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Education Specialist
in Curriculum and
Teaching (EdS)

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Courses start every Monday

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Take the first step in your National University journey

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230K+ Alumni Worldwide


For those looking to deepen their understanding of education and enhance their knowledge, skills, and professional competencies in instructional practice and leadership, this certificate offers a thorough exploration of curriculum and its influence on teaching and learning. The coursework provides a foundational knowledge in communication, leadership, and research techniques, while the specialty studies allow you the opportunity to explore, design, apply, and evaluate contemporary curriculum and instruction strategies. The program culminates with two capstone courses that allow you to integrate these disciplines toward specific topics that are of greatest interest to you and your professional goals.

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The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

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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 two capstone courses 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 before 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

CT-7000 Developing Instructional Strategies and Curriculum

In this course, you’ll analyze instructional strategies based on the principles of universal design for learning, including integrating strategies for providing multiple means for pre-K-12 learners to access the curriculum. You’ll plan instructional strategies for curricula aligned to standards that support current educational requirements, including the use of technology to engage, comprehend, and express learning. You’ll also consider other educational issues, trends, and recommendations for change in the pre-K-12 classroom related to instructional strategies.

CT-7100 Dispositions of Learner and Teacher

This course examines the effects of dispositions on learner motivation, participation, and comprehension, and the impact of teacher dispositions on overall learning and classroom culture. The course includes considerations for dispositions related to inclusivity, technology, social-emotional development, and successful collaboration throughout the community.

CT-7200 Design and Evaluation of Curriculum and Programs

This course begins with the distinction between curriculum and programs in K-12 education. While both are important, evaluation is different for each. In addition to exploring evaluation processes, you’ll examine the development of curriculum and programs. This examination will incorporate theories, trends, and future directions, including technology recommendations to design and develop innovative curricula for K-12 learning environments.

CT-7300 Theories and Applications of Instructional Strategies

Here, you’ll take a closer look at instructional strategies, with particular attention on supporting theories and practical applications in K-12 learning environments. You’ll assess learning theories that frame instructional strategies, including those for remote learning. Ultimately, you’ll recommend instructional strategies, justify approaches to inclusive instruction, and design inclusive learning experiences for K-12 education.

CT-7400 Assessment Practices

This course considers the critical role of assessment in curriculum and teaching. You’ll examine assessment types and processes, including how trends and accountability practices inform instructional decisions, curriculum development, and continuous improvement in K-12 environments. You’ll then integrate the assessments with the universal design for learning perspective, and recommend strategies for effective assessment practices across classrooms, schools, and districts.

CT-7500 Advanced Capstone in Curriculum and Teaching 

In this final course of the curriculum and teaching specialization, you’ll synthesize your work across all courses into a capstone project of your design. The project will integrate theory and practice related to a specific topic of your choosing related to curriculum and teaching. As you prepare your project, you’ll evaluate the impacts of current trends, technologies, and issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Finally, in one of your last assignments in the specialization, you’ll compose your philosophy of teaching based on research, theory, and personal reflection.

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
  • 190+ 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 230,000 alumni worldwide.

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“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.

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