Online Ed.S. in Educational Leadership

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Program Description

The nationally ranked (13th in the country according to US News and World Report) online Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degree 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.

Students may begin the Online Ed.S. program three times per year:

  • Spring Semester (Third week in January) - Application Deadline: October 1
  • Summer Term (First week in June) - Application Deadline: April 1
  • Fall Semester (Third week in August) - Application Deadline: July 1

Candidates in the online educational leadership complete a 30-hour program and 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 an online format. The ten courses cover, and candidates are assessed, on all NELP and PSEL standards. Courses are offered sequentially but students may take them at their own pace; however, due to internship requirements, the program requires a minimum of five terms (2 courses per term maximum). Courses include recorded voluntary synchronous sessions and candidates may choose to attend or watch the recorded sessions at their own convenience.

Admission Requirements

  • Masters degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.25 GPA overall
  • 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 applicants school employment agreeing to serve as the Site Mentor for the internship
  • Must reside in Mississippi, or within 50 miles of the Mississippi border

Career Opportunities

The Ed.S program in K-12 leadership prepares 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. Due to internship supervision requirements and limited space at this time, candidates residing in other states are eligible to enroll in the program if they reside within 50 miles of the state Mississippi border.

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