Ed.S. in Tier II Educational Leadership


Accelerated Performance-Based Educational Leadership Specialist Program (Tier-II Certification) and
Accelerated Certification Only (Tier-II Certification)

100% OnlineCohorts begin each fall. Educational Leadership and Tier-II Certification will be Accepting Applications through the Spring and Summer for the Fall Cohort. 

Program Overview

The Education 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 (Tier II). The “Tier II Certification Only” program is for candidates who already possess an EDS or EDD, but do not have leadership certification. 

Please note: Candidates are required to hold Tier I Certification in Educational Leadership prior to applying for EDS in Educational Leadership andTier II Certification Only Program. The GaPSC requires that students complete assessments prior to enrollment and completion in programs that lead to certification (M.Ed., Tier I Certification Only, Ed.S., Tier II Certification Only). The Ethics Entrance Exam must be taken prior to enrollment in certification programs, and the Ethics Exit Exam and GACE or PASL (Tier I and Tier II, respectively) must be taken prior to completion. Students who have taken the Ethics Exams in a M.Ed./Tier I program do not need to re-take for enrollment into the Ed.S./Tier II. 

An “Accelerated Performance Based” Residency Program

Unlike “traditional” programs, the majority of coursework in the accelerated performance-based leadership program occurs in the candidate’s school. In addition, each semester in the accelerated model consists of (2) 8-week periods and all educational leadership courses are eight weeks long. As such, to complete the program in the recommended time-frame, students are expected to take two classes during each 8-week period (i.e., 4 classes per academic semester). Using this model, students can complete the Ed.S. program of study in as few as 3 semesters and the Certification-Only program of study in as few as 2 semesters.

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 8-week period 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 “certification only” program are performed in residency. All courses are designated as online.

Core Courses: (9 hrs.)

  • EDL 8005 Foundations of Leadership
  • EDRS 8000 Applied Quantitative and Qualitative Research
  • EDL 8200 Applied Leadership Evaluation

Residency Courses/Cert-Only Courses (18 hrs.)

  • EDL 8805 Culturally Responsive Leadership
  • EDL 8810 Vision and Governance
  • EDL 8820 Managing the Physical and Fiscal Environment
  • EDL 8835 Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
  • EDL 8840 Professional Learning
  • EDL 8850 Managing Human Resources

27 Credit Hours

Admission Requirements

Must possess the following beyond the general KSU Graduate College Admission Requirements: 

  • Degree – Master’s degree in professional education or related field.
  • Certificate – Uploaded to graduate application. Current clear, renewable Tier I or II Leadership Certificate.  MUST hold a Georgia Level 5 Leadership Certificate, i.e., PRL or SRL, or comparable certificate from another state PRIOR to admission consideration.  To print a copy of your clear, renewable Georgia Tier II Leadership certificate, you may log into your MyPSC account.
  • Employment – Must hold a leadership “position” or “role” as defined by your District or Independent/Charter school. Teachers may be admitted with district and department approval.
  • Experience – Minimum of FOUR (4) years of professional teaching administrative experience (or a combination thereof), or a related role serving P-12 education.
  • Mentor Form – Completed by a mentor holding a GaPSC clear, renewable Tier II Leadership certificate. The Leadership Mentor Form provides instructions and requirements.  Completed form must be uploaded to graduate application.  Individuals employed in a private school setting will need to reach out to the Bagwell Certification Officer for further guidance.  
  • Superintendent Form – Completed by the superintendent, or a proxy, indicating system level support for entry and progression through the program. The Superintendent Form provides instructions and requirements.  Completed form must be uploaded to graduate application.  Individuals employed in a private school setting will need to reach out to Bagwell Graduate Admission for further guidance.  
  • Partnership Agreement – PSC rule 505-3-.77 requires “a partnership agreement…for the purpose of collaborative work…Such partnership shall permit self-selection for Tier I programs provided the partner district has the capacity to mentor the candidate.”  Kennesaw State University must hold a Performance-Based partnership with the Candidate’s School District or Charter/Independent School. Reach out to the Program Coordinator, for Tier II Leadership, to confirm that one exists with your school system.
  • District Agreement – Agreement that District or Independent School will “support” the Candidate in this program. This differs by institution, so please check with your human resources department or administration. 

***Individuals from out of state who are not seeking Georgia Tier-II certification are not required to have a Georgia Tier-I certification; however, it is strongly advised that you contact your respective state licensing agency to determine if our curriculum meets your state requirements. 

Transfer Credits 

  • Ed.S. may accept up to 6 hours of approved credit.  
  • Tier II Certification Only may accept 3 hours of approved credit. 

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is July 1 for fall admission. Admits Fall only.

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