College of Education & Human Services

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)-Educational Leadership

Program Overview

The Department of Educational  Studies offers a comprehensive graduate academic program in educational leadership within which a student may earn a Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. The master's program concentrates on the general background and skills needed for entry into positions of educational leadership.  Sequences at the education specialist level expand this base and add elements that contribute to continued professional growth and those required, specifically, to qualify for the position of superintendent of schools. 

The educational leadership program at Western Illinois University offers degree and certificate programs through the Weekend Academy format. In this format, classes meet on Saturdays and Sundays, three weekends a semester. Courses are offered at both the Macomb and the Moline campuses.

Degree Requirements

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in educational leadership requires a minimum of 35 semester hours to be selected in consultation with the student's adviser if approved by the Graduate Committee. The student may earn certification in K-12 administration (Type 75S) after completing the degree program. The State of Illinois requires of those enrolling in principal preparation programs to have completed two years of teaching prior to enrollment.

Courses required of all Ed.S. degree candidates:

  • EDL 600 Organizational Leadership: 3 s.h.
  • EDL 623 Collective Bargaining in Education: 3 s.h.
  • EDL 640 The Educational Executive: 3 s.h.
  • EDL 660 Instructional Leadership: 3 s.h.
  • EDL 671 Curriculum Theory: 3 s.h.
  • EDL 681 Research in Educational Leadership: 3 s.h.
  • EIS 607 Implications of Diversity for Educational Leaders: 3 s.h.
  • Electives to be selected in consultation with the student's adviser: 14 s.h.


Superintendent’s Licensure (Ed.S.) - For Superintendent Certification see the following course requirements:  

Persons seeking Type 75S superintendent's licensure through Western Illinois University must complete a licensure program including the following: 36 semester hours of course work, EDL 655 (Internship), and a minimum of two years of administrative experience requiring a Type 75 Administrative License or its equivalent.

  • EDL 600 Organizational Leadership (3)
  • EDL 617 Legal Aspects of Education Governance (3)
  • EDL 620 Superintendent and Educational Governance (3)
  • EDL 622 Management of Administrative Personnel (3)
  • EDL 623 Collective Bargaining (3)
  • EDL 627 School Business Management (3)
  • EDL 635 Educational Facilities (3)
  • EDL 640 The Educational Executive (3)
  • EDL 660 Instructional Leadership (3)
  • EDL 671 Curriculum Theory (3)
  • EDL 681 Research in Educational Administration (3)
  • EIS 607 Implications of Diversity for Educational Leaders (3)
  • EDL 655 Superintendent Internship



Successful completion of an internship is required for administrative certification as principal (EDL 555) and for superintendent (EDL 655). In both cases, the internship is taken for two semester hours of credit in Fall and Spring semesters or in Spring and Fall semesters, for a total of four credit hours over the two semesters. A minimum of 75 clock hours of planned activity is required for each semester hour of credit. Internships are carried out under the supervision of a school administrator and a faculty member in the Department of Educational Studies

Download - Graduate Internship Application.pdf

Application Deadlines: September 15 (Spring/Fall Sequence) OR February 15 (Fall/Spring Sequence)


Step 1 - Application for admittance to the Western Illinois School of Graduate Studies

Persons seeking admittance to a program within the Department of Educational Studies must first apply to the School of Graduate Studies.

Apply to the WIU School of Graduate Studies »


Step 2 - Application for admission to the Department of Educational Studies 

Apply for Education Specialist »