Students writing

Educational Specialist

Program Overview

Degree Type

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)

Department Name

Education

Department Chair Name

Nelly Hecker

Department Assistant Name

Troy Terry

What is an educational specialist?

An Ed.S. is a post-master’s degree program for experienced scholars and leaders in the education field who seek to develop their potential and competencies and who are committed to improving PK-12 education both within their organizations and beyond. The Ed.S. prepares educators to lead at the district level as superintendents or assistant superintendents (with the educational leadership track), or in individual schools as principals or assistant principals (with the school leadership track).

Why pursue an Ed.S. at Furman?

The Ed.S. in Educational Leadership or School Leadership prepares graduates to lead in our school districts and schools, strengthen our communities and equip diverse learners for tomorrow’s challenges. Furman offers a curriculum that allows you to secure your Ed.S. without interrupting your current teaching or administrative role. Learn from some of the most respected professors and practitioners in education. Our faculty have been there. They’ve served years, often decades, in the leadership roles you are looking to pursue – who better to help you navigate your career goals in education? Learn more about graduate studies in education and how to apply.

How will you learn?

Reputable and rigorous, our program aims to grow leaders who are able to bring about transformational change, in addition to equipping graduates with the expertise for leadership roles in the district, and the day-to-day operations involved in running a school.

Unlike many leadership programs that provide only a semester-long stretch of practical experience, the Ed.S. at Furman includes a yearlong practicum.

In the educational leadership track (track 1) you’ll work with practicing superintendents to learn what’s involved in managing a school district – how to work with principals, curriculum coordinators, assistant superintendents, and facilities maintenance personnel. You’ll gain expertise about school board policy and policy-making, district-level budgeting and how to traverse the superintendent and school board member relationship to accomplish school and district goals. The educational leadership track also covers community relations and how to leverage support for the district from local business stakeholders.

In the school leadership track (track 2) you’ll experience it all. From closing out a school year to opening a new one, and everything in between, candidates will develop a budget, build a master schedule, provide teacher feedback, oversee state testing, manage after-school programs, gain insights into school-community relations and more. You’ll emerge from the experience with the skills, know-how and confidence you need to take the next step in your career.

Careers for Ed.S. graduates

You’re an experienced teacher with a master’s, but you’re ready for new challenges. An Ed.S. makes you part of the hiring conversation when it comes to district-level and building-level leadership roles.

Some vocations include:

  • Superintendent
  • Assistant superintendent
  • Deputy superintendent
  • Directorships at the district level (director of elementary education, or director of secondary education)
  • Career center director
  • Elementary school principal
  • Secondary school principal
  • Middle school principal
  • Elementary school assistant principal
  • Middle school assistant principal
  • Secondary school assistant principal
  • Instructional coach and other district-level positions (such as curriculum coordinator, or special education coordinator)
  • Coordinator of special academic programs (such as extended day, reading, summer school, and foreign exchange)
  • Data/quality specialist
  • Writing interventionist
  • Registrar
  • Associate principal
  • Associate administrator
  • Behavior interventionist
  • Director of student services
  • Chief academic officer

Ed.S. courses: What will you study?

Internship in the Superintendency & District Administration

Loading...

Internship in Elementary School Administration

Loading...

Internship in Secondary School Administration

Loading...

96%
Teacher retention rate for Furman education graduates within five years, compared to 50% nationally
66
Furman education graduates who are named “teacher of the year” over the last five years
100-plus
Years the Department of Education has prepared teachers and administrators

What our students say

Furman lake at sunset

“Furman’s school leadership program is a rigorous program of study that I highly recommend to aspiring administrators. The program intentionally exposes students to skilled professors and situations that will broaden their views and strengthen them as educators. Much of the confidence I gained as a school leader can be directly related to the Furman faculty and their school leadership programs. I am appreciative of the Furman staff because they always supported me, encouraged me, and most of all, believed in me.” – Kory Roberts M’02, Ed.S.’13, principal, Westside High School, Anderson School District 5

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Pair theory with practice under the expert guidance of faculty who have worked in and led schools at all levels. Furman’s education faculty represent decades of study and real-world expertise. Learn more about graduate studies in education and how to apply.

  • Harris Heath
    Title:

    Professor, Education; School Leadership and Administration

    Heath

    Harris Heath
    Title:

    Professor, Education; School Leadership and Administration

    Phone Number: 8642943387

    View Profile

  • Vernon L. Prosser
    Title:

    Coordinator, Upstate Schools Consortium; School Leadership Clinical Faculty

    Vernon Prosser

    Vernon L. Prosser
    Title:

    Coordinator, Upstate Schools Consortium; School Leadership Clinical Faculty

    Phone Number: 8642942462

    View Profile

  • Troy Terry
    Title:

    Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in Education

    Troy Terry

    Troy Terry
    Title:

    Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in Education

    Phone Number: 8642942213

    View Profile

  • FAQ

    What can you do with an Ed.S.?

    Our graduates become district and school leaders who improve student learning and help shape the culture, vision and path forward for their organizations. Some sample roles include superintendent, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent, directorships at the district level (director of elementary education, or director of secondary education), career center director, elementary school principal, middle school principal, secondary school principal, elementary school assistant principal, middle school assistant principle, secondary school assistant principal, instructional coach and other district-level positions (such as curriculum coordinator, or special education coordinator), coordinator of special academic programs (such as extended day, reading, summer school, and foreign exchange), data/quality specialist, writing interventionist, registrar, associate principal, associate administrator, behavior interventionist, director of student services and chief academic officer.

    What is the average salary for those who hold an Ed.S.?

    On average, base salary for an educational specialist is $51,158 according to payscale.com. Goodsensorylearning.com says an Ed.S. can draw anywhere from about $40,000 to $110,000 per year.

     

    Base salaries for district administrative roles in Greenville County Schools in South Carolina range from $49,410 to $159,954, based on a 245-day work schedule. At the school or building level in GCS, base salaries for administrators range from $67,620, to $113,337, based on a 245-day work schedule.

    How long does it take to earn an Ed.S.?

    The Ed.S. at Furman is typically a two- to three-year program.

    Request Information

    Loading…