Dr. Karen Ford, D.S.W.
Interim Director, SSLS
Website and general info:
Emily D. Blake
Student Services & Advising Coord.
The School of Strategic Leadership Studies offers a rigorous, cross-disciplinary program that includes courses in business, statistics and research, leadership theory, ethics, assessment, finance, and topics specific to each concentration. The curriculum includes an externship and research project, which are described in detail in the Handbook.
Applicants choose from 3 possible tracks:
Educational (K-12) Leadership
Completion of this program qualifies graduates for VA Superintendent's Licensure. Applicants often aspire to, or already work in, a position as principal, superintendent, or school administrator, but may also pursue a career in educational research, postsecondary instruction, or consulting for K-12 institutions.
Graduates of this concentration are prepared to advance their careers in postsecondary administration, educational research, education policy, postsecondary instruction, and consulting.
Nonprofit and Community Leadership
This program of study will prepare you for positions of nonprofit management, community leadership, consulting, research, or teaching on the postsecondary level. Popular topics of focus include nonprofit governance, philanthropy, innovation in nonprofits, and international NGOs.
Yes! While this is a very rigorous program, most of our students are employed full-time, and many have young children in addition. Most students enroll in two courses per term, although it is possible to enroll as a full-tim student or take only one course at a time. Most courses are taught in late afternoons and evenings, and summer courses are available. Of the required MBA courses, some are offered online, and some are offered in 8-week sessions, so that two courses may be completed consecutively in a semester. See the Course Schedule for details.
The program consists of 66 credits, which include mostly 3-credit courses, but also several 6-credit courses and the dissertation, which extends over several terms. See the Course Catalog for details.
You may transfer up to 9 credits from an MBA program, or up to 18 credits from JMU MBA courses.
While funding is limited, Graduate Assistantships are available.
Talk with your advisor if you are interested in teaching opportunities while enrolled in our program.
While it is expected that students continue to enroll in at least one course each semester (with the option of summers also), it is possible to pause your program of study without losing your place in the program. See Continuous Enrollment for details.
You must present your dissertation proposal within one year of passing comprehensive exams and within the first five years of graduate coursework (see Handbook for details). You must go on to complete the defense of your dissertation within three years of taking the comprehensive exams. Otherwise, you may be required to repeat the comprehensive exams. These deadlines are in place to help students to maintain momentum toward the completion of their degree.