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What Is an Education Specialist Degree?

The education field is increasingly complex. Information in all disciplines multiplies daily, and the expectations for student success grow as business needs expand. Even the most experienced teachers seek support and resources as their classrooms become more diverse. Strong leaders are in high demand.

Education specialists, as experienced educators entering positions of leadership, help teachers meet the needs of their students and make meaningful change.

Requirements

To be a candidate for the Education Specialist in Educational Leadership degree at Mississippi College, you must have a master's degree in an area of professional education plus at least three years teaching experience and letters of recommendation from three school administrators.

Two 41-hour tracks are offered, in Curriculum and Instruction or K-12 Administration. Both tracks feature invigorating coursework, field-based internships and an ongoing research paper on educational leadership.

  • In the Curriculum and Instruction track, you return to the basics of teaching and leadership, making an in-depth study of learner-centered curriculum and instruction strategies. You'll also learn how teachers can be most effective in the classroom. You will hone your critical-thinking skills, engaging in assignments designed to shape the schools of tomorrow. As a specialist, you will be qualified to apply for positions as a teacher leader or as a coordinator of curriculum and instruction. A variety of adult education positions outside the school setting may also be available, such as textbook editor, corporate trainer or educational consultant.
  • The K-12 Administration track focuses on the legal and financial responsibilities of educational leaders and how to manage building and district personnel effectively. You will examine the role and function of administrators and various leadership models. Graduates of the program may seek licensure to become a principal, assistant principal or school administrator.

Value

Many career-related reasons exist to pursue a degree beyond a master's.

A personal reason to keep going is the message it sends. Award-winning middle school teacher and author Heather Wolpert-Gawron believes it is critical that teachers continue on their own educational journey. "We as educators speak often about creating lifelong learners," she says, "but if we aren't buying into it ourselves, then our students don't stand a chance."

The value and dignity of continuing to go to school will show your students in real time your dedication to education, to advancing your career, and to keeping up to date with trends and innovations.

Both tracks of the Education Specialist in Educational Leadership program offered by Mississippi College are designed for experienced teachers with an eye on classroom best practices and gaining the leadership skills necessary to improve schools and student success.

Whether you are interested in reinforcing and strengthening your teaching skills or preparing for a position of leadership, the education specialist degree will help you on that journey. It also will give your students the priceless message that learning may start in childhood, but it extends throughout our lives. 

Learn more about Mississippi College's online Education Specialist in Educational Leadership – Curriculum & Instruction track program and online Education Specialist in Educational Leadership – K-12 Administration track program.


Sources:

Learn.org: Careers in Curriculum and Instruction

Edutopia: What I Love About Teaching

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