An educational specialist degree is an option for those individuals who may already have a background in teaching and would like to deepen their knowledge of a certain field. The degree is primarily designed for those people who seek advanced certification above that attained through a regular teaching degree. Most individuals who enroll for this type of program would already have attained a master’s qualification in teaching. There are specific areas of study that may be pursued within an educational specialist degree course. If you have a specific career path in mind it is important to research the different programs and educational establishments in full prior to enrolling. It can also be worthwhile contacting your local State Department of Education to be clear on the requirements for specific occupations within the field of education. The education specialist degree is an intermediate degree between a master’s degree and a doctorate in education, and is designed for professionals who are seeking advanced teacher certification or career advancement beyond the master’s degree.
Education Degree Preparation and Training
Depending on the nature of the program you choose the topics covered would differ. The modules that are an integral part of the training may include such topics as curriculum and instruction, educational technology, leadership, administration, counseling, and special education. Among others, tracks may include:
- Ed.S. in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
- Ed.S. in Instructional Technology
- Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision
If already employed in the education sector, you may not want to take time off from your current position whilst studying for a higher degree. There are many schools that now offer specialist degrees online. This is a great option if you want to carry on working while studying. It is also a concept that offers a lot of flexibility. Courses may include:
- Curriculum Theory and Research
- Research Methods in Education
- Curriculum Evaluation and Assessment
- Field Research for Educators
If you have an interest in developing curriculum and teaching methodologies it would make sense to opt for a specialist degree that has these at the core. These subjects are in fact the most common basis of educational specialist programs and you should not have too much difficulty finding an establishment in you area who offer such a course.
Licensure and Certification
As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all states require teachers in public schools to be licensed, or certified. The requirements for certification vary by state but all states require at least a bachelor’s degree. For those who teach in private schools licensure may not be required, but may nonetheless be preferred.
- Each sate may require candidates to pass a teaching certification test, demonstrates their knowledge in the subject they will teach
- Teachers are often required to complete annual professional development classes to maintain their certificates
- Most states require teachers to pass a background check
- Some states require teachers to complete a master degree after receiving certification
- All states offer an alternative route to certification for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree but are missing education courses required for certification
- States also require students in teacher preparation programs to complete supervised experience in teaching earned through student teaching or teaching practicum
- Some states require a minimum grade point average
- With additional education or certification, teachers can work toward becoming school counselors, librarians, instructional coordinators, assistant principals or principals
Education and Teaching Careers
Administration as well as counseling can be interesting sectors within the field of education to specialize in. As an administrator you will find many openings available in both the public and private sector. With an emphasis on counseling you would be able to play an important role in ensuring the well being of students.
If you aspire to a leadership role, an educational specialist degree program would provide you with the foundation that can be built upon and allow you a lifelong career that matches your personal goals. With more people opting for regular teaching degrees on a yearly basis, the benefits of having a specialist certification under your belt should not be overlooked.
Though the motivation for working in the education sector is not usually financial, the monetary rewards made available to those individuals with a specialist education degree are greater than for teachers who have only a regular bachelor’s certification.
Teaching is an occupation that is not adversely affected by national economic problems, professional educators will always be in demand. Graduates of the educational specialist degree gain knowledge needed for careers like: Curriculum Specialist, Instructional Supervisor, School Administrator, Senior Teacher, and College Administrator.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
According to the latest data from the US bureau of employment and labor statistics, a school psychologist can command a wage of $80,000 a year, this compares favorably to the salary of a regular middle school teacher who would draw a median income of only $50,000.
The median annual salary range for special education teachers is $50,020-$51,340, depending on the grade level while school superintendents earn $67,200 – $122,927 a year. The BLS reports the following median annual wage for 2010.
- Kindergarten teachers – $48,800
- Elementary school teachers – $51,660
- Middle school teachers – $51,960
- High school teachers – $53,230
- Special education teachers – $53,220
The educational specialist degree is therefore an option for professionals who do not wish to pursue a doctorate degree right away after the masters degree.
Education and Teaching Programs
- There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
- Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
- GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
- A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
- Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
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- B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
- B.S. in Early Childhood
- M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education
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- 100% online degrees include Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, and more.
- Students and faculty are encouraged to engage in a collaborative learning environment that promotes personal and professional growth.
- All faculty are professionals in the field of education, with PhD or EdD qualifications.
- Programs are designed to help educators at every level sharpen their teaching skills.
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- Undergraduate in Early Childhood
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration
- And more...
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
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- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
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- Doctor of Management Higher Education Teaching and Learning
- Doctor of Management Private Sector Higher Education Leadership
- Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
- Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
- Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
- A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
- Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Secondary Education
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Leadership of Educational Organizations
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Elementary Education
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader
- M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education
- And more...
- M.Ed. Curriculum Instr - Special Ed
- M.Ed. Curriculum Instr - Technology
- M.Ed. Curr & Ins - Dyslexia Studies & LBLD
- And more...
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- E-Learning - EdS
- MEd - Reading Education
- General Education - Doctor of Education
- And more...