Education Specialist in Teacher Leadership Plus Special Education Endorsement

Education Specialist in Teacher Leadership Plus Special Education Endorsement

(EdS degree)


The Education Specialist (EdS) in Teacher Leadership Plus Special Education Endorsement (SPED) equips teachers who want to extend themselves to serve in teacher-leader roles, both formal and informal, and apply their knowledge and skills to best serve the common good in their school or district. The program supports the development of educational leaders who can critically evaluate and apply current research, analyze educational trends, gather and use evidence appropriately, and know how to promote and guide best practices in student and adult learning.

The EdS in Teacher Leadership PLUS Special Education Endorsement degree provides professionals seeking the opportunity to embed a Special Education endorsement within the context of a degree that connects learning from that area of specialization to the larger context of school/district systems and educational leadership. Teacher leaders are essential contributors to successful schools and districts. Special education services bring challenges and complexities that are rarely addressed well in school improvement and reform efforts.

The EdS in Teacher Leadership PLUS Special Education Endorsement develops servant leaders who are masters of their specialty but also masters of the big picture so they will improve the system and the lives of students. The 39-credit program can be completed in two to three years.

Program Objectives

Educational objectives

To enable students to:

  • Understand and be able to articulate the personal relevance of the six “lenses” provided by the EDFL Conceptual Framework (Think Critically, Transform Practice, Promote Justice) and Professional Dispositions (Commitment to Courage, Integrity, and Seeking Multiple Perspectives)
  • Develop expertise in a specialty area
  • Use analysis of organizations, educational initiatives, and processes to promote and guide effective action
  • Use technology to solve problems
  • Use research tools to investigate questions and apply educational research to problems of practice
  • Understand measures of student achievement and know how to gather and use evidence appropriately
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Attain a Special Education Endorsement
  • Apply area of expertise as a servant leader in a collaborative leadership context
  • Create and sustain collaborative, collegial learning organizations
  • Enact just leadership that provides effective, reasoned solutions to problems encountered in the process of meeting valued institutional and community goals
  • Integrate personal faith commitments into professional practice

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the EdS program must show evidence of a master's degree in education or related field from a regionally accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Education Specialist application form and application fee
  • Personal essay as described in the application
  • Evidence of scholarly work (master's thesis, term paper, publication, etc.)*
  • One official transcript from all colleges or universities attended
  • Three professional references comprised of both a written letter and the Graduate Programs Reference Forms
  • Evidence of at least five years of full-time teaching experience (Exceptions may be granted based upon George Fox faculty recommendation.)
  • A current professional résumé
  • Verification of valid Oregon teaching or administrative license or the equivalent
  • Completed Teachers Standards and Practices Character Questionnaire
  • Signed State of Oregon Guide to the Ethical Educator
  • Applicants must be available for an interview (in person or by phone) if deemed necessary for the admission process

*Students who do not have sufficient preparation in research will take EDFL 703 Bibliographic Research and Writing (2 hours) in addition to their program requirements.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is not typically accepted for the Education Specialist program; however, limited exceptions may be made based upon approval.

Residence Requirements

All work leading to the Education Specialist in Teacher Leadership Plus Special Education Endorsement must be completed within five years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Educational Foundations and Leadership (EDFL) Faculty. However, only one such extension may be considered due to special circumstances, such as ill health. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The Education Specialist Plus Special Education Endorsement program is generally 2-3 years in length with 39 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 25 hours are in the area of special education and 14 hours are in the EdS Integration and Application Core, which includes a 4-hour capstone project.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the EdS PLUS Special Education Endorsement degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 39 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a designated course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).

Curriculum Plan

Integration and Application Core (14 hours)
EDFL 681 Foundations of Servant Leadership 2
(must be taken during the first semester in program)
EDFL 652 Leadership for Instructional Improvement: Using Research and Data 2
EDFL 657 Leadership for Organizational Change 2
EDFL 658 Leadership for Organizational Learning 2
EDFL 659 Leadership for Instructional Equity 2
EDFL 676 EdS Capstone Project I 1
EDFL 677 EdS Capstone Project II 1
EDFL 678 EdS Capstone Project III 1
EDFL 679 EdS Capstone Project IV 1
Special Education Endorsement (25 hours)
SPED 501 Theory, Foundations and Ethics for Special Educators 2
SPED 511 Developmental Psychology and Learning Theory 2
SPED 512 Structures for Teaching and Learning: Academic 3
SPED 513 Structures for Teaching and Learning: Functional 3
SPED 521 Assessment and Evaluation 3
SPED 524 Assistive Technology and Specialized Support 1
SPED 531 Case Management 2
SPED 550 Behavior Support and Classroom Management 2
SPED 552 Community Supports and Transitional Programs 2
SPED 576 Practicum (Mild to Moderate) 3
SPED 577 Practicum (Moderate to Severe) 2
EDFL Course Descriptions
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