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What are the Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction?

When I started my teaching career I had a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. I knew that I wanted to return to school at some point to obtain a master’s degree. After my first year of full-time teaching, I decided to look into master’s programs. I found the master’s in curriculum and instruction program at Concordia University St. Paul to be a great fit for myself and my teaching desires. In this article I will discuss what is involved in this master’s program, what you learn in this program, and advantages to having this degree.

What is a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction?

I chose to go to Concordia for my master’s in curriculum and instruction because the purpose and goals of the program matched what I was looking for and what I felt I needed out of a program. I received my K-12 reading endorsement along with this degree, which meant that I took classes relating to not only curriculum and instruction but also classes that had a literacy focus.

The purpose of this program is to prepare educators for curriculum design in the area of their licensure. I received a reading endorsement with my program, so my direct purpose was to prepare myself for not only literacy curriculum design but also literacy instruction and assessment. I felt the purpose of this program aligned with my core teaching values and beliefs. My goal has always been to provide the best instruction I can in reading and writing to all of my students; this program matched perfectly with my purpose.

The goals of this program are to successfully complete coursework and fieldwork along with state testing requirements if you are also earning the reading endorsements. I felt I was readily prepared to be successful with these goals based on my work with my advisor and my professors. Every faculty member at Concordia was willing and able to help with my plan for completing this program successfully.

What You’ll Learn in a Curriculum and Instruction Program

As I researched programs, I found that the curriculum and instruction program was the best fit for me. Upon starting the program, that notion was solidified. The skills I developed and the concepts and strategies I learned proved to be beneficial for my career path.

Some of the skills I developed included the ability to create relevant and impactful learning experiences for my students. I am now able to use a wide array of instructional strategies to support the reading and writing curriculum I teach. Without this program, I would not have been exposed to fresh, new ideas to support students in our ever-changing global society.

Concepts and strategies I came away with were in the area of practices, methods, and approaches to teaching my curriculum. I feel that I am now effectively able to use a wide variety of assessment practices that I did not know about prior to this program. I am also now able to reflect on my professional practice in a newfound way as I am now able to discuss my findings with colleagues in new ways.

Advantages of a Curriculum and Instruction Degree

The advantages of having a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction are vast. I have found the following to be key advantages of having this degree:

  • career opportunities
  • professional growth
  • salary increase

Upon receiving my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, I have found that there are a vast amount of new career opportunities available to me that were not available before. Now that I have this degree along with my reading endorsement, I am able to think about future careers in new areas aside from just language arts teaching, which is what I had been doing before my new degree. I am now able to consider teaching reading intervention classes, being a reading specialist for a school or district, or even teaching graduate-level courses. With this degree I am able to expand my career possibilities and open new doors that I had not thought possible prior.

Professional growth is a second advantage to having a curriculum and instruction degree. After obtaining this degree, I became the co-leader of the Literacy Project Team in my building. My role in this position is to take what I learned about curriculum and instruction and best literacy practices to help create and provide professional development for my colleagues. The confidence I have from the courses I took and the experiences I had during my degree completion left me feeling able to be successful in this role.

Salary increase is a third advantage to having a curriculum and instruction degree. I found this advantage to be the most rewarding. In the teaching world, the ability to make lane changes due to having more education is satisfying and rewarding. As I went through the program, I was able to move up the pay scale for my district. I am now making a significant amount more each year than I was before I had this degree.

Overall, the advantages in having a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction are plentiful. I am so happy I made the choice to return to school once I started teaching and earned this degree. Without it, I would not be in the spot I am today, both financially and professionally.

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