Home » Education Specialist » Education Specialist (EdS) in Leadership in Higher Education

Education Specialist (EdS)
in Leadership in Higher

Courses start every Monday

Take the first step in your National University journey

220K+ Alumni Worldwide


Just as teachers are now in greater demand than ever before, educational leaders are needed to manage and assist school districts, state educational boards, and institutions of higher learning as they work to improve their instructional capabilities. This specialization prepares you for leadership in the ever-growing field of learner analytics. The coursework explores the history of data analytics, key theories, leading experts, best practices and tools, and analytics applications in higher education. You’ll master the proper identification, utility, and application of relevant data, and learn how to build institutional capacity and drive improvement by effectively employing learning analytics to educational outcomes.

Admission Requirements 

A conferred post-baccalaureate master’s degree or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution or an international institution determined to be equivalent through an approved evaluation service.


The Education Specialist (EdS) program requires two foundational courses, two research courses, six specialization courses, and one capstone course for a total of 33 credit hours. Both the Education Specialist (EdS) and Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership (EdS-EdL) require that all other courses be completed prior to starting the capstone course. The estimated time needed to complete this program is 23 months.

Course Details

Course Listings

Your communication abilities have a big influence on your professional reputation. In this course, you’ll develop skills to establish yourself as a competent professional with strong communication skills. You’ll learn competencies related to written, oral, and visual forms of communication appropriate to specific media and audiences. You’ll also explore how the iterative nature of preparing communications and integrating feedback into your work products can support your development and advancement as a professional.

Leadership during times of change can be challenging. This course supports your professional development as an effective leader of educational organizations during periods of change. You’ll explore strategies and techniques for self-reflection, evaluating culture, integrating stakeholder feedback, and incorporating data as part of improvement processes. To conclude the course, you’ll synthesize these skills to design a comprehensive improvement plan that addresses a specific problem within an educational organization.

This course introduces you to the research process by exploring its underpinnings, examining its paradigms, and investigating the foundations of qualitative and quantitative methodologies used in educational studies. You’ll identify criteria for the development of quality research studies that are ethical, accurate, comprehensive, cohesive, and aligned. Specific course topics involve the ethics of conducting research; data collection and analysis techniques; and issues of feasibility, trustworthiness, validity, reliability, transferability, and rigor. The goal is to familiarize yourself with the concepts and skills associated with conducting theoretical and applied research.

Select One of the Following Two Research Courses:

A focus on qualitative research methodology and the designs and methods used to collect and analyze data in educational research. You’ll examine the principles of qualitative research and explore commonly used designs (also referred to as qualitative traditions or genres) with a focus on application and feasibility. Qualitative data collection and analysis methods will be examined for their suitability with regard to the research design selected. Alignment between qualitative designs and research methods, issues of trustworthiness, and the responsibilities of the qualitative researcher will also be explored.

An exploration of quantitative research methodologies and associated designs and methods. You’ll examine paradigmatic perspectives along with the tenets and conventions of quantitative research. Topics for examination include feasibility, validity, reliability, variable operationalization, inferential designs, and analytic software applications used within the quantitative research paradigm. You’ll also look at the components of quantitative research designs that support meaningful studies within the field of education.

As the capstone to your EdS studies, you’ll work with a specific educational program relevant to your current or future professional aims. You’ll review the related literature and evaluate data to inform your development of potential solutions and future areas of research related to your identified problem. Finally, you’ll reflect on your personal learning journey throughout the EdS program.

Specialization Courses

LAHE-7000 Introduction to Learning and Knowledge Analytics 

An introduction to the history and evolution of data analytics, including the prominent foundations of learning analytics and the key theories, leading experts, best practices, and the application of data analytics in education.

LAHE-7001 Using Educational Data

This course introduces the roles of technology and various educational data in learning analytics. You’ll receive an overview of data mining, data integrity, data privacy and data utility. You’ll also learn and apply popular educational data technology terms and all elements of data capture and management. Different data systems and data sources will be covered, as well as the data mining process and other best practices in learning analytics.

LAHE-7002 A Macro-Level Approach to Learning Analytics in Higher Education

This course explores various theories regarding the use and advancement of learning analytics in higher education at a macro level. You’ll study the role of analytics in areas such as student learning and achievement, human resources, facilities, finance, research and academic affairs. You’ll examine the implications of learning analytics on higher education administration, students, and teachers. Finally, you’ll look at the kinds of institutional leadership, technology infrastructure, and human capital necessary for learning analytic initiatives, and you’ll investigate the challenges and future considerations for this field.

LAHE-7003 Applying Learning Analytics in Higher Education

This course will cite and discuss the historical application of learning analytics, from their early application in the SIGNAL studies at Purdue to more recent applications throughout the country. You’ll review prominent studies to learn the role of technology and learning analytics in specific student outcomes like retention memory, engagement, dropout risk identification, and other targeting metrics. You’ll also study how learning analytics is used to improve curriculum, pedagogy, institutional accountability, and administration. Ethics, data literacy, and the legal aspects of learning analytics will be discussed in detail, and you’ll be encouraged to plan a hypothetical learning analytics initiative of your own based on the knowledge you’ve gained.

LAHE-7004 Learning Analytic Tools

This course introduces you to the various types, functions, and applications of analytics tools. You’ll review prominent studies and explore an analytics strategy that relies on knowing the purpose and types of educational answers sought, as well as the technology infrastructure, the availability of data, and the costs. Consideration in both choosing and applying the correct analytics tools cannot be overlooked, as the requirements of each tool bring pros and cons.

LAHE-7005 Implementing a Higher Education Learning Analytics Project

In this learning analytics capstone course, you’ll design (in theory, rationale, and purpose) your own theoretical higher education analytics project that follows a provided, pre-designed template. Particular attention will be given to issues of scope, cost, timeliness and utility. You’ll also work to address the humanistic and soft sides of learning analytics, including leadership, in-house expertise, and ethical and legal issues.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop skills to support educational practices across diverse instructional and organizational settings
  • Communicate with diverse audiences about educational theories, research, and practices
  • Analyze professional skills, dispositions, and technology options for learning and educating diverse groups
  • Apply evidence-based solutions for addressing educational, organizational, and societal issues
  • Analyze current research, theories, and instructional practices in educational and organizational environments

Why Choose National University

  • Four-Week Courses
  • 75+ Degree Programs
  • Online or On-Site
  • Year-Round Enrollment
  • Military Friendly

We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 220,000 alumni worldwide.

head shot image of man named Francisco

“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

National University
Chat Options