MA, Emancipatory Leadership for Schools

Emancipatory Leadership for Schools

The SJSU Connie L. Lurie College of Education’s Master's in Emancipatory Leadership for Schools (MELS) is designed for emerging K-12 school leaders who wish to engage with emancipatory leadership practices to improve educational opportunities for historically marginalized students. This program will prepare school leaders through deep engagement with research and practice through applied consulting on living case studies.

Emancipatory school leadership approaches create organizational cultures to reflect the diversity of experience and knowledge within school communities through collaborative approaches to deconstruct power systems, challenge inequitable practices and policies, and cultivate community cultural wealth.


Program Structure

This new Master’s Degree is targeted to begin in Summer 2020 and designed to work in partnership with county LEAP programs to build upon the skills LEAP graduates bring to school settings. The program contains the following features:

  • Part-time, 30 units
  • 14-month program (summer, fall, spring, summer)
  • Hybrid model with courses taught in-person and online
  • Students will be admitted as a cohort to enhance their success through collaborative problem posing approaches to leadership development.


Admission Requirements

  1. Demonstrated commitment to equity and justice in K-12 education
  2. BA or BS
  3. 3+ years of experience working with K-12 schools
  4. CSU online application
  5. SJSU MELS application
  6. Nomination from a school leader
  7. SJSU MELS interview


Course Units

This program consists of 30 units of coursework. Students who have completed the CalAPA will be able to transfer 12 units of coursework and will take the remaining 18 units at SJSU’s Lurie College of Education. Students who have not completed the CalAPA will be able to take MA courses as a specialization in an area of interest that is related to educational leadership (e.g. Literacy - Instructional Leadership).


Course Descriptions


Take the Next Steps

  1. Contact Rebeca Burciaga, Associate Professor in the Lurie College of Education Department of Educational Leadership, at to make her aware of your interest.
  2. Apply for the MELS program via Cal State Apply (Application coming soon)