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Educational Leadership Programs

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July 15, October 31, April 15
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Lead Beyond the Classroom with an Instructional Leadership Degree

Are you an educator who wants to expand your impact on students in your school and district? If you are passionate about making a difference and improving learning outcomes in education, TROY’s instructional leadership and administration programs will help you develop crucial leadership skills and educational expertise. Whether you aspire to lead your school as principal, your district as superintendent or fellow educators as an instructional specialist, TROY offers three educational leadership programs that can help you achieve your administrative career goals: a traditional M.S.Ed., a reduced-hours M.S.Ed., and an Ed.S. degree.

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“The greatest asset TROY has is its faculty members. The quality of instruction and the relationships I built with my professors kept me motivated. I was a full-time teacher and mom of three while working through this program. My professors were genuine throughout the program. They checked on me, encouraged me and even drove to my school to visit. Even in the online setting, I felt heard.”
Melisa Everett | Assistant Principal, Gulf Shores High School | 2018 graduate, Educational Specialist in Instructional Leadership and Administration

Preparation for a Variety of Educational Leadership Careers

Gain the comprehensive training you need to become an effective, visionary educational leader. With coursework in academic instruction, student and faculty success, community partnerships and more, TROY’s educational leadership programs prepare you for a variety of leadership positions. After earning your instructional leadership degree from TROY, you’ll gain Class A or Class AA certification in Alabama, depending on the program you choose. These certifications qualify you to work as a school principal, assistant superintendent, supervisor of instruction and in other educational leadership roles in the state.

Online Educational Leadership Program Options

Earn your instructional leadership degree in the format that works best for you, whether that’s fully online, in-person or via blended (in-person and online) courses. At TROY, you’ll benefit from the flexibility of online learning with the same rigor, engagement and hands-on learning experiences that in-person programs provide. As a pioneer in online education, TROY adheres to high standards for online learning and prioritizes one-on-one relationships, accessibility and affordability.

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Educational Leadership Program Curriculum

While specific courses may vary depending on the educational leadership program you choose, coursework can include:
Academic Catalog

Educational Leadership Programs - Degree Maps

Instructional Leadership Program Locations

The instructional leadership program is a fully online program with professors available for virtual meetings and office hours.

A Hands-on Instructional Leadership Degree

Instructional leadership is about creating a vision, garnering resources and working alongside the team to accomplish the goal. In our educational leadership graduate programs, you’ll develop these abilities and others through hands-on learning experiences and exposure to how other school systems operate.

Whether you choose the M.S.Ed. or Ed.S. degree, you’ll learn from faculty who have served as administrators in K-12 schools, expert guest lecturers and student cohort groups from across Alabama. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete a 10-day residency where you can engage directly with other teachers, the school principal and community stakeholders. Class assignments provide real-life situations and clinical experiences that put you in a space to observe and practice successful educational leadership.

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Educational Leadership Careers

The master’s in instructional leadership and Ed.S. degrees prepare you for administrative roles throughout K-12 school districts or to teach college-level courses in education.

Faculty Profiles

Dr. Rodney Davis

Dr. Rodney Davis

Dr. Davis is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and teaches various courses in educational leadership. For the past 12 years, Dr. Davis has traveled to Asia and the Philippines as a Professor and Fulbright Senior Scholar. His research interests include national and global school reform issues, technology and distance learning in higher education, effective teaching in an online world, leadership preparation, faculty productivity in higher education, and school leadership.
Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett

Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett

Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett (‘93, ‘94) is the Program Coordinator and Associate Professor for the College of Education.
Dr. Jason Wingate

Dr. Jason Wingate

Dr. Jason Wingate is an Associate Professor in the College of Education.

Educational Leadership Program Options

Choose from three educational leadership graduate programs based on your career interests.
M.S.Ed. Degree in Instructional Leadership and Administration

The traditional master’s in instructional leadership track is 30 credit hours. It prepares you to transition into leadership roles such as principal, instructional support leader, assistant superintendent and other central office positions. This educational leadership degree includes coursework in school operations, community relationships, law, ethics, curriculum and instruction strategies, instructional leadership, human resources and working with diverse populations.

By completing the M.S.Ed. degree, you’ll gain Class A certification with the Alabama State Department of Education. The Class A certification is an advanced credential that demonstrates higher levels of competency in education.



M.S.Ed. Degree in Instructional Leadership and Administration (Reduced-Hours Track)

The reduced-hours master’s in instructional leadership track allows you to earn Class A certification with the Alabama State Department of Education in 18 credit hours. This option includes coursework in school operations and management, community relationships, law, instructional leadership and human resources.



Ed.S. Degree in Instructional Leadership and Administration

The Ed.S. degree in instructional leadership is an advanced, 30 credit-hour program that prepares you for leadership roles in schools and school districts. These roles include superintendent, school principal, supervisor of instruction, instructional designer, special education director and educational technology specialist.

The Ed.S. degree involves more advanced coursework than the M.S. in education degrees. Course topics include adult learning theories, diverse populations, policy development, research strategies, mentoring, program evaluation and creating effective learning environments. The Ed.S. degree qualifies you for Class AA certification with the Alabama Department of Education. Class AA certification is the highest teaching certification available in Alabama.



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FAQ About the Educational Leadership Programs

Learn more about the field of instructional leadership and our programs.
What is instructional leadership?

Instructional leadership, also referred to as educational leadership, refers to the skills and responsibilities of school administrators. Instructional leadership involves collaboration between administration and educators to develop, implement and improve curriculum and instruction. It also includes developing community partnerships, acquiring stakeholder support, supervising and evaluating instruction and monitoring student progress.

What can I do with an educational leadership degree?

An educational leadership degree can qualify you to lead schools in a variety of positions. Some specific educational leadership careers include school principal, educational specialist, instructional designer, program director, supervisor of instruction, instructional coordinator, superintendent or assistant superintendent.

Am I eligible for the educational leadership graduate programs without an Alabama teaching certification?

No, you must hold an Alabama teaching certification (bachelor’s or master’s level) to be admitted into the educational leadership graduate programs.

How long will the educational leadership degree take to complete?

You can complete the program within a year if you take two classes per term or two years if you take one class per term.

Helpful Links


TROY’s instructional leadership and administration graduate programs prepare you on the business of leading a school just as much as the curriculum.

Leadership in Education: Building Your Skills

Career progression in the P-12 education setting doesn’t just begin in the classroom and end in the principal’s office. Recognizing that not everyone pursuing leadership in education has their sights set on becoming a principal, the state of Alabama changed the requisite School Administration Degree program and introduced what is now known as Instructional Leadership Degrees.

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