Educational Specialist in Leadership

Grand Valley State University's Educational Specialist in Leadership (Ed.S) degree builds upon the masters degree to prepare current and future leaders who are well-equipped to deal with the complex challenges of an ever-changing educational environment.

Grand Valley State University's College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (NCA). The faculty are leaders in their fields, melding together the philosophy of education and your needs as a practitioner.

Listen to the educational specialist in leadership podcast to learn more about the program.

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$111,000-$154,000 SALARY



The median annual wage for postsecondary education administrators was $92,360 in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earned more than $182,150. Michigan offers among the highest annual mean wage in the states, $111,000 - $154,000. Employment of postsecondary education administrators was projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Educational leadership graduates often hold the following job titles:

  • Principal
  • Assistant principal
  • Dean
  • Curriculum director
  • Superintendent
  • Assistant superintendent

Why pursue an Educational Specialist in Leadership program at Grand Valley?

  • Career-oriented. The program's meaningful clinical experiences, case methods of teaching, and pragmatic curriculum are geared to the specific knowledge and skills required by district leaders and superintendents at different career stages.
  • Service. Our full-time Student Information and Services Center provides the support you need with expert advising, program planning, field placement, and more.
  • Flexible. Evening, weekend, and summer classes make it easier for teachers and administrators to plan their schedules. Some classes are offered online.

Courses Offered

The Specialist in Leadership (Ed.S) program is a minimum of 30 credits.

See PDF link below for the Planned Program and the College of Education Course List page for full course descriptions. 


  • Program Type: The Educational Specialist degree in Leadership allows completers to work in K-12th grade central office administrative settings.
  • MTTC Certification Test: There is not a Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) for this program at this time.
  • MDE Endorsement Code: The Educational Specialist degree in Leadership leads to Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Central Office School Administrator certification (CO certification).
  • Student Outcomes for Educational Specialist in Leadership, Ed.S.


Educational Specialist in Leadership (Ed.S) admission requirements and application for admission are available online. The $30 application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU.

Early application is strongly encouraged. Applicants will be admitted on the basis of program approval. When all application materials have been received, Admissions will forward the complete portfolio for consideration to the College of Education – Student Information and Services Center. Once an application is complete, candidates should allow 4-6 weeks for written notification of their admission status.

  • May 15 — Fall Semester Application Intake
  • September 15 — Winter Semester Application Intake
  • February 15 — Spring/Summer Semester Application Intake

View the Admissions Requirements for Educational Specialist in Leadership


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.


For more information, contact:

Greg Warsen, Ph.D.
(616) 331-6209

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