The master's in leadership and administration is entirely online and prepares educators for leadership roles in P-12 school administration.

    About The Program

    Format: Online or On Campus


    Northern’s Masters of Science in Education in Leadership and Administration is a flexible and affordable degree that is entirely online and will develop your leadership abilities. It's a state-approved program for principal preparation, complying with SDCL 24:53:08:02.  Through Northern’s master’s in Leadership and Administration, candidates gain the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge and skills - identified in National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) building-level standards - to serve as a principal at the P-12 level.

    For principal certification, graduates of this program must pass the Praxis Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision exam.  

    The program's curriculum addresses critical knowledge and skill areas for beginning, building-level educational leaders. Courses are designed to provide a framework for understanding how to best prepare, support, and evaluate education leaders in their efforts to help every child grow. Specialized courses include models of leadership, organizational behavior, data-driven decision making, leading inclusive schools, and fostering school and community partnerships.  



    Potential careers include positions at the PK-12 level as a principal, assistant principal, athletic director or dean of students.


    Students often complete their internships in the school in which they are currently employed.


    The Bob Lehr Memorial Scholarship is an annual scholarship available for students in this program.

    Contact Information

    To learn more about this program, offered online and on campus, contact NSU Graduate Studies via email or request more information!

    Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (2022)
    Ed.S. in PreK-12 Administration, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (2013)
    M.S. in Technology for Education and Training, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (2005)
    B.S. in Elementary Education, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (2003)
    Nicole D. Schutter, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of education in the teacher education department who joined NSU’s faculty in 2022.
    Courses Taught
    EDFN 102  Introduction to Education
    EDFN 440/540  Classroom Management
    EDAD 700  Models of Educational Leadership
    EDAD 715  Theoretical and Practical Framework for Instructional Leadership
    EDAD 725  The Principalship: Theory & Practice
    EDAD 745  Organizational Behavior for…

    Doctor of Education, School Administration, University of South Dakota

    Master of Education, Valley City State University, Teaching English Learners

    Bachelor of Arts, South Dakota State University, English & Spanish


    Dr. Anna Schwan joined Northern’s faculty in 2018 after 16 years in public K-12 education, where she was a high school teacher and secondary school administrator. She currently serves as interim dean of the Millicent Atkins School of Education. Previously, she was department chair of teacher education and graduate faculty coordinator of the Educational Studies and Leadership and Administration programs. 


    Professional Work Experience

    Middle school/high school principal

    6-12 English as a second language teacher

    7-12 language arts teacher

    K-12 Spanish teacher


    Research Interests

    Student motivation

    Teacher retention

    Principal effectiveness

    Ph.D., University of North Dakota
    M.S.Ed., Northern Illinois University
    B.S.Ed., Northern State University
    Dr. Cheryl Wold joined NSU's faculty in 2013. She received a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, her M.S.Ed. degree in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill., and B.S.Ed. degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education from NSU. Dr. Wold was a special education teacher for 17 years; Title I reading and math teacher for seven years; and a director of special education for eight years.
    Dr. Wold is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), and the Teacher Education Division of CEC (TED). She has served as South Dakota CEC president and past president and is currently the membership chair. At the national level of CEC, she…