April 27, 2021

Purdue offering stand-alone hybrid graduate program leading to Indiana school superintendent’s license

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — School administrators at the principal or assistant principal level and others interested in becoming licensed to serve as a school superintendent in Indiana have a new option for making that leap.

Purdue University is promoting a new version of its Educational Specialist graduate degree program, a step beyond a master’s in education that qualifies individuals for licensure as a K-12 superintendent in the state.

Individuals can now earn the Educational Specialist degree alone as a terminal degree or earn it in concert with earning a doctorate. Or, if they start the Educational Specialist program and then decide to pursue a doctorate, they can use 30 credits from the Educational Specialist degree toward their doctorate. The credits must be earned at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus to apply to a doctorate.

The Educational Specialist program is aimed at licensed building-level administrators, generally meaning principals and assistant principals, who have master’s degrees and some experience, although not necessarily limited to them, said Marilyn Hirth, associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies.

The program follows a hybrid model. Students will meet in West Lafayette on one Saturday at the beginning and at the end of the semester. Other than that, individuals meet in an online teleconference one evening a week and interact through the online course management system, when and where it works for them.

“We’ve created a program that fits the needs of the working administrator,” said Alice Johnson, clinical assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies.

The new version of the Educational Specialist program will kick off in the fall of 2021 and have an annual fall semester start in subsequent years. The degree can be completed and district-level licensure achieved in 2 1/2 years, Hirth said. Students must complete 30 hours of coursework and a three-credit project. Tuition and curriculum-related fees are $450 a credit hour.

While the program is designed to satisfy Indiana school superintendent licensure requirements, other states may accept the degree on a reciprocal basis. Out-of-state students should check with their states before enrolling.

Students complete core courses in educational leadership covering such topics as educational policy and decision-making; business management; qualitative research methods; quantitative data analysis; leading community collaboration and development; and administering special education and gifted, creative, and talented programs, among other things. Many of the classes include one-credit internships working with a mentor on projects in students’ own district or nearby school systems.

“The projects that they do are meaningful for the advancement of their school corporation and their careers,” Johnson said. “We try to create win-win projects for the internships.”

The hybrid Educational Specialist degree is offered by Purdue’s College of Education, Department of Educational Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program through the Purdue Graduate School and Purdue Online. Purdue’s educational administration programs are ranked in the top 10 percent of universities around the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Those in the program also receive, at no charge, an All Access Pass to the massive collection of professional and leadership development resources from FranklinCovey that they can use in pursuing their degree, advancing their careers, and having on-demand rich professional development at their fingertips to offer their own schools.

“That is something they could not get from any other university right now,” Johnson said.

To learn more visit, Purdue’s Educational Specialist degree website and request further information.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-426-8545, gkline@purdue.edu

Sources: Marilyn Hirth, mahirth@purdue.edu

Alice Johnson, alicejohnson@purdue.edu

LaMonica Williams, will2334@purdue.edu

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.