Education Specialist, Educational Leadership - Director of Special Education

Program Description

32 semester credits required. More credits may be required depending on program director's evaluation of the student's previous master's degree.

The Ed.S. Director of Special Education classes emphasize the administrator as an instructional leader as well as a servant leader. Ethical decision making, creative problem solving, and professional growth are other areas of emphasis.  Near the end of coursework, each student will enroll in EDUC7595G Practicum in Special Education and Related Services where they will upload their portfolio.

Successful completion of the degree qualifies the graduate for recommendation to the State of Idaho for a Director of Special Education endorsement and a Pre K-12 Principal endorsement on an Idaho Administrator Certificate. It is the student's responsibility to submit the appropriate paperwork and fees to the Idaho State Department of Education for obtaining certifications and endorsements in Idaho. Current forms and information are available from the ISDE website. Students should check the Internet and other sources for specific requirements for certification in other states. An optional class may be offered to help students who want to become principal certified in Oregon: EDUC7570 Oregon Law and Finance. See the course descriptions for more information.

The program is in a fully online format.  Courses in this program are fully online, but may have synchronous video class sessions.  We encourage students to attend these sessions as they are available.  Usually, archived sessions are available for review.

Every Educational Leadership student will be registered for the approved accreditation and assessment software during EDUC8000 Orientation: Graduate Education. There is a fee associated with this course.

Required Courses for  Ed.S. Educational Leadership - Director of Special Education (Online):

M.Ed. in Exceptional Child completed
EDUC8000. Orientation: Graduate Education (0)
EDUC7511. The Learning Process (3) or
       EDUC7553. Curriculum, Assessment and Collaboration (3)
EDUC7556. Conceptual Statistics and Applications for Educators (3) *
EDUC7575. Legal and Financial Issues in Education (3)
EDUC7579. Special Education Law for Administrators (2) (if equivalent has been taken in the last 3 years, contact the program director)
EDUC7581. Instructional Supervision and Leadership (3)
EDUC7584. Data Driven Decision-Making (3) *
EDUC7585. Administering Human Resources (3)
EDUC7595G. Practicum in Special Education and Related Services (4)
EDUC7596III. The Principalship/Internship in School Principalship (3) **
EDUC7596IIIB. Internship Portfolio Binder (0-1) 
EDUC7598D. Seminar: Special Education Policies and Procedures (2)

* If not completed during the certification process for Building Administrator or during their MED program
** Must be taken twice for a total of 6 credits.

Admission Requirements - Ed.S. Educational Leadership - Director of Special Education

  1. A master's degree in Exceptional Child, Special Education, or a related field (as determined by the program director) from a regionally accredited college or university. 
  2. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the master's program.
  3. Certification/Licensure as a classroom teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, or building administrator based on a recommendation from a state-approved higher education preparation program.
  4. Approval by the Graduate Education Admissions Committee.
The Graduate Education Admissions Committee may approve exceptions to regular admission requirements.

Application Requirements - Ed.S. Educational Leadership - Director of Special Education

All applicants to the program are responsible for familiarity with Idaho Code Section 33-1208; no person convicted of a felony or who would otherwise be denied certification or have certification revoked under Idaho Code 33-1208 will be admitted to the Director of Special Education program.

The following requirements must be received by Admissions a minimum of one week before classes start, and are online, mailed or emailed as indicated. For mail: Northwest Nazarene University, Attention Graduate Admissions, 623 S. University Boulevard, Nampa, ID, 83686 For email:

  1. Online: application and $50 non-refundable application fee.
  2. ​Mail: official sealed transcript from the regionally accredited institution(s) where candidate received a master’s degree. (We do not accept faxed transcripts.)
  3. Email or mail: a copy of candidate’s teaching certificate.
  4. Online: two recommendation forms completed by professional colleagues.
  5. Email or mail: evidence of writing competency, preferably from a research paper or other document completed during master's courses.
  6. Online: an Educational Leadership Evaluation Form from the candidate’s current building administrator. The online recommendation forms and the online evaluation form must be completed by different individuals.

Graduation Requirements - Ed.S. Educational Leadership - Director of Special Education

  1. Credits must be earned in courses numbered 7000 or above. Continuing education courses and pass/fail courses (except those specified for degree completion) do not apply toward the degree. Exceptions for substitutions from other institutions may be approved by the program director.
  2. The candidate must complete requirements as specified in the degree major. The degree must be completed within six years of beginning course work. If the degree is not completed within six years, the candidate must reapply to the program. Credits older than six years may need to be retaken.
  3. The candidate must apply for graduation one full semester prior to anticipated degree completion. Deadlines: June 1 for Fall; October 15 for Spring; and January 15 for Summer.