Quad Cities Campus

Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Superintendent’s Licensure at WIU-Quad Cities

EDL Grad Program

Advising: (309)762-1988 | Catalog

Departmental Website:

The mission of the Department of Educational Leadership is to prepare transformational leaders who cultivate exemplary learning organizations. The department offers a comprehensive graduate academic program leading to an Education Specialist degree and administrative licensure needed for public school superintendents. Students may be admitted to pursue a graduate degree and/or fulfill the academic requirements for administrative licensure.

Admission Requirements

Admission to candidacy in the department is contingent upon admission to the School of Graduate Studies. By the time 9 semester hours (sh) of Educational Leadership program coursework at Western Illinois University have been completed, a candidate must have fulfilled all School of Graduate Studies and the Educational Leadership department’s admission requirements. Evaluation for admission to candidacy in the Education Specialist (EdS) degree or for the Type 75 License is based upon the following:

  • A master’s degree in educational administration/leadership from an accredited university
  • Recommendation by a sitting superintendent
  • Official Graduate Study Plan approved by the department
  • Successful completion of 6 sh of 600-level coursework with grades of “B” or better

International students must have an overall TOEFL score of at least 231 (575 paper score) with a listening comprehension score of 23 (58 paper score).

Degree Requirements

The Education Specialist (EdS) degree in educational leadership requires a minimum of 35 sh to be selected in consultation with the student’s adviser if approved by the Graduate Committee. The student may earn licensure in K-12 administration (Type 75S) after completing the degree program.

Courses required of all EdS degree candidates:

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

Total Program: 35 sh

Superintendent’s Licensure – EdS degree

Persons seeking Type 75S superintendent’s licensure through Western Illinois University must complete the Education Specialist degree program including the following 36 sh of coursework, EDL 655 (Internship), and have 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 in Education (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 Leadership (3)
  • EIS 607 Implications of Diversity for Educational Leaders (3)

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the licensure program are qualified to serve as assistant superintendents and superintendents in school districts in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

EDL Student

Featured Alums

Lan Eberle

"No program can totally prepare you for the real world, but the Education Specialist program through WIU offered opportunities for me that were applicable. These opportunities allowed me to grow as an administrator as I went through the program and prepared for the next step as a superintendent. The cohort established a network of colleagues (area educators and professors) with a wealth of experiences and knowledge. This network is a valuable resource for me in this ever-changing profession that I have chosen as a career. I am better professionally and personally as a result of this program."

-Lan Eberle, Spring 2011
Bartonville Grade School District #66

Faculty Expertise

The faculty members of the Department of Educational Leadership have a strong interest in helping highly successful principals make the transition from school building administrators to school district administrators. As transformational leaders, they can improve educational opportunities for all children in the district. Department of Educational Leadership faculty hold doctoral degrees in educational leadership and other related fields. Their professional experiences include service as principals, curriculum directors, associate superintendents, and district superintendents.

Educational Leadership faculty are actively involved in professional organizations, working with school districts on school improvement, and providing inservice opportunities to teachers and administrators. They are accomplished authors as demonstrated by their published books and articles in state and national journals. They also are very active in presenting their research at professional meetings at the state, national, and international levels.

Distinctive Features

All courses are delivered in a weekend academy format. Classes meet from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturdays and from 8:00 am until 1:30 pm on Sundays. Coursework for this program is offered on the Macomb, Quad Cities, and University Center of Lake County campuses. A three-year course rotation schedule is available on our website: wiu.edu/edl. Coursework in the program is problem-based and is focused on real problems faced by PK-12 administrators. Students exiting our program have indicated that they are well-prepared to deal with the demands of the superintendency.


The superintendent preparation program is accredited through the Education Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and has been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. Western Illinois University’s licensure officer is authorized to approve licensure for students seeking administrative licensure in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

Contact Information

For admissions process and general program information, contact Admissions, Western Illinois University–Quad Cities, 3300 River Drive, Moline, IL 61265, (309) 762-1495, WIU-QC-Admissions@wiu.edu, wiu.edu/qc.

For more information, please contact the Department of Educational Leadership, 1 University Circle, Horrabin Hall 81, Macomb, IL 61455. Inquiries may also be made by phone at (309) 298-1070 or at wiu.edu/edl.