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Most Affordable Online Master’s In Educational Leadership 2020

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Educational Leadership Master’s

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If you’re a licensed teacher with a few years of classroom teaching experience under your belt, you might want to consider going back to school and earning an advanced degree. Pursuing a master’s in educational leadership online opens the door to many new career opportunities, and you can continue to work while furthering your education.

Many graduates of educational leadership master’s programs go on to work as principals of elementary, middle, or secondary schools, where they coordinate curricula, oversee teachers,and improve the safety and learning environment for young learners. In addition to increasing your ability to shape a school or district, a master’s degree can dramatically improve your earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for principals was almost $100,000 per year.

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Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

The 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Rank School Location
1 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT, UT
2 University of Florida Gainesville, FL, FL
3 Louisiana State University-Shreveport Shreveport, LA, LA
4 Arizona State University-Online Scottsdale, AZ, AZ
5 Southeastern Oklahoma State University Durant, OK, OK
6 Augusta University Augusta, GA, GA
7 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA, LA
8 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX, TX
9 The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, TX, TX
10 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL, FL

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Educational Leadership Programs

  1. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Created by a group of American governors, Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a private, nonprofit institution that offers competency-based bachelor's and master's programs.

    Designed for experienced, licensed teachers, WGU's fully online MS in educational leadership prepares graduates for leadership positions, such as principal, assistant principal, and vice principal. Students pay a flat tuition per term, with no difference for in-state and out-of-state learners. Each student receives a mentor to help them proceed through degree requirements. The program typically takes two years to complete.

    The educational leadership online curriculum explores topics in leadership, finance, governance, strategic planning, and law in modern educational institutions. Required courses include leadership foundations and ethics, school financial leadership, and leadership of curriculum design and instruction. The program adheres to standards put forth by the National Educational Leadership Preparation and Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.

    Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

  2. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Florida offers a student-centered online educational leadership master's program program that offers three start dates per year and typically takes two years to complete.

    The 36-39-credit program includes classes like administration of school personnel, public school law, and data-driven decision-making. In addition to coursework, students must complete a three-credit supervised school administration practicum.

    Admission requirements for the online M.Ed. in educational leadership include an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate study. The program does not require the GRE starting in the fall of 2020. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  3. Louisiana State University-Shreveport
    Location

    Shreveport, LA, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Louisiana State University - Shreveport offers an online teaching master's program that comprises 34 credits and features small classes and instructors with relevant experience. Students can graduate in as little as one year.

    The curriculum explores topics like schoolwide planning, allocation of public resources for education, and implementation of technology. Foundation courses include creating a professional learning community, leading with vision, and mobilizing the community. During their final semester, students must complete an internship in educational leadership. The curriculum aligns with the Standards for School Principals in Louisiana.

    Louisiana State University - Shreveport is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The M.Ed. in educational leadership is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  4. Arizona State University-Online
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offers an online educational leadership master's program for students seeking principal certification. The M.Ed. in educational leadership (principalship) gives students skills and knowledge in teacher leadership and curriculum development.

    The 36-credit degree requires 11 classes on topics like instructional supervision, the American education system, school finances, and instructional leadership. In addition to coursework, students must complete a supervised internship and an applied project. Graduates can pursue roles as a principal, guidance counselor, instructional coordinator, and teacher.

    Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate work. Applicants must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Arizona State University - Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  5. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Durant, OK, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public university in Durant, Oklahoma, Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers more than 30 online master's programs, including a 30-credit educational leadership online degree that students can complete in one year. The flexible program offers multiple start dates each year and prepares students for leadership positions in education.

    The fully online curriculum explores education from a systems perspective and covers topics like school administration and finance. The program includes instruction from educators with extensive experience in school administration. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Southeastern Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The M.Ed. in educational leadership is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  6. Augusta University
    Location

    Augusta, GA, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public research university and medical center founded in 1828, Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia, offers more than a dozen education programs. Augusta's online educational leadership master's program prepares students for leadership roles in pre-K-12 schools. The 36-credit, fully online M.Ed. in leadership takes three semesters to complete. The program offers two concentrations:

    • School Administration
    • Teacher Leadership

    Regardless of their concentration, all students take classes in developing professional learning communities, leading school operations, and introduction to educational research. Students must complete a professional experience residency each semester. Graduates can work as lead teachers, central office staff, and assistant principals.

    Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a professional teaching certificate, a completed background check, proof of liability insurance, and a completed Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership assessment. Augusta University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  7. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers more than 35 distance education programs, including an online educational leadership master's program. The 36-credit M.Ed. in educational leadership includes courses like multicultural education perspectives, organizational theory and practice, and managing school and district resources. Students can graduate in 15 months.

    Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.75 GPA overall or a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 undergraduate credits. The program may grant conditional admission to students with a lower GPA. Applicants must also hold current teaching credentials and three years of teaching experience.

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The M.Ed. in educational leadership is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  8. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Location

    Edinburg, TX, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers an online educational leadership master's program that focuses on English language-learner populations and students from multicultural backgrounds. The program explores topics like school law, site-based school management, and school personnel practices.

    The program features seven-week courses, including data management for school improvement, instructional leadership for diverse learners, and school community relations. Students can complete the 30-credit program in 10 months. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

    Graduates can pursue educational leadership roles like teacher leader, principal, and school administrator. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  9. The University of Texas at Tyler
    Location

    Tyler, TX, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas at Tyler offers an educational leadership online degree that focuses on public school administration and leadership. The M.Ed. in educational leadership and policy studies leads to principal certification for Texas educators. The program offers three start dates per year.

    The 30-credit degree includes classes like administration of special programs in schools, educational leadership theory and practice, and instructional leadership and supervision. Students must also complete two three-credit practicums in principalship.

    Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA and standard or provisional Texas teacher certification. Applicants with a 3.25 GPA or higher do not need to submit GRE scores. The University of Texas at Tyler is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  10. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton offers an online educational leadership master's degree that features a synchronous format and develops leadership, communication, and critical-thinking skills.

    The online master's in educational leadership for school leaders includes courses like statistical methods in education, adult learning and assessment, and educational research methods. Students also complete three internships. Learners must take courses in a predetermined sequence. Students who earn the M.Ed. and pass the Florida Educational Leadership Exam qualify for Florida educational leadership certification (level 1).

    Florida Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master's in educational leadership is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Advertisement BestValueSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

The 15 Best Cheap Online Master’s in Education Administration Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

Only public and private non-profit/not-for-profit colleges were eligible for consideration in this ranking. Because this article emphasizes affordable online programs, we also only considered schools with average* tuition and fees of less than $20,000 a year.

Also, we limited our analysis to colleges with at least one master’s degree program that has been awarded “national recognition” from the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC). The ELCC, which “evaluat[es] administrator preparation programs that train candidates for school and district level educational leadership positions,” is part of the National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA) and has been recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

*We took into account both in-state and out-of-state rates/fees for public colleges

Ranking Factors

For this ranking of M.Ed. degrees in educational administration and supervision online, we focused on three metrics. In each category, schools could earn a maximum of 15 points for a maximum total score of 45 points.

First, we looked at the number of master’s degrees in educational leadership and administration that each school conferred in the most recent academic year. A high value in this category indicates a graduate program that has successfully attracted (and retained) a large number of students. Schools that graduated 1-9 students earned 1 point, 10-19 earned 2 points, up to 10 points for 99 students. Since the number of degrees conferred makes less of a difference for very large schools (would you notice if the college graduated 125 students vs. 150?) we adjusted the point range for values above 100. Schools that graduated 100-129 earned 11 points, 130-159 earned 12 points, and so on. Finally, any college that conferred over 300 education leadership master’s degrees in the past year received the maximum 15 points.

Second, we looked at the number and type of educational administration graduate programs at each school that have been nationally recognized by the ELCC. We awarded six points for master’s degrees that have ELCC recognition, three points for post-master’s/specialist programs, and 1.5 points for doctoral and certificate programs.

Lastly, we awarded points based on each college’s average annual tuition and fees. We did this by subtracting this annual cost from $21,000 and dividing the result by $1000. So, a school with tuition and fees of $13,600/year would earn 6.4 points.

In the end, we took the 15 schools with the highest overall scores (all of which earned at least 20 points) to include in this ranking.

Sources:
IPEDS Data Center
College Navigator
https://www.npbea.org/
http://caepnet.org/provider-search?state=&program=ELCC&tab=program#progresults

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