This master's degree program is designed for teachers who wish to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to lead an Alabama PK-12 school as a curriculum/instructional leader or as an assistant principal or principal. (Most teachers with a master's degree in educational leadership first pursue entry-level curriculum/instructional leadership roles or administrative positions, such as assistant principal, with the aim of becoming school principals or school district curriculum leaders after some years of administrative experience.) Students in this program will broaden and deepen their theoretical and practical understanding of education leadership and hone their leadership capabilities. Our long-standing school district partners contribute to all aspects of the program, including admissions, program design, syllabi for new courses, mentoring, student assessment, co-teaching of courses, and exit evaluations of the master's degree candidates. University-based field supervisors and faculty-trained school principals provide support for and mentor our graduate students.

All classes meet face-to-face to encourage networking among students, and between students and their professors, Much group learning occurs during classes which results in the development of long-lasting, professional relationships among educators. Classes are established for the (a) Hoover/Over the Mountain area and meet at Simmons Middle School in Hoover, (b) Cullman/Jasper area and meet at the Cullman Area Career Center, and (c) Birmingham area and meet on the UAB Campus. Students may choose to join whichever cohort is most convenient for them.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the master's program, applicants must have a minimum of three years of full-time classroom teaching experience, a valid Class B certification in an instructional or instructional support area from the Alabama State Department of Education, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and a minimum GPA of 2.5 out of 4.0. Prospective students must apply through the UAB Graduate School and submit (a) an official transcript, (b) three letters of recommendation (one of which must be from the applicant's current administrator or supervisor), (c) an MAT or GRE score, (d) a resume, (e) a writing sample, (f) a Supplemental EXP form certifying a minimum of three years of teaching experience, and (g) an admissions portfolio. An admissions interview is also required. To ensure their applications are complete, prospective students should review our full list of admission requirements by clicking on the link below. This degree program admits students each semester. Applications are due March 1 for entry during the summer term, June 1 for fall entry, and October 1 for spring entry.

Coursework and Degree Requirements

The MAE program consists of six 3-credit courses (each accompanied by an additional 1-credit field experience course). These courses include: Foundations of Instructional Leadership, Legal and Ethical Foundations for School Leadership, Supervision and Mentoring of Instructional Staff, Organizational and Financial Management to Support Instructional Leadership, Data-Driven Decision Making for School Improvement, and Best Practices in Instructional Leadership for Diverse Populations. All courses are taught face-to-face.

Candidates for the master’s degree must complete the special education course Introduction to Exceptional Learners (ECY 600) or its equivalent. A 10-day residency in instructional leadership comprises the final semester of the program. Students must also pass the Praxis II Educational Leadership, Administration, and Supervision (ELAS) test in order to complete the program and qualify for Class A certification in Instructional Leadership from the Alabama State Department of Education.

Course Sequence

The master's program extends over four semesters and includes four classes per semester. Each set of four courses is equivalent to 8 credit hours. Though summer courses meet twice a week for eight weeks, fall and spring courses meet only one evening per week for 16 weeks. Students complete their 10-day residency in instructional leadership, along with three residency seminars, during their final term of the program.

MAE Block I

EDL 603 (3 hrs.)
Data Driven Decision Making for School Improvement

EDL 604 (1 hr.)
Field Experiences in Data Driven Decision Making for School Improvement

EDL 612 (3 hrs.)
Best Practices in Instructional Leadership for Diverse Populations

EDL 613 (1 hr.)
Field Experiences in Best Practices in Instructional Leadership for Diverse Populations

MAE Block II

EDL 601 (3 hrs.)
Foundations of Instructional Leadership

EDL 602 (1 hr.)
Field Experiences in Foundations of Instructional Leadership

EDL 610 (3 hrs.)
Legal and Ethical Foundations for School Leadership

EDL 611 (1 hr.)
Field Experiences in Legal and Ethical Foundations for School Leadership

MAE Block III

EDL 606 (3 hrs.)
Supervision and Mentoring of Instructional Staff

EDL 607 (1 hr.)
Field Experiences in Supervision and Mentoring of Instructional Staff

EDL 608 (3 hrs.)
Organizational and Financial Management to Support Instructional Leadership

EDL 609 (1 hr.)
Field Experiences in Organizational and Financial Management to Support Instructional Leadership

MAE Residency

EDL 605 (6 hrs.)
10-Day Residency in Instructional Leadership

Residency

In the final term of their master’s degree program, students must complete a six-credit, 10-day residency (internship) in instructional leadership. This 10-day residency provides future K-12 school leaders and administrators with authentic leadership experiences absent the responsibilities of teaching and coursework. We place our graduate students in school districts all around central and northern Alabama, including Bessemer, Birmingham, Cullman, Fairfield, Homewood, Hoover, Jasper, Jefferson County, Leeds, Madison, Midfield, Mountain Brook, Shelby, Sylacauga, Tarrant, Trussville, and Vestavia Hills, among others.

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Educational Leadership Faculty

Related Resources

If you have questions, please contact:

D. Keith Gurley, Ed.D.
Graduate Program Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
EB 232G
205-975-1983