Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL) Preparation

Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL) Preparation

This is a non-degree, credit-bearing training program designed for professionals who are seeking an administrative license. The training program consists of four courses tightly aligned to each of the PAL Tasks.

This non-matriculated online training is designed to be completed in two years.

Courses (16 credits)

Courses focus on the acquisition of the Professional Standards and Indicators for Administrators, and of the skills and knowledge to complete the four tasks required by the PAL.

Leadership Through a Vision of School Improvement (EDU 6930)
This course is designed to assist students in developing those skills essential for leading a school through a comprehensive improvement process. Students will be supported to analyze data, develop action plans, and monitor progress of two pillars of effective schools-the instructional program (curriculum, instruction, and assessment) and school culture (student culture, professional culture, and community involvement).

Transformative and Collaborative Leadership (EDU 6920)
In this course, students will examine and apply the components of strategy development. Students will consider collaborative leadership through the study of high functioning teams and by analyzing their current team structure.  Attention will be given to implementing effective strategies for conflict management. Students will learn to foster a professional learning community culture by using structured learning activities to improve teachers’ knowledge and skills.  Students will utilize the structure of a PLC to investigate effective technology leadership and communication.

Leadership in Observing, Assessing, and Supporting Teacher Effectiveness (EDU 6940)
Students in this course will explore the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes central to instructional leadership and supervision.  They will become familiar with observing and analyzing teaching and administrator performance using the Massachusetts Model System for Educator Evaluation.  Students will complete fieldwork including planning for an observation, conducting an observation, analyzing the observation and student performance data, providing feedback, and planning support for an individual teacher.

School, Family, and Community Partnership (CME 6420)
This course considers the roles of schools in communities and explores methods and models to engage families and communities to maximize student learning and development.  Included in this course are issues such as community centers, parent involvement, and interagency collaboration.

Innovative Leadership: Project-Based Research Capstone (EDU 6960) — optional
Students in the licensure track will work on artifacts, documents, and commentary for the four Tasks required for submission for state licensure.

How to Apply

Students who are interested in the PAL preparation training should apply through the graduate admissions free, online application.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Three years’ work experience as a teacher or administrator
  • Currently working in a K-12 school in Massachusetts under a licensed Massachusetts administrator


For more information on the Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL) Preparation program, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at or 978-837-3563.