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Zach Smith




Education Specialist

NNU’s Ed.S. in Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation program is designed for educational professionals who have a master’s degree who are seeking formal educational leadership roles with curriculum, instruction and innovation. Students have the convenience of a fully online program with an option to meet with faculty online to enhance learning and build community.

student getting one on one attention from teacher
  • Accessible professors and staff allowing for support in each course
  • A completion timeframe of 18 months
  • Can add a Teacher Leader Instructional Specialist endorsement on an Idaho Teaching Certification for only 1 additional credit
  • 100% online

About Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation

NNU’s Education Specialist in Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation program is offered utilizing a cohort model. Students have the convenience of a fully online program with an option to meet with faculty face-to-face or online to enhance learning and build community.

With a focus on high-quality instruction, instructor leadership, innovation, personal reflection and research practices and applications, the program equips graduates with the appropriate skill sets needed to access and effectively use technology and resources in today’s dynamic learning environments. The objective is to develop attitudes and practices that prepare educators to remain current and effective in an ever-changing world.

Students who have been working in a certified teaching position for at least three years can add just one additional credit to this degree to earn a Teacher Leader Instructional Specialist Endorsement. 

degree details

Education Specialist

Offered Online

$565 per credit, $150 per semester technology fee

Program Design

The program coursework is offered fully online with opportunities to meet with faculty throughout the semester either face-to-face or online. The following highlights outline the program design and features:

  • An average completion time of 18 months
  • Accessible professors and staff allow for support in each course
  • Emphases to promote personalized learning: Curriculum Design, Instructional Coaching, Innovation
  • Alignment with the Ed.S. program (Ed.S. is aligned with Ed.D. and Ph.D.)
  • Competitive tuition costs
  • A fully online structure with opportunities for face-to-face instructor meetings
  • NNU’s reputation for high-quality, rigorous academics
  • Hallmarks of a traditional C&I program
  • Attention to essential skills for remaining current in the field
  • Faculty advisers to help direct the course of study
  • A focus on innovative skill sets

Application Requirements

The following requirements must be received by Admissions a minimum of one week before classes start and are online, mailed or emailed as indicated. Recommendation forms and essay guidelines are available online within the application portal.

For mail:

Northwest Nazarene University
Attention Graduate Admissions
623 University Boulevard
Nampa, ID 83686

For email: gps@nnu.edu

  • Online: Application and $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Mail or email from a digital service such as Parchment or the National Student Clearinghouse: Official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution(s) where the applicant received a bachelor’s degree
  • Email or mail: A copy of the applicant’s teaching certificate (if applicable)
  • Online: Two online recommendation forms completed by professional colleagues
  • Online: One supervisor recommendation form; the three recommendations must be completed by three different individuals
  • Online: Evidence of writing competency through an essay based on the essay guidelines
Admission Requirements

Candidates must have the following:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the baccalaureate program
  • Approval by the Graduate Education Admissions Committee
Program Start Dates

Classes begin every 8 weeks, and new students may join throughout the year. Contact us now to get started on your graduate degree.

Required Courses

EDUC8000 Orientation: Graduate Education (0)
EDUC7505 Teachers as Leaders (3)
EDUC7511 The Learning Process (3)
EDUC7532 Instructional Models (3)
EDUC7552 Instructional Coaching (3)
EDUC7553 Curriculum, Assessment, and Collaboration (3)
EDUC7554 Innovative Instruction (3)
EDUC7555 Mixed Methods Research (3)
EDUC7556 Conceptual Statistics and Applications for Educators (3)
EDUC7557P Program Portfolio (0-1)
EDUC7571 Education in a Globalized and Multicultural Society (3)
EDUC7572 Innovative Instruction 2.0 (3)
EDUC7584 Data-Driven Decision-Making (3)

Total Credits: 33 semester credits are required.

To add a Teacher Leader Instructional Specialist endorsement to an Idaho Teaching Certificate, add:

EDUC7514 Teacher Leader Practicum (1)
EDUC7514B Teacher Leader Portfolio Binder (0)

(note: must have 3 years teaching)

teacher teaching children

Related Career Paths

Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area occupational employment and wage estimates for the Boise area are sourced from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Note: Teacher positions require teacher certification in the State of Idaho.

Instructional Coordinator

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

Meet Our Faculty

An obstacle that I have had to overcome since coming to NNU has been my mental health. And I think that it’s been really helpful that NNU has a wellness center, with counselors and a doctor that you can go to whenever. Without them I wouldn’t be able to talk through problems that I have, and all the counselors there have been very helpful to me.

Morgan Baxter

BA Psychology