Programs in Educational Leadership

Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology

MA in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy

Working toward social and education equity through leadership, policy, and advocacy in and around schools

What you'll learn

The MA program in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy prepares students who want to work toward social and education equity through leadership, policy, and advocacy positions in and around schools. Graduates will work in child and community advocacy organizations; policy and research centers; private, charter, and independent schools; and international and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Students can pursue multiple paths toward analyzing and critically assessing issues of leadership and policy at the federal, state, and local levels and develop competencies to employ multiple approaches to inquiry and research. Students can choose from a wide array of options, including economic analysis, policy analysis, demographic studies, participatory action research, survey design, and ethnographic and case study inquiry, to name a few.

This program is well suited for individuals who have a sound background in education as well as for those who have little formal experience but want to study and work at the nexus of leadership, politics/policy, and advocacy within the current sociocultural, political, and economic context of education.

Strong candidates for this program are interested in building capacity in and around schools and universities by creating collaborative networks, engaging in research and policy analysis, and enhancing communication between educational systems, human service providers, and the broader public they serve.

How you'll learn

The curriculum offers students considerable flexibility in creating a program of study that will best serve each student’s purposes and goals.

The program of study consists of 36 points of course work and continuous field-based experience.

It is designed to accommodate both full-time or part-time study; course work starts each September (summer course work is also available and encouraged), and full-time students can complete the program in just three 12-point semesters.

Each course examines multiple theoretical perspectives, themes of equity and social justice, a focus on the needs and experiences of impoverished children and youth, and implications for leadership within and outside of educational settings.

Eighteen of the 36 points represent required courses focusing on content requirements and the internship:

All students participate in an internship in community-based advocacy organizations, schools, or research centers. Placements take into consideration each student’s interests. Additional field-based opportunities are also embedded in course work throughout the program.

The remaining 18 points represent electives. Based on the recommendations of faculty advisers, students pursue additional study relevant to one of the three major foci of the program: leadership, politics, or advocacy.

This program does not lead to New York State Certification as a School Building Leader (SBL) (assistant principal or principal). Students interested in obtaining state certification, through a master’s degree, participate in the MA Program in Educational Leadership: School Building Leader.

In addition to the MA program in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy, the Steinhardt School offers students two other options to study education and policy and to prepare for a career in this field.  We encourage students to explore these options further to find the program that best matches their personal interests and career goals.