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Master's Degree Requirement

Master's Degree Requirement Information
HPISD Board Policy DMC(LOCAL and Regulation) requires each professional employee to have or earn a Master’s Degree within the first seven years of employment.

Any teacher who begins employment with the District without a Master's degree shall be responsible for completing this requirement within seven years after beginning employment in accordance with Board Policy DMC (LOCAL and Regulation). A degree plan from the college granting the degree must be filed no later than March 1 of the second year of employment. All degree plans must be approved by the Executive Director of Human Resources for the District.

The degree must be in the teacher’s teaching field or an associated field relating to assignment. A teacher must make satisfactory progress toward the completion of the Master's degree within the seven year period. A teacher who has not obtained the Master’s degree will only be eligible for a one-year contract.

If at any time the teacher abandons the plan filed or declares the intention not to complete the plan within the specified time period, the employee will be considered to have failed to fulfill his original contractual agreement and will be subject to dismissal. 
Financial Assistance with obtaining a Master's Degree
HPISD does not directly provide financial assistance for obtaining a Master's degree.  However, each campus PTA/PTO, Sports Club, HP Education Foundation, and several other organizations serving the school district provide financial assistance.  Please check with your PTA/PTO or the specific organization to find out the specific timeline and process for applying for assistance.
Master's Degree Program criteria
The program a professional employee selects to pursue must be from an accredited institution.  The program and degree plan should be in an educational field or other program approved by the Executive Director of Human Resources.
Progress and Completion of Master's Degree Stipend
Once a professional employee has completed a master's program, he/she will need to provide an official copy of the transcript with the conferred master's degree date included.  Official copies of transcripts may be sent to Rita Bryan at 7015 Westchester Dr., Dallas, TX  75205, or by e-script to [email protected].
Master's Degree Stipend
The stipend for a professional employee on the Teacher's Pay Grade is $2,500.  Professional or administrative pay grades include the compensation associated with holding a master's degree and not paid out as a stipend.
Historical Information Regarding Master's Degree
The requirement for professional employee's to receive a Master's Degree has been in place in Highland Park ISD for at least the previous 50 years.  The rationale behind this requirement is based on the following:
  • HPISD has the tradition and reputation of providing the highest quality of education beyond the minimal standards.  It is the minimal stand for a teacher/professional employee to hold a bachelor's degree.  In alignment with the belief that teachers/professional employees educating HPISD students should meet more than the minimal standards, the next highest education degree is the master's degree.
  • HPISD parents and community have the expectation that those teachers/professional employees instructing students should be providing a level of instruction that would meet the standards similar to the undergraduate level of instruction.  The minimal requirement for teaching college undergraduates is usually a master's degree.
  • HPISD expectation is that staff are highly credentialed.  A master's degree is seen as an additional credential beyond the minimal standard of holding a bachelor's degree and education certification.
  • This requirement models for students the mindset of being a life-long learner.
The master's degree requirement undergoes a review at least every 10 years with input from teacher, administrators, parents, community, and universities.