Program overview

Rider’s principal leadership program brings educational peers together in an executive-style format to study, network and learn while earning an M.A. in Educational Leadership. The program aligns with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders and the Standards of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration. Using these standards and other leadership tools, Rider’s courses guide aspiring leaders in planning, decision making and school improvement efforts.


Leadership growth projects

Engage in hybrid classes during the school year and participate in relevant field-based experiences throughout the program of study, including a one-year planned internship experience. Many courses include three Saturday or afterschool synchronous meetings in which course colleagues will work together to network and discuss educational challenges and opportunities.

Focus on school- and/or district-based problems in practice by developing leadership plans to address and move improvement efforts forward. These products will be organized in a final professional portfolio which can be used as a career development reflection tool to highlight areas of growth.

An attentive student at a desk.
Claire Corliss
By choosing Rider, you are choosing to be trained by professors who know how to be practitioners and partnering with serious classmates who will hold you to a high standard."
Claire Corliss ’12, ’24
Assistant director of student services at Robbinsville Public Schools
Read her story
Education building with flowers in front of it.

Program requirements

The program’s flexible blended learning format recognizes the demands of the teaching profession while maintaining the rigors of a quality leadership training program. The 36-credit program of study consists of 12 courses that focus on areas of leadership such as personal leadership, instructional leadership and school culture leadership. Candidates typically complete their graduate studies in two years, and are eligible to apply for both New Jersey’s Principal and Supervisor Certificates.

Preparing principals for new emerging needs

Rider’s Educational Leadership program recognizes that it is principals who are best positioned to lead the effort in their schools to ensure that teaching and learning are as excellent as possible. Principals who have a school-wide focus on better teaching and learning, who know how to create a vision and share authority, and who are prepared to be accountable for achieving the school’s educational goals, are vital to ensuring the quality of our children’s education. 

Focusing on transformational leadership and instructional improvement, the professionals in the College of Education and Human Services work with the program's participants to develop and evaluate curricula, use data to diagnose student needs, coach teachers, plan professional development in their schools, and establish school-wide norms that support high quality teaching and learning.

Woman high-fives student in front of school bus

Tuition benefits for state employees

Rider University is proud to partner with The State of New Jersey and give back to educators by offering a tuition discount and additional benefits to eligible employees, as well as their immediate family members under the age of 24, for undergraduate or graduate study. Other partners include Lawrence Township Public Schools, West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District and Ewing Public Schools.  


Accelerate your master's degree

Our undergraduate accelerated option makes it possible to earn both your bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree in less time. Rider students pursuing the accelerated option work closely with an academic advisor to develop a personal education plan for completing their degrees. Contact your faculty advisor to learn more about this accelerated learning opportunity.


Bonnie Lehet

Assistant Professor, Director Teacher Leadership/Principal Leadership

Graduate Education, Leadership and Counseling

blehet [at]


Academic Focus: Educational Leadership

Education building with flowers in front of it.