Master of Arts in Educational Leadership

Mission Statement

A combined team of the Educational Leadership faculty and the local school district’s Leadership Team examined each of the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards to design a program to prepare effective school leaders. Special attention was given to candidate learning outcomes and performance assessments which would lead to academic success for students. Each of the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards are addressed in the course work, field experiences, and program requirements. LEA leaders serve in partnership roles throughout the candidate preparation process. These roles include candidate mentors, instructors, and field experience supervisors.

Admission Requirements and Criteria

Candidate Selection

The candidate selection process for the Instructional Leadership Program contains the following criteria:

  1. A candidate will provide documentation both written and verbal through an interview process that they have knowledge and expertise in the process of curriculum and instructional design;

  2. a candidate will provide documentation of leadership ability and service both written and verbal through an interview process; and

  3. a candidate will provide documentation and have a proven track record of improving student achievement by providing test score documentation and documenting in verbal form through an interview process.

Applicants for the program will be required to submit an application to the school district and will be scheduled for an interview with the joint members of the program advisory committee. The applicant will participate in a face to face interview, provide written documentation of how they meet the requirements to be admitted to the Instructional Leadership Program, and submit a writing sample to express why they would like to participate in the program. This information will be taken to the advisory board made up of both Cumberland University and school district members. The advisory board will be responsible for deciding on the applicant being admitted to the program.

It will be the responsibility of the LEA district liaison to distribute information to all teachers and to recruit teachers to apply to the program who potentially would like to pursue a career in Instructional Leadership.

Members of the advisory board will be selected by the Dean of the School of Education & Public Service at Cumberland University and the Director of Schools of the participating LEA. 

Graduate School Requirements:

  1.  A professional writing sample
  2. An interview with the Educational Leadership faculty and LEA Leadership Team

  3. Scores from the Millers Analogies Exam (MAT) or the Graduate Records Exam (GRE)

  4. Three letters of reference

Criteria

Instructional Leadership Program applicants must submit an application identifying that they meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must hold a current teacher license, and

  2. applicants must have had a minimum of three (3) years of successful education working experience.

  3. Applicants must submit a portfolio that contains the following:

    • A copy of the most recent performance appraisal;
    • current professional development or future growth plan;
    • evidence of ability to improve student achievement;
    • evidence of leadership and instructional coaching ability;
    • evidence of expertise in knowledge of curriculum/ instructional design and assessment;
    • a writing sample containing personal career goals and how the preparation program would assist the candidate in reaching stated goals;
    • a letter from a Director of Schools indicating the candidate would receive release time for field-based support during the program;
    • letters of recommendation from principals/instructional leaders; evidence that describes qualities of collaboration, cooperation, and relationship building.
  4. An interview that determines the candidate has:

    • implemented innovative learning strategies in their classrooms;
    • shown good communications, human relations, and organizational skills;
    • used student data and work samples to make instructional decisions;
    • demonstrates high ethical standards;
    • works collaboratively on teaching/learning teams; and
    • shows commitment to continuous improvement.