Education Specialist Program in Curriculum Leadership

education specialist program

Education Specialist

in Curriculum and Institution

The Education Specialist Program in Curriculum and Instruction is designed for school leaders in charge of or involved with curriculum development and design. This program outlines effective practices for curriculum leadership and helps students clarify their educational values while emphasizing the critical interrelationship of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Students will experience an in-depth exploration of transformative curriculum design and its implication for student learning.

Students will be exposed to various means of curriculum reform, as well as a variety of reform initiatives.

Program Advantages

William Woods University graduate programs are designed for working individuals. The cohort model allows students to develop lasting relationships with peers focused on pursing similar career goals. Cohorts are situated in convenient locations around Missouri and once accepted into the program you are registered for all courses listed on your cohort calendar. Tuition is maintained at the same rate, providing there is no interruption in enrollment. William Woods University students consistently score well on the state leader assessment tests.

Who is this program designed for?

The Education Specialist Program in Curriculum and Institution is designed for teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum directors, and principals with an interest in staying current in instructional and curricular issues in pk-12 schools.

What will this program do for me?

The program is designed to help prepare leaders in the area of curriculum design and construction. The Education Specialist Program correlates with the Missouri Superintendent Standards as the focal point of curriculum leadership. It will also focus on pedagogy, current research, and educational trends.

Education Specialist Pogram Alumni:

William Woods University education specialist program alumni are employed in schools across the State of Missouri in leading positions including superintendents, principals, district and building administrators and athletic coaches.

Education Specialist Graduate Employers Include:

  • Independence School District, Independence, MO
  • Jefferson City Public Schools, Jefferson City, MO
  • Thornfield School District, Thornfield, MO
  • Braymer School District, Kansas City, MO
  • Bowling Green School District, St. Louis, MO

Education Accreditations

  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) (The School District Administration Program—EdS degree programs)

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • A 500-word essay describing your professional experiences and explaining how this degree will help you achieve your career goals
  • Current resume or summary of work experience
  • Official transcripts (3.0 GPA or higher) mailed from the college/university you graduated from

Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


Graduation Fee


Independent Study Fee (per credit hour)


Transcript Fee (per transcript)


Returned Check Fee (per check)


Tuition (per credit hour)


Online Tuition (per credit hour)


Online Course Fee (per course)



EDU 635 Curriculum Leadership

This course gives the student an overview of "What curriculum is…" and "The role of a school/district curriculum leader in today’s changing education paradigm." 3 Credits

Topics will include:

  • History of Curriculum: Traditional and Modern Thinkers and Philosophies
  • Importance and Impact of Scientific Research from the Social, Psychological, Neuroscience, and Developmental Learning Transference Sciences on American Education
  • Foundations of Curriculum
  • Theories of Curriculum
  • The Curriculum Process: Curriculum Planning, Curriculum Alignment, and Process for Developing New Courses
  • Curriculum Management:
    • Role of Curriculum Director, Coach, Supervisor, Coordinator
    • Supervising Curriculum Development and Materials
    • Supervising Curriculum Implementation

EDU610 Utilizing Statistical Procedures in Educational Research and Evaluation

This course will focus on the knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary to effectively collect and interpret data related to school improvement issues. The course will include a discussion of basic, statistical concepts that form the foundation for interpreting and analyzing the results of standardized tests, and in using the results of this analysis for school improvement purposes. The course will also include procedures and skills necessary for the critical review of educational research. Finally, the course will address specific assessment and research data relevant to the state of Missouri and provide the student the opportunity to implement knowledge and skills through case-based practice. 3 Credits

EDU 605 Issues in Curriculum

This course is designed to give students the knowledge and understanding of the internal and external factors that impact curriculum and schools in our country today. Curriculum leaders must understand the dynamic nature of school environments in order to support continuous development and refinement of curricula as a "living document" that evolves based on changing learner needs. Students will learn the impact that local, state, and federal mandates and programs have on their district’s curriculum. 3 Credits

EDU645 Application of Learning Frameworks

This is a course to assist future curriculum leaders in gaining knowledge and understanding of developing and implementing a collaborative work culture for continuous effective review and revision of curriculum. Focus is on job-embedded professional development, with regard to culture change and sustainability. An emphasis will also be on developing and fostering high performing collaborative teams to enhance student learning and outcomes. 3 Credits

Topics will include:

  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Data Teams
  • Collaborative Work Initiatives
  • Culture Audit
  • Mindset
  • Team Building for Collaboration

EDU655 Instruction and Assessment Design

This is a practical, hands-on course in which students will utilize the Wiggins & McTighe, Understanding by Design model to develop instructional lessons and units of study. Students will utilize Marzano’s Formative Assessments and Standards-Based Grading System to design effective formative assessments for their units of study. Students will learn how to develop project-based learning experiences and create standards-based integrated curriculum using the Common Core State Standards. 3 Credits

EDU603 Curriculum Auditing and Mapping

This is a class in curriculum mapping and auditing (evaluation). It is designed to provide the learner with knowledge of the connection of mapping and auditing to improve student achievement. During the course they will learn the necessary steps to follow to successfully implement change in curriculum writing. They will also map a subject/course using the studied method. 3 Credits

Topics will include:

  • Evaluate unit of instruction
  • Develop/evaluate curriculum map of a subject course
  • Develop/evaluate a district plan for developing/reusing departmental maps.

EDU660 Educational Reform and Urban Educational Issues

This course will help developing district leaders understand, facilitate, and be proactive to the rapidly expanding scope of changes that are taking place in schooling and education. Basic principles of change, diffusion of innovations, and research findings with case studies will be examined. Systemic change and leadership during times of change will be emphasized as well. School district leaders will study how the achievement gap, poverty, and other urban educational issues impact student improvement, community perception, and school reform. The course will also examine how social dynamics, cultural differences, pedagogy, physical/social environments, and student resiliency play a part in making achievement gaps a lingering issue for educators. 3 Credits

EDU680 Advanced School Law and Policy Development

This course provides advanced information, perspective, and knowledge to educational administrators, including experienced principals and superintendents of schools. It provides administrators with the necessary state and federal legal and practical operational background that will enable them to effectively conduct school business and to operate school organizations and related environments within the constraints of the law (including constitutional, statutory, administrative, and case law). This course also provides a basic understanding of educational policy and how it is made. It focuses on the proactive requirements necessary for school administrators to be effective leaders in policy development and implementation. 3 Credits

EDU690 Differentiated and Supplemental Program

This course is designed to expose the student to the many specialized state and federal programs currently in place to assist public schools. The history and purpose of each program will be examined. Specific program requirements will be detailed for each of the major differentiated programs. Programs reviewed will include the Federal Title programs, Special Education, At Risk, professional development, technology integration, and grant-based initiatives. Upon completion of this course, students should possess the knowledge to effectively evaluate, select, and administer differentiated and supplemental programs common to school districts. 3 Credits

EDU696 Curriculum Leadership Practicum

This capstone course is designed to provide the student with application and reflective opportunities using those attitudes, skills, and behaviors learned in previous Ed.S program courses. Curriculum design and instructional leadership skills necessary for success at the central school district, administrative office, and building levels are emphasized. All written work will be developed individually. All the textbooks and references (e.g. APA Manual, 6th Edition) used earlier in the other Ed.S. program courses will be referred to, as needed, to complete to assignments in EDU 696. During the practicum, while the student completes the required assignments, they will simultaneously be completing activities (estimated to total about 15 hours) that can be counted toward com pletion of the 40 total experience hours required for the Ed.S. program. The students will be in the "field" observing, interviewing, and gathering information from instructional staff in a school building and from the administrative staff at the central office of a school district. With the guidance of the university facilitator for EDU696, the student will be exposed to, and produce, assignments involving concepts of administrative management of instructional programs and the development and monitoring of a school or district written curricula with student assessment. The final curriculum project (which will be developed during this course via several sub-assignments) will be submitted at the end of this course. This final project is a requirement for graduation and will apply previous learning and skills developed throughout the Ed.S. program for Curriculum Leadership. The final product will be archived by the university (for accreditation review) for a period of seven years. 3 Credits

Curriculum and Instruction Capstone Requirements

With the guidance of the university facilitator the student will be exposed to, and produce, assignments involving concepts of administrative management of instructional programs and the development and monitoring of school or district written curricula with student assessment. The final curriculum project will be submitted at the end of this program. All written work will be developed individually.

Next Steps

Making Education Accessible for Working Professionals

WWU programs can be brought to any community within Missouri and select communities in Arkansas. We would appreciate the opportunity to bring a degree program to your hometown. If there is interest in your area, call 1.800.995.3199 or email today!

How do I get started?

Visit us at to inquire about or apply to one of our evening programs. After you submit your information, you will be contacted by an enrollment representative to discuss the opportunities in your area.

How do I apply?

Visit us at to complete the FREE online application.

Is there a program starting near me?

To view an orientation schedule, visit us at or contact us directly at 1.800.995.3199 or

How do I register for classes?

After you have been accepted into your program of study, you will be registered for all courses listed on your cohort calendar. Your academic adviser will answer any questions about potential schedule changes once you have started the program.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid is available to most students. To start this quick and easy process, simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at, and enter the WWU school code 002525.