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School Leadership Licensure Program

 (M.A.Ed., Ed.S. in Educational Leadership)


Program for the Preparation of School Principals and Supervisors

Campus: Blacksburg, Roanoke, Hampton Roads, Southwest Virginia, National Capital Region, Richmond

Instructions: Residential/On Campus (Some Online Courses)

We strive to meet the preparation needs of educational leaders in all regions of the Commonwealth


Hours of Coursework

Meets ISLLC Standards

Meets NCATE Standards

Approved by the Virginia Board of Education

Our Educational Leadership Program

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 Study Educational Leadership Here?

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.

Studying Educational Leadership at Virginia Tech

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 6-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.

Career and Professional Development

This program for the Preparation of School Principals and Supervisors.

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.

Our Faculty 

Research Interests:

  • School Built Facilities And Achievement
  • School Design For 21st Century
  • Renovations and Student Outcomes

Research Interests:

  • School law
  • School finance
  • School board policy

M. David Alexander, Professor

M. David Alexander, Professor

Research Interests:

  • School Desegregation
  • School Finance
  • Student Rights

Research Interests:

  • Mentoring in Education and Innovations in Learning
  • Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Social Justice Education and Leadership
  • Education Policy and Governance
  • Qualitative Research and Field Studies

Carol Mullen, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, CLAHS.

Carol Mullen, Professor

Research Interests:

  • K-12 school leadership and administration 
  • Creating Conditions for Success for New Teachers
  • Board of Education and Superintendent Relationships
  • Time Management for School Leaders
  • Strategies to Improve Students’ Attendance

John Gratto, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education/Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. CLAHS.

John Gratto, Clinical Assistant Professor

Educational Leadership Research Highlights

Alexander, M. D., & Sughrue, J.A. (2017), Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. In Janet Decker, et al. (eds.), The Principal and the Law, Education Law Association, Cleveland, OH.

Sughrue, J.M., Lewis, M., & Alexander, M.D., (2017) Addressing Discriminatory and Exclusionary Discipline Practices.In Janet Decker, et al. (eds.), The Principal and the Law, Education Law Association, Cleveland, OH. 

Mullen, C. A. (2017). Creativity in Chinese schools: Perspectival frames of paradox and possibility. International Journal of Chinese Education, 6(1), 27-56.

Mullen, C. A. (2017). What are corporate education networks? Why ask questions? Kappa Delta Pi Record, 53(3), 100-106.

Mullen, C. A. (2016). Alternative mentoring types. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 52(3), 132-136.

Bolles, E. & Patrizio, K. (2016). Leadership tenets of military veterans working as school administrators. Journal of Leadership Education.

Students interested in applying to the School Leadership (M.A.Ed., Ed.S. in Educational Leadership) should contact Dr. Carol Cash, by email at

State of Virginia Licensure Applicants
Fall:  August 1
Other Applicants
This program is offered to State of Virginia Licensure applicants only. Other applicants including international students should apply for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (M.A.Ed.,Ed.S.).


For Hampton Roads, Richmond, or Other, please contact:
Carol Cash
Program Leader
VT Richmond Center
2810 Parham Road,
Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288

Ted Price
Visiting Assistant Professor
VT Richmond Center
2810 Parham Road,
Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288

For Northern Virginia, please contact:
William Glenn
Associate Professor
7054 Haycock Rd. 
Falls Church, VA 22043
(703) 538-8483

John Gratto
Clinical Assistant Professor
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church, VA 22043

For Roanoke, please contact:
M. David Alexander
Roanoke Doctoral Program
(540) 231-9723

For Abingdon, please contact:
Carol A. Mullen
Abingdon Doctoral Program
(540) 231-3846

Wanda McAlexander
Program Support Technician
2004 VT CRC(0302)
1750 Kraft Drive, Rm 2100
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Susan Li
Graduate Academic Program Assistant
Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22043