Monday, November 15, 2010

Why You Should Get an Educational Leadership Graduate Degree

Educational Leadership graduate degree programs prepare education leaders to analyze and solve the types of problems faced by schools. The programs also provide the knowledge and skills required to motivate the staff to perform at a higher level.

Educational Leadership Master's Degrees

Educational Leadership Master's Degree programs provide educators with the tools needed to be effective leaders in educational organizations and in their school's community. Educators also learn to become effective advisers and mentors to beginning educators. The programs also teach individuals how they can affect change in the systems that govern national, state, and local education.

The master's degree programs review current educational trends and innovative curricular designs in the context of improving student performance. Popular concentrations include instructional leadership, school leadership toward administrative licensure, and leadership for community and organizational learning. Many of these program require an internship.

Some of the typical subjects covered in an Educational Leadership Master's Degree program are as follows:
  • Policies and practices in leadership
  • Leadership development
  • Education policy analysis
  • Development of organizational leadership
  • Administration and organization of public education
  • Educating a diversity of learners
  • School finance
  • Educational change/school reform
  • School - community relations and communications
  • Special education
Doctoral Degrees in Educational Leadership

Programs offering a Doctorate (Ed.D) degree typically require applicants to have leadership experience and a master's degree. Administrators and teachers enhance their abilities to influence and transform educational environments. The programs provide new and innovative models of leadership.

Many of the doctoral programs are designed for working educators and include full-time study during the summer and weekend terms during the school year. Due to convenience and flexibility, online Ed.D in Educational Leadership programs are increasingly popular.

Some of the common courses in doctoral programs are perspectives on leadership, qualitative research in education, data analysis for organizational leaders, and leaders as researchers.

Charter School Leadership

A few schools, such as Central Michigan University and Nova Southeastern University's Fischler School of Education and Human Services, offer an online Master of Art degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Charter School Leadership. (It should be noted that the author has no connections with these schools.)

Online Graduate Degree Programs

Some online graduate degree programs offer students the opportunity to meet multi-state, course-work requirements for academic licensing of principals, assistant principals, and instructional supervisory personnel. Graduates of some of these programs are qualified to take the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) test. Some of the programs are based on the Intestate School Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards which place children and their learning as the foundation of school administration.

Another option is the graduate certificate of advanced studies in educational leadership. A number of colleges and universities around the country offer these programs.

School Rankings

The top ten ranked schools in education by U.S. News and World Report in 2010 are as follows:
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Oregon
  • John Hopkins University
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • University of California Berkeley
Numerous accredited colleges and universities offer graduate degree programs in educational leadership. Educators interested in advancing their careers while affecting positive change should definitely consider these programs.

Brian Jenkins, a member of the writing team, writes about a number of topics related to education.