Educational Leadership

ELPA - Our mission is to create knowledge while preparing leaders to critically shape and transform educational issues, policies, and practices.

Consider ELPA if you:

  • Want to improve your organizational leadership skills and knowledge in elementary, secondary, or postsecondary settings
  • Are interested in principal or superintendent certification
  • Want to work in student affairs or higher education administration
  • Want to become a scholar or researcher in an academic setting
  • Desire to shape policy through legislative or research activity

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
303 Townsend
Columbia, MO 65211
phone: 573-882-8221
fax: 573-884-5714

Professor S. Diem**, J. Hart**
Associate Professor E. Crawford-Rossi**, B. Curs**, L. Dorner**, C. Harper Morris**, S. W. Lee**, P. Mendoza**, J. Sebastian** 
Assistant Professor D. Palmer*, M. Williams**
Teaching Professor G. Malfatti*
Associate Teaching Professor J. Fellabaum-Toston*
Assistant Teaching Professor C. Belcher*, L. Bentley*, V. Mondelli*, B. Whitaker*
Distinguished Adjunct Professor T. Whitaker*
Adjunct Professor M. Ayllon*, T. Balser*, D. Barksdale*, M. Beglau*, J. Bies*, L. Blockus*, D. Burns-Wallace*, P. Corum*, C. Cozette*, M. Dorime-Williams*, M. Doss*, M. Eimers*, K. Schmidtke Felts*, H. Fields III*, K. Fishman-Weaver*, S. Goldammer*, T. Gragnani*, T. Hausman*, K. Hoffman*, A. Hull*, M. Kateman*, M. Laffey*, L. Luttrell*, E. Michalsii*, V. Mitchell*, K. Morris*, E. Neville*, L. Page*, T. Page*, K, Presko*, K. Quinn*, C. Scroggs*, E. Shaw*, B. Solomon*, W. Stackman*,  L. Wilcox*, J. Hermsen Wood*, D. Wren*, J. Zeilenga*
Professor Emeritus R. Andrews*, I. Cockriel*, J. Donaldson*, S. Graham*, J. Valentine*
Associate Professor Emerita K. Cockrell*, P. Placier*, J. Simmons*
Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus D. Cockrell*


Graduate Faculty Member - membership is required to teach graduate-level courses, chair master's thesis committees, and serve on doctoral examination and dissertation committees.


Doctoral Faculty Member - membership is required to chair doctoral examination or dissertation committees.  Graduate faculty membership is a prerequisite for Doctoral faculty membership.

While MU does not offer undergraduate degrees specifically in educational leadership and policy analysis, the University does offer baccalaureate opportunities in a number of related areas, both within the College of Education (specifically, the Bachelor of Educational Studies), and in the other Schools and Colleges that make up the University. The catalog provides a complete list of these degree options.

303 Townsend
573-884-5714 (fax)

Director of Graduate Studies: Lisa Dorner

About ELPA's Graduate Programs

The graduate programs in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis are designed to meet the specific educational needs of the student in a particular area of emphasis. Graduates find employment in a wide range of settings including colleges and universities, public schools, policy agencies, professional associations, government and business and industry.

The PhD Program in ELPA requires a minimum of 60 hours beyond the master’s degree. The goal of the PhD program is the preparation of professional researchers and scholars who have high levels of competence in conducting research that adds to the knowledge base.

The program also has a goal of meeting the student’s individual career goals and interests through the development of an appropriate plan of study. Each emphasis area has slightly different requirements and areas of focus; however, all 3 emphasis areas require a department-wide core; emphasis area coursework; electives; a research core; and the completion of a minimum of 6 hours for the dissertation.

The EdD Program in Educational Leadership is designed for practicing educational leaders to enhance their knowledge and competencies so they provide optimal leadership in organizations that educate a wide range of learners from youth to adult. The program’s curriculum is designed to prepare leaders who are inquiring, reflective practitioners who are competent in defining and solving complex problems in education.

The Educational Specialist (EdSp) Program is designed to enhance the knowledge and competencies of K-12 educational administrators and to lead to advanced principal certification and/or superintendent certification. The program has a thematic, integrated, problem-based curriculum intended to prepare school and district leaders who are inquiring, reflective practitioners. The curriculum is aligned with state standards for certification.

The department’s Master’s Programs are intended to provide initial preparation for leaders in a variety of educational contexts, including higher education and PK-12 schools. Programs vary according to emphasis area and are designed to meet student’s individual career goals and interests — e.g., student affairs administration, initial principal certification and higher education administration.

A minimum of 33 credit hours is required for the M Ed or MA in Higher Education and a minimum of 30 hours is required for the M Ed in Educational Leadership.

Note: Per ELPA policy, students have 5 years to complete their MA or M Ed degree.

Graduate Certificates:

  • College Teaching
  • Education Policy
  • Higher Education Administration   

Satisfactory Rate of Progress

All ELPA students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degrees. Satisfactory progress of students will be determined through an annual review by the director of graduate studies, graduate students’ academic advisors and their committees. Judgments about satisfactory progress will include consideration of the following:

  • University-wide time limits for degree completion
  • GPA for departmental courses
  • Continuous enrollment and active engagement in course work or research (EdD and PhD)
  • Student performance in research credits
  • Timely resolution of incomplete grades

Financial Aid from the Program

Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program website or ask the program contact for details.

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