Baylor University is Not the School I Though it Was, But There is Still Hope: An Open Letter to Baylor Leadership

Dear Baylor Leadership,

In light of the recent sexual assault scandal that has plagued Baylor University, I find myself between a rock and hard place.  I love Baylor University but I hate your

Baylor's new mascot

Baylor’s new mascot

response to Baylor’s recent sexual assault scandal.  Given the wave of sexual violence reports that have made the news thanks in part to players in the National Football League, Baylor University was positioned to set a high standard for handling, issuing punishment for, and creating policy against sexual assault. They had an opportunity to be a leader for equality, advocate for victims, and eliminate violence.

But, you took the “ostrich approach” instead.

Baylor University meant a lot to me personally. I graduated from Baylor in December 1999.  I am also a seemingly rare graduate whose hometown is also Waco, Texas.  Growing up in a poor neighborhood in the shadows of Baylor, I often felt detached from the “world’s largest Baptist university”.  I wasn’t Baptist nor was I the self-perceived, prototypical student that I thought attended Baylor. I remember my first day on campus driving through the parking garage in my 1988 Mitsubishi Mighty Max that had squeaky shocks, pealing black paint, and a broken tailgate and parking next to brand new Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, and the occasional Camaro. I felt economically out of place.

But not academically and not socially.  I quickly learned that I could compete intellectually with wealthier students at Baylor despite my own misguided perceptions driven by growing up in the poor side of Waco. But it often felt odd being the ‘kid from Waco’ attending Baylor.

As that Waco kid, I didn’t know about Baylor’s world class academics, its numerous colleges and schools,

Each lamppost serves as a memorial for individuals who have served our country

Each lamppost serves as a memorial for individuals who have served our country

high quality professors and researchers, or its wonderful campus traditions which include Homecoming Bonfire, the Baylor lampposts that “Light the Ways of Time”, or Ring Out. All I knew about Baylor was its terrible football team that had 4 different coaches over the span of 10 years in the 1990s.

But, after going through Baylor, graduating, and moving on to adulthood and a career, I am thankful for my time at Baylor.  People have often heard me say that Baylor saved my life.  If not for the opportunity to be part of the Baylor community and earn an outstanding education, I know I would have been another low-socioeconomic statistic.

As such, I am a huge fan of Baylor athletics and I was an advocate for the university.  I got teary-eyed when Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy, I have a basketball signed by Brittney Griner, and I have talked students that I have worked with into attending Baylor because of the wonderful and positive experience that I had as a student. Baylor became a huge part of my life.

But as much as Baylor means to me personally, I can’t support the university right now.  Baylor often asks their graduates to represent Baylor by “flinging their green and gold afar” and I have done my part for almost 20 years. But Baylor has abandoned their alumni, their Christian values, and their mission and vision statement by ignoring a significant issue that is hurting women across the world. How can I represent Baylor when I no longer share Baylor’s value system?

I commend the efforts of major athletic boosters to call for reform through the Bears for Leadership Reform initiative. These businessmen, politicians, and attorneys said all the right things and called for appropriate reforms, but I believe this was an attempt to hold their money and support hostage if their demands weren’t met. In other words, their grandstanding was more about football and less about the real issues at hand.

I urge you, university leadership, to take a stand NOW and create real reforms throughout the academic and athletic communities. It’s not too late to become a leader and BE the standard by which other academic institutions should follow for policy and practice in handling sexual violence. You should work to urge the alumni who are standing more beside a former coach than they are the university to stop their grandstanding. Ask them to stand down as they appear more as an embarrassment to the institution, and the issues at hand, than a support system for a coach who is never coming back. Listen to the advice of the advocates who speak out against sexual violence. Take a step back and reflect on what is truly important at a university — safety — emotional, social, and academic.



Dr. Jerry R. Burkett, Class of ’99

Standards, Curriculum & Instruction — Part 3: Instruction

DISCLAIMER: This blog is the third in a series designed to educate and inform readers on the differences between standards, curriculum, and instruction. These blogs are not an endorsement of Common Core State Standards.

In our previous article we defined educational standards and curriculum. In this article we show the relationship between standards, curriculum and instruction. This beginning article on instruction will provide a general overview. In future articles we will explore specific approaches to instruction.

Standards are the expectations, or goals, that are established to drive student learning and mastery of content and grade levels. Curriculum is a method of ordering standards in concise tools for teachers to use to plan lessons and help inform teachers as they create their instruction. Curriculum is WHAT content the teacher delivers to students. Instruction is HOW teachers deliver that content.

Instruction is the method or way of teaching students. The standards, or goals, will never be achieved without a guaranteed viable curriculum. But, that is not enough. Without effective instruction, even the best curriculum cannot lead a student to success. Effective instruction is the most critical factor in student success.

There are a variety of instructional strategies that have been used by teachers to deliver content to students, making every students probability for success very dependent on the instructional approach in the classroom. Some teachers have stood before their students and lectured for hours and hours to deliver content with little or no student interaction (i.e., Lecture). Other teachers have repeated information over and over again (i.e., “Drill and Kill”), forcing students to memorize endless facts without explanation or discovery of their origin. And some teachers have passed out worksheets for students to complete while the teachers retreat to their desk (i.e., Teacher-Centered Instruction).

While many of us have experienced teachers who have used these types of instructional techniques educational researchers have discovered through peer reviewed research and study that these instructional techniques are NOT EFFECTIVE.

For example, many of us had to memorize the 50 state capitals during our time in school.  While this information stayed with some of us, many people have forgotten over time. Unless you are a geography teacher or a contestant on a game show, have you ever had a need in your life to know the 50 state capitals?

Or, would it have been more useful for you to understand why these capitals were chosen?  Maybe study the various forms of state government throughout the United States? Or perhaps to think critically about how they were built and the concepts around how they became central hubs for government?

Although you may have forgotten the factual parts of those questions, the real skills you would have acquired are the ability to think and process information related to those capitals, which are attributes that employers seek in the workplace.

Research in the area of instruction tells us that effective instruction includes a small group environment, working on projects that are designed to push students to think critically.  In addition, teachers serve as facilitators of student learning, guiding students through cross-curricular lessons and infusing technology into the instruction where necessary and appropriate.

The table below outlines several strategies, their characteristics, examples, and classroom effectiveness.

Category Characteristics Examples Effectiveness
Direct Instruction Teacher-directed, practice and drill Teacher lecture, demonstrations Effectiveness is limited to providing information, step by step skills, and basic knowledge construction.
Indirect Instruction Inquiry, induction, student-centered Reflective, discussion, problem-solving, guided inquiry Very effective for problem-solving, life-long learning, student motivation, comparing/contrasting, influence, predicting, summarizing, and analyzing.
Interactive Instruction Peer-learning, discussion, multiple solutions Socratic discussions, collaborative learning, debates Very effective for debates, brainstorming, and problem-solving
Experiential Learning Hands-on learning, active participation, analysis, application Project-based learning, problem -based learning, simulations, lab experiments, building models, surveys Most effective. Greatly increases understanding and retention compared to other strategies. Increases student motivation
Independent Study student-decision making, analysis, self-reliance Student centers, research projects, flipped learning, essays, computer assisted instruction, online instruction Very effective in developing student initiative, self-reliance, self-improvement, and lifelong learning.

Most educators agree that teachers should have enough autonomy to make the best instructional decisions for their classrooms. However, all teachers should be held accountable for implementing the curriculum and using classroom strategies that best meet the needs of their students. A skilled teacher will use a mix of each of these strategies when they are appropriate. For example, when given the TEKS standard:

1.6A The student is expected to: classify and sort regular and irregular two-dimensional shapes based on attributes using informal geometric language,

it would not make sense for a teacher to lecture on the differences between regular and irregular two-dimensional shapes. First grade students are not likely to retain information from a demonstration on an overhead projector describing the differences between regular and irregular two-dimensional shapes. It would be much more effective to provide the students with actual hands-on experience sorting the shapes and classifying the differences on their own, with teacher guidance.

Effective teachers analyze the standards and the curriculum to determine the best strategy for their students. Ineffective teachers stick to one approach and choose that approach based on the teacher’s needs rather than the needs of the students.

The reality in education is that the game has changed. The game changer is technology. Technology has created access to knowledge that our world has never seen. As such, students no longer have a need to regurgitate the capitals of the 50 states and they no longer need the teacher to drill and kill those capitals. Teachers are no longer the supreme keepers of the information; Google now has the stronghold on that. Facts are free and readily available.

However, what Google can’t do is help students facilitate, analyze, synthesize or process this knowledge. They need a teacher for that. They need a teacher who can take well-written standards, use a powerful curriculum tool, and plan research-based instruction to help facilitate a purposeful learning environment for students that will help them think critically about the information that is being delivered.

This is learning in the 21st century.  It’s not a conspiracy.

Standards, Curriculum & Instruction — Part 2: Curriculum

DISCLAIMER: This blog is the second in a series designed to educate and inform readers on the differences between standards, curriculum, and instruction. These blogs are not an endorsement of Common Core State Standards.

In our previous article we defined educational standards. In this article we show the relationship between standards and curriculum and why it is necessary for a school district to have curriculum to meet the educational standards. Consider the following:

  • Does it make sense to teach World War I before World War II?
  • Should a teacher conduct a lesson on area before showing her students what a square looks like?
  • How many different ways are there to teach multiplication? When should it be taught?

The three examples above are all expectations derived from our state standards that Texas students are required to learn. Educational standards, like the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), are goals. These goals inform educators and parents about the content and skills their students are to master in a given school year. Unfortunately, these goals don’t come with a plan. We want our students to know and understand concepts from World War II but much of that lesson will be lost if World War I wasn’t covered first.  It would be impossible to measure area unless we know what the square looks like. And multiplication can be taught in multiple ways for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

Below, is a real example from the Texas standards (TEKS). Each of the four standards are exactly the same at the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade:

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 5.42.06 PM

Common sense would tell you that a teacher would not teach these concepts exactly the same at the third grade level as she would at the sixth grade level. But, teachers need a plan to know what should be mastered at the 3rd grade level to be prepare for the 4th grade level and so on. This is why school districts need curriculum. While standards are goals, curriculum is the plan to meet the goals. Curriculum is a detailed description of how students and teachers interact with specific content in a specific sequence over a school year to meet the educational standards. The execution of the curriculum, or plan, is the instruction.

Standards are typically written in a plain, straightforward language and are designed to simply state a student expectation of learning. However, the standard does not explain HOW to teach the student expectation or WHAT materials to use to allow the student to demonstrate mastery on the standard. Standards are goals and do not specify curriculum, textbooks, workbooks, or lesson plans, all of these things are at the discretion of the district. It is good that the districts have this discretion. They each have different needs and require the ability to determine which curriculum would best meet those needs.

Research has shown that one of the most effective tools in successful schools is a guaranteed, viable curriculum. A guaranteed and viable curriculum is one that guarantees equal opportunity for learning for all students and adequate time for teachers to teach content and for students to learn it. District curriculum is a large body of work and it takes trained educators to ensure the that a curriculum is guaranteed and viable. Educators who write curriculum must be familiar with the state standards, understand the conceptual development of subject matter over several grade spans, and have adequate time to plan and write the curriculum.  Often, the process includes master teachers who meet over the summertime, evaluate the current curriculum, suggest changes based on data, and then train colleagues on the new curriculum when school begins. Unfortunately, many of the districts in Texas do not have the resources to write their own curriculum.

Another struggle for school districts in Texas is the ever changing nature of our standards. Every time the TEKS are changed, districts have to rewrite their curriculum. The same is true for the timing of the state assessments (STAAR/EOC). The assessments are the means for the state to determine if students have met the goals (standards). For a curriculum to be guaranteed and viable, a district has to have a curriculum (plan) to make sure all of the content and skills are mastered at the time of assessment. Everytime the date of an assessment changes, the district has to update the curriculum to ensure there is adequate time for teachers to teach content and for students to learn it. In other words, curriculum is a very necessary,  never ending process and expense for school districts.

What are these districts to do? Some districts have joined together to write curriculum. Some use the curriculum of larger districts that have the resources to write their own curriculum. Many have purchased curriculum for their districts. There are several curricula available for schools in Texas. One very popular curriculum is the TEKS Resource System (TRS) curriculum, formerly known as CSCOPE. Once plagued by controversy over a few lessons created for instruction (not curriculum), the TRS is now just a curriculum built to be guaranteed and viable for Texas school districts.

There are other curricula used in Texas schools. For example, if a student is in an Advanced Placement course, the instructor is required to use the AP curriculum. When Texas was one of the largest consumers of national curriculum, publishing companies used to write curriculum to meet the Texas standards. However, with the adoption of the Common Core standards in 43 states, we are no longer a top priority for these publishing companies. Therefore, most the curriculum published is aligned with the Common Core. Publishing companies haven’t forgotten the Lone Star state. They now retrofit the curricula written for Common Core to meet the TEKS. As a result, much of what we see in Texas, created at a national level, will be considered aligned with the Common Core.

The national organizations who write these curriculum follow a process to develop their content. The writers collect and analyze standards from all 50 states and attempt to align similar standards found in each state.  It is common to find standards in some states that are not found in others.

All of this begs the question: How do we ensure that our districts are not using Common Core standards? The answer has already been given. The goal for all of our educators in Texas is to meet the standards given to us by the state of Texas, the TEKS. The plan is to have a curriculum that is guaranteed and viable to meet this goal. Teachers will execute this plan with high quality instruction based on their curriculum.

Since a variety of instructional materials are frequently used by teachers to meet their standards, one could expect to see a worksheet, lesson plan, workbook, or instructional guide with the words “Common Core Aligned” printed on the material; especially since 41 states (40 as of Thursday, June 5, as Oklahoma has dropped CCSS) have adopted CCSS and Internet resources with a “Common Core” label are easily found. This simply means that the curriculum writer who developed that content went through a process of aligning similar standards from a particular state with the Common Core Standards.

In fact, if a district has adopted a national curriculum to meet the state standards, teachers may have to use instructional materials that are “aligned” with the Common Core. Consider this, humans share 92% of their DNA with mice. But, mice and humans look nothing alike. The TEKS share 68% of their standards with Common Core. The curriculum and instruction in Texas classrooms will look nothing like Common Core, or we won’t meet our goal. In part three of our series, we will examine classroom instruction and the variety of instructional techniques teachers can use to process both standards and curriculum.

Ten Things Texas Students Need for the 21st Century Classroom

Our world, our nation, and our state are a changing at a rapid rate.  As the world changes, the goals and methods of public education must change as well to prepare students for the requirements they’ll face in the 21st century. We can no longer rely on outdated practices, technology, and approaches.

Our future is dependent on producing students who can think critically, collaborate, and produce project and systems driven assignments. We have talented students in our schools, and it’s time to give them the tools they need to be the next generation of great leaders. So what does Texas’ public education system need to keep up with the needs of educating a changing workforce?

1)   Update the cost of education
Simple fact: The state of Texas has not updated the cost of education since 1991.  We are currently funding schools using a complicated funding formula based on data that is more than 22 years old – from a time when a gallon of gas cost $1.12, a pound of bacon cost $1.95, and Internet usage reached a whopping one million users. Fortunately, the ruling from the most recent school finance law suit will likely require the state legislature to update the Cost of Education Index (CEI), which will create a new baseline for funding.  The adequacy and equity will hopefully come later.

2)   Funding
Once the state of Texas updates the CEI, the need for adequate and equitable funding for Texas schools will be paramount. Texas is the second most populous state in the US with a growing population of students.  Among these students are immigrants, students whose first language is not English, students in poverty, and students with special academic needs.  These are aspects of our schools that are costly and desperately need attention by the state.  Funding our schools is complicated and will require strong leadership in the next couple of years to see it through.  This important need and constitutional requirement cannot be ignored and is a critical for the future our state.

3)   Reduce the class size
After $5.4 billion was cuts from Texas school funding by the Texas legislature in 2011, many school districts adjusted by reducing teachers and raising the numbers of students in classrooms.  School districts across the state asked for record numbers of waivers from the Texas Education Agency to increase class sizes beyond the required 22:1 in grades K-4.  As the 83rd legislature returns some (but not all of the lost) funding to schools, it will be imperative for school districts to work to reduce the student to teacher ratio. Students are easier to mange, instruct, and are more engaged in smaller classrooms.  This is also a similar argument used by charter school advocates to promote more charter schools across the state.  Again, with adequate and equitable funding, manageable class sizes – for all grade levels – is essential.

4)   Technology
How quickly do things change?  Five years ago, Twitter, Facebook, and iPads were not found in any classroom in America; now they are essential.  The methods by which we need to educate students have to change and that will happen through technology.  Many students today are coming to school as “digital natives,” having experienced a wide range of technology but are not being allowed to use that experience in the classroom environment for a variety of reasons (lack of funding, equipment, training, ideology, etc.) Nonetheless, technology is here to stay and will continue to change through the life of our students. In addition, the education research related to instructional technology is conclusive that it has a significant place in our schools and in our students’ learning.

5)   College Readiness
Many of the jobs that will be available to high school graduates in 15 to 20 years will more than likely require a college degree.  This is a simple fact. More jobs are requiring students with prerequisite knowledge that can only be attainted through higher education in a two-year or four-year setting.  In addition, our students will be in significant competition with students from India, China, Japan, and Western Europe for the top jobs in engineering, science, math, and technology.  Our students will need to be critical thinkers, creators, evaluators, and more than likely need to speak more than one language –not French, German, or Italian – but Farsi, Hindi, Mandarin, or Spanish.

As such, it will be essential that we provide challenging instruction for students, promote them to take upper academic courses, and have better advising for them to promote careers that best support their individual skill sets.  As we work to differentiate their instruction through their lives, we may also need to differentiate their career choices when they are ready for the “real world.”  This means helping to make our kids “college ready” and “ready for college.”

6)   Best practices
In every profession, people maintain their skills through professional development and practice.  Education is no different.  There are countless conferences, staff development sessions, and other learning opportunities that education professionals attend—year round—to maintain required certifications and improve their craft.  This is commonplace in education. However, professional development has been cut in recent years due to the school finance crisis.  There have been less opportunities for educators to travel for staff development sessions or for districts to bring staff developers into their district.  Training is being compromised and students will ultimately feel the impact.

As such, it is increasingly important that educators are using the best practices research has to offer in our profession. We have a multitude of research to support the best instructional (Marzano, Danielson), discipline (Sprick), classroom management (Danielson, Jones, Emmer), and curriculum (English, Resnick, Stenhouse) and educators needs to employ these strategies early and often in our classrooms.  We are at a time when parents and politicians are expecting the best from our schools; we need to offer them the best.

7)   Support programs for students in poverty
Federal sequestration has hurt our poorest schools by cutting funding to low socioeconomic schools.  In addition, the poverty rate among children in Texas is significant at 25%,presenting a clear need for quality programs for students in poverty.  Texas schools will need more social workers, food programs, tutoring opportunities, and increased personnel to help teach, support, and grow our students.  Research tells us that students in poverty come to our schools with learning gaps, family problems, and a culture of low expectations. In addition, education has a habit of placing teachers with alternative certifications or limited experiences in our highest need schools. These schools, students, and teachers need our help and support to meet the expectations of state testing, college readiness, and the public.

8)   Deeper understanding of our changing population
Our state is changing.  Texas’ Hispanic population is growing, we have more children, we have more Spanish speakers, and we have more poor people than ever before.  However, our legislature is primarily made up of white men with private school educations from affluent areas of Texas.  This dichotomy in ideology and lack of understanding of our changing population cannot continue. Ultimately, it will hurt our schools. Our state must understand and adapt to our changing population by implementing training, funding, and supporting the educational system that will ready the next generation of Texas’ workforce.

9)   Instructional differentiation
We can no longer teach like we did 50, 25, 10, or even five years ago.  Technology has changed much of this need, but so has a significant amount of quality research dedicated to instruction.  In addition, our students are not “one size fits all”; meaning that one type of instructional technique is not going to work for every student.  We have a variety of students with various learning needs.  Special education students often need very different instructional techniques as gifted students do.  The same can be said for Hispanic students and white students.  The method of delivery must be adapted to meet the needs of the students.

Texas teachers will need help in learning various instructional techniques and be provided training on how technology can enhance and improve the learning experience of our students.  In many school districts, teachers are turning to Twitter chat sessions and Pinterest to work with educators nationwide to learn ways to improve instruction in the classroom.

There are many different ways to teach a single concept and teachers need to employ as many ways as possible.

10) Early childhood education
I want to make a bold suggestion that would be a significant paradigm shift in education:  it’s time to change the first grade. No longer should first grade be for six year olds.  First grade should begin at three years old.  The education gap is a significant challenge for our schools, as educators cannot control the level to which students are prepared before they enter school.

Many parents have the time, resources, and interest in providing their children various opportunities to prepare them for school before they begin and many parents do not have these resources or desire. It’s time that Texas schools take the lead and begin to close that gap by providing high quality instruction for children as young as three years old.

Many students begin kindergarten without having learned their alphabet, numbers, colors, or shapes when these concepts could be captured earlier in life. In addition, the very young brain is a sponge that soaks everything it can when it is in tune with the environment.  We can teach our young children two languages at once, provide opportunities to experience their environment through local travel, give them opportunity to interact with other children, adults, and various types of technology.  These learning experiences will close the education gap that so many of our students in poverty encounter and set our students up for fruitful adult lives.

UNT- Dallas Provides Educational Leadership with Principal Certification for North Texas School Districts

University of North Texas at Dallas Provides Educational Leadership with Principal Certification

North Texas Area Teachers Can Earn a Master’s in Educational Administration Through the UNT-Dallas School of Education


Core Principles of Educational Leadership
The School of Education’s Master of Education program will lead students to earn a graduate degree in Educational Administration. This 30-semester hour program prepares students with the skills and knowledge required for leadership careers at campus or central office administration positions. Graduates will earn their Advancing Educational Leadership (AEL) certification and be prepared to earn their Texas Principal Certificate following this program.

The UNT-Dallas School of Education is committed to training effective leaders to advance 21st century schools. We recognize that educational administration is a challenging and rewarding career path that requires unique skills and competencies. The Master’s in Educational Administration program emphasizes real-world understanding and practical application of leadership principles with a specialized focus on:

  • Urban Leadership
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Instructional Leadership

Our graduates will gain a deep understanding of these core concepts, allowing them to provide skillful and authentic leadership in any educational setting. Our program is committed to developing leaders with practical knowledge and understanding to support the evolving needs of K-12 education while driving student achievement.

Join the UNT-Dallas Principal Preparation Master’s in Educational Administration program and in 18 months you will:

  • Build a supportive network of professional leadership colleagues
  • Experience small classes and hands-on support from dedicated university professors
  • Engage in challenging and stimulating professional dialogue around issues of 21st century urban school leadership
  • Complete 30 credit hours (including 3 credit hours internship required for Texas principal certification) course work aimed toward meeting the challenges and opportunities of working in diverse and dynamic educational environments
  • Earn TEA required certification in Advancing Educational Leadership (AEL)
  • Develop the knowledge and skill needed to successfully pass the TExES principal certification exam
  • Graduate with the confidence and enthusiasm necessary to secure and succeed in campus or central office level leadership in public or private educational institutions

Career Opportunities for leadership positions in the field of education include such job titles as: Principal, Assistant Principal, Associate Principal, Dean of Instruction, Supervisor, Department Chair, Director at the central school district office (such as Bilingual Education, Curriculum, Special Education), Athletic Director,  Education Service Center coordinators, directors, and other types of leadership roles in public and private schools or educational agencies.

UNT-Dallas School of Education’s graduate program offers:

  • Lower-cost tuition from the only public university in Dallas
  • Flexible scheduling with hybrid courses
  • Face-to-face instruction from experienced educators, administrators, and superintendents from area school districts
  • Hands-on internship and practicum experience
  • TEA-required AEL certification
  • Development and preparation to pass TExES principal certification exam

Admission Procedure

  1. Submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:
    • Graduate School Application for Admission (
      • Select the program of your choosing in the “Select your major” section.
      • Educational Leadership, M.Ed.
      • Graduate Non-degree (if you already have a master’s degree and pursuing Principal Certification only)
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  2. Submit the following admissions documents to the Educational Leadership Program Office.

Documents may be scanned and emailed to or mailed to:

Dr. Jerry Burkett, c/o Christine Pruitt
UNT Dallas
7300 University Hills Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75241

Admission Standards

  • Applicants must have at least 3.0 GPA on the last 60 undergraduate semester hours of work prior to receiving the bachelor’s degree, or a 2.8 GPA on all undergraduate work, to be considered for unconditional admission to the UNT Graduate School for studies at the master’s level.  Applicants who have already completed a master’s degree must have at least at 3.4 GPA on the master’s or meet the undergraduate GPA standards.  Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements may be considered for a GPA waiver based on the strength of the department application.
  • Applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants must hold at least a provisional teacher certificate.
  • Applicants must have at least two (2) years creditable teaching experience in K-12 public or private schools prior to beginning course work.

Recommended Course Sequence

Degree and Certification plans are prepared in the 5300 course.  After the student has completed the four core courses, the student may apply for Internship (EDAD 5500).  Once the student is enrolled in the internship, the faculty Internship Supervisor becomes the advisor for the remainder of the program.  In preparing the degree plan, a student may transfer up to six (6) semester hours of course work from another institution with advisor and UNT Dallas Graduate School permission.  Students have six years to complete the degree.  Work that is more than six years old at the time of your graduation cannot be counted toward the master’s degree.  Students must apply for graduation in the final semester of course work in order to receive the degree.

Core Courses (Courses must be taken prior to Professional Courses)
EDAD 5300 – Introduction to Educational Leadership
EDAD 5330 – Instructional Leadership
EDAD 5360 – Leadership for Social Justice
EDAD 5390 – Campus Level School Law

EDAD 5500 – Internship (after core is completed)
Students must apply for the internship in advance by the appropriate deadline as stated on the application. Internship must be taken prior to the Practicum course for students seeking principal certification.

Professional Courses
EDAD 5610 – Communications and Public Relations
EDAD 5620 – Leadership for Student Educational Services
EDAD 5640 – School Resource Alignment for Student Achievement
EDAD 5680 – Leadership of the K-12 Curriculum

Final Course
EDAD 5700 – Practicum in Educational Leadership (Must be final course taken in the final semester) Students must apply for the practicum in advance by the appropriate deadline as stated on the application.  Students cannot take the practicum (5700) and the internship (EDAD 5500) in the same semester.  Internship must be taken prior to the Practicum course for students seeking principal certification.

Principal Certification Only
Students who already have a master’s degree in another area are eligible to pursue principal certification only.  You can complete a certification plan in consultation with the Certification Officer, Christine Pruitt.  The certification officer along with the Educational Leadership program coordinator determines the courses needed for the certification and the transferability of courses.  Transfer hours must be at the 5000-level or higher and may not be older than six (6) years when the certification requirements are completed.

The following courses are typically what students will need for the certification only option:

  • EDAD 5300: Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • EDAD 5330: Instructional Leadership
  • EDAD 5360: Leadership for Social Justice
  • EDAD 5390: Campus Level School Law
  • EDAD 5620: Leadership of Student Educational Services
  • EDAD 5640: School Resource Alignment for Student Achievement
  • EDAD 5700*(FINAL COURSE): Practicum in Educational Leadership

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