Should I Become an Education Coordinator?
|Degree Level||Associate degree; bachelor's or master's may be required|
|Degree Field||Adult education, allied health, career development, early childhood education, human development, and special education|
|Experience||Varies; one-to-three or more years teaching experience; two or more years early childhood education experience; two years experience with study abroad programs; three-to-five years educational support services, customer service or counseling, supervisory, and other relevant experience|
|Licensure and Certification||Teaching/administrative licenses|
|Key Skills||Excellent communication, decision-making, interpersonal, and instructional skills; cross-cultural and intercultural communication, customer service, record-keeping, sales, student recruitment, telemarketing, time management, and writing skills; knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, online course management, website builder, and application software|
|Salary||$62,270 (2015 median for instructional coordinators)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2012 Survey of positions at Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com
Education coordinators may organize and supervise education and training programs for nonprofit organizations, such as community centers, early childhood education programs, and museums. They may also work for public and private schools that provide study abroad programs and career development services. Education coordinators may also be referred to as instructional coordinators and curriculum specialists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Education coordinators may also work in colleges and universities as well as for educational support services and the government. Job duties may include curriculum development and evaluation, teacher training, mentoring and textbook and computer software review. They typically do not get summers off as most other instructors do and may need to work both day and evening hours.
While education coordinators may not need to be licensed teachers, instructional coordinators tend to be licensed teachers or licensed school administrators with a master's degree and prior experience. Required experience varies from one to three years teaching, two or more years of early childhood education experience, two years experience with study abroad programs, three to five years educational support services, customer service or counseling, supervisory and other relevant experience.
Some key skills required include excellent communication, cross-cultural and intercultural communication, record-keeping, sales, student recruitment, telemarketing, time management and writing skills. Computer skills needed include Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, online course management, website builder and application software. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for instructional coordinators was $62,270 as of May 2015.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
While there may be an occasional position that only requires applicants to have a high school diploma or an associate's degree, most employers require them to have a bachelor's degree. Sometimes an employer may request a bachelor's degree in a particular discipline, such as education, but in general, the bachelor's degree field is not always specified.
It is important to attend an accredited institution. While graduating from an accredited institution is usually recommended, it may be required for some positions, particularly those in early childhood education and K-12 settings. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) states prospective teachers with a NCATE-accredited degree are in a better position to apply for licensing and board certification.
Step 2: Earn a Master's Degree
While some educational coordinator positions may not require master's degrees, the BLS states this may be the minimum educational requirement for instructional coordinators. In order to qualify for some master's degree programs, applicants with a bachelor's degree in teacher education, or another relevant degree program, are usually at an advantage. At this level, coursework focuses on curriculum design, data collection and analysis and instructional theory.
The following are tips for success:
- Acquire appropriate computer skills. Specific computer skills and level of expertise depend on the position and employer. Knowledge of Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Access, Word and Excel, is usually preferred, and in some cases, essential. Other necessary computer skills may include the ability to use presentation software, authoring tools, Internet training platforms and content management software.
- Gain relevant experience. While employers usually provide detailed experience requirements, in some cases, they will indicate preferred experience. If you're interested in working with international students, for example, you may want to consider gaining fluency in a foreign language. If you're interested in supervising volunteers or office staff, then you may want to acquire personnel management experience.
- Research potential employers. It's important to research the business or organization where you'd like to work. In this way, you will be able to develop a stronger sense of the nature of the industry as well as its workplace culture.
- Gain relevant teaching experience. The BLS states prior teaching experience is usually required for instructional coordinator positions within the school system. You may also want to consider a grade-level or subject specialization.
Step 3: Obtain Licensure
Education and instructional coordinators work in many areas, some of which may require specific qualifications. Individual school districts and other educational institutions, for example, have various mandates, including the adherence to local, state and federal regulations. Instructional coordinators usually need to be licensed, according to the BLS. In some cases, as with principals and other administrative positions, they may also need to have an education administrator license.
Step 4: Continued Learning
Continued Learning is an integral part of the education field, whether it is within public or private institutions. While some institutions may provide in-house opportunities, others are available or posted by specific organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education. Important connections to other professionals in the field is another benefit of continued learning.
The following are tips for success in continued learning:
- Research licensing requirements. Since requirements vary, it's important to review the guidelines for the state where you're planning to work. This applies to both teaching and administrative licensing requirements.
- Explore alternative certifications. The National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC) provides information on 11 alternate certifications. Each classification is designed to meet a particular type of situation. Class A, for example, is a mentor-based program for graduates with non-education degrees to teach. Class H provides certification opportunities to individuals who have unique qualifications such as famous authors.
Becoming an educational coordinator requires a bachelor's degree, licensure, and leadership and communications skills.