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Education Specialist in
General Education (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


One of the most attractive characteristics of our specialization programs is your ability to tailor your degree and coursework to meet your specific interests and career journey. The EdS in General Education allows you to select courses from a broad range of electives to fit your personal and professional goals.

The required coursework provides a foundational understanding of communication, leadership, and research techniques, while the specialty studies allow you to focus on topics of your choosing. A minimum of 18 credit hours of education courses must be completed at the 7000 or 8000 course level, and up to two of these courses may be taken from other fields, i.e., psychology, technology and/or business. With dean approval, you may even consider additional courses (more than two) from other disciplines to fulfill this requirement.

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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 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

ED-7003 School Law

Although most local education authorities have their own legal counsel, all stakeholders benefit from a working knowledge of school law, especially those laws pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of school personnel and students. In this course, you’ll analyze state and federal legislation that impacts a variety of local school policies. Legal foundations for health, safety, attendance, and discipline policies will all be addressed along with policies for the rights of students, teachers, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders.

ED-7009 Educating a Diversity of Learners

Because today’s learners differ in gender, sexual orientation, age, cultural background, experiences, and abilities, today’s educators must be able to appraise, assess, and argue the best means to reach such a variety. In this course, you’ll explore different means to address the nature of cultural diversity, its sources, and its importance to educators. You’ll also consider how districts can plan and prepare to meet the needs of diverse students, taking into consideration epistemological and axiological perspectives unique to many cultures.

ED-7012 Educational Leadership

This course examines the theories, philosophies, and professional standards related to educational leadership. You’ll also study diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of school leadership. By the end of the course, you’ll develop a personal leadership approach and promote ethical behavior and decision-making in order to become an effective leader within your particular educational setting.

ED-7014 Practices in School Organization

In this course, you’ll explore the organizational structure of schools and school systems, and their relationships to and effects upon school programs, teaching strategies, testing and measurement, and program evaluation. You’ll consider the way schools are organized around time, space, and other resources. Organizational dynamics are explored, and there’ll be an opportunity to engage operational factors that influence the school climate, including human resources, organizational outreach, and capacity. Finally, you’ll investigate ways and benefits of engaging stakeholders in organizational practice.

ED-7016 Supervision and Leadership in Schools

This course surveys the real world experiences and common challenges encountered by school leaders. You’ll study organizational behavior with an emphasis on the practical relevance of educational leadership in this new era of accountability and high-stakes testing. Topics include development theories and collaborative planning models to enhance distributed leadership, professional learning communities, parental involvement, and sustainable leadership for student growth.

ED-7013 Financial Issues in Schools

This course prepares you to apply general principles of education finance in any pre-K-12 setting. Beyond revenue and expenditures, you’ll be prepared to address ethics, equity, and student achievement as core components of the budgeting process. You’ll also learn to demonstrate the principles of financial accountability through your communications with various stakeholders in schools, administrations, and across the community.

*Courses listed are examples. Upon acceptance to the program, your initial plan will include these courses. You’re encouraged to choose your EdS General Education courses based on your personal and professional goals, and to work with an advisor to revise your course plan to your interests.

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
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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.

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.

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