School Administration

Why Study 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 21st century school leaders includes data analysis, instructional leadership, organizational management, and providing equity for diverse learners.

    Why Study School Administration at Ship

    The College of Education and Human Services offers a Master’s of Education in School Administration that includes certification as a principal and/or supervisor 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. Post-master's programs are also available for certification of K-12 principals and the superintendent's letter of eligibility. We offer post-master's degree programs for the supervisory certificate in 12 fields of specialization:

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

    While enrolled at Shippensburg University, students find their professors to be a highly supportive group who respect personal educational goals and treat students as fellow scholars. Students also enjoy sharing common interests and ambitions among their fellow classmates. Both of these factors provide for a pleasant, challenging learning environment.

    The Ezra Lehman Memorial Library’s education database collection is excellent. Within the library, there are resources with a high degree of relevance to your studies because many of them were provided by practicing school administrators in central Pennsylvania, such as: dissertations, collective bargaining agreements, policy manuals, annual reports, newsletters, and other materials related to the administration of schools.

    Each member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy has earned a doctorate and currently works in an administrative position in education, or has previously held one. We encourage you to meet with faculty and advisors to learn about Shippensburg's educational leadership master's degree program.

    Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

    At Shippensburg University, we prepare you to successfully serve as a school administrator. Faculty with real-world experience and insights provide a well-rounded educational leadership master’s program for our students. Faculty help prepare you for diverse administrative responsibilities upon completion of our master’s degree program.

    Over the years, we have built and maintain excellent relationships with the schools and school districts of Central Pennsylvania. In consultation with a faculty advisor, students determine which school, school leader, and school district will provide the best hands-on practical experience in school leadership. Through this practicum, students are 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. You will develop individual experiences during their practicum placement that can help mold your future career.

    The salary range for school administrators in PA is $44,000 to $62,000.

    Program Requirements

    MEd in Educational Leadership: To qualify as a candidate, you must:

    • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
    • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA 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 recommendation forms [PDF] 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).

    Candidates must complete an oral competency interview before completing the 33-credit program. See the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of courses and program requirements.

    Post-master’s K-12 Principal Certification: You must meet the following criteria:

    • 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.
    • Provide recommendation forms [PDF] (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 Certification Programs: These programs require a minimum of 15 credits at Shippensburg University. A candidate who has completed a master's degree other than the MEd in Educational Leadership at Shippensburg University will not be required to complete a second master's degree; however, additional courses will be necessary for attaining the specified competencies.

    Requirements vary according to specialty area, with a minimum of 15 credits at Shippensburg University. For information on the requirements in specific areas of specialization, contact the Educational Leadership Program Chair, Dr. Phillip F. Diller, at (717) 477-1591.

    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 credits at Shippensburg University is required. You’ll also need to meet the following criteria:

    • 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.
    • Provide two recommendation forms [PDF].
    • Submit a goal statement.
    • Submit a mentor agreement.

    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. Applicants for single-subject supervisory certification must receive a passing score on the Supervisory Praxis Exam.

    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?

    Research Opportunities

    The Graduate Research Grant Program is designed to provide financial support to graduate students for research or scholarly activities related to their program of study to enable them to better understand the scientific process, experience discovery, develop their analytical and communication skills, and gain exposure to national ideas through the presentation of the results of their research at conferences. Our grant program has funded field and laboratory research as well as computer application and software development. The Graduate Research Grant Program is funded by the School of Graduate Studies and the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs.  

    Contact Info

    Educational Leadership & Special Education
    Shippen Hall 127, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
    (717) 477-1591
    Department Website