Specialist in Education: Teacher Leadership

  • Quick Program Overview

  • Full Program Overview

    The Teacher Leadership Ed.S. Degree is an advanced degree that prepares educators to meet the GaPSC Teacher Leadership standards providing a foundation for effective collaboration with students, parents, and colleagues. These standards are related to curriculum and instruction, assessment, a school culture that fosters excellence in teaching and learning, modeling best practices in instruction, working with others to design assessments, and using data to work with colleagues in collaborative efforts to improve instruction for all students. By completing this online degree and passing the appropriate Georgia content assessment, candidates will be eligible for the new Teacher Leadership (level 6) certification (see GaPSC Certification below). One of several paths of electives in this program allows completion of the Educational Leadership pre-service requirements or acquisition  of  an endorsement in Reading, Gifted Education, or Online Teaching. Other electives are available.

    This 30- hour program can be completed in four consecutive semesters or 16 months. Courses are offered on a continuous basis, allowing for part-time enrollment. No campus visits are required to complete the program.

    Special Requirements: Students must be employed teachers or employees of an educational agency -- (access to teachers and students are required to complete the program)

    • Delivery: The program is fully online, with no on-campus attendance requirements. Students conduct all work online, including team projects, exams, discussion posts, and case studies. Students have access to online academic resources, such as the library. Courses are asynchronous; there are no scheduled online meetings except those one might make with peers for group work.
    • Technology: Students must purchase the LiveText portfolio assessment application and should have high speed internet access.  Additional software may be required.
    • Transfer credit: No more than 9 semester hours of post-master’s academic work may be transferred from another institution into the program.  Transfer credit will be evaluated after admission by the department upon entry.  To be eligible, credit must be no more than seven years old prior to completion of the degree.
    • Cost: Please see the Fees / Aid link for details.
    • Financial Aid: Student loans are available through the VSU Office of Financial Aid - 229-333-5935.
    • GaPSC Certification: By completing this online degree and passing the Georgia content assessment in Teacher Leadership, candidates will be eligible for the new Teacher Leadership (level 6) certification, as long as they meet the additional certification requirements of one year of successful classroom teaching experience and a recommendation from their employing Local Unit of Administration (LUA) (505-2-.149 TEACHER LEADERSHIP).

      Adding Teacher Leadership certification through this program provides a level 6 certificate upgrade for any Georgia educator currently certified even if the educator is not assigned to a leadership position. 
  • Application Deadlines

    • Fall Semester – June 1st
    • Spring Semester – November 1st
    • Summer Semester- April 1st
  • Admission Requirements

    The Teacher Leadership program is a Georgia On My Line program (GOML). Please visit the VSU GOML Calendar for semester deadlines. Submitting an application prior to the deadline does not guarantee processing for your desired semester. Your application cannot be processed until all required documents are received by the Valdosta State University Graduate School. Admission into the Teacher Leadership program is for a specific semester. Teachers and employees of an educational agency will be admitted to this program with the same criteria as used for on-campus Ed.S . degree programs.

     Full Admission Requirements:

    • Submit the application and fee to the VSU Graduate School.
    • 1 year of teaching experience required
    • Official transcript from the school where you obtained your highest college degree and any transcripts from schools where graduate coursework was taken. Official transcripts bear an official seal and signature and are sent to the VSU Graduate School in the original sealed envelopes. VSU transcripts will be obtained by the VSU Graduate School.
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. See below for alternative admission pathway options.
    • Must hold a clear renewable (Induction, Professional, Advanced Professional, or Lead Professional Teaching certificate, leadership certificate, service certificate or Life certificate), Georgia teaching certificate at the bachelor’s level 4 or higher. Individuals with certification from states other than Georgia must provide documentation of the appropriate certificate. Eligibility will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    • Submit the Superintendent Recommendation for Enrollment and Support document. The document should provide verification that your school superintendent or superintendent's designee:
      • Supports your decision to pursue the degree
      • Recommends you for participation in this program
      • Agrees to provide the necessary resources for successful completion of the degree requirements, including time and access to teachers and stakeholder groups so that candidate can  observe, mentor, conduct research, and provide professional learning, among other things.
    • Be employed teachers or employees of an educational agency able to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week in a classroom.
    • Submit the Distance Learning Exemption of the VSU Medical Form.

    Applicants not meeting the GPA requirement may be eligible for admission by the alternative pathway. Alternative pathway requirements are a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 on a 4.0 scale; and competitive scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Recommended scores for admission:

    • GRE: 145 Verbal and 139 Quantitative
    • MAT: 380


    For additional admission information, please contact the VSU Graduate School at (229) 333-5694 or by email gradschool@valdosta.edu. All required documents must be submitted prior to close of business on the application deadline.  Please review the link below on how to submit your admission documents. 


    Apply Now! 

  • Program of Study

     To Download a copy of the program of study click here.


    Offered only in:

    Course Number

    Course Description


    Fall, Spring & Summer

    EDET 5999

    Professional Orientation - Required non-credit course that must be successfully completed at entry to advanced programs. Candidates are required to establish an electronic portfolio and provide evidence that all advanced entry requirements have been satisfactorily met.




    College of Education Core Courses (15 Semester Hours)

    Fall, Spring & Summer

    EDET 8005

    prerequisite:  Admission to the Ed.S Teacher Leadership program

    Foundations of Teacher Leadership-A survey of theories and current research that supports innovative practices and teaching strategies to improve the effectiveness of teacher leaders in K-12 school settings.



    Fall & Spring 


     ACED 7150

    Adult Learning and Development.

    Advanced study of the socio-historical context of contemporary methods, agencies, programs, and issues in adult education, including adult non-formal education as well as formal and informal learning in diverse organizational and global contexts.



    Fall, Spring & Summer 

    EDET 8020 

    prerequisite:  EDET 5999

    Teacher Leadership Residency I- Clinical practice related to Teacher Leadership Standards. Candidates complete residency requirements in the areas of curriculum, assessment, and conducting and applying research. 



    Fall& Spring 

    EDET 8030

     Developing and Leading a Community of Diverse Learners - Examination of the impact of cultural, multicultural, diversity, and exceptionality issues on adults' and children's relationships, communication, and educational practices in American schools. Appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication techniques are addressed.



    Fall, Spring & Summer

    EDET 8040

     prerequisite:  EDET 5999

    Teacher Leadership Residency II- Clinical practice related to Teacher Leadership Standards. Candidates complete residency requirements in the areas of school culture, mentoring and coaching, and interpersonal skills/problem solving.



    Fall, Spring & Summer

    EDET 8050

    prerequisite:  EDET 5999

    Teacher Leadership Residency III- Clinical practice related to Teacher Leadership Standards. Candidates complete residency requirements in the areas of designing and conducting professional learning, and leading a team to effectively address an educational issue.




    Capstone Experience (3 Semester Hours)

    Fall, Spring & Summer

    EDET 8880 

    prerequisites:  EDET 599980208040, and 8050.

    Capstone Seminar Required as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Teacher leadership degree. .The course will emphasis integrating knowledge and skills related to adult learning, collaboration, professional practice, mentoring, educational research, and advocacy.





    Electives/Specialization – Must be 5000-level courses or above.



    Total Required for the Degree




  • Electives

  • Tier I Educational Leadership Certification Add-on in Information Conjunction with the Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership

    The Department of Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology and the Department of Teacher Education, which offers the Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership, have provided a pathway to receiving a Tier I Educational Leadership Certificate added to the T-6 certificate.  Several courses offered in the Teacher Leadership program can be applied to the Tier I certification-only program. 

    ***Your employed county must have a partnership as one of the admission requirements for the Tier 1 Add-on program.   Please click here to see a list of partnerships for the Tier 1 Add-on program.

    The following courses from the Ed.S. program can be applied to the respective leadership coursework:

       1.EDET 8020:  Teacher Leadership Residency I for CIED 7060:  Curriculum, Instruction & Technology Integration

      2.EDET 8030: Developing & Leading a Community of Diverse Learners for LEAD 7310: Leadership for Community & Organizational Dynamics

      3. EDET 8040 Teacher Leadership Residency II for LEAD 8030:  School Culture, Change, and Organizational Dynamics

    Three of the following four courses are to be taken to fulfill the elective portion of the Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership program of study.  The remaining course will become part of the Tier I certification add-on program:

    1.     LEAD 7120: Instructional Leadership & Supervisory Practices

    2.     LEAD 7130: Technology Leadership for School Improvement

    3.     LEAD 7420: Ethical & Legal Issues for Leadership

    4.     LEAD 8240: Managing Resources for School Improvement

    Four additional courses beyond the Ed.S. program of study requirements are to be completed upon admission to the Tier I Certification Add-on program:

    1.     The remaining course noted above (as part of the elective requirement)

    2.     RSCH 8000:  Advanced Research Methodology

    3.     LEAD 7920: Leadership Field-Based Experiences I

    4.     LEAD 7930: Leadership Field-Based Experiences II

    NOTE:  LEAD 7920 & LEAD 7930 cannot be used to fulfill the elective component of the Ed.S. program of study in Teacher Leadership.  These two courses fulfill the residency element of the Tier I Educational Leadership program.  Completion of the two courses may extend over three to four semesters.

    In approaching the final semester of the Ed.S. program for Teacher Leadership, candidates must apply for admission to the Tier I Educational Leadership Certification Add-on program by the application deadlines, summer:  April 1st, fall: July 1st, and Spring: November 1st at this link:  https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/graduate-school/apply-now.php .  This is required in order to undertake the two residency courses (LEAD 7920 & LEAD 7930).  Once completed, you are eligible for the Tier I Leadership certificate.

    After completing the elective courses, if you have any questions specifically about the Tier 1 Add-on program, then please contact the program coordinator Dr. Bochenko at mjbochenko@valdosta.edu .

  • Course Plans

  • More Frequently Asked Questions

    Question:  Is this program fully online?

    Answer:  Yes.

    Question:  How many credits should I complete in a semester?

    Answer:  Students complete either 6 or 9 credits per semester, considering their personal, professional, or financial obligations.

    Question:  How much is tuition per semester?  

    Answer: Students currently pay $385 per credit hour and an institutional fee (4 or less credits $147.50 or 5 or more credits $295) per semester.

    Question:  Is there an exam required for certification?

    Answer:    Yes students have from graduation, a year to complete the Gace for Teacher Leadership.  After program completion, students receive a provisional certificate and must pass the GACE for Teacher Leadership to receive renewable certification in the field.

  • Retention, Graduation, Dismissal & Readmission Policies

    1.     No more than 9 semester hours of post-master’s academic work may be transferred from another institution into the program.  Transfer credit will be evaluated after admission by the department upon entry.  To be eligible, credit must be no more than seven years old prior to completion of the degree.

    2.     The maximum time allowed for completion of the education specialist degree is seven calendar years.  No work completed more than seven years prior to degree completion will be accepted toward the degree, except with special permission from the student’s major professor and the Dean of the Dewar College of Education and approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.

    3.     To graduate from this program, a student must have a cumulative institutional graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    4.     Earning grades below “B” in graduate courses will result in the following consequences:

         Students admitted Fall 2011and thereafter will be dismissed from the Graduate School if they accumulate three or more academic deficiency points unless otherwise indicated by individual program policy. A grade of “C” (although it may be credited toward a degree) equals one deficiency point. A grade of “D,” “WF” or “F,” or “U” (none of which will be credited toward a degree) equals two deficiency points.

    Candidates admitted BEFORE Fall 2011 and receiving two grades below “C” (“D”, “F”, “WF”,“U”) will be dismissed from the program. One grade below a "C" results in a warning.

    If dismissed from the program, a student must not be enrolled for two semesters. Application for readmission may be initiated during the second semester. Readmission is not guaranteed, and prior academic performance and student conduct/disposition in the program will be considered. The academic program reserves the right to place specific conditions and contingencies on any offer of readmission.

  • Program Contact for Inquires

    If you have any questions, you can contact us at coehsgrad@valdosta.edu .