CCSD Professional Learning Department

Superintendent > Chief Academic Officer > Curriculum > Professional Learning >

Ed Leadership Specialist Degree

Carmen Regester, Supervisor, Leadership Development 
Phone: 678-581-6786

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GA PSC) has made substantive changes in the certification structures for Educational Leadership. These substantive changes constitute a shift from traditional Educational Leadership Specialist degree programs (L-5/6/7) to Performance-Based Educational Leadership Specialist degree programs (PL-6/7.) For the most complete, detailed information visit the PSC’s website at

Substantive Changes Include:

  • Candidates can no longer pursue educational leadership degree and certification programs based solely on their interest and self-selection.
  • Districts and universities establish partnership agreements for the preparation of leaders. Candidates interested in pursuing leadership degrees and certification must do so through their district’s university partners.
  • Districts and universities engage in the mutual selection of the most competitive candidates for Educational Leadership degree and certification programs based on their current job positions and their demonstrated leadership experiences.
  • Selected candidates participate in a performance based program comprised of field based residencies closely monitored by the Candidate Support Team consisting of a district mentor, university supervisor and a coach.
  • Selected candidates must specify if they are pursuing a degree and certification in either building leadership or system leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What if I already have leadership certification? Individuals issued a Leadership (L) certificate at Levels 5/6/7 prior to September 30, 2009 will continue to hold that certificate (subject to renewal) and will remain eligible to serve in leadership positions.

What if I already have a specialist or doctorate degree in another educational field and now want to pursue certification in leadership? Individuals may choose to pursue (subject to the new structure) a Certification Only program offered by the district’s university partners.

Am I given any remuneration or preferential status as a result of my selection for a cohort? Participants committed to this process are solely responsible for future employment or educational advancement. The Cobb County School District does not guarantee promotion or additional future remuneration for participants in any Leadership Development Program.

Can I just enroll in the pre-service courses outlined by the PSC? The PSC has stipulated that individuals who do not hold a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership must complete 6 hours of Pre-Service Leadership Requirements to include school law and instructional leadership. Individuals may, if allowed by the university partner, enroll in these Pre-Service courses without district approval. However, enrollment in these two courses does NOT constitute any obligation on the part of the district to approve a candidate for selection into the Educational Leadership Performance Based Specialist Program.

Click here to view CCSD Educational Leadership Specialist Degree Program for Completion of PL-6 Certification