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The Master of Science in Workforce Education Leadership (WEL) is an online education program designed to prepare professionals for employment in workforce education in postsecondary educational institutions and social services entities, advancing the knowledge base of workforce preparation, workforce development education and professional development.

Program highlights:

  • This program is 100% online.
  • 30 hours are required to complete the program.
  • You can start courses in the spring, summer, or fall semester.
  • All online students pay in-state tuition.
What are some potential careers?

Some potential careers with this degree include workforce coordinator, academic and career coach, workforce development specialist, career advisor and outreach specialist.

Who should pursue this degree?

An individual pursuing this degree should find their goals aligned with those of the program which are to advance the knowledge base of career and technical education; to implement efficient concepts of workforce preparation and professional development; to actively engage in teaching, research and service that promotes workforce policy development and improvement and to understand the cultural and social factors that impact rural communities.

MDE Endorsement

If you are a K-12 teacher who holds a standard renewable Mississippi Educator license and are interested in the Workforce Education Leadership program, this degree program will lead to an upgrade to your license but will not lead to any additional endorsements. Additionally, this degree program does not lead to initial licensure.

Admissions Process

Domestic/International Classified Admissions

  1. Submit online application. You will choose Online Education as your campus.
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students.
  5. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
  6. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
    • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  7. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
    Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
  8. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor.


Community College Leadership
(Minimum of 18 Credit Hours)

CCL 8113 History and Philosophy of the Community College
Three hours lecture. Objectives of the community college, philosophical/historical bases, changing roles, issues in higher education/workforce development/economic industry.

CCL 8133 Leadership Theory and Practice in the Community College
Three hours lecture. In-depth analysis of leadership theory and practice in the community college environment, including an overview of leadership, approaches, theories, and ethics.

CCL 8143 Program Planning and Development
In-depth analysis of workforce education including the mission, the knowledge base, planning and developing programs, and delivering programs.

CCL 8153 Human Resources Administration
Examines the role of the human resources administrator on workforce education leadership; key administrative functions, workforce development, benefits and compensation, and employee relations are analyzed.

CCL 8173 Community College Teaching and Learning
Comprehensive preparation for teaching at the community college: teaching strategies centered on outcomes and experiential learning, assessment of learning, and job related responsibilities.

CCL 8343 Community Development and Resources
In-depth analysis of community environment in which community colleges serve, including strategic planning, asset mapping, project development, resources and grant writing, and project evaluation.

Interdisciplinary Courses
(Minimum of 6 Credit Hours)

CCL 8163 Organization and Administration in Postsecondary Institutions
Three hours lecture. Diversity within the community college setting with foci on creating a diverse and inclusive organizational culture, diversity and cultural competencies, equitable educational experiences, and the influence of diversity within schools. Current trends and theories are addressed.

CCL 8183 Diversity in Community College
Three hours seminar. A study of the current issues in community college leadership and workforce education. Designed for students in the community college leadership program.

Required Research and Statistics Course
(Minimum of 3 Credit Hours)

CCL 8253 Community College Research Methods
Three hours lecture. Analysis of the research process to include literature review, developing research questions, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results, with an emphasis on research in community colleges. Includes both qualitative and quantitative research designs.

Other Required Course
(Minimum of 3 Credit Hours)

CCL 8193 Issues in Community College and Workforce Leadership
Three hours seminar. A study of the current issues in community college leadership and workforce education. Designed for students in the community college leadership program.

Comprehensive Exam

A written, final comprehensive examination is required of all candidates. The exam is given in March, June, and October in Starkville. Those who cannot come to Starkville can arrange for a proctor. The exam lasts for 4 hours and requires students to respond in writing to questions on the following topics:

  1. History and philosophy of the community college
  2. Educational research
  3. Teaching and assessment Workforce development (WEL)

The following examination requirements must be met.

  • A student must be enrolled in at least 1 hour in the semester the exam is administered. A student taking a comprehensive examination during the summer semester can be enrolled in any summer term.
  • A student must have a 3.00 or higher GPA when sitting for the examination.
  • The student must be within the last 6 hours or in the terminal semester of coursework.
  • The student must sign and return the CAPP (program of study), committee request form, and announcement of examination to his or her major professor by the deadline given by the major professor.

One negative vote will not constitute failure for a student on a comprehensive examination, but two negative votes will constitute failure. A student who fails the comprehensive exam can apply to schedule another examination after a period of three months has elapsed from the date of the original exam. Two failures result in the student’s removal as a master’s degree candidate.

Contact Information

Photo of Anusha Rijal

Anusha Rijal

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Stephanie King Headshot

Dr. Stephanie King

Educational Leadership

  • Associate Professor and Advisor