Educational Administration - P-12 School Leadership draft

Educational Administration - P-12 School Leadership draft Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Program Length

2 years





Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders

The challenges for school leaders have never been greater. No longer are principals expected to simply manage budgets and student behavior. Today’s building-level leaders are at the forefront of school leadership and everything that comes with it, from improving instruction and student learning, to providing optimal learning environments for teachers, students, and staff, and ensuring a safe, welcoming culture and climate for all. For us, the principal is the decisive element in the building.

The Nebraska Difference

That is why we have built a program focused on standards, supported by research, and founded on relationships. Our program is aligned with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) as well as the Nebraska Principal Effective Practices Framework. But we didn’t stop there. We call it The Nebraska Difference.

Our Unique Program

Award-Winning Faculty

  • Students learn from faculty who conduct and share leading research on authentic school leadership challenges. These scholars are devoted their careers to teaching, researching, discovering, and sharing what works in school leadership.
  • Students also learn from faculty with decades of real world experience as school leaders. These leaders have walked the walk of school leadership as principals, superintendents, and more.

Individual Attention & Hands-On Learning

  • Students identify and utilize their unique Strengths, according to the Gallup StrengthsFinder, and have access to a Certified Strengths Coach.
  • Students complete an authentic internship experience in their districts with support from a field-based mentor and faculty member.

Accessible Courses

  • Students form meaningful relationships with classmates, faculty, and others through a unique combination of face-to-face and online courses.

Extra Opportunities

Learning Opportunities

  • As a rising leader in the UNL program, you’re connected to unique resources to enhance your skills and perspective, including:
    • The opportunity to learn from scholars and practitioners from across the nation at the Women in Educational Leadership Conference in Lincoln—an event we’ve hosted for more than 30 years;
    • Cost-free attendance the Sybouts Student Research Symposium;
    • Full access to our award-winning Student Success Center, which offers a wide array of online resources for success in graduate education at a distance;
    • Many no-cost, extra learning opportunities available through the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)

Access to Leading Authorities

  • Students learn from leading authorities who share well-established expertise on particular topics, such as instructional leadership, school culture and climate, technology, grading and assessment, curriculum, and other key topics.

 “Relationships, leadership, and experience are just the beginning of the many benefits of the UNL Educational Administration program.  The face-to-face classes provide opportunities to build lasting relationships with colleagues as well as relevant-research opportunities to increase school improvement efforts. The professors are experienced instructional leaders willing to provide support during classroom instruction as well as in the field. As a graduate of UNL, the connections I made through classes and the practicum experience have made all the difference as I navigate through my first year as principal striving to develop effective instructional leadership practices.”

Charla Brant, Principal, Alcott Elementary School, Hastings, NE

Launching Your Journey

Program Curriculum

The program is designed to be completed in two years and features an authentic, field-based internship component. The first summer, "The Block" meets in Lincoln for two classes. Following The Block, students choose between completing the program entirely online or taking up to four courses in a face-to-face format. Upon completion of courses, students are prepared to take the state-required PRAXIS II Exam and upon passage, apply for administrative certification in Nebraska

The heart of school leadership today is leading instruction and addressing authentic challenges. Your UNL journey begins with this in mind.

  • EDAD 800: Foundations of Research A written report is required. Investigation and analysis of current problems in education administration and supervision.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 830: Administrative Theory in Educational Organizations Introduction to classic and contemporary administrative theory as applied to educational organizations. The theoretical nature of the course content is relevant to those with an interest in a broad variety of educational institutions. General organizational theory, organizational models, historical schools of administrative theory, authority, power, motivation, and leadership. Frequently students are involved in studying problems of practice as a means of testing theory.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 852: School Culture and Behavior School culture and student behavior in P-12 schools. Personalized teaching and learning environments that address student diversity, needs and interests.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 837 Education Law Evolution, principles, and practice of education law in relation to local, state, and national units of organization. Education law of Nebraska.
    • Credit Hours: 1-4
  • EDAD 833: Educational Finance Critical analysis of the political and economic elements impacting K-12 school finance. Content and activities address both building and district level concerns with an emphasis on principles, programs, and trends in school finance.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • TEAC 801: Curriculum Inquiry The relationship between curriculum theory and/or research to educational practices.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 903: Issues in Community Relations Principles of community relations and public relations; development of school and community understanding; collaboration of educators and community agents and agencies; communication tools and evaluation.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • SPED 856/857: Supervising Special Education/Special Education Administration For principals or other administrators who have special education programs in their buildings. Overview of disabilities, related law, special education programs, personnel issues, etc., and instructional methods and administrative support for effective integration of disabled students into regular programs.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 851: Faculty and Staff Appraisal Faculty and support staff in P-12 schools: appraisal, professional learning communities, high standards/high performance and accountability.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • TEAC 948: Instructional Leadership: Emerging Trends and Practices Changing roles for persons engaged in instructional and curricular leadership in educational institutions. Literature on staff development, assessment and evaluation, and effective schools serve as the basis for studying and applying this information to a variety of educational settings. Issues such as teacher empowerment and site-based management, along with cooperative learning provide the focus of the activities.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 811: Practicum May be repeated for credit. Rating and supervision of teachers; principles and procedures in the development of school policies; selection and promotion of teachers; courses of study and professional ethics.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 920: Diversity & Equity in Educational Organizations Understanding the individual and organizational issues of diversity and multiculturalism in P-20 schools. Increase the students' knowledge and appreciation of: cultural, social, political, and economic realities of our complex, pluralistic society in relation to our educational system. Through the integration of relevant information from history, law, interpersonal development, organizational development, and philosophy, students will develop a complex, comprehensive understanding of diversity and equity.
    • Credit Hours: 3

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

The application deadline is April 1.
Application Process

Students who wish to pursue the above-listed programs must:

  • Hold a current Standard Teaching Certificate from Nebraska or a credential recognized as equivalent to a Nebraska Standard Teaching Certificate
  • Provide evidence of a minimum of two years of full-time teaching experience at the grade level(s) relevant to the desired administrative certificate/endorsement
  • Provide evidence of the completion of acceptable Human Relations Training (or understand that TEAC 861 or another approved course will be added to the 36 hour program of study)
  • Provide evidence of the completion of acceptable Special Education Training (or understand that an additional 3 hours of course work will be added to the 36 hour program of study).

Administrative Certification for states other than Nebraska

The Department of Educational Administration provides approved programs that satisfy the requirements for a Nebraska Administrative and Supervisory Certificate, at either the standard or professional level, with administrative endorsements that will qualify individuals for employment as administrators in Nebraska P-12 schools and districts. It is the responsibility of out-of-state applicants to identify whether or not the programs offered by EDAD meet the requirements of their respective state and identify any additional deficiencies that would be required prior to that state issuing an administrative certificate or endorsement.

Criminal History/Background Checks

All students pursuing P-12 administrative certification/endorsement will be admitted contingent on the successful completion of a criminal history/background check prior to enrolling in courses leading to the certification/endorsement. Note that payment of $25 fee is required and will be explained to the student after being admitted.


Want to know more? Talk to our Program Coordinator

Shavonna Holman Assistant Professor of Practice, P-12 School Leadership M.ED. Coordinator

Full Shavonna Holman bio

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