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Master’s in Education Degree in Wisconsin

Wisconsin takes its public education system seriously. Grounded in student success, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Educator Effectiveness System ensures the continuous improvement of its educational system while supporting the professional growth and development of its educators. Outstanding resources and professional training opportunities – and methods for evaluating their effectiveness – are front and center here, with the ultimate goal of creating and maintaining a highly qualified workforce of public school educators.

With a high school graduation rate of nearly 89% and per-student spending of about $12,000, Wisconsin is ranked 11th in public education in the nation, as of 2020. Promising statistics like these solidify Wisconsin’s unwavering focus on educator and student success. Without a doubt, teachers here who earn a master’s in education are part of this state’s success.

With a master’s in education on your resume, you’ll be among Wisconsin’s most esteemed educators, and you’ll earn plenty of respect and recognition in the process. Whether you’re seeking a master’s in education as your initial path to teacher certification, as a way to earn an additional teacher endorsement, or your interests in education lie outside of the classroom, in areas like administration, public policy, research, or beyond, today’s master’s degrees for educators open plenty of professional doors, increase your earning potential, and are designed with your success – and your students’ success – in mind.

Where will a master’s in education take your career? Keep reading to learn more about the Wisconsin colleges and universities offering master’s degrees in education and the many options you’ll have when it comes time to choose a program:

Earning Your Master’s in Education for Licensing in Wisconsin – Why Get a Master’s Degree?

Wisconsin’s recently updated teacher licensing requirements to a tiered system replaces the older, more complicated licensing system.

The new licensing system has no less than four tiers, with the Master Educator License being the top (fourth) tier. To earn the Master Educator License, you must complete National Board Certification or the Wisconsin Master Educator Assessment Process and hold a Tier III Lifetime License with at least five years of teaching experience under the Tier III license.

There are plenty of options for earning your master’s in education in Wisconsin. Designed as Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.), or Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) programs, these graduate-level degrees may serve as a pathway to your initial teaching certificate in Wisconsin, as a pathway to earning a second endorsement, or as a graduate course of study in areas like instructional design, learning and technology, and curriculum development.

Of course, a bachelor’s in education is always an option for initial licensure, but alternative pathways also exist. In recent years, many Wisconsin colleges and universities have begun offering a specialized master’s in education that is specifically designed for career changers who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field and are pursuing an initial teaching license. These accelerated programs build off a student’s previous education as they work to earn a master’s degree that will qualify them for an initial license.

Types of Education Master’s Degrees

In general, there are two main types of master’s degrees. A Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree focuses on developing teaching skills in specific subjects and grade levels. A Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree focuses on educational theory and leadership skills. Note that there is no standard system for naming degrees — different institutions may use different designations.

Online Master of Education (MEd) and MAT Programs in Wisconsin

Master’s in education programs are built with convenience and flexibility in mind, so it’s quite common to find a wealth of programs designed as traditional, on-campus programs, hybrid programs that combine both online and on-campus study, and fully online master of education programs that feature all distance-based coursework for busy, working professionals.

In Wisconsin, a number of colleges and universities offer hybrid and/or online master’s in education programs that make it easier than ever to earn your master’s degree while maintaining your professional obligations.

Public colleges and universities in Wisconsin offering hybrid and/or online master’s in education programs include:

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • University of Wisconsin-River Falls
  • University of Wisconsin-Superior
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Wisconsin private colleges and universities offering online master’s in education programs include:

  • Edgewood College
  • Lakeland University
  • Concordia University-Wisconsin
  • Marian University
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carroll University
  • Ottawa University-Milwaukee
  • Maranatha Baptist University
  • Viterbo University

Jobs and Salary Benefits with a Master’s in Education Degree in Wisconsin

It’s an exciting time to earn your master’s in education in Wisconsin to either enter or advance in the field of education. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, jobs among K-12 educators are expected to grow about 5.8% between 2018 and 2028. During this period ending in 2028, the state will experience about 2,670 annual job openings at the elementary level and about 1,670 annual job openings at the secondary level due to a combination of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median salary of $56,970 for Wisconsin’s elementary school teachers and a median salary of $58,630 for secondary education teachers.

At the top of the pay scale in Wisconsin (75th – 90th percentile), which largely reflects educators with advanced degrees like the master’s in education and significant experience, elementary school teachers earn $69,040 – $79,620, while secondary teachers here earn $70,310 – $80,630.

May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job growth data for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed April 2021.

Job growth projections sourced from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and reported in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.

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