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Online Education Specialist (EdS) in Curriculum Leadership Degree

Not quite ready for your doctorate? Our 100% online EdS program is the perfect answer! The William Woods University Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Curriculum Leadership prepares graduates to respond to the ever-changing cultural, demographic and technological processes characteristic of the field. This convenient, affordable and 100% online graduate degree program provides the tools needed to make a positive, sustainable impact on student learning and achievement – and you can easily transition into our online EDD program without having to start over (saves both time and money!)

This degree is designed to fit the schedules of working PreK-12 teachers and can be completed in two years or less through 100% online courses taught in convenient 8-week increments. You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.

At William Woods, you will be participating in an Education graduate program known for its excellence in real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise.

Your education specialist degree at work

This program is designed for teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum directors and principals with an interest in staying current in instructional and circular issues in PreK-12 schools. As a graduate, you will be trained as a leader in the areas of curriculum construction, instructional development and assessment. You may become a curriculum, instruction or assessment leader within a school district; or a master teacher or teacher leader.

William Woods is the largest certifier of school leaders in Missouri

606 # of our graduates who are now principals and assistant principals
157 # of our graduates who are now school district administrators
90 # of our graduates who are now school superintendents


You will earn the degree by completing ten three-credit courses including a capstone practicum course, 40 hours of field work and a final curriculum project.

Courses you may take

EDU 603 - Curriculum Auditing & Mapping - 3.00

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 students will learn the necessary steps to follow to successfully implement change in curriculum writing. Students will also map a subject/course using the studied method.

EDU 605 - Issues in Curriculum Leadership - 3.00

Philosophical foundations of K-12 curriculum, and its design, implementation and evaluation are examined. Basic principles of curricular theory are introduced and applied to an examination of current curriculum issues and trends.

EDU 610 - Utilizing Statistical Procedures in Educational Research & Evaluation - 3.00

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 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.

EDU 635 - Curriculum Leadership - 3.00

Leadership skills needed to promote an active, accessible, relevant and rigorous K-12 curriculum are introduced. Students will build the capacity to transform existing curricula into one that is multicultural, diversified and inquiry-based.

EDU 645 - Application of Learning Frameworks - 3.00

Using foundations of instructional theory and the essentials of K-12 curriculum design, the student will apply learning framework models to result ina connected, active and aligned curriculum that can be applied to instructional delivery. Frameworks of inquiry, problem solving, differentiation, and core curriculum are examined for application to future design and implementation.

EDU 655 - Instruction and Assessment Design - 3.00

This course presents a dual focus on the philosophical and practical aspects of curriculum construction. Students will develop instruction that delivers understanding of content through varied processes in several context and conceptual frameworks. Understanding of course content is developed through a variety of readings, presentations, projects, and class discussion. Key topics include developing curriculum aligned to Missouri's Show-Me Standards, the historical bases for traditional subject-area curricula, alternative curriculum standards, philosophical bases of curriculum development, social and cultural issues, and future trends.

EDU 674 - Urban Issues in Curriculum and Instruction - 3.00

This course will help curriculum leaders create change in a world dominated by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). Theories of Change will be examined through the exploration of various change models. Students will examine structural barriers to equity, study how the achievement gap, poverty and other urban educational issues impact student achievement, community perceptions and school reform. This course utilizes a critical lens to 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.

EDU 681 - Advanced School Law for Teachers - 3.00

This course provides a broad legal background and helps teachers understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as, the rights of their students. This course covers preventative law as well as issues which are the greatest concern to teachers today—employment and tenure, teachers' rights, teacher discipline, teachers' legal responsibilities, negligence and defamation, students' rights, education of students with disabilities, student discipline and due process, discrimination and harassment, and religion. This course will also examine legal issues through an equity lens to help students recognize injustice and work to create a more socially just school and classroom.

EDU 691 - Supplemental Programs Supporting Instruction - 3.00

This course is designed to offer prospective curriculum leaders an introductory course in the study of the myriad of differentiated and supplemental state and federal programs. The history, purpose, procedures, requirements and financial implications of common programs impacting instruction will be examined. These programs are dynamic in nature and often reflect revisions and mandates annually as per the state and federal offices of education. Consequently, the course will be updated as changes evolve in the various programs studied. Additionally, the course facilitator may provide updated information regarding programs listed and/or new programs initiated. Course content focuses on state and federal educational programs dating back to the historic 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Title I program within this Act has become the largest source of federal aid to elementary and secondary schools. This course will also examine current state supplemental programs from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and other evidence-based programs. Emphasis is placed on developing a broad-based understanding of the myriad of programs available to support the needs of students and schools. Often, these supplemental and differentiated programs directly impact the curriculum and instruction available in schools. Upon completion of this course, students will have gained the knowledge needed to assist in the effective administration of state and federal differentiated and supplemental programs. In addition, this course will review and reflect on efforts DESE and Missouri school leaders are making to ensure our classrooms are led by effective educators who are equipped to support all students in becoming college and career ready. Students will become familiar with DESE’s recently created plan to recruit, prepare and retain effective teachers for all public schoolchildren in the state, especially in high-poverty, high-minority or rural districts.

EDU 696 - Curriculum Leadership Practicum - 3.00

This 3-credit hour (six week) 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 curricular design and instructional leadership skills necessary for success at the central school district and administrative office and building levels. All written work will be developed individually, although required textbooks for this course. Rather, all the textbooks and references (i.e. APA Manual, 5th 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 fifteen hours) that can be counted toward completion 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 moitoring 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 six-week course. This final project is a requirement for graduation and will apply previous learning and skills developed throughout this Ed.S. program for Instructional Leadership. The final product will be archived by the University (for accreditation review) for a period of seven years.


Note: The Ed.S. in Curriculum Leadership requirements are not aligned with any DESE certification. This degree program is not an avenue for principal or superintendent certification.


  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts (3.0 GPA or higher) mailed from the college/university you graduated from

Your digital classroom. Available anywhere.

William Woods online graduate education programs are available to students across the country. In Missouri, our students come from Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly, Springfield, Ozark, Cape Girardeau, Rolla and many more locations. Beyond Missouri, our online graduates hail from California, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Arkansas and other states.

Our graduate education programs are available online and are ranked among the best online programs in Missouri by US News and World Report.

William Woods in the real world

Many of our graduates hold leadership positions in Missouri’s schools. All of them are great teachers.


What separates William Woods University is the quality of our instructors. They’re successful school leaders from around the state, actually out there doing what we’re teaching others to do.

— James C. Head, Director of Administrative Field Experience

Admissions Information

Learn more about graduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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