Choosing the MSEd Specialization That's Right for You
Today’s student body is more diverse than ever. School systems must support children from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures, as well as those with special needs and learning disabilities. This poses tremendous opportunity for educators who wish to focus on a particular discipline, or take on the role of mentoring other teachers. Because of this, educators pursuing an MS in Education have a multitude of specializations from which to choose.
Walden’s online MSEd program offers 15 specializations. The first step in choosing a specialization that aligns with one’s aspirations and career goals is to understand the differences between them.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (Grades K–12): Learn to provide the differentiated learning instruction each student needs, to ensure all students learn and achieve at the highest levels possible.
Educational Leadership and Administration (International Non-Licensure): Designed specifically for international educators living outside the U.S., this specialization will help you discover how to lead curriculum initiatives and improve instructional effectiveness.
Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Licensure Preparation): Educators who want to become a principal or administrator can gain the legal, financial, data, and personnel management knowledge needed to meet the daily challenges of school administration, as well as the instructional leadership skills required to improve student outcomes.
Elementary Reading and Literacy (Grades PreK–6): Designed by national experts in the field, coursework explores current research and practical strategies that can help you increase the achievement of all students, including linguistically, culturally, and academically diverse learners.
Elementary Reading and Mathematics (Grades K–6): This specialization explores strategies to help you become more effective in delivering reading and mathematics instruction that is aligned with Common Core State Standards.
Integrating Technology in the Classroom (Grades K–12): Utilize 21st-century knowledge, strategies, and skills to create an effective and motivational learning environment for today’s technologically savvy students.
Mathematics (Grades K–6): Explore new strategies and techniques for introducing students to mathematical skills and concepts such as measurement, data, geometric thinking, understanding rational numbers, and proportional reasoning.
Mathematics (Grades 5–8): Help prepare your students for mathematics success in high school with key topics such as number systems and operations; geometric thinking and measurement; functions and equations; and data, probability, and statistical reasoning.
Mathematics and Science (Grades K–8): Help prepare young students in developing the analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in college and in their careers.
Science (Grades K–8): This specialization blends content with pedagogy and promotes inquiry-based learning through hands-on and exciting educational experiences. The program aligns with the five core propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the National Science Education Standards (NSES), and the standards of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
Self-Designed: Customize your online degree program with the courses that best prepare you to achieve your professional goals, whether you want to teach in additional subject areas or gain new skills in areas such as technology or leadership.
Special Education (Grades K–12): Experienced special educators with the desire to enhance their skills will enjoy this specialization, which synthesizes the most current research in the arenas of neuroscience, assessment, and scientifically based interventions so that you can determine effective practices for student learning.
STEM Education (Grades K–8): This specialization prepares certified educators to more effectively teach, engage, and inspire students in the STEM fields. Gain the skills and knowledge to lead and improve STEM curriculum in K–8 classrooms. Learn strategies to help diverse student populations become critical thinkers and build the educational foundation for future STEM-related careers.
Teacher Leadership (Grades K–12): Gain dynamic skills that can help you lead with greater confidence in your classroom and address key challenges such as parent involvement and student achievement. You will also learn more about your own leadership style and how to leverage the latest research to guide your decisions.
Walden’s MSEd program also offers six specializations in an accelerated track for highly motivated edcators: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (Grades K–12); Elementary Reading and Literacy (Grades PreK–6); Elementary Reading and Mathematics (Grades K-6); Integrating Technology in the Classroom (Grades K-12); Special Education (Grades K-12); and Teacher Leadership (Grades K-12).
The Elementary Education specialization is offered in the MSEd program’s One-Credit Track, allowing students to determine their own course load and completion time—12, 16, or 20 months. Learning occurs in focused, one-credit courses in a stimulating online classroom environment. Each one-credit course lasts four weeks, and each semester includes 4 four-week sessions.
Regardless of which specialization you choose, the MS in Education program will provide you with strategies for greater student achievement and greater success as a teacher.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
The only MS in Education specialization offered by Walden that is state-approved as leading to any educational license or certification is the MS in Education specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Licensure Preparation), which has been approved in Ohio for leading to Building Level Principal Licensure (grades PK–6, grades 4–9, and grades 5–12). No other MS in Education specialization will lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.
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