MBA in Education Leadership

  • Overview
  • Program Details
  • Curriculum
  • MBA EL Events

The MBA in Education Leadership program prepares leaders to become outstanding principals and school leaders. It combines education leadership with a business/entrepreneurial mindset – for those ready to enact transformational change at the individual, school and district level. This is a different kind of program for a different kind of leader.

 Teacher with young students 

Building Leaders and Transforming Education

The right candidate for the MSOE MBA in Education Leadership program is committed to improving student achievement and has been identified as a high-potential leader. He or she is ready for the next step and wants to learn about being an administrator through a different lens.

The program develops best business practices including vision setting, finance and project management. It provides opportunities for practical applications of these skills outside of the classroom, and places a focus on the values that help leaders develop strong character among their students, colleagues and the greater community. The MBA in Education Leadership program helps transform educators into motivated and influential community builders.

50 Percent More

Program Benefits

  • This program will set you apart from other school administrator candidates and leave you equipped to lead or manage in a school or district.
  • You will learn how to take on system-wide challenges, equipped with the practical business skills school leaders need to succeed.
  • The unique curriculum is centered on a rigorous MBA tailored to aspiring school leaders.
  • The program is offered on a convenient, part-time basis, enabling students to work in their school districts as they attend classes two Saturdays per month.
  • The program follows a cohort model that begins in July or January and can be completed in just 16 months.
  • Upon successful completion of the MBA in Education Leadership program, qualified candidates are eligible for Wisconsin principal licensure.
  • Students who work in a rural district and reside two or more hours from MSOE will receive free hotel accommodations near campus each Friday night before class.

Who Should Apply

  • Teachers, principals and vice principals who aspire to transform their skills as highly effective leaders.
  • Individuals who are ready to encourage change and adopt a philosophy that transforms the traditional path to education leadership.
  • K – 12 educators with a minimum of three years of successful, full-time classroom teaching experience, who are looking to become school principals.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the MBA in Education Leadership program must meet MSOE general requirements for graduate study in addition to the program-specific requirement. All applicants for the MBA in Education leadership program must:

  1. Have earned an undergraduate degree completed at an accredited institution.
  2. Have completed a Wisconsin DPI-approved educator preparation program, or a Wisconsin approved educator preparation program in another state or country.
  3. Hold, or be eligible to hold, a Professional Educator License in teaching or pupil services.
  4. Have three years of successful, full-time classroom teaching experience, or three years of successful experience as pupil services professional including 540 hours of classroom teaching experience.
  5. Submit two letters of recommendation from former employers or supervisors who can describe the candidate’s leadership potential

Financial Aid

All MSOE graduate students are eligible to apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. If you are employed, we recommend that you speak with your employer about tuition reimbursement assistance. Most of MSOE’s graduate students are employed full-time and more than 70 percent receive employer tuition support.

The MBA in Education Leadership program is the only program that goes beyond teaching theory to teach best practices in business. Additionally, it places a systemic focus on character development to build a path to success for today’s students – in and out of the classroom.

The program combines a rigorous Master of Business Administration with a unique curriculum tailored to school principals and aspiring school leaders. It starts a transformation that gives students a practical application of best practices from the business sector that translate to the social sector with authentic, project-based coursework.

Program Objectives

As educators and school leaders, graduates of the MBA in Education Leadership program will be able to accomplish the following within three to five years of program completion:

  • Rise to significant leadership positions in PK-12 education.
  • Direct innovative educational initiatives and formulate policies using sound analytical skills and evidence-based practice.
  • Lead educational change and raise the achievement of all students, with a particular focus on eliminating and preventing the global achievement gap in PK-12 education.
  • Demonstrate ongoing development and integration of effective leadership traits and ethical principles.
  • Build and sustain relationships among diverse constituents, stakeholders and policymakers who foster a culture that improves student achievement.
  • Design and establish systemic processes, protocols and technologies to develop and empower high-performance teams and teachers.
  • Influence and enact Wisconsin school laws and education policies to enhance the learning environment.

Student Outcomes

Upon program completion, graduates will possess the knowledge and skills to lead transformational change within their schools and districts. Student outcomes focus on two key themes within the program: elimination of the global achievement gap and character formation. All program graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding and competency in teacher standards.
  • Lead by facilitating the development, articulation and implementation of a vision of learning.
  • Lead by advocating, nurturing and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and character development.
  • Ensure management of the organization, operations, finances and resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment.
  • Collaborate with families and community members.
  • Act with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner that models strong character for the school and the community.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural contexts that impact schools and learning.
  • Apply evidence-based leadership practices to identify and resolve barriers to student achievement.
  • Identify, develop and sustain a school and community culture that supports ethics and character formation.

The MBA in Education Leadership program develops leaders who can teach, lead through business best practices and instruct both inside and outside of the textbook and classroom. Program participants will develop the skills needed for effective vision setting, planning and practical execution.


The MBA in Education Leadership curriculum is based on course modules that integrate new knowledge transfer, application and performance both in a classroom and field setting. The courses included in the curriculum are:

  • MB 6000 – Distributed Leadership for Effective Organizations 4 credits
    • Understand the role a leader plays in an organizational setting, including application of theories for organization, organization behavior and organizational change, and how to implement the process of distributed leadership in complex organizations. Learn how to overcome common challenges, lead people, communicate with, and convince stakeholders and develop vision and mission.
  • MB 6010 – Leadership and the Global Achievement Gap 4 credits
    • Learn from studies addressing the K-12 global achievement gap, and understand contributing factors and how to make changes in the U.S. educational system to eliminate that gap while improving achievement for all students. Learn how to expand personal leadership development plans and skills.
  • MB 6100 – Statistical Thinking and Data Analytics 4 credits
    • Learn the value of using statistics and data analysis to support decision-making, and formulate and answer questions. Identify and manage legitimate sources of data, developing the ability to assess data quality, extract meaningful data from large data-sets, and design/use description and predictive models for actionable insights.
  • MB 6200 – Creating Financial Intelligence 4 credits
    • Explore key financial concepts, identify financial decisions organizations must face, and learn to analyze an organization’s status and health using financial tools and techniques. Master methods used in the public and private sector; organizational budget programming and processing, evaluation of spending proposals, and strategic and organization financial planning.
  • MB 6600 – Developing and Leveraging Human Capital 4 credits
    • Identify, recruit, select, hire, orient, evaluate and develop the talent needed to drive organizational success. Explore current and emerging trends in strategic human resources and understand a variety of employee compensation and benefit models, assessing their impacts on employee performance and retention.
  • MB 6900 – Project Management for Leading Change 4 credits
    • Develop and nurture the skills needed to form and lead high-performing teams and manage successful projects through authentic project leadership experiences students plan and execute. Learn how to improve team performance and project success.
  • MB 6950 – Facilitating Change in Complex Systems 4 credits
    • Review theories of change applicable to complex organizations and understand the principals of managing effective change as a well-orchestrated process. Learn a variety of organizational intervention strategies with both evolutionary and revolutionary approaches to organizational change.
  • MB 7500 – Building Value Through Process and Technology 4 credits
    • Examine both core operational processes and technologies that enable an organization to achieve its objectives. Learn how to evaluate, acquire and deploy new technologies with a process analysis, lean tools and techniques that enhance organizational performance.
  • MB 7700 – Maximizing Stakeholder Relationships 4 credits
    • Learn the major elements of marketing and the marketing planning process, including a focus on identifying and addressing customer and stakeholder needs. Design a marketing plan including market segmentation, target markets and a mix of tactics. Understand your organization’s voice, your customer’s needs and the competitive landscape.
  • MB 7800 – Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship 4 credits
    • Design a global strategy that to learn how to help an organization turn the world into the most important source of capabilities and innovation, not just a source of markets or lower factor costs. Learn how to achieve and sustain superior performance, innovate and move innovation forward to market.
  • MB 8100 – Final Project – Education Leadership 4 credits
    • Integrate program learning to create a new design for K-12 education that will dramatically improve student achievement. May include an international experience. Students must demonstrate their mastery of key learning in the MBA in Education Leadership program.

MBA Education Leadership Model Full-Time Track

The full-time curriculum track requires students be employed full-time in an approved teaching or leadership role in a school, district, charter organization or other approved education-related entity throughout the 16-month program. Each course meets for a full day every other Saturday throughout the year, with 13-15 hours of project work expected each week to meet clinical practicum requirements.

Course Group 1 – 1st 24 weeks

Course Group 2 – 2nd  24 weeks

Course Group 3 – 3rd 24 weeks

Final Portfolio

All candidates for an MBA in Education Leadership will create and maintain a portfolio of their work that clearly demonstrates their competency and achievement of the student outcomes. As they progress through the program, key work and observational notes will be added to the portfolio, which will be maintained in digital a format. Additional information regarding the portfolio will be provided to admitted students.

International Experience

During the MBA in Education Leadership program, students will have the opportunity to participate in an international experience that contributes to the final project. It will include a class trip to observe educational innovations in one or more countries. This experience provides a lens for the program’s final project, an integrative effort that blends program learning in a meaningful and action-oriented way, while also providing the basis for a cumulative assessment of student learning.

Legal Seminars on Wednesday Evenings

Attorneys Gary Ruesch and Alana Leffler of Buelow Vetter Law Firm have agreed to offer a Legal Issues Seminar to our program graduates and their associates.

MBAEL Legal Issues Seminar Invitation


  • November 29, 2017
  • January 31, 2018
  • April 25, 2018

Time: 5 – 5:30 p.m. (Social Time; Food & Beverages) 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Legal Issues Presentation, Discussion, Q&A)

Program Design:             

Topic Related Case Law Readings in a digital format will be provided in advance of each session.  Format:  Presentation on the selected topic for the evening followed by discussion and Q&A.  At the end of each event there will be some time for addressing current or “headline” issues.

Cost: $5.00 per session for MBAEL Alumni and Current Students

$10.00 per session for Guests

Selected Topics               

November 29, 2017

  • Student Expression, Dress Codes, Free Speech
  • Electronics in School: Social Media, Bullying on-line; Student Record Apps, Public Records, Privacy Rights
  • Current Topics/Headline Issues

January 31, 2018

  • Student Discipline, Due Process, Student Rights, Search & Seizure
  • Parent Demands/Dictation of School Response, Privacy Rights/ Right to Know
  • Current Topics/Headline Issues

April 25, 2018

  • Statutory Employment Rights: Public, Private, Choice
  • Termination: Removal, Dismissal, Contract Non-Renewal
  • Current Topics/Headline Issues

You can choose to attend one or all of the seminars; this is invitational and offered as a benefit to you as program alumni and students.  You are also welcome to bring a colleague or two as invited guests.  Food and beverages will be simple (think pizza, etc.), but will allow for some social time and sustenance after a busy work day.

You are asked to RSVP a minimum of one week in advance of each meeting date by emailing:  

Please note your name and current email address along with the name and email address of any guest you intend to bring.  We need the number in attendance to plan for food and room size and email addresses to send out pertinent case studies to read in advance of the session.  You only need to respond if you are planning to attend. We hope you find this offering to be of interest and benefit.  We are proud of you as our graduates and want to do everything we can to assure you have success in all aspects of your leadership practice.  Also, it will be great fun to see you and catch up! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this offering or any other support you might need.

Rachel Boechler (262) 370-6064

MBA EL Retreat

A retreat opportunity for MSOE MBAEL Program Graduates, Colleagues and Educators at large focused on Reflection, Renewal & Re-commitment

MBA EL Retreat Document

When: August 9-10, 2018

Where: Cedar Valley Retreat & Conference Center. As educational leaders, we are faced with full and active days, ever-increasing expectations, and multiple stakeholder needs. We may find ourselves questioning ourselves, our ability to lead our teams, and/or wondering about next steps in work and life. In this retreat, you are invited to join with other educational leaders to come together to reflect, renew, and reconnect with the passion, courage and sense of purpose that drew you to the work you do. We will explore not only the unique gifts, responsibilities and perspectives you bring to your work but also ways to build greater capacity within your staff members.

Who Should Attend: Educators seeking opportunity for reflection and renewal as a means of enhancing their own leadership practice and well-being as well as the exploring ways to enhance the well-being of their staff and school culture as a whole.

Retreat is focused on:

  • Renewing heart, mind, and spirit through the exploration of our inner wisdom, our gifts and limitations and our identity and integrity as leaders.
  •  Creating a context for careful listening and deep connection that also honors diversity in person and profession
  • Helping participants create trustworthy spaces for teaching, leading, and working – within schools and school communities.
  • Exploring the connection between attending to the inner dimension of our lives and the impact we have on the schools and communities we live and work in.
  • Introducing Leading Together: Building Adult Relational Trust in Schools; practices designed to enhance school culture.


Rachel Boechler Ph.D. has 25+ years of experience in K-12 education in roles ranging from teacher to superintendent. She also was Chief Operating Officer for a CA based HR consulting firm and Chairperson in the College of Education & Leadership at Cardinal Stritch University. Rachel is the founder of OnPurpose Consulting, a firm dedicated to developing purpose driven leaders and organizations. She has been associated with the Center for Courage & Renewal since 2000 and is the past Board Chair. Rachel currently works as the Director of Coaching & Alumni Relations at MSOE in the MBA in Education Leadership program.

Kirstin Anglea, Ed.D. has 20+ years of experience in education as a public school teacher and administrator. She served as Assistant Professor at Cardinal Stritch University and Chair of the Master of Arts Teacher Education program. She also contributed to the founding of an environmental charter school in Milwaukee. Kirstin’s doctoral work focused on teacher and school renewal based on the work of Parker Palmer and others. As an experienced facilitator, she has been associated with the Center for Courage & Renewal since 2014. Currently, Kirstin is the Environmental Education Manager at Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee.

$150.00 per Participant ($135 for double occupancy)
$250 for Educators at Large (for students who bring friends/colleagues).

  • Includes lodging, meals, retreat facilitation & materials. Single rooms available on first come, first serve basis.
  • MBAEL Alumni and students, colleagues of MBAEL program participants and educational leaders at large (in both formal and informal leadership roles
  • Online payment form is available here



Graduate Application
Associate Director

Dan Pavletich
Dan Pavletich
Associate Director, MBA Education Leadership Program

(800) 332-6763

MSOE Success Stories

Kiesha Johnnies

“I think this program has enhanced my ability to be a better principal. I tell anyone and everyone I’ve met and discussed this program with that I wish I had this program or the opportunity to engage with it prior to me becoming a principal. I’ve learned so much throughout this year that I’ve been able to implement throughout the year and look for it to continue until implemented next year in my leadership at my school.”

- Kiesha Johnnies
Founding Principal,
Hope Christian School: Caritas.

More Success Stories