• Graduate Studies
  • Education Specialist
    Instructional Leadership   Available Online

    All students seeking certification in any field shall be required to complete a general survey course in Special Education (3 semester hours) if such a course was not a part of their undergraduate program or another graduate program. A research component including research and/or field work will be an integral part of all specialist programs in education.

    A candidate who took a course for credit in a master’s level program cannot take the same course for credit in the education specialist program. Completion of sixth-year programs requires at least 30 semester hours of credit not used for prior level certification in the same teaching field.

    Program Admission Requirements

    I. The candidate shall:
    a. Meet all requirements for admission to the UWA School of Graduate Studies
    AND
    b. All candidates must undergo a criminal history background check. Additional information is provided in Rule 290-3- 3-.02(5).
    c. All candidates must hold an Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate in Instructional Leadership or one of the other Class A leadership certificate designations [Instructional Leader, Principal, Superintendent, Superintendent-Principal, Educational Administrator, Supervisor (any subject and/or grade level), Administrator of Career and Technical Education] from the Alabama State Department of Education.

    II. Candidates must meet the following criteria:
    a. Hold an Alabama Class A Instructional Leadership certificate earned after completing a redesigned program at an Alabama university, or
    b. Document three years of employment in an instructional leadership position for which one of the certificates in Rule 290-3-3-.53.01(2)(b) is proper certification according to the current edition of the Subject and Personnel Codes of the Alabama State Department of Education. Candidates must provide a verification of experience/employment form to official document three (3) years of employment of said position.

    III. All candidates must submit a portfolio which includes:
    a. Three letters of recommendation.
    b. Most recent performance appraisals.
    c. Evidence of ability to lead student achievement.
    d. Evidence of leadership and management potential.
    e. Reasons for pursuing the Alabama Class AA certificate in Instructional Leadership
    f. Pass an interview conducted by a program admission committee that includes both P-12 instructional leaders and instructional leadership faculty

    Additional Requirements/Information

    • Students will be required to attend periodic focus sessions via online or on campus to share problem-based concerns and successes and to collaborate on issues and solutions
    • The core of the instructional content portion of the Class AA program shall be the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders.
    • Each course requires meaningful P-12 school-based field experiences to provide evidence of having met the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders; artifacts/ evidence of experiences must be documented through LiveText
    • Program content shall be an extension rather than a repetition of instructional approaches used in the Class A Instructional Leadership program
    • Content will be related to the practice of sharing leadership at very high levels of expertise rather than focusing on observation and participation
    • The core of instructional content shall be anchored in practical experiences
    • Practical experiences shall be carefully planned and linked to at least one central instructional problem which will serve to focus the student’s research and problem-solving efforts
    • Program content shall incorporate experiences that encourage students to engage in alternative ways of thinking about educational settings, planning, scheduling, and approaches to teaching to accomplish learning goals for student populations with ever-changing needs
    • The program will include a significant content focus on adult learning theory. All candidates should develop a clear understanding of how adults learn and that schools are places where adults and students learn together.
    • All students must complete the mentor training component which will be built into IL651. Mentor training will include, at a minimum, understanding the role of mentor; providing high-quality learning experiences, coaching, and feedback to new and experienced professional educators and other staff; and, improving teacher performance using EDUCATEAlabama.
    • The program will include significant content and practice in shared leadership. It will include opportunities for each candidate to understand and be able to implement leadership that is shared with all stakeholders in meaningful ways to support improved student learning.
    • The program will include a focus on leadership for special education, English language learners, career and technical education, technology, pre-K programs, and adolescent literacy.
    • The program will include a study of content appropriate to the National Board Core Propositions for Accomplished Educational Leaders from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (IL653)
    • The program will include content and practical experiences in leading change to include an understanding of school cultures and resistance to change.

    Program Completion Requirements

    The following requirements must be met prior to completion of the sixth-year Class AA Instructional Leadership program:

    The candidate shall
    1. Complete all required courses.
    2. Maintain a 3.25 grade point average in all program courses with no grade less than "C."
    3. A passing score on the Livetext Comprehensive Portfolio Assessment which comprehensively assesses all program standards as listed in the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders.

    Testing for Class AA Certification for Instructional Leadership

    Applicants for Class AA certification who are meeting requirements for a certificate which covers a grade span different from the grade span covered by the certificate used as the basis for admission to the Class AA Instructional Leadership program must meet the Praxis II requirements of the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP). Some individuals hold an Alabama certificate for principal 1-6 or 7-12 rather than P-12. A person holding one of those certificates and completing the Class AA Instructional Leadership P-12 program must meet the Praxis II requirements as a precondition for certification. Additional information is provided in Rule 290-3-3-.01(3).

    Requirements for Certification

    a. An official transcript from a regionally accredited institution documenting a minimum of 30 semester hours of post-master’s degree work at the sixth-year level or above
    b. Satisfactory completion of a State-approved program with a minimum GPA of 3.25 on all courses in the Alabama State Board of Education approved Class AA Instructional Leadership program
    c. Competence to serve as a Class AA Instructional Leader as partially demonstrated through completion of mentor training
    d. Competence to serve as a Class AA Instructional Leader as partially demonstrated through completion of a problem analysis project
    e. A passing score on the Livetext Comprehensive Portfolio Assessment which comprehensively assesses all program standards as listed in the Alabama Standards for Instructional Leaders.

    I. Conditional Admission Required Courses: 9 hours

    Professional Courses 
    ED 601 . Curriculum Design (3) 
    ED 604 . Advanced Educational Research (3) 
    EE 627 . Educational Assessment (3)

    II. Unconditional Admission Required Courses: 21 hours

    A. Professional Course: 3 hours 

    EE 628 . School Reform Models in Elementary Schools (3)

    B. Instructional Support Area: 18 hours 

    IL 651 . Mentoring Strategies and Professional Learning Communities (3) 
    IL 652 . Organizational Leadership (3) 
    IL 653 . Standards Based Instructional Leadership (3) 
    IL 654 . Innovative Practices in A P-12 Setting (3)
    IL 657 . Problem Based Experiences I (3)
    IL 658 . Problem Based Experiences II (3)


    Total Required: 30 hours

    Governance

    The Teacher Education Program and the Teacher Certification Program are governed by the Alabama State Department of Education, and the College of Education reserves the right to change requirements in these programs at any time when such changes are mandated by the State Department.