Educational Leadership

The master of educational leadership program at Rocky Mountain College is designed to prepare educational leaders for careers as principals. This cohort-based program incorporates state and national standards for educational leadership and is based on Effective School Research. Blending theory and practice through coursework and intensive internship, candidates will be prepared to be instructional leaders at the K-12 level. The program is 34 semester hours in length depending on previous coursework and has a minimal residence requirement. Graduates of this program will meet the education requirement for licensure as a principal. Candidates should check with the Montana Office of Public Instruction for other licensure requirements.

The following courses are required:
EDL 500: Foundations of Leadership
EDL 505: Dimensions of Leadership I
EDL 510: Dimensions of Leadership II
EDL 520: Supervision of Educational Personnel
EDL 530: Public School Law
EDL 554: Public School Finance
EDL 560: Organizational Change
EDL 570: School Curriculum
EDL 575: Public School and Community Relationships
EDL 590: Leadership Seminar I
EDL 591E: Internship in the Elementary School
EDL 591S: Internship in the Secondary School
EDL 683: Educational Leadership Capstone

Superintendent Endorsement Classes

Administrators who have served as a licensed principal for one year and have completed 12 semester hours beyond the masters degree in areas determined by the Office of Public Instruction are eligible for a Class 3 Administrative License as a superintendent. A review of the student's transcript will result in a specific plan of study.

The following courses are required:
EDL 562: District Superintendent Challenges: Boardrooms and Courtrooms
EDL 565: Getting District Results: The Role of the Superintendent
EDL 576: Superintendent as CEO
EDL 690: Leadership Seminar II
EDL 691: Superintendent Practicum III

Candidates should check with the Montana Office of Public Instruction for other licensure requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  1. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1): The program requires that successful candidates: (a) facilitate the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a school or district vision of learning supported by the school community in order to promote the success of all students.
    ISLLC Standard # 1: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.
    ELCC Standard 1.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote ht success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a school or district vision of learning supported by the school community.
  2. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1) The program requires that successful candidates (b) promote a positive school culture, provide an effective instructional program, apply best practice to student learning, and design comprehensive professional growth plans for staff in order to promote the success of all students.
    ISLLC Standard # 2: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
    ELLC Standard 2.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by promoting a positive school culture, providing an effective instructional program, applying best practice to student learning, and designing comprehensive professional plans for staff.
  3. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1): The program requires that successful candidates (c) manage the organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment in order to promote the success of all students.
    ISLLC # 3: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
    ELLC Standard 3.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by managing the organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1) The program requires that successful candidates (d) collaborate with families and other community members, respond to diverse community interests and needs, including Montana American Indian communities, and mobilize community resources in order to promote the success of all students.
    ISLLC Standard # 4: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
    ELLC Standard 4.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by collaborating with families and other community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
  5. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1) The program requires that successful candidates (e) act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner in order to promote the success of all students.
    ISSLC Standard # 5: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
    ELLC Standard 5.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairly, and in an ethical manner.
  6. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1) The program requires that successful candidates (f) understand, respond to, and influence the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context in order to promote the success of all students
    ISLLC Standard # 6: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
    ELCC Standard 6.0: Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
  7. PEPPS 10.58.705 (1) The program requires that successful candidates (g) complete an internship/field experience that provides at least 216 hours of significant opportunities to synthesize and apply the knowledge and practice and develop the skills identified in this rule through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and properly administratively endorsed school district personnel for graduate credit.
    ELCC 7.0: The internship provides significant opportunities for candidates to synthesize and apply the knowledge and practice and develop the skills identified in Standards 1-6 through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and school district personnel for graduate credit.


All candidates in this program will complete a minimum of 216 hours of internship with a licensed mentor in an accredited educational setting. In addition, students will participate in a reflective seminar regarding their internship experience. Logs and demonstrative outcomes will be a measurable component and will meet this PEPPS and ELLC Standard.

EDL 500 - Foundations of Leadership
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 2
The focus of this course is on public school education – past, present, and future. Course content will include exploration of the roles of federal, state, and local governance systems as they pertain to leadership roles in public education. No Child Left Behind legislation will be discussed and analyzed from the perspective of the building or district leader. In addition, participants will be introduced to the process of creating a school ethnography and exploring the school culture, climate, and dynamics from the perspective of a school as a social organization. This experiential course invites class participation, team building and group activities, role-playing, guest lecturers, and group dynamics.
EDL 505 - Dimensions of Leadership I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
The focus of this course is on the roles and responsibilities of K-12 school administrators including leadership styles and behaviors. Additionally, the influence leadership has on the overall operation of a school building will be explored. Participants will discuss such topics as defining school climate and culture, sustaining partnerships and building collegial teams, and sharing leadership.
EDL 510 - Dimensions of Leadership II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
The focus of this course is to build on the knowledge and understanding of how leadership influences instruction and teacher practice. Participants will explore the leadership skills required to nurture instructional improvement in schools.
EDL 520 - Supervision of Educational Personnel
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
The focus of this course is on improving, coordinating, and evaluating modern trends of supervisory practice. Students will evaluate and develop instruments for use in the formative and summative evaluation of teaching, as well as for support roles within the school environment. Participants will explore best practice instructional models from which to base the evaluation instrument or process. Participants will become familiar with the evaluation process as it pertains to marginal staff. Students will be required to recommend specific staff development options aligned to improvement of instruction.
EDL 530 - Public School Law
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
This course will study the legal framework of public education (Constitutional law, case law, and Montana law) with emphases on Montana and national legislation and case law pertaining to public education and the rights of board members, administrators, students, and parents.
EDL 554 - Public School Finance
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course will focus on the development of educational budgets within the confines of available revenue. Taxation, policy analysis, applicable case law, and reporting will be covered.
EDL 560 - Organizational Change
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
The focus of this course is on topics such as the theory of management, communication, human relations, social systems, motivation, decision making, and change. A particular focus in this course is on the role of the building administrator in improving student achievement in a school reform effort. Practical application of analyzing school data followed by program intervention will be explored. Participants will explore how today's leaders must create and nurture a culture of collaboration, collegiality, and continuous improvement.
EDL 562 - The School Superintendent Challenges – Boardrooms and Courtrooms
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
Members of the superintendent cohort will apply course content to the actual superintendent internship experience (EDL 691), which is taken concurrently with this course. The overall purpose of the course is to reflect on and demonstrate competency pertaining to the national AASA standards as it relates to school board governance and legal issues. Students will explore the role of the superintendent as it relates to board relations, creating district policy, and legal issues ranging from personnel issues, collective bargaining statutes, and to other case law. Particular emphasis will be placed on superintendents serving small, rural school districts, as this is of particular interest in a rural state such as Montana.
Prerequisite: Students must have earned a master of educational leadership or a master of education.
EDL 565 - Getting District Results: The Role of the Superintendent
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
Members of the superintendent cohort will apply course content to the actual superintendent internship experience (EDL 691), which is taken concurrently with this course. The overall purpose of the course is to reflect on and demonstrate competency pertaining to the national AASA standards as it relates to leading an organizational change and increasing overall student achievement. Students will discover how the largest elementary school district in Illinois became a flourishing professional learning community. Each step of the PLC journey, from the superintendent perspective, will be discussed discerning how the district approached the vital components of a successful PLC, such as building shared knowledge, forming collaborative teams, and setting priorities. Particular focus will be on the clarification of essential learning assessments such as common, formative assessments. Additionally, focus will be on how superintendents prioritize establishing a systematic intervention and enrichment delivery throughout daily instruction. Finally, the importance of the superintendent's roles and responsibilities sustaining the change initiative will be identified.
Prerequisite: Students must have earned a master of educational leadership or a master of education.
EDL 570 - School Curriculum
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
The focus of this course is on the role of leadership in curriculum planning and development with topics including educational and cultural foundations; curricular outcomes; K-12 alignment; standards and community values; developing, managing, and evaluating curriculum; multicultural education; equal access; differentiated instruction; academic freedom; technology; scheduling; censorship; and curriculum associated with various student populations.
EDL 575 - Public School and Community Relationships
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
This course will focus on the interdependence of school and community; identifying and defining societal expectations of schools and the effects of those expectations on educational policy; and the impact of social, political, economic, and demographic changes on public school policy.
EDL 576 - The Superintendent as CEO
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
Members of the superintendent cohort will apply course content to the actual superintendent internship experience (EDL 691), which is taken concurrently with this course. The overall purpose of the course is to reflect on and demonstrate competency pertaining to the national AASA standards (i.e., leadership and school culture; policy and governance; communications and community relations; organizational management; curriculum planning and development; instructional management; human resources management; and values and ethics of leadership). The required internship evaluation instrument will be completed on each of the standards listed above. The text serves as an up-to-date resource to guide course discussions. The text outlines various scenarios and case studies that will assist in guiding cohort discussions.
Prerequisite: Students must have earned a master of educational leadership or a master of education.
EDL 590 - Leadership Seminar I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 1
The focus of this course will be reflection and inquiry regarding the administrative practicum. Problem solving and best practices will be a component of this course. Discussions will revolve around the ISLLC, ELCC, and PEPP standards. Initial development of the administrative portfolio will be completed during this course.
Corequesite: EDL 591
EDL 591E - Practicum for Elementary School
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 2
A directed internship experience designed to relate theories and concepts explored in coursework to educational settings is the primary focus of the field experience. Practical application of theories will be implemented in fieldwork.
Corequesite: EDL 590
EDL 591S - Practicum for Secondary School
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 2
A directed internship experience designed to relate theories and concepts explored in coursework to educational settings is the primary focus of the field experience. Practical application of theories will be implemented in fieldwork.
Prerequisite: EDL 590
EDL 683 - Educational Leadership Capstone
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 2
This course will be the culminating experience for students in the educational leadership program. A comprehensive review of material covered, as well as an exit interview, will be components of this experience. Theories and principles of advanced leadership practiced in educational settings will be explored within the context of the overall program.
EDL 690 - Leadership Seminar II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 1
This course is a continuation of EDL 590 and will focus on problem solving and best practices in the administrative practicum. Practical application of theories will be implemented in fieldwork. Discussions will revolve around the ISLLC, ELCC, and PEPP standards. Initial development of the administrative portfolio will be completed during this course. Continued review and development of the school ethnography will be a part of the seminar.
Corequesite: EDL 691
EDL 691 - Superintendent Practicum III
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 2
A directed internship experience designed to relate theories and concepts explored in coursework to educational settings are the primary focus of the field experience. Practical application of theories will be implemented in fieldwork.
Corequesite: EDL 690