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Education Specialist Degrees in Nebraska

The role of teachers in the classroom has changed significantly throughout the history of formal education, keeping in line with the evolving needs of schools and students.

Generally, the more knowledge you bring to the table, the more effective you are as a teacher. That’s why you have invested in your education to the point of completing a Master’s degree. With the creation of the education specialist degree, Nebraska teachers have another excellent option to consider.

Educational specialist programs were created to prepare highly experienced and qualified teachers for specialized positions in schools and school districts. For Master’s degree graduates, it is an excellent post-graduate option that does not require a dissertation or the extensive research of a PhD.

Role of Educators With an Ed.S Degree in Nebraska

Do you have classroom concerns you struggle to solve or are you eager to meet upcoming education changes head-on? Take the first step now by contacting education specialist degree programs in Nebraska.

With teachers coming under more and more pressure to prove their contributions through the grades of their students, the need for specialists in Nebraska classrooms is growing. Educational legislators in Nebraska are currently using college readiness exams to test the education quality of high school graduates (NET Nebraska, 2016). For outcomes to improve, school districts across the state need teachers who are willing to become experts in their subject areas.

In addition, becoming an education specialist may help you become part of new teaching initiatives in Nebraska. Nebraska elementary schools are starting to offer financial literacy programs to fourth and fifth graders, with the hope of setting them up for a solid financial future (Fox42, 2016).

An educational specialist degree can get you on the path to expertise in your subject area. Find out which option is right for you by reaching out to the programs listed below.

Getting Your Educational Specialist Degree in Nebraska

After you earn a Master’s degree, it may seem like your only option is a PhD. However, since a PhD can require up to five years of full-time study and is focused primarily on research, it’s not necessarily the best option for a working teacher or one who wants to keep working directly in schools.

That’s where the education specialist option comes in. Beyond the Master’s degree, this degree entails between 24 and 36 credits.You may be able to graduate in as little as four semesters with accelerated course work and summer classes. Furthermore, this degree is marketed to working teachers, so you do not have to cut back on your teaching hours while furthering your education.

It’s important to note that this degree is focused on teaching practice, not research. Although you may spend some time on educational research, the goal is to make you a more effective educator, administrator, or curriculum specialist. The area on which you concentrate depends on the degree you choose.

Some Nebraska Ed.S options are listed below:

  • School Superintendent
  • School Psychology
  • Leadership Development
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Special Education

Coursework is extremely different from program to program, due to the short timeframe of this degree and the need to build extensive experience in one area of teaching. If you want to become a principal or district superintendent, you may want to study educational administration or leadership. Curricula for these programs often concentrate on leadership within the school, in the community, in politics, and in curriculum development.

As you work toward your Ed.S degree, you may take courses like:

  • Program Evaluation
  • School Finance
  • Symposium in School Leadership
  • School Facilities
  • Urban School Leadership
  • Leadership Skills and Theory
  • Psychology of Disability

While some programs fall in the low end of the credit range, others require quite a bit more. In a school psychologist program, you may prepare to become a National Certified School Psychologist. This involves a fair amount of clinical practice and counseling work, so you may need at least three years of full-time study to graduate.

School psychology courses that are often required include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Practices in Counseling and Personnel Services
  • Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Ethical and Professional Practice in School Psychology
  • Multicultural Counseling

On top of your courses, which you may be able to complete online, you must meet practical experience requirements for your school. In a school psychology program, for example, that includes clinical rotations and psychology internships. In an administration program, you may complete a year-long principalship. In an area of instruction, student teaching may be in order.

Working With an Education Specialist Degree in Nebraska

If you have to meet additional requirements to work in your new field of study, you should start preparing for the licensing process before you graduate. The Nebraska Department of Education requires additional certification for teachers who want to begin working in special education, working in administration, or functioning in a special services department. Regardless of which path you choose, your degree may have a positive influence on your earning potential.

Some employment options are listed below with their average salary and expected job growth through 2022:

  • School administrator: 10% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $94,190 average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Instructional coordinator: 9% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $61,140 average salary (BLS,2016)
  • Elementary special education teacher: 10% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $55,210 average salary (BLS,2016)

The more education you have and the more time you spend working in your chosen position, the more experience you have to offer your employer, your school district, and new teachers. You may find yourself taking on a mentoring role for new or inexperienced teachers. You may even explore more challenging leadership opportunities, such as advocacy and association leadership.

Get involved in local teaching organizations, particularly those related to your specialty. Examples include the Nebraska State Educational Association and the Nebraska Educational Technology Association.

Each class of students that comes through your classroom may be forever affected by your teaching style, influence, and encouragement. Find out how to make the most of this opportunity, and contact local schools to get more information on earning a specialist degree in education.