Nov 13, 2019  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 

Specialist of Arts in Educational Leadership (EDL)

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The Specialist of Arts in Educational Leadership is a Post-Master’s program for prospective and practicing educational leaders. The program may either provide advanced administration preparation for P-12 schools and institutions of higher education and/or the course work required by the State of Michigan for the central office endorsement.

Additional course work is required should a student wish to qualify for the building level administration certificate.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School.

  2. Applicants must have completed a master’s degree from an accredited University with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.

  3. Foreign students must submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 550 (total) or the Michigan English Language Ability Battery (MELAB) of 77.

  4. Applicants must submit confidential appraisal forms from two professional supervisors and/or supervising professors that address the quality of the applicant’s professional work. Applicants may receive these forms from the department office. Recommendation forms are due with the Application for Graduate Admissions form.

  5. Applicants must present evidence of a valid teaching certificate or sign a waiver indicating that they do not seek teacher certification.

  6. Applicants must submit a résumé that details their professional and educational experiences.

  7. On the graduate application, students must complete the personal statement of accomplishments and academic goals portion describing the reasons for requesting admission. This essay must be a minimum of 250 words and will be reviewed as an indicator of writing ability.

Admission Process
The admission process for the specialist’s degree is as follows:

  1. The Office of Admissions will receive and gather all required documents. Completed applications that contain the required GPAs, confidential appraisal forms and the résumé will be forwarded to the coordinator of advising for the educational leadership program.

  2. Completed applications will be reviewed by the faculty review committee. Those applications that include acceptable GPAs, the résumé, recommendations, goal statements and confidential appraisal forms will be admitted, assigned an advisor and invited for an advising interview. Applications may be deemed “questionable” due to a combination of low GPA, fair or poor recommendations, poor writing ability and/or statements that are inconsistent with the student’s goals as an administrator.

  3. These applications will be reviewed by the full faculty, giving special consideration to the student’s life experiences, verbal skills, writing skills, educational background, and GPAs.

  4. Applicants which are accepted will be notified following admission decisions.

  5. All decisions by the faculty regarding admissions are final.

Retention Review Requirements
A retention review will be conducted by the faculty review committee and coordinated by the EDLD coordinator of advising. Students who have not met the following criteria will be identified and asked to meet with their academic advisors. Students must have:

  1. A minimum GPA of at least 3.3 in required educational leadership courses; and

  2. An overall academic skills assessment of average, or above, in any educational leadership class.

Retention Process
The objective of this retention plan is to assure that students have an opportunity to review the appropriateness of their career choice and to receive assistance in achieving their specialist in arts degree in educational leadership should they choose to continue in the field. The retention review will be conducted by the EDLD coordinator of advising with the faculty review committee.

  1. The Leadership Candidate Evaluation form may be completed for any student in any class, if they choose to do so. These forms will be filed in the student’s folder.

  2. The EDLD coordinator of advising will examine the files of all students who did not achieve the required GPA and recommend review by the faculty review committee.

  3. The folders, with the evaluation forms for this group of students, will then be reviewed by the faculty review committee. If the committee agrees that the record of each student indicates performance below graduate or program standards, the student and his or her advisor will be notified in writing.

  4. The EDLD coordinator of advising will send a letter to each identified student requesting him or her to meet with his or her advisor to discuss career goals and the need for assistance. If the need for assistance is established, a plan will be developed. For example, if difficulties exist with skill or concept acquisition, the student may be required to audit a class.

Culminating Experience
The culminating experience for the specialist’s degree will be the student’s field-based research study and presentation of the student’s internship experiences as set forth in his or her written log. The culminating experience is typically conducted by the instructor of the intern program and the director of the field-based research study.

Field-Based Research
Field-based research, EDLD 713 , is available to specialist degree students winter or summer term only. Students are encouraged to contact the department at least one semester prior to registration for the class to reserve a place in the class.

Advisor Information:

Ella Burton, Ed.D.
304 Porter


The specialist’s degree program requires a minimum of 32 hours beyond the master’s degree. Students work closely with their advisors in developing programs that will prepare them for their career goals.

Candidates for the specialist’s degree in educational leadership must satisfactorily complete all work on the program of study and achieve an overall GPA of 3.3 (B+).

The requirements outlined below provide the basic guidelines with in which the student’s program is developed.

Concentration Area Courses: 18 hours

  • 9 hours in consultation with an advisor.

Cognate Courses: 6 hours

Six hours selected from either educational leadership or other areas in consultation with the advisor.

Program Total: 32 hours


  • Additional course work is required if students wish to fulfill the standards for an approved program for the principalship and central office administration certificate for the State of Michigan.

Extended Programs

This program is offered at an EMU off-campus location. For a list of locations, please click here .

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