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.

Catholic School Leadership Option: Students who are interested in Catholic school leadership would have the option to include a Catholic School Leadership course (described below) as part of their 30-unit MEd program. This course could be taken in place of EDUC 5XX: Ethical Leadership in an Era of School Reform.

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).

School Leadership Specialization Courses

3 units

EDUC 5XX

Data Driven Decision Making

Data Driven Decision Making

Rigorous exploration of how school leaders use data, including standardized and school-based assessments, to drive continuous improvement through site-based decision-making for the express purpose of promoting equitable and culturally responsive opportunities for all students. (PSEL #3 & 10).

3 units

EDUC 503

Instructional Leadership

Instructional Leadership

This course addresses the development, implementation, and assessment of rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment designed to promote each student’s academic success. Targeted focus on effective strategies to develop the professional capacity of teachers and other school personnel through effective hiring, coaching, mentoring, and accountability structures. (PSEL #4 & 6).

3 units

EDUC 555

Leading Professional Learning Communities

Leading Professional Learning Communities

Investigation of strategies used to build and sustain effective site-based professional learning communities. Targeted focus on how to structure school operations and leverage resources to prioritize professional learning, continuous improvement, and each student’s academic success and well-being. (PSEL #7 & 9).

3 units

EDUC 501

Family, School, and Community Partnerships

Family, School, and Community Partnerships

This course will address strategies used by effective school leaders to build and sustain reciprocal family and community partnerships and explore approaches designed to leverage these partnerships to cultivate an inclusive, caring, and culturally responsive school community. Targeted focus on working with stakeholder groups to support special populations including English Language Learners, Title I students, and Special Education students. (PSEL Standard #5 & 8)

3 units

EDUC 5XX

Ethical Leadership in an Era of School Reform

Ethical Leadership in an Era of School Reform

Contextualized within the evolving high stakes accountability context of public K-12 education, this course will consider the challenges and opportunities facing educational leaders. The course will examine the history and impact of national, state, and local reform movements, and explore how educational leaders develop, advocate for, and enact a shared mission and vision for excellence and equity within schools and districts. The course will include a focus on ethical and professional norms for school leaders and address legal rights and responsibilities. (PSEL
Standard #1 & 2).

3 units

EDUC 5XX

Catholic School Leadership (OPTIONAL)

Catholic School Leadership (OPTIONAL)

This course will address the opportunities and challenges of leadership within a Catholic school context. Topics addressed include the following: Leading a school-based faith community, the application of Catholic teaching to K-12 curriculum and instruction, and understanding and promoting the distinctive mission and philosophy of contemporary Catholic schools.

Core Courses

3 units

EDUC 520

Social Justice and Educational Equity

Social Justice and Educational Equity

Analysis of the American educational system with a particular focus on issues of diversity, inequity, conflict and social justice within a school context. Historical case studies, contemporary policies and practices, and international comparisons compel consideration of the social construction of education.

3 units

EDUC 521

Cognition and Learning

Cognition and Learning

Explore key cognitive studies on human cognition and learning. You will critically discuss research and contemporary debates on cognitive processes, learning, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, developmental mechanism, cognitive styles, motivation, and the socio-cultural foundations of learning with an emphasis on the implications for educators and educational researchers.

3 units

EDUC 522

Educational Research Methodology

Educational Research Methodology

Introduction to the major educational research methods and paradigms with an emphasis on reflective, practitioner-directed inquiry. The course encompasses quantitative methods, qualitative methods, mixed methods, and action research frameworks. Particular emphasis is placed on action research as a reflective and collaborate inquiry for improving educational practices.

3 units

EDUC 523

Qualitative Methods in Educational Research

Qualitative Methods in Educational Research

Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surveys, observations, document analyses, focus groups and interviews. Opportunity to learn and apply a variety of techniques to analyze data and interpret findings.

3 units

EDUC 550

Capstone Seminar

Capstone Seminar

Final course in the MEd Online program sequence. The capstone builds on the knowledge gained in previous research and specialization courses to support students as they engage in an action research project appropriate to their area of specialization and classroom needs.

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