Teacher Leadership

The graduate program in Teacher Leadership (Development) is designed for teachers who want to continue developing their professional commitment and competence. Graduate students in the program examine current educational theory and practice and explore a variety of viewpoints to reflectively develop their professional competence and teaching style. They explore social issues affecting students and expand their awareness of and respect for the unique development of each student. 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, students gain greater intellectual and ethical insight.

The Teacher Leadership (Development) Program develops advanced proficiency in the Illinois Teacher Standards and the National Board of Professional Teaching 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 National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Teacher Leadership (Development) 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 adviser 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 are required to complete EDU 600 Professional Educator Seminar for Teacher Development 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 and the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Each 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 adviser who serves as the portfolio adviser and reviewer. Action research reports are completed under the guidance of an Education, Health and Human Performance Division graduate faculty member. At the completion of all course work and the action research component, the student completes the portfolio requirements. Students assess their own proficiency on the eleven program standards and then submit the final portfolio for faculty review.

Candidates who pursue the thesis option must present a complete portfolio. Thesis candidates will present and defend their thesis before an assigned Thesis Committee in lieu of a portfolio review.

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

The student formally applies to the degree program prior to enrolling in the Professional Educator Seminar. The 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. Students must register for the course EDU 600 Professional Educator Seminar for Teacher Development 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 seminar provides an orientation to the 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. The student also will complete a technology competency assessment (CAT1) administered by the college during the first semester of enrollment. If the results of the technology assessment identify a deficiency in the use of technology the student will be required to successfully complete an undergraduate prerequisite course on technology in education.

The following documentation is required for admission to the Master of Arts in Education degree program and completion of the first Assessment:

1. A completed graduate admission application. Apply online at www.mckendree.edu/admission (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. A minimum 3.0 GPA on a four-point scale in undergraduate studies. Applicants with a GPA below this may be conditionally admitted;

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

6. A copy of current teaching certificate for the Teacher Development Emphasis;

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

Gate 2: Completion of Action Research

Students 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. Students will continue to have their GPA progress monitored by their advisor and the graduate office. Students 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. Students must obtain a signature of the Action Research instructor, submit the proposal for review to the institutional review board and complete the Action Research Portfolio form at the end of their research project. This form should be submitted in the portfolio. Completion of Assessment 2 includes:

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

2. GPA of 3.0 in EDU 641 Educational Research & Statistics and EDU 645 Action Research Planning;

3. Completion of Action Research Report and report presentation in seminar.


Action Research Description

Every graduate student enrolled in the Master of Arts in Education degree program is required to conduct an action research project or an optional thesis. Degree seeking students are required to take two research courses, EDU 641 Educational Research & Statistics and EDU 645 Action Research Planning. Students are to conduct the research during the academic year in the context of a classroom. Students must take EDU 641 Educational Research & Statistics prior to taking EDU 645 Action Research Planning.

Action Research Planning (EDU 645) facilitates student planning of action research and the realization of its value to them as educators. After defining an action research topic, students conduct a review of pertinent literature related to the topic and design an appropriate research plan for their educational setting. At the conclusion of the course, students will construct a detailed paper that includes a rationale for the research project, the review of the literature and the methodology for the research project that will be shared with classmates.

Action Research Project (EDU 697) or Action Research Thesis (EDU 699) facilitates the process of analyzing and organizing data from action research, interpreting the data within the research project parameters, and writing a clear and accurate report of the research process, results, and implications. Students will review their respective research projects and work together on ways to organize data, on techniques for interpreting data, on the logical statement of findings, on clear organization of information, and on effective drafting of the report. The end product is a complete, accurate and effective research report or thesis in appropriate format. Reports will be exchanged and reviewed by action research seminar members. Students completing the Thesis option will present and defend the thesis before an appointed committee of graduate faculty members.

Action Research Policies

The Action Research requirement for the master's degree completion is successful completion of EDU 645 Action Research Planning and EDU 697 Action Research Project or EDU 699 Action Research Thesis.

EDU 641 Educational Research and Statistics must be taken prior to EDU 645 Action Research Planning.

Upon completion of the Action Research Project or Thesis, the student and the instructor complete the Action Research Portfolio form that is placed in the Portfolio.

Students receiving an "In Progress" (IP) grade for either of the action research courses will have until the end of the following semester to complete the work. If the work is not completed in the next semester, the student will receive a "No Credit" (NC) grade and must register for that phase of study again and pay full fees. Any exceptions to this policy requires permission from the Chair of the Education, Health and Human Performance Division.

Clinical fees will be charged for EDU 645 Action Research Planning, 697 Action Research Project, and EDU 699 Action Research Thesis. These fees cover additional expenses, such as those related to faculty travel; duplication of articles and handouts, and processing of the final report.

Gate 3: Completion of Practicum Experience

Upon completion of the practicum, the teacher candidate will be evaluated by the cooperating teacher and/or college supervisor on teaching skills.

Gate 4: Program Completion and Portfolio Review

The final gate provides the summative evaluation of student performance on the program standards. The student, the faculty adviser and a qualified practitioner reviews the portfolio. Students submit the portfolio to the graduate office for review by their faculty advisers. An interview may be required if the faculty members need further clarification about the portfolio. Completion of Assessment 4 includes:

1. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in all coursework;

2. Completion of all coursework and requirements;

3. Completion of Action Research;

4. Self-assessment of portfolio;

5. Faculty assessment of portfolio or thesis defense;

6. An interview by unit faculty if needed.

Professional Performance Portfolio

The portfolio is developed by the student throughout the program and is reviewed and assessed at the completion of the program. This type of assessment provides for a sustained reflection of students’ academic work in a systematic way. The standards of the education profession are reflected in the standards that were created by the Unit. Through the systematic monitoring of a student’s progress towards proficiency on established standards throughout the graduate program, learners have an integral and conscious part in the learning process. Graduate students are given individual responsibility and ownership in the process through the creation of the portfolio. Students are interactive partners with professors in shaping the learning process.

All students in the program are to complete a portfolio as the final program assessment prior to degree completion. The purpose of the portfolio is to evaluate the achievement of the intended learning standards as established by the division. There are benefits to both the student and the faculty who are involved in the portfolio assessment process. For the student, the portfolio is a method of assessment that allows the student to demonstrate their breadth of knowledge on the program standards. Additional goals of the portfolio include assisting the student to understand his/her own learning and to celebrate the achievement of learning. For the faculty, the portfolio process can act as a catalyst for program evaluation and refinement. Data gathered from the students’ portfolios also serve to inform program development.

The portfolio assessment based on the divisional program standards provides for the alignment of course work assessments to the McKendree conceptual framework. Faculty members both create standards based assessments and continually assess evidences from course work. Students may select evidences from coursework in the graduate program to be included in their final portfolio. Students are encouraged to include their best work that exemplifies standards. The evidence can represent a range of accomplishments by the students. Another source of evidence could come from the students’ own professional practice or practicum experiences. The application of theory in the world of the students’ educational setting is strongly encouraged. Such documentation focuses on actual achievements that are viewed directly as what a student knows and can do.

Portfolio Guidelines

The purpose of the portfolio is to evaluate the student’s achievement of intended learning outcomes by assessing their proficiency on the program standards. Students and faculty will review the student’s breadth of knowledge and achievement by examining work that exemplifies the standards and that represents a wide range of accomplishments. Portfolio evidences reflect both course work products as well as the application of theory in the world of the teacher’s own classroom or school setting.

1. The portfolio of professional work typically is presented using the LiveText web-based portfolio development system. The portfolio may subsequently be prepared in hard-copy form and also copied to a CD. A standard portfolio template format will be available through the LiveText web site.

2. Review the standards and reflect upon their meaning.

3. Gather artifacts from completed course work.

4. Reread each standard carefully looking for key works and phrases that best describe the intent of the standard. Review the key points for each standard.

5. Match artifacts with the standard(s) that most appropriately align with the evidence. Place the work in that section representing the standard(s).

6. Check to see that at least 3 artifacts are included for each standard. Artifacts may be used to fulfill more than one standard. Do not use an artifact more than 3 times in the entire portfolio. Try to use a variety of artifacts throughout the portfolio.

7. Each portfolio entry should have a rationale paragraph.

a. Review the activity and reflect upon the purpose of the work. Connect that purpose to one of the standards.

b. Write a rationale by explaining why this work was selected, what was learned by doing it and what competence was gained.

8. After all artifacts are appropriately placed in a standard section and described in the rationale paragraph, the student should review the entire portfolio in terms of proficiency in the standards.

9. Share the portfolio with the Chair of the Education. Health and Human Performance Division and the assigned adviser as editors.

Portfolio Due Dates

November 1 for December degree completion

April 1 for May degree completion

July 1 for August degree completion

10. A faculty member and a practitioner will review the portfolio and transmit the results back to the candidate. An electronic copy of the portfolio will be maintained in electronic exhibits. If there are questions, an interview will be scheduled.

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.


Courses Required for the MAED—
Teacher Leadership (Development) Program

Course Number

Course Title


EDU 600

Professional Educator Seminar


EDU 602

Multicultural Education


EDU 610

History and Phiosophy of Education


EDU 611

Curriculum Theory and Design


EDU 612

Instructional and Curriculum Design and Evaluation


EDU 621

Character Development in Education


EDU 631

School Law for Teachers


EDU 641

Educational Research & Statistics


EDU 645

Action Research Planning


EDU 650

Advanced Educational Psychology


EDU 694

Practicum in Teacher Development


EDU 697 AND EDU 698

Action Research Project AND Portfolio Review





EDU 699

Action Research Thesis Portfolio Assessment



Total credits