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Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (ELPS) Program Data & Outcomes

Guiding Principles

University of Richmond Mission and Values

The mission of the University of Richmond is to sustain a collaborative learning and research community that supports the personal development of its members and the creation of new knowledge. A Richmond education prepares students to live lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a global and pluralistic society.

School of Professional and Continuing Studies Mission and Values

The mission of SPCS is to enrich lives and careers. We do this by opening our students' minds to new ways of thinking and living, fostering a lifelong thirst for personal and professional growth and offering ongoing support to students and alumni through the development of their careers. We deliver exceptional educational programs; engage passionate faculty and staff; and provide world-class support services.

Mission and Goals of the Graduate Program in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

The mission of the Master’s of Education and Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate Programs is to provide advanced study for licensed teachers and aspiring leaders that focuses on the development of curricular and instructional leaders. We believe the preparation of competent, qualified, caring and effective educational leaders who are skilled decision-makers as a goal for our program.

In working toward the fulfillment of our mission and goal, we adhere to the following beliefs:

  1. We believe the purpose of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) program is to develop effective school leaders by combining teaching of leadership theory with practical application.
  2. We believe that the best practices in teaching and learning occur through rigorous research, reflection, assessment, and critical thinking.
  3. We believe that ELPS candidates should be prepared to apply deep and broad content knowledge through multiple pedagogies in diverse settings while demonstrating a commitment to professionalism.
  4. We believe that the ELPS program should lead to the personal growth of candidates from a wide range of backgrounds (racial, ethnic, religious, geographical, socio-economic, etc.) that ultimately will benefit the diverse student population they will serve.  
  5. We believe the ELPS program should recognize and honor the individuality of people, variations in developmental levels, and cultural diversity.  Facilitation of the growth of individuals necessitates addressing both their common needs and issues, and their individual differences.
  6. We believe it is important for ELPS candidates to develop a diverse range of skills and knowledge and to formulate their own approach to instructional and school leadership through promising practices.
  7. We believe that ELPS graduates should be caring, understanding, and able to see the importance of relationships and trust in others in the development of school leaders.

Demographic and Outcome Data for the ELPS Program

Between 2010 and December 2015, 185 students enrolled in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program. Forty percent (74 total) enrolled in the master’s program while 60% (111 total) were post-master’s certificate students. See Table 1.

Table 1. ELPS Program Participants by Category, 2010 – December 2015

Classification Number Percentage
Master’s Degree 74 40%
Post-Master’s Certificate 111 60%
Totals 185 100%

Between 2010 and December 2015, 185 students enrolled in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program. Of these students, 22.7% (42 total) were male and 77.3% (143 total) were female. See Table 2.

Table 2. ELPS Program Participants by Gender, 2010 – December 2015

Gender Number Percentage
Male 42 22.7%
Female 143 77.3%
Totals 185 100%

We are confident in the professional preparation and qualifications of our ELPS graduates. The School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) is required by the state of Virginia as one required component for licensure. Of the students who have taken the assessment through May 2016 and reported their scores to University of Richmond, 93.7% have passed the test with a mean score of 183 and a median score of 183.5. A passing score in Virginia is 163 of 200. The national median score in 2015 was 176. See Table 3.

Table 3. ELPS Professionally Qualified Educational Leaders – SLLA Scores through May 2016

Reported Scores % Passing Mean Median National Median
63 93.7% 183 183.5 176

The School Leaders Licensure Assessment was “developed to provide thorough, fair and carefully validated assessments for states to use as part of the licensure process for principals, superintendents and school leaders. The test reflects the most current research on professional judgment and experience of educators across the country. They are based on both national job analysis studies and a set of standards for school leaders identified by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC)” (source:

By December 2015, 88 students graduated from the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program (master’s and post-master’s certificate). The mean GPA for these students at graduation was 3.79 on a 4.0 scale. See Table 4.

Table 4. ELPS Graduates – Concluding GPA

Measurement Source Number Mean GPA
Concluding GPA 88 3.79

By December 2015, 88 students graduated from the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program (with a master’s or post-master’s certificate). To qualify for graduation, students are required to pass a comprehensive examination that reviews all course content. 100% of the 88 graduating students passed the capstone comprehensive examination, 23.9% (21 total) with a designation of Passed with Distinction due to exemplary performance on the comprehensive examination. See Table 5.

Table 5. ELPS Graduates (M.Ed. & Post-Master’s Certificate) – Comprehensive Exam Scores, 2010 – December 2015

Graduates Earned Standard Passing Score % Pass Earned Pass with Distinction Score % Pass with Distinction
88 67 76.1% 21 23.9%

See what our students and faculty have been up to in their professional roles in the Graduate Education Newsletter.

Contact Us

Graduate Education Program
Professional & Continuing Studies
North Court
421 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173

Phone: (804) 289-8427