At the master’s degree level, students may choose programs leading to Virginia endorsement in school administration and supervision, or programs focusing on research in educational leadership and policy studies.
Those seeking full administrative endorsement are expected to complete an internship, successful completion of the School Leadership Licensure Assessment examination, and course work in general leadership studies, communication skills, school management, and an area of specialization (for example, instructional leadership). The minimum number of credits for a master’s degree leading to full administrative endorsement is 36. In addition to courses in administration and supervision, students are encouraged to select courses from social foundations of education, psychological foundations of education, curriculum and instruction, and research.
Applicants for advanced graduate study (post-master’s) in administration and supervision programs should complete two years of administrative and/or supervisory experience before the degree is awarded. Because many states require teaching experience as part of the endorsement requirement, the student is urged to check state requirements before seeking certification. Students with at least two years of teaching experience will be given strong preference over those without teaching experience for admission to the principal preparation and supervision programs.
Education specialist degree programs are designed to provide a post-master’s degree level of preparation for school leadership. Emphasis is placed on developing specialized skills and in-depth familiarity with a particular professional role in educational leadership. Generally, the pattern of course work for each student is planned to supplement and complement work already completed at the master’s degree level. Internships and practica, depending upon the need of the individual student, may be included in the program. The Ed.S. is a planned 30-credit (minimum) post-master’s program, 24 credits of which must be taken on Grounds, and 18 credits of which must be taken after admission to the program. The program can be completed in one year of full-time study. Virginia endorsement, either full or partial, in school administration and/or supervision may be earned as part of an education specialist program.
Programs leading to the degrees of Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy are designed to provide the highest level of preparation for professional and scholarly leadership. The typical Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs consist of a minimum 78 credits of course work, including work completed for the master’s degree. A minimum residence of 24 credits taught by Curry resident faculty is required for the Ed.D. degree, and a minimum of two years of full-time study is expected for the Ph.D., although full-time enrollment until completion of all requirements is encouraged. (See Residence Requirements in the Doctoral Degrees section of this Record.)
Professional Development Program This is an approved program for individuals seeking endorsement in preK-12 school administration and supervision. The program is intended for individuals who have a master’s degree and are seeking state endorsement and a position as principal, assistant principal, or central office supervisor. Students complete the core program and must successfully complete the state proficiency examination. In addition, students may be required to complete an internship.