2022-2023 Graduate Catalog Academic Catalog

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Master of Science in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning


The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Master’s Degree in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning recognizes the valuable contributions of experienced educators and their ability to engage in professional development within a community of learners. With this understanding as its foundation, the program provides experienced educators with the opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills and be recognized as leaders within their profession.

This 30-credit program includes a 21-credit core requirement as well as a nine-credit area of emphasis. As part of the core requirement, degree candidates will be required to complete a culminating project or thesis related to an educational, school or classroom-based line of inquiry. The core curriculum is based on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The standards that undergird this program are the following:

  • Teachers are committed to students and their learning.1
  • Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.1
  • Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.1
  • Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.1
  • Teachers are members of learning communities.1
  • Teachers understand system theory and how to initiate and sustain meaningful change.
  • Teachers are knowledgeable about historical and contemporary educational reform efforts.

The Applied Leadership degree is unique in many respects. It is a truly advanced degree program that does not include teacher certification. It recognizes the expertise of experienced educators working within a community of professional learners. Most importantly, this program prepares professionals to conduct educational-based research and use their knowledge of research to make data-based decisions in order to improve student learning.

The program is designed as a part-time program for educators who are actively employed in educational and professional settings (e.g., PK-12 classroom settings and/or business and industry training). Courses are offered on the weekends and during the summer. Students are admitted to the program each fall semester in cohort groups with a maximum of 20 students per group. This small group size enables close contact with the program’s faculty and promotes the development of a sense of community over the course of the program.

Admission Requirements 


Minimum admission requirements are:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Two years of successful teaching experience is preferred, but not required.
  • A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA).


Each applicant’s prior academic work and experience will be evaluated prior to admission. Applicants are expected to have college-level writing, oral communication and computer skills. Students who show exceptional promise but lack the minimal prerequisites may be admitted provisionally. Applicants are not required to take the GRE for admission.

The application process requires

  • A completed online application form and the $56 application fee. 
  • A writing sample/letter of application describing principal areas of academic interest, capabilities, experience, and reasons for pursuing the M.S. degree.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from previous colleges or universities attended, sent directly to UW-Green Bay from these institutions.
    •  If you attended less than 9 credits you do not have to send an official transcript unless the courses completed were pre-requisites for the program. Study abroad transcripts are not required if a student attended an international University for one or fewer semesters. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay retains the right to request additional official transcripts from all/or additional postsecondary institutions of higher learning attended by an applicant.
  • Please provide contact information for three references by emailing gradstu@uwgb.edu. 

Undergraduate-Graduate Accelerated Program 

Undergraduate students who have enrolled and completed graduate credits through the Professional Program in Education, may apply up to 9 credits to the master’s program upon acceptance to the graduate program. 

Currently enrolled undergraduate students may refer to the undergraduate catalog for more information.  Track requirements include being fully admitted to the Education program with Junior status, holding a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a faculty recommendation. An admission committee consisting of graduate faculty will review student applications for acceptance before enrollment may occur. 

Applications must be submitted by October 1 or March 1 for participation in the following semester.  Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, students should request admission to the graduate program, at which point up to 9 graduate credits will be applied to the degree requirements of the program. Graduate students will then adhere to all graduate student expectations and pay full graduate tuition fees.  See the undergraduate catalog for a list of courses.

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the Master of Science in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning consist of successfully completing a 21-credit core requirement and a nine-credit area of emphasis.

Students must maintain at least a B average to remain in the program and to graduate. A grade of C or better is required for course work to be counted toward graduation.

Core Requirement

A 15-credit set of core courses form the foundation for the degree. All students must complete the following:

Core Courses15
Reflective Inquiry
Approaches to Educational Inquiry
Contemporary Issues and Historical Contexts
Applied Educational Leadership
Inquiry Project or Thesis6
Thesis,Thesis or Project
Area of Emphasis9
Select at least nine credits
Total Credits30

Each individual in the program is required to complete a culminating project or thesis related to an educational, school or classroom-based line of inquiry. Participants engage in activities relevant to the development, interpretation and dissemination of their research under the direct guidance of a graduate faculty adviser. In addition to the required faculty, professionals from outside the University may also serve on thesis committees.

Students usually enroll for two credits of project or thesis support during the summer of their first year. The additional four credits will be distributed over the fall, spring and summer of their second academic year.

Area of Emphasis

Each student selects an area of emphasis consisting of at least nine graduate credits. These credits may be completed at UW-Green Bay or at another institution or setting. It may be possible to establish a personal area of emphasis fitted to the career interests of the student. Such programs must conform to MSAL guidelines and be filed as a Program Plan approved by the student’s academic adviser, program chair and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies.

Program requirements change from time to time. New graduate courses are added and others are dropped.

Progress to Degree

Steps Towards the Degree

  1. Applicant is admitted to the graduate program.
  2. After completion of at least 8 credits, the student develops a project proposal. The proposal is reviewed and approved by a project committee. 
  3. Student may register for project credits (EDUC 799) and work on the project.
  4. The student files an Application for Graduation with the Registrar’s Office through the Student Information System (SIS). The application must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to November 1 for fall semester graduates and April 1 for spring and summer semester graduates.
  5. A professional project presentation takes place. Filing the Approval of Thesis Defense or Project Presentation (GR-4 Form) with the Graduate Studies Office indicates satisfactory completion of the professional project and presentation.
  6. Graduate receives diploma.

Graduate Committee

It is important for Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning students to select a thesis/project committee early. The program chair or an adviser for the student’s degree program normally assists in this process.

A thesis committee is comprised of at least two faculty members approved by the program chair. One member is requested by the student to act as the major professor or chair of the committee. That person must be a graduate faculty member of the student’s degree program.  In addition to faculty members, students are encouraged to ask a person from outside of  the University to join their committees.

A professional project adviser may be a single faculty member within the student’s program.

The thesis committee or project adviser is responsible for supervising the student’s program of study and should:

  • guide the student in appropriate selection of graduate courses and specialization studies to ensure that the student is aware of all relevant materials necessary to completely understand the chosen field of study;
  • determine whether the student has accumulated and demonstrated sufficient ability to engage in analytic processes of problem solving;
  • make certain that the student’s project is consistent with the degree, confronts the interdisciplinary relationships of the subject area, and focuses on problem solving methods.

If during the student’s course of study, he or she wishes to change committee members or adviser, the student must explain why the change is necessary or desirable. If the change is acceptable to both outgoing and incoming professors, the student must notify the Graduate Studies Office in writing.


Ashmann, Scott, Associate Professor, Education. B.S., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ph.D., Michigan State University.

Fields of interest: the professional development of secondary science teachers, science teacher preparation, leadership issues in mathematics and science education.

Davis, Gregory, Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences (Mathematics). B.S., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University.

Fields of interest: dynamical systems, mathematical modeling of ecological systems, cliff swallow-house sparrow species dynamics.

Fencl, Heidi S., Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences (Physics). B.S., Nebraska Wesleyan; M.S., University of Nebraska; Ph.D., Ohio State.

Fields of interest: science education, physics, astrophysics.

Kaufman, Timothy, Associate Professor, Education and Program Chair, Graduate Program in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning. B.A., Elmhurst College; M.S., Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Loyola University.

Fields of interest: literacy, school reform, serving the needs of “at-risk” and learners with learning disabilities.

Kiehn, Mark, Associate Professor, Education. B.A., Adams State College; M.M.E., Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder.

Fields of interest: creative thinking in the classroom, arts education for exceptional learners, classroom assessment, school curriculum implementation/educational reform.

Leary, J P, Assistant Professor, Humanistic Studies - First Nation Studies.  B.A., University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; M.A., University of Oklahoma;, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fields of Interest: indigenous education, curriculum theory and policy, history of educaiton, social studies, professional development.

Lor, Pao, Associate Professor, Education. B.S.E., M.S., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fields of interest: educational policy and analysis, teacher preparation programs, community relations, curriculum and supervision.

Poupart, Lisa, Associate Professor, Humanistic Studies-First Nations Studies.  B.S., M.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ph.D., Arizona State.

Fields of interest: First Nations teaching and learning including Elder epistemology; decolonization and indigenous education, First Nations Studies in K-12 curriculum, historic trauma and generational healing.