If you want to see what real community educational attainment looks like, you don’t have to go any further than the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) map and check out the most recent report cards for elementary and middles school achievement in math, reading, and science.
Your eye will consistently land on a big blue highlight right at the top middle part of the country—the West North Central region, as the Census Bureau calls it. That flare of blue shows the areas that perform significantly higher than national averages in those categories.
Not only are educational attainment scores in this part of the country high, but so are graduation rates—every state in this group other than Kansas falls into the top third of the country when it comes to getting kids out the door with a high school diploma.
Infused with a strong respect for education, the folks in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri clearly put a priority on education. And they just as clearly hire superintendents, principals, and other educational administrators who are serious about getting the job done.
First-Rate Master’s Degrees in Educational Administration Are What Schools Here Expect
Like most parts of the country, educators who work here tend to be from here—so you can lay a lot of that nation-leading basic education acumen down to the excellent teachers and administrators here.
And in a place that puts a lot of emphasis on skilled educators and educational leaders, you will want to earn your advanced degree in educational leadership through an exceptional program. That’s exactly what you will find right here on our list of top programs in the West North Central region.
You can see our full criteria for selecting the programs we felt represent the best of the best here.
Editor’s Choice for the Best Educational Leadership Administrator Prep Master’s Programs in the West North Central Region
MAEd in Educational Leadership (on-campus, online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $16,200
Accelerated and affordable, Ottawa University’s MAEd in Educational Leadership is expertly designed to prepare experienced educators (with five or more years of teaching experience) to become effective, confident school leaders and administrators. We love the flexible design of this program that can be completed either on-campus or online. And you’re sure to appreciate the supportive learning environment here that includes a dedicated faculty and small class sizes. This dynamic, well-rounded course of study prepares you for your administrator licensure through exciting courses in instructional design and evaluation, clinical supervision and assessment, relations for leaders in diverse communication, and more.
MS in School Leadership (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $14,256
Baker University’s MS in School Leadership is offered in an online format that’s designed to align with the needs of today’s busy, working educators. This dynamic master’s degree program sharpens your leadership, organizational, administration, and communication skills and prepares you to tackle the most pressing issues and challenges facing modern school systems. Whether you’re seeking a PK-12 building administrator license in Kansas or a certificate in Missouri, this degree will get you where you want to be! The fully online program design features weekly virtual meetings that allow you to remain fully engaged with faculty and your peers and a top-notch academic advising team that will keep you on track throughout your program.
MSEd in Building Leadership (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $13,800
Newman University’s MSEd in Building Leadership provides today’s educators with the critical skills they need to become confident leaders at the building and district level. We love the design of this program, which is built on the concept of “learning by doing.” Students of the MSEd in Building Leadership evaluate their schools to identify areas of need; research and incorporate best practices; analyze and propose school policy; and implement and lead projects to enhance and improve their schools. Graduates of this program are prepared to take and pass the School Leadership Licensure Assessment and earn their PreK-12 Conditional Building Leadership license in Kansas. And thanks to the program’s convenient, online design, you’ll be able to earn your master’s while still meeting your professional obligations.
MEd – Educational Leadership (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $20,850
A fully online program format is just one of the many perks of choosing Park University’s MEd in Educational Leadership! This exciting course of graduate study, which is designed to be an applied program, meaning that it blends theory and practice, prepares today’s educators to become confident, ethical educational administrators and leaders who can deftly solve the problems facing today’s schools. The MEd in Educational Leadership, which prepares students to earn the Missouri K-12 School Leader certification, features convenient and flexible, eight-week online courses and a tightknit learning environment that boasts a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Saint Louis University
MA in Educational Leadership (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $19,840
Saint Louis University’s MA in Educational Leadership is an exciting program for aspiring educational administrators and leaders! This program features a multidisciplinary design, problem-based learning experiences, and plenty of evidence-based content that connects theory and practice. Students here connect and engage with one another while exploring leadership strategies, examining effective practice, and participating in professionally guided practice in schools. Choose the MA in Educational Leadership and you’ll prepare to earn Missouri K-12 School Leader certification!
MA in Educational Leadership and Administration (on-campus, online, hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $19,500
Missouri’s School Leader K-12 certification is within reach through Webster University’s MA in Educational Leadership and Administration! Designed specifically to accommodate the needs of today’s busy, working educators, this program prepares students to become outstanding leaders in 21st century schools. Just some of the reasons why we love this program include an esteemed faculty of mentors with real-world connections and industry knowledge… your choice of an on-campus, online, or hybrid format… convenient and flexible eight- and nine-week terms…and five starts per year.
MEd in Educational Leadership - School Leader (K-12) Certification (on-campus, online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $17,640
Featuring your choice of on-campus or online study and convenient, eight-week terms, Columbia College’s MEd in Educational Leadership – School Leader Certification provides a streamlined path to Missouri’s School Leader K-12 certification and an exciting and fulfilling career in educational leadership and administration! Designed specifically for experienced, working educators, this program offers a curriculum that is foundational, theoretical, and applicable to 21st century schools.
Missouri Baptist University
Master of Educational Administration (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $17,190
Missouri Baptist University’s Master of Educational Administration offers a convenient and flexible path to administrator certification and a new career in educational administration and leadership! Featuring a fully online format, this exciting program allows busy, working educators like you to earn your grad degree while still fulfilling your professional obligations. You’ll study under an esteemed faculty of top professionals in the educational field while you study the latest educational trends and practices through a Christ-centered perspective.
MA in School Administration (on-campus, online, hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $16,530
Lindenwood University’s MA in School Administration boasts a flexible and convenient curriculum and a streamlined path to administrator certification. Choose on-campus study, online study, or a blend of the two – the choice is yours. You’re also sure to love the esteemed faculty with experience in various leadership roles. Instructors teaching the courses related to Missouri administrator certification are all experienced, building-level principals who offer specific expertise in course content!
MS in Educational Leadership – School Administration (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $22,536
Creighton University’s MS in Educational Leadership – School Administration boasts a convenient, online format and a direct path to an exciting career as an elementary or secondary school principal! You’re also sure to love the program’s eight-week, accelerated course format that offers an unparalleled level of flexibility for busy, working educators. This program can be completed from a distance, with just one, short, on-campus requirement. You’ll feel good about choosing Creighton, which has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its outstanding online graduate education programs!
Dakota Wesleyan University
MAEd – K-12 Principal (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $13,500
A 100% online format makes Dakota Wesleyan University’s MAEd – K-12 Principal a convenient, streamlined path to a K-12 endorsement in South Dakota. Students of this program can study anywhere, anytime for maximum flexibility, with no campus requirements. This dynamic program also features three start dates per year and convenient, seven-week courses that align perfectly with your busy schedule. Choose Dakota Wesleyan and you can earn your degree in as little as 15 months!