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The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences:
Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation) Program

Walden University’s Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation) program is approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators as a principal preparation program that leads to P–12 Principal Licensure in Minnesota, as well as the Ohio Board of Regents as a principal preparation program that leads to Building Level Principal Licenses (grades PreK–6, grades 4–9, and grades 5–12). With curriculum aligned to key professional organizations such as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the Minnesota Board of School Administrators, principal candidates can expect a learning experience that is based on established standards by respected organizations.

This program will prepare principal candidates to become exemplary, well-informed school leaders who can manage complex educational issues, evaluate and improve instructional programs, develop diverse school personnel, and create a shared strategic vision, as well as encourage and inspire students, staff, families, and the community to provide a safe and secure learning environment. This unique, scholar-practitioner program is grounded in research and provides authentic school leadership experiences that will lead to the successful development of principal candidates.


Walden is approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators and by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to offer a program leading to initial principal licensure. Candidates must select if they wish to pursue Minnesota or Ohio licensure requirements before the end of their first course in the program. Candidates seeking licensure in Minnesota or Ohio are responsible for completing any other Minnesota or Ohio requirements beyond Walden's state-approved program. The Minnesota Board of School Administrators or the Ohio Department of Higher Education is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses.

Individuals interested in licensure in states other than Minnesota or Ohio may qualify by virtue of completing a state-approved educator preparation program; however, individuals must review their state's regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. Individuals who reside in certain states may be ineligible to enroll in this program. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure questions however, it remains the individual's responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure.

Learning Outcomes

All EdS graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Apply discipline-specific knowledge to address issues in educational settings.
  2. Apply evidence-based practices to address a problem within the academic and/or work environment and propose a solution.
  3. Communicate information to a variety of stakeholders using oral and written formats.
  4. Practice ethically as a professional in the field of education.
  5. Collaborate with diverse stakeholders to promote continuous improvement in educational settings.
  6. Advocate for social change to make a positive impact in educational settings.

In addition to the shared EdS learning outcomes above, Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation) graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Lead initiatives that evaluate and improve instructional programs.
  2. Effectively manage all personnel and provide ongoing evaluation and professional development in teaching and learning.
  3. Create a strategic plan using a visioning process to be shared and supported by all stakeholders.
  4. Use data to effectively manage the organization and resources for a safe, secure, and effective learning environment.
  5. Address community interests and diverse needs through communicating and collaborating with internal and external publics.
  6. Articulate the school’s role within the broader political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context and respond effectively to changes that impact the school community.
  7. Model democratic value systems, ethics, and moral leadership; support others to grow and develop as caring and informed citizens.

Degree Requirements

  • 36 total semester credits
  • Foundation course (3 semester credits)
  • Core courses (27 semester credits)
  • Field Experience* courses (6 semester credits)
  • ePortfolio

*Note: In addition to Walden’s general technical requirements, candidates must have access to technology (i.e., scanner or camera) that allows them to electronically submit signed documents verifying their field experience hours.


Foundation Course (3 credits)

Core Courses (27 semester credits)

Field Experience Courses (6 semester credits)

Course Sequence

Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Semester Course Credits
Semester 1

EDUC 7002 - Foundations: Educational Leadership and Administration

3 semester credits

EDUC 7200 - Teaching and Learning for School Leaders

3 semester credits
Semester 2

EDUC 7201 - Communication and Collaboration for Leaders

3 semester credits

EDUC 7202 - Ensuring Quality Education for Students With Diverse Needs

3 semester credits

EDUC 7801 - Field Experience

1 semester credits
Semester 3

EDUC 7203 - Policy and Law in School Organizations

3 semester credits

EDUC 7802 - Field Experience

1 semester credits

EDUC 7204 - Using Data to Strengthen Schools

3 semester credits

EDUC 7803 - Field Experience

1 semester credits
Semester 4

EDUC 7205 - Budgeting and Allocating Resources

3 semester credits

EDUC 7804 - Field Experience

1 semester credits

EDUC 7206 - Creating Positive, Safe, and Effective Learning Environments

3 semester credits

EDUC 7805 - Field Experience

1 semester credits
Semester 5

EDUC 7207 - Leading Curriculum Initiatives: Literacy and Math

3 semester credits

EDUC 7806 - Field Experience

1 semester credits

EDUC 7208 - Recruiting, Evaluating, and Retaining School Personnel

3 semester credits


Walden University requires that all candidates in its principal preparation program review the Candidate Handbook and the Field Experience Handbook in order to help them understand the guidelines and requirements of the program.

Candidates can access both handbooks (PDF) from their ePortfolio. Candidates enrolled in the principal preparation program should refer to the Candidate Handbook for complete information on the program and other university policies and procedures related to the program’s specializations. Candidates should refer to the Field Experience Handbook for detailed information regarding the field experience requirements in the program.