Montana State University

Educational Leadership Program Overview

  • Program Overview
  • Masters/Principal Prep
  • Ed Specialist
  • Supt Prep
  • Doctoral Program
  • Application Process
  • Additional Info

The Educational Leadership program offers a Master of Education, an Education Specialist, and Doctor of Education. Those students completing the degree requirements for the M.Ed. will also have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a K-12 Principal Endorsement.  Those students completing the degree requirements for the Ed.S. or Ed.D. will also have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a Superintendent Endorsement. Certification requirements of other states may be incorporated into the programs. An internship or field experience is required as a part of the M.Ed. and Ed.S. degree programs. Furthermore, understanding and applying research is an integral part of all of the degree programs. For additional information, please review the Educational Leadership program web pages within the Department of Education website at: http://www.montana.edu/wwweduc/grad/edlead/index.shtml

The Educational Leadership program at Montana State University is nationally accredited by Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) as well as by the Montana Board of Public Education.  The focus of the program is to prepare K-12 school principals and school superintendents to effectively serve Montana communities and rural communities throughout the Northern Plains and Northern Rocky Mountain region of the United States.

All options in the Educational Leadership program are offered using a combination of delivery methods. Online courses are delivered completely via distance technology and blended courses use a combination of distance delivery and face-to-face meetings. The structure of the course will determine the delivery methods employed.  For example, the M.Ed. principal preparation coursework is delivered almost completely online using distance delivery methods during the school year while its summer courses are blended with two weeks of face-to-face instruction.  On the other hand, the Ed.D. program courses are usually blended such that the class meets for face-to-face instruction one weekend a month and online during the weeks in between meetings.

Objectives

The Educational Leadership program at Montana State University is nationally accredited by Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) as well as by the Montana Board of Public Education.  The focus of the program is to prepare K-12 school principals to effectively serve Montana communities and rural communities throughout the Northern Plains and Northern Rocky Mountain region of the United States.Those students completing the degree requirements for the M.Ed. will also have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a K-12 Principal Endorsement.  

This program of study has been developed to prepare effective K-12 principals. Using a hybrid delivery model, it seeks to meet the needs of students unable to routinely visit the Bozeman campus or those seeking the convenience of online learning.  Courses will be delivered using distance educational methods during the school year and some instructors may require students to attend a face to face instructional session held in conjunction with various administrator association meetings once during the semester. During the summer, students will meet on the Bozeman campus for two full weeks of face to face instruction. The face-to-face instruction will usually take place during the latter weeks of June.

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Program Flow

Students will be admitted into a program for summer semester and are expected to take coursework in the sequence outlined in the course offerings found elsewhere on this site. Developing a learning community is a critical aspect of principal preparation. To enhance the development of a learning community among the students and to facilitate learning by offering an integrated curriculum students will be placed into a cohort based on year of acceptance into the program and will matriculate together.

All options in the Educational Leadership program are offered using a combination of delivery methods. Online courses are delivered completely via distance technology and hybrid courses use a combination of distance delivery and face to face meetings. The structure of the course will determine the delivery methods employed.  For example, the M.Ed. principal preparation coursework is delivered almost completely online using distance delivery methods during the school year with one or two weekend face to face sessions, while the summer courses are blended with two weeks of face to face instruction.

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K-12 Principal Cohort Typical Program of Study

EDLD 507 Fndtns of Educational Ldrshp 3
EDLD 508 Supervision of Instruction 3
EDLD 515 Planned Change 3
EDLD 520 Schools & Diverse Communities 3
EDLD 526 Evaluating School Programs 3
EDLD 532 School Law 3
EDLD 534 Data Driven Decisions 3
EDLD 555 School Finance 3
EDLD 565 K-12 Instructional Leadership 3
EDLD 574 Field Exper in Ed Ldrshp 6
EDLD 564 The Comprehensive Portfolio (EDLD 566 21st Century Leadership Skills may be substituted for EDLD 564) 3
Total Credits 36

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2012 and 2013 Cohorts Course Schedule

2012 K-12 Principal Cohort Program of Study

Summer 2012

EDLD 507

Foundations of Leadership

3 credits

EDLD 515

Planned Change

3 credits

Fall 2012

EDLD 532

Montana School Law

3 credits

EDLD 555

Montana School Finance

3 credits

Spring 2013

EDLD 520

Schools and Diverse Communities

3 credits

EDLD 534

Data Driven Decision Making

3 credits

Summer 2013

EDLD 508

Supervision of Instruction

3 credits

EDLD 565

K-12 Instructional Leadership

3 credits

Fall 2013

EDLD 574

Field Experience I

3 credits

EDLD 526

Evaluating School Programs

3 credits

Spring 2014

EDLD 574

Field Experience II

3 credits

EDLD 564

Comprehensive Portfolio

3 credits

 

TOTAL

36 credits

2013 K-12 Principal Cohort Program of Study

Summer 2013

EDLD 507

Foundations of Leadership

3 credits

EDLD 515

Planned Change

3 credits

Fall 2013

EDLD 532

Montana School Law

3 credits

EDLD 508

Supervision of Instruction

3 credits

Spring 2014

EDLD 520

Schools and Diverse Communities

3 credits

EDLD 534

Data Driven Decision Making

3 credits

Summer 2014

EDLD 555

Montana School Finance

3 credits

EDLD 565

K-12 Instructional Leadership

3 credits

Fall 2014

EDLD 574

Field Experience I

3 credits

EDLD 526

Evaluating School Programs

3 credits

Spring 2015

EDLD 574

Field Experience II

3 credits

EDLD 564

Comprehensive Portfolio

3 credits

 

TOTAL

36 credits

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Committees

Each master's student's committee must consist of three members. The chair and one other member must be from the Educational Leadership faculty. The third committee member must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

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Chairs

The student should carefully select his/her chair after thorough conversations with the approved Educational Leadership faculty members. The chair will serve as the student's primary advisor. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. In addition, revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval

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The Master’s Capstone ~ Comprehensive Examinations

Near the end of completing course work, M.Ed. students will complete a written comprehensive exam. The specific format of this exam will be determined by the chair in consultation with the committee. Depending upon the format, an oral clarification may be required. In addition, students may be required to meet with the committee to provide clarification of responses. The oral defense of comprehensive exams must occur by the date published on the Graduate School's dates and deadlines website.

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Contact Information

Dr. Bill Ruff
wruff@montana.edu
406-994-4182

Dr. Tena Versland
tena.versland@montana.edu
406-994-6799

Dr. David Henderson
david.henderson3@montana.edu
406-994-6424

Dr. Art Bangert
abangert@montana.edu
406-994-7424

Jerry Pease
gerald.pease@montana.edu
406-994-5655 

pictureObjectives

The Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) is a practitioner’s degree.  Many states require this degree for Superintendent licensure, however, Montana does not.  This degree is particularly valuable for students who see themselves as school system leaders.  Admission into the Educational Leadership program is required.

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Program Flow

The purpose of the Education Specialist Degree is to provide skills and knowledge required for district superintendent. In addition to improving skill and knowledge, it is the goal of the program to create strong networks among students to support effective practices.  To that end, classes are generally offered in a blended format which combines face-to-face delivery and distance delivery.  An appropriate balance of theory and practice is a strong consideration in planning for the content of the classes.

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Program of Study

Core
EDLD 610 Ldrshp and Organizational Thry 3
EDLD 620 The School Superintendent 3
EDLD 630 Supervision & Instruct Ldrshp 3
EDLD 645 Personnel Mgmt in Education 3
EDLD 650 MT Finance & Facilities 3
EDLD 655 MT Legal & Policy Studies 3
EDLD 657 Ed Policy & Politics 3
EDLD 594 Seminar 1
EDLD 643 Leading Social Justice 3
Field Experience
EDLD 574 Field Exper in Ed Ldrshp (Field Experience may be waived based on experience and goals) 3
Comprehensive Portfolio
EDLD 575 Professional Paper and Project 3
Total Credits 31

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Committee

Candidates will have a three member committee. Candidates should work closely with their committee chair to prepare and submit a program of study immediately upon admission to the program. The chair and one other member must be from the Educational Leadership faculty. The third committee member must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Dean of The Graduate School.

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Chairs

The student should carefully select his/her chair after thorough conversations with the approved Education Leadership faculty members. The chair will serve as the student's primary adviser. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. In addition, revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval.

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Comprehensive Examinations

The Ed.S. student will develop a professional paper as his/her summative experience. The professional paper will address a specific issue and contextualized problem of practice using appropriate theory and research-based best practices. Specifically the professional paper will: 1) frame the problem; 2) review pertinent research literature; 3) identify appropriate methods used to demonstrate the extent of the problem and the efficacy of solution employed; and 4) provide recommendations grounded in research to solve the problem.

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Additional Educational Specialist Requirements

The Education Specialist degree must meet the minimum requirements under the For Doctoral Students section on found in the departmental website with the following two exceptions: 1) no dissertation is required, and 2) courses over seven years old may not be included on the graduate program.

Additional requirements for the Ed.S. degree are available through the Department of Education. All Ed.S. degree candidates are expected to be familiar with both departmental and The Graduate School's requirements.

While many courses for the Education Specialist degree are the same as those for the Doctor of Education degree, it must be clearly understood that admission to one program does not imply admission to the other. Transfer from Doctoral to Education Specialist status will be possible only if the applicant: 1) is in good standing with The Graduate School, and 2) has not failed the doctoral comprehensive exam.

Objectives

This is a post-master’s program.  Although formal admission into the Educational Leadership program is not required, candidates must hold a master’s degree and principal endorsement as a prerequisite for taking courses within this option. The Superintendent Licensure Program provides the minimum academic requirements needed for a Superintendent endorsement in Montana to those currently holding a Class III License with any of the three types of Principal endorsement.

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Program Flow

The purpose of this program is to provide the minimum skills and knowledge required for the position of district superintendent. In addition to improving skill and knowledge, it is the goal of the program to create strong networks among students to support effective practices.  To that end, classes are generally offered in a blended format which combines face-to-face delivery and distance delivery.  An appropriate balance of theory and practice is designed into the content of the coursework.

Courses are offered in a hybrid format. During the academic year, the courses are delivered using distance delivery technology with a face-to-face meeting held in conjunction with a state-level administrator conference. During the summer the courses are offered using distance delivery with 2 days of face-to-face meetings on campus. The summer courses start with online instruction about mid-June and face-to-face instruction is held in July.

Contact the Department of Education's Graduate Program Office (see contact information below) to complete the Graduate Application.
*Note, there will be no fee attached to the application, as students will not be associated with the MSU Graduate School. The application is merely for contact and previous schooling information.

Contact Dr. Bill Ruff, Program Leader in Educational Leadership, to discuss the lineup of courses required for certification and individual circumstances.
*Registration for Superintendent Endorsement courses takes place through the Extended University office.

Information about course offerings may be found on the Department of Education website:http://www.montana.edu/ehhd/educ/edleadership/super.shtml

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Program of Study

All candidates are required to complete 15 credits of most master's courses.
EDLD 620 The School Superintendent 3
EDLD 645 Personnel Mgmt in Education 3
EDLD 650 MT Finance & Facilities 3
EDLD 655 MT Legal & Policy Studies 3
EDLD 574 Field Exper in Ed Ldrshp 3
Total Credits 15

*Candidates with 5 or more years experience as a principal and who have extensive central office experience may petition the faculty to waive the Field Experience requirement.

*Note, candidates who do not have a K-12 endorsement must also take EDLD 565 Instructional Leadership and 3 credits of EDLD 574 Field Experience in a setting that compliments their current principal endorsement. Those with a Secondary School Principal endorsement will perform Field Experience in an elementary school setting.Those with an Elementary School Principal endorsement will perform Field Experience in a secondary school setting.

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How to Apply

Contact the Educational Leadership faculty to discuss requirements for Licensure and visit the Extended University website below to register for classes.
http://btc.montana.edu/courses/aspx/credit.aspx

Educational Leadership Faculty

Dr. Bill Ruff
406-994-4182, Email: wruff@montana.edu

Dr. Tena Versland
406-994-6799 Email: tena.versland@montana.edu

Dr. David Henderson
406-994-6424 Email: david.henderson3@montana.edu

Dr. Art Bangert
406-994-7424 Email: abangert@montana.edu

Jerry Pease
406-994-5655 Email: gerald.pease@montana.edu

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Contact Information

Maggie Secrest
Graduate Program Assistant
Montana State University
PO Box 172880
Reid Hall 215, Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
margaret.secrest@montana.edu 

Objectives

Those students completing the degree requirements for the Ed.S. or Ed.D. will have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a Superintendent endorsement.  Additionally, a non-degree Superintendent Preparation program is available for those students who already hold a Master’s degree and Principal Licensure (please see Post Masters Superintendent Licensure). 

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Program Flow

All options in the Educational Leadership program are offered using a combination of delivery methods. Online courses are delivered completely via distance technology and blended courses use a combination of distance delivery and face to face meetings. The structure of the course will determine the delivery methods employed.  For example, many Ed.D. program courses are usually blended such that the class meets for face-to-face instruction one weekend a month and online during the weeks in between meetings.

After acceptance, the applicant will be assigned a temporary adviser and should then meet with his/her assigned adviser. Actual courses taken during the initial stage will be based on the student's previous academic work and adviser/committee approval.

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Program of Study

Doctoral Core
EDCI 508 Adv Educational Psychology 3
EDLD 610 Ldrshp and Organizational Thry 3
EDLD 630 Supervision & Instruct Ldrshp 3
EDLD 643 Leading Social Justice 3
EDLD 657 Ed Policy & Politics 3
EDLD 591 Special Topics 3
Superintendent Certification Required Courses
EDLD 620 The School Superintendent 3
EDLD 645 Personnel Mgmt in Education 3
EDLD 650 MT Finance & Facilities 3
EDLD 655 MT Legal & Policy Studies 3
Research Required Core
EDCI 502 Educational Statistics II 3
EDCI 507 Qualitative Educational Rsch 3
EDCI 607 Quantitative Educational Rsch 3
EDLD 690 Doctoral Thesis 14
Total Credits 53
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Committees

Each doctoral student's committee must consist of at least five approved members. The chair and one other approved member must be from the Educational Leadership faculty. Two other approved members will be selected based upon their ability to contribute to the student's studies leading up to and through the dissertation research. These two committee members must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. A fifth member of the committee is an approved faculty member appointed by the Graduate School and serves as the graduate representative.

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Chairs

The student should carefully select his/her chair after thorough conversations with the Educational Leadership faculty members that he or she believes might have an interest in their doctoral research and/or the ability to work with them towards generating a defensible dissertation. The committee as a whole is subject to approval by the Head of the Department of Education. The chair will advise students in selecting committee members and in understanding the dissertation process. The chair and at least one committee member will be the primary readers of the dissertation as it is being written. The importance of selecting the right chair cannot be overstated. However, chairs and members of the student's committee are subject to change. In addition, revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the committee's approval.

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Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive examinations are required for completion of all Ed.D. degrees in Educational Leadership. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the program of study and the ability to interact with the research in that area. Students should refer to The Graduate School's Policies and Procedures web page.

After completion of at least two thirds of the required coursework, Ed.D. students will complete a written comprehensive exam. The exam is completed in writing and then orally defended in front of the entire Graduate Committee. Through the comprehensive exam, students will be expected to demonstrate: 1) the ability to integrate concepts from courses into a holistic viewpoint; 2) the ability to apply material to anticipated real life situations based on the theoretical principles and concepts covered in classes; 3) the ability to critically read, analyze, and critique research; and 4) a readiness to move forward to create their own research.

Generally, there are two primary question areas: 1) Identification of a topic with the potential to contribute to the literature in Educational Leadership, and a critical evaluation of the research on that topic; and 2) Design a research project on the topic of interest. Students will be expected to demonstrate a mastery of aspects of both qualitative and quantitative projects (such as sampling, validity, reliability, data analysis).

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Additional Doctor of Education Requirements

The Doctor of Education degree must meet the minimum requirements in the For Doctoral Students section of the Graduate School's website with the following exception: only fourteen (14) credits of dissertation are required. Additional requirements for the Ed.D. degree beyond these minimums are available through the Department of Education. All Ed.D. degree candidates are expected to be familiar with both The Graduate School's degree requirements and Department of Education degree requirements listed on each of the three program's websites.

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Contact Information

Dr. Bill Ruff
Program Leader
406-994-4182 Email: wruff@montana.edu

Dr. Tena Versland
406-994-6799 Email: tena.versland@montana.edu

Dr. David Henderson
406-994-6424 Email: david.henderson3@montana.edu

Dr. Art Bangert
406-994-7424 Email: abangert@montana.edu

Application Materials for the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
(Ed.S. and Ed.D. information below)

*Prior to applying for an Educational Leadership program, applicants must hold a Class I teaching license, should have at least three years teaching experience, and possess a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

Complete the online application through the Graduate School Online Application System

During the online application process you will be asked to submit the following materials. 

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. GPA calculation form: The form is provided during the application process. NOTE: We require a GPA of 3.00 for the last two (2) years of undergraduate course work.
  3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation: Candidates must meet the following criteria for one of the three letters of recommendation.
    1. At least one of the three letters must be from the candidate's PRESENT direct supervisor. That means a school district administrator who (a) is currently administratively certified by Montana Office of Public Instruction or other equivalent state agency; AND (b) currently acts as direct supervisor for the candidate, and has done so for a minimum period of one semester. If for any reason you cannot secure a letter from your present supervisor, then:
      1. At least one of the letters of recommendation must be from a PREVIOUS direct supervisor. That means a school district administrator who is (a) currently certified by the Montana Office of Public Instruction or other equivalent state agency; AND(b) has, at some point preceding the date of this application, acted as direct supervisor for the candidate for a minimum period of one semester. Any applicant who does not have a letter from a present direct supervisor must indicate in the self-nomination letter (see below) the specific reason(s) why they were unable to secure a letter of recommendation from their present supervisor.
  5. Self-Nomination Letter: The self-nomination letter should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, and focus on the following:
    1. Your development and growth as a teacher, including professional development
    2. Your contributions to the school and district
    3. Your development as a leader. Specific examples are needed that clarify how you have grown as a leader and your leadership activities
    4. Your specific goals, including a timeline for assuming a school leadership position
    5. Your motivation to become a school leader and an explanation of how you came to this decision, and
    6. Personal qualities you possess that are desirable in a leader
  6. Academic Transcripts: Official transcripts verifying all Bachelor's Degree course work should be sent to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.
  7. For International Applicants ONLY
    TOEFL (http://www.ets.org/toefl) or ACE level 7 - Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and score a minimum 213 (paper version- 550, 80 for the iBT). This requirement may be waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
  8. For International Applicants ONLY
    International Student Financial Certificate (http://www.montana.edu/wwwdg/pdf_files/fin_cert.pdf)
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Application Materials for the Ed.S. in Educational Leadership

Developing a learning community is a critical aspect of preparation. To enhance the development of a learning community among the students and to facilitate learning by offering an integrated curriculum, upon admission, students will matriculate in a cohort with others entering the program in the same year.

*Prior to applying to the Educational Leadership program, applicants must hold a Class I teaching license, have gained at least three years teaching experience, and possess a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

Complete the online application through the Graduate School Online Application System

During the online application process you will be asked to submit the following materials. 

  1. GPA calculation form: The form is provided during the application process. NOTE: We require a GPA of 3.00 for the last two (2) years of undergraduate course work.
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation: Candidates must meet the following criteria for one of the three letters of recommendation.
    1. At least one of the three letters must be from the candidate's PRESENT direct supervisor. That means a school district administrator who (a) is currently administratively certified by Montana Office of Public Instruction or other equivalent state agency; AND (b) currently acts as direct supervisor for the candidate, and has done so for a minimum period of one semester. If for any reason you cannot secure a letter from your present supervisor, then:
      1. At least one of the letters of recommendation must be from a PREVIOUS direct supervisor. That means a school district administrator who is (a) currently certified by the Montana Office of Public Instruction or other equivalent state agency; AND(b) has, at some point preceding the date of this application, acted as direct supervisor for the candidate for a minimum period of one semester. Any applicant who does not have a letter from a present direct supervisor must indicate in the self-nomination letter (see below) the specific reason(s) why they were unable to secure a letter of recommendation from their present supervisor.
  4. Self-Nomination Letter: The self-nomination letter should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, and focus on the following:
    1. Your development and growth as an educator, including professional development;
    2. Your contributions to the school and district;
    3. Your development as a leader. Specific examples are needed that clarify how you have grown as a leader and your leadership activities;
    4. Your specific goals, including a timeline for assuming a school leadership position;
    5. Your motivation to become a school leader and an explanation of how you came to this decision; and
    6. Personal qualities you possess that are desirable in a leader.
  5. Academic Transcripts: Official transcripts verifying all Bachelor's Degree course work should be sent to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.
  6. For International Applicants ONLY:  
  7. For International Applicants ONLY
    TOEFL (http://www.ets.org/toefl) or ACE level 7 - Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and score a minimum 213 (paper version- 550, 80 for the iBT). This requirement may be waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
  8. For International Applicants ONLY
    International Student Financial Certificate (http://www.montana.edu/wwwdg/pdf_files/fin_cert.pdf)

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Application Materials for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

*Prior to applying for an Educational Leadership Ed.D. program, applicants must have a Master's degree in education or a related topic, have gained at least three years teaching experience as a certified or licensed teacher, and possess a 3.0 undergraduate gpa. Those applicants who do not hold an administrative license will be required to take principal preparation coursework as prerequisites to many doctoral courses.

Complete the online application through the Graduate School Online Application System

Applicants are to submit the following documentation during the application process:

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. GPA calculation form: The form is provided during the application process. NOTE: We require a GPA of 3.00 for the last two (2) years of undergraduate course work.
  3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation: Candidates must meet the following criteria for one of the three letters of recommendation.
    1. At least one of the three letters must be from the candidate's PRESENT direct supervisor. That means a school district administrator who (a) is currently administratively certified by Montana Office of Public Instruction or other equivalent state agency; AND (b) currently acts as direct supervisor for the candidate, and has done so for a minimum period of one semester. If for any reason you cannot secure a letter from your present supervisor, then:
      1. At least one of the letters of recommendation must be from a PREVIOUS direct supervisor. That means a school district administrator who is (a) currently certified by the Montana Office of Public Instruction or other equivalent state agency; AND(b) has, at some point preceding the date of this application, acted as direct supervisor for the candidate for a minimum period of one semester. Any applicant who does not have a letter from a present direct supervisor must indicate in the self-nomination letter (see below) the specific reason(s) why they were unable to secure a letter of recommendation from their present supervisor.
  5. Self-Nomination Letter: In two pages please describe why you want a terminal degree and what key thinkers and/or research has informed your current leadership practice.
  6. Academic Transcripts: Official transcripts verifying all Bachelor's Degree course work and Master's Degree course work should be sent to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.
  7. Official GRE or MAT scores: The general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required of all doctoral students prior to consideration for admission in the Department of Education. The expected minimum score for the GRE is 150 on the Verbal and 145 on the Quantitative. The expected minimum score on the MAT is 413. Official scores can be sent to Montana State University (code 4488).
  8. For International Applicants ONLY
    TOEFL (http://www.ets.org/toefl) or ACE level 7 - Applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and score a minimum 213 (paper version- 550, 80 for the iBT). This requirement may be waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
  9. For International Applicants ONLY
    International Student Financial Certificate (http://www.montana.edu/wwwdg/pdf_files/fin_cert.pdf)

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Application Deadlines for All Programs

The following are the preferred application deadline dates by which all of the application materials must be submitted via the online application system.
*Note - By submitting materials by the preferred deadline, accepted students will be eligible for early registration.

Fall Semester:  May 1st
Spring Semester:  November 1st
Summer Semester:  May 1st

The following are the absolute application deadline dates. If an applicant is unable to submit all application materials via the online application system by the preferred dates listed above, he or she can submit the materials by the date listed below, as there will be a second review.

Fall Semester: August 15th
Spring Semester: January 2nd
Summer Semester: May 15th

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Contact Information

For additional application information:

Maggie Secrest
Graduate Program Assistant
PO Box 172880
Montana State University
Reid Hall 215
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
margaret.secrest@montana.edu 

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits are defined as credits coming from an outside institution or credits taken in non- degree status at MSU.  A total of nine (9) transfer credits can be applied to a degree seeking graduate Program of Study.  All eligible credits to be transferred are subject to approval by the student’s graduate committee, graduate department, and The Graduate School.

Transfer of credits is governed by the Graduate School Policies and Procedures.  Full detail regarding credit transfer can be found at:

http://www.montana.edu/gradschool/cat_trans_credits.html

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Program Standards

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
Professional Standards for School Leaders
Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC)
  1. A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision.
  2. A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
  3. A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
  5. A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by acting with integrity and fairness, and in an ethical manner.
  6. A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
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Degree Process

The major steps in the process include:

  1. Complete the application materials. (We can send those to you if you are ready.) Also see Admission Procedures.
  2. Acceptance by the Division of Graduate Education. (There is a committee within the Ed Leadership Unit that reviews the applications and recommends acceptance or rejection. A temporary chairperson/advisor will be assigned.)
  3. Begin taking courses that fit into the outlined program.
  4. Select a permanent chairperson for your committee.
  5. With the chairperson, work out the details of your program and select two (masters) or four (doctorate) committee members. Submit the Program of Study and Committee form for approval.
  6. When the course work is near to being completed, take a written comprehensive examination (8 hrs masters or 20 hrs doctorate). For doctoral students, the written comps are followed by a 2-hour oral clarification meeting with the committee.

    For Doctoral Students only:

  1. Develop a research topic with your chairperson and prepare a research proposal.
  2. Meet with your entire committee to seek approval of the proposal.
  3. Complete the research and write up the dissertation.
  4. Defend the dissertation before your committee and any faculty members who choose to attend.
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OPI Internships and MSU Field Experiences

All programs in educational leadership require a practical experience (internship/field experience) to provide real life opportunities to implement, adapt, and/or confirm leadership theories. Field experiences are adapted to each participant's needs and situation, and can be categorized as MSU or Doctorate/Superintendent.

OPI Internships are for persons working on a Master's Degree in educational leadership while concurrently assigned to a school district administrative position for which they are not yet certified. This program provides temporary full certification. More intensive supervision from MSU requires some costs to be paid by the district and/or intern. Interns are assigned a mentor, collaborate with that person and a University supervisor, and complete a variety of assignments for the University supervisor.

MSU field experience courses are designed for persons at the master's level who are seeking principal certification. The field experience involves a set of required and optional experiences in which students participate, keep logs, and report to an on-site supervisor/mentor and to an MSU coordinator/supervisor.

Doctoral and Superintendent certification field experiences are uniquely designed for participants in view of their needs and situations.

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Field Experience Requirements (EDLD 574)

Field Experience is one of the final experiences in the graduate education leadership program at Montana State University - Bozeman. It is designed to provide students who have finished or who have nearly finished their program to experience what it is like to provide leadership at the district level. It is an opportunity to apply and further develop leadership and administrative knowledge and skills under the guidance of a certified school leader/administrator in a site outside of the university environment.

Prerequisites:

  • EDLD 574 Field Experience
  • EDLD 610 Leadership and Organizational Theory
  • EDLD 620 The School Superintendent
  • EDLD 630 Supervision and Instructional Leadership
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Answers to FAQ

What is a cohort and when do principal preparation cohorts start?

Application materials for admission into a principal preparation cohort should be submitted by 1 March. Our principal preparation cohorts, a group of students that proceed through the program as a group, begin each summer around mid-May.

A limited number of students may be admitted into the principal preparation program during fall and spring semester provided a sound reason exists for an exception. Candidates seeking an exception should contact Dr. Bill Ruff by email, wruff@montana.edu, or phone, 406 994 4182, to discuss the issue.

Do I need to be admitted into the principal licensure program even if I already have a Master's degree and wish to complete the program as a non-degree student?

Yes, all students seeking to take principal licensure coursework need to be admitted to the program prior to completing their second semester of courses. Ideally, students should be admitted into the principal licensure program prior to taking coursework.

Do I need to apply for admission into the superintendent licensure program?

No, there are no admission review requirements for students entering into the superintendent preparation program with the exception that students registering for the superintendent courses must have completed an accredited principal preparation program.

Where do I get the Advisor/Alternate PIN needed for course registration each semester?

You may get the Advisor/Alternate PIN needed to register for graduate courses from the Graduate Administrative Assistant. You can contact the Graduate Administrative Assistant at edgrad@montana.edu or 994-6786, to obtain the appropriate PIN number.

What is the Rural Education Leadership Cohort?

The Rural Education Leadership Cohort emerged from a partnership with the MSU Educational Leadership faculty and the Montana Rural Education Association. Its purpose is to prepare effective administrators in leading rural, often single administrator, schools throughout Montana. The program offers principal and superintendent licensure courses such that upon completion of the program students are academically eligible for licensure with both K-12 Principal and School Superintendent endorsements.

Admissions Testing

No admissions tests are required for entry into the Master's degree or Educational Specialist programs in Educational Leadership. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required for all students requesting admission into the Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership.

How are advisors assigned?

Advisors are full time faculty members in the Educational Leadership program that monitor and facilitate a student's progress, ensure the student takes the courses appropriate to his or her goals, advocate for the individual student, and serves as Chair of the student's Graduate Committee. An Advisor is assigned to each student at the time of admission; however, the student may select his or her advisor when completing the program of study. NOTE: Students selecting an advisor different from the faculty member initially assigned need to obtain the faculty member's permission before listing them as an advisor.

When do I submit my Program of Study?

The Program of Study is a listing of courses that the student will need to take to be graduated and/or recommended for administrative licensure. It needs to be completed by the student and submitted to their advisor by the end of the student's second semester of enrollment into the program. The form may be obtained from the Graduate School website under the heading of "forms." The required courses for your program option are listed elsewhere on this website by cohort.

Who do I contact if I have further questions about program specifics?

Any one of our Educational Leadership faculty will be happy to discuss the specifics of the program or the application requirements with you. Their contact information is below.

Dr. Bill Ruff
wruff@montana.edu
406-994-4182

Dr. Tena Versland
tena.versland@montana.edu
406-994-6799

Dr. David Henderson
david.henderson3@montana.edu
406-994-6424

Dr. Art Bangert
abangert@montana.edu
406-994-7424

Jerry Pease
gerald.pease@montana.edu
406-994-5655

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