The Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) with a major in workforce development and education is designed to provide graduate level preparation for persons interested in advanced study and research in professions such as human resource development, industrial education, technology education, and technical teacher education. Students will specialize in an area such as technology management, vocational administration, or in such HRD fields as management, consulting, facilitation or instructional design and technology.
The Specialist in Education degree may be used to develop specialization in an area to support a following doctoral program, or it may be considered as a terminal professional degree. Students who plan to pursue a doctoral program should check with the university where they plan to attend as to their transfer policy. Some universities will not transfer Ed.S. credit for a doctoral degree as they consider it a terminal degree.
The Ed.S. program in the College of Technology requires at least one year of specialized graduate study beyond the Master of Science degree. The program is developed on the basis of the student’s academic background and professional interests. Coursework selected should support this specialization. Independent study is often part of the program as the Ed.S. candidate is expected to take responsibility for their professional development.
Research is an integral part of this degree. The Ed.S. degree may be completed under Option I: Thesis, or Option II: Problem. Option I students will defend their thesis. Option II students will take comprehensive examinations over their course of study.
Course and Credit Hour Requirements
The Specialist in Education degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate study of which 21 or more semester hours shall be earned in courses open only to graduate students (800-900 numbers), with at least nine hours in 900-level courses. No 500-600 level courses will be applicable to the Ed.S. program.
Option I: Thesis
Option I requires the completion of from four to six hours in 990 Special Research Project, in which students must conduct and report in written form the results of field studies or research project in their specialization. An advisory committee consisting of three members, with one member from outside the college, will be appointed to evaluate the final research project. Other coursework should help support this research.
Option II: Problem
Option II places less emphasis upon formal research and correspondingly more emphasis upon activities related to the professional objectives of the student. Option II does require a three-hour course in some aspect of research. The nature of the research study will be determined by the department and advisor.
Students interested in pursuing the Ed.S. degree should review the pages related to the Specialist in Education degree Graduate Degrees and Options in the PSU University Catalog for more detailed information.