- Amount Awarded: $27,500
- Deadline: October
- Eligibility & Requirements: The academy seeks to help outstanding doctoral candidates with research that impacts the future of education. Students should be in the writing phase of their dissertation.
Curriculum and instruction has grown into one of the hottest areas of education in the past decade. As states and schools attempt to transform and improve their educational systems, they need specialists in the area of curriculum development. Contemporary technologies are spawning new educational methods that require leaders to direct them, and teachers and administrators are retiring en masse across the country, creating opportunities for new school leaders. Professions such as instructional coordinator and postsecondary administrator have a high job growth rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Online doctorate in curriculum and instruction programs provide an ideal way to take advantage of these opportunities. They allow you to switch careers and add a distinguished credential or specialization to your resume, and almost always lead to bigger paychecks. These online Ed.D. programs provide an ideal way to advance your career while continuing to teach. Read on to learn all you need to know about online Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction programs. Topics addressed include where to find grants and scholarships, possible career paths, admission requirements, and ways to network once you have earned your degree.
People enroll in online Ph.D. programs in curriculum and instruction for a variety of reasons, but many have a background as a working teacher and want to expand their job options. They know that online programs allow them to continue teaching in the classroom and earn a degree in their spare time. They might want to move into an administrative position at school, or they could have an interest in adding a specialty to their resume. Others might have just finished a master's or bachelor's program in education and see a doctorate as a way of advancing their career.
Online doctorate in curriculum and instruction programs provide an ideal way to specialize in a particular area of education. Common concentrations in curriculum and instruction include language, leadership and administration, STEM disciplines, literacy, elementary education, and technology. Adding a specialization to your repertoire increases your chances of earning positions that interest you the most, and allows you to focus on the aspects of the field that you enjoy.
A Ph.D. automatically places you in the top bracket within the field of education. Terminal degrees distinguish you among your peers and usually lead to upper-level or administrative positions at schools and other agencies. They also result in more responsibility, higher pay, and the opportunity to make the big decisions. If you aspire to a leadership role in education, a doctorate is a giant leap in the right direction.
Getting your doctorate in curriculum and instruction puts you at the forefront when it comes to new technologies in schools. In an online program, you use the newest and latest applications and pick up skills that you can utilize in your day-to-day work. You gain experience and expertise in the same technologies that schools are currently using to revitalize education.
Online doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction have several prerequisites that you must meet before you can enroll. These include things such as degrees, work experience, and individual classes.
Graduates of online Ed.D. programs work in elementary and secondary school systems, teaching; supervising; consulting; and guiding students, parents, and teachers. They find jobs at universities in research, administration, and in classrooms, and often work for themselves as freelancing consultants. Because of the diverse nature of these careers, salary potential and median annual pay differs. However, doctoral level positions sit at the high-end of most salary scales, so graduates can expect to make anywhere from $65,000-$100,000 a year.
Median Pay: $63,750
Job Growth: 11%
Instructional coordinators work for schools and school systems, developing curriculums and overseeing educational standards. They work with school administrators to ensure that the school meets its goals and objectives, and often organize and run teacher workshops, select textbooks and test services, and mentor individual teachers.
Ideal for: Creative, highly organized people with strong management and communications skills. Strategic and critical-thinking skills help.
Median Pay: $92,360
Job Growth: 10%
Colleges and universities employ postsecondary education administrators in a variety of departments. They run registrar's offices, work in student services, oversee faculty research, and manage educational departments.
Ideal for: Motivated individuals with leadership ability, an aptitude for organization, and people-management skills.
Median Pay: $76,000
Job Growth: 15%
College professors teach classes at the postsecondary level. They instruct and advise students, create courses, run academic departments at universities, and usually conduct research and write for publication.
Ideal for: People who love academics and have patience, public speaking skills, research ability, and strong organizational skills.
Median Pay: $73,058
Job Growth: N/A
Curriculum directors develop and oversee curriculums and teaching standards at all levels of education. They often work for school systems, planning and implementing educational guidelines. They might run workshops for teachers, hire instructors, and mentor teachers. They work toward long-term goals with educational administrators.
Ideal for: Strategic individuals with management skills, critical thinking ability, communication skills, and problem-solving aptitude.
Median Pay: $62,460
Job Growth: N/A
Educational consultants work for school districts and universities planning and directing the educational paths of students. They work with teachers and parents to prepare students for college, and oversee testing and financial aid planning.
Ideal for: Individuals with people skills, strategic thinking ability, and problem-solving and communication skills.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale, 2017-2018
Many students in online Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction programs find creative ways to pay for their education. Some learners enroll in accelerated sessions, which allows them to graduate quicker. Others take on fellowships or teaching assistantships to help defray costs. Many organizations sponsor scholarships and grants specifically for graduate-level teaching programs. Often the best place to start is with a financial adviser at the college or university you wish to attend.
Every university sets up its online Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction differently, but most share commonalities. In most cases you can find part-time or full-time options that follow the traditional semester schedule. Some, allow you to enroll in accelerated programs where you proceed on your own time frame.
Many online doctorate in curriculum and instruction programs allow you to attend part time. These work well for a lot of students who will be working while attending courses. Most universities build their schedules around typical school years so teachers can advance their careers while continuing to teach in the classroom.
School Name: University of Florida
Pace: 6 Credits / 2 Classes per Semester
Total Semesters: 8
Summary: Designed for working teachers, the University of Florida's doctorate in education is cohort based. The school built the program for completion in four years, meaning eight semesters of study. Some students take longer and must join a different cohort to finish. The typical degree candidate has already taken 30 credits at the graduate level and can finish the required coursework in eight semesters. Assuming this is the case, the program would cost roughly $38,000. The University of Florida does not lock down tuition, and costs could rise.
Full-time degrees require you to focus almost entirely on school and can make it difficult to hold down a full-time job at the same time. Most require you to take four classes per semester, which is a rigorous workload.
School Name: University of Virginia
Total Credits Required: 72 credits
Online Tuition Cost: $500 per credit hour
Pace: 12 Credits / 4 Classes per Semester
Total Semesters: 6
Summary: The doctor of education program at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education generally takes full-time students three years to complete. At 72 credits, the total cost comes to $36,000. The university changes its tuition fee structure on an annual basis, so costs will likely rise during a doctoral program. Students must enroll in consecutive fall and spring semesters or petition for a leave of absence.
Though not as common, you can find some accelerated options for a doctorate in curriculum and instruction online. These fast-paced programs allow you to take classes in eight-week sessions. Because they do not take as long, they can offer a cheaper alternative pathway.
School Name: University of Louisiana Monroe
Total Credits Required: 60 credits
Online Tuition Cost: $500
Pace: 18 Credits / 6 Classes per Semester
Total Semesters: 4
Summary: Because of its eight-week sessions, the University of Louisiana Monroe's program in curriculum and instruction requires as few as two years to complete. The university advertises the total cost at $30,000, which makes it a more affordable online doctorate in curriculum and instruction than many of its competitors.
Getting your doctorate represents the most expensive form of education and generally requires years of schooling. Thankfully, many organizations offer grants, scholarships, and fellowships that make paying for an online Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction more manageable.
Doctoral programs vary in length and requirements, but most share common trends. The time it takes to graduate differs, depending upon whether you enroll full time, which might take three years, or part time, which can take 6-7 years. Most programs involve at least 60 credits, while many make you earn up to 72. They generally all feature some sort of practicum or internship in classrooms and usually require a large project, such as a dissertation and culminating exams.
Most doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction allow you to concentrate your studies in a particular area. Students generally declare their specialization very early in their studies, often before they reach the Ph.D. level. Possible concentrations might include elementary education, administration, English, math, or science.
Usually undertaken in the first two or three years, core courses typically account for about a third of the necessary credits. These are the basics upon which you will build the rest of the degree.
Many programs require doctoral candidates to complete a supervised internship. These give the student real-world experience in their field and often occur in the area of specialty. Some internships can be completed in a semester, while others take a year or more.
Doctoral programs often build research into a student's curriculum. This typically begins at about the same time as the dissertation and leads into the production of the dissertation or major project.
Dissertations serve as the culminating project for many doctoral programs. They typically take years to complete, and a student's time of graduation generally revolves around the time it takes to write the dissertation.
Most programs require students to present and defend their dissertation to a board of faculty members.
Many schools require students to declare their intention to graduate. Some also require that doctoral candidates prepare a professional portfolio to document a program's professional outcomes.
Every university takes its own approach to online curriculum and instruction Ph.D. programs. Differences in curriculums might come down to the student's chosen specialization or overall requirements, but there are often similar core courses. Some examples of these courses are listed below.
Curriculum and instruction programs rely heavily on data. This course prepares you to deal with exploratory data analysis, graphical and numerical representation, and averages and norms.
The essentials of pedagogy form the basis of this course. Research-based ideas on teaching, cognitive development and how students learn, effective instructional methods, and models of educational support are all covered.
Modern teaching methods place a great deal of emphasis on research. Students learn how educational investigation informs the development of today's curriculum. They also pick up techniques to help them with the research required by a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.
Doctoral programs often lead to administrative or managerial positions. This course takes students through the many executive challenges facing today's educators. This evidence-based class emphasizes relationships, communication, and critical thinking.
Like most educational Ph.D. programs, curriculum and instruction requires the production of a dissertation. This course pairs a student with a faculty adviser who helps guide them through the process. The course usually repeats across several semesters and can account for as many as 12 credits.
The two basic requirements for most of the careers that follow a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction are a teaching certificate and a master's degree. The degree itself simply distinguishes you among others who might apply to curriculum and instruction jobs. However, a few exceptions to this do exist. Some administrative positions in academia demand specialized credentials. To take a job as a superintendent or a principal, for example, you often need to hold certification in those fields. Likewise, it helps to have certification in areas like special education or technology if you want to work in those areas. Below, are some examples of licensure and certification that students can pursue depending on their chosen specialization and career goals.
Whether you are a recent graduate looking for a job or have already found a position in curriculum and instruction, professional organizations are invaluable resources. These associations of like-minded individuals provide networking opportunities. By joining, you can learn about better-fitting or higher-paying jobs, get tips from people doing the same work, or find a mentor. You can also learn about the latest news and trends in the field and discover opportunities for continuing education and professional development. Some organizations for those in the curriculum and instruction field are listed below.