UO Launches Masters Degree in Education Policy and Leadership


A new Masters program in Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of Oregon will teach students how to increase equity in education from a systemic level.

The one-year program, led by College of Education professors Ilana Umansky and David Liebowitz, combines research methods, educational theory, political studies, and leadership studies. Applications must be submitted at the end of January and classes start in June on the Eugène campus.

Building on a previous Masters program in Educational Leadership, the Masters in Education Policy and Leadership (EPoL) program is unique in that it focuses on education policy – it is the only one program of its kind in the state and one of the few in the region.

“The OU will be at the forefront of informing these conversations,” Umansky said. “We are a group of graduates who are advancing the field of education through a leadership and policy perspective.

This perspective means that students will examine the systems that shape education in everyday life, including state and school district policy.

Students decide whether to focus their studies on educational policy, educational leadership, or the intersection of the two. Half of their degree courses are elective and can come from any department in the university. Students organize their education based on their experience and interests.

“There are countless critical issues in education today,” Umansky said. “And we want our students to be ready to work and make change in the area they are most passionate about. These may be issues such as supporting effective professional preparation of teachers, promoting the expansion of bilingual education, or equalizing school finances and resources. “

Regardless of their orientation, students receive in-depth training on different types of analysis. The Education Policy and Leadership program uses a small cohort model, of no more than 30 students, to build community and encourage discussion.

According to Liebowitz, the cohort model is one of the most important strengths of the program. Students take a series of core courses together, all taught by tenure-track professors. This allows students to easily connect with faculty and network with their peers.

“One of the things that we hope will emerge from this program is that our graduates have this network of people who have gone through the same learning experiences and then continue to serve as valuable colleagues,” Liebowitz said in a session. of information.

While the Education Policy and Leadership program can award a degree in one year or over four terms, students can also choose to study part-time and extend the program over two years.

The program prepares students for careers as policy or data analysts, leaders of nonprofit or advocacy organizations, principals of K-12 schools, educational journalists, and more.

“We see our graduates evolving into roles where they are able to shape the macro level of what education looks like, what it looks like and what it is across state and country,” said Umansky.

To make the program more accessible, application fee waivers are available. Students can contact Shannan Garner for more information. When the program begins, faculty members can help students find scholarships and jobs on campus.

To learn more about the program, visit the Education Policy and Leadership website and apply.

—By Madeline Ryan, College of Education