Master of Arts in Educational Leadership


Mary Katherine Hamilton

Madame Cadillac Bldg., Rm. 217

Direct: 313 927-1362


Educational Leadership


Master of Arts in Educational Leadership leading to School Administrator Certification


The MA in Educational Leadership is designed to prepare candidates with advanced knowledge and skills in leading and managing a school committed to the success of all students. The program focuses on preparing candidates to serve as the instructional leader in the school, ensuring both a supportive environment and rich learning experiences for students and adults. Candidates learn to effectively engage the systems within which schooling is embedded by understanding and applying principles of system theory in their planning, decision making, and change processes. They examine the relationships among social justice, school culture and student achievement and are challenged to work for a school vision and culture of high expectations and equitable opportunities for all students.  Additionally, candidates gain foundational knowledge in organizational theory and educational research. 

The program consists of 30-33 credit hours of coursework, consisting of 11 courses. All classes follow the National and State Standards for the Preparation of School Principals and have been approved for K-12 Administrative Certification.  The program is offered totally online.  Field experiences are built into all courses.


Master’s degree candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a teaching certificate. They are also required to develop a career plan and meet all requirements stated in the Graduate Admissions section of the catalog.


In order to graduate candidates must have completed 30-33 graduate credit hours in the State approved courses and maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA). The complete listing of all applicable graduation requirements is included in the academic policies section of the Graduate Catalog.



EDL 512 Organizational Theory and Management (3)

EDL 515 Executive Leadership and Decision Making (3)

EDL 516 Managerial Finance (3)

EDL 529 Introduction to Management and Leadership (3)

EDL 537 Curriculum Theory and Development (3)

EDL 602 Introduction to Educational Research (3)

EDL 627 Legal Issues in Education (3)

EDL 647 Supervision of Staff and Staff Development (3)

EDL 677 Internship I (3)

EDL 687 Internship II (3)

ELECTIVES (3 credits)

Choose one of the following Urban and Social Foundations courses:

SOC 506 Racial and Ethnic Diversity (3)

SOC 593 Urban Social Issues (3)


Note: Field experiences and field hours are required in all courses.

EDL 512 – Organizational Theory and Change

3 credits

This course is designed to study organizational principles and organizational systems, theories and processes affecting leadership, and management of planned change.  It will also focus on the roles and responsibilities of school leaders as they address a set of beguiling challenges that schools face today and are likely to face for the foreseeable futures.  The main goal is to expand students’ perspectives on these organizational and curricular challenges, and thereby to assist them as potential leaders in forming enlightened approaches to address them. 

EDU 515 – Executive Leadership and Ethical Decision Making

3 credits

This course will focus on the theories of leadership and their influence on educational systems.  It will develop problem analysis and solution skills and ethical approaches to decision making. The role of decision-making and appropriate models for the executive will be stressed.  The student will gain an understanding of the information needs of education decision-makers and how such needs can be met. The emphasis is on data driven decision making and organizational learning.

EDL 516 – Managerial Finance

3 credits

This course will focus on sources of funding for schools with an emphasis on equity and adequacy of funding formulas for all students. It includes both human and financial resource allocation to improve student learning. It will cover reporting financial operations and the preparation and utilization of financial data for internal applications, including decision-making and budget preparation with an emphasis on long range and strategic planning forecasting.

EDL 529 – Introduction to Management and Leadership

3 credits

The course is designed to analyze the components of educational and curriculum leadership necessary to improve instruction in K-12 education institutions.  The focus is on the development of a personal and coherent vision of effective institutions including knowledge of alternative visions, the design of steps to achieve a vision, the knowledge and attitude needed to affect changes in programs.  Students will be introduced to the concepts of systems and systemic thinking. Issues facing educational leaders, with a focus on principals in K-12 education, will be considered in the context of the educational administrator as the chief architect of school improvement and change.


EDL 537 – Curriculum Theory and Development

3 credits

This course studies the theories of curriculum, curricula development reform, school reform, and diversity issues for the principal role as instructional leader. This includes the implications of curriculum theory for supervision of instruction, staff development and school improvement as a means to improve student learning. A review of philosophical, cultural, and technological foundations underlying curriculum development is also presented.  This course is appropriate for administrators, school supervisors of specific content areas, and personnel involved with staff development, curriculum development and instructional leadership responsibilities.

EDL 602- – Introduction to Educational Research

3 credits

This course is designed to prepare administrative candidates for their role as educated consumers of research and as researchers.  The course will examine principles and procedures for studying and producing educational research.  It will also introduce the basic vocabulary, concepts, and methods of research.  Students will learn to analyze educational research, plan and conduct their own research studies, and report research findings effectively and accurately.  The emphasis will be on application of research principles.  Additionally, the course will present a framework for analyzing, evaluating and critiquing research.

EDU 627 – Legal Issues in Education

3 credits

This course will focus on the legal rights and responsibilities of administrators, students, teachers and community.  It emphasizes pertinent and landmark court cases that have shaped educational policy and individual rights and responsibilities of students, teachers, parents, and community. It focuses primarily on all schools funded by federal, state and local government. This class is appropriate for administrators and teachers. 

EDU 647 – Supervision of Personnel and Staff Development

3 credits

This course will focus on the ways of facilitating staff effectiveness in achieving professional goals and improving instruction. The course includes skill building with regard to choosing or designing programs for staff development, supervisory skills, evaluating performance, and conducting follow-up conferences. 

EDL 677 – Internship I

3 credits

This course provides field experiences and in-depth analysis of the demands, realities, and expectations of practicing administrators. During this course the candidate completes an Action Research Project on the school organization and needs. The Action Research Project concludes with the candidates recommendations for organizational change as defined by assessment data. The results of action research project will be incorporated into the EDL 687 Practicum Internship.

EDL 687 – Internship II

3 credits

This course consists of a supervised practicum experience for administrative candidates to demonstrate competency of the Michigan Standards for the Preparation of School Principals. Candidates will be required to engage in several administrative duties, responsibilities, and activities such as, organizational leadership, curriculum development, and supervision and evaluation of staff during the practicum experience. Students will develop a plan of work that will be approved by the instructor and site administrator. The onsite administrator and college supervisor will evaluate the students’ performance during the practicum experience.

Elective – Urban and Social Foundations: One Course Required

SOC 593 – Urban Social Issues

3 credits

The course will present an analysis of selected topics on the social concerns of urban life. An interdisciplinary Social Sciences approach is used to investigate the roots of these urban problems, their consequences for individuals, communities and societies, and strategies to deal with them.

SOC 506 - Racial and Ethnic Diversity

3 credits

The course will present an analysis of the social, economic and political aspects racial/ethnic relations in the United States and the effects of diversity on various racial and ethnic groups.

Financial Aid Available

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