Education and Training Requirements
In high school, take a college-preparatory curriculum that includes classes in English, speech, computer science, chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, social studies, psychology, and foreign language.
Instructional coordinators need a minimum of a master’s degree in education or curriculum and instruction (as well as experience in teaching or school administration). Those who plan to specialize in a particular field, such as biology, should also earn a degree in that discipline.
Typical classes in a curriculum and instruction program focus on curriculum theory and development, educational testing and measurements, educational research, creating curriculum for diverse audiences, and instruction improvement. Students in many programs can also choose an educational emphasis such as STEM education, elementary education, and theory and practice in social studies.
Some colleges and universities offer certificates in curriculum and instruction, instructional design, and related areas. Classes in a curriculum and instruction certificate program might include Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction: Assumptions, Relationships, and Design; Learning and the Brain: Fitting the Nurture of Teaching to the Nature of Learning; Adult Learning and Development; Enduring Ideas and Current Issues in the Education of Young Children; and 21st Century Teaching: Supporting All Learners with Technology.
Other Education or Training
The ASCD provides continuing education (CE) opportunities via online programs and at its conferences. Recent webinars included Making Teachers Better, Not Bitter: Balancing Evaluation, Supervision, and Reflection; Ten Things School Leaders Need to Do to Implement the Common Core State Standards; and Lesson Imaging in Mathematics and Science: Mindfully Planning for Inquiry Instruction. The National Council for the Social Studies, International Literacy Association, Council for Exceptional Children, Learning Forward, and the National Association for Music Education also provide CE classes, workshops, and webinars. Contact these organizations for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Instructional coordinators who are employed by public schools or school systems may need a teacher license or a school administrator license.
Some employers may require job applicants to undergo a background check
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Instructional coordinators typically need at least five years of experience working as a teacher or as a principal, and some employers require experience teaching a certain grade level or academic subject.
Instructional coordinators must be excellent communicators and have strong interpersonal skills in order to gather information and explain proposed changes in curriculum to teachers, principals, school board members, and others. They also need good analytical skills (to assess existing programs, student test data, and teaching strategies), decision-making abilities (to make the best, evidence-based decisions regarding changes to curriculums, textbooks, and teaching methods), and organizational skills (to effectively collect and assess large amounts of information to help them make decisions). Other important traits include good teaching, time-management, and project management skills; creativity and imagination; and a willingness to continue to learn throughout one’s career.
Depending on the employer, instructional coordinators may need to be proficient in the following software:
- computer-based training software: Adobe Captivate, Articulate Studio, Moodle
- database user interface and query software: especially Blackboard software and Structured query language, but also Oracle software
- desktop publishing software: especially Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Publisher, but also Adobe FrameMaker
- graphics or photo imaging software: Adobe Flash and Photoshop, as well as Microsoft Visio
- spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel