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Educational Leadership (Tier I) - Certification Only

  • Total Credit Hours: Varied
  • Degree Format: Online


The Certification-Only Tier I Educational Leadership program is a comprehensive program of study including course work and related field experiences leading to a Tier I Georgia certificate in Educational Leadership. Candidates participating in the certification-only program may add the Tier I educational leadership certificate to an existing Level 5 Georgia certificate by completing the elements of this program not completed in another master’s program.

The VSYOU Difference

The primary goal of the Educational Leadership program is to link the theoretical and philosophical frameworks of educational leadership to actual practice. This is accomplished with field experiences included as a part of the candidate’s program of study and documented through the candidate’s Inventory of Leadership Experience. The internship components of the educational leadership program require candidates to complete field experience activities in a school or district setting. During the internship, the candidate is expected to assist in significant and varied administrative responsibilities under the guidance of the Candidate Support Team (CST) consisting of the candidate, a Leadership Mentor, and the VSU Advisor. The goal is to develop the candidate’s leadership and management abilities by engaging in problem analysis, collecting relevant data, collaborative problem-solving, participating in curricular and instructional activities, and participating in instructional supervision.

What You'll Learn

The Educational Leadership program is designed to provide future leaders:

  1. The opportunity to acquire practical experience in school leadership;
  2. A linkage of theory and practice;
  3. Experiences integrating problem resolution and decision-making;
  4. Exposure to selected aspects of educational leadership;
  5. The opportunity to experiment with new ideas, approaches, and strategies in a low-risk, supportive environment; and,
  6. A basis for assessing professional strengths and needs for further development.

Cost and Length of Program

The maximum length of the Tier I Certification-Only program is five semesters. The actual length and program of study are determined by prior degree and the nature of courses within one’s transcript. The estimated cost for the entire program, based on Fall 2015 tuition, is $10,297.00*. Anticipated tuition cost is determined by the amount of credit hours transferred from prior graduate work (as appropriate).

(*Cost computed based on Fall 2016 rates.)

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission the applicant must hold a master’s degree from an accredited or approved college or university.

The applicant must have a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, calculated on all work attempted in which letter grades are awarded. Verification is required in the form of official transcripts.

Applicants must submit a career goal statement serving as a writing sample. The statement must demonstrate 1) the ability to organize and articulate thoughts, 2) writing skills including grammar and punctuation, and 3) the ability to set goals consistent with one’s desired career path. The statement must address the applicant’s career goals, how the degree contributes to reaching these career goals, and why VSU was selected for this graduate work. This career goal statement should be no more than 250 words and is to be submitted to the Graduate School with the other application materials. The career goals statement accounts for no more than 30% of the admissions decision process.

Completion of the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership Assessment (Program Entry Test 370) is required prior to enrollment in the Valdosta State University Leadership program. A Certificate of Completion for the assessment (Test 370) must be submitted to the Graduate Schools as a part of the application for admission.

As part of the admission process, all prior graduate work listed on respective transcripts is reviewed.

Program of Study

Area A: Leadership - 12 hours

Course Number & Title Credit Hours
LEAD 7420  Ethical & Legal Issues for Leadership 3
LEAD 8030  School Culture, Change and Organizational Dynamics 3
LEAD 8240  Managing Resources for School Improvement 3
LEAD 7310 Leadership for Community and Public Relations 3

Area B:  Curriculum & Instruction - 12 hours

The faculty advisor will collaborate with candidate and school system partners to identify an appropriate elective.

Course Number & Title Credit Hours
RSCH 8000  Advanced Research Methodology 3
CIED 7060  Curriculum, Instruction & Technology Integration 3
LEAD 7120 Instructional Leadership & Supervisory Practices for Improved Teaching & Learning 3
LEAD 7130  Technology Leadership for School Improvement 3

Area C: Field Based Activities - 6 hours

Field-based activities must be conducted at either the building or system level. The two tracks are differentiated by the performance component—the level at which the residency is completed.

Course Number & Title Credit Hours
LEAD 7920 Leadership Field-Based Experiences II 3
LEAD 7930  Leadership Field-Based Experiences III 3

Other Requirements

  1. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained for all graduate work; courses with grade of D or below will not be applied. 
  2. An Inventory of Leadership Experience must be successfully completed. 
  3. Completion of all COEHS LiveText forms including candidate information, dispositions survey (pre and post), and field experiences.  
  4. A GACE Educational Leadership score must be recorded--a passing score is required for certification but not graduation. 
  5. The Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership Exit Assessment (Test 380) must be completed -- a passing score is required for certification, but not graduation. 
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