Jun 21, 2024  

Admission Requirements - Education Specialist



Eligibility Requirements - Education Specialist Students

The candidate has completed an MA/MS program in an approved program that qualifies the candidate for building-level, principal endorsement.  The program must include completion of one semester of practicum, OR, the candidate must hold a current endorsement in building-level administration, OR, permission of the dean.

The candidate shows successful completion of at least six hours of graduate level coursework in the past five years or documentation of the completion of the equivalent in continuing education units.  This requirement is also met if an applicant completed a MA/MS program in school administration within the last five years.


Application Process and Admission

The application process is a three-step process:

  1. The candidate completes the Application for Admission to Graduate Studies in Education form and forwards it to Graduate Studies in Education, Doane University, 303 N. Street, Lincoln, NE 68504 along with the application fee of $30.00.

   2. Upon receipt of the application form and fee, the admission packet will be mailed to the candidate.  The admission process requires submission of the following:

  1. A copy of the candidate’s current teaching certificate
  2. A resume or vita that includes all professional teaching and administrative experiences
  3. A written statement of the reasons for interest in the Ed.S. degree program including the candidate’s professional goals for leadership at the district level  and the candidate’s philosophy of education and leadership (250-500 words)
  4. An official transcript(s) of all graduate hours completed and graduate degrees received mailed directly from the graduate institutions to: Graduate Studies in Education, Doane University, 303 N. 52nd Street, Lincoln, NE 68504
  5. A completed disclosure statement of criminal history or any history of violations of the Code of Ethics of the Professional Practices Commission.  A copy of the disclosure form is included in the application packet.
  6. Three letters of recommendation including at least one from a practicing administrator.  Letter of recommendation forms are included in the application packet.

All application materials should be mailed to: Graduate Studies in Education, Doane University, 303 N. 52nd Street, Lincoln, NE 68504.


3.  Program Interview:  Selected candidates may participate in an interview that will include the review of a leadership demonstration portfolio.  To be selected for an  interview, the application packet will be reviewed by members of the Graduate Education Specialist program faculty.  Individuals selected for interviews by faculty will be notified as soon as possible with personal interviews scheduled at the mutual convenience of the candidate and the faculty interviewer. 

Professional Portfolio - Candidates should bring the Professional Portfolio to the program interview.

  • Candidates for the Ed.S. degree who are also Doane Educational Leadership graduates may use their EDL portfolio.
  • Candidates for the Ed.S. degree who are not Doane Educational Leadership graduates may develop and bring a Professional Portfolio that includes.
  1. A written statement of the candidate’s philosophy of education.
  2. A written statement of the candidate’s philosophy of leadership.
  3. A personal mission statement.
  4. A demonstration of the ability to engage in teamwork and collaboration.
  5. A demonstration of the ability to analyze and understand diversity.
  6. A demonstration of the ability to implement school improvement plans.
  7. A demonstration of engagement in leadership at the building level.


Doane E-Mail Accounts Required for Faculty and Students

To comply with the Higher Education Act, ALL course communication between faculty and students will use Doane e-mail addresses.  Students should also use their Doane e-mail for communication with Doane offices.  The Graduate Office, Business Office, Financial Aid and Blackboard will all use students’ Doane e-mail accounts.   All Doane students have access to a Doane e-mail account and receive instructions about setting this up when they apply.  If students do not set up their e-mail or have forgotten their password or user id, they should contact helpdesk@doane.edu.


Transfer of Credit Policy - Education Specialist

No credit hours are accepted as transfer credit for the Education Specialist degree.


Full Graduate Standing will occur upon the successful completion of 9 hours of the specified course-work with a 3.00 or higher cumulative grade point average.  A student receiving any grade below a B for any graduate course will have his/her file reviewed even though the student’s cumulative GPA may be 3.00 or higher.

Decisions are communicated to the student in writing as soon as practical after the student completes the first nine hours of program.


Program Design

The Education Specialist program will include 30 hours of in-class work with a seminar approach.  In addition to the in-class seminar work, the EDS candidate will complete at least 6 hours of internship or practicum experiences approved in advance as part of the Leadership and Learning Plan of the candidate.  The program totals 36 credit hours.

The required coursework of the EDS program will be organized into two categories.  One in which all of the candidates complete coursework as a group or cadre scheduled to take place over a three-calendar year.  The second category is stand-alone coursework required of all candidates but that can be completed at various times. 

Students will typically be part of a cadre, which provides continuity and support for its members.  Students may be switched between sections of courses (cadres) based on the discretion of the dean of the program and the Educational Leadership Committee of the Whole.  The dean with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs has the ability to substitute courses or develop directed studies to meet the unique needs of students as they pursue the degree. 


Thirty Cadre/Core Courses

ESD-705  Issues in Leadership                                                                        3 hrs.

ESD-710  School Districts as Organizations                                                     3 hrs.

ESD-715   School-Community Communications                                                3 hrs.

ESD-820   Leading and Responding to Change                                               3 hrs.

ESD-725  Politics and Policy Leadership                                                          3 hrs.

ESD-910  Ethics of Leadership                                                                         3 hrs

ESD-920  Leadership Practicum (tied to ESD 820)                                           3 hrs.

ESD-930  Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Design                                3 hrs.

ESD-830  Human Resource Leadership                                                           3 hrs.

ESD-940  Leadership Internship (tied with ESD 840)                                       3 hrs.


Six hours to be completed outside the cadre.

ESD-755  Financial Frameworks                                                                      3 hrs.

ESD-810  Resource Development and Allocation                                            3 hrs.


Content Testing

Effective September 1, 2015 candidates applying for any initial endorsement(s) to be placed on a Nebraska certificate must provide evidence they have passed the required Praxis II content test for the endorsement.  School Superintendent Assessment, test code 6021 is the test required for school superintendent certification.


Guidelines for Student Teaching and Internships

Doane University assumes the responsibilities for an effective student teaching experience (initial program at the advanced level) and internship experiences (EDL, EDS, endorsements where applicable).  The initial program at the advanced level follows the requirements of the initial program.  Advanced candidates must meet the requirements for continuation in the program.  All internship and student teaching supervisors meet the required standards in Rule 20 for the State of Nebraska.


Time Limitations

In the Education Specialist Program, a student is expected to complete the degree with their cadre or within a maximum of five years of beginning graduate study at Doane University.  If a student withdraws from the cadre experience, it is necessary to wait one year and resume classes with the next cadre.  The Dean will determine if a student can resume participation in the program if the time away from the program extends beyond one year.  If the course material is no longer relevant, the student must then retake appropriate graduate courses as part of the program of study.  If a student stays out three years or more then the coursework must be repeated.


Academic Standing

A degree-seeking Education Specialist graduate student is placed on academic probation if, at any time, the graduate cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00.  In addition, a 3.00 or higher grade is required for all ESD-prefixed courses.


Academic Probation

A degree-seeking Education Specialist graduate student is placed on academic probation if, at any time, the graduate cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00.  Any student receiving a grade below a “B” or 3.00 for any ESD-prefixed course will have his/her file reviewed for academic probation even if the cumulative GPA is 3.00 or higher.  The student is notified in writing of his/her academic status and of any specific conditions for retention.


Academic Suspension

An Education Specialist graduate student may be suspended from Doane University for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to return to good academic standing after the specified probationary period.
  • Failure to meet requirements set forth in the letter of probation.
  • Receipt of a second ESD-prefixed course grade below a “B”.
  • Breach of academic integrity.

The student is notified of the suspension in writing by the Dean of the program.  For the right of appeal, consult that section in this handbook.  For specifics on what constitutes plagiarism, please see that section of this handbook.


Academic Dismissal

An Education Specialist graduate student may be dismissed from Doane University when the appeal process for suspension has been exhausted.  Such students are notified in writing by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.