Education, M.A.

Graduate Degree
The Education, M.A. degree program has an online option. Learn more about Online Learning at Marshall University.

What is Education?

Good teachers excel in the nation’s classrooms because they, too, continue to learn and build new skills and expertise.

Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, enables many teachers in the region to expand their skillset in the field of education. Marshall offers the Master of Arts (MA) in Education, a graduate degree program that is primarily designed for licensed teachers seeking an advanced degree or added endorsement. Available in a range of specialized areas, endorsements qualify teachers to be classroom-ready in additional subject areas, which adds value to their portfolio as educators.

Since most students in Marshall’s Education master’s degree program are working teachers, all MA coursework is fully online with asynchronous learning experiences. This enables Marshall students to continue teaching full-time while completing their master’s degree.

The College of Education and Professional Development (COEPD), accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, is the oldest academic unit within Marshall University, dating back to 1867. COEPD offers 16 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, and 32 educational certifications ranging from early childhood and elementary education to secondary education and administration. The College is adept at meeting the needs of adult learners who are primarily fully employed students.

Why Study Education at Marshall?

The Marshall master’s degree in Education enables licensed teachers to earn an advanced degree or an added endorsement. These credentials expand teacher skills and expertise, and increase their marketability and earning potential. Master’s in Education students who enroll full-time can complete their degree in four semesters; part-time students typically take six semesters.

The Master of Arts in Education consists of a set of core course requirements, area of emphasis requirements, and a capstone experience.

All Education master’s degree students must complete 15 hours of coursework in research, human growth and development, technology, instructional methods and assessment (the MA core).
Each student must also select an area of emphasis consisting of 18-21 hours of required coursework, depending on the area of emphasis.
Students will meet the comprehensive assessment requirement through the framework of a 3-hour capstone experience.
Endorsement programs are available to teachers who hold a valid West Virginia professional license in any area other than the one for which endorsement is desired. Students in the Education master’s degree program from other states should verify eligibility for added endorsements through their state’s Department of Education.

Endorsements

Added endorsements for MA in Education students include:

Early Childhood Education (PK-K): Combines theory, research and practical applications to child development and early childhood education. Options are available for ECE Option 1 (PreK-K Licensed) and ECE Option 2 (K-6/K-8 Licensed).
Elementary Math Specialist (K-6): Strengthens mathematical content knowledge and mathematical teaching methods of elementary teachers, Grades K-6.
Library Media Specialist (K-Adult): Prepares K-12 teachers to manage school library media centers, collaborate with faculty to support the school curriculum and facilitate information literacy.
Math through Algebra I (5-9): Provides mathematical content knowledge and mathematical teaching methods to prepare middle school mathematics teachers.
Teaching English as a Second Language (K-Adult): Prepares teachers who work with learners who enter schools with a language other than English.

A non-licensure track in Early Childhood and Teaching English as a Second Language provides an option for non-licensed individuals. They can build their professional knowledge to better work with early learners in environments or work with learners with a language other than English where teacher licensure is not required.

Additional areas of emphasis in Marshall’s online master’s in Education program include: Instructional Processes and Strategies, Instructional Technology and Learning, and an individualized plan of study. These specializations may be taken by licensed P-12 educators and others interested in working in education-related fields such as training and development, and in careers such as instructional designers and technologists.

The ability to add an endorsement increases the marketability of graduates. Teachers in some states, such as West Virginia, are eligible for a raise upon completion of a master’s degree.

Online advantages. The cost for Marshall Online programs is very competitive so Education master’s degree students can continue their graduate education cost-effectively. The MA in Education degree has been ranked among the Most Affordable Online Colleges by OnlineU.org for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Coursework is fully online with asynchronous learning experiences. Education faculty are accessible and experienced at providing instructional and advising support for distance learners pursuing their online master’s degree in Education.

Career Outlook for Education Majors

The majority of the students in the online master’s in Education degree programs are currently employed teachers who are working on added endorsements or to enhance their knowledge.

Master’s in Education Jobs

Most Marshall graduates with an MA in Education are teachers in public schools in the state of West Virginia. Completion of added endorsements allows teachers to work in the following positions:

Elementary mathematics specialists
Library media specialists
Middle school mathematics teachers
Instructional coaches
Instructors supporting the needs of English language learners

Other areas of emphasis included within the master’s in Education degree help to improve the knowledge of practicing classroom teachers and technology integration specialists.

Job Outlook

Employment in education, training and library occupations is projected to grow 5 percent through 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. About 441,000 new jobs are projected to be added from 2019 to 2029. Student enrollment is projected to increase; therefore, postsecondary teachers and preschool, elementary and secondary school teachers will be needed to meet the demand. Education, training and library occupations are, however, affected by state and local budgets, and budgetary restrictions may limit employment growth.
The median (or midpoint) annual wage for education, training and library occupations was $52,380 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations at $41,950.
Here are some specific positions and salaries within education, training and library occupations that may be relevant to Marshall graduates with an MA in Education:

Librarians and library media specialists. Employment is projected to grow 5 percent through 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Communities are increasingly turning to libraries for a variety of services and activities. Therefore, there will be a need for librarians and library media specialists to manage these resources and to help patrons find information. The median (or midpoint) annual wage for librarians and library media specialists was $60,820in May 2020.
Instructional coordinators. Employment is projected to grow 6 percent through 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. As states and school districts put greater emphasis on student achievement data, schools may increasingly turn to instructional coordinators to develop better curriculums and improve teachers’ effectiveness. The median annual wage for instructional coordinators was $66,970 in May 2020.
Middle school teachers. Employment is projected to grow 4 percent through 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for middle school teachers, but employment growth will vary by region. The median annual wage for middle school teachers was $60,810 in May 2020.

Opportunities for Education Majors

The College of Education and Professional Development provides an array of degree and professional development programs, continuing education opportunities, and services that fully address the needs of adult learners who are primarily fully employed students. The College provides professional/technical expertise for students and is actively involved in addressing regional and state-level educational, mental health and social issues.

Access to Resources

As part of Marshall’s online master’s degree in Education, students are not required to be on campus. However, they can contact the library staff for support, and also have access to Marshall’s writing center for guidance.

In addition to teacher education master’s degree programs, as well as bachelor’s and doctoral programs, COEPD offers these service programs: Appalachian Studies Association, West Virginia Autism Training Center, HEART Tutoring Program, June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development, Higher Education Learning Program (H.E.L.P.), Marshall Child Development Academy, Marshall Early Education Center, MU Computer Based Testing Center, and Professional Development Schools Partnership.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements to Master’s Degree Programs

Applicants to the MA in Education should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at www.marshall.edu/graduate/admissions/how-to-apply-for-admission.

For full admission, applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accepted, accredited institution with an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale or have a master’s degree from a accepted, accredited institution.

Applicants having an undergraduate degree from an accepted, accredited institution with an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or above, but below 3.0, may be granted provisional admission. Provisionally admitted applications will be granted full admission upon successful completion of 12 hours toward the approved plan of study with a GPA of 3.25 or higher, assuming that all other admission requirements are met.

Note: Some areas of emphasis are designed to lead to added endorsements for licensed teachers. Applicants may be asked to submit additional materials, such as documentation of current teacher licensure, before an admission decision is made.

Certificate Program Admission Requirements

Prospective certificate-only students should apply for admission to Marshall University as a Certificate/Professional Development student and select, on the application form, the certificate they wish to pursue. Applicants must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from from an accepted, regionally accredited institution with an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.50 or higher on a 4.0 scale; or
  • A master’s degree from from an accepted, regionally accredited institution.
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