Educational Leadership

Master of Arts in Education Degree - Educational Administration and Leadership

Students in this program must successfully complete all requirements for the Type 75 certificate before May 31, 2014 due to changes made by Illinois State Board of Education.

The graduate program in Educational Administration and Leadership is designed for educators who want to continue developing their professional commitment and competence while seeking an Illinois Type 75 General Administrative Certificate with a Principal endorsement. Graduate students in the program examine current educational theory and practice and explore a variety of viewpoints to reflectively develop their professional competence and leadership style. They explore social issues affecting teachers and students, and expand their awareness of and respect for the unique development of schools, teachers and students. During their course work, they consider effective collaboration with and accountability to students, parents, colleagues, and the community. Reexamining the development of values and professional ethics, candidates in this program gain greater intellectual and ethical insight.

The Educational Administration and Leadership program develops advanced proficiency in the Illinois School Leader and the Illinois Principal standards. Participants develop proficiency on the standards in three phases: first, an orientation to and self-assessment of the standards; second, development of the knowledge and predispositions required by the standards; and, third, demonstration of performances implementing the standards. Progress on the standards is evaluated throughout the program though a portfolio aligned with the standards.

Educational Administration and Leadership Professional Educator Model – Assessments

The McKendree Teacher Education Unit created a standards-based curriculum and assessment system for all programs. The programs incorporate standards that reflect the integration of content, pedagogy and professional studies. The unit’s Conceptual Framework links course work and the assessment system. A portfolio evaluation system was created as a systematic way of monitoring a candidate’s progression through the programs. A screening step takes place as candidates apply to the program. Candidates are required to meet screening criteria successfully and subsequently pass through program assessment points that define their progression through the program. Performance indicators are outlined for each gate. In order to complete the requirements for each gate, the candidate works with a faculty advisor while completing course work or field experiences. The candidate is then required to complete a final assessment based on program standards created by the unit. An interview, review or evaluation by the candidate serves to inform the faculty and validate the candidate’s progress in the program. The purpose of the McKendree assessment system is to ensure the preparation of candidates who demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions inherent in the Framework for Teacher Education Model.

All students in the Educational Leadership program are required to complete EDU 600 Professional Educator Seminar for Educational Leadership Programs (No credit, no fee, meets for 1 ½ hour) during the first semester of their program and to complete a portfolio at the end of their program to demonstrate their proficiency on the standards that reflect the McKendree Framework for Teacher Education Model.

Each Educational Leadership student is required to successfully pass through all four consecutive assessments that reflect a developmental progression through the program. All assessment expectations and criteria are outlined and presented to all students in a program orientation. In order to complete the requirements for the program, each student is assigned an approved graduate studies advisor who serves as the portfolio advisor and reviewer. At the completion of all coursework and the action research component, the student completes the portfolio requirements. Students assess their own proficiency on the six program standards and then submit the final portfolio for faculty review.

The Illinois Professional School Leader Standards require that principal candidates meet six standards prior to certification. The six standards relate to:

1.   Facilitating a Vision of Learning     

2.   School Culture and Instructional Program

3.   Management

4.   Collaboration with Families and Communities

5.   Acting with Integrity, Fairness, and in an Ethical Manner

6.   The Political, Social, Economic, Legal and Cultural Context

Gate 1: Admission to the Program (during first 8 credits)

The candidate formally applies to the Educational Administration and Leadership program prior to enrolling in the Professional Educator Seminar. The McKendree Graduate Admissions Committee and the Chair of the Educational, Health and Human Performance Division will review the applicant’s qualifications to confirm his/her eligibility. Candidates must register for the course EDU 600 Professional Educator Seminar for Educational Leadership Programs (No credit, no fee, meets for 1 ½ hour) during the first semester of enrollment. This seminar is provided each semester in various locations and is given by a graduate faculty member. This gate provides an orientation to the graduate program including the Framework for Teacher Education, program standards, policies and portfolio guidelines. It also provides a check on the match of individual professional goals with the program values and standards, a preliminary assessment of readiness on standards. Candidates also complete a technology competency assessment (CAT1) during the first semester of enrollment for graduate level candidates. If the results of the technology assessment administered to graduate level candidates identify a deficiency in the use of technology, the candidate is required to successfully complete an undergraduate prerequisite course on technology in education. The CAT1 technology assessment is a web-based technology assessment and tutorial based upon International Society for Technology in Education standards. The certificate awarded upon successful completion of the assessment is inserted as an artifact within the portfolio.

The following documentation is required for admission to the Educational Administration and Leadership program and completion of the first Assessment: 

1.   A completed graduate admission application. Apply online (no fee);

2.   Official transcripts from each college or university attended. Official transcripts are those that are mailed from institution to institution;

3.   A current vita or resume;

4.   Verification of two years teaching experience as a certified/licensed teacher

5.   A minimum 3.0 GPA on a four-point scale in undergraduate studies.  Applicants with a GPA below this may be conditionally admitted;

6.   Applicants may be required to participate in a personal interview to assess readiness for graduate studies;

7.   A copy of current teaching certificate for the Educational Leadership Emphasis;

8.   Completion of CAT1 technology assessment to ensure a minimum level of technology competency.

Gate 2: Prior to Principal Internship

Candidates continue to gather evidences from course work and their professional practice at this assessment point. Faculty members assess portfolio evidences within the context of their respective class. Candidates will continue to have their GPA progress monitored by their advisor and the graduate office. Candidates need to successfully complete EDU 641 Educational Research & Statistics and EDU 645 Action Research Planning in order to complete the Action Research component of the degree program. Completion of Assessment 2 includes: 

1.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4 point scale in all coursework.

2.  Completion of EDU 641 Educational Research & Statistics and EDU 645 Action Research Planning.

3.  Successful completion of Oral and Written Communication Assessment.

4.  Portfolio assessment.   The following minimum artifacts must be included in the portfolio:

a.  Statement of philosophy relating to education and the role of an administrator in education

b.  Analyses of employment contracts, job descriptions, and 
       evaluation systems

c.  Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to Fairness, Ethics

d.  Curriculum Design Project

e.  School Improvement Plan

f.  Issues Analyses Relating to School Law

g.  Research Paper Relating to Civil Rights in the School Setting

h.  Statement of Personal Vision, Professional Resume, Personal Growth and Professional Development Plan, Leadership Case Study Reaction Papers

i.  Sample School newsletter

j.  Statement of Philosophy for parent/community involvement with the school

k.  Outline for Strategic Planning

l.   Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to Fairness and Ethics in School Problems

m.   Student Handbook Analysis

n.   Class Schedule Project

o.   School Climate Analysis

p.   Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to Communication With Various Cultural, Ethnic, Racial, and Special Interest Groups

q.  Promoting Cultural Sensitivity Plan for a School

5.   A dispositions assessment.


Gate 3: Internship Completion

The 160 hour internship for candidates in the principalship is completed in a school under the joint supervision of a certified school administrator and the college. This course is designed to provide candidates with practical experience related to principal certification standards. Portfolio artifacts will be developed to show performance activities that meet all School Leadership and Principal certification standards. Practicum hours can be completed before, during and after the school day across a broad array of activities and responsibilities that reflect all aspects of the principal’s role in the school and required Illinois standards. Completion of Assessment 3 includes:

1.   Completion of 160 hour Internship (log signed by cooperating administrator).

2.   Completion of the following artifacts for the portfolio:

a.   Analysis of school finances

b.   Analysis of school building and facilities

c.   Analysis of family involvement and use of community resources

d.   Reflections on the school culture and instructional program

e.   Observe and reflect on student discipline actions

f.        Observe and reflect school’s use of library resources as a learning tool

g.   Applied technology project analyzing and reporting on student achievement

h.   Project related to school vision development

i.   Action research project


3.   Completion of Pathwise Framework for School Leaders evaluation by College Supervisor and Cooperating Administrator.

Gate 4: Prior to Entitlement

The final gate provides the summative evaluation of candidate performance on the program standards. The candidate and the faculty advisor review the portfolio. Candidates submit the portfolio to the graduate office for review by their faculty advisors. An interview may be required if the faculty member needs further clarification about the portfolio. Completion of Assessment 3 includes:

1.   Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all coursework.

2.   Completion of all coursework and requirements.

3.   Passing score on Illinois General Administrative (Principal) Test.

4.   Completion of EDL 699 Portfolio Assessment – Principal.

Portfolio includes the following artifacts:

a.   Curriculum Design Project

b.   School Improvement Plan

c.   Analyses of employment contracts, job descriptions, and evaluation systems

d.   Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to Fairness, Ethics

e.   Legal Issues analyses

f.   Research Paper Relating to Civil Rights in the School

g.   Analysis of a school district’s finances: sources of income, grants, expenditures by categories, bond issues.

h.   Analysis of a school building: Design; maintenance projects planned or needed; condition report; custodial cleaning schedule; custodial appraisal system; energy costs

i.   Statement of Personal Vision

j.   Professional Resume

k.   Personal Growth and Professional Development Plan

l.   Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to School Vision Development

m.   Sample School newsletter

n.   Statement of Philosophy for parent/community involvement with the school

o.   Outline for Strategic Planning

p.   Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to Fairness and Ethics in School Problems

q.   Student Handbook Analysis

r.   Class Schedule Project

s.   School Climate Analysis

t.   Case Study Reaction Papers Relating to Communication With Various Cultural, Ethnic, Racial, and Special Interest Groups

u.   Promoting Cultural Sensitivity Plan for a School

v.   Project Using Technology to Analyze and Report Student Achievement Data

w.   Research Paper Relating to Methods of Educational Research

x.   Design and Conduct an Action Research Project

y.   At Least Four Reports on Activities Relating to the Illinois Professional School Leader Standards (Principal)

5.   Dispositions Assessment.

6.   Interview by unit faculty if needed.


Proposed Course of Study - Educational Administration and Leadership (Principal)

Course Number

Course Title


EDU 600

Professional Educator Seminar  


EDL 601

Technology Applications for School Administrators  


EDU 615  

Contemporary Issues in Education 


EDU 611

Curriculum Theory and Design


EDU 612

Instructional and Curriculum Design

and Evaluation       


EDL 610   

Supervision of Instruction


EDL 620

School Law for Administrators  


EDL 625  

Finance and Facilities for Principals  


EDL 630 

Leadership Theory  


EDL 640 

School and Community Relations


EDL 650   



EDU 641  

Educational Research & Statistics


EDU 645

 Action Research Planning


EDL 697 

Internship - Principal 


EDL 699

Portfolio Assessment - Principal



Total credits



Transfer Credit Restriction

No more than 8 semester credits will be accepted in transfer. Transfer credit must be submitted for approval during the first semester of enrollment. Transfer coursework cannot be more than eight (8) years old at program completion.

Master of Arts in Education Graduation Requirements 

1.   Satisfactorily complete the appropriate degree and program requirements with a minimum cumulative grade- point average (GPA) of 3.00.

2.   Meet all requirements and performance standards for the degree program as contained in the catalog effective at time of matriculation. (Program requirements are presented in the Courses of Study section of this catalog under the appropriate discipline. Individual program requirements may exceed general requirements.)

3.   Complete all degree requirements within seven (7) years of matriculation.

4.   Declare their intent to graduate by completing a Degree Application (available in the Office of Academic Records) the semester prior to the anticipated graduation term.