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)

Core Courses (21 hours)

EDL 7101 Critical Analysis of Policy, Theory, and Praxis for Educational Leaders
EDL 7201 Leading Curriculum and Assessment
EDL 7315 Data Analysis School Leaders
EDL 7401 Instructional Leadership for Learning & Change
EDL 7415 Human Resources, Law, and Ethics for school leaders
EDL 7601 School Operations and Organizational Management
EDL 7615 Communication and community relations for school leaders

Concentration Courses (9 hours)

All candidates must select and complete at least one (1) concentration

Coaching for Performance Option (9 hours)

(9 hrs. yields a PSC Approved Coaching Endorsement)
EDCO 7010 Introduction to Coaching
EDCO 7020 Using Data for Coaching
EDCO 7030 Applied Coaching

Leadership in Urban Schools Option (9 hours)

EDL 7700 Leadership in Urban Schools I
EDL 7701 Leadership in Urban Schools II
EDL 7780 Practicum (3 hours)

Leading Independent & Charter Schools Option (9 hours)

EDL 7800 Financial Management and Leadership
EDL 7801 Institutional Advancement and Governance
EDL 7780 Practicum (3 hours)

Admission Requirements

Must possess the following beyond the general KSU Graduate College Admission Requirements: 

  • Degree – Bachelor’s degree.
  • Certificate – Uploaded to graduate application. Current clear, renewable Georgia Teaching or Service Certificate, out-of-state equivalent, OR Educational Leadership Department Chair/Program Coordinator approval. To print a copy of your clear, renewable Georgia teaching certificate, you may log into your MyPSC account.
  • GACE Leadership Ethics Assessment – Completion Certificate must be uploaded to graduate application.  More information may be found on the GACE Leadership Ethics website. You may print a copy of your completion certification from the GACE Ethics test taker website.
  • Employment – Employed in role within an organization providing educational services.
  • Résumé or Professional Vitae – Uploaded to graduate application.
  • Experience – Minimum of TWO (2) years of teaching experience required.
  • Recommendation/Evaluation Form (1) – Forms and their directions are in the online graduate application. May submit letter of recommendation or utilize evaluation form to be completed via the graduate application. The KSU Graduate College will send electronic evaluation forms to these sources. This recommendation should come from an educational professional who has taught or supervised your work and who can write with authority about your abilities as an educator.
  • Mentor Form – Completed by a mentor holding a GaPSC clear, renewable Tier I or Tier II Leadership certificate. The Leadership Mentor Form provides instructions and requirements.  Completed form must be uploaded to graduate application Individuals employed in a private school setting will need to reach out to the Bagwell Certification Officer for further guidance.
  • Partnership Agreement – PSC rule 505-3-.77 requires “a partnership agreement…for the purpose of collaborative work…Such partnership shall permit self-selection for Tier I programs provided the partner district has the capacity to mentor the candidate.”  Kennesaw State University must hold a Performance-Based partnership with the Candidate’s School District or Charter/Independent School.  Reach out to the Program Coordinator, for Tier I Leadership, to confirm that one exists with your school system. 

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 

  • M.Ed. may accept up to 9 hours of approved credit with a “B” or better and no more than 5 years old.
  • Tier I Certification Only may rarely accept 3 hours of approved credit with a “B” or better and no more than 5 years old. 

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.