Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL)

Educational Policy and Leadership (EPL)

The Division of Educational Policy and Leadership offers three areas of specialization: Education Policy, Teacher Education/Professional Development, and Minority and Urban Education. When completing applications for admission to graduate study, you must indicate the specific program area to which you are seeking admission.

Education Policy

The education policy specialization prepares students to become leaders in educational policymaking, whether as academics, research analysts, civil servants, or school administrators. Students will explore critical challenges facing policymakers and practitioners, and develop the critical thinking and research skills necessary to address these challenges. Upon graduation, students will be able to synthesize complex information for a variety of audiences, apply a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to the design and implementation of research, and, ultimately, inform policy debates that help improve the lives of students. The policy program is deeply committed to issues of equity and justice, particularly in urban education settings.

Located in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, students will have a unique opportunity to put into practice the skills they learn in the classroom. Policy scholars work with faculty members and policy leaders with ties to the Department of Education, state government agencies including Maryland and Virginia, and local school districts, including Washington D.C., Prince George's County, and Montgomery County. Alumni go on to work as researchers in nationally recognized think tanks and universities, as advisors and consultants, and as policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.

Teacher Education/Professional Development

Graduate study specialization in Teacher Education/Professional Development is designed to prepare students become teacher leaders, research scholars, and change agents in schools, colleges and universities.  At the master’s level, candidates are encouraged to enroll in the M.Ed. in teacher leadership with emphasis in a specialization area that most directly addresses their areas of certification and/or interest. The M.Ed. in teacher leadership focuses on both the professional development needs of teacher practitioners and the organizational culture of the school that promotes or inhibits professional growth. The Doctoral program specialization in teacher education/professional development is designed to prepare teacher education scholars with strong research orientations, who will go on to become leaders in college and university settings based on their research agendas in teacher education and teacher development. It is also suited for students who plan to conduct research on these issues in school settings.

Minority and Urban Education

The minority and urban education program prepares students to examine how broad social and political contexts impact teachers, students, families, and communities.  Drawing on social justice perspectives, students explore critical challenges facing schools in urban settings and  learn about successful strategies for community empowerment and educational transformation.

Faculty have a wealth of K-12 and university teaching and research experience and bring methodological rigor and disciplinary depth to this specialization. Through research, teaching and practice, faculty and students in the minority and urban education program seek to improve opportunities and equity for individuals and groups whose lives are marginalized at the intersections of race, linguistic diversity, gender, ethnicity, and social class.

Faculty and students in MUE present papers at national and international conferences, co-author manuscripts, and participate actively in the life of the college and university through their leadership and commitment to social justice.  Alumni go on to work as teachers and administrators in urban K-12 school and post-secondary institutions, as university faculty members, and as academic researchers. They also work in educational non-profits, foundations, and think-tanks.