Frequently Asked Questions About Educational Leadership

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We would like to think that we put together a pretty comprehensive website. We have guides that take you through all the ins and outs of earning an educational leadership degree at any level. We cover licensing requirements state-by-state. We break down the particulars of dozens of different roles and specialties. We even show what you can expect to earn after breaking into the field and landing a job.  

But in the end, we still found some questions that were left unanswered.

Educators are inquisitive by nature. So we’ve made every effort to anticipate the questions current and would-be administrators are likely to have.

And so, we’ve amassed a list of the most frequently asked questions that people have about the wide world of educational leadership, school culture, and all the various other hot topics in the field today.

Coming from a teaching background, you certainly have experience and your own perspectives on school leadership. After all, that’s why you’re stepping up to the plate.

But all those years of experience have been from a teacher’s perspective. Down in the trenches, you may not always see what the folks up at the district-level are dealing with. The kind of considerations that come at you in the principal or superintendent’s office can present a set of challenges you haven’t had a chance to become familiar with yet.

As you know, though, education is the answer!

The more you ask, the more you will come to understand the new role that you’re aiming for… and the more prepared you’ll be to do your job well when you get there.

Yes. The degrees included on are all graduate-level degrees, meaning all applicants are expected to already hold a bachelor’s degree. You can hold a bachelor’s in any subject to apply for an Educational Leadership program. Those who know at the outset of their educational journey that they would like to pursue a career as a school principal or superintendent may choose to pursue concentrations in education while in undergraduate college, which can be a helpful way of preparing for the coursework of graduate school. However, this is by no means an expectation, and in fact graduate-level programs appreciate having students with a range of disciplinary backgrounds, as educational leadership can draw from a host of different approaches and methodologies.

Most people who hold positions in educational leadership have some amount of teaching experience under their belt, and many Master’s in Education programs (including ones with concentrations in Educational Leadership) are designed to be paired with a full-time teaching role at an elementary, middle, or high school. This is not simply a box to be checked, but rather an important educational experience that will deeply enrich your understanding of student needs, teacher’s roles, and how schools are run. While the duties of educational leaders are indeed different from those of classroom teachers, having this firsthand experience may set your agenda as an administrator and make you a more thoughtful and informed school leader.

When you first think of Educational Leadership, you’re likely to imagine roles such as principal, vice principal, and superintendent. However, specialty programs and educational tracks within schools often require their own oversight, as they have unique targeted goals that need to be managed and carried through by individuals with great expertise. For example, special education programs in schools often follow their own course through curriculum that are determined by specific student needs that diverge from the overall student body. This means that they require knowledgeable administrators who can conduct research, evaluate program efficiency, and make key decisions to guide their departments, in roles that are often separate from those of the administration of the school as a whole. While it is possible to get lower-ranking roles in arenas like these without an Educational Leadership degree, attending a graduate program focused on your discipline of choice will make you an ideal candidate to take charge of such programs, which is a position of significant responsibility.

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