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SSHS: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL)

Website: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership

Program Director:


  • Current as of June 2018


About the Program

Current research overwhelmingly supports the claim that educational leadership is an essential ingredient in any school reform effort, as well as improving student achievement. In fact, much of this research demonstrates that school leadership is second only to teacher instruction among such school related factors (Leithwood, Louis and Wahlstrom, 2004). Therefore, schools, specifically those that are deemed underperforming, are very unlikely to improve without talented leadership.

Furthermore, the skills that our students will need to thrive in our 21st century global economy are vastly different than that of the Industrial Age – an age for which our schools were built. While the research certainly justifies the need for high quality educational leadership, it comes at a time when the school principal has increasingly become one of the more challenging and stressful leadership positions in contemporary society. The challenges confronting the educational leader are most daunting.

To this end, it is the mission of the Ramapo College Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program to provide prospective educational leaders the opportunity for professional growth and development that is effectively balanced in both theory and practice, allowing for experiential learning in authentic contexts that reflect the changing social, economic and political climate that currently shape our contemporary educational communities. The program curriculum and course offerings are uniquely designed to realize this mission. The 36-credit MAEL program is comprised of:

  • six (6), 4-credit courses, each organized around required experiential learning opportunities and related authentic performance tasks; and
  • two (2), 6-credit field-based internships, each requiring 150 hours of practical experience.

The program is designed in a manner that is practical, flexible and accommodating to the unique needs of the practicing educational professional. Harnessing the power of modern communication and distance learning technologies, students can effectively and comfortably complete all program requirements within a two-year sequence. Students who successfully complete all MAEL program requirements, have practiced successfully for five (5) years as a NJ teacher, and pass the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA) PRAXIS are eligible for the Standard NJ Supervisor Certificate, as well as NJ Certificate of Eligibility as Principal (including Assistant Principal and Curriculum/Program Director).

Requirements for admission appear on the MAEL Website:

The director of the program is Dr. Brian P. Chinni, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership.

Program of Study: MAEL Course Requirements:

The MAEL program of study is comprised of a cohesive framework of courses that are well grounded in important theoretical studies; a progressive sequence of field-based opportunities to allow for the application of such theoretical models in the school environment; and an integrated applied research requirement that serves as one of the program’s capstone experiences.  Students will gain or further their technical skills through web-enhanced and/or distance learning experiences that harness the power of modern information and communication technologies, thus enabling each to regularly participate in practical, meaningful, and relevant professional development.

Outcomes for the Program

Goal 1: MAEL graduate students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the theories, principles, and concepts of educational leadership and school management, and be able to discern between these two domains.

Outcome 1: Explain specific ways in which leadership fosters the organizational climate, culture and overall beliefs, dispositions and practice of its members.

Outcome 2: Articulate understanding of leadership and management theories, principles and concepts.

Goal 2: MAEL graduate students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the theories, principles, and best practices in curriculum planning, design, and development, and the ability to lead the learning community towards attainment of its shared educational vision.

Outcome 1: Apply understanding of the relationship across curriculum, assessment and instructional delivery, and their collective role in leading educational change and school reform in diverse learning communities.

Outcome 2: Demonstrate understanding of models, theories and principles of curriculum, specifically that which promotes inclusive, caring, and equitable practices in the context of contemporary education.