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Online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership Online Courses

Develop the Ideal Set of Skills for Your Leadership Career


Courses in the online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota are carefully chosen to give you the combination of skills expected among exceptional educational leaders and administrators. You’ll have the tools to create positive, sustainable organizational change. Best of all, this 33-credit program can be completed in as little as 22 months.

Administration, Coaching, and Team Building (24 credits)

  • This required session introduces newly enrolled students in the M.A. in Educational Leadership program to the policies, procedures, and expectations of the program. Commonly asked questions are addressed, including an overview of the preferred sequencing of courses, action research project overview, and exit procedures. A writing assessment is also administered.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Explain the expectations of the M.A. in Educational Leadership
    • Demonstrate written communication skills

  • In this course, students develop academic written and oral skills, interpersonal communication skills, and technology skills for presentations and organizational communication. The relationship between communication and organizational culture is addressed.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Demonstrate academic and professional written, oral, and technological communication skills, including the use of appropriate APA writing style
    • Evaluate various modes of organizational communication, including technology and its impact on communicating the organizational culture
    • Explore and apply various communication styles, including variations found within diverse cultural, gender, and generational groups
    • Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills that promote inclusiveness

  • This course focuses on leadership principles designed to create and sustain educational organizations/programs through the creation and implementation of vision, mission, and reflective practices. Leadership styles coupled with personal, cultural, and ethical awareness are evaluated.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Identify and synthesize educational leadership principles and styles
    • Create a vision and mission to drive educational quality
    • Develop and demonstrate culturally competent leadership skills
    • Evaluate the role of creativity and risk-taking in educational leadership
    • Examine and apply strategic planning models, including data-driven decisions, for educational improvement
    • Integrate ethics into leadership practices

  • This course examines management strategies for supporting organizational systems and infrastructure within an educational organization. Management styles and models, technology-assisted budgetary decision-making, project management, and crises management are addressed.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Differentiate between leadership and management
    • Evaluate management models and styles
    • Articulate one’s personal management style
    • Identify and analyze the interrelatedness of informal and formal internal systems sustaining the vitality of the educational organization
    • Employ technology-assisted budgetary decision-making skills and theories that drive organizational improvement
    • Apply project management skills
    • Design an organizational infrastructure to ensure a safe and effective environment
    • Discuss prioritization and action strategies for managing crises
    • Apply ethical principles to management practices

  • This course examines methods of supervision, evaluation, and mentoring of personnel. Skills for hiring, evaluating, and developing personnel to enhance performance and growth of the educational organization with sensitivity to diversity are the main focus.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Evaluate strategies for identifying and recruiting quality staff
    • Analyze methods for evaluating and reporting faculty/employee performance
    • Examine and apply methods for developing personnel to enhance performance
    • Analyze various approaches/theories to the supervision of staff, including issues of law, conflict resolution, and negotiation
    • Analyze strategies for promoting a sense of belonging within a diverse organizational community
    • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills that drive performance improvement

  • This course focuses on designing and evaluating curriculum and instructional strategies to create programs that meet the needs of all learners, including adults. Curriculum design models, instructional methodologies, methods for authentic assessment of learning, and learning styles are explored.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Examine and apply curriculum design models and instructional strategies in order to teach, train, and supervise adults
    • Apply learning style theory for instruction
    • Evaluate and apply methods of authentic assessment of learning
    • Create learning experiences that meet the needs of all learners through the development of appropriate curricular and instructional strategies
    • Examine methods for promoting educational strategies within an organization

  • This course surveys ethical principles and legal issues that impact leadership in an educational setting. Legal trends, state and federal laws, case studies, and ethical dilemmas as they apply to personal and professional ethics are addressed.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze the history of educational ethical and legal issues in relation to social impact
    • Identify legal and ethical issues regarding education relevant to the student’s career field
    • Discuss and evaluate ethical and legal case studies addressing educational issues
    • Identify and interpret the implication of the code of ethics related to the student’s career field
    • Demonstrate integration of ethics and legal principles into personal and professional life

  • This course is designed to study and apply learning theories that engage diverse adult learners in professional and personal development. The main focus is developing coaching and team-building skills, creating a learning organization through the use of adult learning theory, establishing staff development, and comparing andragogy and pedagogy.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Examine and apply strategies for professional development incorporating theories of adult learning
    • Compare and synthesize androgogical and pedagogical instructional approaches
    • Define and identify components of a learning organization to promote effectiveness
    • Determine methods for creating and sustaining a learning organization
    • Demonstrate coaching, mentoring, and team-building practices incorporating adult learning theory
    • Demonstrate integration of demographic and cultural understanding into adult learning situations

  • This course focuses on becoming a culturally-aware leader able to integrate diversity for educational and organizational growth. Students investigate ways to strengthen and advance organizations through effective team building and collaborative skills and to promote organizational cultural awareness while garnering community involvement and political support.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Develop an awareness of various forms of diversity
    • Analyze the management of building involvement and political support from diverse communities and stakeholders
    • Review and interpret state and federal laws regarding diversity and cultural awareness
    • Engage in critical inquiry and respectful dialogue to engender cultural competency
    • Apply team-building skills to create an inclusive learning community of diverse members
    • Evaluate the role and application of professional learning communities

Process of Change (9 credits)

  • This course focuses on recognizing, designing, and conducting valid, reliable, and ethical educational research for improving teaching and learning. Published studies are critiqued by identifying the strengths and limitations of the methodology and evaluating the potential impact on educational practice. Action research design, evaluation of literature and published studies, decision analysis, and methods for communicating and implementing results are practiced through several experiences.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Recognize and differentiate between appropriate use of and the processes involved in conducting descriptive/experimental research and quantitative/qualitative research
    • Develop skills to generate research questions, review relevant literature and devise a plan for descriptive research
    • Critique published educational research by identifying limitations, assumptions, and biases of studies
    • Determine appropriate sources of data and data analysis for action research
    • Design basic action research implementing accepted design and reporting methods
    • Design a plan for communicating and implementing action research findings within an educational, organizational setting

  • In this summative course, participants conduct an in-depth study of action research, data collection and data analysis processes, ethical implications of research, and research as a continuous improvement tool. This learning is applied to various professional settings through the creation of an individualized action research project and a written paper, which includes an introduction, a review of current literature, research questions, a description of the methodology and means of evaluation, the findings and interpretation of results, and possible questions for further study.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Review relevant scholarly literature on a selected topic
    • Synthesize and evaluate findings from the relevant, scholarly literature on a selected topic
    • Compose an educational research question
    • Apply skills to plan and conduct descriptive research
    • Use academic writing skills and APA style

    Prerequisite: EL 630 Educational Research

  • This course surveys concepts and strategies related to the creation and implementation of visionary change. Theories surrounding systemic change based on the examination and implementation of internal systems within an educational organization are examined.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Identify and analyze current research methods for planning and implementing organizational change
    • Evaluate ways to overcome resistance to organizational change
    • Evaluate reactions to change on an individual and organizational level
    • Examine the role of organizational data and technology-assisted data analysis for strategizing change
    • Analyze examples of successful and unsuccessful organizational change and the strategies employed


“The Saint Mary’s Master in Educational Leadership program provides learners the ability to apply and practice leadership skills they learn throughout their asynchronous coursework in the optional weekly synchronous sessions. Students often comment on how beneficial the optional Zoom sessions are by allowing participants to practice their new-found leadership and communication skills within the comfort of a supportive cohort with instructor guidance.”

-Dr Robert Franchino, Administrator and Course Instructor for the MA in Educational Leadership Program

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As part of our commitment, Saint Mary’s offers an opportunity for you to be awarded digital badges. Digital badges are a graphic verification representing your achievement after completing a specific online course or program.

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Request more information to learn more about Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s online programs. An enrollment counselor will contact you shortly to share more information and answer your questions. When you’re ready, you can click Apply Now to start your online application.