Master’s in curriculum and instruction vs educational leadership

A career in educational leadership is full of opportunities to help students reach their true potential, but achieving those outcomes starts with building your own expertise. For teachers and administrators, enrolling in a master’s program is an opportunity to develop skills in leadership. Pursuing a master’s in curriculum and instruction is one path forward, but it may not offer the right focus for many professionals.

To make the most of your graduate school experience, choose a degree that matches your career objectives. A program geared toward administrators and other decision-makers offers the preparation to take on a wide variety of challenges while guiding quality instruction for students at all levels. When weighing your options for a graduate program, consider the differences between a degree in curriculum and instruction and an online Master of Education in educational leadership.

Explore instructional design with a master’s in curriculum and instruction

Effective teaching depends on careful planning. Teachers and administrators thoughtfully structure material to engage students and help them progress. A graduate program in curriculum and instruction equips educators to develop instructional strategies for a broad range of subjects and learners.

A master’s program in curriculum design introduces educators to theoretical models for learning and provides experience in applying those principles. In this type of master’s program, graduate students learn to:
Master's curriculum and instruction vs educational leadership

  • Analyze the needs of a diverse student population
  • Construct a curriculum in line with an institution’s larger mission or philosophy
  • Identify instructional approaches that fulfill overall goals while maintaining the flexibility to meet students’ individual requirements
  • Follow best practices for incorporating technology
  • Account for any limitations or problems that might interfere with teaching
  • Collaborate with others in creating instructional plans
  • Select informative methods for evaluation and analyze data
  • Continue to make improvements in a curriculum

This master’s degree helps educators to advance into roles where they oversee curriculum development. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, instructional coordinator positions commonly require applicants to hold either a master’s in curriculum and instruction or in education. These professionals develop curriculums and teaching standards, supervise implementation and monitor results.

Strategize for the future of learning with a master’s in educational leadership

Curriculum planning is also an important part of a graduate program in educational leadership. Administrators need an extensive understanding of how to create and enforce a standards-based instructional framework. A program for education leaders includes advanced methods for instructional design and assessment among several other areas of study that are vital to administrative positions.

The coursework for educational leadership graduate students includes lessons in how to:

  • Create and set goals for a student-centered learning environment
  • Recruit and evaluate qualified educators
  • Develop a school culture of achievement and accountability
  • Comply with regulations and consider the effects of economic factors
  • Handle a crisis and make the best use of communications technology
  • Apply data to initiatives for improving student performance

With the knowledge and experience that graduates take away from completing a master’s degree, they can go on to careers as curriculum specialists, school district administrators or school principals. Educational leaders’ skills are in demand in contexts outside of the traditional classroom and online learning environments. Businesses, nonprofits and government agencies need training and development specialists who create and administer training programs for customers and workers.

If you’re interested in building broadly applicable skills and maximizing career mobility, a master’s in educational leadership is an excellent path for you. Teachers and professionals in a wide range of organizations benefit from the combination of data-driven methodology and soft skills that set the conditions for learning.

About Lynn University’s online Master of Education in educational leadership

The online Master of Education in educational leadership program from Lynn University teaches advanced strategies for creating inclusive, student-centered curriculums within strong learning communities. Graduates understand how to put standards-based instruction and assessment into action, as well as many other techniques that prepare them to make an impact as educational leaders.

The online program offers a general track intended to help educators make the transition into administrative roles. In addition to a broad range of relevant classes, the curriculum includes a requirement to take a state certification examination, which is a requirement to become a school principal in many locations. Students gain hands-on experience and put what they’ve learned to work by completing an internship at a school in their area.

If you plan to work in corporate or nonprofit training, performance consulting or instructional design, you can concentrate the necessary skills by choosing a training and development specialization. Classes in this track focus on topics like:

  • Supporting collaborative learning for adults
  • Clearly presenting content
  • Communicating educational objectives
  • Customizing staff training to fit the goals of a business and individual workers

The M.Ed. in educational leadership program from Lynn University provides flexibility for professionals who are interested in progressing their careers. Admissions are open to applicants who hold any bachelor’s degree, and there is no GRE requirement. Students take advantage of a program structure that’s designed to fit into busy schedules, viewing lectures on their own time and graduating in as little as one year.

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