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Master in Educational Leadership
Earn Your MAEL

For more than 40 years, North Park's School of Education has prepared competent, respectful, reflective educators to meet the needs of students in a complex, evolving world. We now offer a new master of arts in educational leadership (MAEL) degree program, designed for certified teachers who wish to become principals or teacher leaders in Illinois schools. You’ll gain a solid foundation in educational leadership skills and graduate prepared to take the exam for the principal or teacher leader endorsement on your educator’s license. Coursework and hands-on learning experiences will give you the training you need to serve as an effective leader in Illinois schools.

Why Choose North Park

Why North Park?

Designed for teachers who wish to become principals or teacher leaders, the new MAEL is constructed to meet Illinois standards for these  endorsements and is fully accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education. You’ll learn alongside other teachers with the same passion for education and aspirations of leadership in a school setting. Our School of Education faculty have extensive administrative experience, and will get to know you in small classes so they can help you achieve your goals. Recognizing the value of real-life and real-time experience, the program is designed for working educators and incorporates field experiences in your own school setting.

Choose Principal or Teacher Leader Endorsement Tracks

Recognizing that there are many leaders in Illinois' schools, North Park offers two specialized tracks for MAEL students to choose from. In the principal track, you'll hone the skills you'll need to excel as a principal, vice principal, or assistant principal. The teacher leader track is designed to equip teachers who want to serve as deans, athletic directors, curriculum specialists, department chairs, and more. You'll choose your track after completing four introductory courses with your whole cohort.

Individuals choosing the teacher leader track will have the option of returning to North Park's School of Education to complete the principal endorsement courses and clinical experiences if their career paths change.

Alumni Profile

North Park has a solid history of preparing principals and administrators for success in Illinois schools. Cammy Czarnik and D'Wayne Bates each completed North Park's previous administrator preparation program, the Type 75 certification, and are confident that the University is a great place to prepare as a school leader.

Cammy Czarnik
D'Wayne Bates
Meet the Faculty

Dr. Sally Pryor’s classes emphasize the importance of ethical leadership. “Students will discuss real-life situations that leaders face every day as they work with diverse student bodies,” she says.

Learn more about Dr. Pryor and the education faculty.

Sally Pryor, School of Education professor
Clinical Experiences

Preparing for a career as a principal or teacher leader requires more than just a classroom education. With the help of North Park’s faculty and your own school administrators, you’ll complete a series of field-based experiences specific to your own goals. You’ll gain valuable experience in the wide range of administrative tasks that you'll face in a school setting, with supervision and support to help you integrate your coursework and fieldwork into your own career.

Cohort Model

The School of Education uses a cohort model that allows graduate students to learn with like-minded peers. You’ll have the same classmates throughout your degree program, helping to develop close relationships that will last into your professional career. You’ll graduate with a network of colleagues who can support you as a principal or teacher leader, even as you find jobs in different districts.

The next MAEL cohort begins September 6.

Personalized Attention from the Start

Our School of Education is dedicated to helping you achieve your career goals, offering you personal admissions counseling and program advising from the very beginning. Our two-step admissions process to this program begins by admitting you to an introductory course in educational leadership. During this class, your professors will assist you in developing an admissions portfolio for phase two of the process, which demonstrates that you can meet the requirements for the State of Illinois principal or teacher leader endorsement upon completion of the degree program.

Learn more about the MAEL admissions requirements.

Scholarships
and Tuition

A price tag doesn't have to be a barrier to continuing your education and becoming an excellent teacher. North Park offers generous scholarship and grant options, including a discount for Chicago Public School teachers and employees and an Alumni Grant for new graduate students who earned their bachelor’s degree at North Park. Learn more.

Convenient for Full-Time Teachers

The MAEL is designed to work with your teaching career. Classes are held on Saturdays at our main campus in Chicago, which is easily accessible by car or public transportation. You can complete this master’s degree program in 22 months, while you continue working full-time as a teacher.