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Offered entirely online, the independent school leadership non-licensure concentration caters to working professionals with a focus on the leadership of directors, heads of schools, and other professionals responsible for the growth and management of private and independent schools. Students will develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to create and maintain learning environments that value diversity, instructional leadership, innovative and ethical decision-making, reflective practice, and success for all learners, with an emphasis on the independent school context.

Who Should Apply?

Ideal candidates are interested in pursuing leadership positions in independent school settings and are:

  • invested in improving instruction and student achievement;
  • self-directed and focused on connecting theory to practice;
  • prepared to engage in scholarly and professional dialogue through collaboration;
  • committed to life-long learning;
  • willing to embrace a disposition for advocacy, integrity, intellectual curiosity, and responsibility for one’s own learning.

Why Mason?

  • The Independent School Leadership Program incorporates the use of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation's Model Core Standards.
  • Mason’s Education Leadership Program is supported by a large faculty comprised of professors with impressive backgrounds as researchers and current and former school and district leaders. Each has a genuine interest in developing your potential to positively impact PK–12 student learning.
  • A selective admissions process means you’ll learn alongside colleagues who are experienced, high-performing educators. Your fellow students will become part of a professional network that lasts a lifetime.
  • The program is nationally recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation, and all coursework is aligned with the National Educational Leadership Preparation Program Recognition Standards.
  • The program is carefully structured for an online format and designed to fit a busy life, with 1–2 courses offered online each semester. This allows for timely completion, with most students earning a master’s degree within two years.
  • Mason is a great value, with in-state graduate tuition among the lowest of comparable institutions.

Program Format and Requirements

  • Classes are offered entirely online.
  • Applicants must have at least two years of professional experience working or teaching in an independent, charter, or private school or at an educational nonprofit organization.
  • One recommendation should be from a current supervisor and the other from a professional colleague.

Careers in Education Leadership

  • head of school
  • assistant head of school
  • dean
  • athletic director
  • activities director