Online education policy degrees are meant for students who want to evaluate, influence, and change education policy at the local, state, and national levels for primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. Students in education policy degree programs take a balance of education-focused and government-focused courses that cover both quantitative and qualitative analysis of various policies.
Students in education policy programs will take courses that cover a variety of topics including the relationships between schools and their communities; the history of American education; American education reform; program evaluation; the economics of education policy and reform; education finance; teaching policy; and comprehensive school reform. Depending on the program and a student’s goals and interests, students may have the opportunity to choose a specialization within the field of education policy, such as educational diversity and equity; global education studies; or educational technology.
The courses that students take prepare them for careers both inside and outside of the classroom, though most likely, those who study education policy would like to effect change at a level greater than a single classroom. Classroom experience might be helpful in order to truly understand how the policies one is studying would affect education at all levels, but it is not a requirement for many education policy programs.
Education policy degree program graduates can work for school districts, colleges, states, or the federal government analyzing the effectiveness of certain policies, or for non-profit or non-governmental organizations that work in education access or policy evaluation. Outside of education policy, the skills graduates will have learned are transferable to other fields, such as data analysis, public administration, or management.