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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

Our program prepares aspiring school leaders and principals with a focused emphasis on both character development of the leader and the importance of building a school infrastructure of character.  We prepare leaders who model character, inspire collaboration, foster positive relationships, build cohesive systems, and support a culture embedded with character so each child and adult can realize potential.  

Why Cultures of Character?

The emphasis on character combined with culture-building allows future leaders to not only design curricular efforts for character education and Social Emotional Learning, but also to extend this work throughout all aspects of the school environment.

Watch our M.Ed. in Educational Leadership webinar to learn more.

Learn how you can save up to 60% in graduate tuition.

Program Features

  • Identify and develop your own sense of leadership through clarity of your own vision, values, beliefs, and character orientation.
  • Learn how to create a safe, supportive, and nurturing culture including character frameworks.
  • Develop your ability to put systems into place and advocate for student-centered cultures of character that promote agency, including story-telling and sharing of best practice.
  • Advance your ability to create school environments that promote character development through parent and community partnerships, management efficacy and ongoing school improvement reflective of a growth mindset.

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.

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)

View the 2019-20 Academic Calendar (PDF) for program start dates.

Program Outcomes

  • Develop insight into the complexities of culture and change agency
  • Examine school improvement efforts in the areas of character, social-emotional learning and positive school cultures
  • 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

  • MEDU 500: Mission-driven Leadership
  • MEDU 535: Supervision & Instruction
  • MEDU 536: School, Home, & Community
  • MEDU 610: Operations & Management
  • MEDU 620: Curriculum & Program Assessment
  • MEDU 622: School Law & Policies
  • MEDU 691: Education Internship I
  • MEDU 692: Education Internship II
  • MEDU 693: Education Internship Residency
  • MEDU 696: Educational Leadership Capstone

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

    One-Year Internship

    You will complete a flexible, twelve-month internship (MEDU 691, MEDU 692, and MEDU 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.

    Fellowship Opportunities 

    With support from your district, you can apply for an administrative fellowship. If you are selected, your district would be provided with funding to cover a substitute for your regular position so you can complete a full-time, semester-long internship with a principal as a mentor. During your internship, you’ll have the chance to create projects designed to bring about a culture of character at your host school.

    More information, including how to apply for the fellowship, will be available as part of your educational leadership coursework. North Central College will work with you to ensure the required cooperation from your school district.

    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
    Maureen Spelman

    Visting Professor of Education; Coordinator of Character Initiatives
    +1 630 637 5735

    Master of Education Grants and Scholarships 

    Education Alliance Partnership

    North Central College has partnered with several businesses and school districts to offer eligible M.Ed. students a 20 percent tuition discount. We invite you to explore the Education Alliance Grant to learn more.

    The Kern Family Foundation Cultures of Character Scholarships

    The Cultures of Character Scholarship was established thanks to the generosity of the Kern Family Foundation. Annual scholarships will be awarded for 20-40 percent off tuition for select candidates who meet the eligibility criteria.

    Scholarship Eligibility

    • Interested candidates must be first be accepted to the master of education in educational leadership program.
    • Scholarship applications must be completed prior to beginning the first course in the program.
    • Awards will be considered based primarily on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate:
      • service to an underserved community
      • qualifications as an applicant currently underrepresented in administrative ranks
      • commitment to fostering a culture of character in a PK-12 school setting through demonstrated experiences or expertise

    Scholarship Participation

    Recipients of the scholarship are expected to:

    • be fully engaged in coursework
    • promote the goals of the scholarship through character development work
    • participate annually in a minimum of two activities sponsored by North Central College to promote the educational leadership program and/or the scholarship and its aforementioned goals

    Next Steps

    • More information, including a link to the Cultures of Character Scholarship application, will be provided upon acceptance into the master of education in educational leadership program.
    • Learn more about the Cultures of Character scholarship, fellowship opportunities, and character education institute benefits at The Kern Family Foundation Character Initiatives.

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