Education Specialist, Educational Leadership - Superintendent

Program Description

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

This major is designed for those seeking formal educational leadership roles such as superintendent, assistant superintendent, and other school district central office roles. Emphasis is on 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. 

The program utilizes a cohort model which allows students to plan their schedules ahead of time and allows them to continue working full-time in their position while completing the program.  Students typically complete the program in 22 months, which includes a year-long internship at the district office level. This internship will be supervised by a qualified central office administrator. This internship must be approved by the school district and the NNU program director. In the last semester, each student will enroll in EDUC8678B Central Office Internship Portfolio Binder (0-1) credits where they will upload their portfolio.

Successful completion of the degree qualifies the graduate for recommendation to the State of Idaho for Superintendent 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.

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 - Superintendent (Online):

EDUC8000. Orientation: Graduate Education (0)
EDUC7556. Conceptual Statistics and Applications for Educators (3)
EDUC7579. Special Education Law for Administrators (2)
EDUC7584. Data Driven Decision-Making (3)
EDUC8670. Labor Relations in Schools (3)
EDUC8671. Educational Change: A Historical Perspective (3)
EDUC8672. The Superintendency (3)
EDUC8673. Advanced School Finance (3)
EDUC8674. School Facilities (3)
EDUC8675. Public Relations and Marketing for Schools (3)
EDUC8676. Special Populations: Issues and Resources (3)
EDUC8678. Central Office Internship (1-3)*
EDUC8678B. Central Office Internship Porfolio Binder (0-1)


*Must take 1-3 credits for 2 semesters, for a total of 4 internship credits.

If Principal Certification has not been obtained, it may be obtained  through a Master of Education in Building Administration degree or an Education Specialist degree. Please see Master of Education or Education Specialist, Educational Leadership-Building Administrator. 

Admission Requirements - Ed.S. Educational Leadership - Superintendent

  1. A master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. ​A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the master's program.
  3. Certification/Licensure as a 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 - Superintendent

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 Superintendent 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. Email or mail: official transcripts 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 building administrator's license.
  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 supervisor. The online recommendation forms and the online evaluation form must be completed by different individuals.

Graduation Requirements - Ed.S. Educational Leadership - Superintendent

  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.