MSSL FAQ

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What can graduates do with the MSSL degree?

Most students who pursue the MSSL degree have the primary objective of obtaining building administrative licensure and becoming a building administrator.

What if I am not sure I want to be a principal?

Some students enter the MSSL program uncertain whether future professional plans will include building-level administration. You will develop an understanding of the big picture of leadership in a K-12 building environment. The knowledge you gain in the MSSL will also help you understand the educational process as it relates to teaching and teacher leadership roles. Some teacher leadership roles may include collaborative roles with building leadership, content leadership teams, and grade-level leadership teams. If leadership does not seem like a good fit for you, you may want to explore our Master of Arts in Education program with four concentration areas or our Master of Science in Special Education program.

What licensure can I obtain by completing the MSSL program?

The initial building-level license in Kansas is for two years and can be renewed for another two years. Once this endorsement is added to your Kansas license you can then apply for a Missouri license. Missouri initial certification is for four years. 

What if I am from Missouri or another state and want to enroll in the program or I move out of state after I have completed the MSSL program?

Kansas has reciprocity with Missouri and several other states, so you can complete the Baker University MSSL program, obtain your Kansas license, and then and obtain licensure in many other states.

What grade levels will my administration certificate accommodate

In Kansas, you will be granted an Initial License in Building Leadership PK-12. Missouri educators will receive a Missouri Initial Building Administration Certificate for Elementary and Secondary building administration. 

Do I have to pass a test to get a license as an administrator?

You can complete the Baker University MSSL program without taking a state test. However, to obtain licensure in both Kansas and Missouri, you must successfully pass the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA).

How long do I have after completing the MSSL program to take the SLLA and apply for licensure?

It is recommended you complete the SLLA as soon as possible once you have completed your MSSL program. Ninety-seven percent of graduates from Baker University’s MSSL program successfully pass the SLLA on the first attempt. No individual course may be more than six years old at the time a candidate applies for licensure. Therefore, candidates may not be eligible for a license if they wait more than six years to apply.

What is the directed field experience?

The directed field experience (DFE) is the MSSL capstone course that provides you with the hands-on experiences necessary to transfer administrative beliefs, values, theory and knowledge into policy and practice. DFE students must complete 130 hours of administrative field experiences in 17 areas identified by the School of Education.

When can I begin the DFE? 

The DFE is intended to be a capstone course for the MSSL program. As such, you must complete 18 credit hours of core leadership courses and 6 credit hours of required education courses before you can begin the DFE. A DFE can be started in August or in December.

How long does it take to complete the DFE?

The DFE is completed in one of two sessions: August through May or December through August.

How much time must I commit to my courses to be a successful student? How many hours of homework per week?

While this program accounts for the needs of working adults, students enrolled in an accelerated program (seven-week courses) must commit their time and energy to be successful. Students enrolled in an on-ground (face-to-face) course spend four hours each week in class and must expect to spend an average of 12 hours per week completing work outside of class time. The time spent outside of class includes activities such as reading assignments, research, writing, group projects, and preparation for the next class time. Students enrolled in an online course must expect to spend an average of 16 hours per week on learning course content: weekly assignments, forum posts, reading, research, writing, group projects, and so on.