School Superintendent, Educational Specialist (EdS)

School Superintendent Education Specialist

University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Fully Online
  • 33
  • $315.00
  • $444.00

Program Overview

The online School Superintendent, Education Specialist (EdS) program leads to an advanced degree for those who already hold a master's degree in education. The Specialist degree prepares current administrators for the role of the school superintendent. 

Students choose the online School Superintendent, EdS. to: 

  • Learn to be an effective school administrator who is a responsive, reflective and collaborative decision-maker.
  • Obtain the necessary knowledge, skill and technological expertise for this administrative role.
  • Organize learning environments that embrace the principles of democracy, diversity and equity.

Note: The 33 credit hour program meets the requirements for the Nebraska Professional Administrative and Supervisory Certificate, preparing candidates for superintendent positions in all public and parochial schools in Nebraska. Students pursuing certification in other states must check with their State Department of Education for certification requirements.

In order to be eligible for an endorsement as superintendent in the State of Nebraska, you must have earned a master's degree as principal, or have completed an endorsement program as principal in an accredited Nebraska college or university.

A special note for out-of-state students: 

  • Out-of-state students who apply for the Education Specialist degree and complete the degree program will need to check with their respective state certification officers.
  • Out-of-state students who apply for the Education Specialist degree and complete the degree program will not be recommended for endorsement as superintendent unless deemed otherwise by the Nebraska Department of Education.

Career Outlook: Educational administrators oversee student services, academics and curriculum in schools and colleges. Superintendents plan, direct and coordinate the academic and administrative activities of public or private PK-12 schools. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Postsecondary Education Administrators is growing at 10% which is faster than average.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Master's degree

    Courses required for the MA Ed degree from accreditited institution with a major in Educational Administration are prerequisites

  2. Previous work experience

    Two years of teaching experience

  3. A written personal statement

    Professional biography including why you are seeking the superintendency

  4. 3 letters of recommendation

    Two from school administrators plus one other individual who can comment on your potential for graduate study and for educational leadership.

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. Have a satisfactory undergraduate and graduate scholastic record

  7. Two years of teaching experience

  8. Professional biography including why you are seeking the superintendency

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for admissions
  2. Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
EDAD 940Administrative Theory3
This course introduces students to aspects of current administrative theory by treating the school district as a social system in need of organization, leadership, and change. Styles and effects of human behavior in organizations are explored.
EDAD 944Seminar in Educational Administration3
This course is graded on a credit-no credit basis, and is a requirement for the Educational Specialist Degree. The student will read and submit written critiques on several contemporary writings related to education and participate in a three-day, summer field trip to Lincoln, which will involve visitations at the Nebraska Department of Education, the Lincoln Public Schools, and the quarters of various professional education organizations.
EDAD 998Internship in Educational Administration3
Opportunity for educational administrators to gain an understanding of administering changes or innovations, and to obtain supervised field experience. Consideration will be given antecedents of change, change models, the role of government, forces that restrict or stimulate change, tools to implement change, and evaluation.
EDAD 958Educational Facility Plan3
A study of the principles and processes of developing functional educational facilities. Procedures and techniques for each phase of facility planning are included. Topics include: survey of needs, population projection, site selection, development of educational specifications, selection of architects, furniture and equipment selection, and maintenance and operation.
EDAD 991Field Study3
The field study provides an opportunity for an educational administration candidate to prepare a proposal for a research project or a grant relevant to the candidate's school settings. The minimum credit for the proposal is three hours. If the candidate elects to complete a research project going beyond the proposal stage, an additional 3 credit hours may be applied towards the candidate's plan of study. This course is required of all Specialist Degree candidates. A written product is the outcome of the course. Enrollment by permission of the instructor.
EDAD 955The School Administrator and the Law3
This course is designed to provide the educational administrator with a view of the law governing the operation of schools. An emphasis will be placed on preventative law through building an understanding of legal issues facing the school administrator and avoiding possible litigation. Issues deserving attention will include school district organization, meetings of the board of education, personnel administration, conducting hearings, developing board policies, student rights, discrimination, tort liability, and other current issues.
EDAD 998Internship3
Internships are designed to provide administrative experience for students having limited administrative background and to strengthen skills of those who have served as administrators. This course is required for all Specialist Degree candidates.
EDAD 992Executive Administrator3
This is a capstone course that focuses upon the executive administrator's role as leader in an educational setting. It is designed to provide both theoretical and practical approach thru discussions, problem solving, and case studies to allow students to demonstrate administrative skills that are relevant to today's educational leader. The focus of this course is on administrative leadership and its relevance to student achievement. Areas to be addressed may include board-administrator relations, human resource management, problem solving, communication, legal issues, financial planning and board policy development. This is an elective class in educational administration program. Prereq: enrollment in the Educational Specialist degree program
EDAD 956School/Community Relations3
This course is designed to provide the student with an analysis of principles, practices and materials that facilitate the adjustment and interpretation of schools to their internal and external publics, along with an examination of the function of the media and the roles of schools and community groups in an effective school public relations program.
EDAD 957Public School Finance3
The primary objectives of this course are to provide the student with (1) the background of school finance, (2) a background of public school financing in the United States, (3) an understanding of the various governmental levels of financing in public schools, (4) judicial decisions and their effects, and (5) finance of schools in the future.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
EDAD 945Independent Readings0
EDAD 895School Improvement3
School Improvement is designed to provide students of educational administration an understanding of issues related to the school improvement process and its role in the school reformation movement.
EDAD 833EDAD Assessment Leadership3
This course provides educators with the knowledge base and skills required to provide leadership with regards to assessment issues which include but are not exclusive to analysis of data to improve instruction; utilization of assessment instruments for guiding instruction to determine best practices for improved student learning; engagement in continuous evaluation of curriculum and instruction; development of criteria for evaluating data. Using basic knowledge, students will identify an assessment issue of individual significance and develop background information, data, and materials needed to provide leadership with regards to this topic.
EDAD 832Current Issues in Education3
This course is designed to provide the educational administrator with a view of the contemporary educational issues for focused investigation. Topics will include but not be exclusive to current curriculum issues and trends, diversity in the classroom, global education, assessment, change and reform. Prerequisites: enrollment in Master's or Educational Specialist degree programs
EDAD 842Administration of Special Education3
The purpose of this course is to provide the school administrator information concerning legal aspects of special education, identification of special needs students, and options available in programming for handicapped students.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Kenneth Nelson, Ed.D.
Associate Professor

A life-long educator, Kenneth Nelson has held many roles in the public school system including teacher, coach, athletic director, school counselor and superintendent. He has served as president and chairman of the board of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators. His honors include being named Outstanding Teacher in the UNK College of Education and receiving the Distinguished Service Award from NCSA.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJul 11
  • Spring SemesterNov 11
  • Summer SessionsApr 11