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Instructional Leadership

Instructional Leadership offers both a master's degree and an Education Specialist degree (see below):

Master of Arts in Education - Instructional Leadership

Mission Statement: The mission of the University of North Alabama Instructional Leadership Preparation Program is to prepare engaged, collaborative and effective leaders of learning through the integration of theory, reflection and applied leadership opportunities. Preparing Administrators for 21st Century Schools. This program is grounded in the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders, and focuses on the development of essential knowledge, skills, and abilities.

 

Core Conditions and Indicators: The Instructional Leadership Program is based upon the Southern Educational Regional Board (SREB) Core Conditions and Indicators for successful preparation programs in school leadership.

  • Core Condition 1: University/District partnerships for principal preparation
  • Core Condition 2: Emphasis on knowledge and skills for improving schools and raising student achievement
  • Core Condition 3: Well-planned and supported field experiences
  • Core Condition 4: Rigorous evaluation of participants' mastery of essential competencies and program quality and effectiveness

Class A instructional leadership program allows candidates to benefit from purposeful hands-on experiences designed to prepare them to lead the essential work of school improvement and higher student achievement.  School-based assignments are designed to provide opportunities for the application of knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking that are required to effectively perform the core responsibilities of a school leader, as identified in Alabama leadership standards and research.  The developmental continuum of program practice progresses from observing to participating in and then to leading school-based activities related to the core responsibilities of instructional leaders, with analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of real-life problems at each level.

Benefits of collaboration between the university and LEA:

  • anchors internship activities in real-world problems instructional leaders face
  • provides for appropriate structure and support of learning experiences
  • ensures quality guidance and supervision

Instructional Leadership Program Options

MAED Instructional Leadership:

Candidates eligible for the Class A instructional leadership master's program must hold a valid Alabama Class B Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or a valid Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or instructional support area and meet program admission requirements.

Instructional Leadership Certificate:

Candidates eligible for the Class A Instructional Leadership Certificate program must hold a Class A Professional Educator Certificate and meet program admission requirements.  Program candidates are able to complete a reduced-hour program (18 hours) to be recommended for a Class A Instructional Leadership Certificate. 

Special Alternative Certificate:

A Special Alternative Certificate (SAC) allows a superintendent or administrator to employ an applicant who is completing requirements for Class A certification in instructional leadership through a State-approved Class A program at an Alabama institution. Additional Information is provided in the Educator Certification Chapter of the Alabama Administrative Code.

Essential Information

Steps for Admission

View program-specific minimum GPA for admission here: www.una.edu/education/graduate-programs.

Phase I. Graduate School Application

Individuals interested in making application to the Instructional Leadership Program shall meet all application requirements of the Graduate School. This includes:

  1. completion of the Graduate School application
  2. evidence of an earned baccalaureate-level Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or earned master's level Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or instructional support area.
  3. evidence of three full years of full-time, acceptable professional educational experience in a P-12 setting, which must include at least one full year of full-time P-12 teaching experience.
  4. any other Graduate School admission requirements such as entrance exams and background clearance.

Phase II. Portfolio

Individuals wishing to apply for the Instructional Leadership Program shall submit a professional portfolio (in digital form) to the department chair on or before the established deadline for each enrollment cycle. The portfolio shall contact the following items (See handout for specifics required in items):

  1. Letter of application
  2. Current resume or vita
  3. Professional growth plan
  4. Copies of transcripts
  5. Copies of teaching certificate(s)
  6. Three letters of recommendation (two must be from administrative supervisors)
  7. Evidence of ability to improve student achievement (classroom test scores, state test scores for your class and/or school)
  8. Evidence of leadership and management potential (roles such as committee membership/chair, department chair, etc.)
  9. Other areas of leadership (leadership roles in church and/or community organization)

The contents of the portfolio will be reviewed and scored by faculty members of the Instructional Leadership Department. The portfolio will count for the final score for the acceptance into the program.

Submission of Portfolio by given date:
For Spring ---> October 15
For Summer ------> March 15
For Fall ------> June 15

Phase III. Interview

Candidates are expected to demonstrate appropriate oral communication skills. Each candidate who makes a minimum score of 20 points on the portfolio will be invited to participate in an interview as the final step in the application process. The interview will be approximately 25 minutes in length and will be designed to acquire information regarding the candidate's potential in a number of leadership areas. Each candidate must have a minimum score of 18 points on the interview. A final score of 38 points is required for acceptance into the program. The interview will assess:

  1. Understanding of UNA Conceptual Framework
  2. Discussion of UNA Conceptual Framework
  3. Individual reflections on self-UNA Conceptual Framework parts
  4. Structured interview by questions on Instructional Leadership Standards

At the conclusion of the interview phase, all scores will be reviewed and candidates will be notified regarding their acceptance into the program.

Phase IV. Coursework

Courses Required

  1. IL 690 Development of Educational Human Resources
  2. IL 691 Financial and Material Resources for School Improvement
  3. IL 694 Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Student Learning
  4. IL 695 Legal & Ethical Responsibilities
  5. IL 696 Internship & Residency for Instructional Leaders
  6. IL 697 Leadership for Successful Schools and Partnerships
  7. EEX 605 Education for Exceptional Children (required if not previously completed)
  8. 12 hrs advisor-approved electives

Education Specialist - Instructional Leadership

Program Rationale: Grounded in the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders, and builds on the knowledge and abilities developed at the Class A (master’s degree) level, candidates in the Class AA Instructional Leadership program will use their skills to create and practice successful instructional leadership. The Class AA Instructional Leadership program is anchored on practical experiences and the contents rely on leadership experiences in school and school district settings to translate candidates’ leadership knowledge into sound leadership practices. A core principle of the Class AA Instructional Leadership program is the development of shared leadership practices with all who have a stake in improving student achievement, especially parents and teachers.

Candidates will engage in:

  • Practical experiences linked to instructional problems which serve to focus the candidate’s research and problem-solving efforts.
  • Experiences that encourage candidates to engage in alternative ways of thinking about educational settings, planning, scheduling, and approaches to teaching to accomplish learning goals for student populations with ever-changing needs.
  • Content focused on adult learning theory and develop a clear understanding of how adults learn and that schools are places where adults and students learn together.
  • Improving teacher performance using the Alabama Educator Effectiveness Process.
  • Content and practice in shared leadership providing opportunities for each candidate to understand and be able to implement leadership that is shared with all stakeholders in meaningful ways to support improved student learning.
  • Content focused on leadership for special education, English language learners, career and technical education, technology, pre-K programs, and adolescent literacy.

Essential Information

Steps for Admission

Phase 1. Graduate School Application

  1. Candidates must meet all testing requirements set forth by the Alabama State Department of Education. Contact the UNA Officer of Teacher Certification for details.
  2. View program-specific minimum GPA for admission here: www.una.edu/education/graduate-programs.
  3. All candidates must hold a Class A Professional Educator Certificate in Instructional Leadership or one of the other Class A leadership certificate designations [Instructional Leader, Principal, Superintendent, Superintendent-Principal, Educational Administrator, Supervisor (any subject and/or grade level), Administrator of Career and Technical Education].
  4. Candidates must also meet one of the following criteria:
    • Hold a Class A Instructional Leadership certificate earned after completing a redesigned program at an Alabama university.
    • Be currently serving as a superintendent, assistant or associate superintendent, assistant to the superintendent, principal, assistant principal, supervisor (any subject and/or grade level), administrator of career and technical education, coordinator, or evaluator.
    • Document three years of employment in an instructional leadership position for which one of the certificates is proper certification according to the current edition of the Subject and Personnel Codes of the Alabama State Department of Education.
    • Demonstrate each of the abilities in the Class A Instructional Leadership standards prior to admission to the Class AA Instructional Leadership program or prior to completion of the Class AA Instructional Leadership program.

Phase 2. Portfolio

Applicants who completed a Class A program other than one approved by the State Board of Education on or after September 8, 2005, must submit a portfolio (in digital form) which includes:

  • Letter of application
  • Current resume or vita
  • Professional growth plan
  • Copies of transcripts
  • Copies of teaching certificate(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation (two must be from administrative supervisors)
  • Evidence of ability to lead student achievement (classroom test scores, state test scores for your class and/or school)
  • Evidence of leadership and management potential (roles such as committee membership/chair, department chair, etc)
  • Other areas of leadership (leadership roles in church and/or community organizations)

The contents of the portfolio will be reviewed and score by faculty members of the Instructional Leadership Department.

Phase 3. Interview

Applicants who completed a Class A program other than one approved by the State Department of Education on or after September 8, 2005, must pass an interview conducted by a program admission committee that includes both P-12 instructional leaders and instructional leadership faculty. Candidates are expected to demonstrate appropriate oral communication skills. Each candidate who makes a minimum score of 20 points on the portfolio will be invited to participate in an interview as the final step in the application process. The interview will be approximately 25 minutes in length and will be designed to acquire information regarding the candidate's potential in a number of leadership areas. Each candidate must have a minimum score of 18 points on the interview. A final score of 38 points is required for acceptance into the program. The interview will assess:

  • Understanding of UNA Conceptual Framework
  • Discussion of UNA Conceptual Framework
  • Individual reflections on self-UNA Conceptual Framework parts
  • Structured interview by questions on Instructional Leadership standards

At the conclusion of the interview phase, all scores will be reviewed and candidates will be notified regarding their acceptance into the program.

Phase IV. Coursework

Courses Required:

  • EDS 701 Professionalism and Ethics in the School Culture
  • EDS 704 Culturally Proficient Leadership
  • EDS 708 Advanced Curriculum Dev for Teaching & Learning
  • EDS 703 Digital-Age Leadership to Enhance Student Learning
  • IL 706 Management of the Learning Organization
  • IL 707 Law, Policy, and Governance
  • IL 711 Professional Standards for Instructional Leadership
  • IL 705 Professional Development and Mentoring
  • EDS 702 Applied Research I
  • IL 709 Applied Research II
  • IL 710 Community and Stakeholder Relationships OR ED 640 Educational Statistics
  • EEX605 Survey of Students with Disabilities (if not previously completed)

Application Requirements