Ed.S. Leadership for Learning


Performance-Based Educational Leadership Specialist Program
(PL-6 Certification)
Tier II Certification Only (PL-6 Certification)

Program Overview

The Educational Specialist (EDS) in Educational Leadership is a professional degree program for qualified candidates who do not have a specialist or doctoral degree and who are pursuing clear, renewable leadership certification in Georgia (PL-6). The “Certification Only” program is for candidates who already possess an EDS or EDD, but do not have leadership certification. The program can be completed in as few as three (3) or as many as five (5) semesters, depending on the candidate’s preference.

The new Professional Standards Commission (PSC) mandated program just began with the summer semester of 2017. You must first get a Tier I (qualifies you for an Asst. Principal position) certification through the EDL MED program. It is 6 online courses. Then if you decide to go further you would apply for the EDS which leads to a Tier II certificate in Leadership and qualifies you for a principal position or anything above. The 2 preservice classes have been replaced with the 6 classes for Tier I certification. Nothing can be substituted for the Tier I or Tier II because of new requirements for executive coaching and field hours mandated by the PSC. Contact the Program Coordinator Dr. David G. Buckman at dbuckman@kennesaw.edu with further questions. This is a requirement for any state approved program.

A "Performance Based" Residency Program

Unlike traditional programs, the majority of coursework in the performance-based leadership program occurs in the candidate’s school. Of the twenty-seven (27) hours in the EDS program, eighteen (18) are residency, in which course meetings and course work are performed at the candidate’s school site. Each candidate has an individualized leadership plan, which is negotiated each semester between university faculty, the candidate, and a school-identified mentor. These plans identify authentic, meaningful projects that the candidate will complete within the school and on which he or she will demonstrate mastery of course material. All eighteen (18) hours of the “certificate only” program are performed in residency.

27 Credit Hours
Length: 4 to 5 semesters
(taking courses part-time and 3 semesters a year (Spring, Summer, Fall))

Core Courses: (9 hrs.)

  • EDL 8005 - Foundations for Leadership (3)       
  • EDRS 8000 - Applied Quantitative & Qualitative Research (3)
  • EDL 8200 - Applied Leadership Evaluation (3) 


Educational Leadership Residency Courses (18 hrs.)

  • EDL 8805 - Culturally Responsive Leadership (3)
  • EDL 8810 - Vision and Governance (3)
  • EDL 8820 - Managing the Physical and Fiscal Environment (3)
  • EDL 8835 - Curriculum and Instruction (3) New Course
  • EDL 8840 - Professional Learning (3)
  • EDL 8850 - Managing Human Resources (3)


Admission Requirements

  • Partnership Agreement between KSU and Candidate’s School District or Charter/Independent School (a list of current partnerships is located on the Department of Educational Leadership’s website)
  • Agreement that District or Independent School to “support” Candidate in this program (this differs by institution – please check with your human resources department or administration)
  • Admission Checklist
  • Candidate is classified by his or her school district as being employed in a “leadership role.”
  • Agreement that the candidate's school district agrees to “support” candidate in this program (please check with your human resouces department for more information).
  • Complete a program application linked here
  • Hold a master’s degree – or higher – in a professional education or related field.
  • Have a minimum of four (4) years of teaching or administrative experience
  • Hold a Georgia leadership certification (L)/Tier-I
  • Submit the following forms with your application:

Deadline for Applications

Spring, November 1  |  Summer, April 1  |  Fall, July 1

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact your program coordinator, or the Department of Educational Leadership at (470) 578-6888  or email edldepartment@kennesaw.edu