Educational Leadership

MSEd in Educational Leadership

The Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership focuses on the preparation of collaborative change agents 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 a 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 instead 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 teaching and 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.

Tk20 Subscription:

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship year are required to subscribe to Tk20 (Watermark), a comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system. Students use Tk20 (Watermark) to provide evidence they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program.  For loan purposes, TK20 (Watermark) is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs.  The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year.  Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website at http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program-completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).  

 

Certification as a School Principal (36 credits)

     EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
     EDU 603 Analysis of Teaching and Assessment or
     EDU 617 Teaching in the Middle Level School
     EDU 604 Curriculum Development or
     EDU 615 Middle Level Curriculum
     EDU 659 Special Education Law for School Leaders
     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 603 Analysis of Teaching and Assessment or
     EDU 617 Teaching in the Middle Level School
     EDU 604 Curriculum Development or
     EDU 615 Middle Level Curriculum
     EDU 659 Special Education Law for School Leaders
     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 and Assessment or
     EDU 617 Teaching in the Middle Level School
     EDU 604 Curriculum Development or
     EDU 615 Middle Level Curriculum
     EDU 659 Special Education Law for School Leaders
     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 Teaching
     EDU 686 Internship in Special Education Administration (three semesters, nine credits)

Applicant Qualifications

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 program, 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 administrator certification.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline:

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

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: $65.00 paid through the online application.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Essay (see below);
  • 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.
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.
  • Completed Teacher Credential Summary Form;

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Applicants whose first language is not English

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation

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.