GWU students

The Master of Arts in Executive Leadership Studies (K-12) degree program will further develop your educational leadership skills through courses, research, seminars, and internships conducted in an environment based on Christian principles and values.

Graduate Admissions

Designed to meet a variety of goals for prospective school administrators, the Master of Arts in Executive Leadership studies provides a foundation in the principles and procedures of educational administration, curriculum development, and instructional improvement. You will develop an ability to implement and evaluate models of instruction and methods of supervision in the classroom and other school settings. In addition, the program fosters the development of one’s ability to effectively evaluate classroom teachers and improves capacities to appropriately interpret and implement educational research.

Gardner-Webb University’s School of Education offers a learning environment that supports Christian values in the classroom. You will gain valuable professional preparation to succeed in your career and help your future students succeed in school. You will also benefit from spiritual support that prepares you for ethical, inspired leadership.


Upon completion of this program, students will have earned a Master of Arts in Executive Leadership Studies and will be subject to state licensure requirements in order to receive North Carolina state licensure as a School Administrator. Students who have already earned a master's degree have the option to take a subset of the coursework outlined below to earn add-on licensure as a School Administrator. Graduates emerge with a foundation in the principles and procedures of educational administration.

Students in the Master of Arts in Executive Leadership Studies program must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.50 grade point average for all coursework beyond high school. A minimum of three years of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction-recognized teaching experience is required by the time the student completes the program.

Integrated curriculum will be offered within the five-semester, 36-hour Executive Leadership degree program. Each semester students will take one module, consisting of six integrated semester hours with a two-credit-hour internship during the first, third, and fifth semesters.

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

Face-to-Face: In face-to-face classes, coursework will be delivered primarily in a face-to-face format and augmented by online activities designed by the instructor for assessment, enrichment and collaboration. You will meet one night per week face-to-face from 4:45 until 8:45 p.m. in the Fall/Spring semesters, and one night per week face-to-face from 4:00 to 9:30 p.m. in the Summer term. Online activities may include but are not limited to the following: interactive webinars through WebEx, recorded webinars, discussion threads, collaborative assignments, and assessments. Blackboard is the portal used to deliver course material to students and serves as the platform for organizing class activities electronically. Students will be asked to demonstrate their competency with Blackboard by taking an introductory course on Blackboard. The electronic portfolio, a requirement for your degree and for a North Carolina license, will be created and stored online in a product called TaskStream.

Fully Online: You will log into Blackboard to complete assignments, participate in online discussions, and complete group activities. While there are no face-to-face meetings, some of the activities may include chats, discussion boards, recorded and/or live webinars, and various web links for viewing. While your classes will operate in Blackboard, your final project will be stored as an electronic portfolio using TaskStream. The electronic portfolio is required for North Carolina licensure. Upon full acceptance to the online program you will be required to complete online certification to verify your proficiency in an online environment.

Successful completion of this program and its electronic portfolio qualifies a candidate for licensure in the state of North Carolina. Before beginning the program, a student who intends to work in a state other than North Carolina should contact the appropriate state licensure authority in order to determine whether North Carolina licensure requirements meet that state’s requirements or whether additional requirements apply. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm and comply with the licensure requirements in any state other than North Carolina.

Educators who work in South Carolina should consult the SC Department of Education webpage on Online and Out of State Educator Preparation Programs which includes the following instructions.

Prior to beginning an online program, an individual must request a formal program approval using the online Request for Change/Action form. Along with the form, educators will need to include, college or university name and address, program name, program description and the purpose of the program. Also what the educator wants to obtain with degree program (ex: Initial certification in Elementary Education). Approval for online programs cannot be given via phone or email.

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