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.

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.

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. 

Learn more about the curriculum