MA in Education with a Concentration in Leadership & Social Justice

Being a part of AUSB’s MA in Education program means joining a family of professionals who value your individual strengths and professional interests.

The MA in Education Program is designed for those who are currently working in education or related field. With a flexible curriculum and guaranteed class availability, students complete the Master’s degree in two full-time and three half-time quarters.

There are two distinct strands of content in the program. The research strand consists of a series of courses that support the learner in understanding educational and organizational research and preparing them for individual inquiry into their professional experiences or interests. The other courses support the student in learning foundations of educational and organizational leadership, focusing in particular on sociological and curricular perspectives of schools and organizations, leadership, and resilience education. Students are encouraged to develop their own interests within their field and to pursue self-designed learning experiences with the guidance of faculty.

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Developing leadership skills requires more than the study of theories and models. It also requires action and reflection.

During one of the first experiences in the program, students enroll in an introductory course on Social Justice and Educational Leadership. This course offers students the opportunity to assess their current understanding of educational reform movements, and learn about social justice issues in leadership. This first quarter includes not only academic courses but also the building of a collegial community with others in the program.

In the first three quarters, students enroll in required curricular and leadership courses focusing on social reform from historical, social, political and current perspectives. These core courses are designed to give all students a solid background and working knowledge of organizational change, perspectives on social change, and leadership in organizational reform.

In each of five quarters, MAE students enroll in one research course. These courses begin with an overview of social research practices and build throughout the program as students engage in their own research. Students also choose elective courses in areas of their specific interest.

  • Tailored to meet individual student interests
  • Small student cohort working within a supportive, collaborative environment
  • Caring faculty with expertise in educational leadership
  • Focused research in teacher’s own classrooms or other environments
  • Research that is relevant to the individual candidate
  • Opportunities to present graduate research


Candidates are sought who have been in the educational field for at least three years and have strong academic experience. Candidates should have an interest in examining their own practice, working with colleagues, and pursuing their professional dreams.

MAE Graduation Requirements

  • Curriculum (45 Units)
  • Residency: two full time and three half time quarters
  • Thesis


With a Social Justice and Education Leadership emphasis that prepares you to be on the forefront of advocacy in Pre-K though 12 school districts, non-traditional schools, higher education, or for-profit and nonprofit organizations, this program stands apart from its contemporaries:

Antioch University Santa Barbara

Streamline your degree with a fast-paced curriculum that begins each fall and can be completed in five quarters. Take advantage of flexible evening and Saturday course options that accommodate each student’s work schedule.

Antioch University Santa Barbara

Interactive courses in small classrooms are built around open dialogue and team participation, encouraging a high level of involvement. This format provides ample opportunity to share your own educational knowledge while learning from your peers.

Antioch University Santa Barbara

Engaged faculty with extensive experience bring a real-world perspective into the classroom that is immediately applicable and relevant. If desired, you will receive professional mentoring throughout the MA program and even after graduation.

“My experience at Antioch was greatly enriched by my contact with warm and concerned staff and a strong cohort of study partners.”

– William Johnson, Alumni MAE degree

MA Education – Curriculum

Our schedule is arranged for working professionals. Core courses prepare students to examine their own work in the context of educational reform while specializing in their individual interest areas.

MA in Education Program
Quarter I (Fall) 11 Units
TEP 6131 Sociological and Curricular Perspectives in Schools as Organizations (4)

TEP 6131 Sociological and Curricular Perspectives in Schools as Organizations (4)

This course explores schools as organizational systems from research literature. Students develop familiarity for how systems operate and perpetuate themselves. Attention will be given to the structural, political, historical, ecological and cultural context of schools. These dimensions of schools will be identified and critically analyzed. Students also embark on the comprehensive study (historical, social, political, economic and cultural aspects) of curriculum reform in the US and CA, in particular. They examine the effects of legislation and other political influences on curriculum and school systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the roles informal leadership can take in educational and other organizations. Students’ basic assumptions about schools are deconstructed.
TEP 6140Foundations of Educational Research (3)

TEP 6140 Foundations of Educational Research (3)

This course is designed to introduce students to the issues central to educational and social research. In order to provide the skills and knowledge that allow students to become critical consumers of both theory and research, the course includes discussion of various research designs, especially action research and ethnography, and key elements of critical evaluation. In addition, students learn to search and locate sources and support for current policies and practices related to their professional interests.

Foundations of Educational Research begins with students’ questions concerning the policies, issues and conditions of contemporary organizations. The knowledge, perspectives, and practice they need to become critical consumers of theory and research are provided. Students are presented with a systematic study of current research and research methods for conducting educational and organizational research. The objectives in this course focus on the knowledge base, research techniques, and applications of appropriate forms of research that can be applied to improve one’s own professional practice. Additionally, students will establish the research topic that will become the subject of their theses or projects.
TEP 6300.SBSocial Justice and Education Reform (3)

TEP 6300.SB Social Justice and Education Reform (3)

Contemporary research and practice related to progressive education movements are studied, including humanistic, student-centered, democratic, environmental, character, radical pedagogy, moral education, de-schooling, and charter schools. Students explore their own assumptions about these approaches and write a supported essay on their approach to teaching and school reform. The concept and practices of activism within and outside of the system are introduced. During this course students also form a unique collegial support group for pursuing the master’s degree as experienced teachers. Antioch’s social justice mission and its impact in the educational program are shared in this course. Prerequisite(s): Admission into the Master of Arts in Education Program in Social Justice and Educational Leadership.
TEP 6350Research Ethics for Human Subjects (1)

TEP 6350 Research Ethics for Human Subjects (1)

This course, which is completed online, provides students with the ethical and legal information they need in order to conduct research with human subjects. All students conducting research involving human participants must complete the ethics modules through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program and have a current research ethics certificate on file. These modules address the ethical considerations pertinent to research with human subjects in the behavioral and social sciences. These include Research with Protected Populations, Ethical Principles, Belmont Report, History and Ethical Principles, Avoiding Group Harms, Defining Research with Human Subjects, Assessing Risk, Informed Consent, Privacy and Confidentiality, and Conflicts of Interest. Each student establishes contact with the CITI Program and completes the ethics modules by the end of the Winter Quarter, but before any data collection is undertaken. Instructions for accessing CITI modules and for overview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process are provided during the first and second sessions of TEP 614 in the Fall Quarter.
Quarter II (Winter) 9 Units
TEP 6160 Critical Evaluation of Education Research (3)

TEP 6160 Critical Evaluation of Education Research (3)

In this course, students refine their ability to critically evaluate the reliability, validity, and implication of educational research. They become familiar with logical processes of problem conceptualization and hypothesis formulation. Qualitative and quantitative research methods are introduced. Both theoretical and practical issues of school-based research are examined. Students design their theses/projects, begin their literature reviews, and do a small pilot project. Prerequisite(s): teaching credential or equivalent and TEP 614.
TEP 6180 Leadership and Educational Reform (4)

TEP 6180 Leadership and Educational Reform (4)

This course provides study of leadership in educational reform. Students become familiar with the current research on effective schools and the values and efforts that brought them into being. Central issues in reform such as state control, accountability, curriculum, resistance, and community building are examined. Students research the specific challenges in California school reform (e.g., language, culture). Students study organizational change models and test their applicability to school change. They study different types of leadership, different ways that power is distributed, and evaluate the effectiveness of these models in different contexts. Students identify their own theories of leadership, and study relationships between motivation and power. Prerequisite(s): Teaching credential or equivalent.
Electives (2)
Quarter III (Spring) 9 Units
TEP 6190 Producing and Disseminating Educational Research (3)

TEP 6190 Producing and Disseminating Educational Research (3)

In this course, students finalize their thesis designs and begin the data collection phase of their projects. They act as peer mentors to each other, providing both support and critique. Students complete the literature review for the projects and expand their skills in the use of descriptive and inferential statistics in data analysis. Students are instructed in professional writing skills and produce a short research article, proposal, or editorial. Students learn about professional development opportunities nationally and internationally, online, on campus, and on school sites. Students develop intellectual and professional networks that provide support for research and social change activities. Prerequisite(s): TEP 614 and 616
TEP 6310 Resilience and the School Community (3)

TEP 6310 Resilience and the School Community (3)

This course will focus on supporting personal resilience and building community to enhance the development of positive health and academic behaviors. Resilience and community building strategies will be taught and practiced. Students will participate in personal reflection and curriculum development for the purpose of learning to strengthen their own and their students’ resilience.
Electives (3)
Quarter IV (Summer) 10 Units
TEP 6320 Research Practicum in Educational Inquiry (3)

TEP 6320 Research Practicum in Educational Inquiry (3)

Students analyze data or implement the projects they designed in TEP 619. Students continue to engage in research, comparing their findings with significant literature. This research is a culmination of the learning students have done in core courses in preparation for their own projects. Students focus on the development of solid research practices based upon their understandings of the social, political, historical and cultural environments they are studying. They receive support from faculty and peers as they write and analyze their data for their thesis or project. Prerequisite(s): TEP 614, 616 and 619.
Electives (7)
Quarter V (Fall) 6 Units
TEP 6211Thesis Study (3/6)

TEP 6211 Thesis Study (3/6)

Students review central features of their learning and receive support in the completion of their projects, which will incorporate these features. Students study and practice professional data interpretation, writing, organization, and presentation skills. They will critique each other’s written work. Methods of research publication are studied and candidates are encouraged to receive assistance toward publishing their work. Each student will be required to practice and present their conclusions to an appropriate community organization, professional group, or educational agency if they haven’t already participated in the public conversations in a previous quarter. Prerequisite(s): TEP 614, 616 and 619 and approval of faculty advisor.
Total Units: 45

MA Education Program Enrollment Metrics

Please review the program information provided on these web pages and contact the Office of Admissions to learn more about how to apply


– Retention Rate (1 Year) based on 2010-11 cohort


– 4 year Graduation rate based on 2006-2010 cohort

Graduation Rate – % of cohort who entered in 2006 and graduated by June 30, 2010; includes full-time and part-time students.