Letter of Intent

As the landing page indicates, you will have six (6) paragraphs to your letter of intent, which should be no more than 500 words.  The first paragraph is that introduction and a sharing of professional and personal information.  The second paragraph explains why you have applied and for what track (HE or EDLD), what purpose the degree will serve, and your intentions, what you want to do with the degree. The third paragraph identifies/describes a challenging problem you faced at work.  The fourth paragraph elaborates on that problem in that you share how you addressed it. The fifth paragraph shares why you will succeed in this program, in other words, are you committed to the extra time and effort and how will you fit the demands of this program into your current lifestyle. And the final paragraph shares your contact information:  name, phone number, and private (not professional) email address.

The letter of intent should be addressed to the director, Dr. Gary Bigham, and should have 1” margins, 12 point font in Times New Roman, single-spaced, and is free of punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors.

Writing Artifact

The Writing Artifact is a 1-5 page paper that has clear, authentic, compelling content, 1” margins, 12 point font in Times New Roman, is double spaced, and is free of punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors. 

In this paper you are to identify and to describe the three most pressing problems of practice facing rural school leaders today.  These problems can be in the EC-12 area or higher education. Please describe those problems and the context/components that make them problems for administrators in EDLD or in HE. Next, rank those problems and explain your rationale for your decision making.  In other words, why do you think one problem of practice is more pressing than the other two you rejected?  And why is the second problem of practice more important than the third?  Next, share with us how you, if you were an administrator, would solve the first problem of practice, the one that you think is the most pressing.

Faculty will use a common rubric to evaluate all admission materials.  If you have questions, please contact Dr. Gary Bigham at

NOTE: If you have applied for this program prior to July 9, 2020 and already have application materials in place that differ from what we now require, those will still be accepted. However, feel free to contact Heather Wilson at for questions regarding those items.