Educational Leadership

learning strategies istock 000009036623mediumMasters Degree in Educational Leadership

An Educational Leadership Masters Degree is a State Approved Administrative Certification Program that provides candidates with the knowledge, dispositions, and skills to manage and lead today’s schools. Courses are offered both on-line and on-campus. It prepares the educational leader to promote the success of all students by facilitating a vision of success that engages the school staff, families, and community members in research-based practices that lead to increased student achievement. The Educational Leadership Masters Degree program prepares administrators for the K-12 school principal, supervisory, and director opportunities. Candidates completing the program will be eligible for Administrative Certification K-12.

Masters Degree in Educational Leadership program focuses on the principal as the instructional leader and the chief architect of change in the school. In addition to a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles of administrative and management theory and capacity building, students will be introduced to the concept of the principal as change agent working closely with teachers, parents, and community members to create a supportive environment where teachers can teach and students can learn. The program comprises 36 credit hours of course work, consisting of 11 core classes and one sociology elective.

The structure of the Educational Leadership Masters Degree program allows working professionals to obtain their master’s degree in two years.



  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work completed
  • Career Plan
  • Elementary or secondary teaching certificate

Administrative candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a teaching certificate. They are also required to develop a career plan and meet all requirements stated in the Graduate Admissions section of the catalog.

In order to graduate candidates must have completed 36 graduate credit hours in the State approved courses and maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA). The complete listing of all applicable graduation requirements is included in the academic policies section of the Graduate Catalog.

The program consists of 36 credit hours of coursework, consisting of 11 core classes and one sociology elective. All classes follow National and State Standards for the Preparation of School Principals and have been approved for K-12 Administrative Certification.

Descriptions for each of the courses are listed on the following pages.

Advance your career with Marygrove College’s Masters in Educational Leadership Online Degree Program.

For More Information, Contact:
Dr. Mary Katherine Hamilton, IHM
Associate Professor /
Coordinator of Educational Leadership
(313) 927-1362

At a Glance


  • Organizational Theory and Change – The Principal as Change Agent
  • Executive Leadership and Decision Making
  • Managerial Finance
  • Management in Computer Information Systems
  • Introduction to Management and Leadership
  • Curriculum Theory and Development
  • Introduction to Educational Research
  • Legal Issues in Education
  • Supervision of Staff and Staff Development
  • Issues in Education
  • Racial and Ethnic Diversity
  • Urban Social Issues
  • Administrative Practicum

Meaningful Course Work—Convenient and Online 


The first time you log on, you will see your virtual desk where every class is clearly organized. Your collaboration group has a shared online discussion space, and you have frequent contact with your mentor through conference calls and email. You will be able to stay on track and complete your assignments with the help of checklists and timelines. It is also worth mentioning that you will have the convenience of being able to read and reread discussion-board posts, lectures and notes anytime of the day or week.


We provide robust learning experiences that hold your attention, activate your creativity, and accommodate not only your personal learning style, but also your schedule. Textbooks, articles and subject-matter experts bring you the latest information available. And because our teaching philosophy is student-centered, professors will know you; if you are struggling with the material, they will do their best to present information in a way you understand.


You will gain deep understanding of course materials through collaboration with other professionals, either through face-to-face collaboration groups or online discussion boards. Many students find that a discussion board helps ensure that they are not lost in the discussion or afraid to share their ideas. In the traditional classroom, it is often the uninhibited students who readily share their thoughts and opinions. But in an online setting, everyone, even the quietest students, gets the opportunity to contribute.


Required Courses

EDL 512: Organizational Theory and Change – The Principal as Change Agent

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This course is designed to study organizational principles and organizational systems, theories and processes affecting leadership, and management of planned change.  It will also focus on the roles and responsibilities of school leaders as they address a set of beguiling challenges that schools face today and are likely to face for the foreseeable futures.  The main goal is to expand students’ perspectives on these organizational and curricular challenges, and thereby to assist them as potential leaders in forming enlightened approaches to address them.  This Educational Leadership Masters Degree course prepares students to assume responsibility for school administration with appropriate communication, management, supervision, respect and value of human diversity.

EDL 515: Executive Leadership and Decision Making

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This Masters Degree in Educational Leadership course will focus on the theories of leadership and their influence on educational systems.  It will develop problem analysis and solution skills and ethical approaches to decision making. The role of decision-making and appropriate models for the executive will be stressed.  The student will gain an understanding of and information needs of education decision-makers and how such needs can be met. The emphasis is on data driven decision-making and organizational learning.

EDL 516: Managerial Finance

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This Educational Leadership Masters Degree course will focus on sources of funding for schools with an emphasis on equity and adequacy of funding formulas for all students. It includes both human and financial resource allocation to improve student learning. It will cover reporting financial operations, the preparation and utilization of financial data for internal applications including decision-making and budget preparation, with an emphasis on long range and strategic planning forecasting.

EDL 518: Management in Computer Information Systems

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

The course will provide students the opportunity to explore how administrators can use computer technology to promote, enhance, and support both administrative and instructional activities in K-12 education.  Emphasis will be placed on how the integration of educational technology in the classroom can contribute to student achievement as well as the training and professional development of faculty.

EDL 529: Introduction to Management and Leadership

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

The course is designed to analyze the components of educational and curriculum leadership necessary to improve instruction in K-12 education institutions.  The focus is on the development of a personal and coherent vision of effective institutions including knowledge of alternative visions, the design of steps to achieve a vision, the knowledge and attitude needed to affect changes in programs.  Students will be introduced to the concept of the “principal as change agent.”  Issues facing educational leaders, with a focus on principals in K-12 education will be considered in the context of the educational administrator as the chief architect of school improvement and change.

EDL 537: Curriculum Theory and Development

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This course studies the theories of curriculum, curricula development reform, multiculturalism, school reform, and diversity issues for the principal role as instructional leader. This includes the implications of curriculum theory for supervision of instruction, staff development and school improvement as a means to improve student learning. A review of philosophical, cultural, and technological foundations underlying curriculum development is also presented.  This Masters Degree in Educational Leadership course is appropriate for administrators, school supervisors of specific content areas, and personnel involved with staff development, curriculum development and instructional leadership responsibilities.

EDL/EDU: 602 Introduction to Educational Research

Identical to EDU 602.  Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This Educational Leadership Masters Degree course is designed to prepare administrative candidates for their role as educated consumers of research and as researchers.  The course will examine principles and procedures for studying and producing educational research.  It will also introduce to students the basic vocabulary, concepts, and methods of research.  Students will learn to analyze educational research, plan and conduct their own research studies, and report research findings effectively and accurately.  The emphasis will be on application of research principles.  Additionally, the course will present a framework for analyzing, evaluating and critiquing research.

EDL 627: Legal Issues in Education

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This course will focus on the legal rights and responsibilities of administrators, students, teachers and community.  It emphasizes pertinent and landmark court cases that have shaped educational policy and individual rights and responsibilities of students, teachers, parents, and community. It focuses primarily on all schools funded by federal, state and local government. This class is appropriate for administrators and teachers. 

EDL 647: Supervision of Staff, Staff Development and Negotiations

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This course will focus on the ways of facilitating staff effectiveness in achieving professional goals and improving instruction. This Masters Degree in Educational Leadership course includes skill building with regard to choosing or designing programs for staff development, supervisory skills, evaluating performance, and conducting follow-up conferences. 

EDL 677: Issues in Education

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This Educational Leadership Masters Degree course is an in-depth study of one or more organizational, school improvement or curriculum issues not covered in the regular curriculum but has significance based on data analysis. It requires the student to attend a summer work session on the Marygrove campus. During this session students will select an action research topic that will form the basis for a Plan of Work for the Practicum course. This Action Research Plan of Work will include:

  1. Description of Needs Analysis of the school site for their Internship.
  2. Data Driven Component to measure and act upon the gap analysis discovered.
  3. Evidence of Interviews with key stakeholders to validate data gathered on the Issue examined.
  4. Literature Review using theory, research and best practices on Issue to be examined.
  5. Communication of results to the College Advisor and Site Administrator to gain support for their findings and Project to be implemented in the Practicum class. 


One Course Required

SOC 506: Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

This Masters Degree in Educational course will examine race, ethnicity and culture, gender and enculturation within global perspectives. The student will learn the components of social structures and the bias inherent in socially stratified societies where power and authority is invested in one dominant group. Emphasis will be placed on the United States as a multicultural society. However, experiences of other countries will be discussed for purposes of comparison.

Note: Educational Leadership students enrolled in the sociology classes will focus on the factors and issues of schooling in an urban setting. Field work in a community organization is required for Educational Leadership candidates. 

SOC 593: Urban Social Issues

Prerequisites: none
3 credits

The course will examine the emergence of cities and theories of urban change from a sociological perspective. Urban and suburban life will be explored from a macro and micro level of analysis. The focus will be on American urbanization with an emphasis on the City of Detroit, although worldwide urbanization will be discussed. This Educational Leadership Masters Degree course will include a service learning component.


EDL 687: Administrative Practicum

Prerequisites: Program Coordinator faculty approval required to enroll in EDL 687
3 credits

This Masters Degree in Educational Leadership course will consist of a supervised Practicum experience for administrative candidates to demonstrate competency of the eight Michigan Standards for the Preparation of School Principals. Candidates will be required to engage in several administrative duties, responsibilities, and activities such as, organizational leadership, curriculum development, and supervision and evaluation of staff during the practicum experience. Students will develop a plan of work that will be approved by the instructor and site administrator. The onsite administrator and college supervisor will evaluate the students’ performance during the practicum experience.


Marygrove College, an educational institution located in Detroit, has been a leader in teacher education since 1905. In the past decade, more teachers have earned their Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) degree from Marygrove College than from any other college or university. Marygrove was one of the first colleges to offer the convenience and flexibility of a distance learning master’s degree. With more than 28,000 graduates from the distance learning master’s degree program since 1990, Marygrove has a history of serving K-12 teachers with a program that is relevant to today’s working educator.

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