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Stand Out in Your Field


Our Educational Specialist (EdS) Director of Special Education Licensure

Effective school administrators can make a tremendous difference in the lives of others. The University of St. Thomas Administrative Licensure program is committed to providing you with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to thrive in an increasingly challenging environment for educational leaders.  With a focus on social justice, our program is guided by current practitioners in the field, as well as award-winning educators and leaders.

Our administrative licensure programs are here to help you meet the demands of educational leadership during and after the pandemic. Hear from one of our expert faculty about leading during a pandemic. The School of Education also co-founded the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed Education (MITIE) to develop, support, and advance the field of trauma-informed and trauma-engaged education. The Institute seeks to provide an arena for scholars, practitioners, and researchers to convene and learn about the latest practices in trauma-informed education.

Because our degree is designed for busy working professionals, classes are typically held online or one evening per week and occasional on Saturdays. This program is designed for individuals with a master's degree in educational leadership looking to fulfill required competencies for a Director of Special Education licensure. See the Education Specialist and Administrative Licensures flyer.


Where you'll learn:

All courses are offered in a co-flex model (classes in person and Zoom).

When to start:

Fall semester


Headshot of Steven Liss

Steven Liss

Steven Liss is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Georgetown University Law Center. Before moving to Minnesota, he clerked on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and spent five years practicing law in the District of Columbia, representing individuals and unions in civil rights litigation.

Close-up of Dr. Jean Pierre Bongila

Dr. Jean Pierre Bongila

Dr. Jean-Pierre Bongila, Ed.D, is the founding and current director of the International Leadership Program (MA, Certificate & Doctorate concentration) at the University of St. Thomas within the department of Leadership, Policy and Administration (LPA) which he joined in 2006.

Dr. Jean Pierre Bongila
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Beth Russell

Dr. Beth Russell has served as a clinical practicum advisor for the past 3 years and has held a position on the final portfolio presentation panels for both St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota. Dr. Russell is a certified trainer for school leaders through the National Institute of School Leaders (NISL-Washington DC) and the Institute for Learning (University of Pittsburgh).