Our educational leadership programs are designed to prepare leaders for 21st-century schools. These programs provide you with the skills to move your career in education forward.

Educational leadership is a natural next step for many teachers, but also a valuable learning opportunity for professionals working at colleges, universities and community leaders working to improve educational opportunities in their neighborhoods and cities. 
The Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations also offers a Minor in Exercise Science. This program is for students pursuing careers in fitness, coaching, or health promotion.


Master of Arts in Educational Administration

The master of arts degree in educational administration is designed to provide entry-level preparation for students planning careers in administration in schools, colleges and universities. 

Emphasis areas

PK-12 Administration  

These leaders must begin now to envision the nature of a global technical-information-based society and the schooling such a society will require. Application deadline is May 1 for Fall entry. This program is accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Program Admissions: The online graduate application and the official transcripts will need to be sent directly to the UMKC Admissions Office. All other supplemental application materials including the Application Packet Cover Sheet (PDF)should be sent to: 

ELPF Division Office 
615 E. 52nd St., Suite #328 
Kansas City, MO 64110

Higher Education Administration

This program supports administrative leaders and educators who seek to enhance their professional competencies and effectiveness in today’s increasingly diverse colleges and universities.  Application deadline is August 1 for Fall entry, November 15 for Spring entry and April 15 for Summer entry. 
Focused areas of study include: student affairs administration, foundation in education, sports administration and exercise sciences, and disabilities studies.

Learn more

Program Admissions: The online graduate application and the official transcripts will need to be sent directly to the UMKC Admissions Office. All other supplemental application materials including the Application Packet Cover Sheet (PDF) should be sent to Selia Ramirez and Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl

Ed.S. in Educational Administration

These programs are designed for students who want to become experts in a specific subject. A master's degree is required for admission into these programs. They are accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Apply for this program by August 10th.

Emphasis areas

PK-12 School Administration

The educational specialist degree with emphasis in PK-12 school administration prepares teachers for specialization in school leadership and administration. The program’s emphasis is the development of broad understanding and experiences across the whole professional field, the acquisition of in-depth knowledge in at least one specialized field in educational administration, and integrative experiences demonstrating the application of theory to practice.

Executive Superintendency

This program is a certification and leadership program for aspiring superintendents seeking transformational leadership development. Superintendent Candidates (SC) study best practices and use concrete skills within their own building and district settings throughout the program. Our SCs learn, create and lead supportive learning environments where all students, faculty, and staff can thrive. As lead learners, SCs are fostered as Instructional and District Leaders who collaborate, engage, and partner with building level leadership, instructional coaches, and faculty. The emphasis area is an intensive four (4) semester, minimum 30 credit hour program, that begins with a new cohort each Summer Semester.

Ed.D. in Educational Administration 

The Educational Doctorate (Ed.D.) program is designed to expand your competencies and applied leadership skills to grow as an educational leader for a variety of school, college and university settings. More detailed information can be found by selecting an emphasis area below. 

Emphasis areas

PK-12 Administration  Higher Education Administration

IPh.D. Educational Leadership – Policy and Foundations

Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations (ELPF) is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies. Students must pass a comprehensive examination including both the primary discipline and the co-discipline areas. The student will be required to take and completed 12 hours of coursework that provides extensive preparation in research methodologies relevant to their professional goals and intended dissertation project.

Admissions information

  • Program admits a cohort of students each Fall
  • Applications are due February 15 for the following Fall
  • Apply online and send other supplemental application materials to:
    • ELPF Division Office 
      615 E. 52nd St., Suite #328 
      Kansas City, MO 64110

Emphasis areas

  • PK-12 Education
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Foundations of Excellence

Suggested compatible co-disciplines

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Public Affairs and Administration
  • History
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Sociology 

ELFP Program Resources

ELFP Newsletter

October 2022


The UMKC Division of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations is proud to offer the UMKC PLUS program. PLUS (Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools) is a two-year principal certification and master’s degree program (or Ed.S. program for those who have already earned a master’s degree in a field outside of education) for talented educators who want to become transformational school leaders.  

Learn More

Faculty, Staff and Leadership

Carolyn Barber

Interim Dean, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation/Missouri Endowed Faculty Chair, and Professor
Email: barberce@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-6151

Shelly Beech

Adjunct Professor and KC-PLUS Leadership Coach
Email: beechs@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-6374

Eric Camburn

Sherman Family Foundation Endowed Chair, Professor, and Director
Email: camburne@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1293

Karin Chang

Associate Director and Associate Research Professor
Email: k.chang@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-6344

Donna M. Davis

Email: davisdon@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-5956

Jenny Frenzel

Senior Research Assistant
Email: jfrenzel@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-6376

Hubert Gordon

Associate Professor of Professional Practice and KC-PLUS Leadership Coach
Email: hjgbmm@umkc.edu

Michelle Maher

Professor and Chair
Email: mahermi@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2325

Caroline Matz

Research Assisstant
Email: cmatz@umkc.edu

Marie S. McCarther

Associate Professor
Email: mccarthers@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2451

Alexis Petri

Associate Research Professor and CAFÉ Senior Director of Faculty Support
Email: petria@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-5872

Selia Ramirez

Office Support IV
Email: smrzdn@umsystem.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2716

Tiffani Riggers-Piehl

Assistant Professor
Email: riggers-piehlt@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2458

Michele Smith

Associate Professor and Dean of Students/Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Email: Michele.d.smith@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1342