Master of Arts in Education with Concentration in Leadership & Social Justice (MAE-LSJ)

The Master of Arts degree is available for educators in Early Childhood Settings, Institutions of Higher Learning settings, community and non-profit organizations as well as teachers returning to complete their Master’s level degree.

Students in the Master of Arts in Education with concentration in Leadership and Social Justice (MAE-LSJ) will gain knowledge and skills to create learning communities in all types of organizations. Leaders need to have a critical understanding of organizations as systems in historical and contemporary social contexts. Graduate students will learn to navigate these systems with a critical perspective and to develop creative skills to facilitate change.

The program provides graduate learning experiences that explore:

  • Practical theories of organizational change, renewal and reform, particularly in relation to the improvement of schools and other organizations;
  • The role of research and the debates that underlie theories, ideologies, and organizational practices;
  • Advocacy for a just society;
  • An array of theories and skills to create organizations that nurture mutual respect and care;
  • Leadership identity and self-directed professional development;
  • Historical, sociological, and political analyses of organizational cultures.

Graduate students in the MAE-LSJ program design and complete an in-depth thesis/project in their chosen area of inquiry.


  • Completion of residency requirement or equivalent (2 full time and 2 part time quarters).
  • Successful completion of core MA curriculum and accompanying units.
  • Successful completion of Master’s thesis/project.

Unit Requirement

  • 45 quarter units.
  • All students complete all core courses, which consist of 35 units.
  • The remaining 10 required units consist of elective courses in students’ areas of interest and are included in their academic plans, which are approved by faculty advisors in the program.

Elective courses are offered in the Education program, as well as in other graduate programs on campus. Electives may also include student designed independent studies and field practicum with core faculty members or experts in their field of inquiry.

Program Design
The program provides a reflective education to develop leadership skills. Leadership requires both the study of theories and models, and reflective practice. Each of the research courses will focus on applying the material studied in the associated core courses but also on the development of effective interpersonal group skills. Students will address contemporary problems, participate in active problem solving, and work collaboratively in groups. Students have an opportunity to explore topics of personal and professional interest and to examine their potential roles as leaders in a professional community of learners. Students will have many opportunities to reflect on their own strengths and challenges and to examine their reasoning, values, and interpersonal skills. Participants in this program practice in diverse organizational settings such as child care centers, museums, institutions of higher education, and health settings.

Curriculum Design
The curriculum is designed with one preferred entry quarter each year, beginning in summer. During the first quarter of the program, students enroll in a three-unit introductory course on Social Justice Education along with the other required courses. This first quarter is a full-time intensive experience that includes not only academic courses but also the building of a collegial learning community.

In each of the five quarters, students enroll in one research course. These courses begin with an overview of research practices and build throughout the program as students engage in their own research study. In each of the first three quarters, students also enroll in required leadership courses focusing on organizational change, social reform from historical, sociological, political and current perspectives.  These core courses are designed to give all students a solid background and working knowledge of systems theory, organizational change, perspectives on social change, and leadership in educational and organizational reform. During the last two quarters, students elect other courses that meet their professional and academic needs. Throughout the program, as part of the thesis project, students participate in research practicum during which they put into practice what they are learning in the research and theory courses. These practicum can be in a student’s place of employment if it supports the application of course content.

In addition to the core curriculum (35 units), students enroll in 10 units of electives, taken during any quarter, depending on student interest, course availability, and students’ schedules. Part time residency quarters are 6 to 9 units. Full time residency quarters are 10-15 units.

Students who need to fulfill MAE credential requirements by taking specific courses or by enrolling in Antioch’s program for the Clear Credential are expected to take the required courses as part of their elective options.

Thesis Requirement
Candidates in the MAE-LSJ program complete a thesis. The research course sequence prepares students to write the literature review, methods section, data analysis and discussion of their research project. The final degree is conferred upon completion of all requirements described above.

Next Section: Master of Arts in Education with Concentration in Social Justice & Education Leadership (MAE) Curriculum

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