How hard is it to gain admission to brick-and-mortar or online graduate programs in educational leadership?
Although acceptance rates vary, admission to top educational leadership graduate programs is extremely competitive. Applicants applying to these programs should show exceptional promise and dedication and their goals within the educational field should be very clear in the applications.
Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College focuses on the connections between education and public policy, psychology, human development and organizational leadership. It admits about 60% of applicants for masters programs and about 9% of applicants for its doctorate programs.
University of Wisconsin’s Department of Educational Leadership and Analysis has long been recognized as a leader in education. The acceptance rate is currently around 40% for the masters program and 43% for the doctoral program.
Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education focuses on careers in teaching and research, school leadership, education policy and language and literacy. The acceptance rate is 61.4% for the masters’ program in educational leadership and 11.8% for the doctoral program.
Columbia University’s Teacher’s College has 4 core areas of expertise: health, education, leadership and psychology. Its acceptance rates for the masters program and doctoral program in educational leadership are 58.8% and 22.7%, respectively.
Top educational leadership online graduate programs are also highly selective. In 2010, the University of Cincinnati’s masters program in educational leadership accepted around 12% of applicants, while the admissions rate for Pennsylvania State University’s online educational leadership program hovered around 30%.
What are the average salaries for educational leadership degree graduates?
There is a broad range of salaries that professionals with educational leadership graduate degrees receive. Experienced educators who have also attained doctoral degrees in educational leadership tend to make more substantial salaries than educators with masters degrees. Educational administrators such as principals and consultants also tend to make more money than related professionals with degrees in educational leadership, such as school counselors.
For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2007 principals received a median annual salary of about $87,000 while post-secondary education administrators received an annual salary of about $84,000. On the other hand, educational advisors with masters degrees receive an average annual salary of $44,100 while educational advisors with doctoral degrees receive around $47,300 a year.
For top educational leadership graduate programs online, such as University of Cincinnati’s program, diplomas do not distinguish between online students and students who attend courses on campus. In other words, students receiving an online masters in educational leadership or an online PhD in educational leadership receive the same diploma as students who receive their graduate degrees through traditional programs. The same salary scales should apply, then, for students who receive graduate degrees through online or on-campus programs.
If I am interested in pursuing a graduate degree educational leadership, what related graduate programs should I consider?
There are several fields related to educational leadership that students can pursue. They include post-secondary teaching, social work and school counseling. Like educational leadership online graduate programs, students can choose to pursue their graduate studies online, if preferable.
Post-secondary education involves the instruction of students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level. In order to teach at a college level, most fields require a doctoral degree. Similar to educational leadership, post-secondary education programs emphasize the ability to clearly communicate complex ideas to students, colleagues and administrators. You should pursue a post-secondary degree if you enjoy teaching a specific subject as well as intellectually engaging with students on a day-to-day basis.
Graduate programs in social work prepare students for advanced social work practice and often emphasize stress competence in identifying problems and developing intervention plans. Social work programs, similar to educational leadership, emphasize strong communication and group dynamic skills. You should consider social work if you are interested in working with students but not necessarily as a teacher or administrator.
School counseling, similar to social work, often requires a masters degree. Comprehensive counseling programs offer graduate-level training in career counseling theory as well as training in organizational behavior and administration. School counseling programs emphasize the importance of long-term educational goals. You should pursue school counseling if you enjoy helping students set broader educational goals.
Are there any iPhone or iPad apps that would benefit me while I am completing my on-campus or online educational leadership?
There are several iPhone or iPad applications that students might find helpful while pursuing their graduate degrees on campus or through educational leadership online graduate programs.
Since classroom observations are a common component of the curriculum for graduate students in educational leadership programs, the Look For Classroom Observation app is a convenient and efficient tool for students. This app allows students to organize, identify, clarify and provide immediate feedback to teachers during classroom observations.
The Blackboard App, available on iPhones and iPads, is useful for graduate students who take on teaching internships, or teach part or full time, at any point during their studies. A common tool used by teachers to organize coursework, the Blackboard allows graduate students to utilize school data management systems and take part in discussion boards with colleagues and students.
TeacherTool is an application that can assist graduate students completing their teaching internships. TeacherTool serves as a grading and classroom management app for the iPhone, and its settings allow users to keep track of attendance and assignments. Data is also easily exported for Excel via e-mail attachments.
Are there any scholarships for traditional or online PhD students in educational leadership?
There are many scholarship opportunities available for students pursuing an accredited doctorate in educational leadership. Funding for online PhD in educational leadership programs are much more limited, however. If you decide to enroll in an online doctorate in educational leadership, you should start researching funding opportunities as soon as possible. The following funding opportunities are available to candidates enrolled in online and on-campus educational leadership programs.
The Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program fully funds students for the duration of their doctoral programs. Students must demonstrate a superior ability to undertake study at the doctoral level. Due to the highly competitive nature of this fellowship, only competitive students from the best educational leadership doctoral programs should apply. This also includes students pursuing work in the top online doctoral programs in educational leadership.
The Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program funds doctoral candidates enrolled at accredited universities to complete their research and dissertations. Students are funded for up to 2 years.
The American Educational Research Association offers multiple grants to students who are working on their dissertation. The program seeks to stimulate research on U.S. education issues using data from large-scale national and international data sets. Students are funded up to $20,000 and are eligible to reapply for additional funding.
Are there any notable people who have earned PhDs in educational leadership?
A wide range of notable individuals from celebrities to philosophers received their PhDs in educational leadership. This list includes former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who earned his doctorate degree in education from Barry University. His dissertation focused on the value of humor in leadership.
Lin Mosei was the first Taiwanese citizen to receive a doctoral degree in educational leadership, from Columbia University, in 1928. He was an academic, educator and an esteemed calligrapher.
Kieran Egan is a contemporary educational philosopher who emphasized the role of the imagination in intellectual development. He received his PhD from Cornell University in 1972.
Bill Cosby, an American comedian, received his EdD in educational leadership from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. Integrating his acting career with his doctoral studies, he titled his dissertation “An Integration of the Visual Media Via Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning.”
Robert Bruce Raup, an educator who was best known for his criticisms of the American public school system, graduated with a PhD from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1926. He became an important leader within the National Education Association as well as the American Philosophical Association.
Do you recommend any educational leadership PhD student blogs that I should follow?
There are several blogs currently run by doctoral students in educational leadership and related fields that students pursuing a traditional or online PhD in educational leadership may find informative and entertaining.
Andy Coverdal’s blog on student learning and higher education includes ongoing references on the uses of technology in education. He also writes whimsical reflections on the dissertation writing process, using humor to offset what is often a difficult process for most doctoral students.
Natasia Lawton’s blog posts reflect the time crunch that all doctoral students in educational leadership face. She works through the stress with humor and grace. Her blog consistently reflects a strong passion to work toward a more equitable and creative system of education.
Higher Education, Etc. is a blog run by a self-confessed “educational nerd” who is currently completing a doctoral degree in educational administration leadership. It is an engaging blog written by a dedicated scholar and educator who views education as a community-based issue.
The George Washington University’s blog on education is run by current doctoral students and expresses an array of opinions about issues ranging from the controversial release of teacher data to practical advice on dealing with stress.
Annie’s Blog is run by a fourth-year PhD candidate in educational technology. Her blog focuses on the role of digital environments in shaping teaching and higher education policies. This blog might be especially pertinent to student pursuing an educational leadership degree online.
Can I work while studying for my masters degree in educational leadership?
Many students pursuing an accredited masters degree in educational leadership also work part time. Frequently, individuals who already work in education as teachers or teaching assistants continue working as they pursue their degrees.
In terms of part-time work, paid internships and teaching assistant positions in school districts not only give graduate students more experiences in education but also award credit toward masters degrees. Therefore, an education-related job might be the most efficient and valuable type of work for a student pursuing an educational leadership masters program.
Other convenient occupations that you can pursue to financially supplement your graduate education include being a research assistant or librarian as well as waiting tables or tutoring. You should be aware, however, that full-time masters programs in educational leadership often require 20 or more hours of class and study time each week. Therefore, it is not recommended that you simultaneously pursue full-time work and studies.
An online masters degree in educational leadership offers more flexible options in terms of scheduling, as you can attain your degrees in a shorter amount of time. By pursuing your masters degrees online, you can format classes and coursework year-round rather than work within a semester or quarterly system.
Are there any scholarships for traditional or online masters students in educational leadership?
Unlike most doctoral programs, which fully fund students through teaching assistantships and stipends, most masters programs do not fund students. Even if departments offer scholarship opportunities to students, these fellowships and scholarships are often highly competitive and offered to 1 to 2 students each year.
Although funding for online programs is more limited, students should keep in mind that online programs tend to be more affordable than traditional brick-and-mortar programs. Students can also offset costs by working part-time.
There are a limited number of fellowship opportunities available for students working toward a master in educational leadership. These scholarship opportunities are available to both online and on-campus students.
The American Association of School Administrators annual Educational Administration Scholarship offers $2,500 to outstanding graduate students who study educational administration and leadership and show exemplary leadership abilities.
The Jackson and Parks Future Teacher Scholarship is awarded by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research. The scholarship offers $1,000 to graduate students majoring in education.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation offers up to $30,000 to students who are pursuing a masters program in any field related to public services, such as education. Candidates must be U.S. residents in order to be eligible.
Are there any notable people who have earned masters degrees in educational leadership?
There are many notable people, including actors and intellectuals, who received MA educational leadership degrees. Neal Baer, actor and executive produce of the hit TV show Law and Order, holds a masters degree in educational leadership from Harvard University. He earned his masters to support his pediatrics work as a doctor, as he also received an MD from Harvard University in 1996. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock in Star Trek, earned his BFA at UCLA in the 1970s, as well as a masters in educational leadership at Antioch University in 1989.
Deborah Meier, the famed educator who spent more than three decades working in public education as a teacher, principal, writer and advocate, received her masters in educational leadership from University of Chicago in 2000.
Neil Postman, famed American author and cultural critic, received multiple degrees in education, including a masters in educational leadership from State University of New York at Fredonia. He eventually founded the graduate program in media ecology at New York University and became the chairman of NYU’s Department of Culture and Communication.
Carl Rogers, an influential American psychologist and 1 of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology, received his masters degree in educational leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1928. Originally, Rogers thought that he would pursue a career in the clergy, but he left the seminary and enrolled in Teachers College 2 years later.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online educational leadership masters degree program?
There are several traditional universities that offer online masters degree in educational leadership programs including University of Cincinnati, ranked a tier 1 university by U.S. News & World Report. It offers 1 of the top educational leadership masters degree programs in the country. Its educational leadership program focuses on administration and classroom teaching. Students can also learn about principal clinical internships and licensure in the program.
Stony Brook University, a flagship institution of the State University of New York system, is 1 of the top 65 leading research universities in the nation. It also offers 1 of the best educational leadership masters online programs, with a programmatic focus on jobs in educational leadership. As part of the university’s graduate and continuing studies program, its Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration is a 30-credit program that can be taken after completing a bachelors degree.
Pennsylvania State University, which is made up of 19 commonwealth campuses and ranks among the top 15 public universities in the country, offers an online masters in educational leadership. The program is very flexible, as it allows most students in the program to continue teaching in the classroom as they pursue their degrees. The coursework explores topics such as learning theory, teacher leadership, teacher inquiry and curriculum design.