For detailed information on the Ed. S. program, go to the program webpage here.
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For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.
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OverviewThe University of West Georgia is the state's best in preparing certified leaders. As the state's largest and most successful program, UWG developed nearly one-third of Georgia's newly certified leaders in 2020.
The University of West Georgia's performance-based Educational Specialist (Ed.S) Leadership Degree program emphasizes job-embedded learning and can be completed in three semesters. Candidates who successfully complete the program earn a Tier 2 Leadership Certificate in educational leadership. A primary component of the program is a field-based residency in which students are provided the opportunity to practice, learn, and demonstrate performance while on the job as an educational leader. Students are coached by highly-qualified practitioner scholars.
Five reasons to "GO West" to the UWG Educational Leadership Program:
(1) Full-time faculty that are both scholars and practitioners,
(2) Relevant and job-embedded residency,
(3) Convenience: Program can be completed in three semesters and only a few face to face sessions,
(4) High expectations with strong support and faculty engagement for student-learning,
Method of Delivery
Hybrid (Mostly online with select Saturdays in the Residence Lab)
The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Credit and transfer
Total semester hours required: 27
This program may be earned more than 50% online but not entirely online - multiple campus visits are required (varying by course).
UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.
- Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
- The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
- Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
- Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
- Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
- One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
- For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website
There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.
EDLE-8301 - Educational Leadership Residency Lab I
This is the first of a three-semester course sequence (EDLE 8301, EDLE 8302, & EDLE 8303) designed to provide students with personalized field experiences where they have the opportunity to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills as they work on problems of practice in school and district settings. Students, in collaboration with a Leader Support Team (LST), will analyze current student learning data to identify strengths and areas for improvement. The analyzed data will guide the field experiences during the second and third residency lab course.
EDLE-8302 - Educational Leadership Residency Lab II
This is the second of a three-semester course sequence (EDLE 8301, EDLE 8302, & EDLE 8303) designed to provide students with personalized field experiences where they have the opportunity to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills as they work on problems of practice in school and district settings. Students, in collaboration with a Leader Support Team (LST), will develop an “Increasing Learning for All Plan” (ILA) and Literature Review that will guide the field experiences during the third residency lab course.
EDLE-8303 - Educational Leadership Residency Lab III
This is the third of a three-semester course sequence (EDLE 8301, EDLE 8302, & EDLE 8303) designed to provide students with carefully crafted and personalized field experiences where they have the opportunity to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills as they work on problems of practice in school and district settings. Students, in collaboration with a Leader Support Team (LST), will develop an Individualized Action Research Performance Plan that will guide field experiences during each of the three residency lab courses.
EDLE-8304 - Leadership for Organizational Change and Improvement
Students examine a multi-frame approach to leadership and organizational change that promotes a collaborative and professional culture focused on continuous improvement. The multi-frame approach (i.e., reframing) helps students use different mental models or frames to analyze complex situations encountered in school leadership. Further, reframing advances the generation of viable alternatives when dealing with difficult circumstances, accelerating cultural shifts that enable stakeholders to interact productively in educational settings. Students demonstrate proficiency through performance-based tasks that require merging theory, research, and practice to address complex matters of leadership and change to improve academic success.
EDLE-8305 - Effective Management to Promote Student Learning
Students study and apply principles of effective operations and performance management in K-12 schools. Applying ethical principles and professional norms as the conceptual framework, students explore efficient and effective organizational functions in personnel management, safety and emergency preparedness, and the use of technology to improve operations. Students will demonstrate proficiency by completing performance-based tasks.
EDLE-8306 - Instructional Leadership for Improving
This course provides educational leaders the opportunity to explore and use data-informed decision making to drive and sustain organizational and academic improvements in a school setting. Students will examine leadership and pedagogical strategies that promote a collegial environment focused on continuous improvement. Learning will be drawn from leadership theory and research on best practices, ethical principles, and professional norms in curriculum development, classroom instruction, student learning assessment, professional learning, and other areas that support the needs of all student populations in a learning-focused school environment. Students will demonstrate proficiency by completing performance-based tasks.
EDLE-8312 - School Finance and Resource Management
This course is designed to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills to allocate financial and human resources in ways that promote student achievement. Candidates learn effective problem-solving skills and operational planning in the implementation of fiscal, human, and material resource procedures.
EDLE-8324 - Ethical Leadership in Education
This course is designed to provide educational leaders with a framework for constructing responses to ethical issues and dilemmas commonly faced by school and district administrators. A blend of leadership and ethics theory will inform practical application. Students will reflect on their personal ethical stances and how they impact their actions and choices. The ethics of decision making will be considered and students will draw upon past experiences to help inform future ethical decision making abilities. This course also examines what it means to be an effective caring leader within a team and organization.
EDLE-8329 - Leadership for Equity and Excellence
Students study school and district leadership within the context of how effective leaders address issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, disability, and language. Particular attention is given to preparation of leaders who can transform schools and districts in ways that create equitable outcomes and promote high levels of achievement for all students.
Guidelines for Admittance
- All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
- Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
- International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
Program Specific Admittance Guidelines
- Official transcripts from all schools that have conferred degrees (Bachelor's, Master's, etc.) are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Graduate Admissions Office.
- Must have "Tier 1", "L", or "PL" Certification in Educational Leadership
- A Masters degree from a nationally or regionally accredited institution
- Be employed in a leadership position in a local education agency (LEA) as defined by the Georgia PSC
- Be recommended by Superintendent or designee based on local district requirements (System Approval Form)
- 3.0 or better cumulative GPA on graduate work
- Georgia PSC Ethics for Educational Leadership- Test 380
- Copy of valid Georgia leadership certificate
- Written partnership with school district
Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School
* Application, app fee, and document deadline
See The Scoop for more specific deadlines.
Admission Process Checklist
The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here.
One exception: If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.
(1) Build a shared vision of student success and well-being.
(2) Champion and support instruction and assessment that maximizes student learning and achievement.
(3) Manage and develop staff members' professional skills and practives in order to drive student learning and achievement
(4) Cultivate a caring and inclusive school community dedicated to student learning, academic success and the personal well-being of every student.
(5) Coordinate resources, time, structures and roles effectively to build the instructional capacity of teachers and other staff.
(6) Engage families and the outside community to promote and support student success .
(7) Administer and manage operations efficiently and effectively.