K-12 Leadership: Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)

Program Description

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree with emphasis in Educational Leadership enhances excellence in school leadership by encouraging individual growth and application of research-based practice consistent with National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) and Professional Standards for Educational Leadership (PSEL) standards. These standards emphasize a consensus in educational research that effective schools are characterized by professional educators working together to improve their own professional practice and achieve personal and shared organizational goals. The vision of the program is to develop educational leaders to change professional practice to better serve school and community stakeholders.

Cohorts of The Ed.S. program begin each August at three regional campuses:

  • Grenada
  • Tupelo
  • DeSoto

Candidates in Educational Leadership complete a 30-hour program, complete 400 clock hours of field-based learning experiences, produce an electronic educational leadership portfolio, and successfully pass a comprehensive examination. The program includes ten sequenced courses provided in a cohort setting. The ten courses cover and candidates are assessed on all NELP and PSEL standards.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet these requirements:

  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.25 GPA in all graduate coursework
  • A current resume emphasizing any leadership activities
  • Class AA teaching license
  • A successful admissions interview with program faculty
  • Three years (prior to start of program) of K-12 teaching experience
  • A writing sample in response to a leadership-focused prompt
  • Two letters of reference with evidence of leadership potential
  • One letter (not a reference letter) from a licensed assistant principal, principal, or equivalent in the applicant's school employment agreeing to serve as the Site Mentor for internship

Priority application deadline: Review of applications will begin on 1 May (for fall entrance). All materials must be in the application system to prior to full admission.

Career Opportunities

The M.Ed. program in K-12 leadership prepare school leaders for entry-level roles in K-12 leadership, typically assistant principals, instructional support leadership roles, or special program administrators. The research and standards-based curriculum is framed around Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Standards for Clinical Experiences for the preparation of school leadership.

In addition, four MDE Common Assessments developed by faculty in leadership programs across the state are embedded in the coursework. Mississippi curriculum standards and relevant Mississippi state laws are also covered in the program. Candidates residing in other states are eligible to enroll in the program as the Mississippi context embedded in the program is consistent with most practices in other states.

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