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Online Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership

masters in education administration alum
Bob Curtis, ‘13 Master of Education in Administration

Secondary Principal, Community R-VI School District

Prepare for building-level leadership

Day-to-day administration of an elementary, middle or secondary school presents unique challenges in organizational management and curriculum supervision. As a teacher or administrator with leadership as a career goal, you will get the skills you need to meet these challenges through the combination of coursework, preparation for certification, and hands-on field experience that comprise the William Woods University Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree.

DESE coursework

All coursework required by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is included in this program, which emphasizes the ability to formulate effective educational practice involving school administration, school management, curriculum development, and supervision as they relate to the Missouri School Leader’s Standards and the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards. The curriculum for the M.Ed. degree emphasizes current research, educational trends, knowledge assessment, legal frameworks, and cultural issues. As a student in this program, you will graduate with the broader understanding of how schools operate at the building level. Through an extensive field experience, you will benefit from the opportunity to experience many aspects of school building leadership.

At William Woods, you’ll be participating in an Education graduate program known for its excellence and for providing a significant number of the leaders in Missouri’s state school system. Our Education graduate students are well-prepared and continue to score well on state administrative certification tests. As one of these students, you will have the opportunity to learn from active practitioners in the field and make the connections you need for leadership and career growth.

This degree is designed to fit the schedules of working pk-12 teachers and administrators and can be completed in two years or less through evening courses taught in convenient locations around the state. You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. We structure the schedule so as to keep students together, allowing you to develop lasting relationships with peers focused on similar career goals. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.

Your Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree at work

This degree prepares you for upward mobility within a school by becoming a teacher leader, assistant principal or building principal. As a program graduate with a passing score on the state’s building-level assessments, you will be eligible for initial building-level administration certification. Successful completion of the program along with a qualifying score on the DESE assessments will enable you to apply for a principal’s certificate within the state of Missouri.

William Woods is the largest certifier of school leaders in Missouri

606 # of our graduates who are now principals and assistant principals
157 # of our graduates who are now school district administrators
90 # of our graduates who are now school superintendents


You will earn the degree by completing 13 three-credit courses plus 300 hours of field experience. You will also create a portfolio demonstrating your proficiency on each of the MLDS/PSEL Standards, among other requirements.

Courses you may take

EDU 500 - Current Issues In Education - 3.00

This course is designed to provide educators and non-educators with a broad understanding and better perspective of current issues that are faced by educators, trainers, and their learning institutions. The course will focus on a lively discourse and reflection related to contemporary topics and issues relevant to the specific student track. The course will serve as a platform for bridging the gap between goals, principles, theories, philosophies, and methodologies in the educational/training process and the realities of a variety of learning institutions (classrooms, schools, professional training, etc.). The goal of this process is to expand and enlighten the practitioner's outlook, thought processes, understanding, and repertoire of knowledge, attitudes, skills, and strategies when faced with those issues.

EDU 557 - School Leader Field Experience - 1.00

School leadership is an increasingly difficult and complex profession. Successful school leaders must possess not only an extensive knowledge related to the characteristics and attributes of school leadership, but must also demonstrate the ability and disposition to apply this knowledge through successful leadership practices. This supplemental field experience course allows the students with initial building level administration certification to complete field experience in the identified minor area as required for K-12 School Leader certification. (EDU557 is a pass/fail course) Corequisite: EDU568 or EDU610 (should be completed prior to or concurrent with first semester of EDU557)

EDU 568 - Action Research - 3.00

Students will become familiar with the role of school leaders in school improvement and learn to use action research to solve instructional problems related to school improvement. Students will also utilize recent research on effective instruction and explore advanced classroom strategies and techniques designed to enhance their effectiveness in meeting the needs of diverse populations of learners. Students will develop expert instructional skills and learn to diagnose and deliver the most appropriate instructional strategies for a variety of learning environments. Focusing on rigor and relevance, students will develop the ability to significantly enhance instructional opportunities for their learners. In this course, students will also begin the initial planning and writing steps of the certification required performance assessment. The student will collaborate with Field Experience (EDU557) university supervisor and on-site supervisor/mentor to review relevant educational data to identify an instructional problem to address through action research. Students will research, design and present an instructional plan for implementation in the appropriate educational environment.

EDU 569 - Visionary Leadership - 3.00

This course is designed to offer a balanced approach to the study of educational leadership. The course examines the theoretical foundations of school organization with a focus on the basic administrative theories, decision making processes and concepts applicable to school leadership at the building level. It explores the multidimensional roles of the administrator as educator, leader, manager, and reflective practitioner. Course content focuses on the importance of the leader as a visionary and guides the prospective school leader through the process of creating a mission and vision. Through this process, prospective school leaders will learn how vision relates to the school culture and the importance of stakeholder communication and involvement. Prospective school leaders will also demonstrate how multiple sources of data are connected to mission, vision, core values and the legal and ethical handling of information. In addition, the Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS) Aspiring Leader lessons (treatments) are embedded in this course. Prerequisite: EDU568

EDU 570 - Supervision - 3.00

This course introduces prospective school leaders to the theories, knowledge, skills, and techniques for school supervision. It focuses on the role of supervision in the improvement of instruction and in the building of positive relationships with staff along with ensuring a culture of mutual support and respect among staff. This course will assist prospective school leaders in knowing how and why analysis of student demographics is used to determine the overall diversity of a school and can explain its impact on the teaching and learning process. The course is also designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to function effectively as school leader in the capacity of a program supervisor or principal/administrator in the performance of supervisory and evaluative duties. The Missouri Educator Evaluation System and the recruitment, training, and retaining process will be addressed. Learning methodology will involve both individual and collaborative group activities through case study analysis, discussions, simulation/role-playing, and classroom presentations. In addition, MLDS aspiring leader assignments (treatments) are embedded in this course.

EDU 572 - Managerial Leadership - 3.00

The role of the school leader is multi-faceted and increasingly complex to say the least. Today’s school leader must be skillful in all of the following: creating a safe, functional learning environment; managing fiscal resources; managing human resources; program compliance and legal requirements; all forms of communication; all in addition to being an instructional leader. In the role of the instructional leader, the principal charts the path for continuous improvement and increased student achievement all while focusing on building and retaining positive relationships with students, staff and community. In this course, students will become familiar with all facets of school leadership and have the opportunity to apply skills learned in simulated classroom experiences and course assignments. Prerequisite: EDU568 (or EDU610) and EDU569 (or EDU620)

EDU 573 - Instructional Leadership - 3.00

This course will introduce the student to the content knowledge, performance competencies, implementation strategies, and evaluation criteria needed by school administrators. This course is designed to provide the student with current Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) informational guidelines relative to leadership of a quality curriculum needed for state accreditation. Administrative functions and responsibilities surrounding instructional curriculum; as well as horizontal and vertical alignment issues and their relation to student achievement will also be discussed. Prerequisite: EDU568 (or EDU610) and EDU569 (or EDU620)

EDU 580 - Educational Technology - 3.00

This course is designed to help practicing educators understand the role of educational technology in today’s learning environments with a focus on enabling them to become educational technology advocates. Participants will investigate the digital transformation in education and the impact this has on the classroom. You will learn to apply various learning frameworks as you analyze technology needs and innovations. You will develop a technology vision for your school and develop a process to plan and advocate for needed technology integration. A primary focus is upon guiding future administrators and teacher leaders in the process of understanding the changes needed to effectively utilize instructional technologies to build learning environments that focus on 21st century skills as well as providing guidance in utilizing technology to enhance professional practice and effectiveness.

EDU 583 - Performance Assessment for Aspiring Building Level Administrators - 0.50

Effective educational leadership is measured in multiple ways as the aspiring leader completes degree and certification requirements in his/her preparation program. The new prospective leaders must demonstrate competence in vision, instruction, management, relations, and innovation. However, one specific evaluation that is common to all educational administration preparation programs is the use of a performance assessment that focuses on instruction. Prerequisite: Completion of all courses in MED Administration (may enroll concurrently with Field Experience Capstone, but may not be taken prior to FE) Corequisite: EDU597 or EDU697

EDU 585 - School Law - 3.00

This course is designed to provide prospective as well as practicing educational leaders, policymakers, and teachers with the legal knowledge that will enable them to conduct and operate school organizations effectively within the boundaries of constitutional, statutory, and case law. The course will focus on the law related to public education to create an equitable education for all students. Relevant constitutional, statutory and case law pertaining to various aspects of education and major legal issues and principles of law surrounding those aspects will be presented and discussed.

EDU 590 - Appraisal Of Student Learning - 3.00

This course is designed to acquaint learners with the complex issues related to assessment and to provide first-hand experience in the development of high-quality assessments, including the incorporation of a variety of technology tools in the assessment process. The course will investigate the purposes and application of assessment; the relationship between instructional outcomes and assessment; the development and implementation process for various types of assessments; the collection, analysis, and use of assessment data; as well as various scoring and grading methodologies. Participants will investigate the uses and limitations formative assessment, summative assessment, and diagnostic assessment.

EDU 597 - School Leadership- Building Level Capstone - 3.00

This culminating course is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to practice those attitudes, skills, and behaviors necessary to provide positive leadership in school administration. Opportunities to present and demonstrate their understanding of the leadership standards and domains, as well as presentation of the performance assessment steps including peer review feedback. In addition, students will prepare for the principal certification assessments, including both the performance and content assessments. A capstone reflection paper will demonstrate the students’ competencies throughout the entire program. Prerequisite: 500,585,568,569,572,573,557 (3),570,580 & 590 Corequisite: EDU583


Students enrolled in the Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership or Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership programs may be recommended by William Woods University for Missouri state-level K-12 School Leader (Principal) Certification beginning Fall, 2020!

View the K-12 School Leader Certification Requirements for more information!


  • Completed application
  • Copy of teaching certificate
  • Complete the  student achievement document outlining your accomplishments as they relate to student achievement and signed by you and your direct supervisor.
  • Official transcripts (2.5 GPA or higher) mailed from the college/university you graduated from

Your digital classroom. Available anywhere.

William Woods online graduate education programs are available to students across the country. In Missouri, our students come from Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly, Springfield, Ozark, Cape Girardeau, Rolla and many more locations. Beyond Missouri, our online graduates hail from California, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Arkansas and other states.

Our graduate education programs are available online and are ranked among the best online programs in Missouri by US News and World Report.

William Woods in the real world

Many of our graduates hold leadership positions in Missouri’s schools.

Bob Curtis, ‘13 Master of Education in Administration

Secondary Principal, Community R-VI School District

One more thing

A high percentage of our students have impressive day jobs. They’re building level administrators, central office administrators, superintendents, special education directors, curriculum directors, instructional coaches, and professional development coordinators. As a student in our program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from practitioners like these and form connections that later may lead to job opportunities.

Admissions Information

Learn more about graduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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