MEd in Educational Leadership

The Concordia University-Portland Master of Education in Educational Leadership is designed for classroom teachers desiring to develop leadership skills and teachers considering careers in educational administration that facilitate quality learning experiences for all students.

The Next Start Date is November 13th

MEd in Educational Leadership Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives for all Concordia Portland MEd programs, successful candidates in the Master of Education in Educational Leadership program will demonstrate skills in:

  • 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, being able to assess the classroom and school environments, and making appropriate, research-based recommendations for school and classroom improvement
  • 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
  • Providing classroom and/or school-based leadership to support colleagues in the faculty development process
  • Taking a leadership role in developing a collaborative work environment that incorporates the use of research-based best practices

Course Descriptions

MEd in Educational Leadership
24 credits
EDGR 506 (3)
Character and the Ethics of Leadership
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.
EDGR 535 (3)
Theories of Teaching and Learning
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.
EDGR 595 (3)
Community of Learners
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.
EDGR 602 (3)
Contemporary Educational Thought

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.

*This course is offered in a seminar format online, which consists of three one-week (1 credit) courses that are taken throughout the program.

EDGR 620 (3)
School and Community Partnerships
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.
EDCI 593 (3)
Case Studies in Law and Ethics
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.
EDGR 607 (3)
Strategies for Enhancing Student Achievement
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.
EDGR 626 (3)
Organizational Change
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.

Research Course 1
3 credits
EDGR 601 (3)
Educational Research

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.

Research Course 2
3 credits
The Master of Education culminates with one of three additional research courses:

Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:
EDGR 696 (3)
Practitioner Inquiry

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

EDGR 698 (3)
Action 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.

EDGR 699 (3)

The Thesis offers the graduate student the opportunity to investigate, in depth, a topic in the field of education. The student, working with his or her thesis instructor, will explore relevant literature and present a thesis following the procedure established by the College of Education.

Any of the above options provide 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.

Candidates seeking a Master of Education degree from Concordia University-Portland should be aware that completing the master's program does not lead to state certification or licensure. While in some cases coursework may apply towards renewal of a teacher's license, a Master of Education degree does not ensure initial teaching/administrative licenses or licensure for add-on endorsements.


Career Opportunities

  • 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 Transition 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, NCLB District or State School Improvement Team (K-12)
  • Education Advisor, District Superintendent's Cabinet (K-12)

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Student Spotlights

Kathy Pondy

MEd in Educational Leadership

Kathy Pondy of Phoenix, Arizona, is in the process of obtaining her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. She teaches AP (Advanced Placement) Microeconomics and AP Government and Politics at a suburban high school. Pondy, an ambassador for Concordia Online Education, is also currently the department chair of her school’s social studies department.

How has your Concordia Portland experience furthered your professional development?

Week after week, I find myself thinking about my craft. I reflect on my teaching strategies and how effective they are — or are not, with my students. Through examining current academic research, I have found out that we have a better understanding of learning outcomes now than we did 20 years ago, when I was an undergrad.

Why did you choose an online master's program from Concordia Portland?

As a full-time teacher, wife, and mother of two children ages 19 and 15, I delayed completing my master’s because of the time commitment involved.

While I have been eager to get my MEd in Educational Leadership for some time now, I was waiting for an online program that allows me to manage my time to best suit the needs of my family and me. Concordia's accelerated program and its consecutive five-week classes is rigorous, but doable. This program will allow me to reach my goals of moving into a leadership position within the next school year.

What is your favorite aspect about your online program?

Surprisingly my favorite aspect of the online program has been the dialogue with the other students in my cohort. When I began this program, I was eager to receive my textbooks, my assignments, as well as take on the responsibility of the learning at a graduate level. I was not looking forward to communicating entirely online with other classmates. I was worried that the dialogue would be minimal and shallow. It could not have been further from the truth.

The individuals in my cohort are intelligent, thoughtful, motivating, and inspiring. I find myself writing to impress them, which makes me a better writer. I also find that I am learning to become more open to new ideas, studies, and concepts because of the discussions we engage in.

Do you have any tips for current Concordia Portland students?

Students in the online master’s program should plan on keeping up with the program nightly. I would also encourage students to fully engage themselves in the online discussion with their classmates. This is where a large portion of the learning takes place.

How has your Concordia Portland experience helped you make a difference in your community?

Living and teaching in a small community is a responsibility many do not understand. As I grow in my mastery as a teaching professional, I feel a responsibility to mentor new teachers. These teachers will then grow as a result of the knowledge I can share with them, affecting a larger number of kids in our community.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time is a wonderful, scarce thing in my life these days. I love to travel up to the mountains, read biographies, and spend time with my family.

Kyle Sandford

MEd in Educational Leadership

Kyle Sandford of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, obtained his master’s in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. He currently serves as a fifth/sixth-grade teacher, but plans to make a career move into administration in the next couple of years. Sandford, an ambassador for Concordia Online Education, also recently became a new father and welcomed a daughter into his family.

How has your Concordia Portland experience furthered your professional development?

The things that I have learned in my studies directly influence my day-to-day practice. I have been able to identify the needs within my school, and I now have the tools to cater to those needs. I know that as I move into administration, I will have even more opportunities to utilize what I have learned, and continue to grow as a professional.

Why did you choose an online program from Concordia Portland?

I chose to go to Concordia because of the flexibility and accelerated pace of the online program. I could keep working full time, while going to school at the times that best suited me no matter where I was. Most importantly to me, knowing that we were planning to have a little one, I could complete my master’s in one year!

What is your favorite aspect about the online master's program in Educational Leadership?

My favorite part about the online program was the continuous support that was offered. Not only did I receive an iPad and textbooks, there was constant communication when I needed it the most.

Do you have any tips for current Concordia Portland students?

Don't wait. If this is something you have been thinking about, do it. The time will never be better.

How has your Concordia Portland experience helped you make a difference in your community?

By completing this program, I have set myself up to be a leader at my school and the community. I have learned things about myself which have allowed me to go forward and reach others more confidently. I believe that teachers touch lives, but as a leader in my school, community, and district, I will be able to reach exponentially more.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy soccer, skiing, singing, playing guitar, and watching movies. I also like playing games with my family and friends.

Ebonie Carter

MEd in Educational Leadership

Ebonie Carter of Merritt Island, Florida, is in the process of obtaining her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. She currently works part time as a private care companion, and prior to this position she was the assistant director of housing at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Carter, an ambassador of Concordia Online Education, plans to return back to the field of student affairs upon the completion of her master’s.

How has your Concordia Portland experience furthered your professional development?

The assignments from my coursework really add to my professional development. They are relatable, applicable, and we are able to assess and utilize critical thinking and deep reflection.

Why did you choose an online program from Concordia Portland?

One might say that I came across Concordia’s online programs by accident, but I don’t believe in accidents. At this moment in my life, obtaining a master’s in education is imperative. Job requirements for most universities and colleges necessitate a master’s on a mid- to high-level professional position. In order for me to remain competitive in my field, obtaining a master’s of education in Educational Leadership is a must! I chose Concordia specifically due to the accelerated pace, the cost, and the course descriptions and topics, which best matched my career path.

What is your favorite aspect about the Educational Leadership master's program?

We ask and expect students to practice deep thinking, ask questions, and provide conscious reasoning when making decisions. It is only fair and responsible role modeling that we as administrators do the same. The coursework allows me to take the necessary time to self-reflect and think deeply, reminding me why I enjoy and value education.

Do you have any tips for current Concordia Portland students?

The coursework is fast-paced, and there will be assignments almost daily. Set aside time each day or evening to prepare and complete the tasks at hand. The time it takes to complete flies by! Personally, I love the pace.

How has your Concordia Portland experience helped you make a difference in your community?

I believe my experience in the program aids in my ability to perform my duties effectively.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a single parent to a 16-year-old son. In my spare time, I paint. I categorize my work as documentary painting. Right now, I am working on a series that depicts traditional Zambian women with limited resources. I also enjoy traveling and working out.

Carla Burton

MEd in Educational Leadership

Carla Burton earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland.

Why was getting a degree in Educational Leadership important to you?

Increasingly, teaching automatically means taking on duties and roles beyond the onetime boundaries of the profession. These days, authoring materials, personally acquiring and managing resources, and operating uniquely within teams (or directing them) are expectations and implicit in job descriptions.

Teachers are full-range educators now, and, as stated in Luke 14:48, to whom much is given, much will be required. Every educator in the throes of gaining on-the-job experience needs to fortify that experiential enrichment with a formal education. This is the formula that can lead to most responsibly serving each stakeholder of the educational site — and, not least, the deserving educator undergoing the studies.

What did you like best about the online degree program as a whole?

The program as a whole focused on reinforcing essential scholarship with proactive support from all Concordia personnel and course mates, allowing the program’s intensity and pace to be continuously manageable. Authentic learning is forever most possible in an environment of genuine advocacy for the learner and his or her aspirations.

What did you like best about the Educational Leadership master's program specifically?

The Educational Leadership program was highly relevant, as it covered historical through present educational information, and always balanced useful theory with helpful practice. One could easily hit the ground running, applying multiple things learned on any particular day to his or her own work setting.

Have you already used what you learned in the Educational Leadership program?

In addition to the many individual techniques and approaches that I used right after learning them in class, action research proved invaluable and hugely rewarding. I greatly feared conducting research. Doing so was brand new to me, but learning deeply about my site and its populations uncovered critical data and needs that could be addressed only once discovered. Significant, positive change can occur only if issues and, what is more important, their sources are known and well understood. Such knowledge and understanding stem in great part from having learned ways to detect and accurately identify factors of impact.

What are your professional goals? Are these goals part of the reason you pursued a master’s degree?

My truest professional goal is to be happy, an outcome that involves working someplace where the notion of education is profoundly respected and where the breadth of knowledge, skill, innovation, and duty of care borne by every fine educator is valued and enthusiastically nurtured. I want to be able to actively contribute to furthering that sort of atmosphere daily.

Occupying any position along the education continuum is a sincere privilege, so from teaching assistant to establishment owner — or any combinations that can be fashioned between those two posts — is of interest to me throughout my professional life.

I pursued the MEd because I feel that one who is not learning is not really teaching, and my core professional goal is to consistently be the best teacher I can.

What advice would you give current online MEd students, or to people thinking of pursuing an online MEd from Concordia Portland?

Education is solely the result of whatever you digest, so savor every bite, and eat everything on your plate. Adding on a few pounds of know-how is thoroughly satisfying.

What advice would you give a prospective online Concordia Portland MEd student in Educational Leadership?

The intensive immersion experience of undertaking the MEd in Educational Leadership will noticeably strengthen your mental muscle and radically improve your occupational value in immediately measurable ways. Give as much as you receive, for all coursework is vastly enhanced by those exchanges in which you engage with your peers and professors.

Can you describe the highlights of a class, faculty member, or project you worked on during the Concordia Portland MEd program?

The highlights of the MEd program were rather many, to be frank. Certainly, the sustained camaraderie among all participants was noteworthy, as were our educators’ remarkable quality and levels of dedication. The courses on brain-based learning and education law were unexpectedly extraordinary, as were the sublime leaders of those courses, respectively, Professor Stephanie Petricone and Professor Darcy Rourk.

Consuelo Nelson Grier

MEd in Educational Leadership

Consuelo Nelson Grier of Seattle, Washington, is in the process of obtaining her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. She works at an academic affairs association that focuses on graduate medical education. Grier, an ambassador for Concordia Online Education, loves to watch football in her free time and is a big Seattle Seahawks fan.

How has your Concordia Portland experience furthered your professional development?

My Concordia experience has been really great so far. I'm enjoying getting to know my cohort, as well as learning and absorbing information from my instructors and classmates.

I am currently going through the process of being considered for a charter school board in D.C., and I believe that my experience at Concordia has given me a strong foundation as I go through this process.

I am also currently researching doctoral programs to begin once I complete my MEd program.

Why did you choose an online program from Concordia Portland?

I chose this program because as I was looking through the course catalog, the classes seemed to best align with my interests and the direction that I wanted to take my career.

What is your favorite aspect about the online master's in Educational Leadership?

My favorite aspect of my online program is learning from my peers. I consistently learn as much as I can from them about their experiences in the classroom, as I do from the course materials. Interacting with my cohort has really enhanced my experience.

Do you have any tips for current Concordia Portland students?

Reach out to at least one person in your cohort. I have the email and phone number of two other people in my cohort, and once when my assignment didn't upload correctly, my classmate called me just before the due date to make sure I knew that it wasn't showing up correctly. It was great to have made a connection with someone who was looking out for me.

How has your Concordia Portland experience helped you make a difference in your community?

Concordia has given me the knowledge and background to examine many of the education access and support issues in my community. I believe this will be a valuable asset as I look towards ministry opportunities within my church.


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