Education Specialist in Administrative Leadership (EdS Degree)

Purpose

The Education Specialist (EdS) in Administrative Leadership program is a post-master’s practitioner’s degree program, midway between the masters and the doctorate, designed for educators who desire preparation and licensure for collaborative leadership roles as administrators in schools.

Program Objectives

Educational objectives

To enable students to:

  • Understand and be able to articulate the personal relevance of the six “lenses” provided by the College of Education Conceptual Framework (Think Critically, Transform Practice, Promote Justice) and Professional Dispositions (Commitment to Courage, Integrity, and Seeking Multiple Perspectives) within a context of servant leadership
  • Demonstrate mastery of the six administrative standard areas: visionary leadership, instructional improvement, effective management, inclusive practice, ethical leadership, and socio-political context
  • 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 Pre-Administrator License and begin Pro-Administrator License coursework
  • Apply area of expertise as a servant leader in a collaborative leadership context
  • Create and sustain collaborative, collegial learning organizations
  • Enact leadership that is just, effective, and provides 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 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
  • Oregon Administrator License District/School Partnership form
  • District Employment Verification Form
  • 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 may be asked to take a research course 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 Administrative Leadership must be completed within five years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Graduate Teaching and Leading (GTL) 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 program is generally 3 years in length with 32 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. The Pre-Administrator License (PreAL) is typically earned at the conclusion of the second year of the program. Within the 32-hour program, 18 hours are in Administrative Leadership and 14 hours are in the EdS Integration and Application Core.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the EdS degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 32 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).

Course Requirements

Complete the following:

Students are introduced to the six lenses of the EDFL Conceptual Framework and Professional Dispositions within the context of servant leadership and will begin the process of applying these understandings to the work of creating collegial, collaborative environments in schools. Each student will write a personal essay incorporating personal reflections on the six lenses and elements of effective leadership for the common good. Students will also be introduced to a model of organizational coherence to serve as a tool to analyze the workings of educational systems and apply this to their work context.
Participants will review the characteristics of educational research, including action research, and its appropriate use in decision-making. Participants will consider the value and limitations of various forms of data regarding student achievement, from large-scale testing to day-to-day formative assessment, and how each kind of data is best used in decision-making. Emphasis will be placed on research and assessment literacy and integrity in decision-making. Assignments will be adapted to each student's professional work.
Change is part of the world of schooling. Understanding the dynamics of change and the strategies to maintain coherence in the midst of change are keys to successful leadership from the classroom to the school board. This course will focus on the use of technology as a tool in instruction, assessment, and professional development as a case study to explore how change initiatives come about, how they enter the school setting, how they are processed, and why some change initiatives bring positive results, some falter, and some never get off the ground. Special attention will be given to analysis of current initiatives at the national, state, and district level. Assignments will be adapted to each student¿s professional work.
This course provides foundational concepts related to organizational and professional learning theory, especially related to current practices in developing a learning culture and creating, leading, and sustaining professional learning communities that are focused on student growth. Mentoring and peer coaching models will be explored. Assignments will be adapted to each student's professional work.
The focus of this course is on identifying, implementing, and supporting best practice at both the classroom and systems levels with a special focus on issues of equitable access and achievement for diverse learners. Best practice will be examined from several theoretical models, as well as from the research base in effective teaching literature. Barriers to change will be explored, including issues of cultural competence. The course will emphasize current reform initiatives in schools designed to address access barriers and achievement gaps. Assignments will be adapted to each student's professional work.
The student will submit a proposal for the capstone project, utilizing the preparation from EDFL 657 and EDFL 678. The project will involve an in-depth educational research project that addresses a current initiative or problem of practice being addressed in student¿s school or district and requires that the student has a leadership role in the work.
The student will complete final portions of their capstone project. The final document will be prepared in the format of an article for a professional journal and will be posted on TaskStream.
The student will present their completed project to fellow Ed.S. students and faculty. Students will also make a presentation in the local context where the work was conducted (district or school) that shares results but also demonstrates an understanding of the specific system by discerning what message content and methods are most appropriate in the specific context.
Each student will update and revise the personal essay completed in EDFL 645, which incorporates personal reflections on the elements of the EDFL Conceptual Framework and Professional Dispositions, and addresses Servant Leadership. This revision will allow students to reflect upon learning in classes and understandings gained from capstone project work. This essay will be posted on TaskStream.

Complete the following:

This course focuses on legal issues that arise in elementary, secondary, and collegiate institutions. The course provides educators with knowledge and analytic skills needed to apply legal frameworks to educational policy including the statutes regulating financial policy. The course investigates creative ways in which law can be used to help address current problems in schools, and helps educators think through questions of ethics and policy that legal disputes raise but do not resolve.
This course examines how belief structures undergird the methods educators use to motivate people to learn. Through the light of ethical theory, students examine how organizational leaders respond to the situations they face. Students also reflect on and apply their own values and ethical understanding to shed light on case studies that represent situations they often face as educational leaders.
This course is designed to help educational leaders understand key ideas central to ongoing research on teaching and learning to establish educational policy and transform educational practice at their institutions. The course emphasizes ways in which cultural, social, and organizational contexts influence learning. Students will learn to use the clinical supervision model and other tools for supervising and evaluating teacher performance based on best practices. The course will examine the leader's role in establishing and maintaining an environment that is conducive to student and adult learning.
This course is designed for those who want to understand how to manage the school budget successfully in a school. The day-to-day budget issues, including prioritizing, monitoring, and approving expenditures, will be discussed as well as the underlying framework of public budgets, Oregon State Chart of Accounts. This course provides practical knowledge and skills needed to read budget documents with understanding. Practices that encourage ethical care, goal oriented spending, and knowledgeable monitoring are explored and developed.
Practicum experiences are carried out at a building level of responsibility by working concurrently in two different authorization level sites. Preliminary Administrator License candidates will begin a practicum in elementary, middle level, and high schools under the direct supervision of a university supervisor and a licensed school administrator. Assignments will require candidates to learn about issues at the site, work with mentors to resolve the issues, and evaluate how they are being handled. These experiences will be supplemented by online administrative academic projects that focus on school governance and partnerships along with school management topics. The university supervisor and candidates will communicate via the Internet providing feedback to colleagues on various projects. Pass/No Pass
Students must choose 6 hours from the following courses
This is a core requirement of the Professional Administrative Licensure program and requires admission to the doctoral program, the Professional Administrative Licensure program, or specific advisor approval. This course focuses on leadership responsibilities of specalized programs. The class will examine how educators can navigate federal mandates for special programs using Oregon's statutes, administrative rules, and agencies as a model. Participants will be involved through discussions, simulations, and presentations utilizing materials and personnel from a variety of educational organizations. Course topics include: administrating special programs (e.g., special education, talented and gifted, English as a second language); dealing with curricular and legal issues encountered in delivering these services to children; and developing strategies to improve the academic performance of students through special programs. Additional emphasis will be placed on emerging leadership strategies to address the needs of alternative education students.
This is a core requirement of the Professional Administrative Licensure program and requires admission to the doctoral program, the Professional Administrative Licensure program, or specific advisor approval. This course surveys the principles and practices useful to the evaluation of organizational programs and policies. Participants examine the models and tools used in informing educational and other leaders as to evaluation purpose, design, and methods for understanding the role of evaluation in program planning, implementation, and accountability. The course focuses on understanding: the purposes of evaluation, the role of the evaluator, evaluation designs and analysis, presentation of evaluation results, and the role of evaluation conclusions in organizational decision making.
This is a core requirement of the Professional Administrative Licensure program and requires admission to the doctoral program, the Professional Administrative Licensure program, or specific advisor approval. Educational leaders must balance the allocation of scarce resources among competing interests while managing the organizational structure and empowering those who support the organizational mission. This course prepares educators to address the value tensions inherent in the allocation of resources and the educational consequences linked to those fiscal decisions. Issues of efficiency, equity, adequacy, and control in educational finance will be specifically addressed from historical, economic, moral, legal, and political perspectives. The course also provides a critical analysis of organizations, how they function, why people in organizations behave as they do, and examines the formal and informal decision-making structures that affect educational organizations.