J. Maurice Persall, Chair, Orlean Bullard Beeson Professor
F. Jane Cobia, Professor
Leslie Sturdivant Ennis, Professor
J. Mark Bateman, Associate Professor
Jo Beth Newton, Associate Professor
Peggy Connell, Assistant Professor
Julie Hannah, Assistant Professor
Monique Gardner Witherspoon, Assistant Professor
Graduate Programs and Requirements
Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) - Class A Certification
Instructional Leadership (M.S.E.)
Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) - Non-Certification
Policy, Organizations, and Leadership (M.S.E.)
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) - Class AA Certification
Instructional Leadership (Ed.S.)
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
The Department of Educational Leadership offers graduate education programs in three areas (instructional leadership; policy, organizations, and leadership; and educational leadership) and at two levels of certification (provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met): a master of science in education (M.S.E.) degree with Class A certification and an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree with Class AA certification. An M.S.E. with non-certification is offered in policy, organizations, and leadership. The department also offers a doctorate in education (Ed.D.). See the Graduate Advisement subsection for contact information.
Candidates currently holding a master’s degree and Class A certification may complete an 18-hour certification program in instructional leadership.
*See the School of the Arts Music Division section for details on graduate music education programs.
Graduate Admission Standards for Educational Leadership
- Completion of application and payment of application fee.
- Receipt of two official transcripts from all institutions attended.
- Satisfactory score on Graduate Record Exam (GRE) admissions test or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- Alabama Class B or Class A certification to be eligible for certification.
- Satisfactory performance on statement of purpose essay.
- Satisfactory performance on scholarly writing sample.
- Three letters of reference. One must be from the applicant’s supervisor.
- Professional portfolio (applies only to M.S.E. in instructional leadership).
The admissions committee will evaluate each candidate on a case-by-case basis and may admit students whose qualifications differ from those listed or who have successfully completed a prior graduate degree. Applicants must meet ALSDE minimum admission requirements to apply for certification upon completion of the program.
Additional requirements may apply to specific programs.
Levels of Admission
- Minimum GPA of 2.75 for all college work attempted.
- Minimum of 295 (combined verbal and quantitative) on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or a minimum of 396 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- Satisfactory performance on scholarly writing essay.
In traditional graduate studies, a student may transfer up to six semester hours of graduate credit from an accredited four-year college or university which has a state-approved graduate program in the major and in teacher education for degree programs only. Exceptions may be granted by the dean of the School of Education. Transfer credits will be evaluated by the educational leadership chair for applicability to the Samford program after application to educational leadership is received. For the interview with the chair, each graduate transfer student will be asked to bring a catalog from the college where the courses were taken. Transfer credits more than six years old will not be accepted. These policies apply to each graduate program.
Graduate Tuition Scholarships
Tuition scholarships are available to all candidates who have been accepted for graduate study at the master of science or educational specialist level. These scholarships are available for courses in education throughout the year. Please note that this scholarship is not available for doctoral students.
Retention and Completion
Students on the M.S.E. and Ed.S. level must maintain a GPA of 3.00; students on the Ed.D. level must maintain a GPA of 3.50. All students must follow a prescribed course of study specified on their program checklist as approved by the Alabama State Department of Education. They must complete all work within six years. All graduate students in an approved program must take and pass a comprehensive examination for each certification area following completion of their coursework. All graduate students receiving initial certification must also pass the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP), which includes the appropriate PRAXIS examination. At the end of any semester, a student whose cumulative GPA falls below the required minimum (3.00 for M.S.E. and Ed.S.; 3.50 for Ed.D.) may not continue in the program. Any grade below a C- shall not be counted for credit and the course must be retaken.
Frequent meetings with the graduate advisement counselor are required throughout the graduate program. Samford University complies with the requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education concerning the admission, retention, and completion of all requirements for students seeking Class A or Class AA certification.
Requests for information about or applications to educational leadership should be addressed to the Chair of Educational Leadership, Department of Educational Leadership, Samford University. This office is located in OBB Room 226.
Graduate Program Advisors
M.S.E. in Instructional Leadership - Julie Hannah
M.S.E. in Policy Organizations and Leadership - Monique Witherspoon
Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership - Jane Cobia
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Jodi Newton
Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.)
The master of science in education (M.S.E.) degree is open to candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Completion of the degree requires 30 credits beyond a bachelor’s degree. Upon successful completion, the candidate is eligible for the master of science in education degree and Class A certification, provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met.
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)
The educational specialist (Ed.S.) program is open to candidates who hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Completion of the degree requires 30 credits beyond a master’s degree. Upon successful completion, the candidate is eligible for the educational specialist degree and Class AA certification (provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met. Please contact the chair of educational leadership, OBB 226, for requirements and additional information.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
The Ed.D. program requires 66 semester credits above the master of science degree. Students first complete a 30-credit educational specialist program and then begin 36 credits of coursework for the Ed.D. degree. The coursework is organized in the following five categories as recommended by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE):
- Instructional Leadership
- Strategic Leadership
- Organizational Leadership
- Political and Community Leadership
- Field-Based Research
A program leading to the doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree is offered in the area of educational leadership. The doctoral program is designed for students interested in leadership issues, as applied to educational institutions. A master of science degree from an accredited institution is required for admission along with other criteria designed to select those students who provide evidence of previous academic success, exhibit leadership skills, have excellent teaching and/or administrative abilities, and show creative energy for solving educational problems.
Admission decisions will be based on a combined evaluation of the candidate’s GPA or previous graduate work, qualifying score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT), results of a writing sample, written recommendations, and a personal interview. The following requirements are required for admittance:
- The candidate shall have earned a master of science degree and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership or teacher leader from an accredited college or university.
- The candidate shall have earned a 3.75 GPA on all previous graduate work.
- Each candidate shall submit writing samples for the purpose of assessing the candidate’s ability to meet graduate school standards.
- Each candidate must be recommended by his/her immediate supervisor (superintendent, principal) or by a professor knowledgeable of the student’s previous academic and/or work experience.
- Each candidate must submit a minimum of two additional references, one of which shall be a peer or professional colleague and the other a person knowledgeable of the candidate’s character.
- Each candidate will participate in an interview with the cohort mentor team for the purpose of assessing the candidate’s leadership abilities and motivation for graduate work.
Admission to the program will be competitive. Decisions will be based on advice from the interviewer(s) and the candidate’s ability to meet admission criteria.
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
The Instructional Leadership (Ed.S.) program must be completed before a prospective student may be admitted to the Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program.
CoursesEducation - Graduate (EDLE Dept)
The courses listed below represent only a portion of the graduate-level education courses available. See the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for additional courses that may apply to programs offered through the Department of Educational Leadership. Two such courses are EDUC 518 Action Research: Theory and Techniques and EDUC 519 Field-Based Action Research . NOTE: Courses numbered 600 and above are open to post-master’s degree students.
Education - DoctoralEducation - Doctoral (EDHE Program)