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Curriculum and Instruction

Curriculum and Instruction

Curriculum and instruction experts often work as educators, consultants, or coaches to design and develop curriculum and training materials. In the classroom, these teachers may develop their own instructional materials, or adapt existing materials to best meet the needs of diverse learners. Curriculum coaches often specialize in specific content, such as reading, writing, and mathematics. They may work with multi-grade teams of teachers to ensure continuity from one grade level to the next, provide coaching for specific problem areas within the curriculum, or help struggling students meet their educational goals.

Corporate trainers and consultants are also found within private businesses and work as instructional designers, trainers, and job coaches. They provide training to newly hired employees, train existing staff on new procedures or technologies, and develop job-specific training materials. While some companies have separate training departments, these positions often function as an extension of a human resources department. These professionals do not require state certification.

Career Options in Curriculum and Instruction

Instructional coordinators, also known as curriculum specialists or instructional coaches, develop curriculum, train teachers and other staff, and ensure educational programs meet the needs of learners. Within the corporate environment, they often work in conjunction with the human resources department to train new staff and identify the training needs of existing staff.

  • Teacher
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Learning & Development Manager
  • Instructional Designer
  • Learning Consultant
  • Professional Development Manager
  • Education & Development Representative
  • Director of Training
  • VP of Organizational Development
  • Technical Instructional Designer
  • Instructional Coordinators: Instructional coordinators--also known as curriculum specialists, personnel development specialists, instructional coaches, or directors of instructional material--play a large role in improving the quality of education in the classroom. They develop curricula, select textbooks and other materials, train teachers, and assess educational programs for quality and adherence to regulations and standards. They also assist in implementing new technology in the classroom. At the primary and secondary school level, instructional coordinators often specialize in specific subjects, such as reading, language arts, mathematics, or science. At the postsecondary level, coordinators may work with employers to develop training programs that produce qualified workers.

    Career Outlook and Salary Potential

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2010) predicts demand for instructional coordinators to increase by 23 percent through 2018, which is much faster than average job growth. The demand for classroom teachers working in public schools is expected to maintain average growth through 2018, with the highest demand being for teachers who work in language arts, science, and mathematics.

    Job Title

    Median Annual Salary (50th percentile)

    Job Growth

    Kindergarten & Elementary School Teachers



    Middle School Teachers



    High School Teachers



    Postsecondary Teachers



    Adult Literacy & High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers



    Instructional Coordinator



    Training Specialist



    Career & Technical Education Teacher



    Training Manager



    Education and Training

    Neither the bachelor's program nor the master's program leads to teacher certification. For educators, the graduate programs can often be used to meet continuing education requirements, increase earning potential, and lead to leadership positions within the school or district. Within the private sector, many corporations require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in curriculum and instruction but strongly prefer individuals with a master's degree in this concentration (or a closely related field of study).

    Sponsored Adult Education Schools
    Concordia University - Portland

    Curriculum & Instruction
    Master of Education

    Concordia's Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction is designed to provide in-service teachers with additional skills to enhance the teaching and learning processes in their own classrooms. Professional core classes provide candidates a forum to address common educational issues and theories as well as a scholarly process that facilitates the application of theory to their classroom practice.

    A professional core, a personalized concentration designed to meet the candidate's personal and professional goals, and a capstone experience are required. Depending on the concentration selected, candidates will take between 32 and 38 semester credits to earn the degree. Most candidates can complete the degree in 24-30 months.

    Available concentrations in the Curriculum & Instruction program: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader, Environmental Education, Leadership, Mathematics, Methods & Curriculum, Science, Social Studies, STEM)

    Grand Canyon University

    Curriculum & Instruction
    Master of Arts

    In the Masters in Curriculum and Instruction degree program, develop your abilities in academic planning and differentiated instruction using current theories, designs and research-based data. Opportunities for observation and practical application in real classrooms provide the experience to support your professional development into an instructional coach, leader and outstanding educator. In the masters degree in curriculum and instruction program, you examine the process for planning, composing and delivering an engaging, culturally responsive curriculum. In addition, you also learn to identify, evaluate and assess instructional strategies using data and student achievement.

    Walden University

    Chosen as an NEA Academy Partner for it's quality and value. Walden University offers the No. 1 Largest Online Graduate Program in Education By Enrollment (U.S. News & World Report). WU's School of Education is currently a candidate for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

    Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment (K-12)
    Master of Science in Education

    Educators with the knowledge and understanding to help students with special learning needs are the key to an effective developmental education program. Explore theory, political and economic issues, and research in the field. Examine effective strategies for intake and placement, advising, teaching, and assessment in developmental education programs for adults. Investigate best practices in curriculum design and the use of technology to support retention of adult learners.

    Sponsored Schools
    Adult Education Careers

    Adult Education Teachers: Colleges and universities typically require their instructors to have atleast a master's degree with field related job experience. Professors typically hold a doctorate in the subject they teach. Vocational schools require work experience in the specific field and recognition in the field through certification or licensure. Vocational instructors can stay competitive in the job market by having bachelor's and master's degrees. Whatever teaching career they choose, educators also need to stay current on developments, trends and techniques in their field.

    Higher Education Administrators: Colleges and universities have an abundance of opportunities in education administration. Positions include provosts, deans, directors, and chairpersons working in academic departments, admissions, student services, athletics, Counseling, and more. College and university academic deans and chairpersons usually advance from professorships in their departments, for which they need a master's or doctoral degree; further education is not typically necessary. Admissions, student affairs, and financial aid directors and registrars sometimes start in related staff jobs with bachelor's degrees—any field usually is acceptable—and obtain advanced degrees in college student affairs, counseling, or higher education administration. A Ph.D. or Ed.D. usually is necessary for top student affairs positions.

    Corporate Training Specialists: Training and development managers and specialists conduct and supervise training and development programs for employees. They can work for a company which trains its employees or for an outside firm as consultants. Planning and program development is an essential part of the training specialist's job. In order to identify and assess training needs within a firm, trainers may confer with managers and supervisors or conduct surveys. They also evaluate training effectiveness to ensure that the training employees receive helps the organization meet its strategic business goals and achieve results. A bachelor's degree and related work experience are usually required. A degree in adult education is an excellent option for preparation in this field.