Getting a master’s degree in education (M.Ed.) can open up the door to new career possibilities.
School leaders have a highly rewarding and highly challenging role, and although every school is different, every school leader shares the common love of children, the love of community, and the love of leadership.
Getting a higher degree in education can open up the door to new career possibilities, and earning a Master’s degree through OKWU will improve your teaching and leadership skills to improve your own ability to lead, and the new knowledge gained will also have a positive impact on your community and your students.
1. Boost Your Skill Set
Participating in an M.Ed. program in leadership will help to validate the leadership skills you already have, and acquire new leadership knowledge to become even more effective.
- Learn how to build a vision, develop a mission, and grow consensus among your staff.
- Discover different leadership theories and learn effective certain leadership philosophies that you can start implementing immediately.
- View school leadership through the eyes of current school leaders, and how to create positive school cultures through shaping staff attitudes, behaviors, and motivation.
- Gain valuable strategies on how to guide a team or school through organizational change in a way that everyone can feel supported.
- Learn how to become a strong and trusted coach for staff to enhance others’ effectiveness in their role.
- Grow your leadership communication skills in important areas such as parent communication, professional presentations, and online content to keep your school community engaged.
2. Earning Your Master’s Degree in Education Pays Off
Teacher salary schedules typically make annual improvements in salaries based on the cost of living adjustments (“COLA”) across the board and years of experience in education. These increases help keep up with inflation and recognize years worked, but the way to accelerate salary increases is increased education.
Teachers who have a Master’s degree earn thousands more per year than their counterparts who hold bachelor’s degrees. Over time, this money can really add up! Making the short-term investment for longer-term gains is a wise choice and a great return on investment in your career and yourself.
Not only is a Master’s degree beneficial in terms of earnings potential but earning a Master’s degree in leadership will unlock the possibilities of applying for administrative roles. Administrator salaries are significantly higher than teacher salaries comparatively, and can only be held by those with the correct administrative-level licensure.
3. Formalize Your Leadership Ability
If you are a teacher and find yourself managing teams, leading school projects, mentoring new teachers, and helping out before or after school, you are already a leader! By earning a Master of Education in Classroom Level Leadership, you can hone your skills and showcase your leadership knowledge and abilities. The teaching track helps classroom teachers become leaders in their schools and around the state. Holding an M.Ed. does not mean you have to become a school administrator, but it can open the door to other opportunities.
Many schools have instructional coaches, curriculum leaders, lead teachers, home-school coordinators, behavioral specialists, professional development teams, learning specialists, and other similar teacher leadership roles that do not necessarily require building-level licensure.
Making the short-term investment for longer-term gains is a wise choice and a great return on investment in your career and yourself.
If becoming a school administrator is your desired career path, formalizing your ability to lead with an M.Ed. is the preferred degree to hold for building-level administrative roles. Upon completion of OKWU M.Ed. courses, graduate students will possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and professional abilities to be a successful leader in the K-12 arena. The administrative or licensure track meets state requirements for principals and allows candidates who successfully complete the program to sit for the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) for principals. Other requirements for state licensure in Oklahoma include having at least two years of teaching experience in an Oklahoma public or private school under a Standard Certificate, passing a background check, and providing college transcripts, among other minimum requirements for licensure application.
There are also many teachers that choose this track because they want the possibility of administrative roles in the future. Getting your M.Ed. does not mean teachers must apply for building-level leadership roles immediately, but it does mean that the possibility is there if and when teachers are ready to take the next step in their career.
4. Going “Back to School” Is Easier Than Ever
Teachers can earn their M.Ed. without taking a leave of absence from their current position, and without stopping their current earnings in their roles. While earning a teaching license requires a full-time student teaching placement throughout the course of a school year, the requirements for getting an M.Ed. are more flexible. Teachers can earn their M.Ed. while working. OKWU’s program is entirely online, allowing students to earn their degree in as little as 22 months. The practicum component of an M.Ed. program does require a number of supervised activities to complete, but these can be managed by working with your current level building administrator within the regular duties of your school day and some creative thinking.
The M.ED. program provides students with two career-specific areas of concentration to choose from:
- Building Level Leadership
- Classroom Level Leadership