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Educational Administration and Leadership

The Educational Administration and Leadership program is for Pre K-12 Principals, Superintendents, and Special Education Directors. The course layout is rigorous, experimental and focused on developing transformational leadership through projects, research, case studies, scenarios, simulations, in-box activities, and field experiences. Skill development will be focused on reflective leadership, data-driven decision-making, quality assessments, and research-based strategies to improve student learning. Program participants will also develop a professional portfolio based on national and state standards.This program has received approval from the Minnesota Board of School Administrators (BOSA).

The courses will be offered in a learning community format.  It is an off-campus graduate studies program that offers educators the opportunity to gain their degree or licensure close to home. Each Learning Community studies together for two academic years, meeting an equivalent of twenty times, or ten-weekend meetings each year. The program utilizes group participation and exchanges between students and administration professionals.

The Educational Administration and Leadership program is designed as a five-semester program. Each semester ranges between a one and ten credit course load to accommodate teachers’ busy schedules. The program will begin with one weekend per month to earn it in under two years. Here is the following course layout:

Fall Semester- Year One
ED 670 Intro to Leadership & Ed. Issues - 3cr.
ED 674 Ed. Systems & Organizations - 3cr.
ED 675 Legal Issues & Special Ed. Laws - 3cr.
Spring Semester- Year One
ED 665 Research Seminar & Field Experience I: Principal- 1cr.
ED 676 Data-Driven Decision Making - 3cr.
ED 695 Supervision & School Relationships - 3cr.
ED 684 Research Sem & FE 1: SPED Dir (OPTIONAL)
ED 694 Research Sem & FE 1: Supt. (OPTIONAL)
Summer Semester- Year One
ED 667 Research Sem & FE II: Principal- 1cr.
ED 671 Portfolio Development- 1cr.
ED 685 Research Sem & FE II: SPED Dir (OPTIONAL)
ED 696 Research Sem & FE II: Supt (OPTIONAL)
ED 682 Superintendent Perspectives (OPTIONAL)
ED 683 Special Ed Director Perspectives (OPTIONAL)
Fall Semester- Year Two
ED 668 Research Seminar & Field Experience III: Principal  1cr.
ED 672 Portfolio Implementation- 1cr.
ED 678 Leadership for Cultural Responsiveness- 3 cr.
ED 681 Transforming Principal Perspectives - 3cr.
ED 686 Research Sem & FE III: SPED Dir (OPTIONAL)
ED 697 Research Sem & FE III: Supt. (OPTIONAL)
Spring Semester- Year Two
ED 673 Portfolio Capstone- 1cr.
ED 679 Financial and Resource Managent- 3cr.
ED 691 Change Agents in the 21st Century - 3cr.
ED 687 ED Specialist Research (OPTIONAL)

Total Credits 33-36

You also have the option to earn: 
ED 682 Superintendent Perspectives  3cr. (Summer)
ED 694 Research Seminar & Field Experience I  1cr. (Spring)
ED 696 Research Seminar & Field Experience II  1cr. (Summer)
ED 697 Research Seminar & Field Experience III  1cr. (Fall)

ED 683 Special Ed. Director Perspectives 3cr. (Summer)
ED 684 Research Seminar & Field Experience I  1 cr. (Spring)
ED 685 Research Seminar & Field Experience II  1cr. (Summer)
ED 686 Research Seminar & Field Experience III  1cr. (Fall)
1.  Education Specialist Degree
ED 687 Education Specialist Research  3 cr.

For more information on the curriculum please check out the course descriptions located in the academic catalog.

To learn more about the application and financial aid process visit frequently asked questions. 


Applying for your Administrative License:

Here’s the link for BOSA on what is needed for licensure:

Complete the SMSU Application for Teaching License

Complete the PELSB Administrative Licensure Application found here:

Then send the following to the Licensing Officer at SMSU:

  • Completed SMSU Application Form
  • Completed PELSB Application 
  • Check/money order payable to "PELSB" for the amount listed on the application

Send to:

Southwest Minnesota State University
Director of Placement & Licensure, IL 152
Attn:  Licensure Officer
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

You will be notified by email when your license application has been sent to PELSB.


Administrative Licensure renewal information:

Licensed MN School Administrators need to complete 125 CEUs in a five year period. Approved CEU options are located at the Board of School Administrators website:

Approved CEU Events:


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Last Modified: 5/4/21 11:52 AM