School Administrator Licensure Program
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Master of Arts in Education
Administrator Licensure Program



Program Contact Information:

Dr. Gary Stewart


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Graduate Tuition and Fees

Program Description: 

This performance-based curriculum for prospective school administrators is based on the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards (TILS) developed by the Tennessee Department of Education and enacted into law by the Tennessee General Assembly.  It was revised in 2013 in all Tennessee Principal (instructional leadership) Licensing Programs.  This program is designed to prepare candidates for educational administrative positions.  The program is designed to be taken by cohort groups.  EDUC 5710 – Introduction to School Leadership (3) must be taken the first semester of enrollment.  Upon completion of the program and the SLLA PRAXIS exam, the student will receive a Master of Arts in Education and be eligible for licensure as a Tennessee school administrator.

Admission Requirements: 


EDUC 5710 - Introduction to School Leadership (3)

A survey of trends and issues in educational leadership, including an introduction to Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards (TILS) standards for school leaders, the program of study leading to Tennessee administrative licensure. Must be taken during the first semester of enrollment in the ELS degree program.

EDUC 5720 - Research and Decision Making (3)

The study of action research and decision-making as they apply to problems encountered in school leadership and supervision. In this course, students are introduced to the techniques of action research. These various methods, which are generally common to the qualitative research paradigm, include: keeping a research journal, document collection and analysis, participant observation recordings, questionnaire surveys, structured and unstructured interviews. In addition, students are introduced and provided an overview of theories, methods, and analyses that are used in educational research. Must be taken during first ten hours of course work in the Master’s Degree program. This course is not interchangeable with EDUC 5000 or other general research courses.

EDUC 5612 - Computers for School Administrators (3)

Provides an overview of administrative and instructional technologies and resources available to the school community. Emphasis on the school leader’s role in fostering effective use of available technologies in all aspects of school operations and instruction. Provides practical experience with relevant technologies.

EDUC 5730 - School and Community Relations (3)

A survey of issues related to the school leader’s understanding of, response to, and influence of the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural contexts of public education. Emphasis on databased decision-making and systems thinking related to these contextual variables and their relationship to student success and school improvement.

EDUC 5740 – Supervision of Curriculum and Instruction (3)

A survey of the administrator’s role as instructional leaders, with emphasis on advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conductive to student learning, teaching effectiveness, staff professional growth, and school improvement.  Field experience is required.

EDUC 5750 - School Finance and Business Management (3)

A survey of the school leader’s role as a manager of physical and fiscal sources, and school operations, leading to a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

EDUC 5760 - Human Resources Administration (3)

A survey of the school leader’s role as a manager of human resources, leading to an ethical, humane, and effective learning environment that fosters student success and school improvement.

EDUC 5770 - Administration of Special Services Programs (3)

A survey of the school administrator’s role in fostering collaboration with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources. Emphasis on systems thinking and organization behavior designed to foster student success and school improvement.

EDUC 5780 - School Law and Ethics (3)

A survey of public school law and a study of legal and ethical issues that provide the foundation of fair, equitable, and ethical leadership that supports the success of all students. Emphasis on diversity and exceptionality issues that relate to student success, teaching effectiveness, and school improvement.

EDUC 5700 - Seminar on Education Leadership (3)

This course examines the most significant traditional and contemporary leadership theories and their applicability to the educational leadership domain. The course is built on synthesis and analysis of research in the management of educational organizations, leadership, planning, change, leadership styles, and decision-making. Field experience is required.

Additional Requirements for Licensure:

PRAXIS EXAM - Instructional Leader – Beginning – Test Code 6011

Courses with Prerequisites:

EDUC 5710 and EDUC 5720 are prerequisites for other courses

Milestone Review:

Students must complete three milestones while completing this program.  Milestone I will be completed in the first term or enrollment.  Milestone II must be completed before enrolling in capstone course.  Milestone III occurs at graduation.

Capstone Course:

EDUC 5700 – Seminar in Leadership is the capstone course for this program and must be taken the last term of enrollment, as it requires interaction in the local schools.  Milestone II is prerequisite. 

Research Plan I

  1. Research Foundations/Methods from a graduate course, with minimum of one advisor/teacher to oversee
  2. Program portfolio reviewed by graduate committee.

Portfolio/Standards Review Requirements:

Rather than completing comprehensive exams, candidates will complete a Live Text portfolio based on the standards in the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards.