Missouri Pathway for Aspiring Leaders (MoPAL)

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Missouri Special Education Leadership Endorsement Program

The Missouri Pathway for Aspiring Leaders in Special Education (MoPAL) is a three-year, DESE sponsored program. Individuals who currently hold a Missouri administrator certificate are eligible for participation at no cost. Through this program, aspiring leaders receive essential content through online professional learning modules, cohort learning experiences, coaching, and mentoring. During the first two years in the MoPAL program, participants complete a series of seven online modules focused on leadership issues in special education. The modules, in the first year, focus on foundational elements of special education leadership including: special education law, continuous improvement practices, and special education finance. In the second year, modules focus on leadership for quality special education instructional practices including high impact instructional practices, data-based decision making, effective teaching and learning practices and family/community participation. All modules have been vetted by both DESE special education improvement consultants and Missouri special education administrators through MO-CASE. All participants are assigned a MoPAL consultant who helps participants anchor module content to real-world application through cohort meetings and one-on-one visits. During each participant's third year they receive individualized coaching and support as they complete a capstone project. 

Qualifications to Participate

  • Current Missouri Administrator certification
  • Employed in a Missouri school district
  • Completed application on or before April 15, 2022. Applications received after this date will be considered as an available placement. 

Benefits to Participation

  • A research to practice approach
  • Cohort face-to-face meetings two times per year (January and July)
  • No cost, evidence-based, online professional learning framework
  • MoPAL consultant for the three years to address applicable real world context and to provide support and feedback during web-based professional learning modules and final product
  • Networking opportunities
  • Professional development aligned with Missouri Leader and the Council of Exceptional Child (CEC) Standards


  • January 19, 2022: Midyear Cohort Meeting (Cohort 1 and 2 with consultants)
  • January, 2022-May 2022: Cohort 1 (Year 2, Second Semester), Cohort 2 (Year 1, Second Semester) Modules plus consultants
  • January 15, 2022: Application release for Cohort 3
  • April 15, 2022: Applications due for Cohort 3
  • May, 2022: Candidates will be notified with information for Summer Cohort Meeting
  • May-August 2022: Cohort 1 (Year 2, Sixth Semester), and Cohort 2 (Year 1, Third Semester)
  • July, 2022: Consultant training
  • July 20, 2022: Summer Cohort Meeting (Cohort 1, 2, and 3, consultants)