Master of Educational Administration

Become an effective administrator

At this time, St. Ambrose University is not accepting applicants to the MEA program.

If you seek to enhance learning environments and nurture student achievement in ways that change young lives forever, SAU has a program to help you reach your goals. We inspire educational leaders.

Our graduates work as district and building administrators for rural, urban, public and private schools and early childhood centers.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Extensive Clinical and Field Experiences
  • Connect Skills And Theory In Real-World Situations
  • Excellent Faculty, Strong Mentoring

Student watching kids get on the bus

Lori Dodds in Classroom

Eric Ewald in front of chalkboard

Our MEA faculty give you the attention, skills, knowledge, and opportunities to succeed. Our curriculum helps you become a more compassionate and caring professional, and to manage and communicate effectively in educational settings.

See our MEA Program Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the MEA Program

What will I learn?

You will learn organizational development; how principals serve as instructional leaders; curriculum development; school law, ethics, finance, and community relations; and extensively study leadership theory and practice.

You will get insight into the daily activities of an educational leader and see administration in action. Mentor principals work with program faculty to monitor your personal growth, offer career advice, and give you campus-based learning opportunities.

Class assignments focus on actual case studies. By discussing cases often based on personal experiences, you strengthen your connection with the school and community. Sample projects include organizing a family night at an alternative high school, redesigning the enrollment process for a school district, and assuming a leadership role in school accreditation.

The 10-course, 36-credit hour curriculum can be completed in as few as two years and includes extensive clinical experiences and a two-semester internship. 

Our program follows a cohort model. Instruction largely takes place in the traditional classroom setting on Saturdays in the fall and spring semesters, with some online, synchronous learning components on Wednesday evenings. Summer courses all meet in the traditional classroom, with varying meeting dates.

Course activities and assessments are aligned with the Iowa Standards for School Leaders. Once you complete the degree, you can apply for your School Administrator License, which is good for use in Illinois and Iowa schools. If an administrator position becomes available before you graduate and you have 75% of the degree completed, you can apply for a Conditional Class B license.


Principals, in collaboration with program faculty, work with you as your mentor to monitor your personal growth and offer career advice. You will meet bi-weekly with your university supervisor and more frequently with your mentor to individualize your internship. Mentors help select clinical experiences that provide you with campus-based opportunities to demonstrate and strengthen your understanding of the Iowa Standards for School Leaders.

Typically, your building principal will be your mentor. In some instances, the mentor may be selected from outside the campus to provide a perspective beyond that of the on-site principal.

Mentors provide direct insight into their daily activities, allowing you to see administration in action. They also provide opportunities for you to attend additional training and school meetings to discuss issues with educational leaders and superintendents.

What are the benefits of earning my MEA at St. Ambrose?
  • We have designed a program that is hands-on and practical. Through clinical experiences and an internship, you will complete 400 hours of logged activities during a two-year period, and work on those hours begins during the first course. You also will hone your presentation skills by facilitating discussions and presenting information to teachers and administrators in your own district.
  • Your internship will not focus on the status-quo. Instead, it will be a value-added experience. You get to identify an issue in your school or district, work to solve it, and then reflect and report on the outcome.
  • Students complete elementary, secondary, and special education administrative experiences to better prepare for future opportunities as administrators and instructional leaders.
  • We teach you a strong, effective, and unique decision-making framework: Investigate-Reflect-Leverage-Frame (IRLF). Learn more about it by watching this video. 
  • You get extensive coaching from a faculty advisor who will meet with you – in person or by phone – twice a month.
  • Our MEA is designed for working professionals. Although normally a two-year program, you can progress at a pace that may be more comfortable and take one class per semester.
  • For added convenience, faculty use a portal system to distribute course materials. This allows you to participate in course discussions and submit assignments anytime, anywhere.
  • Some class sessions are held through Collaborate, an interactive, synchronous online platform. This gives you the convenience of attending class anywhere there is an internet connection. Watch this video to learn how our MEA students interact in those classes.
  • At St. Ambrose, our community becomes your professional network. You form strong bonds with your cohort group and interact with students in the other program cohorts.
  • Alumni maintain supportive relationships with faculty advisors and mentors. And, we maintain contact through social networking sites and recruiting events.

Learn why you should study for your master's at SAU. Watch this video.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Lori Dodds '10 MEA is a 5th grade teacher at Truman Elementary School in Davenport. She joined the MEA program while working as a math teacher at the Kimberly Center Alternative High School (now Midtown High School) in Davenport.
  • Eric Ewald '10 MEA is principal at Van Allen Elementary in Iowa City. He enrolled in the program while working as a 6th grade teacher at Sudlow Intermediate in Davenport.
  • Alan Hartley '11 MEA is head of special education at Williams Intermediate School in Davenport.
Degree Requirements

Course activities and assessments are aligned with the Iowa Standards for School Leaders.

Complete 36 MEA graduate credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in consortium coursework and all other coursework.

Read MEA course descriptions in the online course catalog

Degree Candidacy

Candidates for the Master of Education in Educational Administration degree must successfully meet the following criteria:

  • Complete all course work as set forth in the student's degree plan
  • Maintain a "B" average in the degree plan
  • Obtain no more than two "C"s within the degree plan, which are offset by "A"s

About Our Graduates

Read About Lana LaSalle '12 MEA, Principal at Fellows Elementary School in Ames, Iowa.

Click here to read

Apply Visit Info


School of Education
Center for Communication and Social Development
1310 W. Pleasant St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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