Wilkes University

Educational Leadership with K-12 Principal Certification

Wilkes University's master's degree in educational development and strategies empowers teachers to find new, innovative ways to improve student performance.

The MS in Educational Leadership (EDLS) is available online.

The program consists of 27 credits to become eligible for the PA K-12 Principal Certification with an 9 additional credits to attain the Master of Science in Educational Leadership (see Program Checklist).

Fall 2018 Cohorts are forming now.  Deadline for completed applications is August 15, 2018.

Admission Process:

Students who would like to apply for the Fall 2018 cohort must submit all Phase 1 admission documents and credentials by August 15, 2018.  Applications are then reviewed for conditional admission to the program.  Phase 2 of the admissions process requires the successful completion of the entry course, ED 517 The Principal as Educational Leader, to be offered full admission to the program.

About the Program:

The EDLS Online Program allows students to pursue the MS in Educational Leadership degree in a convenient web-based format, augmented by field experiences in the participants' school districts under the supervision of the course instructor and mentoring principal. The EDLS Online Program is approved by the PA Department of Education and is designed to meet PA Department of Education competencies for K-12 principals.

Online Orientation Session:

Students applying for Fall 2018 admission will be required to attend an online orientation session prior to starting ED 517. Contact the admissions office for more information.

The EDLS Online Program begins with a half day intense online preparation for school leadership held in September. During the online orientation, students will be familiarized with the program requirements and be given an overview of the courses, field work, and related academic requirements that form the base of the EDLS experience. The orientation also gives students a chance to form connections with cohort members in the EDLS Online Program.

Following the online orientation, students will finish their work in ED 517 The Principal as Educational Leader during the fall term. These and all subsequent courses will be conducted online at Wilkes LIVE through the Desire to Learn (D2L) course management system.  Most EDLS online courses include a 30-hour field experience and field based project to help students develop their professional competencies as school leaders through application in their school districts.

Students should follow the course sequence listed below to complete all necessary requirements.

Certification and Program Completion:

Consistent participation in the cohort will enable students to become eligible for PA K-12 principal certification and to attain the Master of Science in Educational Leadership degree, which consists of 36 credits.

Candidates will be recommended to the PDE for K-12 principal certification upon the completion of the 27-credit certification program as listed below:

  • Successful completion of the EDLS Online Program of study, which includes fulfilling the required 360 hours of supervised field and intern experiences in K-12 schools as embedded in the program of study
  • A passing score on the School Leadership Licensure Assessment for principal certification  (Praxis 6011)
  • Five years of professional school experience at the time of application for certification
  • Submission of completed TIMS online application for certification 

To apply for the program:

1. Submit a new application for admission to the EDLS program at Wilkes using the online application.
2. Provide the additional documentation required for this program as listed EDLS Application process.

After completing Phase 1 of the application process, students will receive registration forms for the online orientation session and the first course, ED 517.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program after all admissions materials are received and reviewed.

Qualifications for Admission include

  • Teaching Experience: The applicant must provide evidence in the application of compliance with PA state requirements with at least three years of full-time teaching experience completed at the time of admission.
  • Phase 1 Checklist – All items must be submitted by the due date. Applicant files will be reviewed and students notified of provisional admission status prior to the start of class. Students not meeting minimum requirements will be notified. 
  • Required Items
    • Graduate Application (Submit Online)
    • Compile all documents below (Admissions Portfolio) and send to Wilkes in one envelope. Individual items will not be accepted.
    • Two Recommendation Letters: one Professional and one Leadership NOTE: One letter must verify that you have met the PDE minimum requirement of three years of teaching or other professional education experience.
    • Official Sealed Transcripts in original envelopes
    • Copy of Teaching Certificate
    • One page essay on your Educational Philosophy 
    • One page essay on "How Principals Shape Learning in Their Schools"

*Wilkes will not be held responsible for documents not addressed to the proper office.

Send your Phase 1 Admissions Portfolio to:

Graduate Admissions
Wilkes University
84 West South Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766

For more information, contact:
Tori Harrison
Graduate Admissions Counselor
(800) WILKES-U Ext. 4311
(570) 408-4311