Educational leadership is as important as it sounds. But what exactly does it mean? A cursory web search will yield many different meanings. All of these definitions have one common thread binding them together, however: helping educators perform their best so students can excel. The impact of educational leadership is profound and extensive. As a leader in education, your influence can be felt from the classroom where teachers and students interact every day to the boardrooms where tomorrow’s leaders make important decisions, and everywhere in between.
In terms of professional roles, educational leadership encompasses principal and assistant principal positions at the school level as well as superintendent positions at the district level. These, too, share a common element: they each require a master’s degree. A master’s degree in educational leadership can be your next step toward a leadership position in elementary and secondary schools. Graduate degrees put you on the path to increased career potential and can increase your professional credibility in education and in many other professions.
Completing an educational leadership master’s degree can help teachers who want to transition into leadership roles meet minimum requirements and prepare for principal certification and superintendent certification. You could even end up mentoring educators who are at the career level you’re at now. With your unique understanding of their concerns and challenges, you’re exceptionally suited for such a position. In your role, you’ll also foster strong relationships between schools, teachers, students, parents, and the greater community.
Why Study Educational Leadership?
Aside from the fact that it’s a requirement, a master’s degree in educational leadership is where you hone leadership expertise. As a student in an MA in educational leadership program, you’ll undergo training in a diverse range of crucial areas of leadership, including:
- Instructional and administrative leadership
- Cultural proficiency
- Public relations
- Human resource management
- School law and ethics
- Fiscal responsibility
- Organizational theory
The prevailing goal of this MA program is to prepare you to become a school leader equipped to drive positive change by helping teachers improve educational processes in elementary and secondary schools. Going beyond basic management functions, these encompass:
- Hiring the most qualified teachers and staff.
- Developing and supervising budgets.
- Establishing curriculum standards.
- Putting effective policies and procedures in place throughout your school or district.
Setting Educators Up for Success
As an educational leader, you have the critical responsibility of establishing and maintaining the direction for your organization. You ensure that the best-qualified educators are hired. Once they’re part of your school, you provide those teachers with the tools they need to succeed.
Preparing Young Minds for the Future
Top-performing teachers yield top-performing students. It’s generally understood that a solid educational foundation is a necessity for young people to grow into productive, successful adults. As an education leader, you can give children the foundation they need for more rewarding lives and careers. When leading students from the beginning of their formal education, you put their personal and professional growth in your hands. Many of the essential daily social skills they’ll need start right there in the classroom.
Augmenting Your Own Professional Success
Helping others can be a great feeling. It can also be rewarding in terms of compensation, with salaries approaching or surpassing six figures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school principals in the United States was $96,400 in 2019. The same source states that education administrators from kindergarten through secondary levels earn a mean annual wage of $100,340 as of 2019. This includes a variety of roles, from principal and dean to district supervisors and superintendents.
How Do You Get Started With an MA in Educational Leadership?
If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have at least one year of teaching experience, you’ve already met some of the major requirements to enroll in a graduate degree program. You’ll also need to meet minimum GPA requirements and may need to submit additional requirements such as essays or letters of recommendations.
What Other Qualities Do You Need?
As we’ve discussed, certain educational and professional requirements must be met before becoming an education leader. Beyond that, however, there are a number of key personality traits you should possess. In your capacity as a principal, for example, you will regularly interact with many people, including fellow administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Hence, “people skills” are critical in this position. The BLS suggests that these are the most important nonacademic skills you should possess if you’re planning to pursue a leadership role:
- Communication skills
- Critical-thinking skills
- Decision-making skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership skills
- Problem-solving skills
The Advantages of Earning Your MA in Educational Leadership Online
An online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas Permian Basin has many advantages. Asynchronous, 100% online learning means you’ll enjoy the convenience of completing coursework anywhere, on your own schedule. This is especially beneficial to students who are working in the education field and students balancing their education with family obligations. The vast majority of applicants to this UT Permian Basin program fit one or both of those descriptions.
Our flexible program has six start dates a year and enables you to complete your educational leadership master’s degree in as little as one year. It features the same curriculum and acclaimed faculty members who teach on the UT Permian Basin campus at the College of Education, which is accredited by the prestigious Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
What’s more, the program has practicum experiences that help you prepare for principal certification and superintendent certification. These opportunities are ideal for students seeking K-12 educational leadership roles within Texas.
If you’re still asking yourself, “Why study educational leadership?” the answer is that you’ll find a graduate degree beneficial in so many ways. We encourage you to learn more about the benefits of UT Permian Basin’s online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership today.