School Administration Courses and Classes Overview

School administration classes prepare students for leadership careers as principals, vice-principals or department chairs for elementary, middle or high schools. Such courses are generally taken as part of a full graduate degree program. Explore the topics covered in these classes by reading on.

Essential Information

Aspiring school administrators generally need to earn a master's degree. Common degree programs include those in educational leadership, school administration and educational administration. These programs usually require teaching experience and a teaching license to enroll.

School administration programs teach students to develop, implement and improve the school's curriculum, maintain positive relations with the community and track student performance in areas like reading. They also learn about the legal aspects of running a school and study best practices for managing a school's budget and obtaining funding. In addition to completing their program's courses, students often complete a field experience at a school, make a professional portfolio and/or complete a research project.

After earning a relevant master's degree, students must follow their state's procedures for getting licensed as a principal if they wish to work in a public school. This may involve taking an exam, being mentored and completing continuing education courses.

Here are common concepts found in school administration courses:

  • Administrative certification
  • Elementary and/or secondary schools
  • Needs assessments
  • Learning outcomes
  • Program evaluation
  • Collaboration
  • Taxation
  • Revenue sources
  • Theory and development

List of Courses

Administration and Organization of Schools Course

Courses in school administration and organization discuss the role of school administrators in modern educational facilities. Students learn the theories associated with leadership, professional development and communication. The topics of community relations, staff services, curriculum development and school budgeting are also discussed. These classes are usually taken at the very beginning of a degree program.

Curriculum Development Course

Studies in curriculum development classes focus on how school administrators can implement and improve the details of an educational program; methods discussed include setting standards for teachers to meet and establishing exactly what should be taught in each subject area. Curriculum development classes help students gain the skills needed to analyze school curricula from a managerial position. These classes also detail the ways school administrators can use test results as a guidepost for student improvement. Students usually take these classes in the first semester of their graduate studies.

School and Community Relations Course

Schools are composed of more than just teachers and students; parents, the general public and other community leaders are also involved with and affected by the operations of an educational institution. Classes in school and community relations discuss the best practices involved in making the interactions between the various stakeholders of a school a positive experience. These classes are usually taken towards the beginning of a school administration program.

School Law Course

There are many legal issues that affect school administration, including rules regarding student and teacher interaction, special education, financing requirements and curriculum compliance issues; school law classes explain these laws and regulations to prospective school administrators. Professors frequently use case studies while teaching school law. Most programs require students to complete a school law class; however, classes covering this topic can be taken at any time.

School Finance Course

School finance classes give hopeful school administrators the basics in managing a budget and making difficult choices while dividing resources. These courses also discuss school funding issues from a local, state and national perspective. School finance classes are usually required and offered near the end of a program.

Reading Instruction Course

Reading instruction classes cover topics such as instruction theories, diversity issues and phonics versus whole language teaching practices. These classes focus on the methods school administrators can use to diagnostically track the reading performance of students and the efficacy of teachers' reading instruction. These classes are typically offered as electives and are taken in the later stages of a program.


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