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Frequently Asked Questions about UCEA Membership

  1. Can I join UCEA? UCEA membership is institutional and not individual. Individuals may attend and present at UCEA’s conference, but only institutions are voting members of the Plenum, UCEA’s governance structure.

  2. Are there any non-negotiables for UCEA membership? Yes, applying institutions must offer a master’s or doctoral program in educational leadership/administration and have leadership preparation as their main area of research, teaching, and service. Institutions seeking full membership must meet UCEA’s criteria for program quality as determined through an extensive review process. Interested institutions may wish to review our membership assessment rubric to determine their potential eligibility.

  3. How much is UCEA membership? Annual institutional membership dues are $2500 for Full members and $2000 for Conditional, Associate and Partner members.

  4. What is the process for applying for UCEA membership? An institution must submit an application for consideration. The application process ranges from an in-depth application for full and conditional memberships to an abbreviated one for associate and partner memberships.
    1. For full membership, after the Executive Committee (EC) reviews the application, if the EC decides an application warrants further merit, then it will authorize a site visit (generally two full days) with two site visitors (usually one EC member and one plenum representative or sometimes two EC members). After the site visit, the two site visitors submit a report to the EC with their recommendation. The report and recommendation are reviewed and discussed by the EC. If the EC concurs with the site visitors’ report and recommendation to accept, it forwards a 2nd motion to the Plenum with its recommendation to accept the application for full membership. The Plenum has one month to vote on the motion.

    2. For conditional, associate, or partner membership, the Executive Committee reviews the application and if there are no issues, sends a 2nd motion to the Plenum recommending acceptance of the application. The Plenum has one month to vote on the motion. For conditional members, the EC assigns two experienced UCEA colleagues to work with the conditional member institution assuming that within 5 years, the institution will be able to apply for full membership status.

  5. What is the timeline for the application? UCEA accepts membership applications year round. From initial application receipt, it generally takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months for a review, and visit in the case of full membership, depending on the time of the year.

  6. Is the application submitted electronically or in hard copy? The application may be submitted in electronic format for distribution to the EC.

  7. Who pays for the site visit?The applying institution is responsible for all costs incurred for the two site visitors, which includes travel, hotel, meals, and any incidentals such as ground transportation, etc.

  8. Who should I contact for further information on UCEA membership? You can contact one of two people, either Dr. Pamela Tucker at UCEA headquarters,, 434-924-7846 or Dr. Michelle Young at UCEA headquarters,, (434) 243-1041.

  9. What are the benefits of UCEA membership? A full listing of benefits can be found at but here is a sampling of benefits:
    • Complimentary online access to UCEA journals

    • Possible opportunities to serve on the editorial boards of UCEA's top tier educational leadership journals
    • Discounted prices on UCEA publications

    • Complimentary access to high quality and peer-reviewed curriculum resources for member institutions
    • High quality and impactful program review process

    • Complimentary advertising of job vacancies

    • Discounted convention fees for UCEA faculty and graduate students

    • Opportunities for member graduate students of color to participate in the Jackson Scholars Program

    • Opportunities for member graduate student participation in the David L. Clark Graduate Student Research Seminar

  10.  Who are some of the UCEA member institutions? In general, UCEA members are institutions of higher education, which have graduate programs in educational leadership/administration/policy studies. These institutions also prepare the next generation of school leaders ranging from assistant principals and principals to superintendents. Partner members can be professional organizations or school districts. For a complete list of members, go to:

  11. What does “critical mass” of faculty mean? One of the central criteria for membership is a critical mass of faculty who are integrally involved in the teaching, research and service of educational leaders (i.e., principals, superintendents, etc.). Most UCEA institutions have five or more faculty members working in the area of educational leadership but it the presence and impact of their work this is most important in membership decisions.

  12. In the application process, should the applying institution focus solely on a particular program? No, the applying institution should describe and address all aspects of their master’s and doctoral programming related to educational leadership.

Comparison of Membership Categories




Conditional (formerly Provisional) 

Associate (formerly Affiliate) 

Partner (formerly Affiliate) 

Representative to the Plenum

Participation in UCEA Initiatives

Voting Rights




Service on the Executive Committee




Time Limit


5 years non-renewable

5 years, renewable once

3 years


Full for
(a) research generating or
(b) research utilizing

Full for
(a) research generating or
(b) research utilizing



Site Visit




Annual Dues





Research Generating

Research Utilizing

Carnegie classification: Doctorate Granting University

Carnegie classification: Doctorate Granting University, Masters College or University, a Tribal College, or has a comparable international rating

Critical mass of full time tenure track faculty members

Critical mass of full time faculty members


Full Membership: Institutions that fully meet membership standards determined through a paper and on-site review process

Conditional Membership: Institutions that do not yet meet the membership standards or specifically request conditional membership

Associate Membership: Institutions that wish to explore membership and consider full membership

Partner Membership: School districts, K-12 schools, professional associations and other non-university educational agencies that are supportive of UCEA’s mission and purpose