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Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership (Initial Licensure)

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Bridgewater State University’s long history of close collaboration with regional school systems and its tradition of leadership in areas such as special education, literacy education, teacher mentoring and professional development contribute to the depth and strength of its educational leadership programs.

Program Highlights

The Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership program is designed for educators holding a master's degree who are interested in promoting effective practice and managing change wisely in their educational communities and professional lives. A 36-credit curriculum balances content and pedagogical knowledge, focusing on building a basic understanding of the institutional, legal, fiscal and external political perspectives of education, as well as the technical and organizational systems that determine how those contexts affect teaching and learning. 

The EdS in Educational Leadership programs offers:

  • Diverse faculty with extensive teaching and administrative experience, as well as ongoing participation in educational research, scholarly publication and professional organizations
  • Accommodating schedules, including online, hybrid and in person courses
  • Prepractica and practica opportunities, enabling close collaboration with students from other programs within the College of Education and Allied Studies
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • Benefits of a state institution that has been training teachers for more than 170 years
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out 

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Carol Young 

Program email:

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Admissions Requirements

  • Online application - A completed and $50 application fee
  • Master's Degree - A Master's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Resume - A resumé which demonstrates the applicant’s potential for leadership and academic achievement as evidenced by activities during his or her professional career or undergraduate studies
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Letters of Recommendation - Three letters of recommendation (one from a supervisor)
  • GPA - A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8
  • MTEL - A qualifying score on the Communications and Literacy Skills Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Personal Statement - Prepare a brief, but careful statement on the candidate's philosophy of educational leadership and school reform
  • Initial licensure in other area dependent upon administrative licensure sought in addition to all Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education administrative licensure requirements (exceptions are granted on a case by case basis)
  • Prerequisite Experience:
    • Completion of at least three full years of employment in an executive management/leadership role or in a supervisory, teaching, or administrative role in a public school, private school, higher education, or other educational setting accepted by the Educational Leadership program coordinator
    • Additional requirements for directors, department heads and curriculum specialists in the core academic subjects at the secondary level (5-12):
      • A master’s degree in the arts or sciences in one of the core academic subjects the candidate will supervise 
      • At least 18 credits of advanced graduate studies in one of the core academic subjects (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, History, Reading, Foreign Language, Arts) the candidate will supervise
    • Additional requirement for School Business Administrator: a minimum of two years experience in financial planning and/or accounting systems 

Application Deadlines

Rolling admission for Fall, Spring and Summer enrollment.
Applications that are not completed prior to the start of the semester will need to be moved to the next applicable semester.



Core Courses
EDLE 601 - Ed Leadership and School Reform
EDLE 669 - Concepts and Cases in School Law
EDLE 674 - Designing and Evaluating the School/District Professional Learning Community
EDLE 676 - Managing Resources: Human, Financial, Facilities
EDLE 579 - Education of Diverse Populations: SEI or EDLE 566 - School Plant Planning and Administration**
EDLE 675 - Research Issues
EDLE 677 - Systems Planning
EDLE 678 - Curriculum Development 
EDLE 681 - Externship

**EDLE 566 is required for all licensure candidates who have SEI endorsement upon admission.

Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent
EDLE 691 - The School Superintendency
EDLE 687 - Practicum SEI

Principal/Assistant Principal (pick one set)
EDLE 661 - School Administration (P-8)
EDLE 684 - Practicum (P-8)

EDLE 662 - School Administration (5-12)
EDLE 685 - Practicum (5-12)

Special Education Administrator
EDLE 612 - Effective Supervision and Administration of Special Education Programs
EDLE 680 - Practicum in Administration of Special Education

School Business Administrator 
EDLE 566 - School Plant Planning and Administration
EDLE 679 - Practicum in School Business

EDMC 531 - The Standards-Based Classroom: Curriculum
EDLE 683 - Practicum in Supervisorship/Directorship

Total Minimum Credits: 36

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 *Please see the Graduate Academic Policies section of the Graduate Academic Catalog for additional information regarding comprehensive examinations.

***For the most up-to-date information regarding course descriptions, please visit our University Catalog.

Ian Barkon is a music educator with a passion not just for music but for teaching and learning. Prior to starting the Educational Leadership program, he looked at several programs, and Bridgewater had the courses hew was looking for.

“I entered the program looking to become a department head in my school, but my advisor told me that I could do an internship and take some advanced classes and earn my certificate as a principal or assistant principal. She did a great job steering me onto a path and encouraging me to take it to the next level.” 
-Ian Barkon, Music Teacher, Hull High School

Phyllis Gimbel joined the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership as an educational leader herself. A former teacher and principal, she respects the future academic leaders she trains just as she once did her students in French and Spanish: “I learn as much from my graduate students as I have learned anywhere else.”

“The small classes allow for deep dialogue – real conversations, with healthy tensions and different perspectives. With their different experiences, students have such different responses to readings and other material; it’s like a work of art – everyone interprets differently, based on what they are bringing to the discussion. Each of us learns from all of the others.”  
-Phyllis Gimbel, Ed.D,  Professor of Educational Leadership, Secondary Education and Professional Programs

Funding Opportunities 

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews.  For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

Program Learning Outcomes for Educational Leadership Program (2021)

In alignment with the mission of the BSU, licensure standards of DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) and accreditation of NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education), the Educational Leadership program objectives articulate student learning outcomes for all licensure and non-licensure candidates.

Completers of the program will:

  1. Develop, articulate, and implement a shared vision of leadership that serves and unites all students in the school community through effective teaching in a learning environment that serves common purposes while demonstrating an understanding of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, diversity, and its relationship to leadership practice.
  2. Be grounded in principles of rigorous scholarship and exemplary practice that prepares for the growth of students and the success of outstanding leaders in K-12 and non-k-12 organizations/institutions and provides the appropriate resources to keep the learning environment safe yet effective and efficient.
  3. Demonstrate a solid knowledge base, sophisticated reasoning skills, and effective partnerships with stakeholders that support the mission of the school and district to navigate clear directions and to make informed choices and decisions that lead to increased learning, the growth of students, and the success of all staff.
  4. Make nurturing and sustaining contributions to the cultures of schools and communities informed by recognition of continuous learning for staff, of environment of increased expectations for students and staff, and of the demands of local, state and federal agencies for increased levels of performance in all areas to promote success for all students.
  5. Establishes operational systems, procedures and routines that ensures a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment using sound fiscal planning to implement appropriate curriculum, staffing and scheduling.
  6. Further the knowledge of leadership and related educational disciplines by engaging, producing, and communicating research in order to gain the scholarly, academic, and leadership foundation necessary to teach and lead at all levels of education.

Program Learning Outcomes for Higher Education Administration (2021)

In alignment with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), the Higher Education Administration concentration in the Educational Leadership program objectives articulate student learning outcomes for all higher education administration candidates.

Completers of the program will:

  1. Use multiple sources of information and their synthesis to solve problems and demonstrates high knowledge of how to access diverse sources of verifiable information. Detail personalized learning applicable to new problem-solving approaches based on new insights and recognizes one’s own capacity to create new understandings from learning activities and dialogue with others.

  1. Identify important problems, questions, and issues based on a thorough analysis of data. Present, interpret and make judgments of the relevance and quality of information from verifiable sources and uses assumptions to present alternative perspectives and solutions.

  1. Demonstrate healthy, mutually beneficial relationships others through high level of respect and manages interpersonal conflicts effectively. High level of collaboration evident in team projects and discussions. Demonstrate effective leadership in guiding and assisting a group, organization or community in meeting its goals. Communicate a vision, mission, or purpose that encourages commitment and action in others. Promote social justice principles and diversity appreciation.  

  1. Convey meaning in a wide variety of ways that others can understand through the written work, oral presentation and reflection.  Effectively articulate abstract ideas, using appropriate written skills to present experiences applicable to the work experiences of others in higher education. Demonstrate comprehensive technological literacy and skills to effectively communicate problem solving protocol in a higher education administration.

  1. Develop, articulate, and implement a shared vision of leadership that serves and unites all students in higher education through effective teaching in a learning environment that serves common purposes while demonstrating an understanding of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, diversity, and its relationship to leadership practice.

  1. Establish operational systems, procedures and routines that ensures a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment using sound fiscal planning to implement appropriate curriculum, staffing and scheduling.

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