Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Educational Leadership, Ed.S.

College of Education  
Department: Leadership, Policy and Lifelong Learning 

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Educational Leadership degree program is designed for experienced administrators seeking to develop their capacity to lead “turnaround” or lower performing schools. Coursework in this program is specifically designed in consultation with leadership development personnel and District-level Administrators in partnering school districts.

Students in this degree program develop their ability to make student-centered decisions through integration of rigorous analysis of theory, research, and exemplary practices. An appreciative inquiry orientation and applied capstone project enables candidates to work in teams. These teams develop an improvement report and intervention plan based on analysis of literature related to: school improvement and turnaround strategies: informed and responsible use of school data, including climate and culture inventories; ethical, political, cultural and critical perspectives on school sustainable school leadership; asset-based approaches to school improvement; and knowledge of effective program models or cases.

For individuals interested in the Florida Educational Leadership Certification, please see the M.Ed. degree program . For those interested in a research-focused degree, please see the Ph.D. degree program . Courses taken in the Ed.S. degree program may be able to be transferred into the Ed.D. in Educational Program Development - Educational Innovation if students apply for and are accepted before ending their Ed.S. program of study. Please consult the program coordinator for further information.

Accredited by Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  More info:  https://www.usf.edu/education/about-us/accreditation.aspx

Admission Information

Applicants should contact the Program Advisor prior to applying to Graduate Admissions.  Admission to the Education Specialist program occurs one time per year for the spring semester. Admission is based on a comprehensive evaluation of each applicant’s demonstrated academic potential to successfully complete all of the degree requirements. The process for admission to the degree program is often coordinated with partnering school districts. Interested applicants should contact the Program Coordinator for further information.

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

Preferred applicants should have:

  • An earned master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • An earned grade point average of 3.50 in the master’s degree and an earned undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 in the last half of the undergraduate degree program.

Applicants will also submit:

  • A statement of purpose for pursuing the Ed.S. degree program).
  • Three letters of recommendation from people knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic and professional competence.
  • Current vita/resume.
  • As applicable to a particular cohort, other relevant information may be required as developed in coordination with partnering school districts. Contact the Program Coordinator for further information.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours – 30 hours

  • Core - 15 Credit Hours
  • Additional Required Courses - 9 Credit Hours
  • Capstone - 6 Credit Hours

Additional Required Courses (9 Credit Hours)

Capstone Project (6 Credit Hours)

Students will complete a capstone project, in which they identify and analyze educational problems and opportunities in their school system environment and apply concepts developed in the program in order to provide solutions to problems of practice.

Comprehensive Exam

Students will be required to develop and defend a capstone research project proposal.

Please be advised that program and/or course requirements are subject to change, per state legislative mandates, Florida State Department of Education program approval standards, and accreditation criteria.