MA, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership

The SJSU Connie L. Lurie College of Education’s Master's in Educational Leadership, Concentration in Emancipatory K12 School Leadership 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 K12 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 Overview

This new Master’s Degree is 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:

  • Official program name: MA, Educational Leadership, Concentration in Emancipatory K12 School Leadership
  • Format: We follow a hybrid model where all program courses are taught synchronously online during the weekdays with 1-2 in-person Saturday classes at SJSU per term. 
  • Units: 30 units
  • Start date: Summer
  • Program length: 14-month program (summer, fall, spring, summer)
  • Application deadline: April 17th, 2023
  • Cost: Depending upon eligible credit transfer and course taking patterns, the current cost of the program ranges between $12,000-$15,000
  • Scholarship: Limited $1,000 scholarships for accepted students who appy by March 1, 2023! 

Initial Eligibility and Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any major/discipline
  • Three (3) years of successful, full-time experience in public, private, or charter schools
  • Nomination/recommendation from a school leader

Curriculum and Roadmaps

This program consists of 30 units of coursework. Students who have completed the CalAPA/PASC will be able to transfer 12 units of coursework and will take the remaining 18 units at SJSU’s Lurie College of Education. Applicants who have not completed the CalAPA/PASC can enroll in our individualized program and take an additional 12 units across the university or possibly transfer in graduate level coursework. Descriptions of the required courses and the program roadmap are available on the SJSU Catalog website.

Upcoming Info Sessions

There are currently no information sessions scheduled. For more information regarding the program, please contact

Steps to Apply

Step 1 | Notify Our Department

Contact Dr. Rebeca Burciaga, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership Program Coordinator, at to make her aware of your interest.

Step 2 | Complete the Cal State Apply application online

  • Summer 2023 application deadline: April 17, 2023
  • Program name: Educational Leadership, Concentration in Emancipatory School Leadership, MA
  • Before beginning the application for CSU apply, please be prepared to upload all required documents: 
    • Unofficial Transcripts | Upload a PDF copy from each university/college attended
    • Resume | Upload a PDF or Word version of your most recent resume
    • Three (3) Recommendations | Provide only names and titles on our application form - a school leader, a faculty member, and a colleague who are recommending you.
        • A recommendation form from a school leader.
        • A recommendation form from one of your faculty members in your Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program. If you took the test, please use this opportunity to request a recommendation form from a second school leader.
        • A recommendation form from a colleague that speaks to your collaboration with family and school communities.
    • PASC Memo | If applicable, provide a PDF memo from a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) program reflecting completion or near completion of the credential.
    • Verification Memo | Upload a PDF memo from a supervisor verifying a minimum of three years of successful, full-time experience in public, private, or charter schools
    • Written Portion | Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which people deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world (Freire, p.16, 1970). The Lurie College of Education Emancipatory School Leadership Program is grounded in critical research and practices that highlight the emancipatory effects of culturally sustaining and participatory approaches to school leadership. We are excited to learn more about the insights and experiences you would bring to our learning community. Please answer the following questions within 4 pages of a double-spaced document and upload as a PDF.
        • Why are you interested in the Emancipatory School Leadership Program?
        • Describe your most difficult school-related challenge and how you plan to address it.
        • How might a MA degree in Emancipatory School Leadership benefit you/others/schools in the future?
        • Is there anything else you would like to share?
  • Official transcripts can be sent either by mail or by email. If your university offers official electronic transcripts, you can email them to Hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:
Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations
San José State University 
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0017

Applicants whose files are complete will be invited to an interview to finalize the application process.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Dr. Rebeca Burciaga, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership Program Coordinator, at

Current Students' Spotify Playlist

We asked students from our current MA cohort to share songs that help them resist and/or recover and added them to a playlist on our SJSU Lurie College of Education Spotify account. Give them a listen below.