2013-14 Catalogs

MSEd in Educational Leadership

The master of science in education in educational leadership focuses on the preparation of leaders for educational settings that promote equitable learning opportunities for all students. The program of study is designed to develop general leadership perspectives and specific technical skills for people assuming roles as teacher leaders, principals, special education directors, curriculum coordinators, or superintendents.

The educational leadership program is divided into three areas of study: administration, for certification as school principal, as a curriculum director, or as a director of special education. All areas are appropriate for candidates desiring to serve as teacher leaders. Teacher leader candidates may also wish to pursue the Professional Educator. See the Master of Science in Education: Professional Educator section for program information.

Graduates of the educational leadership program will be able to:

  • evaluate research and use it as a tool to improve educational practice;
  • analyze and understand teaching as a science, an art, and a craft and develop strategies for its improvement;
  • plan, implement, and evaluate programs of instruction that promote learning for all students;
  • establish clear learning standards and multiple forms of assessment of student learning;
  • work effectively as a member of a team and as a developer of teaching and learning;
  • demonstrate reflective practice tools, strategies, and habits of mind; and
  • utilize appropriate communication when interacting with the internal and external environments.

In addition to these common outcomes, graduates of the administration strands leading to certification as a school principal, curriculum director, or director of special education programs 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 learning;
  • fulfill the daily operations and management requirements of the principalship or directorship;
  • understand legal constraints and precedents which dictate educational policy and practice;
  • supervise and evaluate teacher performance and provide positive mechanisms for the improvement of practice; and
  • understand and apply knowledge about adult learning and teacher development.

Although the program may lead to certification as curriculum coordinator or other administrative roles, it is equally appropriate for the classroom teacher who simply wants to make a difference in her or his setting.

Certification as a School Principal (36 credits)

     EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
     EDU 605 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
     EDU 603 Analysis of Teaching or
     EDU 617 Teaching in the Middle Level School
     EDU 604 Curriculum Development or
     EDU 615 Middle Level Curriculum
     EDU 670 Introduction to Educational Leadership
     EDU 671 Organizational Behavior
     EDU 677 Seminar in School Management
     EDU 678 School Law
     EDU 679 Evaluation and Supervision of School Personnel
     EDU 685 Internship in School Administration (three semesters, nine credits)

Certification as a Curriculum Coordinator (36 credits)

EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
     EDU 605 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
     EDU 603 Analysis of Teaching or
     EDU 617 Teaching in the Middle Level School
     EDU 604 Curriculum Development or
     EDU 615 Middle Level Curriculum
     EDU 670 Introduction to Educational Leadership
     EDU 671 Organizational Behavior
     EDU 677 Seminar in School Management
     EDU 678 School Law
     EDU 679 Evaluation and Supervision of School Personnel
     EDU 688 Internship in Curriculum Administration (three semesters, nine credits)

Certification as a Director of Special Education (36 credits)

     EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
     EDU 603 Analysis of Teaching
     EDU 671 Organizational Behavior
     EDU 677 Seminar in School Management
     EDU 678 School Law
     EDU 679 Evaluation and Supervision of Teaching
     EDU 686 Internship in Special Education Administration (three semesters, nine credits)
     SED 618 Programming for Learners with Special Needs
     SED 682 Special Education Law
     SED 684 Introduction to Special Education Administration

For course descriptions, please click here: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd

Minimum Requirements: Applicant must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program; Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied

In addition to the general requirements of the School, applicants to the educational leadership program should provide evidence of strong overall undergraduate performance and, in the administrative strand, are expected to have two years of teaching experience with the expectation of completing a third year of teaching during USM graduate study. The Maine Department of Education requires three years of teaching experience for administrative certification.

Application Deadline

Rolling with priority deadlines. May 1 for fall matriculation, October 15 for spring matriculation, and March 15 for summer matriculation.

  • Candidates should submit all application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.
Application must include:
  • A submitted online graduate admission application;
  • The application fee of $65.00;
  • Two sets of official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including USM;
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study.  Recommendations are easily submitted using our online application form. You will simply need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation. The recommendations should be from persons able to comment from direct knowledge of the applicant's potential for success as a building administrator, special education director, or teacher leader;
  • Essay (see below);
  • Completed Teacher Credential Summary Form;
  • Certification of finances (international students only).;
  • Submission of official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language);
  • Current resume.
Special Essay Question

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study. This should be a well-written, thoughtful personal statement.

Testing Requirement

Submit official TOEFL scores of 550 or higher on the paper-based test, 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher if the applicant is an international student whose first language is not English.

International students who have received their undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution may apply for a waiver of this requirement.

Transfer Credit

Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the educational leadership program if credits for the courses were earned no more than five years prior to matriculation, with grades of B or better. A syllabus for each course submitted for transfer credit must be provided upon application. Credits proposed for transfer may not have been used to qualify for a previously earned degree.

For previous work completed through the University of Maine System (UMS), up to twelve credits may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and they are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. Up to six graduate credits completed at institutions outside of the University of Maine System may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study.

Transfer of more than twelve University of Maine System credits or six non-University of Maine System credits may be approved by the program coordinator and faculty. These credits may include certificate of graduate study program courses and professional development in-service graduate courses. Requests for the transfer of credits taken more than five years prior to matriculation may also be evaluated and approved by the program coordinator and faculty.