Native American Innovative Leadership (NAIL)—
Educational Leadership & Special Education
Administration Interdisciplinary MA/EdS w/ Licensure
A Native-Focused Graduate Program with Dual Licensure
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The Native American Innovative Leadership (NAIL) program is an Educational Leadership & Special Education Administration Interdisciplinary degree with dual licensure as a Principal and Special Education Director. This program can be taken as either a Master of Arts (MA) or Educational Specialist (EdS) degree. The NAIL program is 39 credit hours that prepare educators to successfully lead high-achieving, culturally-responsive schools, particularly those serving Native American youths and communities.
The online delivery allows participants to remain in their schools and communities while completing an advanced degree that will open a variety of doors to career advancement through the development of leadership skills and knowledge that will help create positive change.
The course content addresses how educational leaders can develop a learning environment and effective teaching practices that honor Native culture and language, and also help Native students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful and happy individuals as adults.
This program is a collaborative effort of faculty and staff from the departments of special education, educational leadership, and UNC's Native American Student Services (NASS), run through the support of the UNC Office of Extended Studies.
This program utilizes a collaboration of coursework from multiple departments, which allows us to admit and begin serving students any academic term.
We encourage you to visit the NAIL program website for additional information including
- Program faculty and staff details
- Detailed application instructions
Contact the Academic Program Coordinator
NAIL Academic Program Coordinator
Linda Vogel, Ph.D.
Course of Study
This program is 39 credit hours, which can be completed online in as few as 8 academic terms (less than 3 years). Native American Innovative Leadership (NAIL) students will earn dual licensure as a Principal and Special Education Director, and either an MA or Ed.S. degree (see Admission Requirements section).
Participants must enroll in a minimum of 3 credit hours per semester and maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. to remain in the program (those receiving various financial aid may need to maintain 9 hours for any term in which they are receiving aid – nine credit hours are offered each term). Program must be completed within five years from beginning the first course.
Required Coursework (See Upcoming Courses)
Educational Leadership Courses (21 Credit Hours)
- ELPS 601 Leadership Development Through Inquiry (3)
- ELPS 603 Shaping Organizations: Management and Leadership in Education (3)
- ELPS 604 Understanding People: Professional Development and Educational Leadership (3)
- ELPS 650 School Finance and Budgeting (3)
- ELPS 654 Instructional Leadership and Supervision (3)
- ELPS 660 Law and the Administrator (3)
- ELPS 670 The Principalship: Leadership at the School Site Level (3)
Special Education Administration Courses (9 Credit Hours)
- EDSE 680 Administration & Evaluation of Special Ed (3)
- EDSE 681 Administrative Planning & Program Evaluation in Special Ed (3)
- EDSE 718 Advanced Seminar in Education of Students with Hearing and/or Visual Handicaps (3)
Research (3 Hours)
- Master of Arts (M.A.) degree students – SRM 600 Introduction to Graduate Research (3)
- Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) students – SRM 670 Evaluation: Models & Designs (3)
Field-Based Learning (6 Credit Hours)
- ELPS 606 Internship in Educational Leadership (3)
- EDSE 730 Externship in Exceptionalities (3)
For completion of these courses, participants must complete a minimum of 360 clock hours of internship experiences (internships also contribute to acquired credit hours) to earn a Colorado Principal Licensure. Note: this program will prepare graduates for Principal Licensure in Colorado. Residents of other states may be eligible for reciprocal recognition or your advisor will work with you on state-specific licensure requirement needs.
Internship experiences for course credit will be completed by participants in their home schools to expand their leadership in their current school context, and you will be encouraged to dialogue with practicing Native American educators who can serve as mentors. The coursework uses materials that specifically address Native American student learning styles, language, and culture to increase the instructional leadership capabilities of participants. An emphasis is placed on balancing Native and non-Native learning expectations, building upon cultural assets, and maximizing parental and community involvement to support student achievement.
Participants must earn a passing grade on a Comprehensive Exam in the final semester of their program of study. The exam will be in essay format and ask participants to apply the knowledge they have gained in their coursework to practical leadership situations.
Admission Requirements and Transfer Credit
The program is open to all Native American educators who have completed at least one year of teaching, or one year of service as a school counselor or psychologist, and who are interested in assuming a school leadership role. As space in cohorts permit, non-Native educators who currently teach in reservation schools may also be admitted. A valid teaching certificate is required for eligibility for Principal or Special Education Director Licensure.
- Master of Arts (MA) Applicants: must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and have a grade point of 3.0 or better on the most recent 60 semester hours.
- Educational Specialist (EdS) Applicants: must have a baccalaureate degree and a master’s degree, each from an accredited college or university, with a 3.0 grade point average or better (4.0 scale) for the master's degree.
Eligibility by State
UNC has secured approval from almost every state, as required by new federal regulations, so that students are eligible to apply to online programs at UNC. However we are unable to accept applications at this time for our online programs from students residing in a few select states because their requirements, particularly application fees, for such approval are prohibitive. Please verify your Eligibility by State before applying.
Note: All international students residing outside of the United States are eligible to apply to our online programs. Students attending online while residing outside of the United States do not need student visas for admission.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who may need accommodations should contact the Disability Support Center at http://www.unco.edu/dss or (970) 351-2289 (Voice, TTY) as soon as possible at the start of a course to ensure that accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.
A maximum of 9 hours of coursework completed outside of the NAIL program may be accepted for transfer credit upon review of the syllabi from the courses by program faculty. In order for credits to be accepted toward a degree they must be graduate level credits, be approved by the Academic Advisor, and have a grade of A or B. Once approved by the advisor, students must complete a Petition to Count Work in a Degree Program to have the credit approved by the Grad School. All work counted in a degree program must be within five years for a master's degree and six years for a specialist degree. The time limit is calculated from the beginning of the first class transferred in and counted in the degree program.
Tuition, Financial Aid and Health Insurance
This program is offered through the UNC Office of Extended Studies, which means a flat per-credit tuition rate for all students in the program. There are no student fees. Certain courses may carry specific course fees for additional services and materials.
Tuition rates are set each academic year (which begin each Fall semester). The tuition rate for the 2013-14 school year for this program is $507 per credit hour.
—Available Scholarships for This Program—
For assistance with tuition and other program costs, prospective students are encouraged to apply to:
American Indian Graduate Center
Visit http://www.aigcs.org/Scholarships.aspx or call (505) 881-4584 or (800) 628-1920.
American Indian Education Foundation
Visit http://www.nrcprograms.org/site/PageServer?pagename=aief_grad_scholarshipapplication or call (866) 866-8642.
For scholarships requiring full-time enrollment, participants can enroll in additional internship hours which will expand their leadership preparation experiences.
—Federal Financial Aid—
Students who cannot pay for tuition alone are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA priority filing date for each academic year (which begins each August) is March 1. Late submissions of the FAFSA are still accepted but may not be considered for the maximum amount of aid.
Master’s and specialist degree students require a minimum of 5 credits per academic term for financial aid eligibility. Full time enrollment is based on 9 credits.
To apply for federal financial aid assistance
Fill out the FAFSA form at www.fafsa.ed.gov/
Extended Studies degree seeking students may contact Aimee Rogers in Financial Aid for more specific help at (970) 351-2502 or visit UNC Financial Aid website.
Students can also find information in the Guide to Federal Student Aid at studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/student_guide/index.html
Student Health Insurance
The University of Northern Colorado offers a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) to all degree-seeking students who enroll in courses on our main UNC Campus, an Extended Studies Center or Online.
Degree-seeking graduate students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours will automatically receive this benefit each term. SHIP premiums will appear on your semester bill. If you have comparable insurance coverage, and do not want to be charged for SHIP coverage, you must opt out of this plan each Fall via an online waiver process.
Please visit www.unco.edu/ship for more information about the insurance plan.
The Native American Innovative Leadership (NAIL) online program is officially listed in the UNC application and catalog as:
- Master of Arts Applicants – choose Graduate Interdisciplinary Degree Program - MA (NAIL) on the online application.
- Educational Specialist Applicants – choose Educational Leadership & Special Education Administration - EdS on the application.
The NAIL program accepts applications all year. This program utilizes a collaboration of coursework from multiple departments, which allows us to admit and begin serving students any academic term.
The application process and necessary forms are available on the NAIL Program website Admissions Page.