Educational Leadership (EDL) Introduction

The Educational Leadership programs are competency-based degree programs that include various traditional activities found in many school districts and states nationwide, preparing you at the graduate level to become licensed school principals. The program’s philosophy is based on that of the supervising administrator as the school’s instructional team leader. Work in this degree program takes place in a case study format and utilizes a case study school site or district. Candidates complete a capstone project in which they design and implement data-driven school improvement initiatives based on the results of their case studies and practicum experience.


WGU is committed to providing a safe environment for candidates, faculty, and staff. WGU will only approve potential practicum sites that are expected to fully comply with all relevant ordinances and laws related to safety and health and will not knowingly place a candidate at a site that is out of compliance with such ordinances or laws. If you have questions related to your approved site, contact


WGU requires Educational Leadership candidates to complete ground-based field practicum experiences at the K-12 level in accordance with the minimum hour requirements, listed in this handbook article (opens new window), over the entire practicum term(s). Practicum activities, coursework, and hours should occur every week and be evenly distributed over a minimum of six consecutive months or 12-months (see state information below). All practicum hours must be conducted at the assigned school(s) or during school-related activities in the community. This may include limited summer opportunities, and/or requirements related to how the practicum hours and activities are completed and recorded. Review your practicum log requirements (opens new window) along with the required EDL Evaluations (opens new window) before engagement in your practicum.


The number of hours your program requires varies by state of intended licensure and WGU program requirements. Refer to the Teacher Licensure Home Page (opens new window) in the Student Handbook, which contains detailed information about the hours required for your program. Your mentor, when appropriate, may provide you with examples of practicum activities that align with the program requirements and the appropriate national educational leadership standards (provided below). This program is for experienced, licensed classroom teachers who are interested in becoming school principals.


                                Course Title                                                                Leadership Standards

Practicum in Educational Leadership - Focus on Professional Practices


National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards (opens new window)

Practicum in Educational Leadership - Focus on Instruction and Operations

Early Field Experience – Initial Internship in Elementary or Secondary Educational Leadership

Culminating Clinical Experience – Final Internship in Elementary or Secondary Educational Leadership

Practicum in Secondary Educational Leadership 1 & 2


Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) Standards (opens new window)

Practicum in Elementary Educational Leadership 1 & 2

Practicum in Educational Leadership