The University of Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professions is home to a Master of Education in educational leadership program. Prospective students must hold a valid teaching license in order to be admitted to the program. Applicants may apply at any time, and admitted students may start in the fall, spring, or summer semester.
The degree program is designed to prepare educators for administrative positions in elementary and secondary schools. It is delivered entirely online, with the exception of a required in-person internship experience. The 33-credit curriculum includes courses such as Aspects of Special Education, Effective Leadership, School Finance, and School Law. Students can earn their M.Ed. in two years of study.
What Can I Expect From a Career in Educational Leadership?
Educational administrators face a variety of job prospects in leadership roles in education-related settings. They may work as principals, assistant or vice principals, superintendents, or instructional coordinators. They may lead elementary, middle, or high schools; higher education, departments, colleges or universities; or even entire school districts. Alternatively, education professionals may work in adult education, special education, government agencies, or education-related nonprofits.
Education administrators in elementary or secondary schools are responsible for planning and overseeing the school’s academic, administrative, and even extracurricular activities. The median wage for elementary and secondary school administrators was $94,390 in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The bureau reports a similar wage for education administrators, at $94,340 per year as of 2018. Postsecondary education administrators work in adult education settings, colleges, and universities. They oversee academics, faculty research activity, and student services, from admissions to career services. A master’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for entry-level careers in postsecondary education administration. The demand for postsecondary education administrators is growing faster than the average occupation, at a projected 10-year rate of 7%.
Many educational administration employers prefer candidates with teaching experience. Employers for postsecondary education positions may favor candidates who have experience in higher education occupations, such as academic deans and registrars.
Other Educational Leadership graduates may work as instructional coordinators. Instructional coordinators have a more specialized role in educational settings. They are responsible for developing school curriculums, teaching standards, and instructional materials. They may work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, educational support services, elementary and secondary schools, government settings, and professional or trade schools.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, instructional coordinators earned a median salary of $64,450 in 2018. Instructional coordinator job prospects are growing at an average speed, with a 6% growth rate by 2028.
A master’s degree in an education-related field is often required or preferred for most positions in educational leadership, but some professionals also require certification, licensure, and/or prior, lower-level experience in education.
What Are the Typical Admissions Requirements for Master’s Degree Programs in Educational Leadership?
The educational leadership programs listed above are designed for individuals from recent undergraduates to current teachers and experienced education professionals. The programs are designed for individuals seeking administrative, leadership, or supervisory positions in PK-12 school or higher education settings.
Many educational leadership programs, especially online master’s degree programs, require students to hold a current educator position while pursuing their degree and/or to have a certain number of years of professional education experience. Because the above programs are delivered fully or entirely through online coursework, they are often designed for practicing educators to promote invaluable real-world experience in the field.
As they pursue their master’s degrees, degree candidates can apply what they learn in online courses to their own classrooms and school workplace environments. Many programs include an internship or practicum requirement, which working educators can often complete in their own place of work.
Some educational leadership programs, even those that are not designed for practicing educators, require prospective students to hold a current teaching license in their state. A relevant education license also gives individuals an early advantage in the educational leadership job market, as licensure is often a minimum requirement for positions in the field.
Some educational leadership programs include built-in tracks to administrator or principal licensure in select states. Others may offer licensed education professionals add-on endorsements that may advance their career prospects.
In addition to the education-specific requirements, many of the master’s programs mentioned follow similar general graduate admissions requirements, such as a relevant undergraduate degree with a strong grade point average. Some programs may require applicants to submit Graduate Record Exam scores, letters of recommendation, and a current resume outlining relevant professional experience.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out THE TOP 20 ONLINE COLLEGES WITH THE BEST PHD IN EDUCATION OR EDD and THE 30 BEST ONLINE PHDS IN CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION!