Students can find entirely online Master of Arts in Education or Master of Arts programs in curriculum and instruction. Some programs may be designed to prepare students for education licensing exams with credentialing organizations like the National Board for Certified Teaching. However, other programs may not include a certification track, so students will have to make sure they meet all licensing requirements themselves.
Courses explore topics in instructional coordination, leadership, educational technologies, curriculum design and diversity in the classroom. Programs may train students for teaching or administrative positions. Specific software is sometimes required for these programs.
MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction
MAEd programs are for teachers in grades K-12 who want to increase their educational knowledge base and gain new skills that will make them more effective in the classroom. Students are expected to already hold a bachelor's degree.
Program Information and Requirements
Thirty credit hours of classes are usually required in these programs, and most programs are structured to take about two years to complete. Some schools offer an accelerated version of the program that only takes 18 months. No on-campus classes, workshops or seminars are included; all coursework can be done online through the school's virtual classroom. Students should check their school's technology requirements for online programs, since many will mandate that students' computers have certain software, such as the Safari Web browser or Java, in order to take full advantage of the virtual classroom.
Curriculum and instruction programs cover a wide variety of subjects, such as assessment, educational technology, classroom diversity and classroom management. Master's degree programs do not have general education requirements, but will have core courses that are required. Below are examples of the type of content these classes may include.
This type of course teaches students about technology standards, uses for technology in the classroom and how to integrate the use of technology into an existing curriculum. Methods for teaching technology to students may also be incorporated into the course.
Diversity in the Classroom
This type of class looks at various types of diversity, including racial, economical and academic, and how they affect the classroom environment. Students may also learn different methods for interacting with children of a particular culture, learning style or ability level.
This type of class may teach different methods of assessment, statistical analysis and assessment design. Discussion may also include current grading approaches and new methods for measuring and reporting student learning.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the number of K-12 educator positions in the country would increase 6% between 2014 and 2024. In 2015, the BLS estimated that K-12 educators (not including special education instructors, career or technical instructors) made a median of between $51,640 and $57,200 annually. While the data does not reflect the difference in wages between teachers who do and do not hold a master's degree, the BLS did note that obtaining a master's degree is one way teachers may increase their income.
The BLS also predicted a 7% growth rate in employment for instructional coordinators from 2014-2024, a rate as fast as the average. Figures from May 2015 show that instructional coordinators made a median annual salary of $62,270.
Continuing Education Information
If a student has completed certification courses as part of their MAEd degree program, then upon graduation, they will need to contact their state's department of education to determine what else is required to become certified. Fingerprinting and background checks are fairly standard procedures. Many states will also require a state exam as well as the national exam, and most will also require graduates to submit verification that they successfully completed an accredited teacher preparation program.
In online MAEd programs in curriculum and instruction, trained teachers take advanced courses that can help them become better educators. In these programs, students can learn about a variety of assessment methods, classroom diversity, how to use technology in the classroom and much more.