Thomas Edison State University | Graduate Course Offerings

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Course Descriptions

All courses include required Practicum hours to be completed at the student's identified school site or alternate site. Enrollment in these courses is limited to accepted and matriculated students.

EDL-500: Effective Leadership - From Theory to Practice (3 credits)
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Effective Leadership - From Theory to Practice provides students with an opportunity to study and apply a problem-based learning approach to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL). This scenario-based approach provides suggested responses that are grounded in theory and best practices. It also provides the prospective leader with an opportunity to move beyond mere reflective discussion by analyzing the suggested responses to the challenges posed in the scenarios. This practice is commonly used in the fields of law, business, and medicine. By using such an approach, the prospective school leaders have an opportunity to reflect, examine, compare, and make judgments about well-documented responses. Additionally, newly hired school administrators can use standards that inform leader behavior, relate those standards to specific theories, and then transform those theories into practice. (ISLLC 1, 2, 4, 5; NJDOE 1, 2, 4, 5).
EDL-510: The Inquiry Process - a Framework (3 credits)
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This course will introduce students to action research. Future educational leaders will study an intervention chosen specifically to respond to a research problem identified through reflection. The goal of the course and of action research is for students to gain better knowledge of their practice while improving the situation in which the practice is conducted. Students will develop competencies as an educational leader as outlined in the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
EDL-520: Standards-Based Curriculum Development, Pre-K - 12 (3 credits)
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Curriculum revision is an ongoing process that requires professional guidance and support. Potential educational leaders need to understand the importance of curriculum development in the success of the educational experience and recognize the organization and relevance of curriculum change. Through the examination of various curriculum designs, educators will visualize an overview of systematic curriculum development. Standards-Based Curriculum Development, Pre-K-12 allows students to examine essential components of a cohesive curriculum based on such influences as national and state standards established to guide local curricular planning and development to meet the changing needs of students and other stakeholders in a diverse community. Processes for development of curricula at classroom, building, and district levels, regardless of grade, academic discipline, or kind of student, will be considered in preparation for hands-on experience in creating curriculum in the student's primary discipline. Integrating differentiated instruction through various curriculum designs will allow the educator to develop necessary skills, as an instructional leader, to facilitate his or her faculty's creation of successful curriculum documents. The entire process, from initial needs assessment to implementation, will be the focus of this course (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4).
EDL-530: Critical Issues and Theories in Curriculum Design and Evaluation, Pre-K - 12 (3 credits)
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This course is designed to guide the student in the process of identifying and analyzing emerging and developing issues in curriculum design, development, implementation, and evaluation. Such issues may include academic standards, diversity, technology, testing and assessment, innovative programs, and state and federal legislation. Included are the identification of curriculum sources, how these sources influence trends, how these trends emerge and evolve, their impact on student achievement, and how professionals, particularly supervisors, curriculum developers, teacher-leaders, and teachers, can use these trends and issues to improve student learning. Students study both the positive and negative aspects of the issues and develop a responsible approach to critically assess the importance and significance of emergent and future issues in order to function as responsible professionals (ISLLC 2, 4, 6; NJDOE 2, 4, 6).
EDL-540: Curriculum Leadership and Supervision (3 credits)
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This course provides students with multiple opportunities to critically analyze and apply various contemporary theories of effective school leadership to their professional practice. All theories are aligned with the national ISLLC standards and the NJDOE state standards, research-based frameworks informing the knowledge base, dispositions, and performances of effective school leaders. The course focuses on the performance aspects of effective leadership including empowering others, building collaborative organizational cultures, making informed decisions and communicating them skillfully, and resolving conflicts (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
EDL-550: School Law (3 credits)
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A large and growing body of case law relating to public schools continues to impact schools and educational practice. Educational leaders must know how the legal process deals with controversial issues, especially those related to schooling, which play a central role in our culture. Issues of equity, gender discrimination, providing for disabled students (IDEA), Title I and Title IX regulations, racial and ethnic discrimination, sexual harassment, First Amendment rights pertaining to freedom of expression and freedom of speech in student publications, objectionable instructional materials, religion in the schools, and Fourth Amendment rights pertaining to searches and seizures of student property will be addressed. Students focus on these and other problem areas that frequently result in litigation involving school districts, principals, and other educators as named parties. Students critically assess the impact of federal and state constitutions, statutes, and regulations on the operation of schools. They explore interactions among national, state, and local regulations and examine the impact of federal law and New Jersey state cases on the rights of students, parents, and public school employees. Of special importance, students learn about procedural due process considerations and the constitutional rights of personnel and students balanced against the duties of the school (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
EDL-660: Human Resources Administration (3 credits)
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This course discusses the productive role of human resources (HR) administration within a school district and evaluates HR methodologies used by today's school district managers. This course focuses on the key foundational components and HR strategies that will provide clear rules of engagement for employees while utilizing them as an advantageous asset. This course also discusses the effective and innovative processes that will allow school districts to acquire, develop, and retain "difference maker" employees. Also explored are the intricate challenges involved in creating competitive and cost-effective compensation and benefits programs. In the field of education, another key focus involves devising standards of performance and measuring and communicating these standards to employees. Other topics covered in this course are workforce development, risk management, employee relations, and high performance work systems (ISLLC 2, 5, 6; NJDOE 2, 5, 6).
EDL-670: Technology of Instruction and Administration (3 credits)
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This course focuses on the key role of the principal as a leader in the selection, use, and evaluation of instructional technology. Students are encouraged to think critically about technology, both in role in the teaching-learning process as well as in its role in school management (ISLLC 1, 2, 3; NJDOE 1, 2, 3).
EDL-680: Budget Forecasting and Fiscal Planning (3 credits)
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The primary focus of this course is on the development of school and district budgets and budget forecasting, with consideration of the impact of local, state, and federal funding laws on budget development processes Students will examine the cyclical nature of budget development and how school budgets are collaboratively constructed; compare and contrast expenditures of like districts; analyze a budget; review various models for implementing a budget and project how the budget should be implemented and coordinated to align with the educational vision; and forecast future fiscal needs based on variables such as enrollment trends, population projections, state reimbursements for student attendances, and housing pattern changes. School financing will be examined through the lens of historical, current, and future funding issues (ISLLC 3; NJDOE 3).
EDL-690: Developing School and Community Partnerships (3 credits)
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This course explores the family and community factors that affect teaching and learning. The course examines how school initiatives can enhance family and community supports for children's learning. Students learn how to nurture a sense of "school community," garner public support, increase parental involvement, and engage community agencies as educational partners. Students learn to design school initiatives to strengthen productive ties with families and the community. Ultimately, students will be developing competencies as educational leaders as outlined in the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC 1, 2, 4, 5, 6) and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE 1, 2, 4, 5, 6) standards.
EDL-700: Field-Based Practicum (3 credits)
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The Field-Based Practicum is a culminating activity for students completing the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEdL) program. It requires the student to engage in a 150-hour Practicum experience, and thus the completion of 300 hours of Practicum activities, at a school site or at an alternative site where the student can put leadership theory into practice, working with a local school administrator and the course mentor. The student will design and implement a series of administrative, supervisory, curricular, and professional development activities that address the standards developed by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). Activities will be structured to address each of the six ISLLC Standards during the 12-week Practicum. On completion of the activities, the student will develop a final report that includes artifacts as well as analysis and reflective commentary on the Practicum (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Note: School of Business Administration students are required to complete 150 practicum hours for their program.
EDL-710: Professional Portfolio Development (3 credits)
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As the capstone experience in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEdL) program, Professional Portfolio Development requires students to prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates their achievement of program and ISLLC standards. This portfolio will show how the student has developed and how he or she has applied learning. The process of portfolio development involves: goal setting; decision making, and analysis in the selection of artifacts that document and recognize propositional and procedural knowledge and personal and professional attributes of leadership; and self-evaluation and reflection. Students will learn how professional electronic portfolios are defined, organized, and evaluated. A second goal of this course is to prepare students to retool their portfolio for continued professional and academic advancement beyond the degree program. Students will be expected to substantiate standards-based competencies and the required internship hours addressing each of the ISLLC standards through all of, but not limited to, the following: documentary evidence of site-based participation in educational leadership roles and responsibilities, letters of endorsement or support from qualified site administrators, class assignments and research papers, reflective journal entries, contact logs with mentors, and self-assessment narratives (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJPSTSL 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
EDL-800: The Superintendency (3 credits)
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This course provides both the theoretical constructs and the practical applications involved in the responsibilities exclusive to district-level administrative leadership. These include the macro-level applications of budgeting, staff development, community and external stakeholder relations, and advocacy. This course will also guide students in developing the initial components of a districtwide action research project focused on central office functions (ISLLC 1, 3, 6; NJDOE 1, 3, 6).
EDL-810: Professional Portfolio Development: School Administrators (3 credits)
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As the capstone experience in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEdL) program (District Leadership area of study), Professional Portfolio Development: School Administrators requires students to prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates their achievement of program and ISLLC standards. This portfolio will show how the student has developed and how he or she has applied learning. The process of portfolio development involves: goal setting; decision making and analysis in the selection of artifacts that document and recognize propositional and procedural knowledge and personal and professional attributes of leadership; and self-evaluation and reflection. Students will learn how professional electronic portfolios are defined, organized, and evaluated. A second goal of this course is to prepare students to retool their portfolio for continued professional and academic advancement beyond the degree program. Students will be expected to substantiate standards-based competencies, a minimum of 300 internship hours at the building leadership level and 150 hours at the district leadership level, addressing each of the ISLLC standards through all of, but not limited to, the following: documentary evidence of site-based participation in educational leadership roles and responsibilities, letters of endorsement or support from qualified site administrators, class assignments and research papers, reflective journal entries, contact logs with mentors, and self-assessment narratives (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
EDL-820: Field-Based Practicum for Superintendents (3 credits)
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The Field-Based Practicum for Superintendents is the culminating activity for students seeking the School Administrator endorsement. It requires a 150-hour internship experience at the district level, at a school site or at an alternative site. In the Practicum, students can put leadership theory into practice, working with a local school superintendent or other district official. Students will develop the practical skills and knowledge necessary to become an informed, dynamic professional at the senior administrator level in a comprehensive school district serving children in pre-K-12. The field experience will test the application of theory, challenge the ability to promote the success of all students, and provide opportunities to develop the skills necessary to solve complex organizational issues. The course experience will culminate in a final Capstone narrative or executive summary that demonstrates the candidate's understanding and acceptance of the responsibility of making decisions typical of those made by educational leaders (ISLLC 1, 3, 6; NJDOE 1, 3, 6).
MNP-502: Leadership and Management in Public Service in the 21st Century (3 credits)
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In this course students explore, expand, and improve their personal and practical approach to leadership and management. The course is designed to allow students to analyze major theories and models of leadership, evaluate the effectiveness of these theories in a practical context, and apply various leadership approaches through a case study format. Students also examine, model, and adapt their own personal style and ethics for real-world practical applications.
MNP-520: Economic Issues for Public Service Managers (3 credits)
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This course explores the complex relationship of strategic economic issues within an organization and the organization's interaction with other firms in the industry. The course begins with a brief overview of the basic economics of the firm and uses those principles to drive an analysis of the firm's activities and interactions with other firms. The course examines different market structures to see how overall economic structure affects decision making and interactions; this basic structure will be used to analyze competition with other firms in obtaining resources, setting prices to maximize profits; and reacting to decisions of competitors. The course also examines methodologies for evaluating results and explores ways to use that analysis in making future decisions.
MNP-540: Finance and Accounting for Managers in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course is designed to provide the non-accountant or non-financial manager with the knowledge necessary to interact with professionals from those disciplines. The majority of the material draws from the theory and practice of financial management. Sufficient accounting background is provided to enable the student to understand and work with information provided by accounting and finance professionals. Emphasis is placed on understanding terms, concepts, and uses of information provided by these functions rather than on the actual performance of the calculations.