Teacher Leaders

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Preparing Teachers

Faced with diminishing resources and increasingly higher expectations, today’s schools are confronting greater challenges than ever before. 

As schools work to implement new initiatives for reform and accountability, there is a clear and growing need to recognize and prepare teacher leaders who:

  • Have a deep knowledge of their subject and a mastery of how to teach;
  • Collaborate with their colleagues to innovate and improve the quality of instruction; and
  • Promote a culture of student achievement and success in their schools.

Developed by Rider University’s respected and NCATE/CAEP-accredited College of Education and Human Services, the Master of Arts (M.A.) and certificate options in Teacher Leadership are designed to prepare experienced teachers to assume a greater leadership role in their schools and share their skills and knowledge while remaining active in the classroom.

Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership • 36 credits total

Teachers who complete the full master’s degree will acquire both content knowledge and the skills needed to be effective teacher leaders in their schools and school districts. The full master’s degree program includes both the 21-credit Teacher Leadership Core and the 15-credit Core Content Disciplines. Students who complete the master’s degree track are eligible to apply for New Jersey Supervisor Certification.

The recommended course sequence set by Rider University has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for the teacher leadership endorsement and underwent a rigorous approval process that included a description of all curriculum and instructional content, as well as explanations of how the courses align to the Teacher Leader Model Standards and how each course is assessed. Students who complete the seven-course (21-credit) teacher leadership core, which includes a 120-hour internship, will be eligible to receive the state endorsement. A certificate option is also available.

The two components can be taken in any order: 

Teacher Leadership Core • 21 credits

The teacher leadership core is designed to prepare experienced teachers to assume a greater leadership role in their schools and share their skills and knowledge while remaining active in the classroom. This is a low-residency program that combines the best of face-to-face learning with the convenience of online learning. Its innovative design gives participants the flexibility they need to balance work and family demands while advancing their skill as teacher leaders. In the core content disciplines, teachers select content courses designed to build content knowledge and pedagogy in specialized fields. Teachers may select courses in only one concentration or a combination of courses in more than one concentration.

See the academic catalog for requirements.

Concentration Options • 15 credits

The concentrations provide teachers with face-to-face and/or online courses that require the application of what is being learned in class to how content is being taught in their classrooms. The primary goal is to enhance content knowledge and the ability to deliver instruction in a common core curriculum area of specialization.

The completion of five (5) courses in the concentrations will result in a Rider University Professional Development Certificate in that specific concentration and in some instances a New Jersey Department of Education endorsement/certification.

See the academic catalog for concentration requirements.

English as a Second Language/Bilingual Concentration
Gifted Education and Creativity
Inclusive Practices in Education Concentration
Math Concentration
Principal Concentration
Science Concentration

Admission Requirements

Admission to Rider's Teacher Leadership program is a selective process.

To be considered, candidates must submit the following documents:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Copies (annual or summative) of teaching evaluations for the most recent two years (one per academic year).
  • Three letters of recommendation (one each from a supervisor, principal and colleague).
  • A professional résumé.
  • A 500-word personal reflection on leadership in teaching.

Ready to apply?
Start the Graduate Application today.

A Teacher-Focused Delivery Model

This new low-residency program combines the best of face-to-face learning with the convenience of online learning. Its innovative design gives participants the flexibility they need to balance work and family demands while advancing their skills as teacher leaders.

  • The 36-credit M.A. in Teacher Leadership can be earned in just two years of study. Certificate options can be completed in 12 to 18 months.
  • Online studies combine reading assignments, online discussions and posts, web-based presentations and other formats.  Participants will be required to attend one half-day Saturday program each spring and fall semester.

Program Highlights

Participants will engage in mediated field experiences and mentored internships at their schools.  Additionally, Rider University’s education faculty members will provide one-on-one follow-up throughout the school year.

Instruction, coursework and on-the-job training further develop each participant’s skills in collaboration, communication, observation, problem solving and decision making.

Program Outcomes

Rider University’s Teacher Leadership graduates will be prepared to:

  • Lead both inside and outside of their classroom walls
  • Coach and mentor new teachers
  • Observe and provide constructive feedback to teachers at all stages of their careers
  • Assist in implementing newly emerging teacher evaluation systems
  • Coordinate efforts to design and develop curriculum
  • Make decisions based on analysis of data
  • Assess performance to improve instruction and initiate instructional and programmatic changes to enhance student achievement

Teacher Leadership Core Courses Sequence

Course Course Format Sequence Number of Meeting Days
CURR 552OL:  Creative, Ethical Teacher Leadership On Campus July Week 4
EDAD 505OL: Supervisor/Teacher Leadership for Improved Instruction & Learning
CURR 531OL: Curriculum Design & Development
Blended: Online/Campus Fall Semester – Online 3 Saturdays
CURR 538OL: Assessment of Curriculum & Instruction to Improve the Performance of Teachers & Diverse Learners Blended: Online/Campus Spring – Online
EDAD 521OL: Research Strategies & Analysis of Data to Make Decisions in Schools Blended: Online/Campus Spring Semester – Online 3 Saturdays
EDAD 511: Group Process for Creative Change & Collaboration in Schools On Campus July Week
EDAD 510: Seminar/Practicum in Teacher Leadership & Supervision Blended: Online/Campus Summer 2 Saturdays

Learn More

If you are interested in pursuing one of Rider University’s Teacher Leadership options — or to learn how you can build a team of teacher leaders in your school or district — please contact:

Headshot of Judith Stegmaier-Nappi
Associate Professor
Bierenbaum Fisher Hall 218C

Academic Background

EdD., Administrative Policy and Urban Education, Fordham University, 1997    

M.A.  Administration and Supervision, Montclair State University, 1992

B.A.  Psychology and Social Studies, Montclair State University, 1982

Recipient of the Montclair State University William A. Cuff Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Education, 2006


Teacher of Psychology – New Jersey

Teacher of Social Studies – New Jersey

Supervisor – New Jersey