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:
- 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
- Associate principal
- Associate administrator
- Behavior interventionist
- Director of student services
- Chief academic officer
Ed.S. courses: What will you study?
Sample courses for Track 1, Educational Leadership, and Track 2, School Leadership, include (in order):
96%Teacher retention rate for Furman education graduates within five years, compared to 50% nationally
66Furman education graduates who are named “teacher of the year” over the last five years
100+Years the Department of Education has prepared teachers and administrators
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.
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.
The Ed.S. at Furman is typically a two- to three-year program.