The goal of the Instructional Leadership Program at UWA is to foster the improvement of educational institutions through effective leadership. UWA seeks to recruit educator candidates who will make significant contributions to educational organizations, demonstrate the potential for leadership through individual growth, foster student achievement in learning-centered environments, and advocate for quality educational practices.
The reduced hour option which leads to Alabama Class A certification is designed to aid in the development of the skills necessary to analyze and resolve educational issues in diverse contexts. The reduced hour option at UWA is only available to eligible educator candidates who hold a valid Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate, meet all requirements for admissions to the M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership degree program, and certificate completion requirements as defined by the Alabama State Department of Education.
Educator candidates are encouraged to meet with their assigned advisor as soon as possible after being admitted to the UWA School of Graduate Studies to discuss requirements and procedures.
Instructional Leadership Admission Process
To be unconditionally admitted, an applicant must:
- Meet the requirements to be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies;
- Have a minimum of three (3) full years of full-time, satisfactory professional education experience in a P-12 setting, which must include P-12 teaching experience if admitted prior to August 2010 or have a minimum of three (3) full years of full-time, acceptable professional education experience in a P-12 setting, which must include at least one full year of full-time P-12 teaching experience if admitted on or after August 1, 2010.
- Hold a valid Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate;
- Provide verification of background clearance/fingerprints;
- Submit an instructional leadership portfolio
- Each applicant must pass an interview conducted by a program admission committee that includes both P-12 instructional leaders and higher education faculty;
- Submit a transcript documenting completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum 2.75 grade point aver (four-point scale).
- Educator candidates must be unconditionally admitted prior to enrolling in any courses the Instructional Leadership Class A reduced hour option. Applicants who are denied unconditional admission may reapply the following semester.
- Courses for the reduced hour option are also offered online.
Instructional Leadership Portfolio Submission
Educator candidates must submit a portfolio to the Instructional Leadership Program for review. The portfolio affords an applicant the opportunity to provide valuable information regarding interests, leadership potential, organizational skills, and other qualifications for unconditional admission into the Instructional Leadership Program. The portfolio should reflect quality work desired for aspiring instructional leaders. The contents of the portfolio will be reviewed and scored by at least three (3) members of the Instructional Leadership Admissions Committee. The portfolio is valued at 30 points toward the final score for acceptance. A minimum score of 21 on the portfolio (70%) must be acquired to move to the next step. Incomplete portfolios will not be considered. The portfolio must contain the following components:
- Instructional Leadership Program Application for Admission form
- A current resumé outlining candidate’s professional history as well as education
- Three Recommendation for Admissions forms, including one from each of the following:
- Immediate Supervisor
- Personal Reference
- A copy of applicant’s valid Alabama teaching license/certificate (Form A)
- Verification of Experience form
- Memorandum of Agreement complete with all required signatures as indicated
- Completed copy of applicant’s most recent performance appraisal/evaluation; the professional development component shall be included, if available.
- Applicant’s Leadership Profile which includes the components listed below. The profile should convey a personal and professional history that assists the Instructional Leadership Advisory Council in knowing the person who is applying. To this end, there is not a preferred format or structure. In preparing the profile, the applicant should set the text in a typed, double-spaced format with an expected minimum of three to five pages.
- Brief autobiography of the candidate
- A statement of professional goals
- A review of the candidate’s professional growth and development activities over the past three years which may include formal education at the graduate or undergraduate level, professional development, and/or technical training
- A retrospective view of the candidate’s leadership experiences over time and across specific areas of leadership; Experiences should be documented by ‘3’ pieces of evidence that the candidate possesses leadership potential; The most recent accomplishments in the area of instructional leadership shall be included, which may include professional presentations, community service, religious organizations, and/or military service are appropriate for this section.
- College and university years - reflect on experiences related to becoming an educator to include, but not limited to, organizations, classes, influential persons, etc.
- Professional experiences - including, but not limited to, experiences in the classroom, chairperson positions, committee involvement, special assignments, project directorship, and/or military experience.
- Professional or personal honors - including, but not limited to, any honor received that was connected to professional or personal experiences.
- Professional organizations - including, but not limited to, such experiences as chairperson, officer, committee member, delegate, etc., at the local, state, regional, or state levels.
- Philosophy of education and Instructional Leadership
- Reasons for pursuing a Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership
Utilizing the portfolio and interview rubrics, Admissions Committee member submits individual scores that are averaged to determine the educator candidate’s final score. Copies of the rubrics may be found in Appendix A.
At the conclusion of the interview phase, all scores will be reviewed and educator candidates will be notified by letter regarding the status of his/her acceptance into the next cohort group. To be considered for acceptance a minimum score of 38 points (80%) must be obtained in Phases II and III. Educator candidates not selected for the next cohort may schedule a conference with an assigned faculty member to review all scores. These individuals will be eligible to participate again in Phases II and III of the application process at the time the next cohort for the program is being formed.
The following requirement must be met for successful completion of the Instructional Leadership reduced hour option:
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.25 in all required coursework with no grade lower than a “B” in the certification area courses
- Receive a passing score on the Praxis II Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision assessment. The Praxis II assessment serves as the comprehensive exam for the Instructional Leadership Program.
- Hold a valid Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate
I. Required Courses: 18 hours
Due to the specific contents of these courses, no substitute and/or transfer courses will be accepted for the reduced hour option.
II. Seminars (dates TBA)
- Instructional Leadership Program Introduction Seminar
- Pre-Internship Seminar (x2)
- Mid-Term Internship Seminar (x2)
- Capstone Event
III. Portfolio Review
Educator candidates shall prepare and maintain a comprehensive portfolio which indicates the level of experiences and knowledge gained in instructional leadership during the intern experiences. UWA students will maintain an electronic portfolio via LiveText. The portfolio shall be juried by a committee of university and cooperation school staff before the educator candidate is recommended by the University for Instructional Leadership Certification. Juries shall be made up of members from the Instructional Leadership Advisory Council. Portfolios will be juried upon the completion of all coursework, internship, and residency requirements.
The Educator Preparation Program and the Educator Certification Program are governed by the Alabama State Department of Education, and the College of Education reserves the right to change requirements in these programs at any time when such changes are mandated by the State Department.