ISU's master’s degree in Educational Administration (Pre-LEAD) is designed to fully prepare you to assume challenging and rewarding administrative and supervisory positions in schools, school districts, and educational agencies. The Pre-LEAD program leads to initial principal certification and is taught in a cohort model, where you will progress through the program and develop professional networks with peers from across Iowa. This program is taught by experienced practitioners and active scholars in the field of educational leadership and is designed for your busy schedule.
Courses are delivered in face-to-face or hybrid online models. They are scheduled on Wednesday nights and Saturdays throughout the year.
We regularly offer a greater Des Moines cohort in Ankeny. We also have offered cohorts in Atlantic, Creston, Mason City, Ottumwa, Storm Lake, and Waverly. If you are interested in one of those locations in particular, please let us know. We need at least twelve students in a shared area in order to begin a new cohort there.
The PreLEAD program consists of 10 3-credit courses. In addition, students complete a 400-hour clinical field experience, with 6 credits divided between the elementary level and the secondary level, under the guidance of administrative mentors and ISU supervising professors.
EdAdm 541, Principles of Educational Administration – Basic principles of educational organizations, including an understanding of organizational behavior and theoretical approaches to administration. Exploration of substantive elements related to school reform, such as leadership, the change process, current issues in education, and developing a shared vision and mission.
ResEv 550, Educational Research – Understanding quantitative and qualitative research as a consumer of research; using data for school improvement; understanding models for educational program planning and evaluation; and using action research. Understanding and demonstrating use of the Iowa Data Driven-Leadership skills; reviewing the literature; developing research problems and questions; research designs; data collection and analysis issues, evaluating research studies.
Ed Adm 551, Supervision for Learning Environments – Students gain an understanding of effective classroom instructional practices that reflect current principles of learning. Students will learn and practice supervisory techniques to support teachers in improving the teaching and learning process, including skills in observational data collection, data analysis, collaboration, and conferencing skills.
EdAdm 552, Current Issues in Site-Level Leadership – Essential tasks of building level leadership and management in contemporary school settings will be explored including: curriculum and organizational structure, theory and practice of scheduling, financial management, roles and responsibilities of governance, communication and public relations skills, home/parental involvement and relationships, project and crisis management, technology integration, school climate and culture, effective student support programs such as counseling and guidance, attendance and discipline.
EdAdm 554, Leading School Reform – Study of principles of transformational leadership and collaborative decision-making skills. Leadership activities that facilitate the development of a school culture that embraces change and school reforms that result in high-quality schools dedicated to improved student achievement.
EdAdm 556, School Systems as Learning Cultures – Provides practical and theoretical perspectives on school administrative problems with critical pedagogical studies and research. Deals with related issues such as cultural literacy, forms of authority and control, and other historical problems of schools in dealing with minorities and culturally different persons.
EdAdm 557, Human Resource Development for Learning – Leadership that focuses on the professional development of school staff to promote improved student learning. Topics include principles of school personnel evaluation; legal issues related to hiring, retention, and dismissal; evaluation models for professional and classified staff; and effective professional development models to support lifelong learning and reflective practice.
EdAdm 558, Diverse Learning Needs – Learner needs will be examined from major psycho/social perspectives with stress upon developmental phases of normal growth along with common problems encountered in schools. A second major theme will be issues of racism, gender bias, and socio-economic problems that influence learner responsiveness to school curricula and administrative regulations, routines, and legal requirements.
EdAdm 559, Curriculum Leadership – Generic administrative approaches to the design and delivery of elementary and secondary school curricula including the study of the organizations for learning; cognition and learning theories; validation; concepts of balance; school goals, student assessments and reporting of progress, alignment, and professional development; development of curriculum guides; mapping; employing national standards and benchmarks.
EdAdm 575, Education Law and Ethics – Examination of constitutional, statutory, and judicial provisions as a basis for the legal operation of educational institutions. Rights and ethical responsibilities of school leaders are examined in relation to their roles and responsibilities with boards, other school personnel, and students.
EdAdm 591, Supervised Field Experience – Opportunities for students to experience the actual work of the principal. Under the supervision of school mentors (elementary and secondary and an AEA administrator), students perform clinical activities that provide experiences that develop them as quality school leaders.
The Educational Administration Master of Education degree and the Master of Science degree require the same academic coursework and lead to principal licensure. The difference between the M.Ed. degree and the M.S. degree occurs at the end-of-program assessment:
- M.Ed. degree requires a portfolio.
- M.S. degree requires a thesis or non-thesis/creative component in addition to the portfolio.
Applicants must satisfy admission requirements for both the ISU Graduate College and the School of Education.
ISU Graduate College requirements
- Graduate application
- $60 application fee
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
School of Education program requirements
GRE: GRE scores are not required for masters students.
Admission to the PreLEAD program does not imply admission to a degree program.
Barring unusual circumstances, we do not admit students with fewer than three years of teaching experience.