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Educational Specialist Degree

Educational Leadership

The Educational Specialist Degree program is based on the "value-added" concept of preparation of school leaders for district level leadership positions such as superintendent and assistant superintendent.

This program may be completed online.

Unconditional Admission

Students are eligible to apply for unconditional admission to the Educational Specialist degree program if they meet the requirements listed:

  1. Applicants must hold a Master's Degree or equivalent in Educational Leadership.
  2. Applicants must hold a Standard Teaching License.
  3. Applicants must hold an Administrative License.

Conditional Admission

Applicants who fail to meet the grade point requirement specified for unconditional admission may be admitted conditionally to enroll for a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours. If a student was admitted conditionally based on grade point average, the condition will be met if upon completion of twelve (12) semester hours a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better is achieved.

Academic Advisors

The academic advisor will assist the student in the program of study that leads to the fulfillment of degree requirements. Subsequently, the academic advisor, the Department Graduate Committee, and the Graduate College monitor the student's progress as they progress through the program. It remains, however, the student's responsibility to understand and to satisfy all degree requirements.

Degree Requirements

  1. A minimum of 30 semester hours (all at the 7000 level), include the completion of the following courses:

    EDLD 7003 Seminar in Systems Issues
    EDLD 7013 The Superintendency and Central Office
    EDLD 7022 Building a Leadership Community
    EDLD 7023 School Board Relations
    EDLD 7033 School Personnel and Business Management
    EDLD 7101 Administrative Internship in Educational Facilities
    EDLD 7112 Advanced Legal Issues
    EDLD 7113 Seminar in Current Issues
    EDLD 7122 Educational Facilities
    EDLD 7132 School Finance for District Level Administration
    EDLD 7143 School Accountability Systems
    EDLD 7201 Administrative Internship in District Level Finance
    EDLD 7202 Administrative Internship in School Accountability Systems

  2. A portfolio must be successfully completed and approved by a portfolio review committee.
  3. A cumulative grade point average of a 3.00 or better must be achieved in all graduate work attempted at Arkansas Tech University, with a maximum of six (6) hours of "C" grades. A student receiving more than six (6) hours of "C" or grades lower than "C" should refer to the section of the catalog on Academic Probation and Dismissal.
  4. Satisfactory completion of the professional project.
  5. Completion of all degree requirements within six (6) years of admission to the degree program.
  6. A minimum of 24 semester hours of graduate coursework completed in residence at Arkansas Tech University.


A candidate for an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership must complete a portfolio as part of the program of study for the degree of Educational Specialist. This portfolio is an edited, integrated collection of an Educational Leadership candidate's evidence that competencies have been acquired that are reflective of the current School Leaders Licensure Standards adopted by the state of Arkansas. It is NOT merely a file of course projects, nor is it a scrapbook of professional memorabilia. It is a collection of a student's best work developed during his program of study. It should showcase the student's best work as an Educational Leadership candidate and demonstrate the student's expertise relative to the principles and standards for a district administrator. The portfolio is a collection of documents providing tangible evidence of the wide range of knowledge, dispositions, and skills possessed as a professional. The candidate's portfolio is a work in progress and should be updated regularly throughout one's program of study. It should provide evidence of the value-added concept from a Master Degree Portfolio.

Degree Works

Degree Works is a software tool utilized by Arkansas Tech University designed to detail academic progression. It allows both students and advisors to monitor course progress towards degree completion and clearly indicates which course requirements have been met as well as how courses transfer into a program. Transfer courses must be approved through the use of a substitution/waiver form available via the Registrar for progress to display correctly within Degree Works. 

Degree Works will display course progression based on the current program of study, but a "what-if" scenario can be generated for any program to see how progression looks with the courses currently completed and in progress. Note that if you have applied to and been admitted to a graduate program while still finishing your undergraduate program, Degree Works will show your new program of study in the graduate program and you would have to generate a "what-if" query to see your undergraduate degree progress.

Application for Graduation

In addition to satisfying all degree requirements, a candidate for a degree must file an Application for Graduation online or at the Graduate College.  Students must apply for graduation upon completion of fifteen (15) graduate credit hours.

Special Conditions of Graduate Credit

Graduate Credit Taken Prior to Admission to Arkansas Tech University

A maximum of six (6) semester hours of graduate credit with a grade point average of "B" or better may be transferred from an accredited graduate school if deemed appropriate to the graduate program by the head of the student's major department and the Graduate College Dean.  Students must send a written request to the head of their major department to petition an acceptance of the transfer credit prior to requesting admission to candidacy to the graduate program.  Graduate credit earned six (6) years prior to the completion date of all degree requirements may not be applied toward the degree without the approval of the appropriate program director and the Graduate College Dean.  Credits earned by correspondence courses or for remedial purposes will not apply toward the graduate degree. No undergraduate course may be repeated for graduate credit.

Graduate Credit Taken After Admission to Arkansas Tech University

If after admission to graduate study, a student wishes to take a course at another institution to count toward degree requirements at Arkansas Tech University, the student must (in advance of enrollment) obtain written approval from the program director and the Graduate College Dean.