A master's degree in education can provide various opportunities for people who are already in the education field or are interested in making a career change. Obtaining a master's in education can provide individuals with more leadership techniques for their students and their communities. There are several requirements a person will have to successfully complete to acquire a master's degree in education.
For a person interested in pursuing a masters degree in education, she should start the admission process early by obtaining two letters of recommendation from people who can confirmed that she is capable of being a responsible graduate student--for example, an undergraduate instructor or an employer. This would also be a good time to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller's Analogy Test (MAT), which are entrance exams that most universities use for prospective students to enter their graduate programs.
To become a graduate student, the applicant must hold a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited college or university with a grade-point average of 3.0, present an application and application fee for admissions within the program, as well as possess transcripts from each college that the applicant attended. A resume and a personal letter of interest is also required for most universities, as it give admission advisers an idea of the person who is fascinated with the graduate program and what it can do for her future.
An interview with a member of the admission council is essential to determine whether the individual is a good candidate for the university's graduate program. The interview is either conducted in person or on the phone. The interviewer will ask questions concerning the individual's professional status, why she wants to pursue a career in education (if the individual did not obtain a bachelor's degree in education) and how a masters degree would further her career in education.
Once the prospective student is accepted into the program, he will have to meet the requirements set in the program. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed in order to take the comprehensive exam at the end of the graduate program. Courses might vary in every master's program, but the courses that are typically associated with the program include Theory and Practice in Classroom Management; Generic Teaching Strategies; Effective Methodologies for Language Arts and Social Studies Instruction; and Student Teaching.
The comprehensive exam is the final step to completing a master's in education. With the adviser's approval, the student will take the exam that will cover her area of specialization--for example, elementary or high school teaching. The four-hour exam can be taken written or online, and it will ask questions from the program's educational core as well as the student's major field of coursework. The test is typically taken one time per semester, and the student has to make a satisfactory grade in order to graduate. If a student does not pass a specific portion of the exam, she can file a petition to retake the exam, but the exam can only be taken during the next semester. Should the student fail the retest, she would have to consult with the program adviser on planning a strategy for remediation, including preparing for the retest, enrolling in additional courses or studying through the use of reading materials.
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