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Job Options for Master’s Degree in C&I Grads

A Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction — National Board Certification PreK-12 provides graduates with the tools to maximize learning in private and public school settings. The coursework in this program also prepares students for the review process to become a National Board Certified Teacher and advance students’ education careers in meaningful ways.

The Benefits of Board Certification

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, this professional certification for K-12 educators aims to “develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.”

Why should educators consider earning board certification? Board Certification Studies from Washington, Kentucky and Illinois indicate students of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) learn more than their peers who do not have board-certified teachers.

Teachers who complete the process to become NBCTs improve their teaching skills and gain opportunities to make a difference outside of their classrooms. As recognized experts, NBCTs land leadership roles in their schools, districts or state departments of education.

Some local school districts offer stipends for National Board Certification (NBC). Candidates may obtain federal monies or professional development funds to help with fees. Ask your principal or district administrator if such aid is available.

Job Options for Graduates With an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction

Educators who pursue the M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction — National Board Certification PreK-12 can qualify for an assortment of roles. Leadership roles outside of the classroom often require a master’s degree. This, in conjunction with the board-certified label, bolsters an educator’s resume.

Here are some of the job possibilities for teachers who earn this degree and an overview of each.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

The director works with staff, administrators and coordinators to improve the quality of education for the school or district. People in this role ensure the curriculum meets the state board of education requirements and monitor student performance on standardized tests. Some train teachers on teaching methods and classroom techniques.

The role is typically the next step for instructional and curriculum coordinators and requires 10 years of experience. While the salary varies widely, PayScale (October 2018) shows a median salary of $73,030 per year.

Instructional and Curriculum Coordinator

People in this role oversee school curriculum and teaching standards. They may evaluate and develop instructional material, review its effectiveness and student achievement data, and provide teacher feedback on curriculum implementation.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook entry for Instructional Coordinators indicates a master’s degree plus five years of experience is the average entry-level education for this role. The job outlook from 2016 to 2026 is faster than average, and the 2017 median pay is $63,750 per year.

Lead Teacher

Lead teachers act as a resource for teachers and collaborate with the school administration and sometimes the district to ensure the maintenance of curriculum standards. The role varies as some lead teachers work as subject-matter experts or oversee a team for a grade level or department. Because of the wide-ranging possibilities for this role, the salary range for lead teachers fluctuates.

The degree can put teachers on the path toward an administrative role. The requirements for principal and other administrative roles depend on the individual state and school district. In most instances, a master’s degree is necessary. Ultimately, earning an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction can help educators expand their career possibilities, explore new challenges and boost their earning potential.

Learn more about Emporia State University’s Master of Science, Curriculum and Instruction online program.


National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: Research

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: National Board Certification Overview

PayScale: Average Curriculum Director Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Instructional Coordinators


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