Masters in Secondary Education

People often begin their search for a perfect secondary education masters degree program for many reasons: they’re starting a new career, enhancing their current occupation, or maintaining their licensure. No matter your incentive, stepping into the classroom could be your opportunity to expand your working knowledge of the theories, techniques, and methods to support students. With multiple master degree program options, and several formats to take classes, there could be a perfect secondary education degree masters program out there that fits your unique lifestyle.

Secondary Education Masters

Pursuing a Secondary Education Masters Degree Program: The Basics

You may be wondering why you should earn a secondary education master’s degree, especially if you’re currently a licensed educator. For those presently teaching, it could be a great way to update and strengthen your teaching methods. More importantly, some states may require teachers to earn a master’s degree to maintain their licensure.[i]  For those pursuing a new career in education, a master’s degree program could be a great way to earning your license and undertaking relevant coursework at the same time.[ii]

A master’s degree program might also impact your future career. Education admins who have earned their master’s degree may have a wage premium of $23,000 over their colleagues who earned only a bachelor’s degree[iii]. Still unconvinced? Teachers seeking to enhance their career may consider earning an advanced degree because roles such as instructional coordinators, administration leadership, or even principals may require one as a prerequisite.[iv]

Common Admissions Requirements for Masters in Secondary Education Degree Programs

When researching a secondary education master’s degree program, you may come across a sea of admission requirements. With many degree programs, specific admission criteria may vary, but some generalities may appear. In terms of previous academic performance, programs may require applicants to hold a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Other general admissions requirements might be, but are not limited to:

  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • CV or resume
  • Professional teaching portfolio

If you’re new to the educational field, check to ensure that your intended program offers a licensure program in addition to your coursework. That way, you could step into a classroom immediately following graduation.

Which Secondary Education Master’s Degree Program Is Perfect for You?

Beginning your search for a secondary education master’s degree may seem like a daunting task! Unending lists of degree programs may be both confusing and intimidating. Specifying your personal criteria might be a great way to narrow down the playing field. Do you currently have an undergraduate degree in education? What subjects do you want to improve? What are your career goals? With your answers in mind, consider the following degree programs to see which one lines up with your aspirations.

A few common master’s degree programs you may find are:

  • A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a concentration in Secondary Education could be a great starting point for those entering the educational field because it places its main focus on grade 5-12 core academia. Degree programs may also offer additional coursework designed to support teachers’ methods in the classroom and how they interact with students.
  • The Master of Science in Secondary Education may provide a more in-depth look into the central subjects taught in secondary schools. Students could gain deeper understanding of courses such as history, English, and STEM.  Like the MAT, the M.S may also place an emphasis on a teacher’s in-classroom skills.
  • Master of Education in Secondary Education degree programs are twofold: the programs may split their focus between general liberal arts education and educational research. This may be another great program for those making the jump into the educational field because it covers new teaching methods that could be applied in the classroom.

Possible Course Load

Secondary education master’s programs may include coursework dedicated to adolescent students and their learning habits. Classes may vary from school to school, but some common offerings might include:

  • Teaching theories & methods
  • Core subjects (math, language arts, etc.)
  • Curriculum development

Teaching Licensure

Currently practicing educators have already earned their teaching licensure, but those newly entering the field may have to go through the licensing process. Teaching requirements vary by state, but some common ones may be:

  • Written examination
  • Background checks
  • Verification of Bachelor’s Degree
  • State issued education courses

Check with your specific state for the requirements that may apply to you.

Accreditation

While completing coursework from an accredited master’s degree program is not required for licensure, those who do may study a standardized national education curriculum that is easily recognized by school districts and fellow educators. The U. S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation. The NCATE accredits schools, colleges, and departments of education in U.S. colleges and universities, as well as non-university entities that prepare educators for P-12 schools[v].

Which Secondary Education Master’s Degree Program Format Works for You?

Once you picked out the secondary education master’s degree program that fits your academic goals, it’s time to find the format that may support your lifestyle. Regardless if you have a busy schedule or are looking to become a full-time student, there could be a great master’s degree program option out there for you.

An on-campus secondary education masters program could be a perfect program for students looking for a scheduled educational atmosphere. The traditional, on-campus experience may offer many possible advantages. Students may be encouraged to participate in debates and discussions with their peers or to seek out additional instruction from their professors during office hours. Outside of the classroom, students could become involved with campus activities like sporting events, music performances, and other occasions. Don’t forget to check your course catalog! Some schools may offer online courses in case your schedule gets busier and you’re unable to make it to campus for a semester.

Alternatively, an online secondary education master’s program offers the convenience and flexibility of having your classroom in your own home. Students could be able to log into classes and complete coursework as their schedule allows. This might be a great asset for current teachers who have their own papers to grade! Worried about missing the campus experience? Many degree programs may offer live-streamed lectures and class chatrooms so online students could participate in the physical classroom. Additionally, some schools may offer students access to their library and technology facilities to aid their research and studies.

Find a Perfect Secondary Education Masters Degree Program Today!

No matter whether this is your first foray into the world of teaching or the next step in your career, there could be a perfect secondary education master’s degree program out there for you! You’ve done your research and Gradschools.com is here to help you begin your journey. To start your search, select your preferred program and format to view list of sponsored links. Looking for something closer to home? Enter your preferred city and state to narrow down the results even further. Find a great secondary education master’s program today!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Education | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [v] ncate.org/

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