Instructional Leadership

Educational Specialist Degree

Specialists in K-12 instructional leadership are needed to expand student achievement through the assessment and improvement of instructional strategies. The Instructional Leadership specialization will provide you with a strong background in the supervision of instruction, curriculum, diversity and analysis of the instructional capacity of K-12 schools. You will explore current theories and practices that can help improve student achievement. You will also learn to assess and interpret data, and examine the culture of learning and instructional improvement and reform. As a graduate, you will have developed the knowledge and skills to become an instructional leader in K-12 schools. You will also be prepared to pursue doctoral studies in Instructional Leadership at NCU if you want to further advance your professional credentials.

General Degree Requirements

The EdS Program may be completed in 33 credits. An Academic Advisor or Enrollment Specialist evaluates each student individually and works with the student to create an academically sound Learning Plan based on prior academics and their professional goals.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 5 years to complete the EdS degree.

Certification and Licensing

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

Education Specialist (EdS) Degree Requirements

Individuals with a previously completed master’s degree will meet the basis of admission to the Education Specialist Program. The programs includes foundations, scholarly writing and specialization courses, as well as a final capstone. Students must pass all courses with a Grade Point Average of 3.00 (B) or higher.

Course Length

All courses are 8 weeks in length.

The EdS in Education requires two Foundations courses, two Research courses, six Specialization courses, and one Capstone course for a total of 33 credit hours.

Course Code

Name

Course Description

Specialization Course 1

EDU7002-8

Research Methods

This course provides an introductory exploration of statistics for the graduate student. It includes instruction on the calculation, use, and interpretation of descriptive statistics, and introduces inferential statistical analysis. The emphasis of this course is on providing a working knowledge of basic statistical concepts to help the student understand statistical methodology as used in education, and also more generally, developing a working knowledge of statistical usage in everyday life.

Specialization Course 2

Specialization Course 3

Specialization Course 4

EDR7112

Action Research

This course is designed to prepare students who desire to use action research methods and as an opportunity for students to prepare to conduct research on topics/projects of interest to education scholars. The primary goal of action research is to solve a problem that will lead to improvement in individual or organizational practice. In addition to developing an action research proposal, students will gain knowledge about the theoretical, philosophical, epistemological, and political considerations surrounding action research, specifically in educational environments. Students will gain an understanding of the cyclical nature of action research. Student researchers in this course will be prepared to understand the unique role of the researcher in action research, the importance of stakeholders, to define appropriate action research questions, and to evaluate action research studies critically.

Specialization Course 5

Specialization Course 6

Required Foundation Courses - 6 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

EDU7101-8

Foundations for Graduate Study in Education (This course will be taken as the first course)

This course is an orientation to Northcentral University and to the essential skills needed to pursue a doctoral degree in Education. Doctoral level skills, such as academic integrity, time management, effective use of the Northcentral Library, comprehending complex scholarly texts and research articles, and APA form and style in professional communication are also introduced. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of personal goals, strengths, and challenges, and a roadmap to navigate their way to completion of their educational aspirations.

EDU7001-8

Advanced Scholarly Writing

The purpose of this course is to build advanced skills identifying and obtaining high quality sources through online library searches. In addition, the course addresses advanced writing and APA formatting skills, and it prepares students to be critically reflective consumers of research reports.

Specialization Courses - 18 credit hours, Select 6 courses from the following:

Course Code

Name

Course Description

IL7000-8

The Culture of Learning

In this course, doctoral students will explore ways of creating a culture of learning while engaging in instructional leadership tasks. Through course activities, students will explore topics including technology integration, philosophically sound curriculum decision-making, visionary leadership traits, and curriculum management.

IL7001-8

Leader as Advocate and Decision Maker

In this course, doctoral students will engage the complex decision-making concepts and processes while reflecting on staff development and instructional supervision. Topics include: teacher perceptions, instructional leadership, supervisory behaviors, instructional support and strategies, collaborative characteristics and presentation technology.

IL7002-8

Leader as Community Advocate

Instructional leaders must forge relationships with stakeholders in the community to build effective learning organizations. In this doctoral course, students will evaluate the skills necessary to engage stakeholders in partnerships that enhance educational operations at all levels. Students will discuss methods to develop professional learning communities and evaluate the theories and research related to learning communities and instructional leadership.

ED7014-8

Practices in School Organization

In this course, students will examine the organizational structure of schools and school systems, their relationships to and effects on school programs, teaching strategies, testing and measurement, and the evaluation of programs in schools. The student will consider the way schools are organized around time, space, and other resources. Organizational dynamics will be explored and there will be an opportunity to engage operational factors that influence the school climate including human resources, organizational outreach, and capacity. Finally, students will explore stakeholder participation in organizational practice.

ED7016-8

Supervision and Leadership in Schools

In this course, students will explore real world experiences, and common challenges encountered by school leaders. During this course, students study the organizational behavior in schools, which emphasizes the practical relevance of educational leadership in this new era of accountability and high-stakes testing. Topics include: development theories and collaborative planning models for enhanced professional practice which includes; distributed leadership, professional learning communities, parental involvement, and sustainable leadership to impact student growth.

ED7035-8

Curriculum Supervision

In this course, doctoral students will explore classic and contemporary approaches to organizational development. Students will explore preferred communication styles, cultivate relationships, develop strategies, and evaluate optimal strategies for organizational growth. Finally, students will be introduced to the doctrines of organizational development, theory, and techniques.

ED7030-8

Development of Organizational Leadership

In this course, doctoral students will explore classic and contemporary approaches to organizational development. Students will explore preferred communication styles, cultivate relationships, develop strategies, and evaluate optimal strategies for organizational growth. Finally, students will be introduced to the doctrines of organizational development, theory, and techniques.

ED7036-8

Innovation for Change

In this course, students will employ creative skills, manage innovation, and hone techniques to promote imaginative and flexible change strategies. Change involves knowledge, understanding, and commitment from administrators and cannot be construed as an event, but rather a process. Further, change involves working with a diverse group of people and striving to motivate others to muscle through change as it is needed. Leaders must work with a community and use change to implement desirable changes. This course will prepare doctoral students to negotiate the world of education innovation and change.

Capstone Course - 3 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

ED7053-8

Education Specialist Capstone Project

ED7053 is the culmination of the EdS program. In this course students will have the opportunity to demonstrate the synthesis of knowledge in the Education Specialist program through the design of a real-world problem solving project. The project should be based on research and/ or fieldwork and must demonstrate an approach to addressing the problem through application of theory. Additionally, within this course students will complete a reflective self-assessment of their learning throughout the program.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the EdS costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $849
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,547
  • Program cost: $28,017
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $250
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.