Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) - Leadership

Specialist (Ed.S.) in Leadership

The online Ed.S. is a post-master's degree that does not require a dissertation. If you already have a master's degree and are thinking about pursuing a full doctorate in the future at ACE, the Ed.S. can be a great way to begin your studies. All Ed.S. coursework is applicable to the Ed.D. in Leadership.

The program provides an excellent forum for problem solving and sharing current leadership issues. The culture of collaboration within the program is an invaluable resource for leaders working in fields such as education, nonprofit administration, business and public service.

Leaders from all disciplines are welcome, including education, business, nonprofit management and community leadership. Applicants should hold a master's degree including an M.A., M.B.A., M.Ed. or M.S., with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, from a regionally accredited institution. International degrees may also be accepted. Please visit the Admissions page for more information.

The Ed.S. degree is a practitioner's degree, so it is designed especially for professionals currently working in their field. The degree does not include an internship or lead to a license or endorsement.

Students in the Ed.S. in Leadership program may choose from one of the following eight focus of study options:

  • Cognitive Science - Learning how to learn is crucial in a society that continues to change as technology changes. This ability to adapt is an aspect of critical thinking within a situation, whether this is a learning environment or found within an organization. By understanding how the brain processes incoming stimuli, this Focus of Study investigates ways to improve performance, enhance the ability to make quality decisions, and design environments to accomplish their designated purpose.

  • English and Communications - Designed for those teaching at the secondary or college level in the field of English studies, this coursework examines the crossovers of literature, comprehension, and communication within traditional modes and emerging devices. Using intellectual processes, the courses are crafted to build patterns of thought fostered by delivery methods, cultural perspectives, and changes of time that influence how individuals communicate.

  • History and Government - Designed for those teaching at the secondary or college level in the field of history, this coursework examines the major tenets of understanding historical traditions of thought by examining perspectives across time, people groups, and geographical locations. Utilizing critical thinking, the rationale and emerging patterns driving issues are traced to their roots in political, cultural, social, and ideological perspectives.

  • Integrated Science - Designed for those teaching at the secondary or college level in the field of science, this coursework promotes the development of integrated thinking and ways science can be taught through different perspectives which encourage real-world applications, effective problem solving, and builds relationships through communication. Individuals consider ways to investigate scientific thought as an approach for examining the forces acting upon the earth and beyond. Biology, chemistry, physics, geology, environmental science, ecology, and astronomy are disciplines addressed.

  • Leadership - This focus of study explores topics relevant to any leadership position. Whether the focus is on establishing an appropriate research base or writing grants, leaders practice ethical decision making through the implementation of policies and a framework of governance.

  • Mathematics - Designed for those teaching at the secondary or college level in the field of mathematics, this set of coursework uses a discovery model in mathematics to help instructors identify problems in their curricula and adapt these by adding or subtracting information, critiquing scenarios, providing overarching data, and allowing students to create predictive models to test against the gathered data to determine accuracy. Designed to support integrative ideas, from algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and calculus, events and influential mathematicians bring the human factor into the discovery of fundamental constructs that influence a broader understanding of underlying concepts.

  • Online Learning and Teaching - This focus of study supports candidates who seek to serve as technology leaders and emphasizes new ways of thinking about technology and the integration of applications. Learning how to design environments which enhance and support organizational goals are considered to maximize learning for both individual and corporate purposes.

  • Social Science - Designed for those teaching at the secondary or college level in the field of social science, this coursework explores the range of issues related to human interaction and learning within a societal context, exploring sociology, psychology, human development, and human relationships. Utilizing evidence-based research, learners investigate historical contexts, theories, standards, and frameworks which have shaped current understanding of human engagement as a foundation for creating learning environments, assessment options, and developing intellectual processes for lifelong learning.

Students in the Ed.S. in Leadership program will:

  • Seek, interpret and utilize evidence to inform decision-making.
  • Develop a professional knowledge base through systematic inquiry.
  • Explore issues of equity, ethics, and social justice.

 Start your application, or check admission requirements.

Program Summary

The Education Specialist degree is a practitioner’s degree at the post-master’s level for those who seek advanced credentials but not a full doctoral degree with a dissertation requirement. The objective of the degree is to develop skills and competencies that will make the student a more effective teacher, administrator, or leader. The Ed.S. in Leadership is designed principally for educators and other leaders who already possess licensure or certification as a teacher or school administrator, and who wish to expand their understanding of evidence-based leadership. The degree does not lead to professional licensure, nor does it include an internship.
View our faculty here

Program Outcomes

  • Collaborate in diverse communities of learning and build partnerships with states, school districts, or other organizations

  • Contribute to solutions for complex problems of practice

  • Analyze and promote best practices in leadership

  • Demonstrate evidence-based decision-making, integrating principles of equity, ethics, and social justice of civic concern in local and global communities

  • Develop and implement personal and organization-level knowledge and skills including technology

  • Demonstrate mastery of content knowledge through the utilization of critical and creative thinking

  • Demonstrate competence in the application of multiple research methods

Course Plan

Initial Courses (3 semester credits each, except if noted otherwise)

This Course to be taken at the beginning of program

LEAD6001 Introduction to Advanced Studies (1 credit)

Core Courses (3 semester credits each, except if noted otherwise)

Classes to be taken during remaining terms (order based on availability)

RES6011 Research Tool: APA & Bibliographic Software
RES6021 Research Tool: Creating and Analyzing Measures
RES6221 Crafting a Concept Paper
LEAD6123 Management of Financial Resources
LEAD6133 Models of Leadership and Coaching
LEAD6143 Strategic Operations Planning and Innovation
LEAD6163 Management of Human Capital
RES6013 Research Methods
RES6003 Applied Statistics

Focus of Study Options

Students may select one of the following eight focuses of study:

Cognitive Science - any four courses (3 semester credits each)

ED6253 Cognition and Critical Thinking
ED6213 Designing Learning Environments
ED6273 Performance of the Intellect
ED6283 Theories and Constructs
ED6293 Principles of Knowing
ED6333 The Role of Neuropsychology

English and Communications - any four courses (3 semester credits each)

ENG6003 Writing as a Means to an End
ENG6013 High Drama
The Culture of Literary Expression
ENG6033 Revolutionary Words
ENG6043 The Message in a Bottle
ENG6053 Teaching and Learning English

History and Government - any four courses (3 semester credits each)

HIST6403 Historical Means and Methods
HIST6413 Ancient Roads
HIST6423 Revolution
HIST6433 The Americans
HIST6443 A New Nation
HIST6453 The Legacy of History

Integrated Science - any four courses (3 semester credits each)

SCI6203 Foundations of Integrated Science Education
SCI6303 Systems of Science
SCI6313 The Flow of Forces
SCI6323 Practical Science
SCI6333 Layers and Levels
SCI6343 Weathering the Storm: Atmospheres and Environments

Leadership (3 semester credits each)

LEAD6103 Evidence-Based Learning and Teaching
LEAD6113 Ethical Leadership and Social Justice
LEAD6153 Policy and Governance
LEAD6183 Grants Writing for Leaders

Mathematics - any four courses (3 semester credits each)

Integrative Thinking: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Statistics
MATH6113 Methods for Modeling Mathematics
MATH6123 Problem Solving: Exploring the Practical
MATH6133 Diversity in Numbers
MATH6143 The Known Equation
MATH6153 The Culture of Mathematics

Online Learning and Teaching (3 semester credits each)

TECH6303 Online Learning and Teaching
TECH6313 Creating Online Collaboration and Communities
TECH6323 Designing Courses and Programs
TECH6333 Online Teaching and Assessment

Social Science - any four courses (3 semester credits each)

SOSC6103 Issues in Sociology
SOSC6113 The Influence of Culture
SOSC6123 Crossing the Lifespan of Human Development
SOSC6133 The Role of Neuropsychology
SOSC6143 Performance of the Intellect
SOSC6153 Perception and Conceptualization

Capstone Course (3 semester credits)

CAP6923 Capstone in Leadership

Total: 37 semester credits

Core Courses

LEAD6001 Introduction to Advanced Study (1 semester credit)

Students will undertake an examination of the rigors of advanced graduate study and reflect on personal strengths and challenges at the start of their program. Topics include identity as scholar-practitioner, models of inquiry, self-assessment, and professional goals.

LEAD6123 Management of Financial Resources

Students will examine principles and concepts of finance at local, state, federal, and international levels; strategies for maximizing and obtaining financial resources, and economic issues of the third sector.

LEAD6133 Models of Leadership and Coaching

Students will evaluate and compare different leadership and coaching models and determine appropriateness for diverse settings.

LEAD6143 Strategic Operations Planning and Innovation

Students will design, develop, and implement models of strategic planning that exhibit innovation.

LEAD6163 Management of Human Capital

The course emphasizes principles and practices of personnel administration, including recruitment, selection, evaluation, staff development, and employee relations. Students will evaluate best practices for working with volunteer boards, advisory councils, and external stakeholders.

Research Courses

RES6003 Applied Statistics

Students will examine topics associated with statistics including parametric and non-parametric tests, hypothesis formation, frequency distributions, measures of central tendency and dispersion, inferential statistics, and correlation. Emphasis will be placed on the selection of appropriate statistical techniques. Students will conduct and interpret statistical analysis using SPSS.

RES6013 Research Methods

Students will examine foundations of research design, data collection, analysis, and presentation. Students will assess ethics of educational research and reporting.

RES6221 Crafting a Concept Paper

This course provides students the opportunity to complete an approved concept paper as the first step toward the Ed.S. original research project. Students will apply advanced research skills to address a real-world application of scholarly expertise as it relates to solving an existing problem.

A description of the project will provide the rationale for the goals and objectives and includes a literature review, methodology, and the anticipated results of the research project. Pre-requisites:  RES6013: Research Methods; RES6003 Applied Statistics, and 27 semester credits. Repeat the course as needed to complete the approved concept paper.

Research Tools

RES6011 Research Tool: APA & Bibliographic Software (1 semester credit)

Students in this course will employ APA format for manuscripts and citations and compare bibliographic software for organizing references.

RES6021 Research Tool: Creating and Analyzing Measures (1 semester credit)

Students will assess existing measures of performance and effectiveness. Students will create sample online surveys for data collection, as well as examine and analyze survey results. Issues associated with the development of valid measures, interviews, questionnaires, and surveys will be addressed.

Focus of study

Students will select from one of multiple focus of study options. To review course detail for each focus of study, click here.

Capstone Experience

CAP6923 Capstone in Leadership

The Capstone Experience is designed for candidates to demonstrate and document the impact of their knowledge and competencies gained throughout and as a result of the Educational Specialist in Leadership program.

Semester Credits Tuition Per Credit Total Tuition
37 $306 $11,322.00

Applicable fees

  • Application fee: $100
  • Technology fee: $30 per credit hour (for a total of $1,110)
  • Capstone fee: $150
  • Program conferral fee: $150

Total program cost: $12,832. For more information, visit the tuition section.

Total program cost for students who are admitted, re-entered, or changed programs before the February 22, 2016 term: $12,415.75

Additional considerations for Ed.S. students

Access to an e-portfolio is provided through existing fees; no additional fee is charged.

Required course materials currently include bibliographic software that may be purchased using a discount negotiated by ACE.

Students may choose required statistics software, either for free or as a purchased tool.

American College of Education has completely changed my views on what it means to lead. My experience with ACE was one of the defining moments of my life and set me on a path that was not expecting, but thoroughly enjoy. I will be forever grateful for wherever it leads me.

Brenda Raccuia M.Ed. Educational Technology 2013