Sep 18, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Educational Leadership [Sp.A.]


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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 coursework is required should a student wish to qualify for the building-level administration certificate.

Program Admission


Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Completed a master’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Recommendation forms from two professional supervisors and/or supervising professors that address the applicant’s professional work quality. The completed forms are due within the online Application for Graduate Admissions. By entering the recommender’s email address within the online application, they will upload a letter and the required recommendation form directly to your application. The recommendation form must come directly from your reference.
  • A résumé that details their professional and educational experiences.
  • A 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.

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

  1. Completed applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  2. 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.
  3. The faculty review committee will review completed applications. Those applications that include acceptable GPAs, résumé, recommendations, and personal statement will be admitted and assigned an advisor. Applications may be deemed “questionable” due to a combination of low GPA, fair or poor recommendations, poor writing ability, and/or statements inconsistent with the student’s goals as an administrator. The full faculty will review these “questionable” applications, giving special consideration to the student’s life experiences, verbal skills, writing skills, educational background, and GPAs.
  4. Applicants who are accepted will be notified following admission decisions.
  5. All decisions by the faculty regarding admissions are final.

Department Information


Leadership & Counseling | Raul Leon Ph.D., Interim Department Head | 304 Porter, 734.487.0255, rleon1@emich.edu

Advisor Information


Please contact the department for advisor information.

Program Requirements


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.
  5. All decisions made by the faculty review committee are final.

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience for the specialist’s degree is the student’s field-based research study. It is expected that this project will be presented to an audience of professional peers.

Field-Based Research

The field-based research course, 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 for permission to register for the course.

Degree Requirements: 33 hours


The specialist’s degree program requires a minimum of 33 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 within which the student’s program is developed.

Additional course work is required if students wish to fulfill the standards for an approved program for K-12 building-level leadership and central office administrator certificates for the State of Michigan.

Concentration Area Courses: 18 hours


Cognate Courses: 6 hours


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

Additional Information


Course Substitutions/Program Changes - The advisor must approve changes in the student’s official program and substitution of courses before registration.

Courses Outside the Program - The Program faculty have prepared a suggested list of courses. Other courses may be used for electives in this area if approved by the student’s advisor.

Internships - Information is available from the director of the intern program or at emich.edu/coe/lc. Internship placements should be arranged at least one semester in advance and approved by the internship director.

For more information about the program, admissions, etc., contact the department head.

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