The Education Specialist in School Leadership with Building and District Level Emphasis (EDS) is a four/five semester, 32/38-semester-hour program designed for educators who are preparing for leadership positions in public schools. The program qualifies candidates for Georgia PL-6 certification as a School Building Leader and/or School District Leader. Candidates entering the program must have L-5, NPL-5 or NL-5 certification and have a current leadership role or position at the building or district level. Candidates entering the program without L-5, NPL-5, or NL-5 certification must take two additional courses and have a current leadership role or position at the building or district level.
The goal of the program is to prepare creative, flexible, visionary, and reflective leaders with the skills necessary to facilitate and improve the quality of learning for all students. Towards this end, students complete the required sequence of courses as a learning community and engage in class and field-based experiential learning projects designed to develop important leadership skills. In addition to course work, administrative candidates complete four semesters of supervised internships in multiple settings, tailored to individual career objectives.
As part of the NCATE accreditation process, the former EDS in Teacher Leadership program was one of the first in the state to complete an intensive professional review to assess compliance with approved national standards. In their final report in February 2005, the ELCC reviewers commended the Education Department for providing a strong program that was in substantial compliance with each of the seven ELCC standards. These standards for Advanced Programs in Educational Leadership were developed and approved by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration and serve as the guiding framework for the revised EDS in School Leadership.
University of North Georgia (UNG) accepts applications for the Education Specialist Degree Program for fall terms only (summer terms only for those without L-5, NPL-5, or NL-5 certification). As an initial step, applicants must meet requirements for admission to UNG as described below. The application packet is then forwarded to the Education Department for review. For additional program information, review the Graduate Studies’ website www.ung.edu/Graduate.
Graduate Studies’ Admission Procedures
Application materials may be obtained from Graduate Studies or from the Graduate Studies website, www.ung.edu/graduate/EDS. Applicants must pay a one-time, non-refundable application fee. When all application materials have been received by Graduate Studies, notification will be sent to the applicant and a copy of all materials will be forwarded to the program. Upon review, notification will be sent from the Education Department to the applicant verifying acceptance or denial.
Students who are admitted, but do not enroll by the academic year following the year of acceptance must reapply through Graduate Studies. Students who were previously enrolled but have not been in attendance within the last three terms must also reapply. All documents and materials submitted to fulfill the application requirements for entry to a program at UNG become the property of the university and will not be returned. These materials are kept for one year for incomplete application files and for three years for individuals who complete an application and are accepted, but do not enroll.
EDS Admission Requirements
The following documents must be received prior to admission:
- Graduate Studies Application.
- Non-refundable application fee.
- Official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution where a master’s degree in a teaching field was earned. Official international transcripts must have a foreign course-by-course credential evaluation by an independent evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES). Evaluations must include certification that the applicant has received a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and state a cumulative grade point average.
- Official scores on the Graduate Record Exam General Test (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Only those scores that are less than six years old will be considered.
- If applying for in-state tuition, proof of lawful presence in the United States.
In accordance with Board of Regents’ policy, the following documents must be submitted two weeks prior to the first day of the term:
- UNG Certificate of Immunization. Former North Georgia and Gainesville students are required to submit documentation for any new immunization requirements since last attend.
To qualify for regular admission, individuals must have:
- Master’s degree in a teaching field from a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average of at least 3.25.
- L-5, NPL-5, or NL-5 certification. Candidates without L-5, NPL-5, or NL-5 certification are required to complete two additional courses.
- Entrance test score that is no more than six years old on the Graduate Record Exam General Test (GRE), at least 1,000 (verbal and quantitative combined) if taken before August 1, 2011; or at least 305 (verbal and quantitative combined) on the GRE if taken on or after August 1, 2011; or at least 400 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- Three years of teaching experience.
- Employment in a leadership position that requires L-5 certification or that the system designates as a leadership position (subject to change based on PSC rules).
A new cohort of approximately 20-students begins in each fall, and the site location alternates among Dahlonega campus, Gainesville campus, and Cumming campus.
Students who do not meet regular admission requirements for item number(s) 1 or 3 above may be granted provisional admission pending a successful admission appeal (see Appeal of Graduate Admission). Provisionally admitted students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Students may not enroll in EDS courses as a non-degree seeking student.
Transient Student Admission
Students may not enroll in EDS courses as a transient student.
Appeal of Graduate Admission
A candidate whose application is denied has the right to appeal the decision. An appeal must be made in written form to the EDS Program, College of Education, 82 College Circle, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, GA 30597-1001. The letter should clearly state the grounds for appeal. A student whose appeal is accepted will be admitted as a provisional student and must complete at least six hours with a grade no less than B to be considered for regular admission. Provisional students are not eligible for financial aid. Applicants may not appeal for regular admission status.
Transfer Residency Requirement
To be awarded an Education Specialist in School Leadership degree, students must earn a minimum of 26 hours of graduate degree requirements in residence. The program coordinator and the Dean of the College of Education must approve all transfer credit. A maximum of six hours of transfer credit may be approved. Transfer credit will not be given for any course in which a grade of less than a B was earned.
EDS Academic Policies
Academic Standing Policy
An EDS student whose academic performance is unsatisfactory will be subject to the following:
- Probation – Student will be placed on probation for any of the following reasons:
a. Student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0.
b. Student earns a U or any other grade below B.
No student may be a candidate for the degree while on probation due to a grade point average below a 3.0. Probation will be removed when the student’s grade point average reaches 3.0 or higher. In cases where the student is placed on probation due to grade(s), probation will be removed when the course(s) is/are repeated and the grade is S or B or greater, and the overall grade point average is 3.0 or greater. Students who are on probation may not register until advised.
- Suspension – Student will be placed on suspension for any of the following reasons:
a. Student earns two grades below B (including U’s).
b. Student earns one grade below C.
c. Student has already served three consecutive terms on academic probation.
No student may enroll in graduate courses at UNG while on suspension. Courses taken at another institution during the period of suspension will not be recognized for transfer credit. After serving a suspension period of one calendar year, a student seeking to reapply must submit a new application to Graduate Studies and a letter written to the Dean of the College of Education presenting a rationale for readmission. A student will be readmitted only upon approval of the Dean and the EDS program coordinator.
Academic and Professional integrity Policy
At the end of each semester, the program faculty or the EDS program coordinator may intervene to establish a plan of action for any student in the program whose competency is in question, for reasons including unprofessional, disruptive, or unethical behavior in the classroom or applied setting. The plan should be signed by the student and the program coordinator with copies forwarded to the Dean of the College of Education.
The University of North Georgia recognizes honesty and integrity as being necessary to the academic functioning of the university. UNG graduate students are expected to uphold the university regulations addressed in the Student Code of Conduct, Article 3, Rule 2.
The Education Specialist program adheres to the university’s definition of professional integrity as described in the Academics portion of the Graduate Catalog.
EDS Degree Requirements
Graduation requirements for the Education Specialist in School Leadership degree include:
- Completion of 32 designated semester hours of study with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher with no grade below a B or
Completion of 38 designated semester hours of study with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher with no grade below a B (required for students without leadership certification, L-5, NPL-5, or NL-5).
- Completion of at least 26 semester hours of graduate degree requirements in residence with no more than six semester hours of transfer credit.
- Completion of all degree-related course requirements, including any transfer credits, within a six-year period.