Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • apply the knowledge, skills, and inquiry strategies to solve significant problems related to educational policies and practices;
  • demonstrate through their clinical experiences their participation in, and ability to navigate, day-to-day responsibilities of a school administrator;
  • utilize data effectively to enhance learning opportunities for all students;
  • recognize and address inequities imposed on students and educators, and promote necessary change;
  • understand and apply evidence of effective organizational and systemic change for equity, inclusion, and justice;
  • identify and meet contemporary challenges facing schools and school leaders;
  • impact and enact policy defined by school board or legislative action;
  • manage and distribute resources to enact the optimum impact upon programs at the building and district level;
  • embrace differences of persons and perspectives, and understand the challenges faced at all levels of a school system PK-12; and
  • exhibit the ability to successfully develop a district overview or administrative problem in practice.

The Specialist in Education program in educational policy and leadership studies with an educational leadership subprogram requires 36 s.h. of graduate credit and is offered for educators who already have their master's degree and Iowa administrator license. Students must earn a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 in major coursework.

The program prepares candidates to be superintendents in Iowa or to hold other district-level leadership positions in K-12 school districts. It also prepares them for appointments as area education agency chief administrators and for jobs in state or federal departments of education.

Students complete 26 s.h. of coursework, 10 s.h. of clinical work, and present an entry plan. Many educational leadership courses are offered by distance education; see MyUI for information about courses offered during current semesters. At the conclusion of the program, students are required to present their first-year entry plan. For detailed information, refer to Ed.S. programs on the Educational Leadership website.

Students seeking superintendent endorsement must have an Iowa administrator license. They obtain the superintendent endorsement (State of Iowa endorsement 171) upon completing the required Ed.S. coursework and at least three years of principal experience.

The Ed.S. in educational policy and leadership studies with an educational leadership subprogram requires the following work.

Required Courses

All of these:
EPLS:6270Policy and Politics3
EPLS:6315Orientation to the Superintendency3
EPLS:6317Operational Leadership and Management1
EPLS:6319Human Resources Leadership2
EPLS:6321Social Advocacy Summit1
EPLS:6323School Finance2
EPLS:6325Organizational and Educational Leadership2
EPLS:6329Legislative Summit1
EPLS:6265Standards-Based Education and Accountability3
Three electives (two 3 s.h. courses and one 2-3 s.h. course)8-9

The course EPLS:6323 School Finance is provided through the Iowa Superintendent’s Finance and Leadership Consortium (ISFLC), a partnership between the University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa Association of School Boards. Students enroll and participate in the two 2-day sessions offered yearly by ISFLC. During the first session, all students take the introductory school finance course. During the second session, students may choose from a variety of related school finance offerings.

Students enroll in this program through University of Northern Iowa Continuing Education, and are expected to transfer the hours to the University of Iowa so they may count toward the superintendent’s endorsement.

Clinical Courses

All of these:
EPLS:6404Central Administration Clinical3
EPLS:6405Superintendent Entry Plan and Portfolio Development1
EPLS:6415Orientation to the Superintendency: Clinical2
EPLS:6417Operational Leadership Clinical1
EPLS:6419Human Resources Leadership Clinical (Iowa Evaluator Approval Training opportunities are available through the School Administrators of Iowa or the local Area Education Agency)2
EPLS:6425Organizational and Educational Leadership Clinical1

Students are required to spend 40 clock hours of effort for each semester hour of clinical courses. Documentation of these hours must be maintained and submitted at the end of the course. Documentation should include date, time spent, description of the activity, and reflections. Each activity must be identified with the corresponding National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standard. A syllabus will be provided to guide the clinical activity.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive exam is satisfied by taking EPLS:6405 Superintendent Entry Plan and Portfolio Development that is listed above.

Superintendent Endorsement

Students seeking superintendent endorsement must have an Iowa administrator license. They obtain the superintendent endorsement (State of Iowa endorsement 171) upon completing the required Ed.S. coursework and at least three years of principal experience.

Admission

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College and of the educational leadership program. Required application materials include transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of career goals. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores are optional. Admission is based on grade-point average and GRE scores, promise for scholarly and professional growth, and recommendations. Application deadline for fall semester is July 1; for spring semester, December 1; and for summer session, April 30. Complete applications are reviewed as they are received.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. Applicants can verify English proficiency by submitting official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For specific score requirements, see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

The Specialist in Education program in educational policy and leadership studies with a higher education and student affairs subprogram requires 60 s.h. of graduate credit. Students must earn a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 in major coursework.

The program provides advanced graduate study in administration, policy studies, and specializations developed in consultation with an advisor. The Ed.S. also may be awarded upon completion of a combined program of graduate work in higher education and another academic field, or upon completion of a higher education sequence following a master's degree program in a different field.

Required Courses

The Ed.S. program of study must include the following.

Professional Education and Related Field Courses18
Electives (approved by advisor)10
Specialization Area Courses28
EPLS:7395Educational Specialist Research4
Total Hours60

Depending on the student's career goals, the program may include an appropriate structured and supervised internship, determined in consultation with the advisor.

Comprehensive Examination

A culminating experience is required of all students, the nature of which is contracted with the advisor. An oral examination of the culminating experience may be required.

Related Field

Students majoring in another field who want to complete a related field in higher education and student affairs should consult with a higher education and student affairs faculty member early in their study. Plans of study are developed individually.

Admission

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College. Admission is based on grade-point average, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test scores (however, the GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2022-23 admissions cycle), and promise for professional growth. Transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of educational goals are required.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. Applicants can verify English proficiency by submitting official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For specific score requirements, see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Sample Plans of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, Ed.S.

Educational Leadership Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
60 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; maximum of 30 s.h. of graduate transfer credits can be applied upon approval to fulfill the degree requirements. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a, b, c
Graduate College Major Program GPA of at least 3.00 is required.
 Hours0
First Year
Any Semester
Work with academic advisor to determine sequence of coursework.
EPLS:6265 Standards-Based Education and Accountability 3
EPLS:6270 Policy and Politics 3
EPLS:6315 Orientation to the Superintendency 3
EPLS:6321 Social Advocacy Summit 1
EPLS:6323 School Finance 2
EPLS:6329 Legislative Summit 1
EPLS:6404 Central Administration Clinical d 3
EPLS:6415 Orientation to the Superintendency: Clinical d 2
Elective 2 - 3
 Hours20-21
Second Year
Any Semester
Work with academic advisor to determine sequence of coursework.
EPLS:6317 Operational Leadership and Management 1
EPLS:6319 Human Resources Leadership 2
EPLS:6325 Organizational and Educational Leadership 2
EPLS:6405 Superintendent Entry Plan and Portfolio Development d, e 1
EPLS:6417 Operational Leadership Clinical d 1
EPLS:6419 Human Resources Leadership Clinical d 2
EPLS:6425 Organizational and Educational Leadership Clinical d 1
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring
Final Exam f
 Hours0
 Total Hours36-37
a
36 s.h. of graduate level coursework is the minimum required for students entering the program with a master's degree. Note: must hold Iowa Administrator License and have 3 years of experience as a principal prior to completion of the program.
b
Complete most course requirements prior to taking clinical requirements; work with academic advisor to select electives.
c
Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information.
d
Students are required to spend 40 clock hours of effort for each semester hour of clinical courses; see department website for specifics.
e
Satisfies the Comprehensive Exam requirement.
f
Present First Year Entry Plan.