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What Is an Educational Specialist Degree?

With an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree, experienced educators from all over the country cannot only make a positive impact in their schools and academic systems but also qualify for higher-paying positions.

When comparing postgraduate degrees, an Ed.S. degree is considered more advanced than a master’s degree but less so than a doctoral degree, as it does not have the dissertation component. The strength of the Ed.S. lies in time and cost. Teachers with a master’s degree can earn an additional postgraduate degree in less time, with less financial commitment than it takes to earn a doctoral degree such as a PhD or EdD. It is an attractive option for teachers and educators interested in continuing their education to gain new skills that lead to higher pay and professional growth. The online format of the program makes it the ideal choice for education professionals with families and other personal responsibilities.

A Choice of Focus and Coursework

Like many other degree programs, Ed.S. programs usually focus on a specific educational issue, position or concept, such as

  • Superintendency
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Special education
  • Educational leadership in K-12

Program curricula covers wide-ranging topics including holistic curriculum development to enhance the learning experience, diversity and inclusion in increasingly multicultural educational settings, and various legal requirements of the public-school system.

The successful completion of an internship is also typically required for an educational specialist degree. The internship provides the student an opportunity to experience the typical responsibilities associated with being a successful school administrator. Issues may include observation of and participation in making judicious financial decisions, selecting personnel for various staff and faculty positions, and representing the school or district in public relation situations.

Careers With an Ed.S.

Graduates with Educational Specialist degrees commonly find meaningful careers as school principals, district superintendents or teacher leaders.  

A school principal is typically tasked with maintaining successful operations of a school. This includes the effective administration of its staff, students, assets and financial resources, creating a safe and secure environment, and promoting academic success for all students.

While principals are charged with a single school, superintendents are responsible for numerous schools within a district. The work of a superintendent largely revolves around meeting the various needs of stakeholders on a system-wide level.

For professionals who intend to remain in full-time teaching positions, an Educational Specialist degree can be used to qualify for increased pay and leadership roles, such as teacher leader, team leader or coach. It may also meet the requirements to teach in postsecondary settings like colleges and universities.

Northwest Missouri State University offers three educational specialist degrees completely online for professionals with master’s degrees looking to advance their opportunities:

  • Education Specialist – Educational Leadership K-12
  • Education Specialist – Superintendent
  • Education Specialist – Generalist

Each Ed.S. degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, including the internship experience and, depending on student enrollment status (i.e. full- or part-time), can be completed in as few as twelve months. 

Northwest Missouri State University’s professional faculty have a wide breadth of knowledge and experience in educational specialties, and are equipped to meet the needs of their online students. Prospective students interested in enrolling in an educational specialist degree program can be confident that they will leave prepared in the critical analysis, organizational management and collaboration skills needed to successfully transition into their desired careers. 

Learn more about Northwest Missouri University’s online Educational Specialist programs.

Sources: What Is an Educational Specialist (EdS) Degree?

Educational Leadership Degree Programs: What Is the Difference Between an Ed.S. and an Ed.D. Degree?

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