Education, Leadership and Public Service
Contact Information
Address: Whitman Hall, Room 179
Phone: 906-227-2728
Fax: 906-227-2764
Assc Dean/Dir School of Education/Leadership/Public Services: Joseph Lubig
Assistant Professor & MPA Program Director: Jennifer James-Mesloh
Education at NMU
The School of Education, Leadership and Public Service designs its graduate programs to prepare professional educators and educational leaders who have effective speaking, listening, reading and writing skills; knowledge of and appreciation for the humanities, the pure and social sciences and the arts; understanding of and appreciation for education and its role in developing intellectual and ethical values in a free and pluralistic society; the general and specialized professional knowledge base required of informed practitioners of the education profession; and the ability to apply knowledge and research effectively in the education profession.

The graduate education programs extend the baccalaureate foundation to address more advanced and specialized studies, expand certifications, and augment minor concentrations or new areas that increase the potential for professional contribution.

The School of Education, Leadership and Public Service has a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of excellence in preparing education graduates. As such, graduate studies programs focus on providing mastery of professional knowledge, attitudes and skills in focused course credits beyond the baccalaureate.
All NMU School of Education, Leadership and Public Service subject areas in Education are approved by the Michigan Department of Education.
Master of Arts in Education Degree Procedures

Admission Requirements

Departmental advisers review credentials of all candidates for admission to a master of arts in education degree program. Such review commences only upon receipt of all required information.

For regular admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all completed graduate work. Applicants who do not meet the conditions for regular admission may be admitted conditionally upon a review of their credentials. Conditional students will be expected to complete 12 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in courses designated by their adviser. Refer to the description of conditional admission in the Admission Policies section of this Graduate Bulletin.

Upon admission to a graduate program, the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service assigns the graduate student to an academic adviser. The academic adviser will advise the student regarding courses and degree requirements for the graduate program to which he/she has applied. The adviser must approve courses prior to enrollment.

Advancement to Candidacy

To become a candidate for an advanced degree in education, students must have:

A. Regular admission status

B. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in graduate courses

C. A minimum one year of full-time teaching experience at the level for which the certificate was issued.

D. Have a graduate plan of study approved by their advisor. Upon admission to a master's program, the student has the responsibility to make an appointment with the adviser to develop a graduate plan of study and to forecast courses necessary for the completion of the degree. Courses intended to be used for “professional development credits” (ED 900s) cannot be included in the graduate plan of study.

E. Have a state-approved background check for working in P-12 schools.

Degree Requirements

A. Complete the graduate plan of study with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

B. Complete a graduate research project or a thesis as part of either ED 500 or ED 599. (Guidelines for the graduate research project are available in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service.)

C. Complete the graduate plan of study in accordance with the requirements for master’s degree in the Academic Standards and Policies section of this Graduate Bulletin as well as in accordance with the appropriate program description in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service section of the Bulletin.

Students may be denied admission, or they may be dismissed from a graduate program or internship/practicum in education if they demonstrate a lack of professional competence and effectiveness as an educator or fail to perform course work effectively.

Students may also be denied admission or dismissed if convicted of immoral conduct contributing to the delinquency or endangering the health and well-being of a child or of felonies that include involvement with drugs or controlled substances, pornographic materials, criminal sexual conduct, wrongful entry, larceny, embezzlement, stolen property, perjury, bribery, graft, forgery, counterfeiting, smuggling or fraud.

The departmental graduate review committee reviews the qualifications of all questionable students and may require them to undergo further examination to make a final determination.

Master of Arts in Education Degree Programs

Program Design

The School of Education, Leadership and Public Service offers exemplary programs for the education of teachers and principals. Six basic curricula lead to a master of arts in education (MAE) degree:

  • Education Administration: Administration and Supervision
  • Education Administration: American Indian Education Administration and Supervision
  • Instruction
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Reading K-8
  • Reading Specialist K-12

Students also have the option of pursuing an endorsement in learning disabilities or reading, both of which can ladder into a master's degree.

These programs incorporate the philosophy and objectives of the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service and follow course requirements in some or all of the following general areas:

  • Foundations of Education
  • Research
  • Area of Concentration
  • Cognates

Foundations of Education

Courses in foundations of education provide information and skills to assist practitioners in developing instructional strategies based on sound theory. Since educational theory derives from both the humanities and the behavioral sciences, cognitive insights and methods from history, philosophy, sociology and psychology underlie the foundations component. Unless otherwise specified, the following foundation courses are required:

ED 506 Cultural Foundations of Education I (3 credits)

ED 507 Cultural Foundations of Education II (3 credits)


The research component of all master of arts in education degrees consists of the following courses:

ED 500 Educational Research (3 credits)

ED 574 Seminar in Educational Research (2 credits) or

ED 599A Thesis (2-8 credits)

Area of Concentration

Courses in the area of concentration provide the specialized knowledge base and experience to facilitate informed and wise practice as professional educators and educational leaders. Courses not specifically designated will be selected in consultation with the adviser.


Cognate courses expand the professional knowledge base of the area of concentration. Unless otherwise specified, cognate courses will be selected in consultation with the adviser.

Public Administration

The master of public administration (MPA) degree is designed for both in-service and pre-service students. MPA students will expand their theoretical understanding of the field of public administration and develop essential competency in basic methodological and technical areas. Students also select a concentration in a sub-field that will advance their career expertise. The program offers concentrations in the areas of criminal justice administration, human resource administration, state and local government, and public management.

The MPA is housed in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. In addition, courses from other departments augment the core requirements. This interdisciplinary approach to graduate education enables MPA students to benefit from the numerous areas of expertise and diverse perspectives represented throughout the university.

MPA Program Requirements

Students must satisfy the designated core requirements, area of concentration, electives, and complete either a thesis or portfolio.

Pre-service students (those without one year of prior relevant work experience) are required to enroll in a public administration internship. In-service students (those with one or more years of prior relevant work experience) may request exemption from the internship requirement.

Students must submit two approved file papers, and pass a written and oral comprehensive examination prior to graduation.

MPA Admissions Requirements

Applicants are required to comply with the regular admission requirements of the Office of Graduate Education. In addition:

  1. MPA applicants must also have at least a 3.00 undergraduate GPA or a 3.00 GPA based on 12 or more semester hours of graduate work.
  2. Applicants must submit an essay explaining how the MPA will assist in the advancement of their goals.
  3. Submit scores from the GRE.

It is recommended that you contact the program coordinator for the most current program and application information prior to submitting the materials for the Masters of Public Administration.

Application materials are reviewed by the MPA director and a two-person faculty graduate screening committee.

Conditional admission will be granted to students with an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 - 3.00. Students granted conditional admission must receive a minimum grade of “B” (3.00) in each of their first three courses after admission to the program.

Applications are accepted throughout the year.

MPA Prerequisites

Students should have a basic understanding of American government, familiarity with economic analysis and basic mathematical skills. In addition, some courses may require prerequisite work. The MPA director will review each student’s transcripts and record of previous work experience in determining which prerequisites will be required.

MPA Professional Experience

Up to four credits of requirements may be waived in recognition of prior, relevant professional work experience in a particular subject area. The director of the graduate program in public administration and one faculty member will review requests for professional experience credit and make appropriate recommendations to the assistant provost of graduate education. The request will include a detailed job description, an employer’s evaluation of the employee’s performance, and a student essay describing how his/her work experiences provided knowledge that would have been gained in the designated course.

MPA Thesis or Portfolio Option

Each student will need to work with the MPA director to identify the appropriate option for their individual educational and professional goals. 


Students who choose the thesis option will be required to sign up for 6 credit hours of thesis credit and AIS 435 instead of elective hours.  Students who choose the thesis option do not have to take PS 592.The thesis can be used as evidence of one’s ability to carry out successfully in-depth research. Students are expected to follow the Office of Graduate Education thesis guidelines when writing their thesis. 


To fulfill this requirement, students must complete a portfolio of superior quality, and make a presentation based on its contents to a three person faculty review committee. This committee will evaluate both the portfolio itself and the presentation. The presentation should be scheduled for one hour. During that hour students are expected to make a presentation centered on their portfolio for no longer than 15-20 minutes. The rest of the hour will be devoted to a question and answer exchange between faculty members and the student.

The portfolio is designed to accomplish at least three fundamental things. First, it indicates students are capable of master’s level research and writing. Second, it indicates mastery of important professional skills (e.g., quantitative analysis or strategic management). Third, the portfolio should demonstrate students’ professional growth and development over the span of the MPA program. The student will work with the MPA director to develop his or her portfolio.

MPA Plan of Study

Students will consult with the program director to outline their course of study and select appropriate courses. A plan of study using CAPP degree evaluation will be created to meet program requirements.

Certification Program
Education Specialist Program
Endorsement Programs
Graduate Certificate Program
Master of Arts in Education Programs
Master of Public Administration Programs