Why Get a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction
A master's degree in curriculum and instruction offers a range of opportunities in the education field. These programs take about two years to complete as a full-time student. However, online options are typically more flexible. Coursework familiarizes candidates with topics that leave them primed to take up careers such as instructional coordinator or instructional designer.
Graduates will be able to effectively use data and research to improve strategies for developing curriculum and making instructional practices more effective. Typically, this degree is aimed at preparing professionals who wish to become leaders in school administration.
What Can I Do With a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction?
A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction is especially advantageous for education professionals who are seeking a career as an instructional coordinator, K-12 lead teacher, or school principal.
A master's degree in curriculum or instruction (or education) is required to become an instructional coordinator. They supervise curricula in elementary and secondary schools and ensure that teaching standards meet state requirements. Instructional coordinators also help the faculty to make instructional material and evaluate its effectiveness. In addition, they train teachers in new educational methods and recommend teaching technologies for the school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), instructional coordinators earn a median annual wage of $64,450 with the profession expected to grow six percent between 2018 and 2028.
K-12 Lead Teacher
A graduate degree in curriculum and instruction can meet the educational requirements for a K-12 lead teacher. A lead teacher is essentially a classroom teacher with greater responsibilities such as improving teaching methods and having a say in school curriculum. The duties of a K-12 lead teacher include developing and implementing instructional programs. They also ensure that resources and materials are being directed toward meeting curriculum objectives. As per Payscale.com, the average yearly salary for a lead teacher is $34,447. The BLS lists the growth rates for middle and elementary school teachers at three percent and high school teachers at four percent for the period of 2018 to 2028.
An M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Educational Leadership generally meets the requirements for a school principal position. Principals manage the day-to-day running of the school's operations. They supervise the staff, oversee the curriculum and maintain its standards. Other responsibilities include analyzing the teachers' performance and meeting with parents and teachers to evaluate student performance or behavior. Elementary, secondary and high school principals earn a median annual wage of $95,310 and their expected growth rate is four percent in the period of 2018-2028, according to the BLS.
Coursework and Admission Requirements
Coursework is usually around 30 hours and covers topics such as principles of curriculum design, curriculum development and implementation, fundamentals of technology, and technology-enhanced instruction. Admission will typically require an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, educational transcripts, resume, goals statement, and letters of recommendation. Schools often seek a grade point average (GPA) of around 3.0 while graduate record examination (GRE) may or may not be needed.