Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
of Education (M.Ed.)
About the Program | Academic Themes | Course Sequence
Admissions | Program Requirements | Graduation Requirements
Forms | Advisors
Accepting Applications until Nov. 14th
The Master’s Program Coordinator does not recommend starting classes as a non-degree seeking student for various reasons. Our course sequence is the result of careful deliberation on foundational and applied knowledge and tasks. They are designed to build on each other. You would begin taking classes with no orientation to the program. Students receive an orientation to the program requirements, licensing procedures, academic and writing expectations, Canvas, and program personnel in August. Additionally, it is more likely that students who begin out of sequence may find that they would have to wait a semester or two to take the last class, as most classes are only offered once a year (at this point).
About the Program
The Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (DELPS) strives to be among the nation's premier departments of graduate study for the administration and management of educational organizations. And as such, faculty and staff prepare educational leaders who will develop innovative, efficacious, and equitable educational policy solutions through collaborative research activities. In addition, DELPS faculty and staff continuously maintain - and pursue - mutually beneficial school, district, legislative, and corporate partnerships to improve educational environments for all students. Accordingly, DELPS prides itself on the multiple forms of diversity embraced and respected by our students, faculty, and community including multiple perspectives on age, culture, ethnicity, exceptionality, geographic origin, and professional experience.
Gulf Coast Partnership Program
The Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (DELPS) at the University of South Florida (USF) is partnering with Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk County School Districts for a 25-month, collaborative, job-embedded principal preparation program that will prepare 100 individuals to acquire Level I/Level II certification. The nearly $2.5 million program is funded by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) through June, 2014. The primary goal for the USF/GCP collaborative job-embedded principal preparation program is to prepare leaders who will increase administrator, teacher, and staff effectiveness while raising academic achievement for all students, particularly in high-needs schools. This program also strives to improve school leadership preparation by developing a single, accelerated, streamlined, and high quality intensive program that becomes the model for Level I/Level II school leadership certification in Florida.
For more information access the GCP link below.
Important: Students desiring attendance at another USF institution must apply directly to those institutions.
Academic Themes and Curriculum Specifications
The Master of Educational Leadership (M.Ed.) degree consists of a minimum of thirty-six (36) credits for coursework beyond those received at the Bachelors degree. Emphasis is placed on the study and exploration of how the traditional management roles of budgeting, personnel selection and assignments, technology integration, facilities allocation, and program evaluation can be executed to serve the best interests of academic and organizational improvement. Development of the proficient use of communication strategies, relationship-building techniques, and change processes target leadership facilitation and engagement of stakeholders in this endeavor.
The purposes, methodologies, and applications of quantitative and qualitative education policy research provide deeper understandings of how administrators and researchers acquire and use knowledge. Research, data use, and evaluation are used to develop socially just decision-making strategies, to inform stakeholders, to sustain motivation for change, and to build academic improvement opportunities for all children. Leaders in today’s school contexts face demands for increased accountability; improved technology integration; ongoing shifts in demographics; and, uncertain financial, legal, and political environments. These school contexts will benefit from leaders trained in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida who possess skills and understandings in cross-cultural communication, an understanding of the historical and political foundations of education, and the role of collaborative engagement of all stakeholders.
Recommended Course Sequence - Note: courses are subject to change based on enrollment
Foundations of Curriculum & Instruction
Principles of Administration
Culturally Relevant Leadership
Administrative Analysis & Change
Building Capacity for Continuous Improvement
*ESOL requirement: waived with documentation of completion of a three (3) credit hour course in ESOL; ESOL endorsement; or completion of 120 hours of ESOL district in-service training plus ESOL certification exam
Courses are offered either on Saturdays or week days evenings. Classes are populated on a first come, first served standard.
Students should expect to be involved in practicum activities throughout the second half of the program.
Courses taken at other Universities
The USF Graduate Student Catalog states that “Students may, with the approval of their graduate degree program, transfer credits from any regionally accredited institution into their graduate degree program, as long as the majority of the credits are earned at the institution granting the degree.” And, the language continues:
“Students taking courses at USF System Institutions other than their home USF institution should seek the approval of their graduate program director prior to taking the courses to ensure that the courses are eligible for transfer.”
For Further information please review the USF Graduate Student Catalog
Admission to the M.Ed. program occurs in the Fall and Spring. No summer admissions will be considered. Admission to the M.Ed. program is based on a holistic evaluation of each applicants’ demonstrated academic potential to complete all of the degree requirements successfully. The department faculty will consider each applicant within the context defined by her or his personal and professional qualifications.
Preferred applicants must:
Have a minimum 2 years of post-Bachelor’s teaching experience by the application deadline of the semester before your enrollment would begin if accepted.
Possess a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate.
Have a minimum 3.00 GPA in the last half of the bachelor's earned at a regionally accredited institution. Applicants with GPA’s below 3.0 must submit GRE scores taken within the last 5 years (see www.gre.org).
How to apply:
Submit application and supporting documents by March 15 (Fall Amissions) or October 15 (Spring Admissions).
Apply online through graduate admissions: www.grad.usf.edu
Submit one original, sealed copy of bachelor’s and master’s (if applicable) transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Previous USF graduates do not need to submit transcripts of USF coursework.
Submit GRE scores, if needed, to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Submit the following items to the contact below:
Submit three letters of professional reference emailed by recommender to Lisa Adkins (firstname.lastname@example.org); ask references to include your name and “letter of reference” in subject line when emailing the letter. Two of the letters should be professional references from an administrator/leader or a faculty member.
Submit a Statement of Intent:
Please write (in 3-5 page double-spaced pages with a 1 inch margin) a description of your beliefs about leadership, values that inform your beliefs about leadership, related leadership experience, and leadership goals. Explain how your leadership experience strongly relates to an aspect of the Department's mission statement and/or values. Additionally, discuss the aspect of the mission statement and/or values you feel least prepared to enact and how this might affect your leadership goals.
Submit current resume.
Submit a COLORED copy of the Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate that clearly shows all borders and the state seal or
we will also accept as verification of Florida professional teaching certification a printout from the Florida Department of Education’s public Educator Certification Database which can be found here: http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/public.asp.The printout must show that the student has a Florida Professional Teacher Certificate (a temporary certificate is not acceptable) and that the certificate is current as of the time of admission.
Please email, fax or mail the materials listed above to:
Lisa Adkins, Academic Program Specialist
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
USF, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. EDU 105, Tampa, FL 33620
6061 Principles of Educational Administration
6192 Educational Leadership
EDA 6194 Building Capacity for Continuous Improvement
6232 School Law
6242 School Finance
6285 School Curriculum Improvement
6106 Administrative Analysis & Change
6503 The Principalship
EDA 6213 Culturally Relevant Leadership
EDA 6271 Data-based Decision Making
6945 Administrative Practicum
6627 Foundations of Curriculum & Instruction
TSL 5085 ESOL 1 (waived with documentation of completion of another three (3) credit hour course in ESOL; ESOL endorsement; or completion of 120 hours of ESOL district in-service training plus passage of ESOL certification exam)
program hours: 36-39
eligible for graduation, a student must earn an overall grade
average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Grades below "C" are not
acceptable toward degree requirements. At the time of
graduation, only those courses completed within the previous
5 years will count for the degree. A planned program of
study must be completed and filed during first semester of study.
completing all courses within the required 5-year period, the
following steps must be completed for graduation:
Apply for graduation (applications MUST be received by the
posted deadline date).
Complete a required department assessment portfolio during the semester the student applies
for graduation. Students must be enrolled in a minimum
of 2 credit hours the semester the portfolio is submitted
and graduation is applied for. Portfolio Requirements
Submit COLORED copy of current Florida professional teaching certificate.
Submit proof of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training. You must provide documentation of completion of a three (3) credit hour course in ESOL; or completion of 120 hours of ESOL district in-service training plus passage of the ESOL certification exam; ESOL endorsement; or successfully complete TSL 5085: ESOL 1 as part of MEd educational leadership program.
Submit official score report showing successful completion of the Florida Educational Leadership Examination FELE
For more information please e-mail or
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