May 19, 2024  
National University Vol 2 Addendum D (formerly NCU) 
National University Vol 2 Addendum D (formerly NCU) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education Specialist, Educational Leadership, Higher Education Specialization, EdS

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Education Specialist in Educational Leadership

Description of Program

In this program, you will build on the knowledge, skills, and leadership dispositions acquired through a master’s degree and educational practice. You will critically analyze at an advanced level how a broad range of leadership theories, trends, and dispositions can be applied across diverse organizations. You will be prepared to make research-based, ethical decisions that improve issues, systems, and practice within current and emerging educational organizations. While the degree is not specific to PK-12 education, the program does align with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL).

Please be advised that this program is NOT accredited in Kentucky by the Education Professional Standards Board and is NOT recognized for initial, additional, or renewal of certification or salary enhancement (rank change) for P-12 educators in Kentucky. For more information, please visit the Education Professional Standards Board’s website at

Click here for potential career opportunities within the EdS-EdL.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply quality standards to enhance instructional rigor and instructional strategies fostering student learning and development and augment teacher professional development
  • Analyze the aspects of professional capacity and resource needs for a quality professional learning community promoting an effective and efficient learning environment for all teachers, staff, and students
  • Facilitate effective educational leadership vision and integrity through strategic planning involving data-driven decision-making and evidence-based practice
  • Evaluate and select strategies to cultivate an inclusive and supportive learning environment to enhance accessibility, community collaboration, and student success
  • Synthesize current educational research and theories within evidence-based practice for ongoing school improvement

Basis for Admissions

Admission to the EdS-EdL requires a conferred post-baccalaureate master’s degree and/or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution or an international institution determined to be equivalent through an approved evaluation service.

Degree Requirements

The Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership (EdL) requires 33 credit hours for degree completion. The EdS-EdL program includes two foundational courses (6 credit hours) and eight core courses (24 credit hours) which must be completed prior to engaging in the final, 3 credit hour capstone course.

The EdS-EdL degree program has the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 21 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through the University
  • Successful completion of all courses with a “B” or better
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

The University may accept up to 12 semester credit hours earned with a grade of “B” or better for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university and evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content with the required course work for the EdS-EdL program.

See the Transfer Credit Policy  for additional information.

Time to Completion

The University allows 5 years to complete all educational specialist programs of 33 credits or less.

The median time to completion for this program is 23 months.

Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

Students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 18 months.

Certification and Licensing

The Sanford College of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The EdS-EdL program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

Course Sequence

The EdS in Educational Leadership requires two Foundations courses, two Core courses, four Specialization courses, two Research courses, and one Capstone course for a total of 33 credit hours.

Both the Education Specialist (EdS) and Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership (EdS-EdL) require all foundations courses and specialization or core courses be completed prior to students starting the capstone course. Students will be able to choose between two specializations (PK-12 and Higher Education). Each specialization has a different set of core specialization courses.

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