M.Ed. In Educational Leadership – Tier I Leadership


Program Overview

The Master's Degree (M.Ed) in Educational Leadership provides candidates with the content knowledge and credentials necessary to effectively lead schools, districts and multi-million dollar organizations providing professional educational services. Applicants accepted into the program beginning in the summer of 2016, completing all degree requirements, will be eligible for a GaPSC Tier I Leadership Certification. For those with a Master's Degree in a teaching field, we also offer an eighteen (18) hour certification only option.

Beginning in Fall 2021, the Master's Degree is a thirty (30) hour program that is typically completed in six (5) semesters (spring/summer/fall) in under two (2) years. Two of the degree concentrations - Leadership in Urban Schools and Leading Independent and Charter Schools - are available in a fully online format. The other concentration, Coaching for Performance (which also leads to a GaPSC approved endorsement) is delivered through a face to face format.

The Master's Degree, as of summer 2016, leads to a clear renewable Tier I leadership certification in Georgia, and is fully approved by the Georgia Standards Commission. Candidates earning the degree who move to states in which leadership certification is also conferred at the M.Ed. level may be eligible for professional licensure in that state through reciprocity.

The program is highly professionally oriented, and candidates for the program are expected to currently be employed in a professional role in an organization providing professional educational services (e.g., school, regional educational service agency, department of education).  Field activities accompany the semester’s work to provide synthesis of the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary for today’s educational leader. At the conclusion of the program, candidates will possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to lead schools to higher levels of achievement for all students.

While the master's degree in educational leadership is a meaningful step toward successful leadership for all educators, ours is particularly beneficial to those in non-traditional educational environments, such as public charter and independent schools, with quality leadership in those schools being one of our concentration areas.  In the past three years, approximately half the students completing the MED in Educational Leadership have been from the public charter or independent school sectors.

* Please note: The GaPSC requires that students complete assessments prior to enrollment and completion in programs that lead to certification (M.Ed. and Tier I Certification Only). The GACE Leadership Ethics Exam must be taken prior to enrollment in certification programs, and the GACE Educational Leadership content exam must be taken in order to be certified. Students who have taken the Ethics Exam in a M.Ed./Tier I program do not need to re-take for enrollment into the Ed.S./Tier II.

MED at a Glance

  • Fully Online for most students (those who elect to pursue the “Coaching for Performance” concentration may meet face-to-face for three courses) 
  • Thirty (30) hours
  • Typically Completed in 5 semesters (less than 2 Years), Taking 2 Courses Per Semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer)

Instructional Leadership Core (12 Credit Hours) 

  • TLED 7101 Critical Analysis of Policy, Theory, & Praxis for Teacher Leaders (3 hours)
  • EDL 7615 Communication and Community Relations for School Leaders (3 hours)
  • TLED 7215 Leading Data-Informed Curriculum and Assessment Practice (3 hours)
  • EDL 7401 Instructional Leadership for Learning & Change (3 hours)

Operational Management Core (6 Credit Hours) 

  • EDL 7415 Human Resources, Law, and Ethics for School Leaders (3 hours)
  • EDL 7601 School Operations and Organizational Management (3 hours)

Concentration Options - Select 1 option for 12 credit hours

Option 1 - Leading Independent & Charter Schools Option (12 hours)

  • EDL 7800 Financial Management and Leadership
  • TLED 7980 Action Research in Schools (3 hours)
  • EDL 7801 Institutional Advancement and Governance
  • TLED 7990 Residency & Capstone (3 hours) 

Option 2 - Advisor Approved Electives (12 hours) 

Total (30 Credit Hours)

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Employment role in an organization providing educational services
  • 2.75 GPA in bachelor’s degree coursework or most recent graduate degree  
  • Transcripts from each college attended
  • Admissions Portfolio (content differs based on concentration)
    • Applicants in the Leading Independent and Charter Schools concentration must include the following:
      • Professional Resume
      • Reference Form
      • Mentor Form (with GaPSC L5 or higher certified mentor)
      • Evidence of two years of teaching experience
      • GACE Leadership Ethic Assessment Completion Certificate
      • Evidence of Initial Certification in Georgia
    • Applicants in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Concentration must include the following:
      • Professional Resume
      • Reference Form
      • Mentor Form

Admission Criteria for Unique Cases: 
Students classified as non-degree students are not permitted to enroll in the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. This program will not provide graduate level course work for certification renewal purposes. 

Transfer Credits 

  • Graduate courses taken at other accredited institutions must be evaluated and approved by the program coordinator or department chair. A maximum of 25% of transfer credit (with grades of “B” or higher) may be applied toward a degree program. Transfer credit is rarely awarded toward Certification Only Programs. No courses will be accepted for transfer credit if they are more than five years old at the time of evaluation or have been used in completing another degree. Transfer credit includes all course work accepted into the M.Ed. program prior to admission in full standing (maximum nine semester hours), whether earned at another institution or at Kennesaw State University. 

Graduation Requirements

  • Each M.Ed. candidate must petition to graduate at least one semester prior to completion of program requirements. For more information, please view the corresponding section of the academic polices: 5.0 PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS & GRADUATION.

Deadlines for Applications

Spring, November 1
Summer, April 1
Fall, July 1

Contact Us

For additional questions, please email the Program Coordinator, Dr. Cathey Goodgame, at cgoodgam@kennesaw.edu or call (470) 578-6888 or email edldepartment@kennesaw.edu for additional information.