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Online Master’s degree in Educational Leadership
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Online Masters in Educational Leadership

education leadership

Education Leadership is a field that is of utmost importance across the US as this field determines the quality of education in our school districts. Education Leadership is a unique field as it is an amalgamation of two different fields. It requires professionals that are well-versed with leading organizations in the education space. Education Leadership professionals bring together energetic parents, teachers, and pupils to improve education quality. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 284,000 jobs will open for K-12 principals, 2018-2028. Some 192,900 positions will open for Instructional Coordinators over the same decade. Students and professionals that want to take advantage of this diverse field should consider getting an online master’s in Educational Leadership. Online Masters in Educational Leadership degree programs provide scheduled or self-paced courses to prepare graduate students for these advanced roles in education. This guide highlights all aspects of these programs, including career options.

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Featured Online Programs

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Best Online Masters in Educational Leadership Programs

Educational Leadership Best Seal

In searching for the best Masters in Educational Leadership programs, prospective students should examine the university’s academic quality, affordability, graduation rates, program reputation, accreditation, and tuition. Using those factors and more, we have created a list of the best masters in educational leadership programs in the country.  These universities represent the best place to start looking for a program that advances your teaching career. Here are the best masters in educational Leadership online programs:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77088%
#2
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
$14,99785%
#3
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
$9,68483%
#4
Lehigh University
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
$27,00090%
#5
Indiana University, Bloomington
107 South Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana 47405
$9,50179%
#6
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California 92110
$27,28881%
#7
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
$31,77082%
#8
Fordham University
441 E Fordham Rd, Bronx, New York 10458
$34,60883%
#9
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
$6,91672%
#10
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
$10,07972%
#11
University of Missouri, Columbia
105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211
$9,26471%
#12
George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
$12,14471%
#13
University of Cincinnati
2624 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221
$12,79071%
#14
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,78071%
#15
Louisiana State University
156 Thomas Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
$9,13268%
#16
University of St. Thomas
3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, Texas 77006
$20,93468%
#17
University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80208
$51,33677%
#18
University of Kentucky
South Limestone, Lexington, Kentucky 40506
$12,05566%
#19
University of New Mexico
1700 Lomas Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
$5,15654%
#20
Augusta University
1120 15th St, Augusta, Georgia 30912
$5,50440%
#21
The University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32514
$7,08846%
#22
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
425 W University Blvd, Durant, Oklahoma 74701
$4,71635%
#23
Louisiana State University, Shreveport
One University Place, Shreveport, Louisiana 71115
$6,19631%
#24
Western Governors University
4001 South 700 East Suite 700, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
$7,50021%
#25
Arizona State University Online
1475 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
$6,3844%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Most Affordable Online Masters in Educational Leadership Programs

Educational Leadership Affordable Seal

Paying for tuition and university fees can present a difficult challenge. Affordability is a key factor driving student choices in pursuing an Online Masters in Educational Leadership. We have ranked the most-affordable degrees to narrow down the best ones among an extensive list of programs. Here are the most affordable online masters in educational leadership programs in the country:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Fort Hays State University
600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601
$3,58243%
#2
Western Carolina University
Highway 107, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723
$4,43562%
#3
West Texas A&M University
2501 4th Ave, Canyon, Texas 79016
$4,82345%
#4
University of Wyoming
Corner of Ninth and Ivinson, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
$4,87860%
#5
Arkansas State University
2105 E. Aggie Road, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
$4,98653%
#6
Stephen F. Austin University
2008 Alumni Drive, Rusk 206, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
$5,11252%
#7
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd, Administration Bldg., Room 339, Boca Raton, Florida 33431
$5,46750%
#8
Arizona State University Online
1475 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
$6,3844%
#9
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle, Emporia, Kansas 66801
$6,39450%
#10
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
$6,91672%
#11
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, California 92182
$7,17673%
#12
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J St, Sacramento, California 95819
$7,17655%
#13
Western Governors University
4001 South 700 East Suite 700, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
$7,50021%
#14
Indiana State University
210 N 7th St, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809
$7,54241%
#15
Minnesota State University
South Rd and Ellis Ave, Mankato, Minnesota 56001
$7,69450%
#16
University of Arkansas
Administration Bldg 425, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
$7,75266%
#17
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
$7,98047%
#18
Columbia College
1001 Rogers Street, Columbia, Missouri 65216
$8,60228%
#19
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
1725 State St, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
$8,65169%
#20
Louisiana State University
156 Thomas Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
$9,13268%
#21
Indiana University, Bloomington
107 South Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana 47405
$9,50179%
#22
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
$9,68483%
#23
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
$10,07972%
#24
University of Florida
341 Tigert Hall 300 SW 13th St, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77088%
#25
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
$14,99785%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Understanding Masters in Educational Leadership Programs

We often hear from students about how confusing it is with different programs within the educational space. Universities offer education masters degrees, curriculum, and instruction masters degrees, teaching masters degrees, etc. It is essential for students to fully understand the Master’s in educational leadership programs as there are many similarities and differences between various online masters in education programs. Online Master’s in Educational Leadership programs may vary based on the types of graduate degrees in the major. This section breaks down the masters in educational leadership programs.

Online Masters in Educational Leadership Degree Types

There are three different degrees available in the online Master’s in Educational Leadership programs: The MA, the MS, and the M.Ed. Here is a breakdown:

MA Educational Leadership

With a Masters of Arts (MA) in Educational Leadership program, students gain methodology and leadership skills, focusing on the humanities. Typically, MA students are interested in the arts and creating a curriculum that supports those studies. An MA typically does not qualify students to pursue a doctorate.

MS in Educational Leadership

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in an Educational Leadership program is offered at many accredited universities. The degree builds on the student’s educational experience and research methods.  The program is heavily weighted towards research and data-driven analysis.


Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Educational Leadership Programs

The educational leadership program is the foundation for building administrative or supervisorial expertise. Besides, students will develop skills that serve them throughout their careers. Here are the essential skills to Master:

  1. Employing your vulnerability
  2. Digging deep into research
  3. Admitting your mistakes
  4. Perform reflective thinking.
  5. Leading by example
  6. Building abilities in self-management and self-understanding
  7. Learning to listen to diverse audiences.
  8. Pursuing the development of emotional intelligence

The curriculum that students go through in educational leadership courses is strenuous and engaging. Here are some of the common courses in the Master’s program:

SubjectDescription
School FinanceLearn the financing of secondary and primary education in the US. The course deals with current revenue sources, economic theories, and trends in public education’s operations and fiscal structure.
Instructional SupervisionThe course is designed to promote improvement in the entire education system, including quality of content, student understanding, and faculty quality.
School and Community PartnershipsStudents gain a deep understanding of school and community relationships by applying and exploring theoretical frameworks.
Leadership for Social JusticeLearn about competencies that are required for entry-level administrative job roles with a focus on educational equality.

Curriculum And Instruction Vs Educational leadership

Educational Leadership deals with improving the education system by collaborating with other talented and energetic individuals. At the same time, curriculum and instruction programs focus on theoretical models for learning and their applications. Here is a comparison between Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.

 Curriculum and InstructionEducational Leadership
Analyzing the importance and need of a diverse student population.Setting a goal and creating a student-centered learning environment.
Constructing a curriculum that meets the larger philosophy or mission of the institution.Developing a culture of accountability and achievement in school.
Identifying approaches in the instruction that can fulfill the goals and simultaneously maintain the flexibility of ensuring that student requirements are met.Evaluating and recruiting qualified educators.
Identifying and accounting for problems or limitations that interfere in teaching.Handling the problems or limitations by making the best use of communication technology.
Continually improving the curriculum.Applying data to initiatives for improvements in student performance.

Accreditation for Online Masters in Educational Leadership Programs

Accreditation is a verification process that ensures that an institution meets high-quality standards of education. Accreditation builds confidence and trust in the respective institution. Accreditation encourages academics to improve. It provides the basis for receiving federal funding, and accredited degrees are preferred in the job market. Students need to check the Accreditation credentials of the universities that they want to pursue higher education degrees. The accreditation bodies for Masters in Educational Leadership programs are:

  1. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges: This regional accreditation body assures that the students get quality education and those member institutions continuously improve effectiveness.
  2. Higher Learning Commission: HLC is a national accreditation body that focuses on enabling students’ interests and passions and promoting overall development in the child.
  3. Middle States Commission on Higher Education: The MSCHE regional accreditation ensures institutional improvement, accountability, self-appraisal, and innovation through a rigorous peer review of standards.

Timeline for graduation from Masters in Educational Leadership Programs

Most Online Masters in Educational Leadership programs take two years to complete. Students can enroll in full-time or part-time programs. The M.Ed in educational Leadership will take about a year to complete. In Online Masters in Educational Leadership, students meet the core curriculum with 15 semester credit hours and concentration or elective related curriculum with another 15-semester credit. If students wish to complete the programs, they can choose accelerated programs that allow students to study at their own pace and finish the degree faster.


Online Masters in Educational Leadership Programs Admission Requirements

It is a fact that the admission requirements for online Master’s educational leadership programs vary from university to university. However, most universities have several common admission requirements as well. We have listed the most common admission requirements for online masters in educational leadership programs:

RequirementDescription
Minimum GPAMost of the programs will expect a minimum of 2.5 to 3 GPA in undergraduate studies. Students that do not have a 2.5 or higher GPA can still pursue these programs, but universities might require additional prerequisites and/or standardized test score requirements.
Bachelor’s DegreeAn undergraduate degree is a must for students to pursue online masters in educational leadership programs.
ExperienceSome universities require students to possess professional experience in education or administration. Some universities might also need a teaching license required based on the state laws.
GRE/GMATA few universities ask for GRE or GMAT scores, while several universities do not have this requirement. The universities that do not have standardized test score requirements usually require some professional experience.
Resume
Students need to include an updated resume that shows experience, achievements, and progressive growth in their lives, education, and profession.
Letters of RecommendationStudents need to provide 2 to 3 letters of recommendation either from past professors, coworkers, or individuals of significant influence in the student’s life.
Personal StatementStudents need to submit a letter of intent or a personal statement that clearly states the motivation to pursue the educational leadership field.
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How to Pay for Online Master’s in Educational Leadership Programs

The demand for candidates who have completed their Masters in Educational Leadership is increasing. As the demand increases, so does the cost of the programs. While the investment made in this field is worthwhile and rewarding, it might be difficult for students to pay for tuition and fees. But students shouldn’t give up entirely just because of the cost factor as help is available. Many ways help students pay in-part or in whole for the Masters in Educational Leadership programs. Here are a few ways that students can pay for online masters in educational; leadership programs:

Educational Leadership masters programs online

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

By completing the online FAFSA, students can become eligible to receive all possible financial aid. The FAFSA is required for federal grants, loans, and university work-study.

Educational Leadership grant

Grants

The grant is a gift-based financial aid. Students need not pay them back. Grant is awarded to students based on their merit, research project, or financial situation.

masters degree in Educational Leadership online

Student Loans

There are two types of student loans: the public subsidized student loan and a private student loan. The federal government is the main source of public student loans. Private loans financed by banks and credit unions typically charge higher interest rates than government loans. Students need to pay them back as they complete their education.

Educational Leadership masters programs online

Fellowships

Fellowship is a source of financial aid provided to students based on their academic excellence and contribution to their niche. They need not pay it back.

Educational Leadership masters programs online

Working on Campus

Many institutions don’t support their students in working at off-campus jobs while studying. They often provide opportunities for students to work on-campus.


Scholarships for Masters in Educational Leadership Students

The most-preferred financial aid is a gift-based scholarship. A scholarship is offered to students pursuing their Master’s in Educational Leadership and does not need to be repaid. Here are few scholarships for Master in Educational Leadership students:

Scholarship

AASA Educational Administration Scholarships

The American Association of School Administration (AASA) provides $2,500 for students who have shown outstanding academic performance.

scholarship

Applegate Jackson Parks Future Teacher Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1,000 to students pursuing their Masters in Educational Leadership and have showcased exemplary performance at the undergraduate level.

scholarship

BHD Endowed Scholarships for Teachers

Annually, BHD Endowed Scholarships for Teachers awards $2,500 to students pursuing a master’s in education.

scholarship

Dr. Marc Hull Special Education Leadership Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1,750 annually through Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC).

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Free Online Educational Leadership Programs

Several free online courses in educational Leadership are available for students. These courses can help students gain more knowledge about educational Leadership, management topics, state of affairs in the higher education space, etc.  Some of these courses also offer certifications, and students can add these certifications to their resume. Here are a few free online courses in educational Leadership:

  1. Developing your educational Leadership and management vision: This course is provided by edX, and it will help students evaluate opportunities for growth and strength in Educational Leadership. This free course also helps students in developing personal leadership vision and philosophy.
  1. Educational Leadership: Working for Good: FutureLearn offers this free course, and it helps students explore educational Leadership and develop necessary critical thinking skills.
  1. Institutional Leadership in Higher Education: The Center provides this free course for Advanced Professional Studies. It focuses on mastering the fundamentals of institutional strategy, Leadership, and other matters in the higher education field.
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FAQs about Educational Leadership Masters Programs

Students exploring Master’s in educational leadership programs have questions about the degree programs and the profession. Here are the most-asked questions we receive:

Q: What is a Master’s in Educational Leadership?
A:The degree is a study that combines social work and human resource development with an opportunity to improve skills in educational systems and organizations.
Q: What are educational leaders supposed to do?
A:Educational leaders collaborate with peer educators and administrators to provide guidance and direction in improving the curriculum.
Q: What can you do with a Master’s in Educational Leadership?
A:Students who graduate with a master’s in educational leadership programs have many options to choose from. Graduates can become a principal, a program director, head of schools, director of admissions, and other advanced roles.
Q: Are the Masters in Educational Leadership worth it?
A:Prospective students that are already a teacher who aims to improve the educational system dramatically, if the students possess the advanced skills, and if they wish to increase their salary, then yes, this degree is worth it.
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Careers and Salary Outlook for Educational Leadership Masters Graduates

Many career positions are available to those who complete a Master’s in Educational Leadership. With an ongoing need to develop strong and updated educational systems, educational leaders play a vital role. Here are some careers options, related roles, annual salaries, and job descriptions:

Job RoleAverage Annual SalaryDescription
Principals or Administrators$106,263A Principal or Administrator is a school leader who influences and shapes the school’s learning system and culture.
Educational Consultants$99,875Educational Consultants assist in improving education policies. They enhance the curriculum and also implement educational initiatives in a school or college.
Special Education Teachers$55,711Special Education Teachers work directly with children having physical or emotional disabilities. Addressing learning impairment is a key role for Special Education Teachers.
School or Career Counselors$49,856Counselors are essential to student well-being at elementary, middle, and high schools. They are responsible for helping students face psychological issues or who are struggling socially.

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Certifications and Licensing for Educational Leadership Masters Graduates

Certification and licensing play a crucial role in teaching professions. Certifications indicate your mastery of the respective topic. It verifies that you have the skills to succeed in the occupation. Here are two certifications available to you after graduation:

Professional Program Certificate in Leadership and Management in Education: This is a 12-week online certification program. It is provided by edX in association with The University of Newcastle, Australia.

Certificate in Educational Administration and Management: This educational administrative certificate online will help you focus on educational management and administration-leadership jobs.

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Additional Resources for Educational Leadership Professionals

Students and working professionals alike should keep in touch with professional associations that support the Educational Leadership field. Memberships and conferences enhance your network with some of the best professionals in the field. Members also benefit from the organization’s resources like job boards, publications, case studies, articles, books, and white papers written by experts in educational Leadership. Here are some associations to consider:

  1. National Education Association: The NEA is one of the oldest organizations in education leadership. Its purpose is to provide educators with the necessary tools and concepts to ensure that all children get equal access to high-quality education.
  2. Association of Leadership Educators: The ALE’s mission is to increase the awareness of trends and methodologies for education leaders. It keeps members up to date on emerging research.
  3. Association of International Education Administrators: The AIEA is an international education leadership association that provides resources and tools for advanced-level educators, principals, and other leaders.
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