School districts and government agencies across the country rely on experts to assess and evaluate the progress of public school students. Demands for accountability in education have increased, making it necessary to monitor and assess student achievement. A degree in assessment and measurement equips professionals with the analytical skills they need to implement effective testing practices in schools.
Courses of Study
The courses in an assessment and measurement degree program prepare education professionals to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different assessment tools that are used in education. Majors will gain an understanding of how assessment tools can be used to increase accountability of schools to the public. Education assessment and measurement courses also teach professionals to perform quality assurance checks on assessment tools to ensure that they give the full picture of student performance.
Professionals can expect the following outcomes from an assessment and measurement degree program:
- To learn the steps of the assessment process.
- To apply statistical methods during the assessment process.
- To use technology to process and present data.
- To implement assessment techniques.
Majors will achieve these outcomes through the following courses:
- Assessment for Measurement Professionals
- Educational Measurement
- Multivariate Analysis of Educational Data
- Quantitative Methods in Education
- Research Design in Education
Graduate students may also be required to complete a thesis where they conduct their own research on assessment and measurement practices and report their findings.
Types of Assessment and Measurement Degrees
Because assessment and measurement is a focused discipline, it is typically offered at the graduate level. Students must finish their bachelor’s degree before pursuing a degree in assessment and measurement. Professionals may pursue the following types of degrees:
- Master’s Degree
A master’s degree can be obtained after successful completion of a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree program has an in-depth focus and will prepare students for entry-level positions in education and government.
Students may opt to major in educational psychology and focus on assessment and measurement as a concentration. Selecting a concentration is an excellent option for majors who have broader aims upon entering graduate school.
A doctorate prepares professionals for careers in higher education or in research. A doctorate may also open the doors to high-level and supervisory positions in education and government.
Benefits of Studying Assessment and Measurement Online
Since assessment and measurement degrees are offered at the graduate level, many students are already working full-time when they decide to pursue this degree. Typically, going back to school requires a time commitment that working adults are unable to make. However, an online education degree offers the flexibility that adults need to return to school. Professionals can attend classes and complete assignments on their own schedule and they can enroll in accelerated courses that shorten the length of their studies. The popularity of online degree programs is partly due to the convenience that it brings adults who wish to further their education.
Careers in Assessment and Measurement
One growing occupation that makes use of assessment and measurement skills is instructional coordination. School districts hire instructional coordinators to oversee a district’s curriculum and establish teaching and evaluation standards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, instructional coordinators receive a medium income of $58K. However, location, years of experience, and level of education are all factors that can influence pay. Instructional coordinator positions are expected to grow by 20 percent.
The skills that you will gain in an assessment and measurement degree program will be valued in higher education, government, and the assessment industry. Assessment and measurement majors will find their skills useful for positions with the board of education, teacher licensing committees, and test development agencies. Professionals who wish to make an impact on the quality of education that students receive will enjoy the opportunities that an assessment and measurement degree provides.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook – Instructional Coordinators.