Educational Administration - P-12 School Leadership

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

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.

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.

We’re building Visionary Thinkers, Reflective Learners, and Servant Leaders.

  • Visionary Thinkers understand there is more to school leadership than crossing off tasks on a checklist. Visionary Thinkers understand theory and research in education and articulate the reasons behind the actions they take and decisions they make.
  • Reflective Learners know that if schools are to be focused on learning, it starts with leadership. Reflective Learners apply research and theory and model continuous growth, learning, and improvement in themselves and others.
  • Servant Leaders know that, above all else, leadership is empowering and supporting others for success. Servant Leaders empower, support, and help sustain the success of others with an eye toward the future.

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.

 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.

 Extra 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 Sybout’s Student Research Symposium;
    • Full access to our award-winning Student Success Center, which offers a wide array of tools for success in graduate education at a distance;
    • Developing insight into your own unique Gallup Strengths and access to a certified Strengths Coach.
    • Dozens of no-cost, extra learning opportunities available through the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)

 The program is designed to be completed in two years and features an authentic, field-based internship component. Upon completion of courses, students are prepared to take the state-required PRAXIS II Exam and upon passage, apply for administrative certification in Nebraska.

 “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

“The Block” (Summer #1, Face-to-Face)

The heart of school leadership today is leading instruction and addressing authentic challenges. Your UNL journey begins with this in mind. We’ve integrated Instructional Leadership (TEAC 948) and Foundations of Research & Methods of Inquiry in Educational Administration (EDAD 800) together in an intense, dynamic learning experience called “The Block.”

Key features include:

  • Powerful relationship building through face-to-face class meetings in Lincoln:
    • two days in June;
    • two days in July;
    • culminating in a day at Nebraska School Administrator Days in Kearney, NE in late July/early August;
  • Focused exploration of what high quality instructional leadership looks like in practice, and turns your eye toward unique challenges in your own building or district.
  • Sharing your individualized, school-based research projects with school leaders from across Nebraska.
  • Online engagement in between face-to-face sessions.

Following The Block, students choose between completing the program entirely online or taking up to four courses in a face-to-face format.

The Core  (Fall #1 & Spring #1, choose between Face-to-Face and Online):

Face-to-Face Core courses meet face-to-face for 7-weeks, one day per week. This allows students to complete two courses in the same semester.

 Online Core courses: are in session for 16 weeks, entirely online.

Fall Face-to-Face Core Offerings:

EDAD 833 Educational Finance (7 weeks)
EDAD 837 Education Law (7 weeks)

Fall Online Core Offerings:

EDAD 851 Faculty and Staff Appraisal (16 weeks)
EDAD 852 School Culture and Student Behavior (16 weeks)

Spring Face-to-Face Core Offerings:

EDAD 851 Faculty and Staff Appraisal (7 weeks)
EDAD 852 School Culture and Student Behavior (7weeks)

Spring Online Core Offerings:

EDAD 833 Educational Finance (16 weeks)
EDAD 837 Education Law (16 weeks)

Summer #2 (all online)

               EDAD Elective


TEAC 801 Curriculum Inquiry (if planning to complete EDAD 811 Practicum the following Fall semester) (16 weeks)


SPED 856 Supervising Special Education (if planning to complete EDAD 811 Practicum the following Spring semester) (16 weeks)

Culminating Courses (Fall #2 & Spring #2, all online)

Depending on the TEAC/SPED support course completed in the summer, students complete online culminating courses in year two.

Fall Online Offerings:

EDAD 830 Administrative Theory in Educational Organizations (7 weeks)
TEAC 801 Curriculum Inquiry OR EDAD 811 Principal Practicum (16 weeks)

Spring Online Offerings:

EDAD 903 Community Relations (16 weeks)
SPED 856 Supervising Special Education OR EDAD 811 Principal Practicum (16 weeks)

Want to know more?

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

Full Shavonna Holman bio

Application to this program

Apply Now!  Application deadline is 4/1/2019.

Application requirements for students interested in a P-12 Masters degree, EdD Joint degree or Curriculum Supervisor, Principal, or Superintendent administrative certificate/endorsement
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 other 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.