Mar 03, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 

Educational Specialist in Educational Administration

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This 30-semester-hour program of advanced study in educational administration is designed to prepare candidates for school district superintendent level positions. The program includes a total of 24 credit hours of course work (eight courses) and a 6-credit-hour internship that provides for a yearlong district leader preparation experience. Students earn their superintendent endorsement upon successfully completing the program and fulfilling all state requirements. The goal for the Superintendent Preparation Program is to prepare visionary leaders with the skills and knowledge to effectively implement and manage an educational environment that utilizes evidence of student learning to drive continuous school improvement.

Check departmental information for additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at


The faculty in educational administration select the most qualified applicants. Preference is given to experienced administrators who hold a master’s degree from an accredited university, with a preferred minimum graduate GPA of 3.00. Faculty decisions are based on the total profile of each applicant. Any applicant who is denied admission may submit an appeal to be reviewed by the admissions committee and the faculty. Appeals must be in writing, explain the basis for the appeal, and include information not previously submitted.

Applicants for this program must complete all Northern Illinois University application procedures for admission related to the graduate program in the College of Education and meet that program’s admission criteria. Prior to formal admission into the Ed.S. in Educational Administration, prospective students must enroll in and complete LEEA 700 and LEEA 710. The preparation of the admission portfolio, response to a written scenario, and the interview with two NIU faculty members takes place during LEEA 710.

Applicants must possess and provide evidence of the following in order to be considered for admission:

  • An approved application to Northern Illinois University at the time of admission.
  • A letter of recommendation from the superintendent where the candidate is currently employed.
  • Copies of previous performance evaluations and/or letters of recommendation from current/former supervisors demonstrating support for
    • all students achieving high standards of learning
    • an analysis of classroom or school learning data
    • work with families and/or community groups
    • examples of analytical abilities; and evidence of curriculum development, student assessments, or other initiatives that resulted from involvements with school committees.
  • Selection through an in-person interview with at least two full-time NIU faculty members.
  • Completed LEEA 700 and LEEA 710 with a grade of B- or higher.
  • A valid and current Illinois professional educator license endorsed in general administrative, principal, chief school business official, or director of special education.
  • Successful completion of any state-mandated tests.
  • At least two years of full-time administrative or supervisory experience in a public school district or nonpublic school.
  • Successful completion of a written response to a scenario.
  • Submission of a portfolio that demonstrates evidence of a candidate’s proficiency in each of the following categories:
    • support for all students achieving high standards of learning
    • use of data to improve learning
    • significant building leadership roles
    • strong oral and written communication skills
    • analytic abilities needed to collect and analyze data for student improvement
    • demonstrated respect for family and community
    • strong interpersonal skills.

Candidates may transfer up to 12 credits pending an evaluation of official transcripts from accredited institutions for comparable courses. A final determination of the courses for transfer will be made by the Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations Department Chair (or designee) upon transcript review.

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