Eastern Michigan University
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Educational Leadership

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. International students must meet the following additional criteria; an official score report from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Test System IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Batter (MELAB) must be sent by the testing service directly to the University. Student score reports, faxes or photocopies will not be considered official. Minimum scores for admission is 550 (Paper-based Test), or 79 (Internet-based Test ) for the TOEFL; 77 on MELAB; or 6.5 (or higher) on the IELTS. If the TOEFL is taken, the Test of Written English (TWE) is also required. A Conditional admission may be available to those students falling just below the minimum score requirements.
  4. Applicants must submit recommendation 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, or on the department website. Recommendation forms are due with the Application for Graduate Admissions form.
  5. Applicants must submit a résumé that details their professional and educational experiences.
  6. Complete the Application for Graduate Admission form.
  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, 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 that are inconsistent with the student’s goals as an administrator. These “questionable” 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.
  3. Applicants which are accepted will be notified following admission decisions.
  4. All decisions by the faculty regarding admissions are final.
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Department Information:

Leadership & Counseling - College of Education

Ron Flowers
Department Head

304 Porter Building
(734) 487-0255

Department Website

Advisor Information:

Jaclynn Tracy, Ph.D.

304 Porter Building
(734) 487-0255

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 registration for the course.


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.

Specialist of Arts in Educational Leadership

Concentration Area Courses: 18 hours

  • EDLD 625 - The Superintendency and District Level Leadership 3 hrs
  • EDLD 710 - Leadership Theory 3 hrs
  • EDLD 740 - Advanced Organizational Theory 3 hrs
  • 9 hours in consultation with an advisor.

Applied Research Courses: 8 hours

  • EDLD 713 - Field-Based Research 4 hrs

  • EDLD 787 - Internship in Educational Administration 2 hrs
  • or

  • EDLD 789 - Internship in Educational Administration 4 hrs

  • EDPS 621 - Statistical Applications in Educational Research 2 hrs

Cognate Courses: 6 hours

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

Program Total: 32 hours