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Master's Degree in Instructional Leadership and Exceptional Student Education

Why Earn Your Instructional Leadership and Exceptional Student Education degree at Saint Leo University?

Saint Leo’s fully online Master of Education (M.Ed.) – Instructional Leadership and Exceptional Student Education concentration offers an innovative approach to teacher leadership based on the Teacher Leader Model Standards (TLMSs). These national standards are intended to codify, promote, and support teacher leadership as a vehicle for transforming schools to meet the needs of 21st-century learners. The TLMSs comprise seven domains that describe the dimensions of teacher leadership. Each domain is further developed with a list of functions that a teacher leader who is an expert in that domain might perform.

Through the Instructional Leadership specialization program, teachers who are leaders in their school will develop the knowledge and skill commensurate with national standards for teacher leaders.

The Exceptional Student Education (ESE) specialization prepares learners to understand the ESE processes and to demonstrate mastery in helping students with diverse needs and disabilities by modification and utilization of appropriate strategies and materials based upon scientifically based research. Educators will learn to address the prevention, identification and remediation of students with mild disabilities.

The Instructional Leadership and Exceptional Student Education specialization is designed to meet the continuing education and professional development needs of educators who wish to become master teachers and instructional leaders.

Learning Experience:
Est. Time to Complete:
2 years
Credit Hours:
30 hours

Graduate Instructional Leadership Program Details

Research shows that collective leadership has a stronger influence on student achievement than individual leadership. The TLMSs seek to generate collective leadership by fostering professional discussion about best practices and advancing new roles for teachers to serve. Working with their colleagues, teacher leaders can implement strategies that improve student learning. They can foster a culture of success that will reverberate across schools, districts, and organizations.

In the M.Ed. – Instructional Leadership with ESE concentration, students are already teachers who are seeking to increase their knowledge in the area of special education while gaining skills in the instructional leadership arena.

Learn Your Way: 
Online, On Campus, or Near You

  • Saint Leo students and instructor in classroom
  • What are the on-campus facilities like?

    Students who pursue their degrees at Saint Leo’s main campus near sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, join a community of enthusiastic learners just like them.

    Learn about the On-Campus Experience

  • What are the benefits of earning your instructional leadership degree online?

    Saint Leo University’s online learning experience provides a well-rounded education with the flexibility to tailor your course of study to meet your individual needs. We know our students have lives outside school, and we seek to meet them where they are. Online students can count on receiving excellent academics as well as opportunities for hands-on learning.

    Learn about the Online Experience

    Visit Online Admissions

  • Taking online classes has afforded me the opportunity to learn while maintaining a job. They give me some flexibility to study at times that work more cohesively with my schedule and allow me to utilize resources such as the library 24 hours a day.

    Bentley Streat | Hayes, VA

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Are education centers near you offering instructional leadership degree programs?

You may also choose to pursue your degree through one of our education centers, which merge a traditional in-person education with the flexibility to match your lifestyle. Education centers offer eight-week academic terms as well as evening and weekend classes.

Explore Education Centers

Career Outlook

No matter which learning experience you choose, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, industry knowledge from expert professors, and support from the Saint Leo community. All this together means that you will be ready for a successful career or continued studies upon graduation.

  • Saint Leo University students in Psychology classroom
  • How will you gain real experience?

    Classroom learning is only part of the degree program at Saint Leo University. We also know the value of hands-on experience. That is why internships and research projects are built into the curriculum. Saint Leo has a strong relationship with many internship organizations across the country, including Boys & Girls Club and Head Start.

    Plus, our Career Services center is always available to help connect you with a variety of other experiential learning opportunities to fit your individual career goals.

What can you do with a graduate instructional leadership degree?

The M.Ed. – Instructional Leadership program prepares educators to serve in leadership roles in primary and secondary schools, as well as at the district and organizational level

What are the top instructional leadership degree jobs?

  • Instructional or Curriculum specialist
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Coach
  • Teacher mentor
  • School program leader
  • Director or supervisor
  • Dean of students or faculty
  • District-level administrator
  • Higher education positions
  • Corporate Trainer

Where are Saint Leo psychology graduates now? 

Graduates of our M.Ed. programs consistently receive recognition and awards, including the coveted Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year awards in their districts. Actual examples of jobs held by recent M.Ed. graduates include:

  • Second-grade teacher, Vista Lakes Elementary (class of 2013)
  • Reading and drama teacher, Sunlake High School (class of 2011)
  • Kindergarten teacher, South Hamilton Elementary (class of 2011)
  • Fifth-grade teacher, School District of Hillsborough County (class of 2012)
  • Media specialist, Polk County School Board (class of 2014)
  • Reading facilitator, Polk City Elementary (class of 2011)
  • Director of curriculum & instructional services, Pasco County District School Board (class of 2003)
  • Technology teacher and department chair, Gulf Coast Academy (class of 2014)
  • Science teacher, Broward County Public Schools (class of 2009)
  • Behavior specialist, Bayonet Point Middle School (class of 2003)

College of Arts & Sciences

  • Saint Leo University - Kirk Hall
  • Saint Leo University’s College of Education and Social Services couples a transformative liberal arts tradition with highly specialized training in the education and social services fields. Through close faculty mentorships, practical field internships, and applied learning experiences, we prepare students for careers in education, social work, criminal justice, and human services. Our faculty remain active in their respective fields as researchers and practitioners, giving students close access to a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience.

    With the ever-changing needs of today's students, we provide flexible degree programs. These include programs at University Campus and education centers with evening and weekend options, as well as online offerings. These degree programs are grooming the next generation of educators and social service specialists—a new breed of professionals with the talent and resolve to make a difference in the world.

    Explore the College of Education & Social Services

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