M.S. in Instructional Leadership

In partnership with selected school systems, we offer a unique opportunity for graduate study in Instructional Leadership. A master of science degree in Instructional Leadership is available for candidates who hold a bachelor of science degree and Class B certification in education and have completed three years successful teaching experience. Candidates currently holding a master of science degree and Class A certification in an education field may be eligible for the Class A Program in Instructional Leadership by completing a Class A Program rather than a full degree program. Instructional Leadership certification provides the candidate with the required credentials to be considered for leadership positions in K-12 schools/systems in Alabama.

The purpose of this collaboration is to recruit gifted teachers with leadership potential into a customized preparation program that will prepare future school leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to impact student achievement and to lead successful school improvement initiatives. The program encompasses essential competencies for improving schools and increasing student achievement as recommended by the Governor’s Congress on School Leadership and the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders delivered through rigorous academic study, utilizing research-based “best practices” for adult learners.

Through collaborative K-12-University partnerships, this Instructional Leadership program provides opportunities for candidates to demonstrate knowledge and abilities outlined in the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders while being involved in innovative site-based learning activities. Some of those expectations include:

  • Apply research-based knowledge to address real-life problems and improve practices in classrooms, schools and districts;
  • Use data to inform decisions about students, teachers, schools and/or districts;
  • Create professional learning communities in which leadership teams successfully address classroom, school and/or district needs;
  • Engage parents and community members in supporting school improvement goals and higher student achievement.

The partnership offers the following:

  • A balanced curriculum of academic and practical content aligned with authentic problems, the school system’s vision of improvement and the state standards.
  • University faculty and school system staff will collaboratively plan and co-teach courses incorporating practical and research-based academic knowledge that are aligned with the Alabama State Curriculum Standards.
  • University faculty and school system staff will co-develop teaching materials designed to help participants translate curricular content into practices deemed essential in school systems.
  • School system professional development activities and leadership development program opportunities will be incorporated into the preparation program design.
  • School system principals will assist in selecting and providing training and serve as mentors to the participants.