Most online educational supervision certificate programs are intended for working teachers looking to strengthen their academic qualifications through graduate-level coursework. These programs are designed to prepare experienced educators for administrative roles in schools or school systems. Institutions offering these programs usually do so at the post-master's degree level, although a few may have master's-level options as well. Many programs can be completed in a year, but this depends on the enrollment status of the student. Both hybrid and fully online programs are available. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree typically. In-person requirements may include workshops and seminars.
Program Information and Requirements
Most programs offer certificates to students who have a bachelor's degree (and often a master's degree) in education, state licensure or certification and usually several years of teaching experience. An online educational supervision program often culminates in a School Administration and Supervision Certificate, a Certificate for K-12 Supervisor, Certificate in Early Childhood Education Supervision or a Special Education Supervisory Certificate. These programs often can be completed totally online, although some schools could require limited on-campus attendance.
Although coursework in these certificate programs is similar across the board, each program is often designed specifically to meet the educational administrator requirements for the state in which the college or university is located. For this reason, prospective students should contact their chosen schools to verify that their educational background meets prerequisite requirements. Additionally, they should check with their states' education departments to ensure that an out-of-state online program meets administrator endorsement or certification requirements in their area.
Online educational supervision programs allow students to take courses within virtual classroom environments. At any time of day, busy educators can access lecture materials, assignments and videos in addition to interacting with their professors and classmates using message boards, chat rooms or other collaboration technologies. Some schools could require that students obtain DVDs or other multimedia resources to supplement their learning. Although many programs offer fully online coursework, some may require occasional in-person workshops or seminars. Because students are already experienced educators, internships or practicums are not commonly required in online certificate programs.
List of Common Educational Supervision Courses
The courses in online graduate certificate programs focus on advanced topics such as administration of schools, advanced curriculum and legal issues. Students prepare for leadership positions in education by demonstrating proficiency in creating curricula, managing students and creating successful parent-teacher relationships. In some cases, an online educational supervision certificate can be earned in conjunction with a master's degree in education.
Because candidates already have a strong professional background, online educational supervision programs focus on advanced teaching and education administration concepts. Students take courses on:
- School law
- Effective leadership
- Administration and organization of schools
- Supervision and professional development
- Curriculum design and engineering
- Early childhood education: careers and regulations
With an online certificate in educational supervision, graduates can enhance their qualifications as educators, academic counselors or school board members. Most students, however, are seeking to land a position as an educational administrator or supervisor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of K-12 principals is expected to increase six percent in the 2014-2024 decade, which is fast as average (www.bls.gov). Opportunities for K-12 teachers are expected to grow at the same rate during that period. The BLS reports that elementary and secondary school educational administrators earned an average salary of $92,940 as of May 2015.
Online educational supervision certificate programs are designed for working professionals who wish to increase their qualifications. Typical courses cover leadership, regulations and curriculum creation, and may include in-person workshop requirements.