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Education Specialist Degrees in Pennsylvania

One of the most important things society can do to protect its future is to invest in children. What children learn and do today may impact the state of Pennsylvania for decades to come. With strong, devoted teachers at each grade level, students may gain the skills they need for successful lives and careers.

There are many things you can do to ensure that you are giving your students every possible opportunity. Earning an education specialist degree is one option. This two-year program builds on your graduate-level knowledge to elevate your expertise of your subject area.

Advanced education degrees in PA address the unique needs of Pennsylvania students. Find schools near you with the list of programs below.

Role of Educators With an Ed.S Degree in Pennsylvania

In the past, Pennsylvania education has struggled due to lack of funding. This is expected to change significantly in coming years, due to the federal government intervening and requiring the state government to increase spending (Times Online, 2016). This could benefit you, as districts may have the money they need to employ specialists in various subject areas.

The critical thinking skills you gain as an education specialist are utilized in a number of ways at Pennsylvania schools. In Pennsylvania, nonprofits and corporations have pledged $25 million to strengthen innovation in education (Trib Live, 2016).

Education specialist programs may be the ideal option for your busy schedule and career goals. Reach out to local schools to learn more about pursuing this degree.

Getting Your Educational Specialist Degree in Pennsylvania

The Ed.S degree is an advanced post-graduate degree that expects a high level of teaching knowledge and competence. It is intended for students who already have a Master’s degree, a teaching license, and a teaching career. A small selection of schools allow students to combine graduate coursework and specialist coursework into a longer program.

The objective of this degree is to create more teachers and administrators who have targeted experience in one area of education. For that reason, you must choose a specialty before making other decisions.

Pennsylvania institutions offer these and other specialties:

  • School Psychology
  • Education Leadership
  • Reading Specialist
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education

The curriculum for a program is determined individually for each specialty. For example, school psychology leads to licensure as a school psychologist. Coursework must cover psychology theory, psychology as it applies to education, and ethical aspects of psychological practice.

Your Ed.S curriculum may include:

  • Psychological Development in Childhood
  • Counseling and Therapeutic Approaches
  • Elementary School Guidance
  • Emotional and Behavior Disorders in Children
  • Positive Behavioral Support
  • Advanced Methods for Inclusion
  • Crisis Management in Schools

On the other hand, a reading specialist degree is based largely on what you already know about teaching. Courses relate to advanced literacy education techniques, current evidence, ongoing research in reading education, and literacy needs of different age groups.

Required courses often include:

  • Linguistic Foundations of Literacy
  • Reading Program in the Elementary School
  • Reading Program in the Middle/Secondary School
  • Foundations of Instructional Coaching
  • Literacy Assessment Analysis
  • Current Issues in Reading Research
  • Qualitative Education Research

All in all, plan on earning between 30 and 40 credits as an education specialist student. With how courses are scheduled and structured, you may be able to complete this degree in approximately four semesters.

Funding is a common concern, particularly for teachers who already have student loans from their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Since your degree may benefit your school district, you may be able to have some or all of your education paid for by your school district. In addition, some districts offer tuition reimbursement.

Outside of your traditional courses, you do need to complete a specific amount of classroom experience. Requirements differ between programs and even between specialties.

One of the main benefits of pursuing this degree is the influence it has on the field of education as a whole. As more teachers specialize in various areas of academia, students may get more personalized learning experiences for each subject. In turn, public perception of teachers may grow even stronger, bringing attention to the importance of teaching as a career.

Working With an Education Specialist Degree in Pennsylvania

If your degree prepares you to work in a new area of teaching or a new area of education entirely, your next stop is the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. As a student, you should find out whether or not your intended career path requires a different license from the one you already have. You can begin this process shortly before graduating.

Taking your education to the next level may pay off in terms of job outlook or income. Explore career options below, along with expected job growth through 2022 and average salary information:

  • School administrator: 200 jobs per year expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $99,010average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Instructional coordinator: 10% expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $62,270average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Secondary special education teacher: 120 jobs per year expected growth (O*Net, 2016); $64,770 average salary (BLS, 2016)

Depending on your area of study, you may influence the future of teaching in your community with an Ed.S degree. Use your education and passion for teaching to inspire other teachers. You may become active in groups like the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association.

Now is the time to explore your potential in education. Discover how becoming an education specialist can help you become a better teacher by contacting Pennsylvania schools today.

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