Educational leadership is the field of creating school policies and procedures in order to provide the most efficient education for student success. Individual roles within educational leadership include school superintendents, principals and vice principles, chairpeople of school boards, educational consultants, master teachers, department chairs, curriculum development, community college education course instructors, and grade level leadership. The first step to pursuing any of these roles is to earn your master's in educational leadership degree. This article includes information about the degree, how to prepare for it, and where to pursue it.
This degree is designed for teachers who wish to take on leadership roles in teaching or transition to administrative roles. With a master's degree, you can also teach corresponding courses at the college level.
According to ACSD, the main goal of this degree program is to prepare students for careers in developing and implementing the most effective educational policies and procedures. Some students enter with a specific position in mind, while others discover which leadership position they are best suited for during the program. The following is a list of the main areas of curriculum for this degree:
- Organization of Educational Institutions
- Teaching Adults
- Learning Processes
- Technology in Education
- Curriculum Design
- School Improvement
- Instructional Supervision
- Staff Development
How to Prepare
It is most common to pursue a Master's in Education degree once you have already entered the field of education as a K-12 teacher. Below are the necessary steps:
- Earn a bachelor's degree. If you would like to teach elementary school, pursue a degree in early childhood development or education. If you would like to teach a middle or high school subject, pursue a degree in either that subject or in adolescent education or development. A bachelor's degree in psychology is also a good option if you want a career in education but remain open about which direction to take.
- Complete a teaching credential in your chosen grade or subject.
- Gain teaching experience as early as possible. You can begin as a substitute teacher, tutor, after school program teacher or teacher's assistant before completing or even starting the bachelor's degree. Part of the teaching credential program is student teaching, and it is much easier to get a good student teaching assignment if you already have teaching experience and connections with local teachers.
Choosing a Program
If you are open to a variety of leadership roles, choose a program that allows you to take a wide variety of electives to learn about the different options. If you are pursuing a particular position, choose a program strong in that specialization. Since most students are simultaneously pursuing the degree while continuing to teach, many prefer an online program.
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Educational leadership is a crucial and rewarding career transition. It all starts with a master's in educational leadership degree. If you are an educator who is looking to expand your career to include more leadership roles, you now have all the necessary information to begin the journey.