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


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

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 (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

  • Transcripts - Official transcripts from EACH College and/or University you have attended. Must be in a sealed envelope from the institution or sent electronically from the institution directly to
  • Clear Renewable Georgia Teaching Certificate
  • Personal Reflections Statement - Can be uploaded into the online application. Should be 1-2 pages and address your professional training and interest, educational beliefs, professional goals, and why you seek to pursue your degree at KSU.
  • Employment - Candidates are required to by be employed as teachers or administrators in a traditional public school district, a charter school district, a charter school, or an independent school. By PSC regulation, candidates must be referred for admissions by their respective schools/districts, and Kennesaw State University must hold a Performance-Based partnership with the referring district.
  • Mentor Form - This program requires that you have a qualified mentor who meets the GaPSC Mentor requirements at each phase in your program. You can find the mentor requirements and form with instructions on the Graduate Admissions website for this program.DOWNLOAD FORM
  • Resume or Professional Vitae - Can be uploaded into the online application. Should document your education, years of teaching experience, current school and district, volunteer and service activities in which you have participated, and any leadership involvement. Resume MUST reflect at least THREE years of professional teaching or administrative experience prior to admission consideration.
  • Interview - An interview may be required. If so, you will be contacted by the program to set up an interview.
  • Superintendent Endorsement Form -  DOWNLOAD FORM

Deadline for Applications

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