What is a Master of Education?

Posted: April 09, 2020 | Author: Madelyn Bushman | Read Time: 4 minutes

The decision to obtain a master’s degree in education is often discussed as a no-brainer for teachers. This is because most educators view a master’s as the natural next step after getting a job as a teacher.

Let’s take a look into what a Master of Education is, how the program is structured at Southern Utah University, why it’s important, and what you can do with an M.Ed.

What is a Master of Education?

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) at SUU is designed for practicing teachers seeking to enhance their professional teaching skills. A “practicing teacher” certainly includes traditional K-12 school teachers, but also includes people who are working/practicing in an educational setting. Examples could be teacher aides, substitute teachers, private music teachers, exercise instructors and health educators.

SUU’s Master of Education program will teach students about the historical, philosophical, and political aspects of education, aiming to develop the traits of highly effective teachers. The M.Ed. program covers modern teaching practices and school administration, while it aims to improve teaching abilities, classroom management, and understanding of the needs of students.

How is the M.Ed. Program structured?

SUU’s Master of Education program is structured for working teachers and is 100% online so students can study according to their schedules.

The Master of Education program requires 33 credits:

A student teacher stands facing the camera with students sitting at desks in the background.
  • 12 credits for core courses
  • 12 credits for electives
  • 9 credits for capstone courses.

Also, note that students who are taking the path to obtain an administrator license will be required to take between 27 and 36 credits total.

Core courses are offered in 7-week sessions, while capstone courses are offered for the full 14-week semester. Students will typically graduate from the Master’s of Education program in 2 years or less.

Students have three different options on the path they want to take in SUU’s M.Ed. program. All programs will pave a unique pathway to career and academic success. These three programs include the following.

  • Master’s of Education
  • License Programs
  • M.Ed + License

Master of Education Degree:

Students who want to obtain only a Master of Education choose an emphasis utilizing the 12 required elective courses, if interested. Emphases include:

  • General M.Ed.
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Education Foundations & Policy
  • Higher Education & Student Affairs

Students can also transfer up to 12 credits of a completed Endorsement or APPEL classes to the General M.Ed. program, just as long as they get the Endorsement or APPEL classes through University credit. For teachers who earn an endorsement or do the APPEL program, those credits are applied to the M.Ed., which meets ⅓ of the graduate degree credit requirements at SUU. How is that for a head start?

License Programs:

Students choose this path to obtain a state-specific Administrator’s license but without a master’s degree. Administrator licenses will qualify students to be an administrator at schools in their respective states.

Currently, there are 2 License Programs SUU offers:

  • Utah Administrator License
  • Nevada Program Administrator License

M.Ed. + License Programs:

SUU additionally offers 3 options that will lead students on a path to both a Master’s degree & license:

  • M.Ed. & Special Education License
  • M.Ed. & Utah Administrator License
  • M.Ed. & Nevada Administrator License

Why is a M.Ed. important?

Even after meeting the requirements to become a teacher, educators have long realized that effective teaching requires more than content knowledge and delivery.

The Master of Education equips teachers with essential tools, skills, and knowledge to excel as educators. It also teaches them how to navigate change and advocate within educational institutions, which is a vital part of the work any teacher does.

Obtaining a Master of Education is commonly viewed as a natural step forward in a teaching career, especially for individuals aspiring to pursue school administration or advancement in education. Additionally, the decision to pursue a master’s degree is significantly influenced by the potential salary increase that accompanies obtaining a Master of Education.

A Master of Education not only prepares teachers for various roles within and beyond the field of education but also significantly boosts their competitiveness as job candidates. Listed below are several career opportunities for which graduates may qualify:

  • Principal
  • Higher Education (Professors)
  • Educational Specialist
  • Dean of Students
  • Administrator
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Curriculum Developer

A Master’s of Education is a natural next step in a teaching career. SUU is the perfect place to begin that step as SUU has been ranked #10 for Best Online Master’s of Education Programs by Best Accredited Colleges.

Learn more about earning a Master’s of Education at Southern Utah University.

Tags: Education Online

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