Specialist in Education and/or Doctor of Education


Doctorate of Education Candidates at Commencement
Why pursue Specialist in Education and/or Doctor of Education?

For individuals that have completed their master’s degree in any educational field, McKendree University offers a full ray of choices for advanced graduate degrees. The first option is the Specialist in Education degree (EdS).  What makes McKendree University unique, is that the University offers specialist degrees in Curriculum Design and Instruction (30 hours) or in Superintendent Licensure (33 hours).  These education degree options open up opportunities for educators to get a degree beyond their master’s degree and further enhance their professional success in the classroom.  McKendree University will transfer up to nine credit hours taken at other universities that match our program requirements.

Once an individual completes their Specialist in Education degree, they become eligible for the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Curriculum Design and Instruction degree (30 hours including dissertation). The EdD degree meets current trends in education as the focus at the national and the state level is the improvement of curricular knowledge in school leadership.  The doctorate in education program is designed to prepare experienced teachers and administrators for either curriculum and/or higher administrative leadership roles.  An added benefit to our doctorate program in education is that McKendree University recognizes specialist degrees (EdS) from other universities which is a huge savings to our incoming candidates. 

McKendree University offers its advanced level classes in a cohort format designed to enable practicing teachers and administrators to obtain the EdS degree and then have the opportunity to enroll directly into the EdD degree program.

Three key features distinguish these programs:

  • Incorporate a practice-oriented focus that prepares our graduates for career success.

  • Prepare educators to be good consumers of research and to use data to make informed decisions as a practicing school leader.

  • Provide educators opportunities to learn about diverse populations, schools, and educational settings that help our candidates succeed in any work environment.

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Why McKendree University?

McKendree University is well known by professionals in the field of education and community leaders throughout southern Illinois for its outstanding academic program. McKendree University has award winning instructors using a combination of educational theory and practical experience along with friendly personal service in all phases of university life. The individualized guidance of university personnel assisting its student candidates for successful degree completion along with small class sizes separates McKendree University from other universities in southern Illinois.  In our advanced degree programs, McKendree University has had the foresight to include both curriculum and leadership degrees, which is the current trend in education.  Once an individual has completed their superintendent licensure, the Doctorate Degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction enhances the candidates ability to secure future employment opportunities. 



Specialist in Education (EdS) Curriculum Design and Instruction Program

The Specialist in Education Curriculum Design and Instruction is designed for individuals who have earned a master’s degree and are seeking a Specialist in curriculum knowledge. It is a 30 hour program that will take two and a half years to complete. During the first semester of the program, an orientation course is taken to assist the student candidate with an understanding of the overall program. During the last semester a three hour practicum is completed.

EDS 700 - Foundations of Teacher and Administrative Leadership (1 Credit)

EDS 702 - School Improvement and Organizational Development (3 Credits)

EDS 704 - Human Diversity for Educational Leaders (3 Credits)

EDS 706 - Administration of Human Resources (3 Credits)

EDS 708 - Program Evaluation in Education – Evaluating Student Achievement (3 Credits)

EDS 720 - Core Comprehensive Examination (0 Credit)

EDS 722 - Evaluation and Application of Research (3 Credits)

EDC 730 - Trends and Issues in Curriculum (3 Credits)

EDC 732 - Advanced Instructional Design (3 Credits)

EDC 736 - Advanced Educational Technology (2 Credits)

EDC 738 - Research and Theory in Teaching (3 Credits)

EDC 750 - Practicum in Curriculum Design and Instruction (3 Credits)




Specialist in Education (EdS) Superintendent Licensure

The Specialist in Superintendent Licensure is designed for individuals who have earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and are seeking the license to become a superintendent. During the first semester of the program, an additional one hour orientation course is taken to provide an understanding of the overall program and to meet state programmatic admission requirements. This is a 33 hour program that will take two and a half years to complete. The internship can be completed while an individual maintains their current position.

EDS 700 - Foundations of Teacher and Administrative Leadership (1 Credit)

EDS 702 - School Improvement and Organizational Development (3 Credits)

EDS 704 - Human Diversity for Educational Leaders (3 Credits)

EDS 706 - Administration of Human Resources (3 Credits)

EDS 708 - Program Evaluation in Education – Evaluating Student Achievement (3 Credits)

EDL 731 - Advanced Legal/Policy/Political Issues (3 Credits)

EDL 733 - The Superintendent (3 Credits)

EDL 735 - The Board of Education, Community and Organizational Leadership (3 Credits)

EDL 737 - Finance Theory, Application, and Management of Resources (3 Credits)

EDL 741 - Advanced Roles and Responsibilities for the Superintendent (3 Credits)

EDL 751 - Internship I – Superintendent (1 Credit)

EDL 752 - Internship II – Superintendent (2 Credits)

EDL 753 - Internship III - Superintendent (2 Credits)




Doctor of Education (EdD) Curriculum Design and Instruction

The Doctorate in Education Program in Curriculum Design and Instruction is a 30 hour program which includes a 12 hour dissertation. A unique feature of the program is that the candidate gets direct instructor support for development of the first three chapters of the dissertation plus individual support on research methods and current developments in curriculum design and instruction.  During the first semester of the degree program, an orientation course will be conducted to assist the candidate in understanding the dissertation process.  A dissertation committee will be selected by the candidate for the actual development of the dissertation. 

EDD 760 - Doctorate in Education Seminar (0 Credit)

EDD 764 - Educational Program Planning (3 Credits)

EDD 766 - Human Development and Educational Processes (3 Credits)

EDD 768 - Qualitative Research/Quantitative Research (3 Credits)

EDD 770 - Differentiated Instruction (3 Credits)

EDD 774 - Advanced Research Methods (3 Credits)

EDD 776 - Critical Issues and Developments in Curriculum Design and Instruction (3 Credits)

EDD 797 - Dissertation (12 Credits)

EDD 798 - Dissertation Continuing Study (0 Credit)

EDD 799 - Continuing Enrollment (1 Credit)




Class Format

This program is formatted for the working professional. Classes in the fall and spring meet one night a week for eight weeks.


Spring 2019 EdD Curriculum Design & Instruction Program

Lebanon Campus 


Fall 2019 EdS Curriculum Design & Instruction Program


Fall 2019 EdS Suprintendent Licensure Program

O'Fallon High School

John A. Logan College





Tuition for the EdS degree is $495 per credit hour, licensed teachers qualify for the Educator Tuition rate of $415 per credit hour, for the 2018/2019 academic year. Tuition for the EdD degree is $570 per credit hour for the 2018/2019 academic year. Financial aid is available.




Transfer Credit

A maximum of 9 hours of transfer credit may be applied to the EdS degree. All 30 hours in the EdD degree must be taken at McKendree University.





This program is highly selective and not all applicants will be admitted. Applicants are considered on an individual basis without regard to sex, race, disability, nationality, or religion. The following items are required for admission:

A completed application for admission; APPLY NOW ($40 fee).

EdS Degree: A master’s degree in Education (e.g., MA, MS, MEd) from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

EdD Degree: A master’s degree in Education (e.g., MA, MS, MEd) and a specialist degree in Education, or the equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution.

Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended. The minimum GPA required on all graduate level coursework earned within a master’s degree is 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.

Current vitae/resume.

Recommendation Forms completed by three professional colleagues, including at least two who supervised the applicant’s work at some time during the past five years.

Admission Essay/Personal Statement. Write a two- to three-page essay discussing your future professional goals and plans, the contributions you have made in your profession, and your rationale for pursuing the doctoral program.

7. EdS Superintendent Licensure only: A valid and current Illinois Professional Educator License: Endorsed in general administrative, principal, CSBO, or director of special education. Passing score on the test of basic skills/test of academic proficiency.

8. EdD Degree only: Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores within the past five years. McKendree GRE code: 1456 www.ets.org/gre. The GRE is not required for the EdS starting in Fall 2016.

Two years of teaching/professional experience.

Applicants may be required to participate in a personal interview to assess readiness for the program.



Graduate Education Student Services

Photo of Linza BrachearLinza Brachear, M.S.Ed.

Senior Student Services Specialist
(618) 537-6427
(800) BEARCAT, ext. 6427




Meet the Faculty

Photo of Dr. Darrel HardtDr. Darrel Hardt

Director of EdS/EdD Programs
(618) 537-2157



Photo of Dr. Tami EgglestonDr. Tami Eggleston

Professor/Associate Dean for Institutional Effectiveness
(618) 537-6859



Photo of Dr. Pamela ManningDr. Pamela Manning

Assistant Professor
(618) 537-6461



Photo of Dr. Kelly StewartDr. Kelly Stewart

Assistant Professor
(618) 537-6549



Photo of Dr. Julie Tonsing-MeyerDr. Julie Tonsing-Meyer

Associate Professor
(618) 537-6516



Photo of Dr. Janet WickerDr. Janet Wicker

Associate Professor
(618) 537-6880






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