College of Education & Human Services

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1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1373
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Department of Educational Leadership & Special Education

1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1591
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OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371 

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016 

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Master of Education in School Administration

The skills necessary for effective administration of a school are learned, not intuitive. Each year a number of teachers take the first step to secure certification as a school administrator.

A knowledge base for administrators for the twenty-first century must include inductive methods of analysis, reflection on teaching and learning, examination of exemplary programs in schools, and an understanding of emerging problems and the complexity of organizations.

The Program

To provide for teachers who wish to move into educational leadership and policy, and/or who wish to prepare for a doctoral program in educational leadership and policy, the College of Education and Human Services offers a Master of Education degree program in School Administration that includes certification as a principal and/or supervisor. Post-Master's programs are also available leading to the certification of K-12 principals and the superintendent's letter of eligibility. Post-Master's degree programs leading to the supervisory certificate in 12 fields of specialization are as follows:

  • Communication/English
  • Counseling
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Environmental Education
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Pupil Services
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social Studies/Citizenship
  • Special Education
Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the following programs, you must:

M.Ed. program in School Administration (educational leadership): 

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average for your undergraduate studies.
  • Have certification as a teacher and have completed at least two years of successful teaching experience in elementary, middle, or secondary schools (or have had other acceptable professional experience in education).
  • Present two letters of recommendation on forms provided by the department, one from the chief school administrator in the school where you are currently teaching or recently have taught, and one from another school administrator.

Post-master's degree program leading to certification as a K-12 principal:

  • Show a copy of your teaching certificate and evidence of three years of successful teaching experience at any grade level from K though 12.
  • If you earned your master's degree from an institution other than Shippensburg University, you must provide an official transcript of your graduate and undergraduate studies,
  • Provide a statement of purpose for seeking principal's certification, and
  • Provide two letters of recommendation (one from an administrator in the school where you currently teach or recently have taught, and one from the chief school administrator).

Post-master's degree program leading to supervisory I certification in:  communication/English, counseling, early childhood education, elementary education, environmental education, foreign languages, mathematics, pupil services, reading, science, social studies, and special education:

  • Fulfill the same requirements listed immediately above, plus your master's degree must have an emphasis in a subject matter field or education specialist area.

Superintendent's letter of eligibility program: 

  • Present official undergraduate and graduate transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions (unless a master of education degree or certification has been earned from Shippensburg University).
  • Possess a 3.0 average in all prior graduate work.
  • Successfully complete an oral review after 6 credits if you have not received a master of education degree or certification in educational leadership from Shippensburg University.
  • Complete a minimum of 15 credits with the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy.
  • Provide two letters of reference on forms obtained from the department. 
  • Maintain "continuous enrollment," which shall be interpreted as a minimum of 6 graduate credits per year.
Degree Requirements

To qualify as a candidate for the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, you must complete 33 semester hour credits of graduate study distributed as follows:

  • Required Courses ( 30 hours)
  • Elective (3 hours) A thesis option is available

Candidates must complete an oral competency interview before completing the program.

Post-Master's Certification

The post-Master's certification programs require a minimum of 15 semester hour credits at Shippensburg University. A candidate who has completed a Master's degree other than the Master of Education degree in educational leadership at Shippensburg University will not be required to complete a second Master's degree; however, his or her program will need to include additional courses identified as necessary for attaining the specified competencies.

Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility

Because of the diversity of applicant educational backgrounds and experiences, upon admission to the program, planned courses will be developed on an individual basis with your advisor from the department. A minimum of 15 credit hours at Shippensburg University is required.

Supervisory Certification

In the supervisory certification programs, requirements vary according to specialty area, with a minimum of 15 semester hours required at Shippensburg University. For information concerning the requirements in your projected area of specialization, call or write to:

Dr. Phillip F. Diller, Chair
Educational Leadership Program
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299
(717) 477-1591

Licensure Exams

Pennsylvania Department of Education requires a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment for K-12 principal and superintendent’s letter of eligibility applicants. The test is typically taken during the final semester of study. Information about the exams is available at 

Applicants for single-subject supervisory certification must receive a passing score on the Supervisory Praxis Exam. Information about the Praxis series is found at 

Practicum Experience

A strength of the program is the required 360-hour field-based internship during which prospective administrators experience the relationship of theory to practice and attempt to answer this question:  What are the things a school administrator does that contribute meaningfully to student learning?  Over the years, Shippensburg University has built and maintains excellent relationships with the schools and school districts of central Pennsylvania. In consultation with a faculty advisor, you will determine which school, school leader and school district will provide you with hands-on practical experience in school leadership. Through this practicum, you will be directly involved in administrative experiences. Typically, the practicum experiences are spread across two semesters, with the specific goal of participating in school leadership across the entire scholastic calendar.

Special Resources

While enrolled at Shippensburg University, you will find your professors are a highly supportive group who respect your personal goals and treat you as a fellow scholar. You will also find that there are common interests and ambitions among your fellow classmates. The combination of these two factors provide for a pleasant, challenging learning environment.

Because of the nature of your studies, you will depend upon the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library for access to educational literature. The library's education database collection, whether pertaining to elementary, middle, or secondary school, is excellent. Within the library, you can also find dissertations, collective bargaining agreements, policy manuals, annual reports, newsletters, and other materials related to the administration of schools. These resources have a high degree of relevance to your studies because many of them were provided by practicing school administrators in central Pennsylvania.


Each member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy holds an earned doctorate and holds (or has held) an administrative position in education.

William K. Cowden, Ed.D., Temple University; supervision, the principalship, and superintendency 

Phillip F. Diller, Ed.D., Duquesne University; administration, the principalship. 

Corinne E. Eisenhart, Ph.D., University of Virginia; curriculum, diversity, the principalship  

Gerald Fowler, Ph.D., Director, Educational Leadership Program, University of Maryland; leadership, technology, curriculum and superintendency.