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Arkansas State University

Choose Your Emphasis with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

Educators who are well established in their careers choose to pursue a graduate degree for a variety of reasons, including career advancement, continuing education and performance improvement. A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction offers education professionals all of these benefits.

Completing the degree program gives graduates a chance to connect with other professionals; gain experience from a student’s point of view; and learn about the latest breakthroughs in educational tools, resources, practices and methods. Regardless of your reasons for pursuing the degree, you’ll find that the coursework provides a greater understanding of the profession.

Enhanced Knowledge Base

The purpose of pursuing a graduate degree in education is ultimately to increase one’s understanding of the field in order to better help one’s students. How to conduct research and evaluate statistical information constitutes a key focus in the master’s program. This is important for teachers who want to develop or evaluate the efficacy of proposed curricula.

Studying the philosophies of education and the various theories of instruction can expand teachers’ understanding of educational methods and learning styles. Developing knowledge of school and community relationships and school law gives teachers a better grasp of the role and responsibility of the school and how it can collaborate with the community at large.

The learning opportunities don’t end with the program curriculum, however. Students also have access to the experiences and knowledge of their instructors and peers. The opportunity to interact with other professionals who have different specializations offers invaluable insight into teaching from different perspectives.

Career Advancement

Earning a master’s degree can help educators’ careers in several ways. Most districts offer monetary incentives to teachers with advanced degrees. Salaries typically increase with additional degrees or specialty certifications. For example, a teacher with a doctoral degree will earn more than a teacher with a master’s degree.

A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction also prepares teachers to make a career change within the education field. Instructional coordinator and training and development manager are two job positions that depend on the skills that come with an advanced degree in curriculum and instruction.

An instructional coordinator can work in an individual school, a school district, a university, a private company or a state agency. Job duties include overseeing the development and implementation of curricula and teaching standards. Instructional coordinators may develop instructional material themselves or compile outsourced resources to create a cohesive curriculum. They work with principals, teachers and other stakeholders to assess resources, train staff and implement programs.

A training and development manager plans, directs and coordinates educational programs to improve the skills and knowledge base of a company’s employees and may also oversee the training and development of staff specialists.

Continuing Education and Certification

For educators to renew or maintain a teaching license, most states require some form of professional development in both education and training. While the specifications vary by state, completed graduate courses count toward continuing education credits in most states.

If you have a temporary teaching license or an alternative teaching license, you can gain the educational credits necessary for permanent certification by earning a graduate degree. An online graduate program for teachers is one of the best ways to learn valuable new information, fulfill continuing education requirements and even obtain new certification.

Improved Performance

New studies give insight into how children learn best. Moreover, educational technology is advancing faster than ever before, and testing methodologies are evolving constantly. Even teachers with decades of experience can be unaware of the new techniques, best practices, and resources detailed in an advanced degree program. Committed educators can provide a challenging and supportive classroom environment for their students by staying abreast of the latest developments and methodologies.

By earning a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, teachers can learn how to develop dynamic curricula and effective instructional practices, procedures and environments. The program offers opportunities to network and the ability to advance one’s career.

Learn more about the Arkansas State online MSE in Curriculum & Instruction program.


BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Instructional Coordinators

BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Training and Development Managers

Teach Tomorrow: A Complete Guide to Continuing Education for Teachers

Arkansas State online MSE in Curriculum & Instruction program

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