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The Master of Arts in Community and Teacher Leaders (MACTL) is designed to develop knowledge and skills to foster reflective, collaborative, and transformative leaders in both community and school settings. Students will learn to harness the collective knowledge of community members and educators to have a positive impact on community and school success in both traditional and non-traditional settings.

Options within the program

Community Leader Concentration 

Provides knowledge and skills that foster leadership in ethical and culturally sensitive public engagement; acknowledges and considers the complexities of local and global communities; and leverages community assets to promote social justice.

Teacher Leader Concentration 

Provides knowledge and skills related to leadership, mentoring and professional development; promotes school culture that focuses on student learning; uses data to improve educational outcomes; and builds collaborative relationships with stakeholders. This concentration leads to the Teacher Leader Endorsement.

The Master of Arts in Community and Teacher Leaders consists of six core courses and four elective courses for both Community Leader and Teacher Leader Concentrations. Electives can be taken from across university offerings and are determined in consultation with a candidate’s academic program advisor. The Teacher Leader Endorsement Only option consists of the first five core courses and no electives. The core courses are:

  • EDFN-410 Education as Social Institution
  • EDFN-413 Power, Communities and Change
  • EDFN-441 Digital Literacy: Learning and Leadership
  • EDFN-451 Research Methods
  • EDFN-455A Seminar I
  • EDFN-455B Seminar II

Credit hours required: 30 (each concentration)

Admission Information

The program admits students for the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Program Benefits 

Students enrolling in the M.A. in Community and Teacher Leaders will:

  • create connections between communities and schools in an effort to form partnerships that benefit all members of the neighborhood (students, teachers, parents/guardians, and families)
  • build a working knowledge of social justice and critical theory as it relates to curriculum development, schooling, and leadership within schools and/or communities
  • connect theory to practice and develop as future community and teacher leaders sensitive to how multiple identities, social location, and circumstances impact youth, educators, and neighborhoods
  • develop as community and teacher leaders who are sensitive to understanding how multiple identities, social location, and circumstances impact youth, educators, and neighborhoods.

The M.A. in Community and Teacher leaders is different from other programs in that it allows students to:

  • Enroll in a low-cost cohort model program
  • Complete a master’s degree in 15 months
  • Have the option to enroll in an endorsement only sequence that is only 5 courses (15 credit hours)
  • Engage in a program that was intentionally designed for developing community and teacher leaders alongside one another
  • Take classes in a variety of formats (online, hybrid, evening, Saturdays) with EDFN Faculty and Community Based Organizers/Leaders.
  • Select electives, which can be university wide depending on the student’s interest and needs.
  • Transfer credit earned outside Northeastern that may be considered towards the Master’s degree or endorsement. Participate in a leadership summit where their seminar work/action research will be presented.
  • Experience a master’s program that is unique as no other program and that is focused on how community impacts learning and how the teacher leader needs to resource the community to increase effectiveness.

Career Options 

The M.A. in Community and Teacher Leaders program values diversity, relationships, partnerships, and coalition building among educational setting and the community. The completion of the Community and Teacher Leaders M.A. prepares students to listen, to communicate, to collaborate, and to serve as agents of change across differences in background and viewpoint as it relates to schools and communities working and interacting for social change and educational inclusiveness.  

Students will be able to pursue a multitude of careers including:

  • Teacher Leaders
  • Department Chairs
  • Coaches
  • Professional Developers
  • Community Organizers and Activists
  • Educational Outreach Coordinator
  • School and Community-based Researchers
  • Museum Educators
  • Roles in Non-Profit Leadership and Development
  • School Board Leadership
  • Curriculum Developers
  • School and Community-Based Mentors
  • Union Leadership
  • Lead School Improvement Committees

For more detailed career information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Academic Catalog Information 

Take a closer look at the Master of Arts in Community and Teacher Leaders, and the courses offered toward the degree.

Community and Teacher Leaders, M.A.

Department and Contact Information 

If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies at (773) 442-5517.

Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies

About Northeastern 

Northeastern Illinois University is home to students from all corners of the world and is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. Our small class sizes, flexible schedules and dedicated faculty can help you succeed in your studies.

We offer an education with value.

Apply to Northeastern


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