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Online EdS in Instructional Leadership

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Strengthen Your Leadership Potential as an Education Specialist

100% Online

1 Year

30 Credit Hours

$465 per Credit (In-State)

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Build Expertise as an Educational Leader

Having the right skill set in instructional leadership can make all the difference. Through the online Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership program from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), you’ll build on your current knowledge to develop leadership skills through practical experience.

This program is fully online so you can study at times convenient for you. Our expert instructors have experience in the field and will be there to help you prepare for a higher certification.

Teacher Certification Options

By earning your Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership degree at AUM, you’ll prepare yourself to advance from Class A to Class AA certification. Upon completion of this online program, you can submit your application to the Alabama State Department of Education.

Certification requirements vary by state. Be sure to review the requirements for the location where you plan to teach after completing your program.

Certification Details

Program Details

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Develop Practical Skills Through Online Courses

10 Courses

Class AA Preparation

AUM’s online EdS in Instructional Leadership program has been developed to deepen your understanding of key leadership principles in education. The courses in this degree focus on a variety of practical topics such as instructional improvement through shared leadership, problem analysis, cultural issues of families in distress, and more. By studying with our expert instructors, you’ll improve your knowledge of managing learning environments and enhancing instruction.

Course Highlights

  • Advanced Study of Consultation and Collaboration
  • Advanced Study of Teaching Mathematics and Reading Skills
  • Cultural Issues of Families in Distress
  • Multicultural Ed: Addressing Prejudice and Discrimination
Curriculum Details

Get Started With Your EdS in Instructional Leadership Degree

Application Deadline 08/12/24 Fall 2024 Semester

Start Date 08/19/24 Fall 2024 Semester

Applying to the EdS in Instructional Leadership program at AUM is easy. You can apply with no previous GRE testing and can also submit up to 12 credit hours with the department’s discretion. Check out the chart below for more information on the admissions process.

Online Application FormApply Now
Application Fee$25
Degree and Minimum GPAApplicants to the EdS in Instructional Leadership program must hold a master’s degree and have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
TranscriptsOfficial transcripts of all completed coursework from your previous college experience.
Additional RequirementsClass A Professional Educator Certificate in Instructional Leadership or one of the other Class A leadership certificate designations.
Transfer CreditsTransfer up to 12 credit hours. Request information for details.

AUM offers rolling admissions, so it’s always a great time to apply. If you have questions, request information to connect with our admissions team.

Admissions Details

An Online Education Specialist Degree That Won’t Break the Bank

The EdS in Instructional Leadership degree at AUM is a cost-effective way to continue your education, advance to a Class AA certificate, and become a higher earner. Our online programs offer high quality at competitive prices, which is why we ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Value Schools.2 You can find out more about our tuition in the chart below.

Cost per Credit Hour$465 for Alabama residents and $511 for non-residents
Total Number of Credit Hours30
Total Estimated Cost, Minus Fees$13,950 – $15,330
Additional Fees
  • Technology fee: $10/credit hour
  • Online fee: $40/credit hour
  • Administrative service fee: $35/semester
Other Costs to Budget ForYou may have costs in addition to tuition, such as textbooks, supplies and fees. Take these into consideration as you budget for your degree.

Military Benefits

Auburn University at Montgomery is proud to support the educational goals of military veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, guardsmen, and their families. We participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, and Military Friendly® ranked us among the Top 10 schools for 2023-2024. Moreover, our Veteran and Military Resource Center offers an array of resources for fostering a smooth admissions process and online student experience.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At AUM, we strive to make your online degree program as affordable as possible, with cost-effective tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA® form to determine your financial aid eligibility — the school code for Auburn University at Montgomery is 008310.

Tuition Details

Earn Your Class AA Certification in Alabama

By earning your online Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership degree at AUM, you’ll prepare yourself to advance from a Class A certification to a Class AA certification, increasing your earning potential and level of expertise.

Certification requirements vary from state to state, but Alabama standards comprise of three different certification levels. Below, you can see what minimum education is required for each level in Alabama.

  • Class B: Bachelor’s degree
  • Class A: Traditional or alternative master’s degree
  • Class AA: Education Specialist degree

How to Obtain Class AA Certification

Once you’ve earned your Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership degree from AUM, you’ll be eligible to apply for a Class AA certification in Alabama. This process is done through our College of Educator’s Teacher Certification Office.

You’ll need to meet these requirements to earn Class AA certification through AUM’s traditional EdS in Instructional Leadership program:

  • A valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate in the same teaching field(s) used as a basis for admission to the Class AA program.
  • A survey of special education course is required unless that course was taken for prior level certification. An individual who completed a survey of special education course must take a diversity course that focuses on methods of accommodating instruction to meet the needs of students with disabilities in inclusive settings, multicultural education, teaching English language learners, rural education, or urban education. A course used to meet this requirement for one level of certification may not be used to meet the requirement for a higher level of certification.
  • Satisfactory completion of a state-approved program with a minimum GPA of 3.50 on all courses on the approved program plan will be required.
  • Successful completion of a practicum shall be required for initial certification in a special education teaching field.

At the present time, there is no testing requirement for Class AA certification for teachers except for teachers who earn initial Class AA certification as a collaborative special education teacher (K-6) or (6-12). Such teachers must meet the Alabama State Department’s Praxis II requirements.

Group of teachers on a bench

Take Your Career Further with an Online EdS

Finding new pathways in your chosen career can sometimes be a challenge. By earning your EdS in Instructional Leadership at AUM, you’ll prepare yourself for advancement to a higher certificate level and a stronger understanding of important concepts in education.

You’ll also have access to support through the Career Development Center, which exists to educate, empower, and create opportunities for your future success.

Exciting Careers in Instructional Leadership

Assistant Principal $88,816 per year3

Instructional Coach $60,508 per year4

Program Outcomes

In the EdS in Instructional Leadership program, you’ll strengthen your skills in leadership, communication, classroom policies, and more to become an expert in the field of education. With a focus on shared leadership, you will improve collaborative skills that can be applied to a wide range of learning situations. You’ll also gain more specific knowledge through detailed coursework, such as an awareness of ethical practices and legal policies during the “District-Based Field Experience” assignment.

What You’ll Learn

Jana Sparks

Dr. Jana Sparks

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jana Sparks, Program Coordinator

Dr. Jana Sparks is an assistant professor of Instructional Leadership and a member of the Counselor, Leadership, and Special Education department in the College of Education at Auburn University at Montgomery. Dr. Sparks joined the faculty after 17 years in public school systems. In the public school setting, Dr. Sparks served as a principal, assistant principal, and new teacher mentoring program coordinator, and she has taught a variety of grade levels in K-12.

Dr. Sparks has published and presented research related to new teacher mentoring programs, quality staff development, and innovative leadership practices, which are her key research interests. She teaches a variety of master’s and Educational Specialist courses that provide opportunities for future leaders and instructional leaders to enhance their personal and professional careers.

Dr. Sparks is also an active member of the Alabama Association of Professors of Educational Leadership and participates on many committees. She is currently serving as the Program Coordinator for the Instructional Leadership program. Her commitment to education is noted by the following awards and recognitions: Valdosta State University Alumni, Graduate of the Last Decade award, and Auburn University Montgomery College of Education Outstanding Service Award.

A Quality Experience for Online Learners

Earn your degree online from Auburn University at Montgomery to experience a quality education with the flexibility to succeed in class and your career. You can complete your coursework using your laptop or mobile device with opportunities to study when and where it’s convenient.

  • Academic support: Access online advising and tutoring
  • Career services: Prepare to succeed after graduation
  • Help desk: Get technical assistance for your program
Discover AUM Online

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  1. Military Friendly®. “Auburn University at Montgomery.” Retrieved January 18, 2024, from
  2. U.S. News & World Report. “Auburn University at Montgomery Rankings.” Retrieved January 18, 2024, from
  3. “Assistant School Principal Salary in Alabama.” Retrieved February 28, 2024, from
  4. “Instructional Coach Salaries in Alabama.” Retrieved February 28, 2024, from