- Academic Programs
- Educational Administration
- Ed.S. in Educational Administration Superintendent Preparation Program
Ed.S. in Educational Administration Superintendent Preparation Program
Long recognized for excellence in the preparation of school superintendents, our Ed.S. program is the first in the state to match new standards mandated by the Illinois General Assembly. Our graduates join a significant number of alumni regarded as visionary leaders in education, applying research-informed knowledge and skills to foster continuous improvement in the academic environments they manage. Our program spans two full years with two courses each semester (fall, spring and summer) in organizational theory; leadership theory; school finance and facilities management; and current trends in educational research.
Applicants must have at least two years of experience on a current and valid administrative endorsement as well as current employment in the Illinois school districts where they will complete their internships. Admission decisions are made by faculty and are based on the total profile of each applicant.
Credits earned in the Ed.S. program are transferable into the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Be sure to contact your current school district about the availability of tuition vouchers or professional development funds that can be used for continuing education.
Recognizing that many of our students are full-time working professionals, our Ed.S. program is offered in a cohort format with convenient evening classes. We rotate cohort offerings between our main campus in DeKalb and our satellite campuses in Rockford, Hoffman Estates and Naperville. Courses are offered in a traditional classroom setting but might require additional online components.
Our Ed.S. program is newly designed with one goal in mind: to prepare visionary leaders with the skills, knowledge and professional disposition to effectively implement and manage an educational environment that uses evidence of student learning to drive continuous school improvement. Every aspect of the program, from the admission process to the submission of the capstone portfolio, supports this objective – and we are the first in Illinois to comply with the updated state standards. Although we recognize that most of our graduates will pursue work as K-12 public school administrators, the material and experiences we provide also equips students to work in higher education, educational policy and the nonprofit sector.
Requirements for the superintendent endorsement include:
- Master's degree awarded by a regionally accredited institution of higher education
- Complete a state approved, Illinois program, approved for the preparation of superintendents
- Two years of full-time administrative or supervisory experience in schools.
- The superintendent endorsement shall not be issued as the individual's first endorsement.
- You must pass state required content area exam(s)
Submit a degree-seeking application online at go.niu.edu/gradapply. Be sure to select Educational Administration (Ed.S.).
You will need to include the following items:
- Three letters of recommendation—provide the names and emails of three references
- They will be sent a link via email to complete an electronic recommendation form
- Goal/personal statement—please discuss your education, professional progress, goals and reasons for applying
- Official transcripts—the application portal allows you to temporarily upload unofficial copies but you will need to submit official copies. If sent electronically they should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Official GRE score report—the GRE test score requirement can be waived if you have a master’s degree from accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Please contact the LEPF department for more information.
- Current resumé
Our cohort-based model enables you to learn from top practitioners and engaged faculty while also establishing the professional networks necessary to succeed in your job. The coursework requires you to engage with the current issues facing district leaders as well as research and trends in the Illinois educational context. You also participate in a three-semester internship which provides first-hand experience of the work of district superintendents.
- LEEA 700 Nature and Theory of Administration (3)
- LEEA 710 The Superintendency (3)
- LEEA 745 Survey of Research in Educational Administration (3)
- LEEA 754 Politics of Educational Administration (3)
- LEEA 725 Education Law II (3)
- LEEA 735 Supervisory Behavior and Contract Management (3)
- LEEA 735 Administration and Supervision of Educational Personnel
- LEEA 786 (A) Superintendent Internship, Part 1 (3)
- LEEA 720 Education Finance and Asset Management (3)
- LEEA 786 (B) Superintendent Internship, Part 2 (2)
- LEEA 727 Multi-tiered Systems of Support (3)
- LEEA 786 (C) Superintendent Internship, Part 3 (1)
By the Numbers
One out of every five superintendents in Illinois is an NIU graduate.
239 of our alumni hold prestigious positions throughout our home state:
- Regional or state superintendents: 8
- Deputy superintendents: 4
- Superintendents: 150
- Assistant or associate superintendents: 77
"I consistently recommend the NIU College of Education because of the personal feel and high expectations. As someone who hires teacher-candidates, I know that NIU graduates will likely be able to handle the rigors of teaching. NIU graduates are prepared to be exceptional candidates in the field and often are leaders in the profession."by Tim Vincent, Principal, Clinton Rosette Middle School, DeKalb Community Unit School District 428
"After an outstanding experience seeking a NIU master’s degree in Educational Administration, I returned to be a Huskie to begin my journey of seeking my Ed.S. and currently am working toward my Ed.D. There was no question where I would seek my doctorate. NIU provides top-notch professors who are active in research and have experience in application, which has greatly assisted me in growing my own skills in serving as an educational leader for all stakeholders."by Teresa Polson, Principal, Jane Addams Middle School, Valley View Community Unit School District 365
- Educational Administration
Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations
David Snow, Graduate Advisor