May 27, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Administration, M.A.

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Program of Study

Program Overview: The Master of Arts in Educational Administration focuses on research, with a theory-to-practice model that meets the requirements for the California Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. The program culminates in the candidate writing a research-based thesis and presenting a thesis defense.


The Master of Arts in Educational Administration is 30 units of instruction. Candidates may take only the 24 unit credential courses if they already have a master’s degree. 

*Courses for Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (24 units)


Program Student Learning Outcomes

The Master of Arts in Education Program assesses seven (7) Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs).These will be measured by the California Administrative Performance Assessments (CalAPA) and the Summative Digital Portfolio.

Students graduating with a Master of Arts in Educational Administration will:

  1. Explain how school plans, programs, and activities support the school’s vision to advance the academic, linguistic, cultural, aesthetic, social-emotional, behavioral, and physical development of each student.
  2. Recognize discriminatory practices, signs of trauma, manifestations of mental illness, and promote culturally responsive, positive and restorative strategies to address diverse student and school needs.
  3. Use principles of positive behavior interventions, conflict resolution, and restorative justice and explain to staff and community members how these approaches support academic achievement, safety, and well-being for all students.
  4. Engage family and community members in accomplishing the school’s vision of equitable schooling and continuous improvement that includes the academic, linguistic, cultural, social-emotional, mental and physical health, and/or other supports needed to succeed in school.
  5. Recognize any possible institutional barriers to student and staff learning and use strategies that overcome barriers that derive from economic, social-emotional, racial, linguistic, cultural, physical, gender, gender identify, sexual orientation, or other sources of educational disadvantage or discrimination.
  6. Understand and analyze governance and policy systems and use this knowledge to explain roles and relationships of school and district administrators, local state boards of education, and the legislature to staff and the school community.
  7. Analyze current research literature and explain how findings can be applied in a practical educational setting.

Admission Requirements

Admission into the M.A. in Educational Administration includes meeting the general admission requirements for graduate studies at CSUSM and these additional components:

  • Application to the University in the Graduate/ Post-baccalaureate Program.
  • A clear teaching credential.
  • Four years of successful, full-time experience in a public school, nonpublic school, or private school of equivalent status. This experience may be teaching, pupil personnel work, librarianship, health services, or clinical or rehabilitative services. Substitute or part-time service does not apply.
  • Acceptance of up to nine (9) units of similar graduate-level coursework from another Educational Administration-approved program may be transferred into the CSUSM program with faculty approval.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended.
  • Two recent letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the candidate’s work in the field of education, preferably a supervisor.
  • Employment and/or access to a school where there is cooperation to conduct the master’s program field study courses, and the California Administrative Performance Assessment (CalAPA) data collection, instructional coaching, and stakeholder interviews (as required by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing) with students, faculty, staff, and community members. Applicants may be asked to submit additional documentation to satisfy this requirement.
  • A writing prompt.

Completion Requirements

The following completion activities apply to students pursuing the Letter of Eligibility for the  Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, or candidates pursing both the credential and the Master of Arts in Educational Administration:

  1. Passing scores in each of the three cycles of the California Administrative Performance Assessment (CalAPA) (All).
  2. Successful completion of the program core courses with a minimum 3.0 grade point average (All).
  3. Advancement to candidacy (Master’s only).
  4. Passing score on the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement - Graduate Level (GWARGL) (Master’s only). 
  5. Completion of a five-chapter research thesis and defense that investigates data surrounding school improvement and serving all students equitably. This research is supported by a qualified faculty chair and committee member (Master’s only).


All coursework will earn a letter grade except for the four field study classes (5 units) and the six research classes (6 units), which will be graded credit/no credit. A grade-point average of 3.0 must be maintained and any grade of less than a B- will be subject to review.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement – Graduate Level (GWARGL)

Candidates need to fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement - Graduate Level  (GWARGL) before advancing to candidacy. Please refer to the University catalog for more information regarding this requirement. 

This can be met with:

1) evidence of passing the writing portion of the CBEST with a score of 37 or

2) a passing score of 12 from a review of the student thesis Chapter 2 against the GWARGL rubric. 

Candidates may present evidence of their CBEST scores to the faculty member teaching the EDAD 698A  in order to meet this requirement. If the candidate is from out of state or no longer has CBEST data, the candidate’s thesis chapter 2 will be scored at the end of EDAD 698B .

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