The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Master’s Degree in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning recognizes the valuable contributions of experienced educators and their ability to engage in professional development within a community of learners. With this understanding as its foundation, the program provides experienced educators with the opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills and be recognized as leaders within their profession.

This 30-credit program, which can be completed within two calendar years, includes a 21-credit core requirement as well as a nine-credit area of emphasis. As part of the core requirement, degree candidates will be required to complete a culminating project or thesis related to an educational, school or classroom-based line of inquiry. The core curriculum is based on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The standards that undergird this program are the following:

  • Teachers are committed to students and their learning.*
  • Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.*
  • Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.*
  • Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.*
  • Teachers are members of learning communities.*
  • Teachers understand system theory and how to initiate and sustain meaningful change.
  • Teachers are knowledgeable about historical and contemporary educational reform efforts.

*NBPTS standards

The Applied Leadership degree is unique in many respects. It is a truly advanced degree program that does not include teacher certification. It recognizes the expertise of experienced educators working within a community of professional learners. Most importantly, this program will prepare professionals to conduct educational-based research and to use their knowledge of research to make data-based decisions in order to improve student learning.

The Master’s Degree is an integral part of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Institute for Learning Partnership. The Institute brings together the extensive resources of the University, regional school districts, area businesses, and community leadership to improve the quality of education for all learners. In addition to working with the experienced faculty in Education, participants in the Master’s Degree program have opportunities to work with faculty across a variety of academic disciplines, as well as participate in regional and local professional initiatives.

The program is designed as a part-time program for educators who are actively employed in educational and professional settings (e.g., K-12 classroom settings and/or business and industry training). Courses are offered on the weekends and during the summer. Students are admitted to the program each fall semester in cohorts with a maximum class size of 20. This small class size enables degree candidates to have close contact with the program’s faculty and promotes the development of a sense of community over the course of the program.


Minimum admission requirements are:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Two years of successful teaching experience is preferred, but not required.
  • A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (gpa).

Admission Requirements

Each applicant’s prior academic work and experience will be evaluated prior to admission. Applicants are expected to have college-level writing, oral communication and computer skills. Students who show exceptional promise but lack the minimal prerequisites may be admitted provisionally. Applicants are not required to take the GRE for admission.

The application process requires completion of a UW-Green Bay Graduate Application form; letter of interest; three letters of recommendation; official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate); brief curriculum vitae; and an interview to ensure that there is an appropriate match between the goals of the program and each applicant’s professional development needs.

Steps Toward the Degree

  1. Applicant is admitted to the graduate program.
  2. An Official Declaration of Master’s Degree (GR-1 Form) is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies on the student’s behalf.
  3. After completion of at least 8 credits, the student develops a project proposal. The proposal is reviewed and approved by a project committee. The Approval of Thesis or Project Proposal (GR-2 Form) is submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies on the student’s behalf.
  4. Student may register for project credits (TCH LRNG 799) and work on the project.
  5. Student schedules the professional project presentation by filing the Request for Thesis Defense/Project Presentation (GR-3 Form) when the project document is nearly complete.
  6. The student files an Application for Graduation with the Registrar’s Office through the Student Information System (SIS). The application must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to November 1 for fall semester graduates, and April 1 for spring and summer semester graduates.
  7. A professional project presentation takes place. Filing the Approval of Thesis Defense or Project Presentation (GR-4 Form) with the Graduate Studies Office indicates satisfactory completion of the professional project and presentation.
  8. Graduate receives diploma.

Graduate Committee

It is important for Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning students to select a thesis/project committee early. The program chair or an adviser for the student’s degree program normally assists in this process.

A thesis committee is comprised of at least two faculty members approved by the program chair. One member is requested by the student to act as the major professor or chair of the committee. That person must be a graduate faculty member of the student’s degree program. Students are encouraged to ask a person from outside the University to join their committees, in addition to the faculty members.

A professional project adviser may be a single faculty member within the student’s program.

The thesis committee or project adviser is responsible for supervising the student’s program of study and should:

  • guide the student in appropriate selection of graduate courses and specialization studies to ensure that the student is aware of all relevant materials necessary to completely understand the chosen field of study;
  • determine whether the student has accumulated and demonstrated sufficient ability to engage in analytic processes of problem solving;
  • make certain that the student’s project is consistent with the degree, confronts the interdisciplinary relationships of the subject area, and focuses on problem solving methods.

If during the student’s course of study, he or she wishes to change committee members or adviser, the student must explain why the change is necessary or desirable. If the change is acceptable to both outgoing and incoming professors, the student must notify the Graduate Studies Office in writing.

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the Master of Science in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning consist of successfully completing a 21-credit core requirement and a nine-credit area of emphasis.

Students must maintain at least a B average to remain in the program and to graduate. A grade of C or better is required for course work to be counted toward graduation.

Students must file an Official Declaration of Master’s Degree (GR-1 Form) before completing eight graduate credits in the program.

Core Requirement, 21 credits

Core courses:

A 15-credit set of core courses form the foundation for the degree. All students must complete the following four courses:

TCH LRNG 701 Reflective Inquiry, 4 cr.

TCH LRNG 702 Approaches to Educational Inquiry, 4 cr.

TCH LRNG 703 Contemporary Issues and Historical Contexts, 4 cr.

TCH LRNG 704 Applied Educational Leadership, 3 cr.

Inquiry project or thesis:

TCH LRNG 799 Thesis or Project, 6 cr.

Each individual in the program is required to complete a culminating project or thesis related to an educational, school, or classroom-based line of inquiry. Participants engage in activities relevant to the development, interpretation and dissemination of their research under the direct guidance of a graduate faculty adviser. In addition to the required faculty, professionals from outside the University may also serve on thesis committees.

Students usually enroll for two credits of project or thesis support during the summer of their first year. The additional four credits will be distributed over the fall, spring and summer of their second academic year.

Area of Emphasis, 9 credits

Each student selects an area of emphasis consisting of at least nine graduate credits. These credits may be completed at UW-Green Bay or at another institution or setting. It may be possible to establish a personal area of emphasis fitted to the career interests of the student. Such programs must conform to MSAL guidelines and be filed as a Program Plan approved by the student’s academic adviser, program chair, and the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies.

Program requirements change from time to time. New graduate courses are added and others are dropped.


Ashmann, Scott, Associate Professor, Education. B.S., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ph.D., Michigan State University.

Fields of interest: the professional development of secondary science teachers, science teacher preparation, leadership issues in mathematics and science education.

Bircher, Karen, Lecturer, Education. B.A., Case Western Reserve University; M.A., University of Colorado, Denver.

Fields of interest: reading/writing connection, reader response, whole language theory, composition.

Coates, James R., Associate Professor, Education. B.S., University of Maryland Eastern; M.A., Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park.

Fields of interest: American sports history with a concentration in African-American sport history, the Progressive Era, African-American history.

Davis, Gregory, Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences (Mathematics). B.S., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University.

Fields of interest: dynamical systems, mathematical modeling of ecological systems, cliff swallow-house sparrow species dynamics.

Fencl, Heidi S., Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences (Physics). B.S., Nebraska Wesleyan; M.S., University of Nebraska; Ph.D., Ohio State.

Fields of interest: science education, physics, astrophysics.

Kaufman, Timothy, Associate Professor, Education and Program Chair, Graduate Program in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning. B.A., Elmhurst College; M.S., Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Loyola University.

Fields of interest: literacy, school reform, serving the needs of “at-risk” and learners with learning disabilities.

Kiehn, Mark, Associate Professor, Education. B.A., Adams State College; M.M.E., Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder.

Fields of interest: creative thinking in the classroom, arts education for exceptional learners, classroom assessment, school curriculum implementation/educational reform.

Kimball, Steven, Associate Professor, Education. B.S., M.S., University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Ed.D., Cardinal Stritch University.

Fields of interest: educational leadership, social studies, reading/language arts, and Islamic studies.

Lor, Pao, Associate Professor, Education. B.S.E., M.S., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fields of interest: educational policy and analysis, teacher preparation programs, community relations, curriculum and supervision.

Tabers-Kwak, Linda, Associate Professor, Education. B.A., Barat College; M.A., University of South Florida; M.A., Northeastern Illinois University; Ph.D., Loyola University.

Fields of interest: leadership, writing portfolios/writing centers, school-community relations, interdisciplinary studies, and curriculum integration.