How Long Does Instructional Coordinator School Take?
Instructional coordinators are in charge of developing the school curriculum and improving teaching standards. This is a position of advancement for education professionals who have substantial work experience in the field of education and hold postgraduate degrees. Also known as curriculum specialists or instructional coaches, instructional coordinators can focus in a particular grade level or specialize in a particular subject like language or arts. Through the work they do, instructional coordinators are able to evaluate teaching standards, observe and assess teaching techniques and performance and make recommendations to improve the state of education in the country.
There is actually no specific school for instructional coordinators. Rather, many instructional coordinators are eventually led to this path after having fulfilled their dreams of becoming teachers. Thus, they begin their educational preparation with a bachelor’s degree in education or on the subject which they intend to teach in like biology, math or English. Together with a bachelor’s degree, they also enroll in a teacher education program that will prepare them to teach elementary and high school students. A bachelor’s degree in any of these programs typically takes four years to complete. Those who are already certain that a career as an instructional coordinator is the path that they want to pursue can enroll in the few schools offering bachelor’s degree programs in curriculum and instruction. These also take four years to complete.
A bachelor’s degree is not going to be enough to work as an instructional coordinator. A teaching license is needed if they want to teach in public elementary and high schools. This will entail passing the required tests after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree in education or in curriculum design and curriculum and instruction is the next step towards those who want to become instructional coordinators. Master’s degree programs typically take two years to complete.
Western Governors University, for example, offers the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction online. Students who commit at least 20 hours a week in their studies can finish the program in 2 to 2 ½ years. An add-on degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision is also offered online by the University of North Carolina Wilmington for those with three years of teaching experience and are aiming for district-level and school-level leadership in any of the three fields covered in the program. This can be completed in two years.
While an online program will offer flexibility, it should be understood that not many do succeed with it. Students may have the opportunity to study on their own and do their assignments at their own time and pace. However, it is this very flexibility that can derail students who are not so focused from graduating on time. Since many professionals combine their work with studies, the latter can often be neglected in favor of the former. The result is that students can take a longer time to complete their course.
Extensive work experience must go together with a postgraduate degree for those who want to become instructional coordinators. Many start their career as teachers and move on to become principals then district supervisors before eventually becoming instructional coordinators.