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Master’s degree in educational leadership launches online

by Monica Smith

Apr 28, 2020, 9:00 AM.

Fully online program features coursework with a strong focus on leadership.

Teachers looking to transition to an administrative position now have an opportunity to pursue the master’s degree in educational leadership on their own time, in the comfort of their own home, fully online.

FIU has added another 100-percent-online master’s degree program for teachers. The master of science in educational leadership offers online learners the ability to advance skills to seek management positions within the K-12 education environment, while the program’s courses are taught by the same faculty members who teach face-to-face

Improve education

Whether they work in a state or private school, the educational leadership master’s program equips learners with the discernment to adapt and improve the shifting environment within education, says Ricardo Garcia, assistant professor of educational policy studies for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education. 

“Our program provides students with the knowledge and experience they will need to make ethical and sound decisions while fostering a growth mindset within the school environment and in consideration of policy,” says Garcia. “This fall, they have the ability to do it completely online.”

The next step

For alumna Alyssa Williams, the program was the next logical step in her path to becoming part of the administration with the k-12 school environment. Originally from New Jersey, the mother of five children graduated in 2019. Currently, she works for Miami Dade Public Schools at Homestead Gateway Environmental K-8 learning center in Florida, but for two years, she made her way to campus to take her classes, face-to-face.

“I felt like we received a lot of support from the program. They were all amazing. This specialist program flew by and was very worthwhile,” she says, and acknowledges that the new online format offers access to more learners—especially important given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

Leadership skills

For Williams, the program helped her understand how to lead a team as it provided keen insight on how to “read” people and develop relationships to handle crises better as well as budgeting and legal issues. She’s on the path to assistant vice principal, she says. 

“It’s not just a program to become a principal. You could be working toward becoming a school counselor or work for the regional district, there are many ways to use the leadership skills learned in the program,” says Williams. 

The curriculum, says Garcia, examines models and theories of organizational development that can be applied to state, charter, private, and non-profit institutions. As such, the focus is more broad and national that even students outside of the state of Florida can benefit from the curriculum.

“We need critical-thinking leaders in education,” asserts Garcia. “This program creates those leaders and they will inspire future generations of students through meaningful, lasting opportunities.”

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