Educational Leadership Degree
Teaching is a noble profession and it has been said that “teaching is the hardest job you will ever love”. There are millions of educators employed in schools across the United States. The vast majority of these educators are classroom teachers. For some teachers, careers that span decades, will be completed in the classroom setting. Some educators, however, have a calling to advance to careers in administration or to work in their district offices. For those, an educational leadership degree is usually required.
Most states and school districts tend to hire principals and assistant principals who have extensive classroom teaching experience and also have at least a master’s degree in educational leadership. The leadership skills taught in classes leading to an educational leadership degree provide individuals with the tools needed to meet the demands of complex school environments. More than ever, parents and other stakeholders are demanding greater accountability from teachers. Each year, high stakes tests are requiring that teachers and students meet higher standards. School administrators are charged with meeting the needs and demands of students, parents, and faculty. In addition, they often are faced with decreasing budgets and increasing needs.
To earn an educational leadership degree, students are usually required to complete coursework in areas including: Educational Leadership, School Finance, Curriculum and Instruction Strategies, and School Law. Required coursework may vary from program to program. Almost every university offering an advanced degree in educational leadership requires at least some time spent in an internship. This may be completed by working alongside a principal or assistant principal.
Contrary to popular opinion (of those outside of the teaching profession), teachers work long hours. The demands of lesson plans, grading, conferences, and professional development make it difficult for many teachers to further their education. Fortunately, hundreds of colleges and universities provide the opportunity to earn an educational leadership degree on a schedule that works for the busy teacher. Classes are taught on college campuses across the country. Almost every major university offers these classes during the day, on nights, or on weekends. In almost every case, this is an advanced degree which takes about two years to complete. Taking a little longer to complete, some teachers choose to complete this degree by completing their coursework during summer breaks.