this course will consider the challenges and…

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3

Semester 3

Course Units

Introduction to the major educational research methods and paradigms with an emphasis on reflective, practitioner-directed inquiry. The cour…

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3

Investigation of strategies used to build and sustain effective site-based professional learning communities. Targeted focus on how to struc…

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3

Semester 4

Course Units

Explore key cognitive studies on human cognition and learning. You will critically discuss research and contemporary debates on cognitive pr…

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3

This course addresses the development, implementation, and assessment of rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and asses…

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3

Semester 5

Course Units

As a Masters student in Learning and Teaching, candidates have the option of three culminating final projects: studies employing action rese…

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3

This course will address strategies used by effective school leaders to build and sustain reciprocal family and community partnerships and e…

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3

Success stories

I was nervous about an online graduate program when I first applied because of not being able to interact with others in a brick and mortar environment. Yet, between the tremendous support from my professors, the administration, and my peers, the entire program was beyond exceptional.

I chose University of San Diego for the nationally ranked and recognized programs they have to offer in Education. USD’s reputation of serving quality education in a brick and mortar environment led me to believe that their online environment would do the same. It did!

The academic experience has been very reflective, fruitful, inspiring and empowering. I have yet to find a lesson that hasn’t influenced me in the way that I see the world that I’m working and living in. I love it!

The M.Ed online program through USD was great! I chose the Curriculum and Instruction program and it allowed me a lot of choices so I could take a range of classes and explore different areas. All of my professors were supportive and available and they made it clear they wanted me to succeed. I would recommend this program to anyone!

I gained so much more within my teaching pedagogy. I feel more confident as an educator. I fell in love with action research and grew into a reflective practitioner.

This program will give you the inspiration, the spark that you need to rekindle that fire of passion.

Great teachers, great curriculum, and the materials that they choose are really thought out. It’s made me a better person.

As a school-based leader, I used the knowledge I gained at USD on a daily basis to support teachers and new leaders in the creation of classroom spaces that purposefully integrated technology and 21st Century Literacy Skills. Furthermore, I felt more confident leading across lines of difference and worked to instill this knowledge in my teachers. Finally, because this program is research-based—with a focus on academic writing—I was well prepared to enter my doctoral program with the confidence necessary to successfully complete the rigors of that program.

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