The Curriculum Studies Education Specialist Program encourages educators to reflect on and strengthen their own practice and to challenge themselves and their colleagues to work effectively for social justice and educational excellence. Students use critical reflection to improve practice, engage in rigorous theoretical inquiry, and identify, address, and build coalitions around opportunities and problems in education.
The EdS is situated between our existing master’s and doctoral degrees. It allows students wishing to continue their professional development to pursue classwork toward an advanced degree without the additional requirement of extensive, specialized training in research design and methods. Unlike almost all doctoral degrees, specialist degrees do not typically require a dissertation. Therefore, EdS students are not expected to engage in the in-depth research, analysis, and extensive conceptual and empirical framing required to research, write, and defend a dissertation.
Graduates of the EdS Program may enter a new career or strengthen their current position in schools, universities or community organizations. Potential professional opportunities for Education Specialists include adjunct and part-time faculty in higher education; curriculum specialists, directors of assessment, directors of instruction, and curriculum directors; P-12 teachers and teacher leaders, coaches, and mentors; and deans, administrators, and principals.
Licensures and Endorsements
Superintendent Endorsement Option
Students pursuing an EdS degree in Curriculum Studies are also eligible for the Superintendent Endorsement program, which requires additional coursework, along with four quarter hours for the superintendent internship course. ISBE states the following guidelines:
Individuals seeking the Superintendent endorsement must possess:
- a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
- proof of two years of teaching experience on a valid Illinois teaching license
- proof of two years of full-time administrative experience on a valid administrative license with the general administrative endorsement
- proof of passing the Basic Skills/TAP and Superintendent content-area tests.
Upon completion of the Superintendent program and the endorsement’s additional requirements, students must apply for the endorsement. Students are to work with the College of Education’s Licensure Officer when applying for the endorsement.
Teacher Leader Endorsement Option
Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Curriculum Studies are also eligible for the Teacher Leader Endorsement option, which requires additional coursework. To be eligible for the Teacher Leader endorsement program, students must possess:
- a bachelor’s degree and master's degree from an accredited college or university,
- a valid teaching license
- at least two years of teaching experience
- proof of passing the Basic Skills or Test of Academic Proficiency.
Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Curriculum Studies are also eligible for the Principal Licensure program, which requires additional coursework. The Principal Licensure program at DePaul University is an approved Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) program. It is a rigorous program preparing principals and assistant principals for work service in public and private schools in the state of Illinois.
To be eligible for the Principal Licensure program, students must possess:
- a master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.75 or higher at the undergraduate level and a 3.25 or higher at the graduate level.
- a valid Illinois teaching license
- at least two years of full-time successful teaching experience
- proof of passing the basic skills or test of academic proficiency.
- Curriculum Studies (degree only)
- Curriculum Studies plus Superintendent Endorsement
- Curriculum Studies plus Teacher Leader Endorsement
- Curriculum Studies plus Principal Licensure