Kennesaw State first in Georgia to offer master’s in teacher and educational leadership

KENNESAW, Ga. | Mar 28, 2024

Bagwell College
Kennesaw State University is launching a Master of Education in Teacher Leadership and Educational Leadership, providing education professionals an opportunity to elevate their leadership skills and advance their careers.

The new master’s degree in the Bagwell College of Education will be the first in Georgia to offer the combination of teacher leadership and Tier I educational leadership certifications. The program will provide educators with content knowledge and credentials to effectively lead schools through an integrated lens, in which administrators and teachers lead together and understand each other’s perspectives.

“The benefits are reciprocal,” said Nicholas Clegorne, interim chair of the Department of Educational Leadership. “When teacher leaders understand higher-level, 30,000-foot-view functions, they can make better decisions that fit the strategic plan of the school. When administrative leaders stay in touch with what it means to be in the classroom and to lead curriculum at that level, they are better leaders.”

Elements of Kennesaw State’s existing master’s degree in educational leadership, which will continue to be offered, and the previously offered master’s in teacher leadership are now combined into one degree. Educators enrolled in the Master of Education in Teacher Leadership and Educational Leadership will select one of three concentrations: Coaching for Performance, Leadership in Rural Schools, or Leadership in Urban Schools.

“The learning experience improves when school leadership is distributed throughout your organization,” Clegorne said. “It spreads to the students as well, and they turn into better young scholars and better young leaders as a result of it.”

Teachers who complete the degree will earn not only teacher leadership certification but also Tier I educational leadership certification, the credential required for entry-level leadership positions such as assistant principal or curriculum coordinator. Along with teachers boosting their potential for job promotions, Bagwell College leaders say the biggest beneficiaries of the new master’s degree will be the schools and districts that see results from enhancing their leadership teams.

“This new and innovative program is an example of how the Bagwell College partners with state agencies such as the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, schools and school districts to make sure we hear and respond to the needs of teachers and educational leaders, especially in Georgia,” said Adrian Epps, dean of the Bagwell College of Education.

According to Grant Rivera, the superintendent of Marietta City Schools and an adjunct faculty member in the Bagwell College’s Department of Educational Leadership, educators who complete the program will bring back not only advanced certifications but “a transformative approach to leadership that will ripple through our classrooms and beyond.”

“Seeing the dual benefits of KSU's innovative master's program in teacher and educational leadership, both within our schools and the wider community, is truly exciting," Rivera said. "This degree promises to elevate our educational landscape, preparing leaders who are as adept in fostering academic excellence as they are in building strong community ties.”

Cartersville City Schools Superintendent Marc Feuerbach agrees that the new program will benefit teachers, which ultimately helps students.

“The new teacher leadership and educational leadership master’s degree being offered by KSU is a remarkable opportunity for all teachers who aspire to be leaders, both in and out of the classroom. By offering two certifications in one degree, teachers will be able to learn and grow as a leader through this program and positively contribute to the culture of their school district in a variety of ways.”

The 30-hour Master of Education in Teacher Leadership and Educational Leadership program will be delivered fully online to meet the needs of educators who work full-time.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit