Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Executive Leadership Studies (K-12), Master of Arts

The focus of the Executive Leadership Studies (K-12) program is to prepare experienced teachers to serve as educational leaders; it is designed to meet the needs of educators in both theory and practice. Qualifying applicants may enter the five-semester program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Executive Leadership Studies (MELS). In order to be licensed in North Carolina, students must demonstrate proficiency by developing an electronic portfolio that addresses the seven standards adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education and adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education certified on 21 competencies. 

Mission

The mission of the Master of Arts degree in Executive Leadership Studies (K-12) is to develop educational leaders through courses, research, seminars, and internships conducted in an environment based on Christian principles and values.

Admission Requirements

Program-specific admission requirements for full acceptance into the Master Arts in Executive Leadership Studies are the following:

  1. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for all work completed beyond high school;
  2. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam, Miller Analogies Test, or PRAXIS II Subject Assessment;
  3. An "A"-level teaching license or equivalent for those who are pursuing graduate-level licensure;
  4. A minimum of three years of successful classroom teaching experience;
  5. Three professional recommendations from persons, at least one of whom is a current or former school administrator, who know the applicant’s work as an educator or student; and
  6. Approved Internship Supervision Form and a Cohort Form.

Program Goals

The Executive Leadership Studies program is designed to meet the following program goals for prospective school administrators:

  1. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of Strategic Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure;
  2. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of Instructional Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure;
  3. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of Cultural Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure;
  4. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of Human Resource Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure;
  5. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of Managerial Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure;
  6. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of External Development Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure; and
  7. The MELS program in the School of Education will prepare and improve abilities of candidates in the area of Micro-political Leadership leading to Principal’s licensure.

Student Learning Outcomes

Candidates in the MELS program are expected to demonstrate proficiency in seven standards by completing six evidences with multiple components. The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of Strategic Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Works with others to develop a shared vision and strategic goals for candidate achievement that reflect high expectations for candidates and staff
  2. Maintains a focus on the vision and strategic goals throughout the year
  3. Works with others to systematically consider new and better ways of leading for improved student achievement for all students and engages stakeholders in the change process
  4. Works with others to incorporate principles of continuous improvement and 21st-century concepts into the School Improvement Plan
  5. Works with others to systematically collect, analyze, and use data regarding the school’s progress toward attaining strategic goals and objectives
  6. Works with others to create opportunities for staff to demonstrate leadership skills by empowering them to assume leadership and decision-making roles
  7. Works with others to encourage teachers and support staff to assume leadership and decision-making roles in the school

The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of Instructional Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Works with others to systematically focus on the alignment of learning, teaching, curriculum, instruction, and assessment to maximize student learning
  2. Helps organize targeted opportunities for teachers to learn how to teach their subjects well with engaging lessons
  3. Utilizes multiple sources of data, including the Teacher Working Conditions Survey, for the improvement of instruction
  4. Adheres to legal requirements for planning and instructional time
  5. Reviews scheduling processes and protocols that maximize staff input and address diverse student learning needs

The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of Cultural Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Designs strategies for achieving a collaborative and positive work environment within the school
  2. Seeks input from the School Improvement Team and other stakeholders to make decisions
  3. Utilizes data gained from the Teacher Working Conditions Survey and other sources to identify perceptions of the work environment
  4. Uses shared values, beliefs, and a shared vision to promote a school culture of learning and success
  5. Works with others to address diversity and equity as the school develops, monitors, and adjusts the School Improvement Plan
  6. Works with others to use established criteria for performance as the primary basis for reward and recognition
  7. Identifies strategies for building a sense of efficacy and empowerment among staff
  8. Identifies strategies for developing a sense of well-being among staff, students, and parents/guardians

The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of Human Resource Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Works with others to provide structures for and implement the development of effective professional learning communities and results-oriented professional development
  2. Routinely participates in professional development focused on improving instructional programs and practices
  3. Supports, mentors, and coaches staff members and emerging teacher leaders
  4. Works with others to provide formal feedback to teachers concerning the effectiveness of their classroom instruction and ways to improve their instructional practice
  5. Works with others to implement district and state evaluation policies in a fair and equitable manner

The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of Managerial Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Works with others to incorporate the input of the School Improvement Team in budget and resource decisions
  2. Works with others to use feedback and data to assess the success of funding and program decisions
  3. Works with others to resolve problems and/or areas of conflict within the school in ways that improve student achievement
  4. Works with others to utilize a system of open communication that provides for the timely, responsible sharing of information within the school community
  5. Works with others to provide information in different formats in multiple ways through different media in order to ensure communication with all members of the community
  6. Works with others to communicate and enforce clear expectations, structures, rules, and procedures for students and staff
  7. Works with others to effectively implement district rules and procedures

The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of External Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Works with others to engage parents/guardians and all community stakeholders in a shared responsibility for student and school success reflecting the community’s vision of the school
  2. Works with others to ensure compliance with federal, state, and district mandates
  3. Continually assesses the progress of district initiatives and reports results to district-level decision makers
  4. Works with others to implement district initiatives directed at improving student achievement

The MELS program will prepare and improve the abilities of candidates in the area of Micro-political Leadership leading to a school administrator’s license.

  1. Works with others to build systems and relationships that utilize the staff’s diversity, ideological differences, and expertise to realize the school’s goals 

Add-on School Administration Licensure (24 hours)

A 24-hour program designed to serve candidates holding a master’s degree who are seeking North Carolina School Administration Licensure can be completed in as few as three consecutive semesters, or 12 months. Requirements, following a successful transcript review, are determined on an individual basis. Candidates have the opportunity to petition to have some requirements (Tasks, Artifacts, and/or Competency evidences) reviewed and substituted for program requirements. These substitutions are conditional and must fulfill the requirements of existing rubrics. Some substitutions may be supplemented to meet program requirements. In the event candidates do not complete portfolio requirements in three semesters, an additional one-hour semester is assigned until completion. For specific add-on licensure requirements, click here.

MELS Curriculum (36 hours)

MELS 601Executive Leadership in a 21st Century Change Environment

6

MELS 602Research and Assessment for 21st Century Executive Leaders

6

MELS 603Resource Management for 21st Century Executive Leaders

6

MELS 60421st Century Curriculum and Instructional Development

6

MELS 60521st Century School Leadership

6

MELS 696Internship

2

MELS 697Internship

1-3

MELS 697 is a one-credit-hour course in this program and must be taken four semesters for a total of four hours.

As-needed Continuing Hours

The clinical experience continuation course is available for students who have completed required coursework in the MELS degree or add-on program but have not completed the electronic portfolio satisfactorily or have not completed the requirements for licensure. In order to complete these requirements, the student must have the assistance of their Clinical Experience Supervisor; therefore, the student must remain enrolled in MELS 699. A student may take MELS 699 multiple times.
MELS 699Clinical Experience Continuation

3

Total Credit Hours: 36