Online Master’s Programs in Educational Administration

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Careers & Salaries with a Graduate Degree in Educational Administration

If you’re looking to take your teaching career to the next level, you might benefit from an online master’s degree in educational administration. Advancing your degree will allow you to take on more responsibility within your school and make decisions that directly influence the education and wellbeing of your students. A master’s degree in educational administration can also increase your job prospects, leading to a higher salary. Find out the best online programs, what they entail and what careers they can lead to.

Top 10 Online Master’s Programs in Educational Administration

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Best Online Master’s in Educational Administration

  • Methodology

    Best Online Master’s in Educational Administration 2018-2019

    Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factors
    Data Sources:

    All rankings: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
    Best Online MBA Programs: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (GMAT scores)
    Some nursing programs: NCLEX
    Nursing bridge programs: American Association of Colleges of Nursing and DiscoverNursing.com
    Accreditation: ABET and the US Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education

    Eligibility Criteria:

    Each college must be accredited
    Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
    Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
    Each college must have at least one online program 1
    Each college must have a maximum four-year tuition of $25,000 or a maximum two-year tuition of $5,000

    Ranking Factors:

    Affordability
    Quality
    Flexibility
    Program

    Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

    1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

    2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.
    Notes:

    A dash in our Rankings Tool indicates IPEDS data was not available.
    Tuition displayed in in-state and per year unless stated otherwise.

Our rankings are based on information provided by the Department of Education, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, as well as the university’s own published materials. All of the colleges and universities included in this list have been accredited. Students should only consider enrolling in accredited master’s programs, which ensures they are providing a quality education.

What Can I Learn in an Online Master’s in Educational Administration Program?

The time it takes to complete an online master’s in educational administration will depend on the online college program and the number of credit hours required to graduate. Typically, this graduate degree will take two years to complete as a full-time student. Students wishing to take the course on a part-time basis may take between three and four years to complete. Some online colleges may offer accelerated programs which may be completed in as few as 12 months.

Students should expect to gain the following skills from an online master’s in educational administration:

  • Deeper understanding of educational policy
  • Ability to transition to a leadership role
  • Broader knowledge of school-wide curricula
  • Hands-on experience in a school environment

What common courses are offered in a master’s in educational administration program?

Although courses offered in an online master’s in educational administration vary from college to college, most online courses offer the same core classes. These may include:

School Leadership

This course introduces students to the main theories of educational leadership as well as organizational practices within school systems. Participants gain an understanding of the challenges faced by today’s school leaders.

Leadership for Social Justice

This course is designed to give students the necessary skills for an entry-level administrative position. Participants gain knowledge relating to social justice in educational leadership.

Leadership for Accountability

This course focuses on developing school leaders with the ability to solve problems and guide educational policy. Participants examine the state accountability system, analyze data and look for ways to improve the curriculum and instructional practices.

Instructional Supervision

Students learn the importance of supervision in the educational process. They will compare and contrast historical perspectives and models of instructional supervision as well as contemporary practices.

School Community Relations

This course provides a foundation for the development of relationships between the school faculty, the community and parents with the aim of supporting and improving student education.

Curriculum Management

This course introduces state-level curriculum models and frameworks, and the assessment and implementation of educational standards.

Human Resource Management

Students focus on developing human resources to support the optimum learning and instructional goals of the school. Topics include contract renewal, employment and personnel law, teacher development, personnel policies and confidentiality.

School Law

This course introduces the spectrum of laws and regulations relating to education. Issues covered include student’s rights, teacher’s rights, the responsibilities of school officials, and legal aspects of school policies.

School Finance

Students learn about the funding needs of schools and the best practices for managing financial resources. They also examine current trends in state funding across the United States.

What exams or projects should I expect?

Students taking an online master’s degree in educational administration can expect to complete one or more of the following exams or projects in order to graduate:

Examination

Often a written examination is required to culminate an online master’s degree in educational administration. If this is the case, students will sit for the exam during the final semester of their program. The exam will cover all the theoretical and practical aspects of their program and will be completed in one sitting.

Practicum

Typically, students will be expected to complete a directed internship within a real-life school setting. The setting will vary depending on whether the student is taking a general master’s degree in educational administration or is specializing in Pre-K-12 education or adult and higher education. A Practicum for Supervision is designed to give the participant hands-on, job-related experience under the direct supervision of faculty and a school district supervisor. A Practicum for Principal is designed to give the participant hands-on, job-related experience dealing with management and leadership issues under the direct supervision of faculty and a school district supervisor.

What specializations are available in a master’s in educational administration program?

Specializations in a master’s in educational administration program will vary. The most common specializations for this major include:

Adult and Higher Education Specialization

This specialization enables students to explore the theory and practice of post-secondary education. It gives them knowledge and skills to implement professional and academic objectives in the field of adult and higher education.

Pre-K-12 Principal Specialization

This specialization is designed for aspiring school leaders and offers a combination of online courses and hands-on experience. The specialization provides a balance of theoretical and practical training to produce effective school administrators.

What Can I do with a Master’s in Educational Administration Degree?

Potential careers for graduates with an online master’s in educational administration include:

Education or Training Specialist

Specific duties for this position will vary depending on the school and the district. In general, education specialists work with schools to maximize students’ academic progress. They may focus on certain areas such as implementing technology in the classroom or helping students with learning disabilities. A master’s in educational administration may also open up positions in training or development outside the field of education.

School Principal

Depending on the student’s specializations, an educator with an online master’s degree in educational administration may embark on a career path as a principal in a Pre-K to 12 or post-secondary school. Their roles will involve helping to set budgets, upholding academic standards, and designing school-wide curricula.

School District Superintendent

School district superintendents are responsible for dealing with issues similar to school principals, the main difference being that superintendents are responsible for several schools within the same district. Their role involves setting budgeting guidelines and implementing standards for students’ academic goals and behavior.

University Registrar

University registrars work alongside other college administrators to design course curricular and designate required courses for degree programs. They also shape college policies.

Students who are taking an online master’s degree in educational administration may benefit from joining the following professional organizations:

National Education Association

School principals can benefit from this organization because it helps them to stay in touch with other professionals in the field and also to learn about the latest developments in public education policy.

National Association of Elementary School Principals

This professional organization supports school improvement efforts through national mentor training, annual conferences, and webinars and online learning programs.

National Association of Secondary School Principals

This organization provides learning experiences to strengthen school leadership including a magazine and podcasts.

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

This organization advocates a whole child approach with the aim of re-defining the previously narrow understanding of academic achievement at state and national levels.

How Much Can I Make with a Career in Educational Administration?

CareerLowest 10% Earned AnnuallyMedian Annual SalaryHighest 10% Earned AnnuallyJob Growth 2016-2026
Training & Development SpecialistLess than $33,150$60,360More than $102,340+11%
School Principal Pre-K-12Less than $60,760$94,390More than $140,780+8%
Education Administrator K-12Less than $60,760$97,440More than $140,780N/A
Education Administrator PostsecondaryLess than $52,960$92,360More than $182,150+10%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

Most educational administration positions are growing slightly faster than the average 7 percent of job growth for all occupations. Positions that fall in the training and development specialist field, which can be within the field of education or outside of it, are growing even faster at eleven percent.

Those considering a master’s degree in educational administration should also keep in mind the potential increase in salary. According to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the median annual salary for those with a graduate degree is $16,000 more than those with a bachelor’s degree in general education fields.

Online Master’s in Educational Administration Program Accreditation

Accreditation and licensing are crucial for an education graduate’s next career move. Most colleges offering online master’s degrees in educational administration are accredited by one of the following national bodies:

Students pursuing a master’s degree in educational administration will also require licensure within their state after completing the degree. Each state licensing board has different rules or regulations. Graduates will need to contact their state licensing board to find out what information they must provide to acquire an education license. Teachers can find out more about state licensing at teaching certification.com.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Educational Administration Degree

Whether you are a novice teacher or a veteran educator, if you are considering going back to school to deepen your knowledge and skills in the field of education you will likely want to access grants, loans and scholarships. The cost of online master’s degrees in educational administration can vary considerably between colleges. Here are some options for paying for this type of course:

  • Federal Funding Students may apply for federal financial aid for an online course. The application process is the same as for an on-campus course. Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which will enable the college to determine if they are eligible.
  • State Funding Teachers applying for an online master’s degree in educational administration may contact their local state board of education to seek funding. A good place to start is the College Grants Database.
  • Employer Assistance Many employers within the education system value continuing education, particularly in the field of educational administration. Teachers who wish to pursue this type of master’s degree should check with the school they are currently teaching at to determine whether it offers funding assistance for an online master’s program.
  • Scholarships There are a number of national organizations offering scholarships for master’s degrees in educational administration. These include:
  • AASA Educational Administration Scholarships The annual AASA award offers scholarships for up to $2,500 each to five outstanding graduate students who are taking a master’s degree in school administration or educational leadership.
  • Alpha Delta Kappa ITE Scholarships The ITE Scholarships have been helping students pursue master’s degrees in fields of education since 1961. To qualify, applicants must be single women with no dependents.
  • Donald H. and Verna S. Duncan Fellowship This scholarship was created by Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International in memory of elementary teacher and former board member, Verna S. Duncan, and Donald H. Duncan. To qualify applicants must be pursuing an advanced degree in educational leadership.

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