If you have already obtained a master's degree in education, earning an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree can help you further advance your career and earning potential. This terminal-level degree can give you the credentials, knowledge and skills to work in specialized, higher-level positions within your school or district.
The time it can take to earn a terminal-level degree in education can seem daunting, especially if you are currently a teacher or school administrator. One efficient option for working professionals is earning an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) online from the University of West Florida (UWF). This fully online degree program allows professionals to work full time while completing their Ed.S. degree, expediting career advancement.
What Is the Difference Between an Ed.S. and a Doctoral-Level Education Degree?
A master's in education is usually required of those who wish to earn a terminal-level degree in education such as an Ed.S., Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education. The differences lie largely in how long the degrees take to complete, what is required for degree completion, what the student will focus on and what they wish to do with the degree.
To generalize, the Ed.S. is a more pragmatic degree and can be completed faster than most Ed.D. or Ph.D. programs. Ed.S. degree candidates usually focus on a specialized concentration in order to advance to the highest-level administrative positions associated with that concentration (i.e. a school or district's C&I coordinator).
Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs are focused more on research and generally take longer to complete than an Ed.S. Moreover, Ed.D. programs are often aimed at applying existing research to areas such as curriculum design or educational policy making while Ph.D. programs focus on conducting new research, often leading to positions in academia. Both of these degree programs require doctoral capstones or dissertations for completion.
How Long Does It Take to Complete UWF's Online Ed.S. Degree Program?
The duration of your study will depend on how many courses you wish to take during each seasonal period of study. You must finish 12 courses, each worth three credit hours, totaling the 36 credit hours required for program completion. If managed effectively, this degree can be completed in as few as 24 months.
In comparison, many traditional Ed.S. degree programs require up to 60 credit hours for degree completion. Ed.D. programs usually require 60 or more hours, and Ph.D. programs average 90 required credit hours.
How Much Time Will I Spend on Coursework and Studying Each Week?
UWF's online courses are condensed into seven- or eight-week periods, depending on the season. A credit hour represents an estimated 48 hours of work spread over the course period. Accordingly, you should plan to set aside roughly 144 hours of study for each three credit course, or about 18 hours a week per eight-week course.
UWF's online Ed.S. design offers a rapid and convenient path toward earning this valuable credential, and can be a good match for the working professional wishing to advance quickly in their education and career.
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