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Education Specialist Degrees in West Virginia

Education is the one field that has the opportunity to equalize children’s opportunities. No matter a child’s socioeconomic status, family size and makeup, or extracurricular opportunities, they should all have access to high-quality, evidence-based education.

This goal may be a bit more challenging in states like West Virginia, where rural communities often have difficulty securing and retaining teachers year after year. However, you can contribute by advancing your education with an Ed.S degree.

Role of Educators With an Ed.S Degree in West Virginia

Think about what you want to do in the future with your teaching career. Whether you want to go into administration, add a second type of licensure to your endorsements, or create materials used all over the state, contact West Virginia education specialist programs to find out which option is right for you.

Education specialist programs are intended to create leaders in each school district and within each area of specialization. This is crucial in West Virginia, where many rural districts must rely on Teach for America volunteers to staff their classrooms (EdWeek, 2016). This means that many West Virginia teachers follow an alternative certification path, and the presence of leaders within each school can help these new teaching professionals provide excellent instruction to their students.

As many states create their own education standards, West Virginia is following suit. The Next Generation Science Standards are to be implemented in the 2016-2017 school year (WV Gazette Mail, 2016). This set of standards requires teachers to discuss climate change and its origins, and advanced education may give you new ways to tackle complex topics with students.

Ready to take the next step in your training? There are many options to consider. Contact education specialist degree WV programs to find out more.

Getting Your Educational Specialist Degree in West Virginia

Since education specialist programs are a fairly new addition to the teaching field, you may have a lot to learn about this option. Most programs are made up of 30 to 40 credits, depending on the subject you study and which school you attend. You may be able to complete your training in approximately two years, although there are part-time options available at some schools.

Coursework is extremely focused, minimizing the need for generalized review and theory courses. A growing number of schools offer classes online for teachers who work full-time in a West Virginia school. However, you do need to complete practical education courses throughout your training, which may require you to take some time off from your regular classroom.

First, think about the area of concentration you would like to study. This impacts which schools you are able to attend. Some popular West Virginia options include:

  • School Psychology
  • Educational Technology
  • Educational Administration
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Reading and Literacy

Once you begin your training, you should take a variety of courses that explore advanced theory and research, as well as skills that you can use in your classroom. For example, the following courses are typically required in reading and literacy programs:

  • Learner-Centered Curriculum
  • Research Theory, Design, and Analysis
  • Issues in Reading and Literacy
  • Assessment and Data Analysis to Support Effective Literacy Programs
  • Program Evaluation

Keep in mind that some programs are considerably longer than others. For example, the field of school psychology requires you to become a licensed school psychologist before you work, so you have to meet strict coursework and practicum requirements.

Some of the classes you may take as a school psychology student include:

  • Biological Bases of School Psychology
  • Experimental Design
  • Cognitive and Emotional Bases of School Psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Advanced Developmental Psychology
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychology
  • Data-Based Decision Making
  • Psychometrics
  • School Consultation
  • Instruction Methods and Behavior Modification

Education specialists can perform a number of functions in West Virginia schools, making them indispensable to this industry. If you work with new or inexperienced teachers, your specialist training may give you the communication skills and in-depth knowledge you need to help them thrive in their classrooms.

You may also be able to handle challenging student situations that come up each year. As a result, students who may have otherwise given up may go on to do well in your subject and improve their future school and career options. Clearly, the field of education benefits from teachers who invest their time in ongoing training.

Working With an Education Specialist Degree in West Virginia

Earning an advanced degree may have a positive influence on your salary, especially if you want to jump into a career in leadership, administration, or curriculum development. Common career options are listed below with the average salary for West Virginia:

  • School administrator: $68,780 average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Instructional coordinator: $55,820 average salary (BLS, 2016)
  • Elementary school teacher: $45,520 average salary (BLS, 2016)

If your career requires you to pursue a new license or add an endorsement to your existing license, your next step is the West Virginia Department of Education. You may need to take additional assessment tests to prove your competence in a new subject area. For that reason, you may want to save time by applying shortly before graduation.

Quite a few teaching associations serve the educators of West Virginia. It is highly recommended that you get involved with these groups, both as a member and as a leader. Take advantage of opportunities at general associations like the West Virginia Education Association and West Virginia Professional Educators. You may also look for groups in your subject area, such as the West Virginia Science Teachers Association and the West Virginia Music Teachers Association.

Your teaching career has the potential to change thousands of lives. Discover how you can take your education to the next level by contacting West Virginia schools about earning a specialist degree in education.

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