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Educational Administration & Leadership

Earn your degree on campus at Urbana-Champaign, off campus in the Chicagoland area, or online. The Educational Administration & Leadership (EAL) program offers graduate programs that embrace the broad array of leadership, administrative and supervisory positions in elementary & secondary education, as well such positions as teacher leaders, division and content area chairs, deans, principals, central office administrators, superintendents, and educational policy makers. Educational leadership and organizational theory and practice are emphasized in the program.  
The Educational Administration & Leadership Program offers a variety of graduate degrees including a Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Education (Ed.M.), Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Our program is approved through the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Illinois State Board of Education to offer the Prinicipal License and Superintendent License. In addition to offering all programs on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana, we offer the Ed.M. and CAS degree options for the Principal License in Chicagoland area. The Ed.D. with Superintendentent License also is offered in Chicagoland area.
Applicants who intend to serve in school leadership roles (such as teacher leader, department chairs, principals, superintendents, and district-level administrators) must possess a teaching license and have completed a minimum of two years of full-time PK-12 teaching experience. Applicants who do not meet this requirement must submit a written statement with their application, noting their career plans and describing how a degree in educational administration would support their advancement in their career. 

Core Beliefs
The members of the Educational Administration & Leadership faculty believe:
  • Public education is the foundation of our democracy, representing our nation’s commitment to ensuring that each child has an equal opportunity to attain academic success and to become responsible, contributing citizens to our society. 
  • To fulfill our nation’s commitment to our children’s future, the central focus of educational leadership is to successfully transform schools and school systems into high quality organizations that are committed to high performance for all children. Implicit within this focus is the leader’s responsibility to create a safe, equitable, and just environment that maintains a consistent emphasis on continuous improvement. 
  • Leadership preparation programs are central to realizing high performing schools, by preparing aspiring leaders to be innovative change agents, leaders of learning, and reflective practitioners. 
  • Our educational administration program is grounded in theory, while providing ample and sufficient applications to practice. 

Core Mission
The mission of the Educational Administration and Leadership program is to prepare individuals who are committed to the reform and continuous improvement of PK-12 education. In fulfilling this mission, the program supports and advances education by:
  • Preparing outstanding school leaders who create organizational conditions ensuring that every child experiences high levels of academic performance, and ensure equitable and collaborative participation by all relevant stakeholders in school governance. 
  • Preparing policy analysts and policymakers who recognize and emphasize the essential role of effective leadership in school reform initiatives, and who ensure that policies facilitate the improved achievement of every student. 
  • Preparing scholars who are dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge for leadership development, education policy, and school improvement. 

Core Faculty 

Kern Alexander

Excellence Professor

Kern Alexander’s current research interests include education finance and law. He has worked extensively as an expert in state school finance litigation. He is the Editor of the Journal of Education Finance and has recently completed a major revision of his widely-used graduate text, American Public School Law. Having served as president of two public universities, Alexander has an ongoing research interest in high education administrating, finance, and law.more information...

Donald G. Hackmann


Don Hackmann’s primary research agenda focuses on leadership preparation programming, including program quality, standards-based curricula, and characteristics of tenure-line and clinical educational leadership faculty members.more information...

Richard Hunter


Richard Hunter is known for his extensive public school administrative experience in public education and for his academic research on topics in urban education, while teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.more information...

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Christopher Lubienski


Chris Lubienski's research centers on public and private interests in education, including the use of market mechanisms such as choice and competition to improve schooling, especially for disadvantaged children. His work examines reforms and movements such as vouchers, charter schools, tuition tax credits, and home schooling that seek to decentralize and deregulate educational governance.more information...

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Anjalé Welton

Assistant Professor

AnjalĂ© D. Welton's scholarship primarily examines the educational opportunity structures of students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Welton examines how institutional and social structures—such as race, social class, tracking, school administration and teacher leadership, etc.—shape the connections students of color make to educational resources, navigate school and ultimately matriculate to postsecondary education.more information...


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Linda Sloat

Clinical Assistant Professor

Linda Sloat’s primary research interests focus on issues surrounding school improvement in K-12 education, including the administrator’s roles and responsibilities in the change process and leadership for learning at both the building and district level. During her extensive public school administrative career, she also focused on education for the gifted and literacy acquisition.more information...

Mary Herrmann

Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor

Mary Herrmann's primary scholarship interests include leadership development and organizational learning and improvement. Mary is particularly focused on the social, psychological and ethical dimensions of leadership in her clinical work with aspiring principals and superintendents.more information...