Master of Education

Educational Leadership Concentration

Are you a full-time educator? Raise your profile with Saint Leo's Master of Education. Take on a new leadership role in your school and community, increase your effectiveness in the classroom, and make a greater impact on the lives of youth.

This fully integrated Online program prepares educators who hold a valid teaching certificate to lead an educational institution, emphasizing the core knowledge and skills required to full participate in educational governance at the school, district, and community level.

Wherever you are on your journey, Saint Leo will meet you there. Turn any computer into a vibrant interactive classroom – day or night. Saint Leo provides students with the opportunity to advance their education without having to travel to a traditional campus – no conventional classroom attendance is required. Set your own weekly study schedule anywhere, anytime. All of our Online students receive the same educational degrees as campus-based students, benefiting from faculty who are experienced professionals. To complete the Online program, students must complete a field work experience and practicum in a school setting selected by the student.

Most school administrators must earn a Master’s degree and license or certification before they can begin a career as a principal or educational leader. Although a handful of states do not yet require licenses or certifications, most states follow the national guidelines set by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium to assess beginning school leaders. Saint Leo University’s Educational Leadership core curriculum is aligned with the national educational leadership standard areas:

  • Instructional leadership,
  • Managing the learning environment,
  • Learning, accountability, and assessment,
  • Decision making strategies,
  • Technology,
  • Human resource development,
  • Ethical leadership,
  • Vision,
  • Community and stakeholder partnerships, and
  • Diversity.

Licensure and/or certification for educational leaders is a function of each individual state’s Department of Education. Candidates are responsible for understanding and meeting all requirements for school administrator licensure or certification. The eligibility and application process for licensure or certification is separate and apart from Saint Leo University’s application and degree requirements for a M.Ed. with a concentration in educational leadership.

Our program meets the continuing education and professional development needs of Florida public and private educators who hold a Florida teaching certificate. The M.Ed. with a concentration in Educational Leadership is a Florida state-approved program meeting all requirements set forth by the State of Florida's Department of Education. Candidates in the program must pass the Florida Education Leadership Exam (FELE) to gain eligibility for degree conferral. Graduates from the programs are eligible for Florida’s Education Leadership Level 1 certification.

Our students find success as master teachers, principals and administrators in school districts around Florida and outside of the state, thanks to interstate agreements the Florida Department of Education negotiates.

Why choose Educational Leadership at Saint Leo?

Saint Leo University is a nationally recognized leader in education, founded in 1889 and accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Saint Leo has built a solid reputation in the educational community for our quality programs that produce tomorrow's master teachers and educational leaders.

A commitment to a set of core values is the cornerstone of Saint Leo University. Our mission is to offer a practical, effective model for life and leadership in a challenging world. It is a model designed with working adults in mind offering highly personalized attention, flexible learning opportunities, and a solid foundation for personal fulfillment and career advancement.

Our instructors are current practitioners in the field of school administration, and regular presenters at national and international conferences

Flexibility for the working professional.

Wherever you are on your journey, Saint Leo will meet you there. The M.Ed. can be taken as a blended program that combines traditional, in-person classes—with a variety of delivery formats, including online options and video conferencing.

Contact your Graduate Admissions Counselor for more information on fitting a master's degree into your life.

Professional development opportunities

  • Florida Certification: Eligibility for Florida’s Education Leadership (Level 1) certification
  • Preparation for School Administrator Licensure or Certification: Coursework meets national standards for educational leadership set by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium
  • Field experience: In a supervised practicum, complete school improvement projects that impact curriculum, student achievement and the school's role within the community. Gain skills in data analysis, school safety, school budgeting, school law, communication and building community partnerships.
  • 21st century classroom: Discover how to enhance learning with technologies such as iPads, the MimioVote™ assessment system and interactive SMART Boards.
  • Co-curricular activities: Join Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society for Educators.

What can you do with a degree in Educational Leadership?

Educational leadership degree programs prepare you to serve in leadership roles in primary and secondary schools, community colleges, universities, technical schools, governmental and adult schools. Some educational leaders put their skills to use in the business world, developing training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Educational leadership graduates can fill any number of highly rewarding positions, such as:

  • Public or Private School Assistant Principal
  • Public or Private School Principal
  • District-level administrator
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Director or supervisor
  • Dean of students or faculty
  • Corporate Trainer
  • College Instructor
  • College Department Chair
  • College Admissions Director

Additional education, licensure or certifications, and work experience may be required.

Where are Saint Leo Education grads now?

Our students find success as certified teachers, principals and administrators in school districts throughout Florida and outside of the state, thanks to interstate agreements the Florida Department of Education negotiates. Graduates of our programs consistently receive recognition and awards including the coveted “Teacher of the Year” and “Administrator of the Year” awards in their districts.

Admission Requirements Button


Take the next step in your career. Apply for Saint Leo's M.Ed. Educational Leadership today

Degree Requirements

Candidates who have not met State of Florida English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) requirements must take and pass EDU 561: ESOL for Content Teachers. Effective July 1, 2007, students admitted to the M.Ed. program, seeking educational leadership certification in Florida through the Florida state-approved educational leadership program, must pass all subtests of the Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE) and submit a passing FELE score report to the Director of Graduation for the comprehensive exam and degree conferral requirement.

Educational Leadership Courses (36 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • EDU 529 Decision Making for Instructional Leadership 3

    Principles central to data driven decision making are examined in the context of student learning, teacher proficiency and continuous improvement. The relationship between data, standards, curriculum, assessment and instructional decisions is explored. Technology integration and standards of leadership for effective school improvement are studied.

    Prerequisites: EDU 525 - Data Driven Instructional Decisions

  • EDU 553 Leading Curriculum for Special Populations 3

    Strategies to align curriculum, instruction and monitoring student progress for diverse populations in inclusive, diverse, democratic and global environments are studied. Students will explore strategies to monitor student progress and promote continuous improvement and to meet the cultural and developmental issues related to student achievement gaps.

  • EDU 525 Data Driven Instructional Decisions 3

    Develops an understanding of various types of data used in school settings and methods for analyzing and displaying these data sets to impact and measure student learning. Students will analyze measures of central tendency and develop a presentation for a data set using Web 2.0 technology. Learners will disaggregate student data sets and create a professional development plan to address student needs and ensure timely dissemination to information to students, faculty, and parents.

  • EDU 661 Managing the Learning Environment 3

    Research, theory, and best practices for improving the instructional program of the school, increasing student achievement, and improving the process the learning environment are thoroughly examined. Students will engage in field experiences to apply the theory and best practices. The field experience is conducted over one semester (16 weeks) for a minimum of 120 hours to demonstrate mastery of the required competencies and skills. The student is responsible for securing his/her mentor (high performing principal or experienced assistant principal), and necessary participation agreements.

    Prerequisites: EDU 615, EDU 624, EDU 628, and EDU 635 May not be taken in conjunction with EDU 647 and/or EDU 678

  • EDU 551 Leadership in a Learning Culture 3

    This course focuses on leadership and the learning culture in a school organization. School systems are considered and analyzed for learning with a goal of high expectations for growth, student engagement, and engaged stakeholders making efforts to close performance gaps. The course provides students with strategies for effective leadership in the change process to structure and monitor school learning environments that improve learning for all diverse students.

  • EDU 647 School Operations 3

    This course provides the student the opportunity to research issues of school operations, through professional readings, experiences of application, and reflection by peer and preceptor review. The field experiences are conducted over one semester (16 weeks) with a minimum of 120 hours to be invested in various required real-world learning experiences. Working with a high performing principal or assistant principal is a critical component of this course. The student is responsible for securing his or her mentor and necessary participation agreements.

    Prerequisites: EDU 649, EDU 659, EDU 688, and EDU 662. May not be taken in conjunction with EDU 661 and/or EDU 678.

  • EDU 649 Building School/Community Relations 3

    Strategies to promote school and community relations supporting the vision are examined. Effective communication methods with teachers, students and parents, and community stakeholders are considered and planned as part of leadership for school improvement. Opportunities for change, models for active participation and recognition in school improvement, and analysis of school data are considered with means to communicate expectations and performance indicators.

  • EDU 555 School Management 3

    School Management topics such as school law, safe school facilities, and school finance are examined in this course. School law addresses state and federal case, statutory, regulatory, and Constitutional law pertaining to student rights and responsibilities, torts, student services, student records, and the relationship between church and state. Student discipline, school building utilization, and safe facilities are explored in the safe school facilities section of the course. The process of planning, developing, justifying, implementing, and evaluating a school budget is studied within the framework of Florida public school financing. Accounting and auditing strategies and practices are considered.

  • EDU 570 Values and Ethics in Educational Leadership 3

    This course is grounded in the themes of the Saint Leo University Core Values, Catholic Intellect, and the Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in the State of Florida which can be used to guide ethical leadership. These themes will be studied to allow deep knowledge, reflection, and action, which will guide educational leaders as they are concerned not only with the many individual ethical dilemmas of their daily professional lives, but also with systemic moral issues, as well as personal development as ethical leaders who work with a set of core values. The overall goal of the course is to contribute to the improvement of ethical leadership practices in schools and organizations.

  • EDU 662 Human Resource Development in Education 3

    This course focuses on understanding and applying current research-based best practices in human resource management related to recruitment, selection, induction, professional development, and assessment/evaluation. There is a particular emphasis on using human resources to foster student learning and teacher growth through principles of assessment design, and strategically using formative and summative assessment results to support student and teacher growth. The course approach models best practices in professional learning community development. There is a field experience required for the student to acquire practical experience in applying course content and is built into course assignments.

  • EDU 669 Principalship: Theory and Practice 3

    Presented is a detailed examination of the instructional and managerial leadership roles, knowledge, values, and skills of a high performing school principal, who employ and monitor a decision-making process that is based on vision, mission, and improvement priorities using facts and data. The course will focus on realistic experiences designed to prepare the graduate for transition into administration and models best practices in professional learning.

    Prerequisites: Second year course. 30 credits or director of graduate education approval. Corequisite: EDU 678

  • EDU 678 Educational Leadership Practicum 3

    Under the guidance of a high-performing school leader and Graduate Education faculty member, the student engages in a 150-hour leadership practicum employing all ten of the Florida Principal Leadership Standards. Within the practicum, the student must successfully complete three applied school improvement projects (modules) that impact (1) the school curriculum and instructional programs; (2) student achievement; and (3) the school's role within the community. The student is responsible for arranging his or her practicum setting and preceptor, and must satisfy all University and practicum setting requirements. Grading is pass/fail.

    Prerequisites: 24 hours of coursework or Director's permission; Corequisite: EDU 669

Total Credits 36