Master of Arts in Educational Leadership leading to Class A Instructional Leader Certification (P–12)

(30 semester hours). The primary purpose of the Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership is to provide students with the initial certification in Alabama for Instructional Leadership in P-12 schools. Because the degree program is coterminous with the certificate, we call it the Instructional Leadership Program (ILP). The coursework provides students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the central concepts, tools of inquiry and structures of the field of instructional leadership for schools. Candidates learn to work with students, families and communities in ways that reflect the dispositions expected of educational leaders. The program content is consistent with state and national standards.

Admission

The requirements for admission to the Educational Leadership/MA program leading to Class A Instructional Leader certification include:

  • a valid Alabama Class B professional educator certificate in a teaching field or a valid Alabama Class A professional educator certificate in a teaching field or instructional support area,
  • a minimum of three full years of full-time, acceptable professional educational experience in a P-12 setting, which must include at least one full year of full-time P-12 teaching experience,
  • the submission of a portfolio before the interview,
  • an application to the educational leadership department, and
  • passing an interview conducted by the program committee.

Individuals must be unconditionally admitted to the Class A Instructional Leader program before enrolling in any leadership courses in the program.

The application portfolio must include:

  1. three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the applicant's principal or direct supervisor,
  2. a completed copy (all forms) of the most recent performance evaluation including the professional development component, if available,
  3. evidence of ability to improve student achievement,
  4. evidence of leadership and management potential, including evidence of most recent accomplishments in educational leadership,
  5. a summary of the candidate's reasons for pursuing the certification in instructional leadership, and
  6. a summary of what the candidate expects from the certification program.

Reduced-hour Option leading to Class A Instructional Leader (certification only)

Beginning Summer 2015, individuals holding a valid Class A professional educator certificate prior to admission to the Class A Instructional Leader program may apply for the reduced-hour option to pursue certification only.

Minimum requirements include:

  • valid Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or instructional support area
  • a minimum of three full years of full-time, acceptable professional educational experience in a P-12 setting, which must include at least one full year of full-time P-12 teaching experience
  • a graduate GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • submission of a portfolio before participation in the assessment process, which will include an interview
  • submission of a writing sample in a sit-down format and a review by the program admission committee

Certification

To be awarded Class A Instructional Leader certification, students must:

  1. maintain a GPA of at least 3.25 (effective July 1, 2017) on all courses with no grade below a "C",
  2. receive a passing score on a comprehensive assessment documenting mastery of the curriculum,
  3. successfully complete the internship and residency,
  4. receive a passing score on the required Praxis exam,
  5. complete a survey of special education course (SPE 300 Survey Spe Accomd Stratg or SPE 500 Intro Exc Childr/Youth) or its equivalent.

The certification programs of the department have been designed to fulfill current requirements of the Alabama State Board of Education. The state requirements change from time to time and, accordingly, the department's requirements and programs are subject to change.

Field experience objectives, including progression from observation through participation to leadership behaviors are embedded in each course and assessed by the faculty member of record for each course.

The program of study leading to Class A Instructional Leader certification is based on a cohort approach to instruction with cohorts being established annually. For admission forms and requirements, specific program parameters, departmental policies and contact information, please review the ELPTS website.