Education Specialist (EdS) with a concentration in Charter School Administration

The Education Specialist program is a practical, directed independent study program which emphasizes course work in leadership and management in a variety of educational and public service settings.

The Charter School Administration concentration provides students with a solid foundation of advanced concepts in instructional design, management, laws and ethics, and emerging trends as they apply to a variety of educational settings. The program is of particular interest to individuals with public or private school teaching experience who seek administrative positions or middle level managers who are interested in moving into higher levels of administration – particularly in the charter school arena.

Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Because they are public schools, they are:
• Open to all children;
• Do not charge tuition; and
• Do not have special entrance requirements.

Charter schools were created to help improve our nation’s public school system and offer parents another public school option to better meet their child’s specific needs. The core of the charter school model is the belief that public schools should be held accountable for student learning. In exchange for this accountability, school leaders should be given freedom to do whatever it takes to help students achieve and should share what works with the broader public school system so that all students benefit.

The objectives of the Program are:
1. To offer a program of coursework and practical exercises in educational leadership, management and instruction that will enhance the professional and personal lives of its students.
2. To prepare professional educators to serve the needs of both public and private institutions from the elementary to postsecondary level in their community and beyond.
3. To enable educational leaders to make meaningful contributions to the foundation of knowledge in charter school issues and operations.

Successful graduates of the Program will be able to:

  • Apply best practices, current concepts, theories, and research about educational technology, effective teaching, learning, and administration to improve one’s professional practice as a teacher or administrator.
  • Employ effective and appropriate technology and leadership techniques that support educational and administrative objectives.
  • Employ effective and appropriate technology and leadership techniques that support educational and administrative objectives.
  • Evaluate ethical issues, recognize administrative, legal, and regulatory issues, and make appropriate decisions and recommendations based on sound research reasoning and analysis with sensitivity to stakeholder interests.
  • Communicate effectively with learners, their families, and other professionals in ways appropriate to purpose and content.

Successful students should demonstrate high quality communication and writing skills, become more critical of the status quo, and be well prepared to initiate school and process improvement based on solid reasoning backed by valid research. Graduates of the Program will emerge with a recognized degree and a set of diverse and relevant skills that are applicable in the pursuit of administration, and advanced level positions in education fields.

The University acts to fulfill the purposes of the Education Specialist program through appropriate coursework, coupled with continuing direction, evaluation of student progress, and regular assessment of student learning outcomes, supervised and administered by qualified faculty. The Education Specialist degree program is designed to service a national market and does not purport to provide licensure or credential certification in any particular state and/or school district. Applicants interested in licensure, credential certification, and/or salary advancement are encouraged to contact the relevant licensing body(ies) and their respective human resources department before enrollment. Coursework in the Program is geared toward those in school settings. Applicants are encouraged to contact the admissions office if they have questions regarding the curriculum and their individual professional backgrounds.


The University’s Directed Independent Study modality recognizes that education is an individual process where individuals with different learning needs and study schedules can be accommodated. It emphasizes learning that is meaningful, where individuals enjoy the learning process, and acquire knowledge to better understand and manage their own careers. The Program’s Faculty Members support the student’s independent-study learning role by guiding and stimulating the learning process in one-on-one interaction with no mandatory discussion groups. Our faculty mentors recognize individual learning styles and emphasize the relevance of the material to the individual’s situation.

Each course in the Program contains a series of lesson assignments generally consisting of reading requirements and research projects. Students are evaluated through examinations and/or research assignments which are submitted for faculty evaluation. All assignments are submitted electronically. As set forth in the University’s General Catalog, Internet access and minimum computer requirements and skills are required as a condition of admittance. The first three courses in the curriculum are known as qualifying courses. A student must take and pass a Qualifying Examination before a student can earn academic credit for a core course. The Qualifying Examination is a three hour proctored test that covers material covered in the qualifying courses. It consists of a combination of objective and subjective questions.


To earn the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree, a student must complete the courses outlined below in good academic standing and pass both the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations, all with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00. The requirements may be completed in as little as 27 months. All requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of initial enrollment. The following courses are required for the Education Specialist with a concentration in Charter School Administration.

Qualifying Courses
(12 units)


Educational Administration

4 units


Leadership in Institutional Settings

4 units


Educational Finance

4 units


Qualifying Exam


Core Courses
(18 units)


The Laws and Politics of Education

4 units


Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting

4 units


Principles of Curriculum Development

4 units


Charter School Marketing Management

3 units


Charter School Governance and Administration

3 units


Comprehensive Examination


Total Semester Units Required for Graduation: 30

Admission Policies and Requirements

To be admitted to the Program, applicants must possess a master’s degree in education or a master’s degree in another discipline and a teaching or administrative credential. In either case the degrees must be from appropriately accredited institutions and the applicant must have a minimum of two years of teaching or administrative experience in an educational setting from elementary through higher education. Other factors affecting admission include the strength of the applicant’s personal statement (the importance of demonstrating graduate level writing skills cannot be over emphasized), references, record of involvement in professional organizations and associations, an aptitude for leadership based in part on employment and educational background.

An applicant may be conditionally admitted into the Program based on a completed Application for Admission, receipt of the $75.00 Application Fee, student copies of transcripts reflecting the applicant’s highest relevant degree, documentation of the applicant’s professional work experience, and the receipt of two Professional Reference Letters. Official copies of all relevant college level credits received directly from the institution of origin will be required within 30 days of enrollment.

The vast majority of the institution’s applicants are mature adults working in a variety of professional settings. Many have not attended college for several years. Consequently, prior class rank and grade point average are not significant factors in the admission process. Should additional information be required the applicant will be contacted.

All payments must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard®,Visa®, American Express® or Discover®.

Foreign Applicants and Applicants with International Credentials

It may be necessary for applicants who have attended colleges or universities outside of the United States to obtain an evaluation of their education from a credential evaluation service approved by the University. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a list of approved evaluators. In addition, applicants who do not possess a degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT) or 80 on the Internet Based Test (iBT) or 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS). For more information on TOEFL visit the website:

Transfer Credit

The acceptance of transfer credits between academic institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Credits earned at William Howard Taft University may or may not be accepted by another institution depending upon its own programs, policies, and regulations.

The University does not accept Transfer Credit or credit for experiential learning (Portfolio Credit) in the Education Specialist programs.

Financial Information

Tuition is billed at the rate of $420.00 per month during the term of enrollment. The obligation of students to pay tuition shall continue until the earliest of the following events:

  1. satisfaction of all degree requirements;
  2. 48 billing months (four years);
  3. withdrawal from the Program;
  4. academic dismissal from the Program.

Additional information on tuition financing can be found under Tuition Financing.

The cost of books and materials, other than each course syllabus, is not included in the tuition. The University does not sell books or materials. Most books and materials may be purchased at local colleges, retail bookstores, directly from publishers or over the Internet. The cost is estimated to average approximately $150.00 per course. Students are always provided with a mail or Internet source for acquiring all required materials.

California residents can find more information about the California Tuition Recovery Fund here.


Application Fee



Registration and Orientation Fee

This one-time fee is charged at the time of a student’s initial enrollment and is related to the costs associated with setting-up the student’s file.



Continuation Fee (Per Month)

Students who have not completed all degree requirements after four full years of active enrollment in the Program will be assessed a monthly continuation fee for the balance of the enrollment period or until they have satisfied all degree requirements.

(This is in lieu of tuition.)


Diploma Fee



Transcript Fee

(Two Provided at No Cost)


Late Payment Fee 

(Returned Check/Declined Credit Card/ACH) (Per Item)


Student Tuition Recovery Fund *

(California Residents Only)


How to Enroll

If the applicant is accepted for admission to the Program, a formal enrollment agreement will be prepared and sent to the applicant for review and signature. Students may elect to begin the Program on the 1st day of any month. All payments submitted for tuition and fees must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard® / Visa® / American Express® or Discover®. Applicants are encouraged to call the Admissions Office if there are any questions regarding enrollment procedures.

Course Descriptions

  • EDU501 - Educational Administration (4 Units)
  • EDU503 - Leadership in Institutional Settings (4 Units)
  • EDU505 - The Laws and Politics of Education
  • EDU506 - Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting (4 Units)
  • EDU507 - Educational Finance (4 Units)
  • EDU508 - Principles of Curriculum Development
  • EDU590 - Charter School Marketing Management
  • EDU591 - Charter School Governance and Administration
  • EDU700 - Comprehensive Examination (Pass/Fail)

EDU501 - Educational Administration (4 Units)

This course examines conceptual foundations of educational administration with the aim of using theory and research to solve the problems of practice. The focus of this course is on the school as a social system with special emphasis on structure, politics, decision making, and quality outcomes. Course objectives underscore a belief in the value of informed “reflection on Practice” both individually and collectively. Prerequisites: None.

EDU503 - Leadership in Institutional Settings (4 Units)

This course explores concepts of leadership and leadership styles in the context of educational administration. Students examine the role of institutional leader, as well as factors that influence decision making, initiating change, psychological constraints, and techniques for establishing and maintaining a unique culture in the institutional setting. Prerequisites: None.

EDU505 - The Laws and Politics of Education

This course provides an overview of the legal and political framework of education in the nation. Emphasis is on current issues and how they affect the learning environment.

EDU506 - Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting (4 Units)

This course studies theory, strategies and techniques of effective organizational behavior in educational/institutional settings. Intervention techniques will be studied to improve organization effectiveness. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU507 - Educational Finance (4 Units)

This course explores the economic theories of institutional finance. Emphasis on the management and evaluation of fiscal operations in an institutional setting. Prerequisites: None.

EDU508 - Principles of Curriculum Development

This course provides an analysis of the influences of curriculum and instruction from a philosophical, psychological, and sociological perspective. Various approaches to the design and evaluation of curriculum and instruction will be examined.

EDU590 - Charter School Marketing Management

This course examines strategic marketing and branding, and their contribution to effective charter school recruitment and operations. Topics include marketing strategy development, marketing research, communications, media relations, building partnerships, public relations, and fund raising.

EDU591 - Charter School Governance and Administration

This course explores the administrative workings of charter school operations. Topics include facilities location, staffing, sourcing and reporting revenue, budgeting, auxiliary services, legal issues, and safety and security. The course also examines the practical skills necessary to work effectively with authorizers, the charter school board, and other groups that are critical to the success of the charter school, as well as the legal framework of charter school education at the national, state, and local levels.

EDU700 - Comprehensive Examination (Pass/Fail)

This proctored examination, which can be taken anytime between the completion of the core courses and the Dissertation Proposal, is designed to measure a student’s knowledge and understanding of the curriculum content that has been covered in the Program. Students must pass the examination prior to advancement to candidacy. Prerequisites: Successful Completion of all Required Courses.

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