Educational Leadership

College of Education

Preparing Leaders to Improve Student Learning

The Educational Leadership specialization at WSU Tri-Cities offers aspiring educational leaders a variety of graduate education programs appropriate for leaders at every stage of their career — from classroom teachers seeking new leadership roles to practicing administrators seeking professional development.

This specialization is offered at both the master’s (Ed.M.) and doctoral (Ed.D.) levels, as well as administrator certification programs for principals, superintendents, and program administrators at one of the nation’s leading land-grant research universities. The Educational Leadership specialization serves educators throughout Washington State with program offerings at all WSU campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver). The program provides a balance of practical experience, research, and theory to prepare practitioner-scholars for leadership positions or for continued study and research in the field of Educational Leadership.

Application Deadlines

  • February 1st: Ed.D. for fall enrollment
  • March 1st: Ed.M. and Principal/Program Administrator for summer enrollment
  • April 15th: Ed.M. and Principal/Program Administrator for fall enrollment
  • November 1st: Ed.M. and Principal/Program Administrator for spring enrollment

Unique program features include:

  • A flexible program that supports students in a diverse, professional learning community
  • Full-time faculty who are recognized as leading practitioners and scholars in the field of education
  • Small-classes designed to provide personalized instruction and individualized mentoring
  • Classes offered at convenient times and in formats that support working professionals
  • Courses that can be used toward completion of the Statewide Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Click on the program below to learn more!

Master of Education (Ed.M.)

Program overview

The Ed.M. is a non-thesis program for K-12 educational professionals. Course schedules allow full-time students to complete the Ed.M. degree in approximately two years. The program delivers the world-class instruction you expect from a major university with small classes and personalized attention only available at an urban campus. Students have the option of taking courses in a variety of instructional formats delivered through the Statewide Educational Leadership Program. All classes are offered on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

Program admission

The following items must be submitted directly to the WSU Graduate School with the WSU Graduate School Application:

  • $75 application fee
  • Official transcripts showing all previous college or university coursework
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A brief statement of your professional objectives and how you feel they will be promoted by admission to the program to which you are applying
  • Current résumé or vita

    The following items must be submitted directly to Niamh O’Leary at

  • Ed.M. in Educational Leadership and Sport Management Supplemental Application Form
  • Copies of currently held certificates

    All applicants to the Educational Leadership Program must hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the last sixty (60) semester hours of graded undergraduate course work or twelve (12) credits of graduate study. The Graduate Record Examination is NOT REQUIRED for the master’s degree and Principal or Program Administrator Certification.

    Requirements may vary for the degree and credential programs. Detailed information is available from Niamh O’Leary,

    NOTE: Admission to the Educational Leadership Master’s degree specialization at Washington State University involves application and acceptance into both the WSU Graduate School and the Department of Educational Leadership and Sport Management.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Experienced. Expert. Equity-driven.

Earn your doctorate from Washington’s premiere Ed.D. program. Learn from faculty with more than 30 years of experience and be networked to hundreds of alumni transforming education across the state and nation.


The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership prepares practitioner-scholars for effective and meaningful leadership in a variety of educational settings. Course instructors are highly experienced school professionals and nationally recognized academic scholars. Program content is practical and scholarly; it blends issues important to practicing educational leaders with scholarship that analyzes and addresses these issues. Post coursework, students produce a dissertation that studies and addresses a contemporary problem of practice in K-20 schools.

For more information about this program at Tri-Cities, including how to apply, please contact Jennifer Gallagher at and visit the state-wide Ed.D. program webpage.

Administrator Certification Programs

The Field-Based Principal, Field-Based Program Administrator and Field-Based Superintendent programs at WSU Tri-Cities balance practical experience, theory and research to help you prepare for leadership in the world of education.

Field-Based Principal or Program Administrator Certification

This innovative, streamlined program offers you the best possible training to become a Principal or Program Administrator, as well as a network of colleagues and mentors who will help you. This certification program was designed by an Advisory Committee of working administrators and scholars, is taught by highly successful administrators and WSU faculty. Thus, the WSU Tri-Cities Educational Leadership Program offers the best of both worlds: current, practical knowledge and skills along with high-quality academic courses.

Principal or Program Administrator Certification + Ed.M. in Educational Leadership

A Master’s degree is required for Principal or Program Administrator Certification. We offer the Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree in conjunction with our Principal or Program Administrator Certification program for those students who still need their master’s degree. Adding the master’s degree requires additional coursework (typically 3 additional courses) as well as a comprehensive written examination.

Field-Based Superintendent Certification

The program is based upon a two-year internship completed in conjunction with a series of 16 weekend seminars held at various locations around the state. These monthly seminars provide an opportunity for interaction between program participants, faculty, and a variety of guest speakers with expertise in relevant leadership positions. WSU faculty provide background in traditional leadership content areas and relevant educational research. An electronic network also provides a venue for continuous learning activities and discussions. The program is based at WSU Spokane with classes available at WSU Tri-Cities. Learn more.

Application process

For more information about the program, deadlines and admission requirements, contact the academic coordinator, Niamh O’Leary at

Note: Programs in Educational Leadership (EdM, MA, principal certification, superintendent certification, EdD and PHD) do not accept state tuition waivers.

Meet our faculty

photo of Shannon Calderone
Shannon CalderoneAssistant Professor, Ed LeadershipFloyd 207QShannon Calderone, Assistant Professor, received her Ph.D. in  Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Her research interests include looking at how schools and school leaders can better support college going and college readiness for low-income, first-generation student populations and their families.  Her most recent research has focused on social trust as a factor in school-family support, student debt aversion, financial literacy, and family financial labor as points of insight into the impact of college costs on perceptions of opportunity for high, middle, and low-income families. Learn more.
Kathleen Cowin
Kathleen CowinAssociate Professor (Career Track), Ed LeadershipFloyd 207XKathleen Cowin, Associate Professor (CT), received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Seattle University. Her research focuses on the development of effective relational co-mentoring practices for educational leader formation and the creation of co-mentoring circles among current and former educational leadership students. Kathleen served as a teacher and elementary and middle school principal for over 25 years and also completed her Superintendent Certification. Learn more.
photo of John Mancinelli
John MancinelliField Services DirectorFloyd 207OJohn Mancinelli, Ed.D., Scholarly Assistant Professor, joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as Chief of Staff and Operations in July 2014. Dr. Mancinelli has 26 years of experience in teaching and educational leadership. Dr. Mancinelli brings a deep understanding of Washington State’s educational system, organizational structures, and management best practices. His experience in both teaching and administering in public schools from kindergarten to university contribute to his courses and mentorship.

Dr. Mancinelli serves as Educational Leadership and Teaching & Learning faculty to the College of Education. He teaches educational leadership and Teaching & Learning courses to undergraduates, masters, and doctoral students. Additionally, Dr. Mancinelli advises, mentors, and sits on committees for masters and doctoral students. Dr. Mancinelli’s area of scholarship focus includes educational leadership and role theory as it relates to building academic capacity. Learn more.

photo of Niamh O
Niamh O'LearyGraduate School Coordinator
College of Education Academic Support Staff
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