Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > Class A Instructional Leadership Reduced Hour Option (Teaching Certification Only)

Class A
Instructional Leadership Reduced Hour Option (Teaching Certification Only)


Program Overview

The Reduced Hour Option (RHO) for aspiring instructional leaders provides a way for experienced educators to accelerate their goals of working in school administration. Resulting in an Alabama Class A Instructional Leadership certification, this program is designed with experienced educators in mind.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Program Detail

Educators gain a thorough understanding of the central concepts, tools of inquiry and structures of the field of educational leadership. They learn to work with students, families and communities in ways that reflect the dispositions expected of educational leaders.

The Alabama master’s level Instructional Leadership reduced hour certification-only option offered through The University of Alabama is aligned with state standards for instructional leaders. Completion of the Reduced Hour Option (RHO) program leads to eligibility for Alabama Class A certification in Instructional Leadership and is designed for students who have earned a master’s degree and hold a valid Alabama Class A teaching certificate. The program is offered fully online to accommodate the busy schedules of professional educators and students are led by experienced faculty members from the UA College of Education.

  • Application Priority DeadlineJuly 1 for fall, November 15 for spring, and May 1 for summer
  • Fees$10 graduate College of Education fee (per hour)
  • AccreditationCouncil for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Required For EntranceAlabama Class A teaching certificate


Courses for the program are offered online. A new cohort of students begins each summer, fall and spring. The reduced hour option (RHO) consists of 18-21 credit hours and leads to eligibility for an Alabama Class A Instructional Leader certification. Program requirements and courses are subject to change.

Required Courses

  • AEL 520 Leadership for Communities
  • AEL 521 Leadership for Improvement
  • AEL 523 Human Resources Development
  • AEL 524 Ethics and Law
  • AEL 525 Management
  • AEL 527 Internship in Instructional Leadership
  • Students who have not taken a special education survey course will enroll in SPE 500.

Students must complete a 10-day in school residency and submit a Livetext portfolio to document their experiences. Students must also pass the Praxis and a comprehensive exam prior to completion of the program.


Note: Students enrolled in the reduced hour option (RHO) are not eligible for financial aid.

Admission to the reduced hour option (RHO) certification only program requires the following:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Current Alabama Class A professional educator certificate in a teaching field or instructional support area
  • Experience Options:
    • Experience Option One: Three years of full-time professional educational experience in a P-12 setting, including one year of full-time P-12 classroom teaching experience
    • Experience Option Two: Alabama Class A certification as a library media specialist or school counselor and seven full years of full-time employment, in the same school system, as a library media specialist or school counselor in a P-12 setting
  • 3.0 GPA or higher in a completed graduate degree program
  • Submission of an application portfolio to the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies to include:
    • Copy of most recent performance appraisal
    • Evidence of ability to improve student achievement
    • Evidence of leadership potential
    • Resume/vitae
    • Statement identifying reasons for pursuing degree
    • Statement outlining program expectations
    • Copy of teaching certificate
    • Completed EXP form
      • Experience must be verified on the notarized Supplement EXP form. Section III and V should be completed by your current and/or previous school system(s) (usually the HR department); Section IV is not required. Questions related to acceptable experience or certification should be directed to Dawn Bryant, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions and Certification at The original form should be mailed to:

The University of Alabama College of Education
ATTN: Dawn Bryant
Box 870231
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0231

A completed Graduate School application package includes unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation (one from current employing principal/superintendent), and a statement of purpose. Applicants applying under Experience Option Two must provide a written recommendation from the current employing superintendent.

Apply as a distance learning non-degree seeking student. Indicate 18-hour Instructional Leadership Program as purpose of applying for non-degree admission.

Application Deadlines

  • May 1 – summer admission
  • July 1 – fall admission
  • Nov 15 – spring admission


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