If you’re interested in education and enjoy taking charge, pursuing an EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEGREE is a good choice. Chief academic officers, school district administrators, principals, assistant principals and superintendents are all educational leadership positions. As leaders, these professionals keep schools running smoothly, develop school policy, ensure regulations are followed, hire teaching personnel, oversee student progress and collaborate with regional administration. Educational leadership degree options include a master of educational leadership or doctor of education in school leadership.

Educational leaders also play a key role in identifying and solving educational challenges. For example, the New York Times Knowledge Network recently interviewed educational leaders in five states about efforts to close the gap between disadvantaged students and advantaged students. These interviews revealed that each state is taking a turnaround effort by adopting new educational models to meet the needs of its diverse student population. Without a doubt, educational leaders are key players in initiating educational reform.

Master Degree in Educational Leadership

Master degrees in educational leadership prepare students for leadership positions in preschool, elementary schools, high schools, postsecondary institutions and school districts. Focus of the curriculum is on practical and educational knowledge designed to teach students leadership managerial skills, how to work with diverse student populations and how to connect with the community. Students are required to complete both an internship and professional portfolio. Typical courses include:

Featured Programs

  • School law
  • Research in education
  • Supervision of personnel
  • Educational leadership
  • School finance
  • Curriculum design
  • Community relations

Graduates of educational leadership degree programs can pursue a variety of careers at the district or school level, including principal, assistant principal, instructional supervisor, special education administrator and director.

Doctor of Education in School Leadership

A doctor of education in school leadership is generally required for those who are seeking leadership positions as school district superintendents or administrative positions at universities. Curriculum is focused on research skill development, scientific methods, leadership concerns and teaching methodologies. Common courses include:

  • Leadership philosophies
  • Dispute and conflict resolution
  • Policy development
  • Strategic planning
  • Educational ethics
  • Statistical methodologies
  • Personal leadership styles

University administrators oversee university programs, student activities and university professors. These professionals may also work as chairpersons within a specific department. As the dean of students, these professionals oversee financial aid directors and coordinate non-academic and academic campus programs, including student housing, counseling and college social programs.

The Role and Impact of Educational Leaders

According to a recent article in Science Daily, studies have demonstrated a strong connection between what school leaders do and student achievement. Key findings include higher student achievement in schools where principals engage both the community and teachers in leadership. Strong educational leaders also emphasize goals and implement initiatives that go beyond minimum student performance. These professionals have the opportunity to play a key role in shaping better student learning outcome and reshaping school policy for a better student experience. Getting an EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEGREE is the first step to joining this league of professionals.