MEd in Educational Administration and Leadership (VEL4)

This program is offered by the Department of Educational Studies (EDST), in partnership with the Office of the Associate Dean of Indigenous Education, and the Vancouver School Board. Learn more about EDST programs.

Indigenous Education & Research | “The time is right for educators to engage in leadership, mentorship, diversity, and Indigenous education in order to transform educational contexts and systems so that they can meet leadership challenges and create quality educational approaches, policies, programs, and pedagogies. The Office of Indigenous Education in the UBC Faculty of Education is excited to be a partner in the new EDAL cohort.”

Dr. Jo-ann Archibald | Associate Dean for Indigenous Education

Leadership, Mentorship, and Engagement for Contexts of Diversity and Indigenous Education

The thoughtful practice of educational leadership in a context of school district change involves engaging with multiple constituencies — school and community-based. Constituencies hold conflicting social, political and cultural claims regarding the aims of education in a democratic and pluralist society — one that recognizes the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Coast Salish People as well as the diversity of Indigenous families and students within the Vancouver School District.

Educational leadership is a situated ethical practice that extends the boundaries of schooling into the community by engaging with the social justice and Indigenous praxis.

The Cohort Program

This off-campus MEd program offers a responsive, and engaging graduate program co-created with the Vancouver School District that allows participants to:

  • Prepare for a leadership role in their school or district.
  • Build relationships and interact with colleagues as part of a community of learners.
  • Engage in understanding, critiquing, and improving educational governance, equity, policy and practice.
  • Explore the five competencies of 21st Century learning from the BC Education Plan through the lens of diversity and Indigenous education.
  • Gain a greater understanding of leadership and mentorship for social justice, diversity, inclusion, community engagement and Indigenous education.
  • Contribute to capacity building and professional capital through mentorship opportunities across the school district.
  • Reflect on the aims of education in a democratic and pluralist society.
  • Broaden their perceptions on school life and develop their thinking skills – within a background of Canadian content.

Proposed Schedule

This is a 30-credit program. Note, this schedule is subject to change.

July 2014 The Study of Educational Organizations (EDST 582)**
August 2014 Elective*
September 2014 Leadership, Administration and the Aims of Education (EDST 581)
January 2015 Leadership in Educational Organizations (EDST 532)**(As an extension of this course, UBC and VSB will co-sponsor two additional public seminars outside of class time and will provide an opportunity for participants to work with VSB administrators in a mentorship capacity in their classes and in VSB schools)
April 2015 Indigenous Leadership (EDST 565)**
July 2015 Elective*
August 2015 Elective*
September 2015 Research Traditions in Educational Administration (EDST 501)**
January 2016 Group Inquiry into Educational Practices (EDST 553)**

* These courses will be offered daily for a period of three weeks at UBC.

** These courses will be offered off-campus over 5 Saturdays in the Vancouver School District.

Other Research Options

MEd graduating paper (EDST 590) may replace Group Inquiry (EDST 553) above. If you are interested in an MA, please consult with the Cohort Advisor.


Two electives (6 credits) may be courses below the 500 level (300 or 400 level only).

  • A minimum of three years’ full-time teaching experience or an equivalent combination of engagement within schools, communities, nongovernmental organizations, and other education oriented environments.
  • A completed four-year undergraduate degree and at least a 76% average on all senior-level credits.
  • Three recommendations from educators and administrators that speak to your engagement with education and leadership.
  • Resumé and a 600-word statement of intent of your educational leadership experience (regardless of your formal position) and your professional goals and the way in which you believe this program would link to them.

Please contact Linda Haftner if you wish to apply to this program.

Application Process

Carefully read the following instructions before beginning your application. Please print this page and refer to it while completing your online application.

1. Online Application
  • Navigate to
  • When you are ready to apply, click “Apply Online”.
  • Read the instructions, and click “Create Your Account”.
    (Note: If you have already begun your application, simply log in).
  • Once you have created your account, choose “New Application”.
  • Click “Start a Completely New Application”.
  • Under “Degree” choose “Master of Education” from the drop-down menu.

Important: You must select the precise program name listed above.

If you select the wrong program name, you will need to re-apply and pay an additional application fee. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will not refund your application fee, or transfer or cancel your application.

  • Proceed with your application as instructed.
  • References: You are strongly encouraged to submit electronic letters of reference. Simply fill in the email addresses of your three referees when completing the online application.

Once you submit and pay for your online application, your referees will automatically receive an email with a link and instructions for completing the electronic reference form.

Despite the apparent size of the text box, referees may type as much as they want.

  • If you know that a referee is unable to submit an online reference, please leave the email address blank on the application.

See “Supporting Documents” below for information on submitting letters of reference by mail.

  • When finished entering your information, you must click “Submit” in order to save your application.
  • You will automatically receive an email acknowledgement, with instructions on documentation and deadlines.
2. Supporting Documents

In addition to your online application, please forward:

  • Two official (sealed) transcripts from all post-secondary institutions

Your application requires two (2) sealed transcripts from every post-secondary institution you attended (except UBC), even institutions where you did not complete a program.

If you are a UBC alumnus, please provide your student number so we may access your transcript.

  • An electronic copy of an up-to-date resumé.
  • In cases where referees are unable to submit an electronic reference, sealed and endorsed reference letters may be sent by mail. The form is available here.

A letter can take the place of the reference form as long as it addresses the questions posed in the reference form.

The reference form is designed to be completed by professors; if your referee is not a professor, please ask him or her to write about your ability to successfully complete a graduate degree in this particular focus.

Important: Letters of reference will only be considered valid if the referee’s signature appears across the sealed flap of the envelope.


  • If you have unofficial copies of your transcripts, we can adjudicate your eligibility before your official transcripts arrive; you may send these by mail, fax (604.822.2015) or email.

Please note that this adjudication is not official until we have received your sealed transcripts, and your eligibility for the program is based on your application as a whole.

  • Send everything to the attention of:

Linda Haftner
Professional Development & Community Engagement
UBC Faculty of Education
1304-2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4

The most common delay in admissions is caused by the search for documents that are at other locations on this huge campus.

Please contact Linda Haftner (604.822.4499) if you require any assistance with the application process.

Program tuition will be divided into six (6) installments of $2,240.81 plus applicable student fees, payable in September, January, and May of the (# of years) program years. The program total is $13,444.86 plus applicable student fees.

Tuition fees are in Canadian dollars, are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors, and are subject to change. The figures quoted above are current for the 2013-2014 academic year.

VSB Core Purpose

It is our collective responsibility as a school district to ensure the highest quality of learning experiences for all students, with a focus on student engagement, learning and development in a safe inclusive environment.

“The Vancouver School District has a long-standing partnership with the Faculty of Education at UBC. We are pleased to continue that relationship through this new opportunity for educators to come together and connect their practice with scholarly pursuit. Our interest in this particular graduate program is to develop praxis that embraces leadership, mentorship, and engagement within the context of diversity and Indigeneity.

Students in Vancouver public schools are engaged in learning, have a meaningful voice, and enjoy their experiences both in the classroom and in life outside of the school. As a community, students and staff share a passion for lifelong learning. We are dedicated to ensuring inclusive, equitable access to programs and services across the district, where every student has the opportunity to succeed. Vancouver School District is committed to building collaborative partnerships in our school communities to support the needs of all of our students and their families. The district believes in having engaged learners, inclusive schools, and caring communities. It is through this visionary lens that we encourage and invite your involvement in this exciting graduate program.”

Dr. Steve Cardwell
Superintendent | Vancouver School Board