Memphis Leadership Scholars Program (MS)

Major: Leadership and Policy Studies
Concentration: School Administration and Supervision
Degree: MS
Contact: Prof. James Mitchell (email:
Course Information 

The Memphis Leadership Scholars Program 

Great leaders are required for great schools, and the Memphis Leadership Scholars Program prepares people to be great school leaders. This 12 month, blended-learning 30 semester hours graduate education program is built upon Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards. Successful students will receive a M.Ed. or Ed.S. degree and a Tennessee Instructional Leader license.


Research confirms that highly successful schools have great school leaders. And the preparation of great school leaders cannot be left to chance. Successful preparation requires a partnership between universities, professors, experienced school leader practitioners, and local school districts. Producing great school leaders is the purpose of the Memphis Leadership Scholars Program.


The Memphis Leadership Scholars Program process includes five major components: Rigorous selection, Team Trek experiential leadership learning, blended on-line and seminar classes, mentoring, and outstanding field experiences. Candidates are nominated by local school district superintendents (or designees) and must meet graduate entry requirements at the U of M.  A three-day Team Trek leadership experience starts the program.  The 12 month program includes on-line instruction that earns 9 semester hours of credit.  Weekend seminars and summer classes earn 21 semester hours of credit. The final semester includes attendance at a national principals' conference, on-site exemplary K-12 school visits and mentoring. 


Results matter in today's educational environment. During the past decade, The University of Memphis Department of Leadership has completely rebuilt its school leadership programs to assure that graduates are well prepared to lead educational changes that can produce improved student achievement results. Department of Leadership graduates have proven records of success as principals, central office instructional supervisors, local school district superintendents, and state school superintendents.


The Memphis Leadership Scholars Program is a working partnership between local school districts and the Department of Leadership. School district superintendents must have excellent candidates who are well prepared, licensed, ready and willing to serve as school leaders. Success in today's results driven environment requires strategic planning. The rigorous nomination and selection processes can assist school superintendents to place the "right people in the right seats on the bus".


Investing in an outstanding principal preparation program is a small cost when compared to the immense responsibilities placed on today's principals. Principals are responsible for major decisions involving millions of dollars regarding personnel, curriculum, instruction, academic performance, finance, and community outreach. The right leader must be prepared and ready when the vacancy occurs.

The Memphis Leadership Scholars Program investment includes all tuition, books and fees, Team Trek, attendance at the NAESP or NASSP national conference, field experiences and mentoring. The cost can be paid in full by the partner school district, or shared by the school district and the candidate, or can be paid in full by the candidate. The partnership contract will be customized to fit the needs of the partner school district.


■ Partnership UM + local school districts
■ Rigorous nomination and selection processes
■ Blended learning–On-line + seminars
■ School site seminars and field experiences
■ Team Trek– leadership training
■ Mentoring by experienced practitioners
■ National principals' conferences