There are a few online master's degree programs available in educational leadership and administration covering topics on innovation in the classroom, leadership strategies, school laws and organizational theory. An internship in the field with a licensed site supervisor is required by some programs.
A previously earned bachelor's degree is generally needed for candidates to enroll in the master's degree program. Some schools require licensed teaching experience prior to enrollment. These programs can prepare individuals for jobs as principals and other education administrators at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.
Master's Degree in Educational Administration
Students enrolled in a master's degree program in educational administration explore finance, law, curriculum, organizational structure and resource allocation. They develop leadership skills and learn to inspire other teachers, to foster a positive learning environment and to apply knowledge and theories to problem-solving in the classroom and the school.
Program Information and Requirements
A master's degree program in educational administration typically consists of 30-54 credit hours. The online portions of this degree program are usually delivered asynchronously through Blackboard or a similar online course management system. Students can view lectures and work on assignments anytime as long as certain deadlines are met. Interaction with teachers and fellow students is generally conducted through online message boards, chat rooms and e-mail.
The curriculum of the master's degree in educational administration is a combination of core education courses and elective administration courses. The program usually culminates with an internship or a final research project. Also, some schools require a program portfolio documenting the student's progress be submitted before final graduation.
This course provides a summary of state and federal statutory and case law involving P-12 school systems and their component parts. Specific laws and regulations are illustrated, as well as the schools' responsibilities to uphold them. The separation of church and state, students' rights, negotiating employee contracts and collective bargaining are given special attention. Students also learn methods of identifying, thwarting and fixing legal problems before they even appear.
Finance in Education
The fiscal elements of the educational system are the focus of this class. The influence of federal, state and local government on the distribution of tax funds to school systems is studied in depth. Students also learn how to budget and use funds wisely and legally. A history of school finance legislation is also provided, as well as an identification of the purposes, theories and connections between these various acts and amendments.
Supervision, Evaluation and Improvement of Instruction
Students learn the methods of overseeing and assessing the teachers under their administration for the purpose of bettering instruction styles. The different techniques of instruction are identified as well as the positives and negatives of each. The levels of growth an instructor moves through in the process of becoming a proficient professional are discussed.
Principals, assistant principals and school district administrators of public elementary and secondary schools generally hold a master's degree in educational administration. Additional licensing may be required by state boards of education. Student affairs personnel in post-secondary institutions may also hold a master's degree in educational administration.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2015, there were 235,110 people employed as education administrators at elementary and secondary schools with an average yearly salary of $92,940 and 135,690 people employed as education administrators in post-secondary institutions with an average yearly salary of $102,610 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also predicted an occupational growth of 6% percent for elementary, middle, and high school principals and 9% percent for post-secondary administrators between the years 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Those looking to further their career or education can do so with a Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a specialization in educational leadership, which may also be earned online. The Ph.D. programs are for those looking for more in-depth education or employment at higher levels of administration such as superintendent.
Current teachers and other students aspiring to work as education administrators can enroll in online master's degree programs in educational leadership and administration. Students in these programs may take courses in education law, education finance and instructional improvement, and may choose to pursue a doctorate in the field after graduation.