K12 Master's Cohort Program

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Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
253 Education Building
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MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-3106
Fax: 608/265-3135

Email: elpa@education.wisc.edu
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Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. —Marian Wright Edelman



The application deadline for admission to the cohort beginning Summer 2018 is March 1, 2018.



K12 Leadership Master's Cohort Program

Developing K-12 Leaders To Eliminate Inequities in
Wisconsin Public Schools and Beyond


In Collaboration With

Association for Wisconsin School Administrators

Wisconsin School District Administrators Association (WASDA)

School District Partners
Middleton-Cross Plains
Sun Prairie

Partnership Guide 

                            WHY THIS PROGRAM?                                


The program is designed for current teachers and school or system leaders who are committed to becoming effective leaders of schools that eliminate inequities in student learning for all students in the schools and systems they serve. At the completion of the 14 month program candidates will receive a Master’s in Education and a Wisconsin administrator license for the principalship.  Students may also receive a director of instruction and director of student services license with 12 additional credits.


The program embodies the Wisconsin Idea, one of the longest and deepest traditions surrounding the University of Wisconsin that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Through the Masters in K-12 Leadership Cohort with a focus on Social Justice Leadership, the Partnership seeks to enhance its influence on educational quality and opportunity for all students in Wisconsin schools and beyond.


hese challenges have brought together the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA), and Partner School Districts to develop a pipeline for the next generation of school leaders committed and prepared to eliminate inequities in K-12 schools.




Based on the research on exemplary leadership preparation programs for social justice and research that advances equity, key features of this program include the following:




Each candidate accepted into the program will undergo a rigorous application and selection process to ensure that they possess a deep commitment to equity for all students, a strong instructional skill set for addressing a range of student learning needs, and a record of taking leadership roles that address equity. A committee composed of university faculty, AWSA representatives, and school district officials will screen applicants with an emphasis on recruiting racially diverse candidates and candidates with experience across student differences.


Rigorous, Accessible 


Candidates will engage in 14 months of focused, in-depth coursework with immediate application.  Courses will thoughtfully build on each other and be focused specifically on the work of eliminating inequities. Conveniently offered with  blended learning (in person and on-line), courses are offered Friday evenings/Saturday’s 6 weekends during the academic year and two on-campus week intensive sessions in the summer before and after the academic year.


Robust Internship


Candidates will engage in a strong internship integrated throughout the program, closely tied to course requirements under the guidance of a mentor principal who has demonstrated equity success. Candidates will gain hands-on experience with core principal competencies taught through coursework, practicum experience, and coaching.





New principals will receive one year of on-the-job coaching.  These individuals will observe candidates during their internship and in their first year practicing in the field.  Coaches will provide immediate feedback on performance and ongoing guidance to accelerate learning and leadership development. Coaches will include current and formal principals with expertise in eliminating inequities in their schools.



The program will collect data from recent graduates, instructors, coaches, and equity data in candidate schools every semester for continuous program improvement, program accountability, and accountability to the field that graduates are truly making a difference.


Multiple Licensure


Upon program completion, candidates will be eligible for the principal, director of instruction license, and director of special education and pupil services.


Pathway to Executive PhD


All credits in the program can be applied to the highly successful Executive PhD in Educational Leadership which further prepares candidates to advance equity work at the district regional, state, and national levels and through educational policy and research positions.

Develop Leadership Capacity    


Candidates develop leadership capacity for social justice by carrying out authentic learning experiences throughout the program’s coursework and practicum. Coursework is connected to and woven with practice to reinforce and transfer learning.  Feedback and coaching provide opportunities to develop reflective practice and transfer learning into leadership actions to eliminate inequities.  

Total Program Cost – Masters plus Principal License approximately $20, 203.39

Total Program Cost – Masters plus Licensure as Principal, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services and Director of Instruction approximately $27,304.30

UW-Madison Tuition Schedule

The following (42 credits) will satisfy the requirement for the M.S. degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, principal, director of instruction, and director of special education and pupil services licensure.  

  Flexibility in Time to Completion
While the program is designed for completion over a 14 month period, if students needs to spread the course work over two years, this is an option.  

1st Summer    
9 credits
1 course online and 2, 1 week intensives with online work

ELPA 847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity
(TAUGHT IN EVEN YEARS 2018, 2020, 2022...)
Critical Instructional Rounds

ELPA 703 Evaluating and Supporting Quality Classroom Teaching
(TAUGHT IN ODD YEARS 2019, 2021, 2023...)
Student Work Correlations to Instruction 

ELPA 735 Leadership for Equity and Diversity
Equity Analysis and Plan

ELPA 940 Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
Finance/Resource Equity Audit and Plan

1st Fall    
9 credits 
Friday/Saturday - 6 weekends

ELPA 863 Race, Class and Educational Inequality

ELPA 845 School-Level Leadership
Understanding Practices to Improve Student Equity and Opportunity

ELPA 700 Practicum
School Board Meetings
Principal Shadow
Staff Employment Equity Analysis

1st Spring   
9 credits
Friday/Saturday - 6 weekends

ELPA 770 School Community Engagement
Engaging Parents and Community Plan

ELPA 840 Public School Law
Examining the Legal Foundations for Equity and Justice
Policy Analysis Toward Equity

ELPA 700 Practicum
School Board Meetings
Principal Shadow
Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness Toward Equity

2nd Summer   
9 credits
1 course online and 2, 1 week intensives

ELPA 703 Evaluating and Supporting Quality Classroom Teaching
(TAUGHT IN ODD YEARS 2019, 2021, 2023...)
Student Work Correlations to Instruction 

ELPA 835 Leadership for Inclusive Schooling online
(for Director of Special Education and Pupil Services license)
District Wide Equity Implementation Plan

ELPA 847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity
(TAUGHT IN EVEN YEARS, 2018, 2020, 2021...)
Critical Instructional Rounds

ELPA 940 Organizational Leadership and Change for Equity
(for Director of Instruction license)
Equity Resistance Analysis and Plan 

2nd Fall   
6 credits
Friday/Saturday - 6 weekends

ELPA 875 Planning for Equity
(for Director of Instruction license)
District Analysis of Current Planning Activities/Revise Toward Equity

ELPA 842 Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
hybrid- in person/online
(for Director of Special Education and Pupil Services license)
District Equity Policy Analysis



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