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 focus of study options:
Students in the Ed.S. in Leadership program will:
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.
- 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
Initial Courses (3 semester credits each, except if noted otherwise)
This Course to be taken at the beginning of program
||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)
||Research Tool: APA & Bibliographic Software
||Research Tool: Creating and Analyzing Measures
||Crafting a Concept Paper
|RES6003||Applied Statistics (Pre-req: RES6003)|
|LEAD6001||Introduction to Advanced Studies (1 semester credit)|
||Management of Financial Resources
||Models of Leadership and Coaching
||Strategic Operations Planning and Innovation
||Management of Human Capital
Focus of Study Options
Students may select one of the following focuses of study:
Leadership (3 semester credits each)
||Evidence-Based Learning and Teaching
||Ethical Leadership and Social Justice
||Policy and Governance
||Grants Writing for Leaders
Online Learning and Teaching (3 semester credits each)
|| Online Learning and Teaching
|| Creating Online Collaboration and Communities
|| Designing Courses and Programs
|| Online Teaching and Assessment
STEM - any four courses (3 semester credits each)
|| Foundations of Integrated Science Education
|| Engaging Diversity in the Science Classroom
||Modern Learning and Integrated Science Education
||Inventing and Reinventing Mathematics and Science Curriculum: Elementary, Secondary, & College Level
Any 4 master’s level courses taken at ACE. Classes must meet standard internal credit transfer requirements as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.
Capstone Course (3 semester credits)
||Capstone in Leadership
Total: 37 semester credits
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.
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.
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.
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.
||Tuition Per Credit
- 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.