What Does it Mean to Study Education Administration?
Principals, assistant principals, deans, and chairpersons all help to determine whether an institution fulfills its educational mandate. They are largely responsible for the overall management of their facilities and are frequently in charge of many diverse and unrelated tasks. Perhaps most importantly, they set academic standards for their establishments by selecting, evaluating, and improving their faculty. An education degree in educational administration program foresees each of these tasks and provides accurate instruction and support.
Some of the job tasks associated with educational administrators include:
- Coordinating activities within a school/school system
- Selecting and evaluating standardized tests
- Designing the curriculum
- Overseeing athletic programs
- Creating and enforce disciplinary measures
- Connecting with parents, faculty, and students
Organizational and managerial skills are required to effectively juggle these responsibilities. A successful educational administrator needs to know how to survey demographic needs and plan for them accordingly. He needs to be knowledgeable of the latest trends in curriculum development and aware of the myriad state/school district laws. A rigorous educational administration degree prepares the administrator for all these scenarios and more.
Types of Education Administration Degrees
A bachelor's degree is the absolute minimum requirement for a career in education administration. Today, school administrator positions almost universally require some form of graduate degree. A master's degree in education administration is the most common degree in the field. Many school systems also insist that you have a certain amount of prior teaching experience.
Online Degrees in Education Administration
Online degree programs in educational administration are increasingly popular among education professionals who wish to boost their careers without giving up income or advancement opportunities in their current jobs. Advanced education administration degrees online are particularly useful for current teachers who want to further their education without getting off the tenure track.
The policies and practices of online degree programs may vary greatly. Some programs are largely dependent on occasional on-site visitation. Some may be conducted entirely online. Others may require you to visit distance-learning facilities where live classroom instruction is viewable via satellite.
Master's Degrees in Education Administration
Typical courses for a master's degree in education administration include:
- Administration/Personnel Supervision
- Administrative Theory (leadership)
- Public Policy and Law
- Financial Management
- Public Relations
- Curriculum Planning and Development
- Multicultural Topics
- Research in Education Topics
As with any other graduate program, practical experience plays a key role in your role as an education administrator. Internships and fieldwork may play key roles in your educational administration program. You may be asked to monitor or work with a small group of students in a classroom setting. You may even be required to evaluate an entire system's curriculum. This degree often requires that you complete a master's thesis before exiting the program.
What Can You Do With a Degree in Education Administration?
Educational administrators include a wide range of jobs, including postsecondary education administrators who work for colleges and universities and school principals who work at the elementary, middle and high school level. Preschool and childcare center administrators are also included in this group. Based on 2014 numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the elementary and secondary school level, the median annual salary for education administrators is $89,540, though the salary can range from $59,250 to $129,300. There are nearly 230,000 professionals working in this category of job. At the postsecondary level, the median annual salary is $88,390, with annual salaries ranging from $50,240 to $174,00. The number of jobs in the postsecondary field, which typically require a master's degree, is expected to grow by 15 percent by 2022 -- a rate that is faster than average. Jobs for administrators at the elementary, middle and high school level is expected to grow at a much slower rate of 6 percent.
Education administrators can attract other potential high-level opportunities with their advanced degrees. Some educational administration graduates hold positions as:
- community education directors
- business managers
- school system superintendents
- curriculum coordinators
- administrators at post-secondary schools
Many graduates also serve as leaders on local school boards and in government organizations.
Education Administration Certification and Licensure
Most states require their school principals to obtain licenses as school administrators. However, this licensure varies greatly from state to state. The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium has developed a series of national standards for various school officials. Many states now use these national standards to evaluate the conditions of their licensure requirements. Some states may require their administrators to continue taking "refresher courses" in order to keep their licenses. Be sure to investigate your state's specific requirements for licensure/certification before choosing an online degree program.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, April 15, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_stru.htm#11-0000
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, April 15, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119032.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, April 15, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm