Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership (EdS)/Tier II Cert Only


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/Tier II). 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.

Please note: The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) has implemented a two tiered certification system for all approved Leader Preparation Programs (LPPs) in the state of Georgia, which began summer 2017. The GaPSC requires candidates to hold Tier I Leader Certification before they are eligible to enter a Tier II program. Tier I qualifies candidates to be Assistant Principals and other positions that do not require supervising personnel. For more information on KSU’s Tier I program, please see our Med site.  We offer both degree and 18-hour, non-degree, Certification Only Tier I programs. Tier II certification qualifies candidates to apply for principalships and other district-level positions.  Contact the Program Coordinator Dr. David G. Buckman at with further questions.

A "Performance Based" Residency Program

Unlike traditional programs, the majority of coursework in the performance-based leadership program occurs in the candidate’s school as field experiences. 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. During the program, the candidate will fulfill the GaPSC-required 750 clock hours of performance-based activity. Each candidate has an Individualized Induction Plan (IIP), which is negotiated each semester among the candidate support team, made up of university faculty, the candidate, the district-approved mentor, and performance coach. The IIP charts the course for authentic, meaningful projects that the candidate will complete within the field setting 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

Expected qualifications for applicants to be considered for admission will include:

  • Candidates must hold Tier I entry level certification or hold a valid, GaPSC-issued Standard Professional L or PL certificate in Educational Leadership;
  • Serve in a leadership position at either the P-12 school or LUA level (or agency or organization equivalent to LUA level) that will enable the candidate to fully meet the program’s residency requirements. A partnership agreement shall be established with the employing LUA, agency, or organization of each enrolled candidate for the purpose of ensuring candidates will be able to meet Tier II level residency requirements.
  • Candidates who do not serve in a leadership position as described above may be enrolled if the EPP and employer establish a formal, written agreement specifying the candidate will be released from other responsibilities for a portion of the school week sufficient in length to allow the candidate to participate in and successfully complete residency performances. Employees of state education or human service agencies, RESAs, universities or technical colleges, and employees of education or human service non-profit organizations may also pursue Tier II leadership certification as long as the employer has established a partnership with a GaPSC approved EPP and in the partnership agreement agrees to meet all requirements and guidelines accompanying this rule.
  • The LUA or agency or organization equivalent to LUA level will provide mentor who will work as a member of the candidate’s support team.

Applicants to the program must submit the following:

  1. Official transcripts of all college coursework, undergraduate and graduate.
  2. Evidence of completion of Master degree or its equivalent in a related field.
  3. All relevant professional teaching and/or administrative certificates.
  4. Professional Profile (Appendix A) detailing related professional qualifications.
  5. Reflections on Leadership for Learning (Appendix B).
  6. Official request for consideration of transfer courses (Appendix C).

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