College of Education & Human Services

History of Educational Leadership

The Educational Leadership has long been recognized for strong programs leading to school principal and superintendent certification. The department has certified more than 2,000 principals and 600 superintendents since 1967 when Illinois began approval of administrator preparation programs. The department also offers the only alternative certification program for superintendents in Illinois. These programs have received National Recognition by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC), the Specialized Professional Association for school leadership preparation programs. The Ed.D. degree extends the department’s other program efforts and, specifically, builds upon the Education Specialist program.


The vision of the Educational Leadership is to be one of the premiere educational leadership programs in the nation.

To achieve our vision we will:

  • Recruit a capable; diverse student body
  • Focus on continuous improvement of our program
  • Create a more meaningful clinical internship
  • Establish a series of knowledge and application assessments
  • Cultivate effective internal and external relationships


The mission of the Educational Leadership is to prepare transformational leaders who cultivate exemplary learning organizations. The department offers a comprehensive graduate academic program in educational leadership within which a student may earn a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.)degree, an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree, or a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) degree. The master’s program concentrates on the general background and skills needed for entry into positions of educational leadership. Courses at the education specialist level expand this base and add elements that contribute to continued professional growth and those required, specifically, to qualify for the position of superintendent of schools. Each program of specialization is designed as an interrelated series of planned activities.

The faculty will strive to ensure that all program participants:

  • Develop well-reasoned leadership beliefs and values;
  • Possess effective problem analysis, information gathering, and decision-making strategies
  • Possess programmatic knowledge and skill
  • Have ability to effect change by building commitment to a course of action
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills, the ability to recognize multi-cultural sensibilities, and the ability to deal with others tactfully
  • Act in accordance with relevant laws, rules and policies
  • Develop knowledge and skill in public and media relations