When deciding how to take the next step in their career, educators often wonder if a graduate degree would be beneficial. Many educators and administrators choose to pursue the advancement of their career by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. This is often the first step toward becoming a principal or other administrative personnel. The curriculum of an educational leadership program entails a variety of courses that cover things they may not have encountered in a school setting.
What to Expect in an Educational Leadership Program
Many educators hesitate to pursue a master’s degree in this field because they do not feel it will teach them anything they can’t learn from on-the-job experience as teachers. However, to be considered for positions like principal or department chair, most school districts require a minimum of a master’s degree (see: Why Should I Earn My Master’s in Education?). Most people tend to feel more comfortable entering a higher education degree when they know what to expect from the program.
In an educational leadership program, the curriculum is designed to teach students all of the ins and outs of running a school. While a small percentage of the coursework is geared towards effective instruction and curriculum, most of the coursework will focus on leadership and development. A principal needs to be able to make swift decisions while weighing all of their options. A principal should also be comfortable developing teachers into strong and effective educators. There is a focus on the specific duties of a principal in the educational leadership program as well.
School improvement is a very important aspect of principalship. Accordingly, there are specific courses focused on how to find and execute improvements to be made within a school. Many principals will face the tough job of working in a low-performing school that needs a lot of work. This coursework will help target specific things within a school that should be taken care of first. All principals run their schools a little differently, but there is common ground in the core necessities of any school. School law and finance is another focus within the educational leadership program. The knowledge gained from this course assists the principal in keeping all aspects of their school up to the standards of the law.
According to US News & World Report, some examples of specific courses within the educational leadership master’s program include multicultural education, ethics in education, technology and communication in schools, and leading in urban, rural, and suburban settings. All of these courses provide the prospective principal with the expertise to run any type of school in any setting.
A Master’s degree in Educational Leadership is a great way for an educator to advance their career. With a wide variety of focus and opportunity for career advancement, the educational leadership curriculum truly envelops all aspects of the job of a principal, department chair, or instructional coordinator.