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Education Specialist Degrees in North Carolina

The success of a state or society isn’t determined by the short-term, immediate decisions that legislators and administrators make. Rather, the future of a society is decided by how much it invests in its children. Throughout your teaching career, you have likely become familiar with the research that shows how important it is for children to have consistent access to high-quality education throughout their lives.

Although your career choice means that you are doing a lot to achieve this goal, earning an education specialist degree may empower you to do even more.

Role of Educators With an Ed.S Degree in North Carolina

Education needs vary throughout North Carolina, from mountainous remote communities to established urban school districts. Education specialist degree NC options may help you expand your skills and take your career further.

Legislators have long recognized the importance of teachers, but they are finally starting to pay attention to what teachers need to succeed. As a result, the current North Carolina state budget may allow for an annual teacher raise of 5% (WBTV, 2016).

There are other education priorities in the 2016 legislative session. Leaders hope to improve outcomes at low-performing schools, attract new teachers to the field, and keep talented teachers in North Carolina (News Observer, 2016). In addition, with administration struggling in some areas of the state, legislators recognize the need to attract dedicated principals to North Carolina schools.

Are you ready to become a stronger teaching professional? Find out how education specialist degree programs can help you get started.

Getting Your Educational Specialist Degree in North Carolina

The education specialist degree is a post-Master’s certificate, so you do need a Master’s degree before you can begin coursework at this level. If you currently have a Bachelor’s degree in teaching, you may be able to attend a program that combines Master’s degree requirements and education specialist requirements. These programs typically require between 60 and 70 credits, while a standard Ed.S program includes between 30 and 40 credits.

Since you have already gained some experience as a working teacher, you should be very familiar with the education field and know what you want to accomplish with it. It’s particularly important to select a specialty that suits your future career plans, as Ed.S coursework is highly specific to each specialty.

Some Ed.S. options available in North Carolina are listed below:

  • Educational Administration
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Executive Leadership

Credit requirements tend to vary a bit from specialty to specialty, which is why curriculum comparison should be part of your school selection. As an educational administration student, you may enroll in courses like:

  • Issues in Rural Education
  • Advanced Leadership Theory
  • Educational Politics and Policies
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Seminar in School Law
  • Behavior and Management of Educational Organizations

In some cases, programs seem very similar but actually have very diverse outcomes and expectations. For example, courses commonly required in the field of executive leadership can be found here:

  • Research and Assessment for Executive Leaders
  • Curriculum and Instructional Development
  • 21st Century School Leadership
  • School Administration
  • Leadership at the District Level
  • Leading Change for Educational Transformation

While executive leadership may seem very similar to educational administration at first glance, the administrative path addresses more of the practical skills and knowledge needed for serving in principal positions. Executive leadership covers some of the same information, but it also explores high-level leadership skills and theories that relate to these positions.

In any Ed.S degree program, you must meet certain practical experience requirements. These range from semester-long student teaching experiences to year-long principalship positions. Outside of these expectations, you may be able to complete much of your coursework online, which is one of the most convenient features of this degree.

You may use your degree to benefit the field of education in a variety of ways. Even before you graduate, the information you gain may help you work more effectively in your current position. With additional experience and knowledge, you can put yourself in a better place to understand students’ needs and address them properly. In addition, focusing on one area of education may help you better tackle learning outcomes and goals in one subject area.

Working With an Education Specialist Degree in North Carolina

The next step in your education career depends on what type of job you plan on pursuing. If you want to move from teaching to administration or switch specialties in the field of teaching, you may need a new endorsement for your license. This process goes through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Staying involved in the teaching community is important, particularly since one of the goals of this degree is to increase leadership among teachers and strengthen professional connections. There are quite a few opportunities to connect with other teachers in North Carolina. Local groups include the North Carolina Association of Educators and the Classroom Teachers Association of North Carolina.

If you plan on switching career paths, a job search may be in your future. The list below includes popular education career paths, expected job growth through 2022, and the current average salary in North Carolina:

  • School administrator: 10% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $68,660 average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Instructional coordinator: 15% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $57,670average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Elementary school teacher: 17% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $43,900 average salary (BLS, 2016)

Education is becoming more specialized all the time, providing students with more personalized learning opportunities in each subject area. If you want to be ready for the future of teaching in North Carolina, take the first step now by contacting education specialist programs in North Carolina.

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