School Leadership

Master of Education

This degree program is approved by the State of Delaware for licensure/certification as a school principal or assistant principal. It is nationally recognized and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) using Educational Leadership Preparation Standards (NELP) approved by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration.

THIS IS A DELAWARE LICENSURE/CERTIFICATION PROGRAM WITH CONTENT KNOWLEDGE AND PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS. Students taking courses to satisfy certification requirements are personally responsible for verifying with the Delaware Department of Education (or the appropriate licensure/certification authority in another state) that such course work is applicable and acceptable. Students are also responsible for meeting all state-mandated testing requirements and/or teaching experience requirements, and for applying for credentials.  This program has also been reviewed and approved for operation and licensure/certification in the state of New Jersey.   Wilmington University has not made determinations for licensure in states outside of Delaware and New Jersey. For state-by-state contact information for inquiring about individual state licensure requirements, please visit NC-SARA's Professional Licensure Directory.

Content and Performance Assessment Requirements

This is a state-approved degree program which contributes to eligibility for licensure/certification as an educator in Delaware public schools. As such, all candidates must meet the content and performance assessment requirements described in the DE Administrative Code.

The regulation states, in part:

Content Assessment 

“Where a content readiness exam is applicable and available in area, subject, or category of specialization sought, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score on an examination as established by the Professional Standards Board, in consultation with the Department and with concurrence of the State Board.”  

Please note that state-mandated licensure/certification exams and minimum score requirements are subject to change by the Delaware Department of Education.  Any changes mandated by the Department of Education will be implemented as required by state regulation.

Performance Assessment

“Where a performance assessment is applicable and available in an area appropriate to the Program in which a Candidate is enrolled, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score as a requirement to Exit the Program. The performance assessment may not be scored by any employees of the Educator Preparation Program or Unit and shall be scored by Certified Reviewers.”

The instrument selected by Wilmington University as a required exit assessment for the M.Ed. in School Leadership is the SLLA (School Leader Licensure Assessment), administered and scored by ETS. Candidates must consult with the program chair to obtain the most current information about how to fulfill this graduation requirement.

Program Purpose

The Master of Education in School Leadership program addresses research, theory, and practice related to effective schools, teaching and learning, and school reform. Translating theory into practice is a primary emphasis.

This 33-35 credit program is designed to (a) develop aspiring school leaders’ knowledge, dispositions, and skills related to effective and sustainable school and school system leadership and renewal; (b) prepare school leaders who are committed to the centrality of teaching and learning and to the removal of barriers to student learning; (c) prepare school leaders who will engage all school stakeholders in the development of a shared vision of teaching and learning; (d) prepare school leaders who will manage school operations and resources in an efficient, equitable, and ethical manner, maintaining a constant focus on the improvement of student learning; and (e) prepare school leaders who are committed to professional growth and renewal.

Program Competencies

Program competencies for the M.Ed. in School Leadership are derived from current national standards for building-level educational leadership as adopted by NELP (CAEP Standards) and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration.  Those standards provide a framework for developing building–level leaders who can apply knowledge and promote the success of every student by …

1.   collaboratively facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a shared school vision of learning through the collection and use of data to identify school goals, assess organizational effectiveness, and implement school plans to achieve school goals; promotion of continual and sustainable school improvement; and evaluation of school progress and revision of school plans supported by school-based stakeholders. 

2.   sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to learning through collaboration, trust, and a personalized learning environment with high expectations for students; creating and evaluating a comprehensive, rigorous and coherent curricular and instructional school program; developing and supervising the instructional and leadership capacity of school staff; and promoting the most effective and appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning within a school environment.

3.   ensuring the management of the school organization, operation, and resources through monitoring and evaluating the school management and operational systems; efficiently using human, fiscal, and technological resources in a school environment; promoting and protecting the welfare and safety of school students and staff; developing school capacity for distributed leadership; and ensuring that teacher and organization time is focused to support high-quality instruction and student learning.

4.   collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources on behalf of the school by collecting and analyzing information pertinent to improvement of the school’s educational environment; promoting an understanding, appreciation, and use of the diverse cultural, social and intellectual resources within the school community; building and sustaining positive school relationships with families and caregivers; and cultivating productive school relationships with community partners.

5.   acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner to ensure a school system of accountability for every student’s academic and social success by modeling school principles of self-awareness, reflective practice, transparency, and ethical behavior as related to their roles within the school; safeguarding the values of democracy, equity, and diversity within the school; evaluating the potential moral and legal consequences of decision making in the school; and promoting social justice within the school to ensure that individual needs inform all aspects of schooling.

6.   understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context through advocating for school students, families, and caregivers; acting to influence local, district, state, and national decisions affecting student learning in a school environment; and anticipating and assessing emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt school-based leadership strategies.

7.   completing a substantial and sustained educational leadership internship experience that has school-based field experience and clinical internship practice within a school setting and that is monitored by a qualified, on-site mentor.

Outcomes Assessment

Multiple assessments are used to determine candidate growth toward achievement of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions described in School Leadership program competencies and college-wide graduation competencies. Rubrics-based evaluations of fieldwork, projects, assignments, research papers, and final grades for courses represent the first level of assessment. Goals, learning outcomes and activities, external assignments, and assessment strategies are linked directly to program and graduation competencies and are clearly stated on each course syllabus. Other assessment strategies include individual progress and advising conferences, evaluations of candidate performance in authentic settings, and a capstone portfolio and internship journal completed as part of the leadership practicum and internship.

Program Design

Candidates are expected to satisfactorily complete all requirements associated with the School Leadership program. A total of 33-35 credit hours are required for program completion and certification. Field-based components are embedded in every course. Practicum/Internship experience/hours are aligned with certification requirements in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The program is normally completed in two to three years, although accelerated options make it possible to complete the program in one year or less by combining regular courses, online learning courses, and/or hybrid courses.

Required Courses

With the exception of MED 6102, courses may be taken in any order. It is recommended that candidates take MED 7700, MED 7590 and MED 7503 early in the program.


MED 6102 E-Folio

MED 6490 Education, Ethics, and the Law

MED 7201 Fiscal Operations and Resources

MED 7503 School and Community: Building a Shared Vision

MED 7590 School Leadership: Theory and Practice

MED 7700 The Evolving Role of a Principal: Innovative Leadership Prek-12

MED 7701 Supervisory Leadership: Staff Selection Appraisal, and Renewal

MED 7705 Measurement, Accountability, and Student Learning

MED 7708 Curriculum Leadership

MED 8900 Practicum in School Leadership

MED 8903 Administrative Internship 3 Credits


MED 8904 Administrative Internship 4 Credits


MED 8905 Administrative Internship 5 Credits


MED 8906 Administrative Internship 6 Credits

MED 8904 is required for those seeking licensure in Delaware.  MED 8905 is required for those seeking licensure in New Jersey.  Candidates seeking licensure in other states must check with the Program Chair to determine the correct course. Normally, the states will follow the requirements of the Wilmington University Degree.

Elective Courses: Choose one course from below or as approved by the program chair.

MED 7702 Classroom and School Culture: Creating Environments for Learning

MED 7703 Curriculum and Teaching: Research, Theory, and Practice

MED 7704 Education for Equity and Social Justice

MED 7709 Personnel Administration

MED 7710 Technology and the School Environment

MED 7712 Curriculum Development

MED 7799 Supervision and Curriculum Improvement

MED 7816 Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning

NOTE: Some of the above courses are cross-listed and may apply to M.Ed. degrees.

Administrative Certification

The M.Ed. in School Leadership certification degree meets the certification requirements in Delaware for the positions of assistant principal/principal. In addition, if not taken at the undergraduate level, a course in Child, Adolescent or Human Development is required.

Candidates taking courses to satisfy certification requirements are personally responsible for verifying, with the appropriate    licensure/certification authority in another state, that such course work is applicable and acceptable. Candidates are personally responsible for meeting all state-mandated testing requirements for teachers and administrators (Praxis Core, PRAXIS II, SLLA, etc.), for fulfilling state-mandated degree and/or teaching experience requirements, and for applying for credentials. Students are requested to provide copies of scores on state-mandated examinations. These scores provide valuable data essential to maintaining CAEP accreditation status.

Delaware state regulations require a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in educational leadership or administration. The program must be nationally accredited/recognized or state-approved using CAEP/NCATE standards; or the applicant must hold a degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any field and successfully complete one of the following: A School Principal Course of Study as defined by 14 DE Admin. Code 1591or a School Principal Certification program pursuant to 14 DE Admin. Code  1591.

Delaware experience requirements for a School Assistant Principal and Principal certificate specify the following: “A minimum of 5 years of teaching experience as defined in 16 DE Reg 969 (03/01/13).”

Wilmington University reserves the right to change requirements to comply with any licensure/certification mandates of the Delaware Department of Education.


This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2024-2025 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2023 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.