Specialist in Education: Advanced Studies in Leadership- Special Education Emphasis

The Specialist in Education degree program in Special Education is designed to prepare district level leaders.  Candidates for the degree must hold a master’s degree in an educational related field in addition to the requirements for the specialist degree.


Procedural Steps for Specialist's Degree:

1.  Apply for and be admitted to a degree program through the Office of Continuing and Graduate Studies;

2.  Complete admission portfolio;

3.  Apply for candidacy in conference with the advisor;

4.  Petition the Graduate Office to graduate.


Admissions Criteria

The admissions criteria for the Specialist Degree Proposed Admission Standards for Special Education Program will include the following:

1. The student will have a history of assuming leader­ship roles in a variety of settings.

2. The student will demonstrate effective writing skills when asked to respond to an on-the-spot writing assignment.

3. The student will demonstrate effective writing skills when given the opportunity to respond over a week's time.

4. The student will demonstrate in writing the ability to:

a. Synthesize information from a variety of sources.

b. Apply knowledge to real-world problems.

c. Problem-solve without grabbing at the first solution that comes to mind.

5. The student will demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with others.

6. The student will demonstrate the ability to under­stand a piece of research.

7. The student will show a commitment to assuming leadership roles within organizations.

8. The student will demonstrate the ability to be self-reflective.

9. The student will demonstrate a history of meeting deadlines and satisfactorily accomplishing major tasks.


Admissions Process

All students who first apply to the Educational Leadership Specialist's Program will be conditionally admitted as long as they show evidence that they completed or will complete at the end of the semester an earned master's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.

The Educational Leadership Admission Committee will meet three times during the year to decide whether or not to fully admit a student to the program. 

During the review of student portfolios, faculty will use an established rubric to judge a student's potential for success in the program.  These Admissions Meetings will occur on or around October 15, March 15 and July 1.

The course requirements of SSLS 800 will include the creation of this leadership portfolio.  If a student does not take SSLS 800 as one of the first six hours, the student will individually compile the leadership portfolio along with a written statement justification for not including SSLS 800 as one of their first nine hours in the program.  One member of the Educational Leadership faculty will take responsibility for helping these students compile the required portfolio.  The leadership portfolio will include the follow­ing:

a. An application for admission to Graduate School.

b. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended by the student.

c. Three letters of recommendation:  one from a superintendent, one from a Site Council member or School Board member, and one from a professor who taught the applicant at the master's degree level.

d. A resume of educational and professional experiences.

e. A copy of current licensure.

f. A written statement of the student's professional goals.

g. A written leadership autobiography describing the leadership roles the student has assumed during his/her adult life.

h. A writing sample where the student responded on-the-spot to a specified topic.

i. A written response to a case study where the student had at least one week to construct his/her response.


Special Notes:

1.  Only 700 level hours and above can be applied to the degree program.  In addition, the program must include a minimum of 9 hours of 900 level course work and no more than 9 hours of 700 level course work.

2.  Substitutions may be allowed for those students who have completed courses required in Ed.S. as a part of other degree programs.  The student’s official advisor must approve the substitutions in advance.