MA, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership


Turn your passion for social justice leadership into a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Emancipatory K12 School Leadership! Our online and hybrid Master’s program is designed for emerging K12 school leaders who wish to use emancipatory leadership practices to improve educational opportunities for historically marginalized students. 

Emancipatory K12 school leadership approaches create organizational cultures to reflect the diversity of experience and knowledge within school communities through collaborative approaches to deconstruct power systems, challenge inequitable practices and policies, and cultivate community cultural wealth.

  • There are 2 distinct pathways to chose from:
    • Pathway 1: Online-only
    • Pathway 2: Hybrid

Program Overview

This new Master’s Degree is designed to work in partnership with county LEAP programs to build upon the skills LEAP graduates bring to school settings. The program contains the following features:

  • Name: Master’s in Emancipatory School Leadership
  • Official program name: MA, Educational Leadership, Concentration in Emancipatory K12 School Leadership
  • Format: 
    • Online-only (Zoom and Canvas)
    • Hybrid - (2 face-to-face Saturday classes, and Zoom)
    • Full-time and part-time options
  • Units: 30 units
  • Start date: Summer
  • Program length: 3 semesters (summer, fall, spring)
  • Application deadline: Accepting applications until April 15, 2024.

Initial Eligibility and Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any major/discipline
  • Two (2) years of successful, full-time experience in public, private, or charter schools
  • Nomination/recommendations from a school leader and a colleague
  • A preadmissions interview is required of all candidates
  • Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on GAPE’s Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage

Curriculum and Roadmaps


  • PASC Pathway- Provide evidence of work towards Preliminary Administrative Services Credential
  • Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA) Pathway

Get your Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA) through SJSU’s 12-unit online program!

This program enables teachers to meet the literacy needs of all their students through culturally and linguistically sustaining practices and a multilingual lens. We center the needs of traditionally marginalized students and build on the cultural and linguistic wealth that already exists in local school communities. 

Courses include:

  • EDTE 216 & EDTE 217A, Culturally Responsive Assessment for Instruction and a related practicum
  • EDTE 215 & EDTE 217B, Culturally & linguistically sustaining literacy instruction, and a related practicum

This MA program consists of 30 units of coursework. There are 2 pathways: 1) CalAPA/PASC and 2) Individualized. Students who have completed the CalAPA/PASC can transfer 12 units (4 courses) of coursework and will take the remaining 18 units in the Emancipatory School Leadership MA program. The individualized pathway allows students to choose 12 units (4 courses) across the university or possibly transfer in graduate level coursework (up to 9 units) and will take the remaining 18 units in the Emancipatory School Leadership MA Program. Descriptions of the required courses and the program roadmap are available on the SJSU Catalog website.

Upcoming Info Sessions

Information sessions are scheduled for Spring 2024. Please see below for specific dates, the time for all is 4:30-5:30pm. To sign up, please use fill out this SJSU MA, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership Interest Form.

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024
  • Wednesday, January 31, 2024
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2024
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2024
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024
  • Wednesday, March 6, 2024
  • Wednesday, March 13, 2024
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2024
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Steps to Apply

Applicants whose files are complete will be invited to an interview to finalize the application process.

Step 1 | Notify Our Department

We encourage all prospective students and applicants to fill out our MA, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership Interest Form. On that form, you may sign up for information sessions to learn more and receive program updates.

Step 2 | Submit PDF Documents

  • Before beginning the application for CSU apply, please be prepared to upload all required documents: 
    • Unofficial Transcripts | Upload a PDF copy from each university/college attended
    • Resume | Upload a PDF or Word version of your most recent resume
    • Two (2) Recommendations | Provide only names and titles on our application form - a school leader and a colleague who are recommending you.
        • A recommendation form from a school leader or teacher leader.
        • A recommendation form from a colleague that speaks to your collaboration with family and school communities.
    • PASC Pathway Memo | If applicable, provide a PDF memo from a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) program reflecting completion or near completion of the credential.
    • Verification Memo | Upload a PDF memo from a supervisor verifying a minimum of two years of successful, full-time experience in public, private, or charter schools. 
    • Individualized Pathway Memo | Provide a memo stating the course pathway you choose (PASC, RLAA, or Individualized Pathway).  Also, indicate if you will submit previous coursework to be evaluated for possible transfer credit. 
    • Written Portion | Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which people deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world (Freire, p.16, 1970). The Lurie College of Education Emancipatory School Leadership Program is grounded in critical research and practices that highlight the emancipatory effects of culturally sustaining and participatory approaches to school leadership. We are excited to learn more about the insights and experiences you would bring to our learning community. Please answer the following questions within 4 pages of a double-spaced document and upload as a PDF.
        • Why are you interested in the Emancipatory School Leadership Program?
        • Describe your most difficult school-related challenge and how you plan to address it.
        • How might a MA degree in Emancipatory School Leadership benefit you/others/schools in the future?
        • Is there anything else you would like to share?

Step 3 | Begin your Cal State Apply application

Visit to create your SJSU application profile and pay the $70 application fee. Be sure to apply for Summer semester.

Please note that official transcripts are required. They may be sent to the office below by mail or electronically*.

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations
San José State University 
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0017

*If the college/university provides official electronic transcripts, the institution can email the transcripts to or Questions pertaining to transcripts, GPA calculations, and application fees should be directed to

Applicants whose files are complete will be invited to an interview to finalize the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Dr. Veneice Guillory Lacy, Emancipatory K12 School Leadership Program Coordinator, at