Education administrators have the responsibility to manage educational institutions. They oversee various tasks and also set academic standards. Besides, they have an important role in selecting, assessing, and training faculty members. Following are some of the major tasks of an education administrator:
- Coordinate activities within an educational institute
- Design curriculum for different levels of education
- Prepare and implement disciplinary policies
- Interact with faculty, parents, and students
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Education administrators need managerial and leadership skills to effectively carry out their responsibilities. For effective administration, education administrators need to stay up to date with the latest educational and curriculum development trends. They also need to be aware of various state laws related to schools and education. An education administration degree can help administrators and managers prepare for different situations at the workplace.
Education administration degree programs can play an important role in helping educators acquire leadership skills needed to administer a school. These programs enable students to work effectively in their managerial roles and implement the ethical and legal standards for a school. Major focus areas for education administration degrees are basic principles of educational administration, laws for schools and other legal issues, and human resource concerns in education. Besides the core courses, students in graduate level degrees may need to appear for a comprehensive exam, submit a master’s thesis, or complete a dissertation for PhD. Following are some of the major degrees offered in the field of education administration.
Individuals who wish to start their career in education administration should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in education administration gives a strong foundation to students and prepares them for various leadership roles. Students learn the principles of policy making, instructional leadership, human resource management, and organizational culture. However, a bachelor’s degree may not be sufficient for many education administration positions. Graduates generally need to acquire teaching experience and advanced degrees to grow in the field.
Master’s degree in education administration is the most popular degree pursued to start a career in the field. Some of the major courses offered in the degree include school administration, leadership, ethics, public relations, curriculum development, public policy, law, financial management, cultural issues, and research in education. Practical experience is an important part of graduate programs in education administration. Students may be required to complete internships or acquire work experience to complete the degree. Students are given tasks such as analyzing an entire school’s curriculum. It is often mandatory for students to submit a master’s thesis in order to complete the degree.
The PhD degree in educational leadership is for those individuals who wish to have an in-depth study of education administration issues with the help of a theoretical framework. Both qualitative and quantitative researches are a part of the doctoral program. The degree focuses on advanced studies of leadership, organization, and administration of schools and other educational institutions. With a PhD degree in the field, students can pursue academic and administrative careers. They can play an important part in school, college, and university administration. Doctorate degree holders in education administration can work as planners at educational institutes. They can also become administrators, professors at colleges and universities, or participate in research and policy making.
Online degree programs are also offered in the field of education administration. Professionals who cannot afford to give up their jobs for further education can opt for accredited online programs. They are very useful for teachers who wish to complete their tenure and acquire further education to become education administrators.
Some programs may have all their courses online, while others may require students to make occasional visits to the campus. Students may also need to visit some distance learning facilities, where live classroom instruction can be seen with the help of a satellite.
The following is an overview of some careers that graduates can go for.
Instructional coordinators have their focus on teaching methods and curriculum. They are involved in designing curricula, training and assessing teachers, and selecting educational resources. They also need to ensure that their school or educational institute is meeting the state, district, and federal standards. They may specialize in one educational field such as science, special education, math or music. They also need to conduct research on new teaching methods and develop techniques to solve various education related issues.
Assistant principals have more direct interaction with teachers and other school staff than the principal. They are involved in coordination activities to ensure smooth operations in the school. They may have to frequently interact with bus drivers, maintenance workers, and food service staff to resolve issues and ensure smooth operations. Besides, they have to take disciplinary actions against students and provide counseling as well. The tenure as an assistant principal varies from one institute to another. Some may get quick promotion while others may work as assistant principal for a long time.
Principals are responsible for the educational administration of schools. Their major responsibilities include making mission statements for their school, defining long term goals and strategies, and taking important decisions. Principals also participate in the hiring of teachers and they have to make sure that the school meets standards set by the school district. Besides, they spend time in listening to the concerns of parents and resolving students’ issues.
Certification and Licensure
Generally principals are required by the state to get license to work as school administrators. However, the licensing policies are different in each state. Certain standards are developed by The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, which are now used by different states to set licensure criteria. Some states may ask school principals to take refresher courses to keep their license valid. It is good to find out about the licensure and certification requirements of a state before enrolling in an online education administration degree program.