Graduate Programs for School Leaders

About the Program
The programs in Educational Leadership at Rider University prepare candidates for leadership positions at different administrative levels in elementary and secondary schools, colleges and related educational organizations. All programs are accredited by NCATE. The programs have been designed to be developmental and experiential in nature, fostering ethical behavior and the improvement of self and one’s profession. Candidates are prepared for leadership opportunities in a collegial and collaborative academic environment that promotes inquiry and discovery, personal growth and initiative, and professional development.

The Option Sequences build upon and reference the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC); Standards for School Leaders, and the Standards of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, utilized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC).

The Option I Sequence
The Option I Sequence prepares candidates for leadership positions as a principal, assistant principal, director, or supervisor. The Option I Sequence is approved by the State of New Jersey to meet the established degree requirements for candidates for leadership positions in public schools. The supervisor certificate is issued by the state to applicants upon graduation. Passing the required state examination for certification and fulfilling all mentorship experiences after graduation are requirements to achieve permanent certification as a principal in New Jersey.

The Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration and Supervision is a certification program designed for candidates with a master’s degree and a supervisor’s license. Certification in Pennsylvania as an Elementary or Secondary Administrator currently requires either a program of eight leadership courses or completion of a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration. Either a focused course sequence or the Option I Degree Program Sequence taken at Rider meets Pennsylvania requirements. Passing the required state licensure examination is an additional requirement for Pennsylvania certification as a principal.

The Option II Sequence
The Option II Sequence at Rider is designed for the candidate seeking a career as a school business administrator. The Option II Sequence leads to the degree with a focus in school business administration. New Jersey Administrative Code requires a master’s degree for a school business administrator certificate. Either a Master of Arts in Educational Administration, licensure as a Certified Public Accountant, or completion of a sequence of courses beyond a master’s degree will lead to eligibility for the state certificate. A course sequence also exists at Rider as a possible certification route in addition to the Option II Degree program.

The Option III Sequence
The Option III Sequence at Rider is designed for the candidate seeking a position as Curriculum Supervisor or Department Chair. The Option III Sequence leads to a master’s degree with a concentration in curriculum, supervision and instruction. In addition to the degree program, Rider offers a certification program for those candidates who currently hold a master’s degree, but wish to obtain certification as a supervisor only.

Instructional strategies are utilized in the program sequences that promote personal initiative, pro-active engagement, and collaborative learning opportunities. This is accomplished through scholarly inquiry in the knowledge base of leadership and organizational behavior, management strategy, and best practice applications in curriculum and instruction. The sequence of courses in each option will be taken in a prescribed order that is established with the student at the beginning of study at Rider University. Each degree program and certification option provides for internship experiences that extend throughout the course of study. Portfolio projects document the continuous and sustained accomplishments of the candidate in the appropriate work setting. All degree and certification candidates must complete a comprehensive internship experience that is cooperatively developed between the candidate, a site-based mentor, and the university professor. Please contact the Program Director for any additional information needed.

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete the general master’s degree application requirements.

  2. A minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA is required for admission.

  3. Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation from a current district or school administrator and a second letter of recommendation from either another administrator, or an immediate supervisor or a team leader. Students applying from a non-school setting must supply equivalent letters from current supervisors.

  4. Submission of an initial personal leadership platform statement in educational administration.

  5. An interview with the program coordinator and a recommendation for acceptance into a sequence of study.

Degree Requirements

  1. Meet general master’s degree requirements.

  2. Candidates will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards and professional development standards, the Standards for School Leaders of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the candidate proficiencies developed by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

  3. Reference the ISLLC and ELCC Standards throughout the program.

  4. Develop and refine the personal leadership platform statement throughout the program.

  5. Complete a 9–12 hour standards and outcome-based growth project in each class and a 300 hour “capstone internship” in the Seminar/ Practicum courses in Educational Leadership (EDAD-591/592). CSI candidates need only complete a 150 hour “capstone internship” in the Seminar/Practicum course EDAD-510.

  6. Submit an electronic Leadership Growth Project Portfolio.

  7. Complete a comprehensive standards-based self-assessment.

  8. Complete a “Capstone School Improvement/Change Project.”


Disclaimer:  The course information provided above is from the 2013-2014 Academic Catalog and is updated annually as new editions are released.  Prior editions of the catalog are also available online.  The catalog under which the student enters serves as the official record of admission, academic, and graduation requirements.  It is the student’s individual responsibility to be aware of the current graduation requirements for his or her particular degree program.  While the University makes reasonable efforts to keep website material current and correct, this information is subject to the University's academic policy committees, relevant accreditation organizations, and (in some instances) state and federal laws and regulations.