Education Administrators Get Business Knowledge

By Kelly Ni
Kelly Ni
Kelly Ni
November 26, 2011 Updated: November 26, 2011

Crossing an MBA with an education administration master’s degree– who would have thought of such a program? Scholars at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Darden School of Business did.

Test scores from the Nation’s Report Card in math and science released in early November showed students are doing better overall but there are still some that are not making improvement. Leaders are looking to change schools and the way students are educated.

“If you subscribe to the theory that school systems are mini-corporations, each running a bus system, a huge HR division, an employment agency and a multi-location facilities organization, among other divisions, the MBA/M.Ed. provides the MBA student with the background and tools necessary to be effective education administrators, and provides the M.Ed. student with the business skills helpful to the effective management of large and sometimes unwieldy dynamics of education organizations,” said Letitia Green, an M.Ed. student at the Curry School who earned her MBA in 1989, in a press release.

The two-year program will offer a greater proportion of credit hours in business than in education. Candidates will study finance, marketing, leadership, accounting, school finance, education policy, curriculum and assessment, and electives.

Large urban schools, large charter schools, charter management organizations, education non-profits and for-profits, and education policy and education reform organizations are places where graduates with an education in both business and education may work, according to a university press release.

Robert Pianta, Dean of Curry School of Education, said in a statement, “The idea to train the next generation of education leaders in a full curriculum of business and education concepts has the potential to radically change how children receive their education in this country. Our vision is to prepare leaders who can take on the challenges plaguing our education system with fresh eyes, an entrepreneurial spirit to try new things and the vision to understand how those new ideas will translate into real learning gains for students.”

The dual degree program will begin in the summer of 2012.

Kelly Ni