Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Curriculum and Instruction, Education Specialist

The Education Specialist (EdS) degree in Curriculum and Instruction (ESCI) at GardnerWebb University is a 54-credit-hour program for advanced candidates aspiring to leadership roles that promote high-impact learning by empowering people within communities to nourish innovation through facilitated collaboration and continuous improvement. Candidates experience ESCI program course modules within a cohort model progressing through coursework as a team and building relationships crucial to the goals of collaboration and continuous improvement. Upon completion of program coursework and related evidences and passing scores on the Praxis II Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision (5411) assessment, candidates may be recommended for S-level North Carolina licensure as a Curriculum Instructional Specialist. All components of the program are aligned to the Teacher Leader Model Standards (TLMS) published by the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium (2012). These standards are aligned to Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards and to the revised Interstate Teacher Assessment and Standards Consortium (InTASC) standards.The TLMS can be accessed at

Program Goals

As a result of participating in the EdS in Curriculum and Instruction program, candidates will:

1. foster a collaborative culture to support educator development and student learning;

2. access and use research to improve practice and student learning;

3. promote professional learning for continuous improvement;

4. facilitate improvements in instruction and student learning;

5. promote the use of assessments and data for school and district improvement;

6. improve outreach and collaboration with families and community; and

7. advocate for student learning and the profession.

Student Learning Outcomes

EdS in Curriculum and Instruction candidates will:

1a. demonstrate effective leadership, collaboration, coaching, and mentoring skills with colleagues;

1b. lead efforts to promote an educational culture that focuses on learning for all students;

2a. lead efforts to share research-based best practices to foster improved practice and student learning;

2b. incorporate research on curriculum and adult learning in order to lead others effectively in improving student learning;

3a. lead efforts to promote an educational culture that develops reflective teacher-leaders who are data-informed agents of change;

3b. identify, summarize, and apply current research on characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results;

4a. mentor others on effective design and delivery of instruction;

4b. promote instructional strategies that address issues of diversity and equity in the classroom;

5a. identify, summarize, and apply current research related to accessing and utilizing various forms of data to inform decision-making;

5b. lead efforts to promote an educational culture that utilizes multiple measures of formative and summative assessment to improve student learning;

5c. demonstrate leadership skills in development and implementation of action plans based on identified needs;

6a. identify, summarize, and apply current research related to family and community engagement;

6b. lead efforts to improve family and community engagement within a site or district;

7a. value an educational culture that recognizes the importance of collaborative decision-making that advocates for positive change; and

7b. advocate for improved student learning as well as for the education profession.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the EdS in Curriculum and Instruction and the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Curriculum and Instruction are the same.

At the successful completion of the first 54 credit hours in the program, all candidates may apply for NC S-level licensure as a Curriculum-Instructional Specialist and have the choice of completing and receiving their EdS degree or continuing on in dissertation hours to work towards their EdD. If a candidate chooses to receive their EdS, no courses taken in the program can apply toward an EdD.

Admission requirements are the following.

1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all post-baccalaureate work completed;
2. Minimum of three years of successful teacher-leadership experience;
3. Current teaching license or a letter indicating appropriate experience;
4. Three professional recommendations from persons, at least one of whom must be an administrator or at the central-office level, who know the applicant’s work as an educator or graduate  student;
5. Satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT, current within the previous five years OR the completion of a master's degree program from the School of Education at Gardner-Webb University OR the completion of an add-on licensure program at the master's level through the School of Education at Gardner-Webb University;
6. Personal essay explaining the applicant’s purpose in wanting to earn an educational specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and
7. Internship Supervision Form and Cohort Form.

Course Requirements (54 hours)

EDCI 730Theory Development


EDCI 732Issues and Models in Curriculum


EDCI 734Reform and Change Theory


EDCI 736Research Design and Methods


EDCI 738Curriculum Assessment and Evaluation


EDCI 740Instructional Leadership


EDUC 731Dissertation Coaching/Clinical Experience Seminar


EDUC 733Dissertation Coaching/Clinical Experience Seminar


EDUC 735Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar


EDUC 737Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar


EDUC 739Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar


EDUC 741Dissertation Chairing/Clinical Experience Seminar


Candidates in the program will be supported from their first semester in engaging in the process of developing a dissertation proposal and/or a research topic. This work supports candidates in understanding of research method and process. At the conclusion of the 54-hour coursework, candidates may choose to graduate with their EdS degree or continue on into dissertation hours and pursue their EdD. Students who choose to pursue their EdD may, at any point, also choose to end their studies and graduate with an EdS. Once a student graduates with their EdS degree, no EDCI courses may be applied to an EdD degree.

Total Credit Hours: 54