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Educational Specialist Degree

“We’re not just interested in helping people find a better job. We want them to find a cause they believe in.”

- Dr. David Wright, President


About the Program


The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) is a degree and licensure program leading to Indiana’s P-12 District Level Administrator license. The program identifies outcomes and expectations based on current school leadership principles and practices and enables interns to engage in inquiry, research, dialogue, team learning, reflection, problem-based learning, collaboration, and standards-based assessment from a comprehensive P-12 perspective. The program is aligned to Indiana’s Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability (REPA) for district administrators and also aligned to the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) program recognition standards. Candidates will develop and demonstrate proficiency through performance on key assessments throughout the program that include field experience activities. The curriculum and district administrator internship reflect a standards-based emphasis and will prepare candidates to pass Indiana’s district level administrator exam. The program curriculum consists of 30 foundational hours (transferred in from a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution and 30 hours taken at IWU.)

This certificate program meets the academic requirements for recommendation for District Level Administrator (superintendent) licensure in Indiana. Indiana candidates must complete other requirements of the Indiana Department of Education before a superintendent's license will be issued, including receiving a passing score on the related state assessment test, evidence of a proficient practitioner license, and at least three years of experience as a teacher or school counselor.

If you are an out-of-state resident or hold an out-of-state practitioner license, please understand that completing this program and passing Indiana’s required exam for district administration are necessary but not sufficient conditions for acquiring an Indiana district administrative license or obtaining a comparable license in your state. Please check with the Indiana Department of Education or the comparable government agency in your state to make sure that you can use this program to earn a district administrator license.

Program Learning Outcomes

Our mission is to encourage, empower, and equip visionary school leaders of integrity who are able to facilitate a district culture that values social, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being, continuous improvement, and successful learning for all.

  • Candidates will demonstrate competence in the following SoEL dispositional domains: Communication, Critical Thinking, Human Interaction, Character, Leadership, and Professionalism.
  • Candidates demonstrate the methods used to create a shared district vision, mission, values, goals, and a culture of continuous improvement based on best instructional practices.
  • Candidates demonstrate communicating and collaborating skills with building level leaders and other district systems leaders to create a comprehensive and rigorous curricular program with an acute focus on student learning and academic success for all students.
  • Candidates will demonstrate the knowledge to work with elected or appointed boards to monitor school operations, manage resources efficiently and provide a safe learning environment in order to provide the needed resources and school environment that ensures for the maximum success for all students.
  • Candidates will build diverse relationships that engage parents and all members of the community in the learning process based on established goals while leveraging all community stakeholder resources for the benefit of all students.
  • Candidates will apply Christ-like leadership by modeling personal integrity, fairness, accountability, cultural responsiveness, and ethical/legal decision-making, and expect the same from staff and students.
  • Candidates promote the success of all students by advocating for all district stakeholders to the larger local, state, and national leaders so the leaders and local community adapt to and influence emerging trends in the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Credit Hours Tuition
30 Total $559 / credit hour

*Effective July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

30 credit hours for financial aid represent the Ed.S. Program of Study only.

The total cost of the program, including tuition, books, and fees, will be determined prior to your enrollment. . The cost will be divided into several payments spread over the course of the program. Course textbooks will be shipped to you before each course begins. The cost of books increases for shipments outside of the 48 contiguous United States.

The total credit hours and per-credit-hour costs listed above are effective for the core program. For prerequisite or other required courses if applicable, students will need to pay for appropriate tuition, books, and any additional fees. Costs may change if a student withdraws from the program and restarts in a future program at a later date.

Payment Process

Deposit: Once you are accepted, your program representative will contact you in regards to payment of the required $100.00 deposit. This deposit reserves your place on the class roster. Payment can be made by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Service fee may apply.

Payment Options: Your program representative will work closely with you to choose a payment option that best fits your needs. Your options may include Federal financial aid, company reimbursement tuition deferral, company direct-bill, self-pay, military benefits, etc.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, veterans benefits, and even employer reimbursement.

For information about financial aid, call 800-621-8667, ext. 2516, visit our financial aid website, or email IWUfinaid@indwes.edu.


Candidates must already have 30 credit hours in education-related coursework (which may be applied from an existing master's degree from a regionally accredited university.)

Below is the list of courses required to complete the program. Courses are generally taken sequentially, one at a time, until the program is complete. Full course descriptions may be viewed by clicking on the course titles below. For further information, feel free to contact us.

Preview Your Classes

FOUNDATION (30 hours)

30 credit hours required in education (which may be applied from an existing master's degree in education)

Sequence of courses subject to change.

IWU's Ed.S. degree is a 60 credit hour program, consisting of 30 credit hours of foundational EDU credits (which may be transferred in) and 30 credit hours from the coursework above. Requests to transfer courses from another institution will be evaluated based on the course descriptions and IWU policy for the number allowed.


Below are the lists of requirements for the Education Specialist Degree program. Click on each link to expand the requirements. If you have any questions about the admissions process, feel free to contact one of our admissions representatives at 1-866-498-4968.

Applicants to any program within the School of Educational Leadership will be required to sign a disclosure of information waiver giving any prior institutions the applicant may have attended permission to supply IWU representatives all information relevant to the applicant's fitness for educator training or licensure recommendation, including but not limited to his/her conduct, standing, or reputation while attending said institutions. Any information obtained may be considered by IWU in its decision whether or not to admit an applicant, to permit his or her continuance in a program, or to recommend him/her for licensure.

To meet the admission requirements for this specialist degree program, candidates must:

  1. Have completed a master's degree in education from a regionally accredited body.
  2. Have a graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in graduate-level courses from master’s degree-granting institution.
  3. Be currently employed by or have access to a P-12 public or non-public school corporation in which a superintendent (or other central office administrator who holds a superintendent’s license) is willing to serve as a mentor for the internship phase of the program. Submission of a completed internship agreement with an appropriate central office administrator will be required prior to the start of the internship phase.
  4. Hold a current practitioner teaching license issued by any state in the United States.
  5. Have a minimum of three years of teaching experience at an accredited school.
  6. Present at least three letters of recommendation; one must be from the current superintendent in the district or corporation in which the candidate is employed.

Graduation Requirements

To complete the Ed.S. degree, candidates must:

  1. Successfully pass the admission, mid-program review, and program completion gateways.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or above in all graduate work and a minimum grade of "B-" in each course.

Candidates must pay all tuition and fees to receive a diploma and be recommended for licensure.

If you are an out-of-state resident or hold an out-of-state practitioner license, please understand that completing this program and passing Indiana’s required exam for district administration are necessary but not sufficient conditions for acquiring an Indiana district administrative license or obtaining a comparable license in your state. Please check with the Indiana Department of Education or the comparable government agency in your state to make sure that you can use this program to get a district administrator license.

Clinical Requirements

All Ed.S. candidates must complete a three-credit-hour Internship spanning six months in accordance with ELCC requirements. Candidates should anticipate paying an additional clinical experience fee during EDL 700 to remunerate the services of a mentor.

All candidates must secure a Superintendent-Mentor at the school in which they are currently leading or teaching. The mentor administrator must have a superintendent's license and be able to attend scheduled video conferences with the internship professor. The Superintendent-Mentor will work with the candidate throughout the course of the Internship.

Minimum Computer Requirements

Students are expected to possess a computer throughout the duration of their program. Student computers must be able to run a supported browser and handle additional plug-ins as identified by the Learning Management System (LMS) company. Students should be able to produce, send, and receive documents that are compatible within the two most recent offerings of Microsoft Office to complete most of the assignments. IWU will offer support to students on only these two offerings of office software. Computer and Internet connection may need to be fast enough in some courses to watch streaming videos, participate in live meetings, upload large files, install software, and listen to audio lectures. In addition to these minimum expectations, participation in a CAPS course or program may entail additional computing and/or technology requirements.

Application Procedures

To be considered for admission to the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree program, complete each of the following steps. For more information, call 866-498-4968 to speak with a Program Representative.

  1. Application Apply online at indwes.edu.
  2. Transcripts High School: Applicants who have fewer than 30 credit hours of college coursework or applicants who are applying to the certificate program are required to submit a copy of a standard high school diploma or transcript or GED scores for admission. College: Applicants who have more than 30 credit hours of college coursework are required to submit an official transcript from each undergraduate regionally accredited institution attended. Indiana Wesleyan University will accept for its permanent file only those transcripts sent in a sealed envelope directly to IWU by the registrar of the attended institution(s). Official transcripts must exhibit the official seal and signature of the registrar. Transcripts that are stamped “student copy,” “issued to student,” or “unofficial” cannot be accepted as official. College Transcripts from Non-U.S. Schools: For college transcripts from non-U.S. schools, secure a “Course-by-Course Report” from Educational Credential Evaluators (see www.ece.org). Be sure to request that the report be sent directly to Indiana Wesleyan University. The evaluation must list course-by-course hours and grades.
  3. Copy of License Submit a copy of your current teaching license.
  4. Letters of Recommendation Present at least three letters of professional reference. At least one must be from a current school district superintendent who endorses, acknowledges, and supports the internship experience requirements.
  5. TOEFL Scores Submit a copy of your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores if English is not your primary language. For more information about this test, see www.toefl.org.

Start Dates

Below are the program locations, upcoming dates, and meeting times for the Educational Specialist Degree program. This list is updated regularly as new classes are added.