You’ve used various materials throughout your education to help you understand important topics and concepts—textbooks, videos, presentations, and more. While in our younger days we may take these materials for granted, as we grow, we sometimes wonder, “Who decides on all of this? Where does it come from? What kind of degree is required for that job?” That’s where a curriculum specialist, sometimes referred to as an instructional coordinator, comes into the picture.
Curriculum can be defined as all the educational content presented within a class or at a school. A person with the title of curriculum specialist has many crucial duties, including:
- Creating and applying curricula.
- Reviewing and recommending educational materials such as textbooks.
- Establishing processes for teachers to put new curricula into place.
- Coordinating and overseeing teacher training workshops.
- Evaluating student test results.
- Reviewing curriculum standards with teachers.
- Suggesting new teaching techniques and technologies.
- Helping teachers expand their proficiencies.
Education and Career Potential
A master’s degree is typically required in order to become a curriculum specialist in general education or special education. This position appeals to a wide variety of professionals, including teachers, childcare workers, social workers, and anyone who wishes to work with people who are living with disabilities, and it can be rewarding in many ways. Overall, curriculum specialists set the educational trajectory for young students and the teachers who are guiding them through their education.
Compensation can vary for curriculum specialists, depending upon the job sector in which they work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2019, the mean annual wage for curriculum specialists working in government is $76,270; in elementary and secondary schools, $70,690; in educational support services, $67,580; and in colleges, universities, and professional schools, $60,910. Median pay for curriculum specialists in the United States is $66,290 per year.
Special Education Curriculum Specialist
A curriculum specialist who chooses to work in the special education field can positively impact young lives through education. He or she also has the added opportunity of helping students with learning and developmental disabilities gain critical knowledge that can enable them to transcend their limitations and live more fulfilling lives.
Three Special Education Master’s Degree Programs
As we discussed above, the path to a career as a curriculum specialist for special needs students begins with a master’s degree. The University of Texas Permian Basin offers three online master’s-level special education degree programs that can prepare you for a role as a special education curriculum specialist. You can choose a general program or one with a specific focus.
Master of Arts in Special Education
This program is designed for individuals who want to enrich the lives of students with developmental and learning disabilities. Our MA in special education explores the importance of technology and innovation in the contemporary classroom and shows students how they can overcome some of the unique challenges teachers face today, such as limited resources, issues of diversity and inclusion, and identifying and addressing individual student needs.
- Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
- 36 credits
- No GRE required
Master of Arts in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders Track
This program is designed for individuals who wish to address the differing needs of students on the autism spectrum and help them live more fulfilling lives. Our MA in special education, autism spectrum disorders track examines the role of technology and innovation in today’s classrooms and illustrates how teachers can overcome unique modern challenges, including resource limitations, parental involvement, diversity and inclusion issues, and recognizing the specific needs of students on the autism spectrum.
- 36 credits
- No GRE required
Master of Arts in Special Education, Educational Diagnostician Track
This program is designed for individuals interested in diagnosing and evaluating the learning needs of students. Our MA in special education, educational diagnostician track considers the place of technology and innovation in the classroom and provides comprehensive training in the use of standardized and curriculum-based assessments to discern learning or developmental disabilities in students.
- 48 credits
- No GRE required
- Leads to eligibility for the Texas Educational Diagnostician Certification
Assistance Paying for Your Master’s Degree Program
In addition to traditional financial aid and GI Bill options, you may qualify for a TEACH Grant. The TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students who are completing the coursework necessary to embark on a career in a high-need teaching position such as special education curriculum specialist. UT Permian Basin proudly participates in this essential program.
The Added Benefits of Earning a Rewarding Degree Online
Earning a master’s degree in special education online from UT Texas Permian Basin carries with it many benefits. No campus visits are required. Our programs feature asynchronous, 100% online courses that enable you to complete your coursework at your own pace, from any location with internet access. This is a tremendous advantage for on-the-go students who may be balancing their education with professional and personal responsibilities.
Depending on which program you choose, you can select from six start dates per year and finish your degree in as little as 12 months (or as little as 24 months for the educational diagnostician track). Our online courses are taught by the same acclaimed faculty who teach on campus, and when you graduate, your degree won’t say “online.” It’s the same degree you’d earn if you had attended classes in-person and carries the same prestige and the same weight with employers.
If you’re looking for a rewarding career helping special education students learn and grow, special education curriculum specialist may be the role for you. A master’s degree in special education from UT Permian Basin can help you acquire it. Learn more now.