UW-Whitewater Cooperative Program

Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis Banner


Main Office

Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
253 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

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

Email: elpa@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
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A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations. —Patricia Neal

UW-Madison Coordinator 

Shari Smith
Room 253B Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706-1326



UW-Whitewater Coordinator

Dr. Richard Mason
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
800 W. Main St. Whitewater, WI
53190 262-472-4891


Master's and Certification Cooperative Degree Program       Commence_grad_PhD06_9815

University of Wisconsin-Madison with University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 

The Wisconsin Board of Regents approved the Cooperative Masters of Science Degree Program in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of  UW-Whitewater on February 5, 1982. 

The cooperative program provides the opportunity for educators in the central regions of Wisconsin to obtain a Master of Science degree, with certification (Principal, Director of Instruction, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services) in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. All required coursework with the exception of the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services certification will be offered on  Whitewater campus.  Director of Special Education and Pupil Services certification will require completion of two UW-Madison classes not offered on the UW-Whitewater campus.




  Master’s Degree with Principal Certification

30 credit program (previously 36 credits)
Requirements Beginning Fall 2017



EDADMIN 728 Introduction to Elementary and Secondary Education 
(UW-Madison 305-702)
Introduction to K-12 Elementary and Secondary Administration (728) is a three-credit graduate course designed to introduce students to the main themes of research and practice in American primary and secondary school leadership through a sustained investigation of the conditions for successful instructional leadership. 

EDADMIN 734 School-Community Relations 
(UW-Madison 305-770)
Critical examination of school-community engagement and collaboration. Examines theory and practice of mutually beneficial collaboration in diverse education settings, including leadership issues in collaborative settings, and facilitators and inhibitors to effective collaboration.

EDADMIN 769 Supervision of Instruction
(UW-Madison 305-703) 
Analysis of basic concepts of supervision and competencies essential to effective supervisory performance. Extended examination of current and emerging supervisory practices found in local school districts. Supervision as a process is considered in a variety of roles and positions of leadership.  

EDADMIN 776 The School Principalship
(UW-Madison 305-845) 
Study of the application of theories to the administrative behavior problems of leadership in an elementary school. The course content will present research concerning the operation and management of an elementary school. It is designed for students who will have a leadership function or role in their school duties, such as team leader, supervisor, coordinator, or elementary principal.  

EDADMIN 793 Practicum in ELPA
(UW-Madison 305-700 or 305-900) 
Supervised field experience: elementary, secondary, and/or special education at local, state, or in national level. Required for Wisconsin Licensure as K-12 principal, director of Pupil Services

Courses no longer required in program beginning Fall 2017.

EDADMIN 725 Curriculum Development and Integration 
This course focuses primarily on the processes of curriculum development. The students will be involved in curriculum design activities which will require consideration of the socio-political and philosophical forces as well as consideration of learning and developmental theory.  (UW-Madison C&I 830 or C&I 662)
SCHLBUSMG 770 School Finance and Accounting 
School Finance and Accounting is designed for administrators and other school personnel who desire to learn the principles and concepts of school accounting; auditing and financial reporting; major sources of revenue; and cost management and investment techniques. 
(UW-Madison 305-830)

   UW-MADISON COURSE WORK  Offered on the UW-Whitewater Campus

ELPA 305-735 Leadership for Equity and Diversity (offered online only)
Coordinating and effective utilization of school-based special services in the context of student diversity with attention to values, theory, and research underlying curriculum, instruction and policy, in terms of social class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and race.

ELPA 305-832 (940) Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
School finance and resource allocation for educational leaders, with an emphasis on educational adequacy, equity and efficiency.Includes an emphasis on the strategic deployment of human and material resources to address inequality and promote educational opportunity.

ELPA 304-840 Public School Law
Legal aspects of public K-12 education. Legal structure; employee rights; employee discipline; curriculum; students' rights; student discipline, special education; torts; contracts, religion. Impact of federal and state constitutions, statutes, and court decisions on education.

ELPA 305-847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity
Creating and sustaining successful teaching and learning environments for students and staff is the guiding theme of this course. It is designed to provide teachers, learning specialists, principals, and other administrators with the foundations of research, theory, and best practices of instructional leadership to enhance teachers? capacity for equity and excellence in student learning.

ELPA 305-XXX  (additional course to be determined prior to fall 2017 enrollment)

Courses no longer required in program beginning Fall 2017.

ELPA 305-726 Data-Based Decision-Making (will accept 725)
Prepares educational leaders to engage in data-driven decision making from a system-wide perspective. A second objective is to provide students with basic data analysis skills they can use in their graduate studies.
ELPA 305-844 Technology and School Leadership
Investigates how school leaders develop and use technological tools and systems to improve student learning and effect change in schools.


Additional Requirements to Add Director of Instruction Certification to Principal Certification
Only offered on UW-Madison campus.

ELPA 305-875 Theory and Practice of Educational Planning
Theory, research and practice in advanced program planning and evaluation involving elementary, secondary and higher and post-secondary education.
ELPA 305-860 Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education 
Theoretical constructs and empirical research relating to administering organizations in education. Emphasis on administrative behavior with special attention to planning and organizational improvement.
Plus 75 hour field experience (can be completed at UW-Whitewater)


Additional Requirements to Add Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Certification to Principal Certification
Only offered on UW-Madison campus.

ELPA 305-842 Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
Legal requirements and issues relative to special education and pupil services programs; special education, juvenile justice, programs for English language learners, programs for children who are homeless; examination of applicable federal and state statutes and case law.
ELPA 305-835 Leadership for Inclusive Schooling (offered online only)
Examines historical and organizational context of special education administration at the federal, state and local levels. Includes policy implementation, constituency management, coordination, communication, and current issues.
Plus 75 hour field experience (can be completed at UW-Whitewater)


Registration in practicum or field experience course is required.

Students should register only once for all license, i.e. if seeking a principal license and a director of instruction license, only enroll in the practicum/field experience class one time, not each time your are completing the requirements for a license.

One hundred fifty (150) hours of supervised experience is required for the initial administrative license and 75 hours for each subsequent license.

In accordance with PI 34, the Department has a portfolio requirement for all certification students. Students seeking initial certification as Principal, Director of Instruction, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, or Superintendent must participate in practicum classes and labs to successfully complete and submit their own individual electronic portfolio to a faculty committee for review. The electronic format for the ELPA portfolio was developed collaboratively by ELPA faculty and the School of Education’s EPSC (Education Placement and Career Services) office. The format is designed as a learning tool to assist students in conceptualizing and demonstrating educational leadership.

Students complete an application of intent the semester they intend to submit their portfolio for approval.

Sample Portfolios

Jillian Block

Lea Samartino

Adam Zingsheim


When enrolling in a class offered by UW-Whitewater, students enroll at UW-Whitewater and pay UW-Whitewater tuition.  When enrolling in a class offered by UW-Madison but taught on the UW-Whitewater campus, students enroll at UW-Madison and pay UW-Madison tuition.  When enrolling in UW-Madison on-campus classes, students enroll and pay UW-Madison tuition. 


During the first semester, each student, inc consultation with their advisor, will prepare and submit a program plan for departmental approval.  The program plan form can be downloaded from the Department website.

  MAINTAINING UW-MADISON ENROLLMENT (when not enrolled in a UW-Madison class)

To maintain enrollment at UW-Madison, when not enrolling in a UW-Madison offered class, cooperative program students enroll in a zero-credit course for the semester not enrolling in a UW-Madison class. This allows students to maintain their enrollment at UW-Madison and not have to apply for reentry each semester.  It also allows for continual access to libraries and other enrolled student perks. 


The M.S. degree program must be completed within five (5) years from the date of admission to the program.  Failure to complete the program in 5 years will result in the student being declared "inactive."  Students declared "inactive" will be ineligible to receive the degree until a new graduate program has been approved by the Department and any new or different program requirements then in effect have been met.

Students declared "inactive" for three (3) years may be dropped from the M.S. program.  Students who have been dropped must seek readmission to a specific degree program in the Department and meet all existing admission and program requirements. 


Graduate School regulations state that a UW-Whitewater Cooperative Program master’s degree candidate must complete a minimum of 15 UW-Madison graduate level credits in order for the degree to be considered a Madison degree.  Courses completed as a special student do not count in the 15 required graduate level credits.  Should a student need to convert up to 6 credits of course work completed as a special student, they may petition the Graduate School to do so.  Once credits are converted, the student is assessed the difference in tuition between special and graduate credits.  

Students enrolled at UW-Madison as a special student are not eligible for financial aid.   



  • No more than six (6) graduate credits in other than educational administration courses may be transferred to the M.S.program in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • No more than nine (9) graduate credits in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis courses may be transferred from other universities to the M.S. program in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  
  • All transfer credits must have been taken in accredited graduate level programs.
  • UW-Madison Graduate School regulations require a Master's degree candidate enrolled in the UW-Madison and UW-Whitewater Cooperative program complete a minimum of 15 graduate level credits (see below for special student credits) of UW-Madison course work for the degree to be a UW-Madison degree.   


A minimum of six (6) credits of UW-Madison course work must be completed for UW-Madison licensure endorsement. 


If more than six (6) credits are required to complete the license, students must be admitted as a graduate school (see admissions requirements).  If six (6) or less are required, students can apply for admission as a special student and enroll as a special student.  Students enrolled at UW-Madison as a special students are not eligible for financial aid.   


Office of Student Financial Aid 
Financial aid is granted by UW-Madison as UW-Madison is the degree granting University. To be eligible for financial aid students must be enrolled at least half-time.  Half-time enrollment is 4 credits.  Students do not need to be enrolled in a UW-Madison class to seek financial aid, however, if not enrolled in 4 credits of UW-Madison course work, need to verify their UW-Whitewater enrollment via a consortium agreement.

Students enrolled at UW-Madison as a special student are not eligible for financial aid.


  • Master's degree or an approved equivalent in Education Administration (PI 34.32)
  • Eligible to hold teacher, counselor, school psychologist, or social worker licenses in the State of Wisconsin.
  • Three years successful experience at the elementary/middle/secondary level, or three years successful experience as a school counselor, psychologist, or social worker which included 540 hours of classroom teaching experience.
  • Completion of the human relations requirement of PI4.11.
  • Undergraduate or graduate course in human growth and development including child psychology, early adolescent psychology, or adolescent psychology. (Ed Psych 301, 303, 320, 321, 502, 520, 521, or 701)
Can a teacher who holds an Initial Educator License and who completes an approved principal program apply for and be issued an Initial Educator License as a principal? 

A:  No. The educator would first have to complete all requirements to advance his/her non-renewable Initial Educator License for teaching to the professional educator license stage. If an Initial Educator License was issued in an administrative category to an educator who still was licensed at the initial educator stage as a teacher, there is no assurance that the educator would complete requirements for advancement to the professional educator stage as a teacher. The educator would therefore no longer be eligible for the administrator license since eligibility for a teaching license is a prerequisite.

Information on LICENSURE is available on the Department of Public Instruction website. 

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