Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
*M.A.Ed. in Educational Leadership
Campus: Blacksburg, Roanoke, Hampton Roads, Southwest Virginia, National Capital Region, Richmond
Instructions: Residential/On Campus (Some Online Courses)
The Principal Preparation Program awards two degrees: an M.A. and an Ed.S. (Educational Specialist) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. The M.A. is intended for students who have not yet earned a master’s degree, while the Ed.S. is intended for students who have already earned a master’s in an education-related discipline. Both the M.A. and Ed.S. degree tracks prepare students to meet the requirements of the School Leadership Licensure Assessment and obtain endorsement as Virginia school administrators.
Why choose this program?
- The VT Educational Leadership Program is approved by the Virginia Board of Education. It is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.
- Since 2015, the program has been a member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a consortium of higher education institutions committed to the advancement of educational leadership.
What You'll Study
The Principal Preparation Program is designed to meet the standards of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) as well as those of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In addition to these standards, the curriculum also incorporates over 200 knowledge- and skill-based objectives identified by practicing school administrators. Courses place a heavy emphasis on student learning, collaborative leadership, productive culture, shared decision-making, and planned change.
Course topics include school law, finance and budgeting, instructional supervision, special education administration, leadership and change, research and evaluation, and personnel administration. All Principal Preparation students (M.A. or Ed.S.) complete 30 hours of coursework on a part-time basis, over a period of five semesters or approximately two years. These 30 credit hours include two 3-credit internships, one focused on building-level school leadership and the other focused on division-level, agency, or special school leadership.
Principal Preparation courses are conducted in-person or via blended learning, and all courses incorporate some form of instructional technology. Two-way interactive video connects cohorts across sites, and online resources supplement on-site teaching. Students learn to evaluate instructional and managerial software, and develop the skills to meet Virginia’s technology standards for teachers and administrators.
Students conduct each internship on-site at a local educational institution, under the mentorship of a practicing principal or supervisor. To pass these internships, students must demonstrate competency in a range of standards-based skills.
Students select their primary and secondary internship sites, as well as their mentors, in the first semester of the program. They complete their internships year-round in short blocks during planning periods, after school, before school, or during the summer – whenever they have a break from regularly-assigned work duties. Most students complete their primary internship at the school at which they’re currently employed.
To enroll in the Principal Preparation Program, an applicant must have:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- At least a 3.2 GPA on one’s most recent two years of university coursework
- Some K-12 teaching experience, with at least three years of experience preferred
There is a discount for in-state K-12 teachers; use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs. Otherwise, as with on-campus students, we refer you to the VT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information on financial assistance. Generally, distance learners may qualify for federal loans if they take 5 or more credit hours per semester.
*Fall: August 1
*Fall: April 1
*Deadline for early decision admission for Fall: February 1
School of Education Academic Programs Support