There are many reasons for teachers to consider earning a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. Many states require a master’s for licensure. A higher salary is more motivation. For example, Boston public school teachers with a bachelor’s and five years’ experience earned $77,710 per year in the 2017-18 school year. This jumps to $82,752 with a master’s, according to Boston Teachers Union teacher salary grids.
The biggest payoff is in the classroom. Professor Nancy Murray, Ed.D., at Fitchburg State University explained: “Whether your state requires a master’s or not, earning a master’s is going to help you have more tools in your toolbox, more knowledge and information to better serve the students you’re working with.”
Fitchburg State offers two M.Ed. programs — the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching (Non-Licensure) and the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Management. Both programs are online, an ideal format for working teachers.
What Is the Focus of Each M.Ed. Program?
Both M.Ed. programs emphasize teacher effectiveness and student learning. These programs also prepare graduates for leadership roles, in and out of the classroom. To support this, graduate students in each program take the Using Data to Improve Student Learning course, which teaches them to analyze data and draw insights to improve performance.Â In addition, numerous courses in Fitchburg State’s M.Ed. programs feature field-based learning components.
The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching online program is designed for classroom teachers who work with students. Dean of Education Bruno Hicks, Ed.D., stresses the program’s emphasis on creating “thinkers, not just learners.” Coursework includes:
- Strategies for Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Explores underlying causes of challenging behaviors and appropriate interventions.
- Law for the Educator: Examines constitutional and statutory provisions at local, state and national levels, with an emphasis on precedent-setting cases.
- Using Technology to Enhance Student Achievement: Introduces technologies and tools for expanding the traditional classroom.
- Consultation and Collaboration Strategies: Emphasizes culturally proficient communication and collaboration with diverse families.
Additional courses cover reading and writing in the content areas, the role of assessment in maximizing student progress, research practices in education, and key issues facing today’s educators.
The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Management online program emphasizes skills and competencies for administrative and leadership roles. The cutting-edge program challenges future leaders to be culturally proficient and create schools that support every student. Courses include:
- Leaders Promoting Success for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners: Emphasizes best practices in instruction for learners from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
- Strategies for Effective Administrators: Covers topics such as communicating effectively, developing a positive culture for continuous improvement and data-driven decision-making.
- School-Community Partnerships: Covers strategies for building meaningful school, family and community partnerships to enhance students’ cognitive, social and emotional development.
Additional courses cover legal and ethical considerations, human resource management, budgeting and financing, information management, current research in education, instructional leadership, and technology leadership.
RAND Corporation reports that teachers have a greater impact on student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. High-quality graduate programs can prepare educators to maximize learning.
Fitchburg State’s strong reputation for training teachers is seen in the calls and emails Dr. Murray gets from employers looking for graduates of the education programs. “We pride ourselves in the quality of our programs and the students that we put into the field to work with kids at any grade level.”
Learn more about Fitchburg State’s online M.Ed. programs.
National Council on Teacher Quality: Teacher Contract Database
Boston Teachers Union: Teacher Salary Grids
RAND Education: Teachers Matter: Understanding Teachers’ Impact on Student Achievement