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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Education and Community Innovation section in this catalog.



The educational leadership faculty prepares candidates as building and district leaders who are committed to the success of faculty and students P-12 through the engagement of relevant and rigorous experiences, intentional teaching, reflective practice, and authentic assessments which are aligned with the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards.


Believing that schools function as social and political entities as well as for the growth of individuals, the College of Education and Community Innovation prepares teachers and leaders a) to enhance the academic and personal potential of their students, and b) to evaluate the social and ethical implications of educational policies and practices.


Service to others: We value being relationally aware and respectful of our professional relationships while honoring differing perspectives of a collaborative, active working environment.

Scholarly research and professional learning: We value scholars who engage in critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, ethical behavior in decision-making and lifelong learning as they produce scholarship and conduct research that inform the profession and can be applied in authentic P-12 settings.

Teaching: We provide access to a quality program that is student centered.

Leadership development: We value all voices and diverse perspectives in leading with integrity and developing a growth mindset in all of our students to advocate for social justice.

We value reflective thinking and engaging in respectful discourse to challenge our thinking and enhance our practices.

We value faculty who are successful practitioners whose instruction is grounded in theory as well as delivered in authentic contexts.


Nationally recognized by the Specialty Program Association: Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) Michigan Department of Education.

Minimum Number of Credit Hours for Graduation: 30


Admission to the educational specialist degree in leadership program requires the following:

  • A master's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Essay/personal statement indicating how this degree will support candidates' personal and career goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Two from a professional, addressing your leadership skills and success. One from an individual who can address your academic/scholarly capabilities.
  • Current resume must include the following:
    • Title of master's project or thesis, degrees received with dates, institutions, majors, and minors.
    • Listing of employment.
    • Description of leadership experience, dates, and location.
    • Presentations, publications, memberships, and professional development.

Graduate Outcomes

Student success is measured using the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards. These standards are applied throughout the program and within the final culminating "Theory into Practice" experience. Students demonstrate their success in the education specialist program through practitioner research, internship, and development of a professional portfolio demonstrating competence in national leadership standards.


Core Courses

Requires 18 credits, including:

Educational Administration Cognate

Requires nine credits, including:

Culminating Experience

This three-credit-hour culminating experience is likely to take the form of a practicum that will result in a portfolio, containing documents that address the standards and provide evidence of the understanding and ability to apply leadership concepts to practice.

Students must apply in advance for the culminating experience. Advisor approval is required. Application deadlines: May 15 for fall enrollment, September 15 for winter enrollment, and February 15 for spring/summer enrollment.

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