Education Specialist in Teaching and Learning (P-12): Emphasis in Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, or Special Education

Georgia Southern University
Degree Level Education Specialist
Total Credit Hours 33

Program Description

The Teaching and Learning Education Specialist online degree program is designed to provide a high level of professional proficiency skills as well as action research skills which are emphasized throughout each program’s course work. The flexible program is designed to meet the current demands of teachers as they pursue graduate preparation beyond the master’s degree.

The role of the classroom teacher is expanded to that of teacher-leader/researcher which allows the Education Specialist candidate to become a critical consumer of educational research, thus bridging the gap between theory and practice in their own professional practice. Ed.S. candidates are expected to be active participants in the evaluation, analysis, and sharing of action research results in order to improve student learning outcomes within the classroom and school environment.

The program is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) and meets the PSC’s certificate upgrade requirements.

During the admission process, you will choose one of the four study concentrations in which you currently hold a level five Georgia teaching certificate:

  • Elementary Education (P-5)
  • Middle Grades Education (grades 4-8)
  • Secondary Education (grades 6-12)
  • Special Education (P-12)

An educator who holds a level five Georgia certificate in one of the four areas of concentrations above will qualify for a level six certificate upgrade upon successful completion of all program requirements.

Program Benefits

  • Collaborate with others across disciplines
  • Explore teacher leadership opportunities and develop leadership skills
  • Apply and extend content knowledge and pedagogical skills through the examination of curriculum and instruction issues and research
  • Continue development of technology skills and develop skills in using technology to impact and assess student learning
  • Conduct action research related to content-specific areas of study

Admissions Information

  1. Complete the requirements for a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Possess or be eligible for a Georgia-level five teaching certificate in the chosen concentration area; or possess an equivalent out-of-state teaching certificate in the chosen concentration area. Candidates who have completed all requirements for the Georgia-level five teaching certificate have until the end of the first semester to obtain a certificate. Candidates with an out-of-state certificate will not receive Georgia certification upon program completion.
  3. Present a 3.25 or higher on all graduate work attempted.
  4. Submit a personal statement of purpose, not to exceed 200 words, that identifies the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study and how admission into the program relates to the applicant’s professional aspirations.
  5. Submit a completed “Disclosure and Affirmation Form” that addresses misconduct disclosure, the Code of Ethics for Educators, and tort liability insurance.

Applicants may be approved for provisional admission based on the quality of the admission material presented. Provisional students must earn grades of ‘B’ or higher in their first nine (9) hours of course work after admission and meet any other stipulations outlined by the department to be converted to regular status.

*International transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES-accredited evaluation service and must be a course by course evaluation and include a GPA. (

State Authorization and Professional Licensure Disclaimer

The Education Specialist in Teaching and Learning (P-12): Emphasis in Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, or Special Education program leads to Professional Licensure.

Not all programs are available to residents in all states. Please check the institution's State Authorization and Professional Licensure website(s) to ensure you reside in an authorized state.

Program Accreditation

Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation