Welcome to the Home Page for the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program (ELPS). The Mission Statement clarifies our beliefs, and the links on the left provide you details on degree and licensure possibilities.

We are pleased to offer the following educational programs on campus and in a variety of locations and hybrid/online formats to prepare educational leaders across the state and nation. In addition to our on-going Denver Masters cohort that includes educators from the Cherry Creek, Douglas County, and Littleton School Districts), we also begin new cohorts every two years at locations throughout Colorado. Please contact the ELPS office to find out when and where new cohorts will be offered or to request consideration as a site for a new program cohort.

Our Masters of Arts (MA), Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), and Educational Doctorate (Ed.D.) degrees are designed to expand the skills and knowledge of educational leaders at all levels, P-12. Our Principal and Administrator (Superintendent) licensure programs can easily be combined with any of the three degree programs, as well, to further expand your career and leadership opportunities. In our doctoral program, we strive to build participants’ research skills and their ability to use research to improve educational opportunities and achievement for all children. Doctoral program completers are prepared to assume a variety of positions in P-12 educational organizations, policy and research organizations, and universities.

We have recently added several other venues for educators to increase their leadership abilities. These include the following:

  • A Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration. This 39 credit-hour program leads to dual licensure as a principal and special education director. Course requirements include the following: ELPS 601, ELPS 603, ELPS 604, ELPSE 606, ELPS 650, ELPS 654, ELPS 660, ELPS 670, EDSE 680, EDSE 681, EDSE 718, EDSE 730, and SRM 600.
  • A Teacher Leadership Certificate is a 16 credit hour program designed to support teachers’ efforts to improve teaching and learning in school settings. Participants take four courses organized to broaden their perspectives of leadership and ability to engage in collaborative leadership with peers, community, and administrators. The program consists of ELPS 601, Educational Leadership Through Inquiry; ELPS 603, Shaping Organizations; ELPS 604, Understanding People; and ELPS 654, Instructional Leadership and Supervision, as well as a one-credit field internship embedded in each course to assure authentic engagement and real-life applications in participants’ home school settings. The course work in this one year program can also be applied to the principal licensure program.
  • A Doctoral Minor which consists of 15 credit hours of ELPS coursework. Program faculty will work with students to select courses that will support individual’s career goals.
  • The Native American Innovative Leadership (NAIL) program is a hybrid online Interdisciplinary Masters program with dual licensure (as described above) that specifically addresses the challenges and assets of schools serving Native American youths and their communities in a culturally responsive context. Cohorts are formed based on enrollment or are integrated into an on-going online cohort. For more information, please visit the NAIL website at or contact the NAIL Program Coordinator, Linda R. Vogel at (970-351-2119).
  • "An Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration includes the same course work and dual licensure as listed above for the Interdisciplinary Masters Degree program but requires an advanced research course in place of SRM 600 listed above.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us using the link “Contact Us” on the left side of your screen.

Location: ELPS, Campus Box 103, McKee Hall, Room 418, UNC, Greeley CO, 80639
Phone: (970) 351-2861

Comprehensive Exam

The ELPS Masters and Education Specialist comprehensive exams are both take-home assessments and should be completed by students during their last semester of course work. The comprehensive exam descriptions and instructions are available under the Forms tab at left. Students need to complete a permission to take the comprehensive exam form (also available under the Forms tab at left) and turn it in to Tansi Hayes at least six weeks prior to the due date of the exam. An informational session will be held five weeks before the exams are due to answer student question and students can also contact their advisors with any questions pertaining to the exam. Due dates for the comprehensive exam are as follows:

  • Spring Semester - Third Monday in March
  • Summer Semester - Third Monday in June
  • Fall Semester - Third Monday in October

Please contact Tansi Hayes at or 970-351-3161 or your advisor for more information and the date of the informational session.

About Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS)

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) - earning a Masters, Educational Specialist, or Doctor of Education degree, or pursuing an Administrator/Principal License will enable you to develop the vision and skills to successfully lead educational organizations. The Teacher Leadership Certificate and Doctoral Minor options allow individuals the opportunity to develop their leadership knowledge, skills, and awareness of opportunities to initiate and support positive educational change while in a classroom or in a variety of organizations and positions across disciplines.

ELPS Master Schedule of Classes

This Master Schedule (in PDF version) provides a list of tentative ELPS-prefix course offerings through Spring 2020, thus enabling students to create a plan of studies.

Welcome from the Coordinator, Dr. Linda R. Vogel

Thank you for visiting the web site for the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado! The ELPS Program offers degrees at the master's, educational specialist, and doctoral levels and includes learning experiences to meet state standards for the Principal and Administrator Licenses. Our Teacher Leadership Certificate program and Doctoral Minor develop leadership capacity while providing for great flexibility in career goals. We are dedicated to culturally responsive teaching and leadership in all of our programs, including our Native American Innovative Leadership program.

We are fortunate to have a collaborative learning environment that emphasizes learning, teaching, and collegiality. Our faculty has a great deal of practical experience at all educational leadership levels to fully support and develop your leadership skills. We are dedicated to serving our students and ensuring their ability to lead positive change in the educational environment of their choice to improve the learning, achievement, and lives of children and communities.

Our program has been nationally ranked in recent years by U.S. News and World Report and is nationally accredited by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC)/NCATE.  The University of Northern Colorado is also a member of the University Council for Educational Administration which is the leading national association for the preparation of educational leaders and offers many networking possibilities to our graduates.

Please stop by and visit us on the UNC campus in Greeley. If you have any questions about the program, please email We look forward to hearing from you!