Based on a foundation of solid research, theory, knowledge, and successful practice, this 38-credit program prepares professional educators for Massachusetts licensing as an assistant principal or principal in an elementary, middle or secondary school. 

Through close work with faculty and stimulating classes, each student will develop the necessary skills to become a leader, communicator, supervisor, and manager – as well as an educator. Our graduates are prepared to address issues such as school reform and the restructuring of schools. In addition, students participate in a supervised administrative experience with carefully designed clinical fieldwork and in-class seminars. 

Simmons has been successful in meeting a wide range of educational goals by providing each student with the advising necessary to develop a successful, individualized program of study. This personalized support is further enhanced by the small classes and close mentoring relationships that students develop with faculty in the program. 

Competitive merit scholarships are available for the most qualified applicants. Applicants are automatically considered for scholarships; there is no separate application. 

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in this program may pursue two degree options - the Master’s of Science in Education (MSEd) or a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS). CAGS candidates must already have a master’s degree. 

GEDUC 500 Leadership Development - 4 credits Summer
Builds the cohort group and widens the lens on school leadership. Prepares aspiring principals to lead in changing and challenging school environments where they have to deal with diverse cultures and multiple demands and needs. Provides opportunities to examine a wide variety of perspectives on leadership and to develop a personal leadership philosophy and identify the skills to be successful.

GEDUC 502 The Law and Education Policy - 4 credits Fall
Study topics including administrative authority, censorship, academic freedom and the curriculum, students’ rights, discipline, sexual harassment, freedom of expression, religious freedom, special education, equity negotiations dismissal for cause, unions, and recent legislation. Examines and discusses social, legal, and ethical aspects of these topics in light of how they impact personnel and all-level students in public and private schools.

GEDUC 513 - Special Education Laws and Regulations - 2 credits Fall
This course offers an examination of the historical, philosophical, legal and ethical perspectives of special education services and the educational leader’s role in implementing special education laws and regulations.

GEDUC 503 Principal as Manager: Fiscal, Facilities & Politics - 4 credits Spring
Examines how public education is funded at the federal, state, and local levels. Analyzes contemporary issues relating to such funding, including fiscal equity and the operation of state and federal financial aid programs. Evaluates school district and school site budgeting processes and relates them to education planning. Teaches students how to analyze and prepare school budgets; identify sources of external funding and prepare proposals for grants; use human resources, both staff or volunteer, optimally; and understand the benefits and constraints of time in fulfilling the school’s mission. Examines the dynamics of local, state and national political decision-making.

GEDUC 506 Classroom Supervision in Theory and Practice - 4 credits Spring
Provides a theoretical framework for clinical supervision, including an exploration of strategies for observation, analysis, and evaluation. Applies knowledge of human resource management to plan initiatives, address personnel problems, and meet individual needs. Examines practices of supervising teachers and support personnel in light of fiscal constraints, unions and collective bargaining issues, legal rights, and other factors significant in the supervisory process. Uses lectures, discussions, in class exercises including role-play in supervisory situations, and videotape critiques.

GEDUC 529 Race, Culture, Identity and Achievement - 4 credits Spring
This course will examine theoretical and empirical studies that allow us to understand, explain, and intervene in the school performance of students of color in the United States. Particular attention will be given to variables affecting the school performance of African American, Black Immigrants, Asian American, and Latino students. The course will examine educational practices and institutional formations that promote high achievement among Black and Latino students.

GEDUC 505 Curriculum and Program Models, Development and Education - 4 credits Summer
Examines theories of the curriculum change process and develops specific competencies for designing curriculum in basic elementary, middle, and/or secondary level subject matter that reflects the diversity of the classroom, community, nation, and world. Evaluates computers and other technologies as they pertain to curriculum design. Enables students to plan curriculum change incorporating the requirements of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

GEDUC 508 Organizational Management - 2 credits Fall
This course is designed to develop participants’ understanding of school organization, including: mission, goals, structure, culture, constituencies, and leadership. Students will assess organizational factors and school culture, and develop a repertoire of skills and practical strategies to manage the organization. Students will develop and lead a change initiative to impact school culture or to improve teaching and learning.

GEDUC 509 Foundations of Educational Leadership - 2 credits Fall
Provides an overview of school leadership focusing on the philosophical foundations of education; the psychological traditions of learning processes; legal parameters of the school as a social institution; cultural environments of urban, suburban, and rural educational settings; and educational trends indicated by current research and pertinent literature.

GEDUC 510 Seminar - 4 credits Spring
Applies theoretical knowledge of educational leadership skills and competencies, focusing on creating a learning environment and building a management toolbox. Revisits issues of leading in a diverse school environment, and leading and managing change. Includes the challenges of leadership from recent graduates. Shares learning from internships and leadership practice.

TESL 517 - 2 credits Fall

Principals and Assistant Principals must be prepared to address the needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students, a rapidly growing portion of the student body in Massachusetts classrooms. The course will prepare you with tools such as navigating law and policy, interpreting assessments of learning, and linking the resources and demands represented by WIDA, Common Core and Mass Frameworks for this population. You will engage in readings and reading reflections, field work including observing different sorts of instruction for ELLs, and writing papers to develop your awareness of a sector of the school community: ELL students, their parents, or their teachers. 

GEDUC 511 Practicum - 4 credits 2/Fall, 2/Spring
Leads to Initial licensure as an assistant principal or principal at the elementary, middle, or high school level. Provides a 500-hour supervised clinical experience in a school under the guidance of both the school administrator and a college faculty member. Gives responsibility for a range of activities of the school principal through shadowing and taking responsibility for individual projects. Facilitates professional reflection, the application of theory to practice, and the real-life challenge of policy implementation through writing assignments. 

Gainful Employment Disclosure

CAGS in Education Leadership

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