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Executive Educational Leadership Program

Degree Offered: Education Specialist in Executive Educational Leadership (EdS)

Program Overview:  Bridge the divide between theory and practice while working closely with a network of leaders from across Idaho. This 5 semester Educational Specialist degree is an innovative, cohort-based program that will prepare candidates for Idaho Superintendent Certification and central office leadership positions. It is designed to meet the needs of mid-career K-12 professionals.  The program schedule is designed to be working-professional friendly. During the academic year, class sessions are conducted one consecutive Friday and Saturday per month, and eight days in the summer months.

Tuition is a flat fee of $420 per credit (for both resident and non-residents). The program is eligible for financial aid please see the Funding Graduate College page for more information.  Note, because this program is a self-support program we are able to offer lower tuition, but it is not eligible for any state waivers.

Our rejuvenating program allows you to pursue an advanced degree while still continuing your full-time work.  This model provides our graduates with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to make a powerful influence in education policy and practice.

For more information on our Educational Specialist degree:

EdS Information Pamphlet

EdS Handbook updated Fall 2018

Program at a Glance

Course numberCourse titleCredits
ED-CIFS 676Foundations of Leading Complex Educational Organizations 6
ED-CIFS 677Leading continuous System-wide Improvement of Learning 6
ED-CIFS 678The Superintendency and Executive Level Leadership: Theory and Research 6
ED-CIFS 679The Superintendency and Executive Level Leadership: Clinical Experience 6
ED-CIFS 680The Superintendency and Executive Level Leadership: Capstone Course 6

Starting Term: Fall

Credit Hours: 30

Priority Application Deadline: February 1st

**Prospective students are encouraged to submit applications by the priority deadline.  We will continue to accept applications after this date, but space is limited in the cohort.

Application & Admission requirements

Submit an online graduate application along with the application fee to the Graduate Admissions Office. To go to the Graduate College admission website Learn more about how to apply to the Graduate College here.
The online application will require:
  • A cover letter discussing your professional goals and reasons for applying to the Executive Educational Leadership Program
  • Two letters of recommendation – one from an immediate supervisor in support of the candidate’s participation in the program and one from someone who can speak to the candidate’s leadership ability and/or potential

Send in official transcripts to the Graduate Admissions and Degree Services

Admission to a cohort as an Executive Educational Leader Candidate will be based on the applicant’s current qualifications, perceived potential capabilities and level of commitment.

For certification purposes candidates must have four (4) years of full-time certificated/licensed experience working with Pre-K-12 students while under contract in an accredited school setting.


  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA in previous graduate studies
  • A completed Master’s degree

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. The Executive Educational Leadership faculty will conduct interviews and make decisions for admissions based on a comprehensive review of the candidate’s application materials

Program Contact Info

Program Coordinator:
Dr. Heather Williams, Ph.D.
Boise State University
College of Education, CIFS, Room E-438
1910 University Drive
Boise, Idaho 83705-1745

Tel: (208) 426-2234


Lead Faculty – Dr. Heather Williams
Assistant Professor
Curriculum, Instruction and Foundation Studies Department
College of Education
Boise State University

Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Foundational Studies at Boise State University. She came to Boise State the fall of 2014 to help launch the program and lead the first cohort.
Williams has spent over twenty-five years in Idaho public education serving as a teacher, coach, building administrator, district administrator, professor, school improvement consultant and as a district superintendent. Dr. Williams served multiple years as the Legislative Chair of the Idaho Association of School Administrators and served as a regional officer for the Idaho School Superintendents Association.

Dr. Williams is joined by over 30 different faculty, instructors, and guest speakers during the 5 semester program.  We bring together the best ensemble to meet the changing needs of each cohort and the learning required of today’s system leaders.  Faculty are from across the College of Education, School of Public Policy, as well as adjuncts that are exemplary practitioners. The program brings in numerous guest instructors: dozens of current superintendents and industry leaders, as well as leaders from Idaho Business for Education, state policy makers and legislators, and others that help shape Idaho’s future school system leaders.  The program takes multiple field trips and retreats across the state to study the diversity of school settings and systems.

Success Stories

Our program started in 2014 with our first cohort graduating in May 2016.  Many of our graduates have gone on to be superintendents, assistant superintendents, or central office directors.  Out of all our graduates 76% see career advancements within one year of graduation.

Students evaluate all courses very favorably with many courses and instructors being rated 5 out of 5!  Even if you don’t consider the superintendency your next career stop, we think you’ll still find the program useful to your practice. Students report that the program is “rejuvenating” “life altering” “best educational experience” “useful for a classroom teacher too” “hidden gem” “life line I needed as a principal” and more.

We also offer a 3 credit professional development course that meets the administrative certificate renewal requirement:

Course: Supervision and Evaluation Using the Idaho Framework for Teacher Evaluations

Dates/Times: Jan. 14 – May 3, 2019
Location: Fully Online
Professional Development Credits: 1- 3
Cost: $330 for 3 credits or $110 per credit

Description:  This course will focus on the critical role of effective instructional supervision and evaluation in Idaho. Uses a variety of interactive exercises to assist in the development of practical skills for supervision and evaluation, as well as examine current issues and best practices. Participants will develop competency in Idaho’s Framework for Teacher Evaluations.
Supervision and evaluation strategies, skills, and techniques, as well as requirements under Idaho laws, rules, and policies, will be explored. Course meets re-certification requirements under Idaho Code. There is a 1,2 or 3 credit option. They all will be enrolled in the same course.

Content for the course will be in the Blackboard system.  You MUST use and check your Boise State email for information regarding this class after registration. If you need assistance to get your username and student ID to access your myboisestate account please contact our customer support team at (208) 426-1709.