Through its focus on curriculum and instruction, the Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in the Berry College Charter School of Education and Human Sciences aspires to develop and strengthen the professional leadership role of teachers and administrators in the schools. The program addresses the Berry College mission to educate the head, the heart and the hands, and will also epitomize the model of teachers as developers of human potential.
The Education Specialist program strives to develop these standards in all educators:
- The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful. Area of the Head - Promote Reflection and Decision Making
- The teacher understands how children learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development. Area of the Head - Promote Reflection and Decision Making
- The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted for diverse learners. Area of the Heart - Enhance Self and Social Awareness
- The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student's development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. Area of the Hands - Facilitate Learning
- The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interactions, active encouragement in learning, and self-motivation. Area of the Hands - Facilitate Learning
- The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom. Area of the Head - Promote Reflection and Decision Making
- The teacher plans instruction based on knowledge of subject matter, students, and the community and curriculum goals. Area of the Hands - Facilitate Learning
- The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner. Area of the Hands - Facilitate Learning
- The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks opportunity to grow professionally. Area of the Head - Promote Reflection and Decision Making
- The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support student's learning and well being. Area of the Heart - Enhance Self and Social Awareness
- In addition, candidates must meet the discipline standards for the two Ed.S. majors Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Leadership. Program Standards for Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership (ELCC).
Candidates must meet the residency requirement in order to receive a graduate degree. This requirement should be met through enrollment at Berry in one of the following ways:
Attend full time at least one term (full-time attendance is defined as completing nine semester hours); Complete courses in two consecutive terms; or Complete a total of 12 credit hours over three consecutive terms.
During the program), each student will compile a portfolio of materials produced during the course of study. The portfolio will follow guidelines delineated by the faculty in the Ed.S. program. This portfolio will be monitored by the coordinator during the program of study and presented to the examination committee for approval at the end of the program. Portfolio guidelines may be found on the Graduate Education Web site.
Each member of the cohort will have his or her own committee for examining the candidate for completion of the program. This committee will read the student's research papers, conduct an oral examination, and examine the portfolio. Results of the oral examination will be designated in one of these ways:
- Pass the examination.
- Pass the examination but with additional requirements assigned by the examination committee.
Candidates will choose one of two majors for specialization either the Curriculum and Instruction major or the Educational Leadership major.
Curriculum and Instruction
The program addresses the growing need of classroom teachers who desire to strengthen and increase their competencies to design, implement and evaluate curriculum and instruction. It is designed to provide candidates with experiences to further strengthen and enhance their competencies to serve as instructional leaders within their school settings and to maximize the learning of every student. For those interested in attaining the service certification, this major provides the courses and performance-based field experiences required for S certification and could be used to move up to the Advanced Professional level of tiered-certification. The program is aligned to the Curriculum and Instruction Standards and Performance Indicators defined by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
The program addresses the growing need for administrators in Georgia schools. It is designed to train administrators who can bring a perspective on leadership grounded in teaching and performance-based practices. For those interested in attaining administrative certification, this major provides the courses and performance-based residency needed for Georgia L-6 certification and is aligned with the Standards, Elements and Indicators for the Preparation of Georgia Educational Leaders and Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2011. the candidate may also add other endorsements by completing courses in other areas to fulfill requirements of the Professional Standards Commission.
If a student has completed one Education Specialist degree at Berry College and seeks to complete a second Education Specialist Degree, EDU 707 may be used to fulfill the requirements of both degrees. No more than three hours of coursework may count toward both degrees.