Educational Leadership

Master's Degree in Educational Leadership

Course Map 

Educational Leadership Core (21 hours)

  • SSLS 800 Educational Leadership I (3 hours)
  • SSLS 801 Educational Leadership II (3 hours)
  • SSLS 888 Foundations of Education (3 hours)
  • SSLS 834 Curriculum Development (3 hours)
  • SSLS 809 Legal Foundations of Public Education (3 hours)
  • SSLS 894 Practicum in Educational Leadership (6 hours)  

Research Options (3-9 hours)
Option I (Thesis Program)

  • SSLS 891 Methods of Research (3 hours)
  • SSLS 890 Research and Thesis (3-6 hours)

Option II (Non-thesis Program) 

  • SSLS 891 Methods of Research (3 hours)

Choose ONE area of Emphasis (12 hours)
Building- Level Leader (Licensure) 

  • SSLS 847 The Principalship (3 hours)
  • SSLS 855 Administration & Supervision of Special Education(3 hours)
  • SSLS 863 Supervision of Instruction (3 hours)

Building-Level Curriculum Course (1 required): 

  • SSLS 835 Elementary and Middle School Curriculum (3 hours)
  • SSLS 836 Secondary School Curriculum (3 hours)

Educational Leader (Non-Licensure): 

  • CURIN 843 Trends and Issues (3 hours)
  • Electives by advisement (9 hours

Total hours for degree: 36 

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.0 for one of the following
    1. the last two years of undergraduate work for those students who have only an undergraduate degree and less than 9 hours of graduate work.
    1. 9 hours or more of current graduate credit courses.
    1. a completed graduate degree.
  2. Evidence of the following
    • History of assuming informal or formal leadership roles in a variety of settings.
    • Effective writing skills.
    • Ability to work collaboratively with others.
    • Commitment to assuming leadership roles within organizations.
    • History of meeting deadlines and satisfactorily accomplishing major tasks.
  3. Evidence of licensure as a teacher (for those seeking building licensure)
  4. Approval of the Educational Leadership Admissions Committee
  5. Approval of the Department Chairperson 

Admission Proceess

All students who first apply to the Educational Leadership Master's Program will be conditionally admitted as long as they show evidence that they completed or will complete at the end of the semester an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. All students admitted conditionally must meet the grade point requirement outlined in the previous section.

Upon conditional admission, students will schedule a meeting with their advisors to develop a learning plan to provide focus for the individual student's program. This learning plan will include, but not be limited to:

  • Assessment of the K-12 experiences of the student
  • Assessment of literacies: oral, written, and technological.

With their learning plans in hand, students will begin the portfolio construction process.

Leadership Portfolio

Prior to completion of 12 graduate hours, the student will create a leadership portfolio that the Educational Leadership Admissions Committee will review to decide on full admittance to the Master's Program The Educational Leadership Admissions Committee will meet 3 times during the year (on or around October 15, March 15 and July 1) to review student portfolios. Admissions Committee members will use an established rubric to judge a student's potential for success in the program. The course requirements of SSLS 800 Educational Leadership I will include the creation of this leadership portfolio. The student will continue to add items (to the leadership portfolio) from 3 courses other than SSLS 800.

If a student does not take SSLS 800 as one of the first 9 hours, the student will individually compile the leadership portfolio along with a written statement justification for not including SSLS 800 as one of the student's first 9 hours in the program. One member of the Educational Leadership faculty will take responsibility for helping these students compile the required portfolio.

The leadership portfolio will include the following:

  • An application for admission to Graduate School.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended by the student.
  • Two letters of recommendation from supervisors and/or professional peers; one must attest, with concrete examples, to the student's potential as an educational leader.
  • A resume of educational and professional experiences.
  • A copy of current licensure as a teacher (if wanting to pursue building level licensure).
  • A written statement of the student's professional goals.
  • A written leadership autobiography describing the leadership roles the student has assumed during his/her adult life.
  • Writing samples of the student's work in four courses.
  • A written response to a case study where the student had at least one week to construct his/her response. his/her response.
  • Documentation of the student's ability to work collaboratively.
  • Documentation of the student's history of meeting deadlines and satisfactorily accomplishing major tasks.

Special Notes

  • Students, who wish to take only courses required for building leader licensure and not receive a degree must also meet the same Admissions criteria detailed above if they wish for Pittsburg State University to recommend them for licensure to the appropriate state department of education. They must prepare a leadership portfolio and submit it for review by the Educational Leadership Admissions Committee at one of its triennial meetings. These students must take the following courses required for licensure as a building leader: 800, 801, 888, 834, 809, 847, 855, 863, 835 or 836, and 894.
  • Students interested in the non-licensure emphasis, but who work in school settings are strongly encouraged to take SSLS 855 Administration & Supervision of Special Education as one of their electives.

Procedural Steps for Master's Degree

  1. The student applies for admission to the Educational Leadership degree program through the Office of Graduate Studies. The student will be conditionally admitted and assigned an advisor.
  2. Prior to the completion of 12 graduate hours, the student assembles a leadership portfolio and the Educational Leadership Admissions Committee reviews the portfolio.
  3. Once the Educational Leadership Admissions Committee grants full admission, the student then meets with his/her advisor to draw up the paperwork for candidacy. This conference generally occurs after the student has taken 24 hours.
  4. During the last semester of enrollment the student petitions the Graduate Office to graduate.
  5. During the last semester of enrollment, the student must successfully complete the capstone project initiated in SSLS 891 and completed in SSLS 894 Practicum in Educational Leadership.

Minor in Educational Leadership

Course Map

Students may declare a minor in Leadership Studies. To complete a Leadership Minor, students must take 21 hours, 6 of which are required courses. Working with their Leadership Minor Advisor, Dr. Brenda Roberts with the Department of Special Services and Leadership Studies (620-235-4498,, students will map out 15 additional hours from a list of approved courses (see below) dealing with leadership issues.

Course Map (PDF version)

Required Courses (6 Hours)

SLS 600: Foundations of Leadership - 3 hours

  • This 3-hour course emphasizes leadership theory, leadership styles, problem-solving, resolving conflict, nurturing change within organizations, decision-making styles, small group facilitation, and systems thinking. Students engage in at least 15 hours field work that includes observations of leaders, a service learning activity, and experience in taking leadership roles. During the course, students begin compiling a leadership portfolio that they will add to throughout their Leadership Minor experience. Open to those who have declared a Leadership Minor OR permission of the instructor.

SSLS 601: Service Learning Seminar - 1 hour

  • In this one-hour course, students plan and implement a project that provides service to the community OR students take a leadership role in an existing service learning project. Students keep a reflective journal of their leadership activities, noting the connections between their practice of leadership and the content of their leadership minor courses. Prerequisite: Completion of SSLS 600 Foundations of Leadership or concurrent enrollment.

SSLS 602: Leadership Seminar - 2 hours

  • This 2-hour course emphasizes the application of leadership skills within the student's chosen career setting. Students engage in at least 10 hours of field work that include observations of leaders in a chosen career setting and experience in taking leadership roles within that same career setting. Students also complete their leadership portfolios begun in the SSLS 600 Foundations of Leadership course. Prerequisite: Completion of SSLS 600 Foundations of Leadership and completion of at least 15 hours within the Leadership Minor OR permission of the instructor.

Approved Leadership Minor Courses

  • POLS 302 State and Local Government and Politics
  • PHIL 105 Ethics
  • JUST 322 Ethics and Justice Policy
  • SOC 360 Community Sociology
  • SOC 443 Race and Ethnic Relations
  • COMM 450 Small Group Communication
  • COMM 601 Intercultural Communication
  • MIL 100 Military Science I
  • REC 415 Recreation Program Design and Leadership
  • PSYCH 275 Psychology of Adjustment
  • PSYCH 616 Introduction to Group Processes
  • PSYCH 575 Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • MGMKT 327 Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • MGMKT 628 Advanced Organizational Behavior
  • TTED 606 Industrial Supervision
  • TM 679 Presentation Skills

Elective by approval of Leadership Studies Minor Advisor - 3 hours