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MEd in Educational Leadership

When you start to feel like there’s more that you can be doing in your workplace, when you start dreaming of big ways to up the student success factor at your school, when you’re eager to support your colleagues in their own development — that’s when you’re ready to become a leader. The only thing you need to shepherd others through changes big and small is the know-how to do so effectively, and a master’s degree that people respect.

Concordia’s MEd in Educational Leadership online program will prepare you for more influential roles in both the K–12 and higher education spaces. Using relevant curriculum and easy-to-use online learning tools, our faculty of practitioners will provide you with the best in theory and practice to facilitate quality learning experiences for students, an enriching environment for educators, and a supportive network for parents and the community at large.

Accredited, nonprofit, and taught by practitioners, all of Concordia’s online MEd programs reflect the same meaningful experience we’ve been delivering on campus since 1905. The convenience of 100 percent online, clearly defined coursework — paired with realistic deadlines and the ability to immediately apply what you learn in your classroom — makes our programs ideal for busy lifestyles. And the potential career benefits — from higher pay to promotions — are second only to the reward of having an everlasting impact on the lives of your students.

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August 19th
Length 1 Year
Credits 30 Credit Hours
Cost Per Credit $697
Accreditation NWCCU
Up to $3,000
100% online
100% online (no in-person field work required)
One year
Earn your MEd in one year, one class at a time, with built-in breaks
Updated curriculum
Curriculum is up-to-date and relevant
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Concordia is one of the most respected names in learning today
Positive career benefits
87% of our online MEd grads report positive career benefits as a result of their degree
20,000-strong alumni
20,000-strong alumni network
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall academic program experience

MEd in Educational Leadership Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives for all Concordia University MEd programs, successful candidates in the MEd in Educational Leadership program will demonstrate skills in:
Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design

Designing and implementing curriculum or school-based instructional initiatives that reflect current knowledge of research and trends in technology and academic content for all learners

Consulting and Assessment

Consulting and Assessment

Consulting, being able to assess the classroom and school environments, and making appropriate, research-based recommendations for school and classroom improvement

Effective Mentorship for Students

Effective Mentorship for Students

Providing leadership that encourages academic and personal excellence for students through effective mentorship of educational professionals that is responsive to individual, classroom, school, and community diversity

Leadership to Support Colleagues

Leadership to Support Colleagues

Providing classroom and/or school-based leadership to support colleagues in the faculty development process

Developing a Collaborative Environment

Developing a Collaborative Environment

Taking a leadership role in developing a collaborative work environment that incorporates the use of research-based best practices


The MEd in Educational Leadership program requires 30 credit hours

MEd in Education Leadership Core Courses
12 credits
Organizational leadership is a social phenomenon that occurs when leaders interact with the collective values and vision of others in the organization. Candidates will explore contemporary models of ethical organizational leadership, synthesize a personal statement of vocation informed by their leadership values and assumptions, and test their synthesis against a variety of assignments and practical experiences. The course also provides a forum where candidates enjoy the opportunity to identify and consider their own character, personal values, and workplace ethics. Each will develop an understanding of the critical need for ethical leadership in one's professional, personal and family life, and will appreciate the vital importance of living and modeling such values and, perhaps most importantly, of serving others.
This course is designed to provide leaders with the latest psychological research about learning and guide them in exploring ways to directly apply these precepts to their current work setting. Topics will include cognitive science, learning theory, and relevant teaching theories that utilize this information. The course will fuse the latest biological and psychological understanding of how the brain learns so candidates can harness this knowledge and apply it directly to learning situations.

Relationships constructed on trust are critical for an efficient, collegial, collaborative workplace. This course challenges candidates to confront the tremendous diversity in their current environment and develop strategies to build community in the midst of the social, ethnic, economic and alternative lifestyle differences that permeate today's 21st-century workplace. In sum, this course stresses the critical importance of creating community in the workplace and illustrates how that community, once established, can generate an efficient, supportive, and positive work place.

Candidates identify, review, and analyze major trends and issues impacting the contemporary state and national educational scenes. Each class session provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the advantages and liabilities of current educational reforms and issues from the perspective of prevailing educational research as well as from their own personal beliefs and current work environment. Candidates will also consider how they can impact and influence change in their own workplace.


Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

MEd in Educational Leadership
12 credits
This course examines principles of planning and administering a program for building a mutually supportive relationship between the school and its environment. Focus is on the development of skills and strategies for linking the school with constituents in the community such as parents, citizens, and special interest groups.
This course is a study of legal and ethical issues relative to practical matters that educators confront in their daily practice. Case studies that speak directly to teachers and focus on day-to-day ethical dilemmas in education form the foundation for this course. Particularly important to this course is the emphasis on the dimension of ethics as it relates to teaching and leadership.

This course provides an overview of what constitutes effective classroom instruction. The course will also explore in depth the categories of strategies that research show will have a high probability of enhancing achievement for all students in all subject areas at all grade levels. The research and theory will be studied as well as the practical classroom application of the strategies.

*Note: Course code will be retitled from EDGR 607 to EDGR 609 effective 9/23/19.

Organizational Change provides an introductory overview to the theoretical and sociological foundations of organizational change. Additionally, the course explores sources, processes, and outcomes of educational change and the resulting implications for teachers and administrators. Topics and activities are designed to review issues of interest and importance to those contemplating careers in educational administration or roles as lead teachers and agents of change.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

Research Course 1
3 credits

This course provides students with the basic competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the research of others, and to plan their own research with a minimum of assistance. This course includes the basics of both qualitative and quantitative research.

The Master of Education culminates with the choice of either EDGR 698-Action Research or EDGR 696-Practitioner Inquiry. Either option provides candidates with an understanding of the role of research in the field of education as a tool to solve problems and as a way to improve student learning.

Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:

Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the reflective acts of the candidate as an educator seeking to improve teaching practice. Premised in the self-study research methodological traditions (Samaras, 2011), Practitioner Inquiry provides the opportunity to reflect on teaching practice and generate improvements based on classroom observation. Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the educator and her/his own practices, developing skills of inquiry, observation, reflection, and action in teachers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research

Action research is one of the capstone projects for the Master of Education program. During this five-week course, candidates will learn more about the action research methodology, complete final edits of the Literature Review, and design a complete Action Research proposal including data collection methods and analysis approaches. (During this course, the proposal will NOT be implemented with students/participants.)
This design provides students with the requisite skills and means to pursue the transformative practice called "Action Research" in their classroom, school, district or other work environment. The design method for the capstone project closely aligns with current classroom realities, with district and school requirements, and the needs of teachers and students.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601.

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.


In addition to fully online, Concordia offers several Master of Education programs in an on-campus or hybrid format. See the options here.

Is the MEd in Educational Leadership program right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • You’re ready to effect large-scale change in your school or district
  • You want to study the legal and ethical issues relative to practical matters that educators confront in their daily practice
  • You believe you’d make a great mentor for both students and other teachers

Still unsure? We know we offer a lot of programs! Let’s talk more about your professional and personal goals.

Child Learning
I found myself so excited each week just to see what the reading would be, so I could use it in my classroom. It was very rewarding. I never expected it to be so aligned with what I was doing daily.
ANDRE'-MAR'QUIZ MITCHELL-FRANKLIN, MEd in Educational Leadership '18


What makes this program so relevant today

When teachers are more confident in their abilities, research suggests they tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive of students. And school leaders play a critical role in developing teacher confidence within their school. With an MEd in Educational Leadership, you can do just that. Some ways to build teacher confidence include:

  • Involving teachers in the decision-making process
  • Encouraging teachers and praising them for good work
  • Building a collaborative environment so teachers can share ideas
  • Acknowledging that the demands of a teacher can be overwhelming
  • Providing useful professional development meetings

Teacher confidence matters because it has a significant impact on student achievement—and an even higher impact on student-teacher relationships, home environment, and parent involvement.

“The most important rule of educational leadership is to always remember that people, not policies or programs, are what drive highly effective schools.” — PJ Caposey

“Always, always, always put students first. If you make decisions and prioritize your work based on what is best for students, you will never be wrong.” — You’re the Principal! Now What? by Jen Schwanke

“Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” — Rita Pierson

“Being a good leader isn’t about having power over others, but about instilling power in others.”
First-Year Hurdles, Educational Leadership 2013 by Jessica Bohn

The Wallace Foundation combed through over 70 research studies and publications to compile this list of five practices for successful educational leadership:

  1. Shaping a vision of academic success for all students
  2. Creating a climate hospitable to education
  3. Cultivating leadership in others
  4. Improving instruction
  5. Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement

PBS and The Wallace Foundation

  • Request leadership roles that don’t require administrative/principal licensure
  • Advocate for student learning and the profession
  • Find and use research to improve practice and student learning
  • Promote professional learning for continuous improvement
  • Promote the use of assessments and data for school improvement
  • Facilitate school culture
  • Mentor colleagues
  • Lead fundraising efforts
  • Observe and provide feedback on student-teacher interactions
  • Talk to parents about academic programs
  • Lead and be a part of conversations to improve programs
  • Become a classroom supporter to help teachers implement new ideas
  • Serve on a committee
  • Represent your school through a community or district taskforce

Source: AllEducationSchools.Com, Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority, ASCD, National Education Association

Research conducted by the Centre for High Performance, with Oxford and Kingston universities, analyzed the work of school leaders to determine which leadership management styles work.

Surgeons: Cut what doesn’t work, transfer kids who don’t measure up, focus on boosting test scores and driving up positive data. When the surgeon leaves, schools often revert back to their old ways.

Soldiers: Focus on cutting costs, and reducing staff — which puts more pressure on those who remain. The finances might get healthier, but the staff and student performance might not.

Accountants: Look for ways to drive more funds into the school to invest in students. They might find creative ways to increase the budget, but the impact upon students is often negligible.

Philosophers: Dedicated to identifying and supporting good teachers and encouraging collaboration. Staff culture may improve, but the school’s budget and achievement results might not.

Architects: Look at the broader picture of the school and invest the time it takes to design systems that work. Thoughtful plans for achievement, teaching, and finances are slow to build. But after three years, they often show gains.

Architects might be the most effective, but they’re not the most recognized. According to Forbes, “Philosophers were both the most frequently appointed and the most recognized in public honors, while Surgeons were the best paid, at an average salary of $188,000. In contrast, architects were the least likely to be given public honors and received an average annual salary of $105,000.”

Sources: Harvard Business Review, Forbes Magazine

In our Educational Leadership program, you’ll explore how to transform your learning community’s education experience. You’ll learn:

  • Principles of planning and administering a program in order to build a mutually supportive relationship between the school and its environment
  • Legal and ethical issues relative to practical matters that educators confront in their daily practice
  • Effective mentorship of education professionals that is responsive to individual, classroom, school and community diversity
  • Theoretical and sociological foundations of organizational change
  • How to take a leadership role in developing a collaborative work environment
  • Effective classroom instruction strategies


See where an MEd focused on educational leadership could take you

Planning to stay in your current teaching job? Many MEd graduates do! But in addition to potential benefits like increased salary and more self-confidence, an MEd could also expand your career opportunities within the education industry.

Potential careers include:

  • Division or department chair (K–12)
  • Higher education instructor in educational leadership
  • Assistant chief academic officer (public or private K–12)
  • Education consultant (public or private)
  • Public administrator (business, city government, college)
  • College student services director
  • Coordinator, running start program for high school students transitioning to college (community college)
  • Career pathways coordinator (community college)
  • Director, high school students/high school to college division (community college)
  • Director, career services (community college)
  • Director, college student relations division
  • Department chair, community college (various divisions)
  • Director, preschool (public or private)
  • Education advisor, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) district or state school improvement team (K–12)
  • Education advisor, district superintendent's cabinet (K–12)

(Some states may require specific licensure for some of these positions. Check with your state’s Department of Education for more details.)

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