Columbus State University

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Specialist in Education
Educational Leadership (Tier II)

College of Education and Health Professions

Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Program Description

The Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership program is designed to prepare system-level leaders who can effectively address district-level educational issues by appropriately applying theory and research-based practices. Program candidates will build knowledge about the functions of high achieving school districts in areas such as curriculum, instruction, management, personnel, finance, school law, and public relations, as well as how the interaction of these areas at the district-level ultimately contributes to student achievement.  It is expected that candidates who successfully complete the Ed.S. in Educational Leadership will be committed to improving student achievement and occupy key leadership positions in Georgia school systems.

The Ed.S. Educational Leadership program is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. 

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

The Columbus State University Educational Leadership program prepares leader candidates to become inquiring, reflective leaders at the district level and to develop system-level candidates with the knowledge and skills to become both the system instructional leaders as well as the system improvement facilitators. 

Program curriculum provides a rich variety of coursework intended to enhance the candidate’s leadership and curricular knowledge and expertise in system and school settings.  The program focuses on improving student achievement including

  • Implementing Georgia’s P12 curriculum and content standards in order to prepare students to graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and careers,
  • Enhancing school management through effective strategic planning, instructional leadership, and management of resources,
  • Developing professional learning communities,
  • Instituting and sustaining community relations,
  • Creating climates that portray a pervasive belief that students can academically succeed, and
  • Modeling the use of technology as well as promoting, implementing, and supporting the use of technology to facilitate technology competencies in teachers and students

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Columbus State University Educational Specialist Degree Program in Educational Leadership meet the Educational Program Preparation (EPP) guidelines stated in Georgia Educational Leadership Rule 505-3-.0.

Candidates must:

  1. Complete an application for admission to the Graduate School at Columbus State University.
  2. Be accepted into the Columbus State University Graduate School.
  3. Provide official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework from each school previously attended and have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on all graduate course work in fulfillment of the requirements for the latest graduate degree.
  4. Provide a statement of purpose.  This statement addresses the candidate’s reason for pursuing a career in educational leadership and why the Educational Leadership Educational Specialist degree is the right fit to help reach the candidate’s goals.
  5. Provide two letters of reference.  The letters specifically address the candidate’s ability to address the demands of high level graduate coursework and make a recommendation for admission to the program.
  6. Have acceptable GRE scores or proof of clear renewable teaching licensure
  7. Have a Master’s degree and 3 years of teaching experience and be currently employed in a K-12 district in a leadership role.
  8. Hold Tier I entry level certification or hold a valid, GaPSC-issued Standard Professional L or PL certificate in Educational Leadership;
  9. Serve in a leadership position at either the P-12 school or LUA level (or agency or organization equivalent to LUA level) that will enable the candidate to fully meet the program’s residency requirements.
  10. Meet Tier II GaPSC guidelines:
    1. Candidates who do not serve in a leadership position as described above may be enrolled if the EPP and employer establish a formal, written agreement specifying the candidate will be released from other responsibilities for a portion of the school week sufficient in length to allow the candidate to participate in and successfully complete residency performances.
    2. Employees of state education or human service agencies, RESAs, universities or technical colleges, and employees of education or human service non-profit organizations may also pursue Tier II leadership certification as long as the employer has established a partnership with a GaPSC-approved EPP and in the partnership agreement agrees to meet all requirements and guidelines accompanying this rule; and
  11. Meet program admission criteria and admission criteria specified in the partnership agreements with employers of enrolled candidates.
    1. All candidates admitted to any GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership program (current program or the new tiered model) on or after July 1, 2016, must complete (do not have to pass) Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership –             Program Entry (370) prior to becoming enrolled. A candidate who completes this      program entry requirement for Tier I does not have to complete it again for Tier      II.
    2. Candidates admitted after July 1, 2016, must submit a copy of a Completion Certificate of having taken the GA Ethics for Educational Leadership Assessment Program entry (370) pre- assessment as a condition of enrollment.  This pre-assessment is online. Candidates enroll in this assessment through their MYPSC account at  
  1. A clear background check.  CSU recognizes a combination of a CURRENT copy of your current state teaching certification AND verification of current employment by employing superintendent or designee as adequate proof for a background check.  
  1. Required Ethics Assessment:

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will promote school achievement by:

  • Increasing proficiency with regard to supervising teachers, promoting, implementing, and evaluating professional development programs, while developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising curriculum.
  • Increasing proficiency in various aspects of human relations, and acting as facilitator and mentor for all school staffs, students, parents, and community members.
  • Using all available resources to support the instructional program, as well as proposing grants and other means of support.
  • Using technology to support both the instructional and other programs by being a leader and innovator in the use of technology.
  • Applying practical knowledge and skill in carrying out a school-wide special project, and setting an example and inspiring others.

Additional Program Requirements

These requirements must be met for the completion of the EdS degree:

Students must earn a 3.0 GPA calculated on all graduate work attempted. "Academic Forgiveness" policy does not apply to graduate studies.

Students cannot graduate with a grade of "C" or below in more than two (2) graduate courses without an appeal to the College of Education and Health Professions Graduate Council.

A minimum of 24 semester hours required for the degree must be earned in residence (75%). Asynchronous (online) and distance learning courses administered through Columbus State University constitute courses taken in residence.

A maximum of six (6) semester hours of transfer credit or courses taken at CSU prior to full admission to a specialist degree program may be applied toward the degree. Courses with earned grades of "C" or below are not accepted. Courses must be approved by the major advisor and department chair.

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