Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership: Degree Overview

Teachers who want to advance to educational leadership or educational administration positions can enroll in a Master of Arts (MA) program in instructional leadership.

Essential Information

MA programs in instructional leadership help future educational leaders acquire managerial skills, knowledge of budget management and communications skills necessary in working with parents and community. They also provide teachers with advanced understanding of instructional programs and classroom management. Specialization options include curriculum development, educational law and special program administration.

Admission to an MA program in instructional leadership generally requires a bachelor's degree in education. Most schools also require students to have teaching experience and credentials. Considering that teachers are working professionals, master's programs often allow students to enroll part-time, completing the degree while employed. Some programs also offer online coursework.

Master's Degree in Instructional Leadership

Courses train students to transform the skills gained in classroom settings into administrative strengths. The program delves into the leadership theory and practical knowledge necessary to lead schools and districts. Available courses may include:

  • Curriculum development
  • Educational law
  • Educational finance
  • Evaluation and assessment of schools and programs
  • Leadership in the educational environment
  • Special program administration

Popular Career Options

Graduates have the administration knowledge and leadership skills to qualify for advanced positions with educational institutions. Depending on the size of the school or district, there may be multiple levels of administration. Available job titles may include:

  • School principal
  • Assistant principal
  • Program administrator
  • Departmental administrator

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment for school principals in elementary, middle and high schools would increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for these education administrators was $90,410 (www.bls.gove).

Licensure and Continuing Education Information

For school principal positions, a master's degree program typically satisfies most states' licensure educational requirements, but requirements vary by state. Some states may also require passing a test and gaining on-the-job training in order for licensure as a school administrator. For graduates interested in continuing education, doctoral programs in instructional leadership are available.

By pursuing a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership, experienced teachers can gain the management skills and advanced educational expertise they need for careers in school administration. Licensure is required for those who want to become principals.

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