Skip to Main Content

Education and California Teacher Credentials

Graduate Programs

Instructional Leadership

woman smiling looking outside window

The Instructional Leadership (IL) program is a 30-unit, Master of Science in Education degree that prepares experienced teachers who already possess a preliminary credential to become teacher leaders on campus. You will refine your pedagogy and curriculum development skills and develop the leadership skills required for coaching, mentoring, and providing professional development. Electives include courses on effective strategies for engaging parents, National Board Certification preparation, grant writing for classroom resources, and Clear Credential courses. The culminating activity is an inquiry project that you conduct in your own classroom or school, putting into practice the skills you have developed. The program can be completed in five semesters or at your own pace.

Alternatively, students can also pursue a Certificate in Instructional Leadership. The 15-unit certificate program offers fully credentialed teachers the same core courses as those in the Master of Science in Education, plus one additional elective. This program - which can be completed in one year, or at your own pace - is ideal for experienced educators with master’s degrees hoping to bring teacher leadership skills to their classrooms and school sites.

Course Requirements

30 units total

Required (Core) Courses

12 units

  • EDU 240: Curriculum Design and Evaluation (3 units)
  • EDU 241: Effective Practices for Coaching and Mentoring Teachers (3 units)
  • EDU 242: Creating Inclusive and Motivating Classroom Environments for All Students (3 units)
  • EDU 243: Teacher Leadership in Professional Development (3 units)

Master's Program Courses

6 units

  • EDU 200: Research Methods (3 units)
  • EDU 296A: Masters Project Proposal Seminar (1 unit)
  • EDU 296B: Masters Project Seminar (2 units)

Electives

12 units

Elective courses may be selected from any of the MSMU graduate education course offerings. However, the following courses are highly recommended.

  • EDU 244A/B: National Board Preparation Seminar (2-1 units)
  • EDU 246: Grant Writing for Classroom Resources (3 units)
  • EDU 275: Literacy Instruction for Struggling Readers and Writers (3 units)
  • EDU 272: Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Special Needs (3 units)
  • EDU 279: Supporting Students with Neurological Disorders (3 units)
  • EDU 289: English Learners: Supporting Educational Equity and Access (2 units)
  • EDU 299: Special Topics in Education (3 units)

Please note that course offerings, class schedules and program requirements are subject to change without notice. Please contact the department for more information.

+Certificate in Inclusive and Responsive Teaching (CIRT)

Candidates enrolling in the Instructional Leadership program are also eligible to concurrently earn the Certificate in Inclusive and Responsive Teaching (CIRT) without taking any additional units beyond the 30 required for the IL program. This certificate program invites you to improve both your marketability and classroom practice. Approved elective courses focus on expanding skills related to working with students with diverse special needs. This 12-unit program can be fully embedded within your master’s program when you select electives from the following set of approved courses:

Inclusive and Responsive Teaching Electives

12 units total

  • EDU 208B: Responsive Teaching for All Learners (1.5 units)
  • EDU 242: Creating Inclusive and Motivating Classroom Environments for All Students (3 units)
  • EDU 270B: Special Populations: Supporting Educational Equity and Access (2 units)
  • EDU 272: Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Special Needs (3 units)
  • EDU 278: Program Leadership for Education Specialists (3 units)
  • EDU 279: Supporting Students with Neurological Disorders (3 units)
  • EDU 251: Child and Adolescent Development and Learning Across Cultures (3 units)
  • EDU 256: Language and Literacy: Elementary Curriculum (3 units)
  • EDU 268: Content-Based Reading Instruction and Content Area Modules (4 units)

+Induction Program to Clear Credential

Teachers may also choose to clear their preliminary credential while completing the Instructional Leadership program. Teachers who do so can take elective courses from our Induction Program to Clear Credential (e.g. EDU 225A, 225B, 225C, 225D – 1 unit each). Admission to the Induction Program to Clear Credential requires a separate application and additional application requirements. 

Ask your advisor about adding these latter two program options to your plan!

*The Preliminary and Induction Teacher Preparation Programs meet the standards for and have been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), leading to a California Preliminary or Clear Teaching Credential.  Students who wish to practice in a state other than California will have additional licensing requirements to complete prior to practicing in a state outside of California. Mount Saint Mary’s University is in the process of researching program professional licensure standards in other states.