Courses in the program are divided into four levels (I, II, III, IV). Level I courses are designed as entry-level courses and are taken at the beginning of the program. Level I courses include 5339, 5340, 5345, 5347, and 5348. Level II courses are designed under the assumption students have mastered the skills and concepts of the Level I courses. Level II courses include 6342, 6344, 6348, and 6352. Level III courses are advanced courses and include EDCL 6358 and 6387/6388. The Level IV courses are designed for the superintendency and include 6345, 6347, 6349 and finally the two practicum courses, 6389/6390.
A normal course load is six hours per semester. This allows for adequate time and attention in preparation for class activities and assignments. In addition to academic success, an important part of the program is student demonstration of self-discipline in maintaining a healthy life balance. Experience shows that taking a normal course load (3 or 6 hours in one semester) increases the likelihood of this demonstration. Any deviation from the recommended course load must be approved in advance by the Educational Leadership program faculty.
In the state of Texas, it is not necessary to hold a Master of Educational Administration degree to practice as a school administrator. Principals and superintendents need to hold a Master's degree (in any discipline) and the appropriate certification. Students entering the educational leadership program post-masters may choose to seek a second master degree or to pursue coursework as a certification only student. This decision, however, must be made no later than the end of the first semester of graduate work in the educational leadership program. The Graduate College of Texas State University-San Marcos is under no obligation to accept more than six hours of post-graduate work and apply it toward a master degree.
There are several advantages for certification only students including having their transcripts reviewed by faculty for possible course credit from a previous graduate degree, petitioning the faculty for a course waiver based on real-world experience, previous coursework or intense professional development study, and not having to participate in a master’s oral examination at the completion of EDCL 6358 (the Integrative Seminar).
6358 asks you to develop an action research plan based on an actual need in your school or workplace. You will collect preliminary and/or target data, conduct a literature review about the issue or need, and develop a plan of action for your school setting based on what you found in your research. The goal of 6358 is for you as a school leader to be able to actively use data to develop solutions for problems encountered in your work environment, whether they be issues of morale, discipline, program implementation and change, or improving academic outcomes.
The prerequisite is completion of EDCL 6352 where research strategies are explored and practiced. In some cases, prior background in research and a clear understanding of how to develop surveys, conduct interviews, analyze findings, conduct a literature review, and combine into a summary are skills that should be documented. Prior background may include other graduate-level research courses or completion of a Master’s thesis that is action research based.
Certification only students are not required to defend their final product before a committee of professors. Rather, they make an in-class presentation for their classmates and professor of record. Defense of product would only be required of master’s candidates and serves as the oral exam requirement.
6358 is intended to preceed the internship or be early in the internship (no later than the fall semester of the practicum/internship) so that the action research can be conducted and the plan implemented in the same campus as part of the internship requirement. When this is not possible, alternative arrangements can be discussed with your Texas State University internship supervisor. However, it is your responsibility to find a school and site mentor.
The practicum is a two consecutive semester experience that must begin in the fall semester. To be eligible to apply for the practicum you must have completed at least 24 semester hours in the program. A completed application for the Practicum/Internship must be received in the Educational Leadership Office by June 15th in order to enroll for the fall semester. Practicum applications can be downloaded from the CLAS web site and can be printed, completed, and faxed, scanned/emailed or mailed in.
No. Students generally complete the practicum in the school where they are currently working. Normally, the campus principal or an assistant principal will serve as the on-site mentor. Practicum students are responsible for making these arrangements.
If you change jobs after you have applied for the practicum, it is your responsibility to notify the Program Coordinator of the change to get approval from the faculty. Likewise, you must get the approval of the principal at your new school to participate in the practicum.
A comprehensive description of practicum expectations can be found on our web site. In addition you will be given a hard copy of the expectations/course syllabus at an orientation meeting held before the start of the fall semester.