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Master’s Programs College of Education

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Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies seeks to prepare transformational leaders with the capacity to effectively facilitate and manage change. The mission of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate degree program is to develop educational leaders who will effectively lead and improve TK-12, higher education and workforce development education systems. Our program aims to prepare school leaders who possess the following core qualities and characteristics:

  • Be visionary change agents
  • Lead for equity
  • Create collaborative learning communities
  • Engage in reflective practice
  • Be socially just leaders
  • Lead for inclusiveness
  • Implement research-based and site-based best practices
  • Be instructional leaders

Academic Pathways

There are three (3) pathways to the MA degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies:

  1. TK-12 Educational Leadership (online only & hybrid options)
    1. Note this pathway offers a Master’s degree and/or a Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC)
  2. Higher Education Leadership (online only & hybrid options)
  3. Workforce Development Leadership (online only)

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TK-12 Educational Leadership

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies TK-12 pathway is fully accredited through the Commission on California Teacher Credentialing (CTC). In fact, Sac State is one of only a few universities in the state of California that is a full member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA). This pathway offers three separate hybrid and online options: a Master’s degree, Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC), or the MA and PASC together. All are delivered in both hybrid and online only formats. Each option is explained further below.

Brochure

TK-12 course sequence

  • TK-12 Masters-
    The EDLP MA (TK-12) pathway is a 3-semester program that aims to develop TK-12 leaders from diverse backgrounds who will positively impact all aspects of the TK-12 educational system. The program specifically focuses on cultivating leaders who promote learning, equity, justice and achievement for all students. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies seeks to prepare equity-focused leaders with the capacity to effectively facilitate and manage change.
  • TK-12 PASC-
    The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies' Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) can be completed in as little as 10.5 months (2 semesters and Summer Session). The program aims to develop TK-12 educational leaders from diverse backgrounds who will positively impact TK-12 educational settings. The program specifically focuses on cultivating leaders who promote learning, equity, justice and achievement for all students. With a PASC, graduates will hold the credential needed to obtain administrative positions within California TK-12 school systems. Past graduates of our program successfully serve in a broad variety of leadership roles within TK-12 educational settings (such as vice principal, principal, superintendent, director, instructional leader, California Department of Education leadership, etc.).
    • PASC Internship option: We also offer an administrative internship option (Note: we do not place students in administrative internships, this option is for those who have already obtained an administrative position).
  • TK-12 MA and PASC
    Our Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) courses coincide with our Master’s degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies; therefore both the Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC) and the Master’s degree can be earned concurrently. You can complete your Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) in as little as 10.5 months. The Masters in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies can also be earned concurrently, with the addition of one semester.

Higher Education Leadership MA

As mentioned before, Sac State is one of only a few universities in the state of California that is a full member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA). That membership speaks to the quality of the EDLP program and the caliber of its graduates. The Higher Education Leadership pathway of the EDLP graduate degree is focused on the professional preparation and ongoing development of leadership skills and knowledge among the current and ensuing generations of leaders in the field of higher education.

Graduates of the program have established themselves in a variety of positions and roles across the higher education industry. Among the accomplishments of our graduates have been:

  • Community College Administrator
  • Student Services Professionals
  • University Management Professional
  • Program or Project Director
  • Athletics Department Director

… and so many more! Students selecting the Higher Education Leadership pathway may:

  • Transition to careers in higher education
  • Become Unit Managers
  • Develop expertise as Student Services Professionals
  • Become a Program Coordinator/Project Director
  • Be eligible for Community College entry-level management roles, or
  • Assume mid-or entry-level student services management roles

Completion of the Higher Education Leadership pathway takes 4 semesters. The program is delivered in both hybrid and online only formats. Students receive the leadership and guidance e of experienced higher education leaders and the support of their colleagues in a cohorted program. All students engage in collaborative research to learn both how to conduct research in the field of education, and how to apply research findings to the development of effective policy and leadership practice in higher education settings.

Higher Education course sequence

Workforce Development Leadership MA

Workforce Development has emerged as a vibrant field in professional education and training. In educational settings, workforce development unites the activities of many units, blending academic, career and technical studies, and advising and counseling.

The Workforce Development Leadership (WDL) program aims to develop leaders from diverse backgrounds with the skills and dispositions to successfully organize and manage workforce development programming in a broad variety of educational and professional settings. The program focuses on cultivating leaders who promote learning, equity, social justice, opportunity and achievement for all students.

This program prepares leaders for an industry that is currently expanding rapidly as an important area of focus, in response to national attention to poverty and welfare reform alternatives.

In this program, students will learn to:

  • Be visionary leaders and change agents
  • Influence political, social, economic, legal and cultural contexts and affect improvement of education policies and practices
  • Lead for equity in institutions, organizations, and communities
  • Apply ethical and collaborative leadership and research skills to emerging issues in an aspect of education that constantly evolving

Workforce Development Leadership is offered online only, with the capacity to accommodate the schedules and needs of busy working professionals and their families.

Career Options

  • Transition to career in workforce development industry
  • Unit Manager
  • Program Coordinator/Project Director
  • Community College entry-level management
  • Mid-or entry-level workforce development management

Workforce Development course sequence

Course Requirements for Each Pathway

The Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies requires the completion of 15 core units of all three pathways:

EDLP 201. Foundations of Educational Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 200. Diversity and Equity in Educational Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 202. Education Law and Ethics of Educational Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 209. Organizational Systems and Human Resources (3 units)

EDLP 250. Education Research (3 units)

Additionally, each pathway has an additional 9-unit specialization:

TK-12 Educational Leadership

EDLP 203. School Finance (3 units)

EDLP 205. Instructional Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 495B. Field Study in Educational Leadership (3 units)

Higher Education Leadership

EDLP 224. Advanced Seminar: Dynamics of Organizational Change (3 units)

EDLP 227. Leading the Way for Student Success: Student and Instructional Services (3 units)

EDLP 228. Innovative Leadership. Strengthening Organizational Capacity (3 units)

Workforce Development Leadership

EDLP 223. Advanced Seminar: Workforce Development Resource Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (3 units)

EDLP 226. Workforce Development Professional Competencies (3 units)

EDLP 229. Adult Education and Learning (3 units)

Culminating Experience

The University requires that all graduating students complete a Culminating Experience that demonstrates their mastery of the program’s curriculum and the achievement of the University Graduate Learning Goals. To that end and consistent with University policy, EDLP requires of students in all 3 pathways, the completion of 6 units of research – preferably community-based inquiry -- and demonstration of professional skills and knowledge:

EDLP 230. Master of Arts Thesis/Project Seminar (3 units)

EDLP 500A. Master of Arts Thesis/Project (3 units)

Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (only) requirements

(24 Units)

EDLP 201. Foundations of Educational Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 200. Diversity and Equity in Educational Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 202. Education Law and Ethics of Educational Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 209. Organizational Systems and Human Resources (3 units)

EDLP 203. School Finance (3 units)

EDLP 205. Instructional Leadership (3 units)

EDLP 495A & B. Field Study in Educational Leadership (6 units)

Note: The PASC intern option requires candidates to take EDLP 401 and EDLP 402 in place of EDLP 495A and EDLP 495B.

Future Students

Why Our Program

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies is directly connected to the local community in the Greater Sacramento region. Cohorts of students work with local community organizations and local schools and districts to practice their craft while also supporting and facilitating building and strengthening community. Located in the heart of the capital of California, Sac State’s EDLP is expert in educational policy and practice specific to our state.

Further, student success is a priority for EDLP. Our faculty and program leaders are committed to facilitating every possible opportunity for students to learn and grow from both coursework and professional experience.

EDLP, and the College of Education, demonstrates an active and explicit commitment to social justice. In addition to the substantial rates of diversity represented in among current students and graduates – over an average of 75 – 80% students of diverse ethnic, gender and social backgrounds in each cohort, EDLP maintains its tradition of seeking to increase and elevate leaders of color in all aspects of the education system in the US.

Where Our Graduates are Now

Past graduates of our programs successfully serve in a broad variety of leadership roles within the educational systems (such as vice principal, principal, superintendent, director, instructional leader, student services, California Department of Education leadership, higher education leaders, upper-level management/administration in community colleges and universities, etc.). In addition, upon completion of our program, several of our graduates have chosen to pursue doctoral-level studies in Educational Leadership at various universities including California State University, Sacramento.

Current Students

EDLP Guide to Theses and Projects

The Faculty

Dr. Sarah M. Jouganatos, associate professor, has over 20 years of experience working in education both in the California TK-12 system and in higher education. She currently serves in the Graduate and Professional Studies Department at Sacramento State and is Program Coordinator of the TK-12 Educational Leadership program i EDLP. Dr. Jouganatos’ focus is to support and guide her students toward competence with various leadership styles. Specifically, Dr Jouganatos emphasizes Transformative Leadership, an equity focused leadership style that can be used to support stakeholders and students in diverse educational systems. She works to empower future school leaders to challenge the status quo by collaboratively constructing equity-focused and racially-just schools.

Dr. Araceli Feliz is an assistant professor in educational leadership and policy studies at CSU, Sacramento. Prior to joining the faculty at Sac State, Dr. Feliz served as an educational leader in California TK-12 schools for 24 years. Her professional experience includes serving as an elementary school teacher as well as a site and district administrator. Additionally, Dr. Feliz has served as adjunct faculty at the community college and private university level. She earned a B.A. in English from UCLA; a M.Ed. from CSU Fresno; and an Ed.D. in Organizational Change and Leadership from USC. She serves as the chair for the Center on Race, Immigration, and Social Justice Literacy Empowerment Project. She is a mentor for the Division of Student Affairs U-Mentor program and sits on the College of Education Dean’s BIPOC Advisory Group. Through the TK-12 EDLP Program, Dr. Feliz supports developing leaders in their ability to recognize and address equity issues that manifest as academic opportunity gaps for marginalized students.

Dr Geni Cowan is a full professor in the department of Graduate & Professional Studies in Education in which the EDLP degree program is housed. She serves as Graduate Coordinator for GPSE, Program Co-Coordinator of the Higher Education Leadership program and Program Coordinator for the Workforce Development Leadership program. Dr Cowan brings more than 30 years of experience in leadership, organizational development, management, human resources development, nonprofit organization administration, and adult education. Nationally, Dr Cowan is a member of the Governing Council for the National Institute for Native Leadership in Higher Education and has served in multiple leadership roles with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) among other professional activities. She describes the preparation of “rock-the-boat” leaders as a major goal of her instruction. Dr Cowan insists on the duty of leadership to lead diversity, equity, inclusion and abolitionism in educational settings.

Dr. José Chávez possesses 30 years of experience working in education in various administrative positions in TK-12 systems, community colleges, and higher education. He serves as a faculty member in the Graduate and Professional Studies Department at Sacramento State. Dr. Chávez has extensive experience in student services and instructional leadership, community college leadership, and equity-driven leadership to transform educational systems to meet the needs of culturally and diverse populations and communities.

Dr. Alejandro Carrión is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Program at Sacramento State. He is a BronxRican interdisciplinary researcher whose scholarship attempts to bring Theory to Practice through Action. His work centers on the transformative and liberatory spaces, practices, and fugitive education of Black and Latinx students.

Contact us

Sarah Jouganatos- TK-12 pathway Coordinator

Geni Cowan- Higher Education pathway Coordinator

Patricia Gomez- Workforce Development pathway coordinator