Do you possess critical thinking skills and want to make a positive impact on our nation’s educational system? Many professionals seek doctoral degrees in educational leadership to help them transition into senior positions at colleges and universities. Individuals who used to teach special education, mathematics, and vocational education often find roles coordinators and administrators after earning their graduate degree. Tenured faculty members often take advantage of college professional development programs to gain administrative skills through classes and hands-on experience. These programs also appeal to researchers and professionals who want to help set institutional policies.
Most Ph.D. programs require full-time study within faculty research and offer campus courses in the evenings and on the weekends. Often designed for working professionals, they allow students to study specific areas of concern, such as corporate training issues and workforce development. Doctoral students also study the roles of institutional ethics, student services, athletics, and various leadership principles. Educational leadership provides practitioners and researchers with the latest methodologies for ensuring effective student learning and professional development in our school systems. Students obtain an array of methodological and analytical skills necessary to create knowledge for understanding how K–12 educational systems work.
Educational leadership graduates find careers as principals, superintendants, department heads, curriculum specialists, subject matter advisors, academic deans, school or district-level administrators, college admission directors, and college department chairs. Others work as researchers in educational leadership and policy, measurement and assessment, statistics, and instructional technology. Let us look at just a few of these of these fulfilling and highly rewarding administrative positions.
Principals spend most of their time working with support staff and teachers. They visit classrooms, coach teachers, review educational objectives, evaluate learning materials, and implement professional development programs. Principals create and monitor budgets and make reports about their school's overall effectiveness and efficiency. They also work with school board administrators, local politicians, and funding sources to ensure they receive the best opportunities available for their students.
Public and private school administrators enforce standards, set procedures and policies, and work with their supervisors to assure effectiveness. Some lead departments under principal guidance or direct independent learning facilities. Administrators often manage teachers, coaches, counselors, librarians, support personnel, and other specialists within schools. Administrators experienced in finance or accounting can find plenty of jobs as budget coordinators and record keepers. In smaller facilities such as daycares, administrators handle many tasks including directly dealing with parents, whereas in school districts or larger institutions, they typically oversee a specific program or department. Many also serve on non-profit boards of directors and advisory groups.
District-level administrators work from central school district offices to help provide quality educations by concentrating on specific programs and ensuring teachers and principals stay current with curriculum changes. Others work with regional and national grant programs and other funding sources to synchronize school district procedures and policies with national standards. They also evaluate other school systems as part of reciprocal accreditation programs.
College admissions directors use educational leadership skills to help them constantly balance the needs of prospective students and their institution’s financial goals while maintaining academic standards. They must evaluate every candidate before they issue acceptance letters and issue more than the institution can hold because many students will end up taking other offers. They keep strong relationships with administrators and faculty heads so they can help answer student questions about campus life and school offerings. Many also travel frequently to personally recruit new students.