online graduate

Education specialist graduate degree in leadership

Trevecca’s education specialist degree in accountability and instructional leadership (Ed.S.)  is specifically designed for those who are looking to make a difference as a dynamic leader in education. With this degree, administrators, instructional facilitators and teachers can learn about ways to improve student, school and district performance.

All credit hours from this program can be transferred to Trevecca's Doctor of Education program.

Program Benefits

  • Complete your Ed.S. degree fully online in 15-16 months with no residency requirements.
  • Continue to work and focus on your other priorities while earning your degree, taking one course at a time with all materials delivered to you.
  • Utilize a built-in support system and complete your degree alongside others who are working toward similar goals through Trevecca’s cohort model.
  • Learn from faculty who possess the highest degrees in their fields and have relevant and valuable real-world experience.
  • Take advantage of an accelerated path toward an Ed.D. if you choose.
  • Become eligible for the Instructional Leadership License (ILL-B)

What to Expect

As a student in Trevecca’s education specialist in accountability and instructional leadership program, you’ll become an expert in research, leadership styles, data, and accountability. You’ll also learn how to create and sustain effective environments to help low-performing schools; how to use data collaboratively to build healthy school cultures; how to close the achievement gap for students and schools; and how to recruit and retain effective professionals.

The Ed.S. program will also position you for continued licensure and education in your field. This degree leads to eligibility for the Instructional Leadership License (ILL-B). Also, all credits from the program are directly transferable to our Doctor of Education degree, which only takes an additional 30 credit hours to complete.

Why Choose Trevecca?

Founded in 1901 and a leader in online education for more than two decades, Trevecca helps students discover and pursue an individual calling by providing innovative instruction; cultivating a supportive, Christ-centered community; and establishing relationships that open doors.

Recognized nationally and locally for academic quality, Trevecca has earned a reputation for providing the world with servant leaders, problem solvers and difference makers. Trevecca’s holistic approach to education encompasses intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth.

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.

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Financial Aid & Costs

Financial Aid & Costs

Nearly every student at Trevecca receives some form of assistance in paying for college. Learn all about the affordability of a TNU education and options for receiving aid.

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Here’s a look at the approximate tuition rates you could expect for this program at Trevecca, including the cost per credit hour and the total tuition expense for the full degree program. Please note that rates and fees are subject to change.

Here’s a look at the approximate tuition rates you could expect for this program at Trevecca, including the cost per credit hour and the total tuition expense for the full degree program. Please note that rates and fees are subject to change.

Cost/Credit Hour

$562

Hours

30

Tuition Cost*

$16,860

*$150 Student Resource Fee assessed per course. Books are not included.

Instructional Leadership License

Graduates from the Ed.S. program may qualify for the Instructional Leadership license (ILL-B).

Requirements for the Instructional Leadership License - Beginning (ILL-B) for the state of Tennessee begins with the following process:

  • Complete required coursework in the accountability and instructional leadership program.
  • Pass state-required test (School Leaders Licensure Assessment – PRAXIS SLLA 6990).
  • Request ETS (Educational Testing Service) to send score to Trevecca Nazarene University.
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  • A master’s degree
  • Three years of verifiable full-time teaching experience.
  • An active teaching license, if you are seeking the administrative licensure that can be part of the program.

Steps to Apply

  • Complete the online application (it's free!).
  • Fill out FAFSA to be considered for financial aid.
  • Request a copy of your official transcript from your previous graduate institution.
  • Provide photocopy of government-issued identification (e.g., driver's license, state ID, military ID, passport). This requirement ensures that Trevecca complies with the U.S. Department of Education expectations for student verification. (This is only required for students enrolled in an online program.)
  • An enrollment counselor will contact you with the next steps.
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Career Opportunities

With Trevecca’s education specialist degree, you’ll be ready to advance your career and tap into higher earning potential. This degree will position you to be competitive in the following roles: 

  • Dean of instruction
  • Dean of students
  • Instructional coach
  • Assistant principal
  • Principal
  • District superintendent
  • District office supervisor

Many students choose to bridge to the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program and earn their doctoral degree in education after completing this program.

“My experience at Trevecca expanded my ability to face challenges, deepened my faith, gave me lifelong friendships and ultimately helped me become a better version of myself.”

Jocelyn Benton Trevecca graduate

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.


Instructional Leadership, Culture, and Climate
EDU 7302

Candidates will explore the role of School Leader as they differentiate between administration, management, and instructional leadership styles within the school setting to improve student achievement with an emphasis on creating a school culture and climate that establishes high expectations for all stakeholders. The financial and legislative roles of local, state, and federal levels of government will be considered. Candidates will examine and unpack the TEAM Administrator Evaluator Rubric for a deep understanding of what an effective administrator needs to know and be able to do. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will provide the foundation in creating models for leveraging transformational change within the school culture for urgent change. Practical knowledge and tools will be examined to create and sustain collaborative PLC work that actively engages stakeholders in creating a shared vision and culture of supporting learning for all. Each candidate will analyze provided school data and build an effective School Improvement Plan upon the provided data.

Current Research in Action
EDU 7401

This course introduces the educational specialist candidate to the principles of educational and applied research. Empirical research, both qualitative and quantitative, will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on establishing a researched-based project applicable to a specific school setting. Processes will include identification of an area of need through data analysis, development of major research questions, and identification of appropriate strategies, methods and design for an inquiry-based study. This course establishes the student’s basic understanding of educational and applied research while creating a broad based skillset of best practices in problem-solving within the environment.

Field Experience I for Accountable Leaders
EDU 7420
This field experience is conducted during the first semester of the Specialist in Accountability and Instructional Leadership (SAIL) program. Specifically, candidates are expected to clearly demonstrate an understanding of leadership styles and facilitation skills for meeting the needs of all student groups, and be able to advocate, nurture, and sustain a school culture and instructional program conductive to student learning and staff professional growth. They will master skills and attributes that can be used to develop the kinds of relationships that must exist between and among individuals functioning in a social system. Candidates will develop a plan to involve a diverse population of parents and community members in the education of Pre K-12 children. The analysis of case studies will inform approaches which can be used to set high expectations for all students and lead to school improvement/effectiveness. Candidates will analyze a set of data provided to them at the elementary, middle, or high school level and build a school improvement plan from this analysis of data. Candidates will begin their research for their major school project while developing a knowledge concerning both qualitative and quantitative research designs.
Toolkit for Low Performing Schools
EDU 7305

Since there is no set of strategies that when applied will lead each school from low performing to excellence, the candidates in this course will develop and exhibit the skills, structures, and leadership strategies needed to create and sustain effective leadership environments and enhance instructional excellence. Each candidate will become adept in the selection and implementation of research-based tools to determine the appropriate strategies for their particular school situation.

Navigating and Mapping Change through Data Analysis: Beyond Data (What Now?)
EDU 7304

This course will provide candidates the tools necessary to analyze and build upon the influences and influencers that make a difference for students and their learning. The focus will identify ways to build school cultures focused on using data collaboratively to drive decisions, to implement strategic plans, to monitor progress and to facilitate and sustain change.

Field Experience II for Accountable Leaders
EDU 7425
This second field experience is conducted during the second semester of the SAIL program. Candidates will develop and exhibit the skills, structures, and leadership strategies needed to create and sustain effective leadership environments and enhance instructional excellence. Furthermore, candidates are expected to identify ways to build school cultures focused on using data collaboratively to drive decisions, to implement strategic plans, to monitor progress and to facilitate and sustain change. Skills will be taught to enable candidates to analyze data from all aspects of the school (i.e. culture, climate, instructional practices, learning strategies, demographics, test scores).
Instructional Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap
EDU 7306

This course prepares specialists to provide training for all teachers in models for teaching and learning, formative assessment tools and data processes to determine remediation and accelerated learning strategies for all learners. Candidates insure that instructional strategies are fully aligned both vertically and horizontally with the adopted standards. The budgeting process is explored at the local school level. Candidates communicate a compelling case and a sense of urgency to address chronic achievement deficits. The TEAM teacher evaluation model will be taught and practiced. This course will focus on research to increase instructional time in core areas, quick and intensive support for struggling students, and instructional strategy choices appropriate to the students being served.

Human Capital and Efficacy Building
EDU 7303

Human Capital and Efficacy Building is designed to enable educational leaders develop an effective management strategy through examination of the process and procedures necessary to recruit, hire, place, induct, professionally develop, evaluate, and retain excellent teachers and administrators to increase student outcomes. One aspect of the course is the analysis of performance problems and recommendations needed to assist the employee and organization to achieve organizational goals and to manage change. An integral part of managing human capital is to ensure all stakeholders have positive, highly functional self-efficacy.

Educational Research Development I
EDU 7402

This second research course is designed to assist and support Ed.S. candidates at Trevecca Nazarene University as they move toward implementation and completion of their selected action research project, the capstone of the Ed.S. experience. This educational research project is a substantial research endeavor focused on results-driven school improvement. Educational Research Development I begins with a systematic in-depth review of the literature for their identified project. Candidates will also develop appropriate methodology and initiate the implementation phase of their plan as well as analysis of qualitative and quantitative research and achieving individual and group competencies.

Field Experience III for Accountable Leaders
EDU 7430
This field experience is conducted during the third semester of the program. Specifically, candidates are expected to develop a thorough understanding of the change process, analysis of data, implications from data analysis, instructional improvement, and the involvement of all stakeholders in the school improvement planning process. Furthermore, the course includes responding to diversity for the improvement of instruction, for increased student learning, and for a positive school climate, specifically in these areas: ethnicity/race, socioeconomic, gender exceptionalities, language, and religion, in urban/suburban/rural settings. Effective use of human resources is examined in the areas of recruitment, hiring, induction, and retention. Individualized, well-executed professional development is viewed as a necessary component of retention and growth for exceptional teachers.
Distributive Leadership for Building Capacity and Program Sustainability
EDU 7307

This course combines the tenets of transformational leadership, situational and servant leadership, and capacity building within an organization with a focus on program sustainability. Research has shown that any sustainable change must be implemented in an organization's culture and must be owned by members of that organization in order to be maintained after the funds are depleted and the change agent has left the building. Therefore, this course will explore in detail the three Cs: Communication, Collaboration, and Change with effective methods for implementation. Case studies with essential tools for potential specialists in organizations will be a focal point of the course. Strategic planning, policy development, understanding of existing policies, procedures, and legal requirements are competencies essential for any specialist. Knowledge of existing governing bodies with political implications and an ability to quickly assess situations in failing organizations will also be examined in this course.

Educational Research Development II
EDU 7404

This third research course is designed to assist and support Ed.S. candidates at Trevecca Nazarene University as they move toward implementation and completion of their selected action research project, the capstone of the Ed.S. experience. This educational research project is a substantial research endeavor focused on results-driven school improvement. Educational Research Development II continues the final phase of implementation of the action research project started in Current Research in Action and continued in Educational Research Development I with a systematic in-depth review of the literature for their identified project. Candidates will implement the appropriate methodology and continue the implementation phase of their plan as well as begin analysis of qualitative and quantitative research and achieving individual and group competencies.

Capstone Colloquium
EDU 7403

The fourth research course is designed to assist and support Ed.S candidates at Trevecca as they move toward completion of their selected applied research project, the capstone of the Ed.S. experience. This educational research project is the conclusion of their research endeavor focused on results-driven school improvement. Candidates will complete the analysis of qualitative and quantitative research and achieving individual and group competencies. Candidates will present their research project findings to a juried panel.

Field Experience IV for Accountable Leaders
EDU 7435
Field Experience IV is conducted during the fourth and final semester of the program. Distributed leadership will be studied as a necessary component of building a strong culture of shared decision making and accountability for the academic, social, and emotional development of all children. Candidates will focus on the principles, strategies, and techniques utilized to enhance student learning and close achievement gaps through in-depth data analysis and interpretation for all aspects of the school organization. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will be explored as a tool to encourage teacher leaders and for the advancement of academic achievement for all students. Parental involvement in the decision making process will be encouraged. Areas of interest will include: student learning, effective teaching, connecting students and community resources, and analyzing problems other than academic related. Observation of and interaction with school leader(s) are required. The Capstone Colloquium featuring each candidate's action research project conducted over the preceding three semesters will be presented to a juried panel. This project involves material learned and assignments experienced throughout the coursework and the guided action research completed in LEA schools.

*For a complete list of courses, tracks and other relevant information, view the program's course catalog.