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Online degree program


The Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership (MAEL) prepares school leaders for the 21st Century given the changing roles of school professionals and the many educational challenges facing the territory, the wider Caribbean and the nation. The program is aligned with the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) program standards and the degree program is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).

    The program provides students with professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills in the area of educational leadership.
    The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership is a rigorous program that prepares aspiring principals, assistant principals, and other educational professionals for leadership positions to become strong and effective transformational leaders in schools and districts. 
    The program is 36 credits and is delivered via UVI online in accelerated 8 weeks’ format. The program may be completed in 18 months including the internship of 300 clock hours. The internship may be arranged in any school district that is convenient for the student and is supportive of mentoring educational leadership candidates.
    Learn more about our tuition and fees here.

When Can I Start?

There are five start dates in a calendar year: January, March, May, August, and October.  The deadline to apply is two weeks before the start date for the term.  Contact us at to learn more about this AAQEP accredited degree program and to be guided in the admissions process.

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Degree Program Outcomes

A program completer of the MA Educational Leadership at the University of the Virgin Islands’ School of Education would be able to:
  • Understand and reflect on the mission and conceptual framework of the School of Education.
  • Explain and apply current theories of instructional leadership to the work environment.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be certified as a school administrator and to function as an effective educational leader.
  • Apply effective and research-based strategies for enhancing student achievement, leading school improvement and for effecting change in the school environment.
  • Build collaborative relationships in working with all stakeholders to enhance student achievement, school effectiveness, and the safety and well-being of students and adults at the school site.
  • Articulate and support a culturally responsive vision and practices for educational leadership that acknowledge and respect all racial, ethnic, gender, class, language, religious, and sexual identities and incorporate the University’s vision of being historically American, uniquely Caribbean, and globally interactive.
  • Maintain a continuing intellectual curiosity for the discipline through ongoing reflections on practice, professional development, readings, and participation in relevant conference events. 



UVI Online Course No : Course Name : Credits :
GSS 5000 Graduate Student Success 1
  This course is designed to provide the students the opportunity to learn and improve strategies and skills that are essential for academic success at the graduate level. Through activities, application, and reflection, the material covered in this course should support and assist students in completion of their graduate program. Students should develop confidence in their ability to succeed as a graduate student.
EDL 5050 Introduction to Pre-K-12 Leadership 3

This course will introduce aspiring educational leaders to the field of educational leadership, providing a framework for other courses in the MA Educational Leadership program.  The course exposes students to the anthropological and sociological foundations of American education.  It also provides them with an understanding of the history and origins of leadership, and a broad understanding of leadership styles, skills, roles, and functions of Pre K – 12 educational leaders at the building level.   Students will understand and be able to collaboratively develop and communicate a school mission and vision within a context that reflects a core set of values and priorities.  Students will also gain theoretical approaches to leadership and discuss ethical issues facing contemporary educational leaders.

NELP Building Level Standards:  1.1; 2.3

EDL 5120 Educational Research and Evaluation 3

This course provides a comprehensive overview of research on school improvement. It includes data collection methods, analysis and use of data and implementation theory and research. The course provides an opportunity to develop an improvement process that includes the use of data to diagnose, design, implement and evaluate school improvement programs. The development of a research proposal on some area of school improvement would be the main requirement for this course.

NELP Building Level Standards: 1.2; 6.2

EDL 5150 Technology Leadership 3

In this course, students work individually and in groups to research the use of technology in schools. They explore technology from the perspectives of teaching, learning, communication, record keeping and leadership. Skills will be developed for mentoring teachers in technology.  At the end of the course, students will have designed and developed a technology plan for a school.

NELP Building Level Standards: 4.1; 4.2

EDL 5200 School of Law and Ethics 3

This course is a study of the legal and ethical aspects of education.  Critical legal content from constitutional law, court decisions, state statutes and administrative regulations, and local school district policies will be covered. Students will also examine emerging legal and ethical issues in school leadership and models of ethical decision making.  The history of American and the U.S. Virgin Islands Public School law and the status of educational law in a perspective of history and the cultural, social, and political setting of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be covered. Students will plan and design sample policies and procedures for the legal operation, management, and control of schools. Principles, dispositions, and skills consistent with the National Educational Leadership Preparation Standards (NELP) and the professional Code of Ethics for the Virgin Islands Board of Education are incorporated into this course.

NELP Building Level Standards: 1.2; 2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 6.3

EDL 5250 Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment 3

This course is designed to provide an overview of various philosophies that shape decision-making regarding curriculum including instruction and assessment. Using literacy instruction as a model, the course focuses on the essential components of a curriculum and the leadership aspects of evaluating, developing, and implementing high-quality, technology-rich curricular programs, instructional practices, data systems, assessments and other supports for academic and non-academic systems and student programs. It builds capacity to mentor and supervise change that ensures alignment of curriculum standards, instruction, and assessments that are culturally responsive and accessible.

NELP Building Level Standards: 4.1; 4.2; 4.3; 4.4

EDL 5300 Psychology of Diverse Learners 3

This course examines the diverse psychological attributes associated with learning outcomes of individuals with exceptional learning, cognitive, and behavioral differences outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. School leaders will be able to identify, analyze, evaluate, and implement evidence and research-based best practices for implementing and mentoring staff on individual, classroom, and school wide supports and services across all educational settings designed to enhance social, emotional, and learning outcomes for all students, particularly those with special needs.

NELP Building Level Standards: 2.2; 3.1; 3.2; 3.3; 4.3; 4.4 

EDL 5350 Leadership for Inclusive Education 3

This course examines socio-cultural issues, problems, and trends affecting the educational programming of children with exceptionalities in the least restrictive educational setting. School leaders will be able to identify supports and services in accordance with school code and federal law that creates a least restrictive environment for students receiving special education services in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Techniques and strategies for curriculum selection, modification, adaptation, and implementation are identified, analyzed, and evaluated in addition to supplementary aids, supports, and services. A major focus of the course prepares school leaders to identify, adopt and model best practices for the implementation of differentiated instruction and tiered systems of support to meet the needs of all learners within the inclusion classroom.

Prerequisite- Psychology of Diverse Learners
NELP Building Level Standards: 4.1; 4.2; 4.3; 5.1; 6.1; 6.3 2 

EDL 5400 School Finance and Operations Management 3

This course provides an overview of the content knowledge, leadership skills and commitments that are needed to develop and implement school financial management systems and to advocate for data-informed and equitable resourcing that supports school improvement, student achievement and the security and well-being of all students and adults.  Participants will research and examine the constitutional provisions, statues, court decisions, regulations, and administrative guidelines shaping school finances and the operational management of schools. Students will analyze school budgets, current and emerging issues in school financing, and the influence of the local, state, and federal agencies on school finance and operations.

NELP Building Level Standards: 3.2; 4.2; 4.4; 6.1; 6.2; 6.3      

EDL 5450 School, Family, and Community Engagement 3

Participants in this course will study the content knowledge and leadership skillset required of the educational leader to engage diverse families in supporting authentic parent and community engagement. Moreover, participants will explore strategies for navigating and mobilizing community resources that support student learning in and out of school. Specifically, participants will examine research, policies, and effective written, verbal, and digital communication skills required of the leader to engage the family, business, and civic communities to foster school improvement and enhance student learning and achievement with specific attention to the Virgin Islands context.  

NELP Building Level Standards: 5.1, 5.2; 5.3

EDL 5500 Leadership for School Improvement 3

This course is designed to prepare educational leaders with the knowledge and practical skills needed to lead building-level improvement initiatives within a collaborative, capacity-building school community.  The course adopts a scholar-practitioner approach and encourages students to become reflective leaders whose practices and decisions draw upon the best available theory, research, and experiential wisdom. The course is built on the premise that a greater emphasis on relationships, shared ideals, data-driven action plans, and an inclusive and collaborative school culture– are all factors that are critical to significant school improvement and improved student achievement.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Pre-K – 12 Leadership
NELP Building Level Standards: 7.1; 7.2; 7.3; 7.4

EDL 5600 Comprehensive Examination 0

The comprehensive examination is taken in April or November depending on the student’s program of study.  The examination lasts for three hours and is based on a general graduate education core and a concentration area with case studies relevant to the profession of educational leadership.  Students are expected to respond to the case study questions from their comprehensive integration and application of knowledge, skills, and dispositions in educational leadership.  Students who fail two retakes of the comprehensive exam will be dismissed from the program.

EDL 5550, 5560 Internship I, II 3, 2

The 5-credits of Internship are offered through two courses, Internship I and Internship II.  These courses are designed to meet the internship requirements in the NELP Building Standards.  The five credits may be accelerated to be completed in a shorter period with an internship schedule approved by the instructor leading to the completion of the required minimum of 300 hours of internship.  The internship experience is designed to provide students with opportunities to observe and experience the application of theoretical concepts of educational leadership in schools representing a cross-cultural mix of students.   Participants will be exposed to multiple school environments to interact with stakeholders, synthesize and apply knowledge, and develop and refine professional skills.  The faculty supervising the internship will coordinate with coursework faculty and school administrations to ensure a broad and productive learning experiences for students with opportunities for hands-on learning and leadership experiences.  

NELP Building Level Standards: 8.1; 8.2; 8.3

Program Snap Shot

Program Core 36  
Program Electives 0  
Total Program Credits 36  

Career Outlook

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership is a rigorous program of study and practice designed to prepare aspiring principals, assistant principals, and other educational professionals for leadership positions and to become effective transformational leaders in schools and school districts.

Potential career paths and positions include:

  • School Principal
  • School Assistant Principal
  • School Administrators

Employers can include:

  • Public schools
  • Private schools