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Professional Leadership, EdS - Adult, Career and Technical Education Option

Career and Technical Education Degree - Specialist in Educational Leadership (EdS)

The University of Central Missouri’s EdS in Professional Leadership - Adult, Career and Technical Education option is geared toward master’s degree-holders working in education-based or career training roles. 

As a CTE teacher or training program leader, you’ll learn how to better prepare adult learners or career and technical education students for a diverse range of careers that require specialized skills in your area of expertise. This graduate degree also bolsters your skill set, positioning you for higher-level jobs in career and technical education at academic institutions.

Whatever your career goals, you can tailor UCM’s Specialist degree in Education to meet your needs. We’ll even work with you to customize a program of study that will qualify you for CTE certifications in professional teaching and administration.

A flexible Specialist degree in Education program with online and hybrid options

This professional education degree is offered online or as a hybrid program. UCM’s program flexibility allows you to pursue your Specialist in Educational Leadership on your own schedule.

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Earn CTE professional certifications

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Bridge to EdD at Murray State University

CAEP accreditation logo

Accredited by the CAEP

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Hands-on research opportunities

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Credit for external CTE training

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Online and hybrid options

What you will study

Choose graduate courses that align with your goals and career field. UCM’s dynamic curriculum offers career and technical education degree-seekers a variety of options in leadership, educational program development, research methods and data analysis. Sharpen your skills and develop your instincts in advanced classes such as:

  • Data Analysis for Career & Technical Education
  • Curriculum Development Theory in Career and Technical Education
  • Quantitative Analysis and Interpretation
  • Qualitative Research 

Our professional education degree program culminates with a final capstone requirement. We’ll help you carry out a valuable research project or thesis that showcases your CTE skills and strengthens your resume for the competitive job market after graduation. Previous capstones have focused on topics such as how to meet the needs of apprentices with learning difficulties, the perception of weapons in CTE centers and the relationship between technical skill attainment scores and the work-readiness of CTE students.

Pathway to a doctoral degree in Education

UCM’s partnership with Murray State University allows you to pursue a doctorate in Education online as part of a two-year cohort program. You’ll complete synchronous and asynchronous classes online and finish your doctoral degree more quickly with transferable credits from UCM.


Excellence in Professional Leadership

  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in adult, career and technical education

In this Specialist in Education degree program at the University of Central Missouri, you’ll benefit from hands-on learning opportunities that allow you to apply the research methods and data analysis techniques you learn in your foundation courses to your chosen discipline:

  • Internship experience: Choose to participate in an internship to enhance your graduate studies, gain job experience and build your professional network.
  • Research skills development: Hands-on research is a part of many core and elective classes in the Specialist in Educational Leadership pathway at UCM. You’ll learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of career training programs using quantitative and qualitative research techniques.
  • Credit for CTE training: UCM is one of a few universities nationwide that allow students pursuing a Specialist degree in Education to further hone their leadership and research skills by taking advantage of for-credit professional development opportunities. The Association for Career and Technical Education offers online courses through its virtual professional development platform, CTE Learn. Other programs — Project Lead the Way and Engineering by Design — provide additional learning opportunities specific to engineering and technology.


What can you do with an Education Specialist degree in Professional Leadership from UCM?

A specialist in educational leadership can serve many important roles in upper-level teaching, training and administration. With an Adult, Career and Technical Education degree focused on Professional Development from UCM, you can boost your employment opportunities and earning potential.

The advanced skills and experience you gain in educational program development, research, teaching and leadership can qualify you for senior positions as school administrators, industry educators, CTE program developers and more.

Career options for a specialist in educational leadership

Use the interactive tool below to learn more about careers with an Adult, Career and Technical Education degree, including job outlooks, earning potential and more.




Financial assistance options for your Professional Leadership EdS in Adult, Career and Technical Education degree

At the University of Central Missouri, we pride ourselves on making our programs affordable for our students. This Specialist degree in Education costs the same for all students, no matter where they live. UCM also offers several financing opportunities to help you offset the cost of your professional education degree.

Graduate students across disciplines at UCM may qualify for general, university-wide scholarships. You can learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Explore programs related to a specialist degree in education.

If you’re considering pursuing leadership and administrative roles in education, you may also be interested in the following graduate programs at UCM:



Student Learning Outcomes

You will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the Education Specialist degree in Professional Leadership - Adult, Career, and Technical Education Option program to:

  • Refine your personal philosophy statement related to your discipline/career field.
  • Identify, analyze and lead discussions on current issues related to your discipline/career field
  • Practice and lead life-long learning activities as they relate to your professional responsibilities
  • Read, interpret, conduct, and contribute scholarly research consistent with department, university, state, and federal practices
  • Apply statistical methods to interpret, describe, and infer from existing or newly generated data
  • Provide leadership to your professional, technical, and governmental organizations in your discipline/career field

Diverse Candidate Opportunities

This program serves professionals with diverse backgrounds, needs, and career goals. Examples include candidates who are:

  • Practicing teachers pursuing CTE administration skills, coursework, and professional certification
  • Non-certified teaching candidates seeking initial teacher certification (professional certification or career & technical education certification)
  • Practicing business and industry personnel needing additional education and training in their CTE-related content area
  • Community college CTE faculty wanting to expand their content knowledge
  • Future teachers earning initial teacher professional certification
  • Students with a master’s degree in education obtaining professional and/or career development


UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


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