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Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction Specialization Education Specialist

School of Education

Effect Change in Traditional Education Settings

Ready to plug your classroom, school, or institution into current trends and theory? Capella University’s online Education Specialist, Personalized, and Competency-Based Instruction degree  helps prepare you for leadership in the areas of personalized and competency-based learning, as well as curriculum design. By focusing on innovative and timely theory, research, and practice, you’ll learn to apply educational theory in classroom, building, district, university, and corporate settings to design instruction that meets students' personalized needs.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 9 Core Courses

Classes Start January 7th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

What You’ll Learn

Use Technology Effectively

Gather and analyze data to design and deliver instructional programs that increase student achievement.

Apply Research & Theory

Use research-based assessment strategies to teach students real-world concepts and skills.

Gather & Analyze Data

Apply theoretical and research-based leadership principles to design, evaluate, and deliver competency-based curriculum.

Expand your Expertise

Engage in critical reflection, analysis, and problem-solving that lead to continuous professional growth and development.

Conduct Action-Based Research

Use structures, systems, and technology to provide opportunities for collaborative learning and culture-building.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Professionally Aligned

Curriculum is designed around leading standards, including the International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) Standards for Teachers.

Take Your Learning Further

Our innovative online learning model supports your goals by helping you continue from the EdS to a doctoral program.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$730 per credit, 52 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 


Grants are federal education funds that never need to be paid back. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid. 

Federal Work Study

This program provides part-time jobs to reduce your loan debt amounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more.

Student Success Story

“There was a wide spectrum of students from all over the world, many of whom were currently working in education, so we received an amazing opportunity to learn how other education systems handle the work.”

Mary Larson

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

Our EdS, Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction curriculum aims to increase student achievement by focusing on theory and research in curriculum design, competency-based learning, instructional models, and assessment strategies.

Support to Reach the Finish Line

Our doctoral curriculum is designed to give you dedicated support early in your program—so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree.

Capstone Mentors

For the culminating project of your doctoral degree, you’ll be paired with a knowledgeable mentor to help you along the way.

Doctoral Capstone

Develop your project, write your findings, and demonstrate your use of evidence to improve outcomes or resolve a gap in the field.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
EDD8430 Advanced Theories and Concepts in Competency-Based Learning
EDD8408 Using Technology for Instructional Improvement: Research, Data, and Best Practices
EDD8402 Leadership Principles in Technology Integration, Innovation, and School Improvement
EDD8434 Implementing a Competency-Based and Personalized Learning Curriculum

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


From enrollment to graduation, coaches help you stay on track. They know your program, answer questions, and cheer you on.


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our EdS in Personalized and Competency-Based Instruction degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Academic affairs vice president
  • Community college president
  • Dean
  • Full-time, adjunct, or part-time faculty
  • Curriculum director or specialist
  • Director of assessment or instruction
  • District teacher development coordinator
  • K-12 leadership
  • Teacher

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education program
  • Alternative school
  • Community college
  • Continuing education program
  • Governmental education agency
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military education
  • Nonprofit organization
  • K-12 public, private, or charter school
  • Research and policy organization
  • State education department

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.