About the Degree
The Master’s Degree in Educator Leadership prepares educators to take on a variety of leadership roles in their buildings or districts. The program is intended to (1) develop administrative skills such as management, supervision and decision-making but also will focus on preparing school leaders to be instructional leaders, and (2) improve instruction and in turn improve student learning. This program is entirely web-based and does not lead to principal certification.
The program focuses on building collaborative cultures and professional learning as well as continuous improvement through data-driven decision making. Another key focus of this program is to prepare these leaders to have a deep understanding of best practices in aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Applicants enter the program after completion of at least the bachelor's degree and will complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours for the Master’s degree.
In addition to the completion of core courses, students will complete an Action Research Capstone project based on a field-based needs assessment and data analysis. Students are also expected to make presentations at professional conferences in order to communicate best practices related to applying specialized pedagogical content and displaying leadership abilities.
South Carolina Teaching Add-ons and Endorsements
All strands within the M.Ed. In Educator Leadership lead to either an add-on certification or endorsement by the Department of Education. While the completion of one strand (or 12 elective credit hours) is required, students are encouraged to compete as many of the certification areas as they so desire. Individuals who wish to add certifications to an existing license may see additional information at the South Carolina State Department of Education.
The following certifications and endorsements are available:
- Teacher Leader endorsement (all graduates)
- ESOL, Project based Learning, Gifted & Talented, Online Teaching, ECE Special Education, Read to Succeed Teacher (depending on elective coursework chosen)
Specific to USC Aiken, teachers must meet the following requirements: (a) Bachelor’s degree, (b) initial or professional license at the middle, secondary, or PK–12 level, (c) minimum qualifying score(s) on the content area examination(s) required by the State Board of Education. In addition, you may need to complete the following courses approved by the State of SC Office of eLearning to correlate with the courses required as part of the M.Ed. in Educator Leadership.
For consideration for admission, applicants should have:
- Licensure (or eligibility for licensure) as a teacher
- An undergraduate degree from a United States regionally accredited institution
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on undergraduate coursework or permission from the Dean
Applicants enter the program after completion of at least the bachelor's degree and will complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours for the master's degree. In addition to the completion of core courses, students will select a specialty area that will address their particular interests.
- Successful completion of an approved program of study providing a minimum of 36 hours of graduate credit. A student’s official program of study must be approved not only by the student’s advisor but by the Dean of the School of Education and the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.00 (B) is required on the total graduate program with a minimum average of B on all 700-800 level courses.
- Successful completion of an action research project and an oral defense.
Transcripts of transfer graduate credits must be on file prior to approval of graduation applications.
The program is entirely web-based.