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. 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.

The Graduate Catalog is published annually. State-approved program checklists may be updated more frequently and are thus likely to provide the most up-to date information about requirements. A current program checklist may be obtained from the program office. Students should consult their advisors each semester before registering.

MA in Educational Leadership with Class A Instructional Leader certification

Admission Requirements

An entrance exam score (at least 300 on the GRE or the 50th percentile or above on the MAT) is needed for regular admission. In addition to meeting admission requirements of the Graduate School and the College of Education, applicants must meet the following additional requirements for admission to the Educational Leadership/MA program leading to Class A Instructional Leader certification:

  • 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 classroom 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.

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.

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

Degree Requirements

This course listing applies to those who begin this program June 1, 2017. A minimum of 30 hrs of appropriate graduate work, successful completion of a comprehensive exam, and passing scores on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment are required. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C.

Hours
Foundations of Professional Studies:
(Choose ONE of these SDE approved diversity courses.)3
History Of Amer Educn
Sociology Of Education
Multicultural Education
Found Educn Through Film
Readings In Soc Of Ed
Critical Race Theory In Educ
Multicult Soc Ed Leadershp
Ethics And Education
Educational Research:
BER 540Statistical Methods In Educ3
Instructional Support Area:
AEL 520Leadership for Communities *3
AEL 521Leadership for Improvement3
AEL 522Teaching and Learning3
AEL 523Human Resource Development3
AEL 524Ethics and Law3
AEL 525Management3
AEL 526Data Informed Decision Making3
Internship:3
Internship in Educ Leadership
Additional Requirements:
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course was not part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours30-33

* SDE-approved diversity course

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

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

Admission Requirements

Minimum requirements include:

  • 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 classroom 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, and
  • submission of a writing sample in a sit-down format and a review by the program admission committee.

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

Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.25 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C. Successful completion of a comprehensive exam and passing scores on the appropriate Praxis subject assessment are required.

Hours
AEL 520Leadership for Communities *3
AEL 521Leadership for Improvement3
AEL 523Human Resource Development3
AEL 524Ethics and Law3
AEL 525Management3
Internship:3
Internship in Educ Leadership
SPE 500 is required if a special education survey course was not part of the undergraduate program or another graduate program.0-3
Total Hours18-21

* SDE-approved diversity course

Certification

To be awarded Alabama 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 subject assessment,
  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.