MA in Education with Licensure

Western's online M.A. in Education with embedded teacher or principal licensure requires two years of coursework. During the first year, you earn a teaching license (27 credits) or principal license (25 credits). You then complete an additional 16-19 credits of coursework to earn your Master’s degree in Education with one of four unique leadership emphases. Western's online M.A. in Education program can be completed from anywhere in the world. It can be completed in a little as two years, or up to five years.

Choose an emphasis based on your interests:

M.A. in Education with a Teacher Leadership Emphasis (43 credits)

M.A. program students earn a teaching license during the first year of the program, then go on to earn a master's degree with an emphasis in teacher leadership.

Teacher leadership is defined as the work conducted in a school setting by a teacher-leader who is regarded as an excellent educator. This individual is well respected by peers, recognized for his/her leadership capacity, and holds a lifelong learning orientation. Teacher leaders are key facilitators and advocators who advance school reform and the improvement of student learning. This work is carried out through informal and formal venues and processes, from student-orientated classroom work to administrative focused district task forces. These teachers create an environment that fosters growth both within individual students as well as the greater school community as a whole. 

The Teacher Leadership Track requires 43 credits. The licensure year coursework is 27 credits. Post-licensure year course work consists of the following 16 credits:

EDUC 680 Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders...4 credits
EDUC 681 Curriculum Program Evaluation...3 credits
EDUC 682 Leadership in School Sites...3 credits
EDUC 693 Capstone...3 credits

And three credits from the following:

EDUC 684 Materials and Motivation for Reading...2 credits
EDUC 694 School Law for Teachers...3 credits
EDUC 695 Grant Writing in Education… 3 credits
EDUC 692 Issues and Trends in Leadership Seminar...1 credit

M.A. in Education with a Reading Leadership Emphasis (43 credits)

Reading leadership is defined as the advancement of student reading abilities by a specialized literacy instructor in a classroom, school or district level position. This educator knows federal and state policies related to literacy, and has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation and evaluation of scientifically-based reading programs. In addition, these teachers work effectively with other instructional staff to meet the literacy needs of all students by providing professional guidance, and through collaborating with other instructors to develop in-service programs related to literacy.

Additional Endorsement Options in the Reading Leadership Track:
Reading Teacher (requires 2 years classroom teaching experience)
Reading Specialist (requires 3 years classroom teaching experience)

A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education, Reading Leadership track, will complete one of the following licensure programs: Elementary, Secondary English, Special Education Generalist or CLD. The Reading Leadership Track requires 43 credits. Licensure year coursework: 27 credits. Post-licensure coursework consists of 16 credits:

EDUC 680 Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders...4 credits
EDUC 684 Materials and Motivation for Reading...2 credits
EDUC 685 Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing At-risk & Struggling Reader...3 credits
EDUC 686 Literacy Coaching and Mentoring...2 credits
EDUC 687 School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development...2 credits
EDUC 693 Capstone...3 credits

Optional courses required in the Reading Leadership Emphasis to add Colorado endorsements in Reading Teacher and/or Reading Specialist:

  • Reading Teacher Internship, 3 credits
  • Reading Specialist Internship, 3 credits

M.A. in Education with a K-12 Online Teacher Leadership Emphasis (43 credits)

"I feel more than prepared to teach an online course from this internship/ mentoring experience, for I have been able to address any questions about the professional atmosphere, lifestyle,and commitments with an actual expert in the field. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to work hands-on and learn step-by-step many of the skills that would be required of me as an online or blended teacher."

-Amanda Glover, K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, '15 

The number of K-12 online and blended schools is rapidly growing in Colorado, with over 60 programs currently available to public school students (up from 29 just two years ago!) These schools need teachers who understand online and blended teaching and learning. Western's master’s program is the only one of its kind in Colorado to be fulfilling this need.  The K-12 Online/Blended Teacher Leader track is for students who are interested in moving their teaching career online or who are interested in developing a blended classroom or blended program in a face-to-face environment. Online and blended teaching offers more convenience and flexibility for teachers and can offer a more personalized learning environment for students. Candidates in this track take 9 credits that focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality online and blended teaching and instructional design, and in the third course are partnered with a master online teacher in a Colorado school.

First-year coursework requires students to successfully complete 27 credits of licensure coursework.  Post-licensure coursework consists of 16 credits:

EDUC 621 Creating Effective Online Learning Environments ...3 credits
EDUC 622 Using Data to Plan for Online Learning and Targeted Interventions...3 credits
EDUC 623 Designing and Delivering Effective Online Instruction...3 credits
EDUC 680 Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders...4 credits
EDUC 693 Capstone...3 credits


M.A. in Education with a Educational Administration Emphasis (44 credits)

Effective educational administrator leaders create a common vision. Educational administrative leaders are expected to be change agents and facilitators who improve conditions for learning through the creation of cultures that allow schools to operate as professional learning communities. They are also expected to bring out the leadership potential of every teacher and employee in the building and to work collaboratively with them, so that the school makes better decisions and is committed to continuous improvement. Effective educational administrative leaders are knowledgeable about how to create an environment that encourages and develops responsibility, ethics and citizenship, in oneself and others. They work collaboratively to set the direction for a school community committed to and focused on learning. Effective educational administrative leaders are able create a common vision within the learning community and then support the movement toward that vision. They empower teachers to lead school projects and initiatives, rather than serve as the chief problem-solver. They acknowledge and address in planning, the internal and external factors affecting the school and the learning process and work with the school community to create an environment that encourages and engages all students. 

Educational Administrator Leadership (44 credits)

A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education, Educational Administrator Leadership track, will complete the Principal Licensure Program (25 credits) as part of the master’s.  Post-licensure coursework consists of 19 credits:

EDUC 680 Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders...4 credits

EDUC 681 Curricular Program Evaluation...3 credits

EDUC 682 Shaping School Culture...3 credits

EDUC 696...Engaging External Stakeholders... 3 credits

​EDUC 695 Grant writing in Education...3 credits

EDUC 693 Capstone....3 credits

Dual Emphasis


Teacher Leadership/K-12 Online Leadership: Complete 25 credits of post-licensure coursework

Teacher Leadership/Reading Leadership: Complete 22 credits of post-licensure coursework

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