Through a mixture of classroom courses, research projects and hands-on training, students in an M.Ed. program in secondary education learn advanced teaching methods and education topics, especially as they relate to the instruction of middle and high school students. Students are also required to get hands-on training before graduation. Depending on the program, online courses may be offered. Some programs also may be flexible, allowing students to chart their own programs through elective courses.
Admission requirements into an M.Ed. program vary for each school, but a bachelor's degree is a standard requirement for most; bachelor's degrees usually must be in the subject the applicant wishes to teach or include coursework that meets specific criteria. Most M.Ed. programs require applicants to hold a current teaching license, but they may consider applicants without one. In schools where a teaching license is required for admission, prior teaching experience may also be necessary.
Master of Education in Secondary Education
In this program, students learn about the growth and development of youth in grades 7-12 and explore various methods for teaching them. Program enrollees are taught how to implement technology in their classrooms, plan curricula and assess student needs while gaining skills in educational research. Content in a program may cover the following:
- Curriculum theory
- Education research techniques
- Child development
- Technology for the classroom
- Secondary instruction and classroom management methods
Employment Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment of high school teachers should increase 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is the same as the rate for kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Secondary teachers should have the best job opportunities in urban and rural areas. Furthermore, secondary teachers who teach subjects such as math, chemistry, physics, other sciences, special education and English as a second language are often sought out since teachers in these subjects are harder to find. According to May 2015 BLS data, high school teachers earned a mean annual salary of $60,440. These figures don't include special education or vocational education teachers.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
All states require teachers to be licensed if they are teaching in a public school. Private schools may have licensing requirements, but they are not mandated by the state. Each state sets its own licensure requirements, but the BLS stated that they commonly include completing an approved teacher training program and having student-teaching experience. The BLS also reported that some states might require teachers to complete a master's degree program within a certain time period.
Teachers who want to improve their teaching skills, focusing specifically on the instruction of students in 7th to 12th grade, can benefit from an M.Ed. degree program in secondary education. Graduates of these programs will find the best job prospects in schools that are in the inner-city and countryside.