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Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership

Prepare for certification in these educational leadership roles: school principal, curriculum coordinator, or administrator or assistant administrator of special education.

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Program Overview

Gain the credentials to serve in expanded PK-12 leadership roles such as school principal, curriculum coordinator, or administrator or assistant administrator of special education with the Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine (USM).

Aligned to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), this MSEd program offers you a rigorous in-depth study of proven leadership skills and practices. Throughout the program, you will learn to apply research-based instructional techniques, establish clear learning standards and multiple forms of assessment, delve into the holistic role of teaching, and reflect on current best practices, learning strategies, and growth mindsets in your chosen field of education.

As part of the curriculum, you will be able to apply your learnings in real-world scenarios through an embedded internship. This includes 240 hours of field experience and features a research project.

money icon $15,480 Total Tuition
calendar icon as few as 14 months Program Duration
hourglass icon 36 Credit Hours
money icon $15,480 Total Tuition
calendar icon as few as 14 months Program Duration
hourglass icon 36 Credit Hours

The University of Southern Maine is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), 1140 19th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-223-0077.

Have questions or need more information about online programs?

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In earning the MSEd in Educational Leadership, you will achieve the academic qualifications needed to satisfy Section C of administrator requirements, instead of taking a formal assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the administration strands leading to certification as a school principal, curriculum coordinator, or administrator or assistant administrator of special education 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
  • Supervise and evaluate teacher performance and provide positive mechanisms for the improvement of practice
  • Understand and apply knowledge about adult learning and teacher development

Choose from these certification strands

  • School Principal
  • Curriculum Coordinator
  • Special Education Director

Have questions or need more information about online programs?

Tuition

Our goal is for you to earn a high-quality degree that will help improve your career and income without taking on considerable financial debt.

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$15,480 Total Tuition
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$429 Per Credit Hour

Calendar

The MSEd in Educational Leadership online program offers convenient multiple start dates each year to accommodate your professional and personal schedules.

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Ready to take the next step toward earning your graduate degree online from the University of Southern Maine?

Admissions

The MSEd in Educational Leadership online program has specific requirements that applicants must meet to enroll. Please read the admission guidelines to ensure you qualify.

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2.5 Minimum GPA
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Teaching Certificate
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2 years of teaching experience
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3 Professional References

View full admission requirements [+]

  • Online application
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Official transcripts (submitted directly from the granting institution) from all colleges/universities attended
  • Valid teaching certificate (exceptions can be made for applicants with strong justifications)
  • At least 2 years of teaching experience (student is expected to complete third year of teaching throughout the program)
  • One letter of recommendation
  • 3 professional references (in the online application)
  • Statement of purpose/essay (in the online application) [+]

    Upload your essay in PDF format in the online application or email your essay to edocs@maine.edu

    Teaching is a learning profession. "When teachers stop learning, so do their students." –Roland Barth. How do you envision yourself as a teacher and a learner in the Professional Educator program?

Official transcripts (submitted directly from the granting institution) and other supporting documents may be mailed or emailed.

Mailing Address:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Email Address:
edocs@maine.edu

Courses

For the MSEd in Educational Leadership online program, you will complete a total of 10 courses equaling 36 credit hours.

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EDU 659: Special Education Law for School Leaders

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course acquaints prospective school leaders at the building and district level with the general principles of special education law as found in the interpretation of constitutional and statuary provisions by the higher courts. Laws governing pupils, teaching personnel, administrators, and boards of education will be stressed.

EDU 600: Research Methods and Techniques

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course studies the concepts, principles, and techniques of educational research with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and problem-solving, designed for both the producer and consumer of educational research. Individual critiques and research reviews are completed.

EDU 603: Analysis of Teaching and Assessment

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course provides an opportunity to view teaching from the perspective of selected conceptual frameworks and research findings in the theory and practice of teaching. Analysis of individual teaching behavior is an important aspect of this course.

EDU 604: Curriculum Development

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course provides students with an understanding of curriculum and curriculum development. Using a collaborative approach, teachers and administrators plan the design of a curriculum consistent with personal ideals and a given context. Students analyze the curriculum in terms of knowledge, skills, learning processes, and affective dimensions. Special emphasis is given to the processes of curriculum implementation and curriculum evaluation.

EDU 670: Introduction to Educational Leadership

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The course has two major foci: the characteristics of good leadership and the skills of effective educational leadership. Since many students who enroll in this course are exploring a career transition into administration, a goal of the course is to give participants a clear understanding of the decisions faced by educational leaders, the skills and knowledge necessary to perform effectively, and to give participants an opportunity to explore strategies for balancing the demands of the job, personal commitments, and responsibilities.

EDU 671: Organizational Behavior

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course will explore the interactions between individuals and the systems in which they live and work. Organizational behavior is the utilization of theory and methods of academic disciplines for understanding and influencing behavior in people in organizations. Individual and group level of analysis are included in covering such topics as diversity, perception, communication, motivation, power, group development and performance, innovation, quality, individual effectiveness and development, leadership, and intergroup behavior.

EDU 677: Seminar in School Management

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course, through the use of case studies, simulations, readings, presentations, and discussions will focus on students: (1) learning the nuts and bolts needed for daily management, (2) examining current issues facing the principalship, (3) learning strategies for managing and understanding oneself within the principal's role, (4) studying specific financial skills required of the principal and, (5) articulating positions on current educational practices, and developing an educational leadership philosophy.

EDU 678: School Law

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course acquaints students with general principles of school law as found in the interpretation of constitutional and statutory provisions by the higher courts. Laws governing pupils, teaching personnel, and boards of education and special education will be stressed with particular emphasis on Maine school law.

EDU 679: Evaluation & Supervision of Teaching

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This is an introductory course focused on evaluating and supervising teaching performance. As the teaching students may supervise ranges from preschool through adult education in a variety of subject areas, this course offers a framework of supervisory concepts and asks students to apply these concepts to the settings and clientele they would likely encounter. The major product of this course is a platform for articulating one's beliefs and espoused practices for evaluating and supervising teaching in a setting specified by the student.

Choose the internship elective that aligns with your preferred strand.

EDU 685: Internship in School Administration

Duration: 21 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 9

This nine-credit course combines the 240-hour internship field experience with the development of an applied research project in educational administration. The early focus of the course is on the internship in a school setting designed jointly by the student, the internship supervisor, and a school-based field supervisor. The internship is designed to encourage application of formal coursework to the management issues that face school leaders in the workplace. Out of the internship activities students complete a journal, develop a leadership platform (portfolio), conduct an investigation on an aspect of financial management and a study of community demographics and formulate a leadership project based on an issue of importance to the school. Each student will be required to produce a written report on the project and to defend it verbally at the conclusion of this course.

EDU 686: Internship in Special Education Administration

Duration: 21 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 9

This nine-credit course serves as the capstone experience in the educational administration program for aspiring special education directors. The internship is designed to immerse the student in the everyday tasks of the special education director, providing an opportunity for the student to actually apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout the educational leadership program. The early focus of the course is on the internship in a district setting designed jointly by the student, the internship supervisor, and a district special education director. Out of the internship activities students complete a journal, develop a leadership platform (portfolio), conduct an investigation on an aspect of financial management related to special education and a study of community demographics/child find and formulate a leadership project based on an issue of importance in special education at the school or district level. Each student is required to produce a written report on the leadership project and to present it at the conclusion of the course. Prerequisite: Instructor permission. Taken at the conclusion of a student's program.

EDU 688: Internship in Curriculum Administration

Duration: 21 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 9

This nine-credit course serves as the capstone experience in the educational leadership program for aspiring curriculum coordinators. The internship is designed to immerse the student in the everyday tasks of the curriculum coordinator, proving an opportunity for the student to actually apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout the program. The early focus of the course is on the internship in a district/central office setting designed jointly by the student, the internship supervisor, and a curriculum coordinator. Out of the internship activities, students complete a journal, develop a leadership platform (portfolio), conduct an investigation on an aspect of financial management related to special education and a study of community demographics and formulate a leadership project based on an issue of curriculum/instructional importance to the district/school. Each student is required to produce a written report on the leadership project and to present it at the conclusion of the course. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

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