Advance your education career through Teacher Leader, Learning Behavior Specialist I, English Language Learner, and Principal endorsements.

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Department of Education

Master of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Admission


Master of Education in Educational Leadership

with Eligibility for Principal Endorsement

The master of education in educational leadership (M.Ed) with eligibility for principal endorsement will help you become an innovative, impactful leader for PK-12 schools. You’ll gain insight on creating a “culture of character” for your school. Faculty will foster your expertise with school improvement, teacher development, management and respect for the cultural diversity of students and their families. You'll learn how to create a professional learning environment that encourages the growth of students, teachers and staff.

You must be a currently licensed teacher to apply. Those who hold a Type 73 certificate may also qualify for the program until 2021.

Program Features

  • Curriculum that meets the licensure requirements for the principal endorsement
  • Engaged alumni who frequently share their professional expertise and serve as principal mentors
  • Full-time faculty who are involved in state and national leadership programs and stay ahead of the latest education trends
  • Partnerships with working principals and other administrators 
  • Hybrid course offerings and cohorts at local school districts

Principal Endorsement Standards

Candidates successfully completing a principal preparation program shall obtain a principal endorsement and are eligible to work as a principal or assistant principal. (Section 21-7.1 of the School Code; also see 23 Ill. Adm.Code 25.337)

Principal endorsement licensure requirements

  • State of Illinois Supervision modules
  • State of Illinois Principal Exams (195 & 196)

The M.Ed in educational leadership with eligibility for principal endorsement provides a strong foundation of knowledge, dispositions and performance. This foundation is based on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL, formerly ISLLC), designed to prepare candidates to become successful school assistant principals and principals. It is also aligned with National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) and Illinois Performance Standards for School Leaders.

Education Alliance Partnership

Through the Education Alliance Grant, eligible employees with an earned bachelor's degree will receive a 20 percent tuition discount on any graduate program offered by North Central College.

Master of Education in Educational Leadership Curriculum

The degree requires a student to complete 36 credit hours of prescribed coursework

  • Seven 4-credit hour courses
  • A year-long internship (3 courses, 8 credit hours total)

Program Outcomes

  • Develop insight into the complexities of culture and change agency
  • Build skills for outreach, partnership, and advocacy among stakeholders
  • Explore the latest research on school efficacy and leadership
  • Link pedagogy, assessment and the school improvement process
  • Gain an understanding of management, litigation, and financing

Required Courses

  • EDN 500    Mission-driven Leadership
  • EDN 622    School Law & Policies
  • EDN 534    Supervision & Instruction
  • EDN 536    School, Home, & Community
  • EDN 610    School Operations & Management
  • EDN 620    Curriculum & Program Assessment
  • EDN 691    Internship I
  • EDN 692    Internship II
  • EDN 693    Internship Residency 
  • EDN 696    Educational Leadership Capstone

An Educational Leadership Culminating Portfolio is also required (detailed in EDN 500 and the Capstone).

    One-Year Internship

    You will complete a flexible, twelve-month internship (EDN 691, EDN 692, and EDN 693) with experiences in the school improvement process, teacher development, management, and competency in meeting the needs of diverse students. The program and its internship requirements can still be completed while you are employed full-time in a school setting.

        Bruce Spitzer

        Professor of Education; Chairperson, Department of Education
        +1 630 637 5738
        Kathy W. Black

        Assistant Professor of Education; Coordinator of Master of Arts Program in Education
        +1 630 637 5741
        Kathleen King

        Assistant Professor of Education; Education Graduate Placement Coordinator
        +1 630 637 5107

        The Kern Family Foundation

        North Central College is committed to making you the most well equipped, principled, responsible leader possible. That’s why we partnered with the Kern Family Foundation, who provided a 4.5-year, $3.2 million grant—the College’s largest private grant ever—to launch character initiatives designed to have an impact. We believe we can make an important and far-reaching impact in creating cultures of character in school districts across Illinois, the Midwest—and potentially, the nation. 

        The Kern Foundation focuses on systemic change by partnering with broad-impact, long-term programs that build thriving communities. The foundation is dedicated to equipping young people with the academic skills and virtues necessary to realize their potential and contribute to the common good, and to shaping  a sense of moral responsibility that lays the foundation for a meaningful l and virtuous  life.

        The Kern Family Foundation is enabling North Central to provide scholarships to students who are underrepresented in administrative ranks or who currently serve underserved communities.  Look for details and application requirements to be announced in early 2019.

        Project Components

        Educational Leadership Fellowship

        As a student in the educational leadership program, you can apply for a fellowship which will cover the costs of a substitute for your role in schools so you can engage in a full-time, semester-long internship with a principal-mentor. Learn how to lead a school with character by working as part of the administrative team—all without disrupting your regular employment income.


        The Kern Family Foundation is enabling North Central to provide scholarships to students who are underrepresented in administrative ranks or who currently serve underserved communities. Look for details and application requirements to be announced in Winter 2019.

        Character Education Institute

        We want you to be able to impact the development of character. That’s why the Character Education Institute delivers programs for teachers, principals, undergraduate education majors—and other community stakeholders—to support your expertise and professional development for fostering thriving communities of character.

        • Cultures of Character Academy - This academy, open to principals and other administrative leaders, shows you how to use character education to facilitate school improvement. You’ll work with character and culture coaches who support you onsite, and you can apply for mini-grants to help you implement culture of character projects in your school.

        • Character Education Certificate - This certificate program is open to eligible undergraduate education majors, practicing teachers and principals, and other community stakeholders interested in studying a virtue ethics core that addresses both pedagogy and content.

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