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School Building Leadership - M.S. Ed.

Leadership is critical to transforming school environments so that students and teachers can flourish, especially in an era of change. From the adoption of Common Core Standards and high stakes testing to emerging technologies and the use of social media, learning leaders are needed to navigate these changes.

Why Choose School Building Leadership?

Leadership in education is a changing role. The school building leadership program responds to changing global, social, economic and educational trends to train leaders in the education field. It produces exceptional school leaders that are collaborative, principle-centered and lifelong learners.

The M.S. Ed. in school building leadership program is designed to help education professionals meet the New York State (NYS) certification eligibility requirements. All courses in the program for school leaders are based on proven leadership principles, concepts and promoted by New York State and new professional standards for education leaders. You will contribute your experience and learn from others.

Practical Leadership Skills

Each class includes a broad spectrum of learners. Diversity in knowledge and skill level allows students to develop real-world leadership skills. As a school building leadership participant, you may begin courses at any point in the sequence, which enables participants to practice skills that are necessary in any school, such as:

  • Integrating new staff into the culture and belief system of the school.
  • Learning from colleagues whose knowledge and experience offer valuable “slices of reality”
  • Welcoming participants regardless of prior knowledge, experience or position of authority/leadership. This encourages diversity and a variety of perceptions and experiences.
  • Recognizing everyone is a resource. Participants come to class with their own experience, knowledge, skills, dispositions, a world view and a frame of reference.

The Leadership Experience

The school building leadership program is infused with experiential and collaborative learning, action research and technology. Learning happens in many ways: formally and informally, experientially and reflectively. As a school building leadership participant, you will learn from and network with colleagues and also participate in workshops and conferences.

The M.S. Ed. in school building leadership is a program that is specifically designed for working professionals, in a highly structured, hybrid format that includes traditional face-to-face classes plus independent online coursework. Most courses are offered in the later afternoon and evenings, typically between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

The curriculum makes use of leadership activities including case studies, simulation and role-play. Core topics include:

  • Leadership styles and decision making models and their implications.
  • Data sources for determining school, personnel and program effectiveness.
  • Legal issues concerned with the rights of students, parents, and professional personnel.

The program culminates with a 6-credit internship, amounting to 400 hours of leadership experience in a local elementary or secondary school.

What Will You Learn?

You will develop the knowledge, skills and disposition to create a supportive and progressive educational environment. As a school building leadership program graduate, you will:

  • Gain confidence as an administrator, supervisor and educator.
  • Develop your self-leadership and collaborative skills.
  • Showcase learning in periodic performance reviews and completion of course and program requirements.
  • Meet eligibility requirements to become qualified through New York State (NYS) certification.
See the Degree Requirements

What Will You Do?

When you graduate, you will be prepared to assume the roles such as assistant principal, department chairperson, coordinator or unit head.

It is an exemplary program that prepared us very well because it blends in both the practical and the theoretical aspects of school leadership.

Michael Pizzingrillo ’99, Superintendent for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany