The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Education’s (COE) Department of
Educational Leadership (EDL) has as its mission to contribute to the personal and
professional growth of current and potential leaders who serve educational agencies
or individuals in a variety of settings. It seeks to develop and sustain a commitment
to positive social change; excellence in both understanding the need for, and implementing,
the highly developed decision making and people skills associated with leadership
in education; a belief in the power of lifelong learning, inclusion and human dignity;
and exemplary standards of ethical and professional behavior.
The purpose of the School Leaders Program is to prepare and support school leaders
in public and private educational institutions. The Master of Education program
prepares aspiring teacher leaders and assistant principals to meet the challenges
of today’s schools. In cooperation with Florida public school districts, the program
of study includes leadership theory, research, professional knowledge, and school-based
clinical experiences. Completion of this degree, in combination with three years
of successful teaching experience and passing the Florida Educational Leadership
Exam (FELE), leads to Florida Educational Leadership Certification (Level I) which
qualifies an individual to serve as a public school assistant principal, intern
assistant principal, intern principal, or interim principal.
In addition to the leadership domains of knowledge and learning considered as world
class by the profession, the Masters Program contains the learning of the Florida
Leadership Standards, Competencies, and Skills which are measured through the FELE.
It also complies with knowledge requirements specified by NCATE and ISLCC Standards.
Students who complete this program are prepared to sit for the FELE examination,
and those opting for certification must pass the exam in order to graduate. Students
who do not want Level 1 Certification will have different internship requirements.
Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, achieve a
minimum GPA of 2.5 in upper division undergraduate courses and complete the GRE (no minimum
sub-score requirement). Additional program requirements can be found at
this Graduate College
As a part of the admissions process, prospective students must apply on-line to
FAU through the Graduate Admissions Office and follow the admissions process described
on the Graduate College website. Additionally,
candidates for admissions must submit
to the EDL an essay that identifies the candidate’s career goals and how the Masters
program will enable them to meet these goals, a professional resume, and two letters
of reference. For those students wanting Level 1Certification, a Letter of Commitment
from a school principal who is willing to sponsor the student for three semesters
of internship must be submitted. For specific EDL forms, please access them on the
The School Leaders Masters Program is built on the
COE's Conceptual Framework and
the four major domains that the EDL requires for leadership learning; Leadership
Foundations, Research Foundations, Professional Knowledge, and Experiential Learning.
It is centered on providing effective leadership in areas of research, service and
teaching at the local, state, national and international levels. In agreement with
the framework, EDL believes that learning in the four domains of Leadership Foundations,
Research Foundations, Professional Knowledge, and Experiential Learning will develop
informed, capable, ethical and reflective decision making professionals. Students
successfully completing the Masters Degree will have mastered the subject matter
needed for the profession and understand the need to engage in lifelong learning
to maintain effectiveness in a changing environment.
The first domain, Leadership Foundations, provides the student with learning specifically
about leadership. Leadership is a relationship between leaders and followers who
work together toward common goals to effect change in an ethical way. Leaders continually
organize to ensure that goals are accomplished. They (a) set and seek to achieve
goals, (b) find resources, (c) adapt to their environment, (d) maintain cohesiveness
within the system, and (e) preserve a unique system of values and work flow. Leaders
must develop their own minds in systems terms and see their organizations holistically,
so they may transfer knowledge from one setting to another. They must develop skills
and a capacity to envision the future and be able to find opportunities within and
without their organizations. Informed reflective decision-makers need leadership
foundational knowledge. The theory, learning, and application of leadership are
provided through the three core courses that are required for all EDL programs.
The remaining three domains are Research Foundations, Professional Knowledge, and
Experiential Learning. These domains have a core group of courses that provide the
student with the opportunity to learn the most important elements contained within
Research Foundations. School leaders today must be adept at using current
research methods and tools, as well as be able to interpret findings and analyze
data thereby revealing answers to questions and problems encountered in practice.
In the era of accountability, data-based decision making, and scientifically-based
educational programs and practices, school leaders’ learning and knowledge in this
area is critical to professional success.
Professional Knowledge. Ethical reflective decision-makers understand why
they are given discretion in their roles and use that ability only for the student’s
or client’s benefit. Students learn about specialized fields of school leadership
including school operations and management, governance, law, instructional leadership,
and school community in the component courses of this domain.
Experiential Learning. This domain implies the concept that elements of a
professional’s education will be gained from a practical approach in a real-world
situation. It is based on the belief that insights gained through a job, internship,
volunteer work, or course field work will enhance academic studies and the professional’s
critical reflection skills in thinking and acting upon his/her talents, aspirations,
and the needs of the work setting. This domain also helps the professional in setting
academic, career and personal goals. In Experiential Learning, students take internship
courses with curricula that are built to practice assistant principal-level activities.
These internships are semester-specific (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Each internship
course presents different knowledge and skills applications. The curriculum of each
internship is centered on the activities occurring during each of the Fall, Spring,
and Summer school administrative calendar time frames.
The following lists the coursework that you must take in order to meet the requirements
for the School Leaders Masters Program Degree. The Florida Educational Leadership
Exam (FELE) must be taken and passed before graduation.
* Students may substitute the Educational Leadership Technology Assessment Certificate
† ESOL Requirement -- Candidates who have not met their ESOL/ELL requirement
of sixty (60) hours of ESOL district inservice points or three (3) credit hours
in a survey type ESOL course must take the following course prior to program completion:
TSL 4324 ESOL Strategies for Content Area Teachers
All candidates must provide evidence to the Department of Educational Leadership
that this requirement has been satisfied.