Instructional Leadership

Master of Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

Specialists in K-12 instructional leadership are needed to improve student achievement through assessment. NCU’s master’s degree in Instructional Leadership specialization is designed to help you analyze the instructional capacity of schools, improve student achievement, and develop teacher leadership skills to provide assessment and improvement strategies in various K-12 educational settings. In this 100% online program, you will use reflective decision-making to assist with the development and implementation of practical solutions to contemporary education issues. With this master’s degree, you will be prepared to help a K-12 institution evaluate, assess and report on student success.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The MEd program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country. Certification requirements vary by state. Students are advised to contact their state department of education or local school district for guidance in obtaining certification or licensure, or for approval in fulfilling district level incentive programs.

There are several reasons why an educator would want to pursue a graduate degree in education that does not lead to state licensing or certification.

Reasons may include:

  • "Move up" steps on the salary schedule.
  • Improve skills and professionalism in general or to pursue a ”leadership” position outside the classroom (school-based or district level).
  • Advance as a ”teacher leader” through a graduate degree (already has a bachelor's degree and certification).
  • Meet the needs of increasingly diverse students.
  • Work in a traditional K-12 classroom environment (trainer, educational consultant, etc).

Completion Period for Master's Degrees

Northcentral University allows 5 years to complete all 30 credit hour master's programs. Normal time to complete varies depending upon the rate courses are taken and credits transferred.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Principles of Teaching & Learning

The foundations of teaching and learning can be viewed from several perspectives. One such perspective includes the principles supporting the theories and models used today by educational practitioners; this course will focus on such principles. Students will contrast and evaluate the development, motivation, and transfer of learning processes and models. Students will also evaluate learning styles and metacognition for possible changes that can improve teaching practices. Finally, students will analyze the influence of emotional, social, and cultural contexts in order to make effective decisions that support school structures that enable student learning.


Leading and Developing Human Capital

This Master’s level course will provide students with opportunities to research, practice problem solving and leadership skills as applied to human resource issues. Course activities include evaluating ISLLC standards, developing organizational culture, approaches to decision-making, planning and development, mentoring, and human resource policies and procedures.


Leadership in Educational Organizations

This Master’s level course will provide students with opportunities to research, practice problem solving and leadership skills as applied to human resource issues. Course activities include evaluating ISLLC standards, developing organizational culture, approaches to decision-making, planning and development, mentoring, and human resource policies and procedures.


School Organization

In this course, students will be introduced to organizational theories, systems, and concepts of leadership as they pertain to schools and related educational settings. An exploration of philosophical and practical trends and issues pertaining to the organization and management of schools will provide students with insight into the inherent conflicts surrounding what is best for students as they prepare to enact transformative leadership in globally-focused twenty-first century schools.


Instructional Supervision and Leadership

The purpose of this course is to examine the theoretical framework and practical applications of instructional leadership within the economic, social, political, and educational context of schooling. This course proposes a concept of supervision and leadership designed to help educational leaders build a repertoire of approaches and strategies that will enhance professional growth while showing the importance of sensitivity to individual needs. Emphasis is placed upon the student gaining a clear understanding of the interrelatedness among supervision and leadership, instruction, and assessment.


Education for Social Change

In this course, students will focus on the dynamic relationships between education and a variety of social, institutional, economic, and cultural change issues. Students evaluate how broader events and trends affect the structure and purpose of educational systems. Topics include ethnicity and race, socioeconomic status, gender, children with exceptionalities, religion, the achievement gap, and cultural norms.


Instructional Leader as Creator of Learning Culture

In this course, students explore the knowledge, skill sets and behaviors that enable instructional leaders to establish and sustain professional learning cultures. Students will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge base per curriculum and its function(s) in educational settings. Students pursuing a specialization in instructional leadership will take this as their first course.


Instructional Leader as Advocate and Decisioner

In this course, students examine the role of instructional leader as that of advocate and decision maker. The importance of this particular role is grounded in the realization that the instructional leader articulates the vision that reflects the mission, core values, beliefs, and purpose of the educational enterprise. Additionally, the instructional leader's role as advocate is to support the development and maintenance of high standards of performance and achievement. As decision maker and standard bearer for the enterprise, the instructional leader models the way and leads by example.


Instructional Leader as Community Conduit

In this course, students will investigate diverse leadership approaches to effective community engagement. Mastery is attained by creating a needs assessment to evaluate the strength of family, school, and community partnerships. Topics include: Professional Learning Communities, public relations, mission and vision, and instructional leadership roles and responsibilities.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s MEd costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $628
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $1,884
  • Program cost: $19,190
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.

Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

 The Northcentral University Master of Education Program, which is designed to prepare professional educators to become effective leaders, reflective practitioners and successful communicators within the diverse field of education, centering on improving teaching, learning, research and leadership contributions throughout PK-12 Education, is granted Initial Accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of five years, from June 24, 2013 – June 24, 2018.This accreditation certifies that the forenamed professional education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles. To view the Summary of the Case that has been posted on the TEAC website (