Jessalyn Johnson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, completing the final year of her BA in English Literature. Originally from Melbourne, FL, Jessalyn has come to enjoy living in the desert of Arizona. Since freshman year she has occupied several different positions on the editorial board of GCU’s literary review, StartleBloom, which is approaching its third volume. In her free time, Jessalyn enjoys creative writing, photography, writing music and participating in the plays and musicals put on by GCU’s Ethington Theatre.
If you have decided to pursue a doctorate degree to further your teaching career, you may want to consider whether an Education Specialist (EdS) or an EdD in leadership with an emphasis in K-12 leadership is better suited for you. While an EdD is perhaps a better known degree, an EdS can be just as rewarding if it ends up being a better fit for you.
At Grand Canyon University, one major difference between these two doctorate degrees is the number of credit hours. While an EdD has 60 credits, an EdS has 30. The EdD degree also requires two residencies, while the Education Specialist does not.
Consider the other differences and benefits of earning each degree.
Why Earn an EdS Degree?
An EdS can be beneficial in many ways. With this degree, you can gain more insight into the areas in which you already work. While it may not be as useful for branching outside of your current school district, you can make that much more of a difference in your current teaching environment. An EdS degree generally helps you continue working in a classroom or school setting, focusing on educational administration and curriculum instruction.
This may not include working in strong leadership positions at the school board level, but education specialists may find themselves as a school principal or curriculum specialist in their current school of employment. If teaching is where you want to make the most difference, the specialist degree may be a better fit for what you want to do.
Why Earn an EdD Degree?
An EdD is a more course-heavy degree, but, if you have the time, energy and dedication, it can be well worth it. The EdD degree is a better fit if you are passionate about pursuing a higher level leadership position in a school district or in a higher education institution.
Those who earn an EdD degree often work in higher positions as an educator that may not include a classroom setting, but can include school board level leadership, such as superintendent or program director. There are also many different emphases that GCU offers in its doctorate in leadership programs, including special education and K-12 leadership. If educational leadership is your calling, the EdD may prove to be a better fit for you.
Whether the EdS or the EdD is the degree for you, Grand Canyon University offers your doctorate online. The EdD degree is also available through evening classes. While both degrees are of a major benefit as an educator, it’s best to work with an enrollment representative to choose the right degree for your personal goals and needs.
To learn more about earning a doctorate degree from Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies, contact us to request more information from an enrollment representative.
Written by Jessalyn Johnson, a freshman majoring in English literature at GCU.