Educational Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. May non-matriculated students take graduate courses for credit before applying?
2. When are applications due?
3. How intensive is the curriculum? (For example could one expect to take a full course load as well as hold down a full time job?)
4. Are there opportunities for scholarships and graduate assistantships?
5. Is there a student handbook I should know about?
6. What are the courses required for USM’s Assistant Principal Certificate of Graduate Study program?
7. What are the admission requirements for USM’s Assistant Principal certificate program?
8. When are courses offered?
9. How often are the courses offered?
10. Where are the courses offered?
11. Who teaches the courses?
12. What are the benefits to completing USM’s Assistant Principal certificate program?

1. May non-matriculated students take graduate courses for credit before applying?

Non-matriculated students may take two classes that are designated as classes available to them.  They may also choose to take a third and fourth class, but only with the approval of the department after submitting their application.

To download an application

2. When are applications due?
Application deadlines are September 1, October 15, February 1, March 15, and May 1. Your application must be completed and submitted prior to the dates.

3. How intensive is the curriculum? (For example could one expect to take a full course load as well as hold down a full time job?)
There is a tremendous amount of variability in terms of how long an individual requires completing the program.  In order to be considered a full time student, one must take at least 9 credit hours per semester.  Most students take classes at night as a part-time student while continuing to have a full-time career.  Those who are interested in becoming full-time students should not expect to be able to work full-time in addition to completing the course work.

4. Are there opportunities for scholarships and graduate assistantships?
Yes.  There are multiple scholarships available and awarded each year within the School of Education and Human Development.  These scholarships typically range from $100 to $1500.  Students can also apply for graduate assistantships.  These positions will be offered to degree students taking at least six credit hours per semester while employed.  A student may be offered a part time position (10 hours/week), or a full time position (20 hours/week).  The pay rate for graduate assistantships usually equates to approximately $15.00/hour. 

To learn more about scholarships and assistantships

5. Is there a student handbook I should know about?
There is not currently an educational leadership handbook.

6. What are the courses required for USM’s Assistant Principal Certificate of Graduate Study program?
USM requires the following course work for completion of our Assistant Principal certificate program:

EDU 659: Special Education Law for School Leaders
EDU 670: Introduction to Administration
EDU 671: Organizational Behavior
EDU 678: School Law
EDU 679: Evaluation and Supervision of School Personnel

7. What are the admission requirements for USM’s Assistant Principal certificate program?
Our Admissions page for the requirements.

8. When are courses offered?
In the fall (September through December) and spring (January through May) semesters, courses are generally offered one evening a week for 2.5 hours for 14 weeks.  Courses usually begin around 4:00 pm and end around 6:40 pm.  In the summer, course schedules vary greatly due to offereings available.

9. How often are the courses offered?
EDU 670: Introduction to Administration is generally offered in both the fall and spring semesters. EDU 671: Organizational Behavior is generally offered in both the fall and spring semesters. EDU 678: School Law is generally offered in the spring and summer semesters. EDU 679: Evaluation and Supervision of School Personnel is generally offered in the fall and spring semesters. And EDU 659: Special Education Law for School Leaders is offered each semester.

10. Where are the courses offered?
The courses are offered on a cyclical basis on the Gorham and Portland campuses as well as occasionally online or in a blended format.  A blended format is a course that includes online work as well as in-person sessions.

11. Who teaches the courses?
The Educational Leadership Program has a variety of faculty and instructors that teach our certificate program courses, but some faculty regularly teach a specific course. Dr. Joseph Capelluti teaches EDU 671. Dr. Anita Stewart-McCafferty teaches EDU 679.

12. What are the benefits to completing USM’s Assistant Principal certificate program?
Our certificate program course work is pre-approved by the Maine State Department of Education.

Upon completion of the certificate program, text is added to the student’s official transcript stating that they completed our certificate program.  Students also receive an actual certificate of completion.

Another added benefit is that our Assistant Principal certificate program courses fully transfer into our Master’s of Science in Education in Educational Leadership program, assuming that the courses are less than five years old and have a grade of B or higher. Our Master’s of Science in Education in Educational Leadership program leads to principal certification with the state of Maine.