Many teachers and educators are wondering if it’s possible to earn a master’s in education degree online, and with good reason; as higher education becomes mainstream, the idea of earning a degree online with little to no interruption to a working professional’s career is ideal. These professionals are not alone in their thinking, as Forbes demonstrated with this positive article on online higher education closing the knowledge gap. And while it is possible to earn an online graduate degree in education online, candidates should be prepared and understand what might be required of them and what those programs can offer.
There are a variety of online master’s programs in education, ranging from academic to management-specific programs. This means that requirements will vary by school and by degree type. For candidates who would like to earn initial or advanced licensure in teaching, they will be required to either complete a practicum in their community or show evidence of a license to teach in good standing in their state of residence. In addition, working teachers will be required to submit evidence of between one to three years of experience in a classroom setting. Other requirements include an accredited undergraduate degree in education or a related field, professional references, and GMAT or GRE scores.
Teachers who are interested in licensure will be the ones most concerned with accreditation at the graduate level; these programs are approved by the Department of Education as well as the National Council for Teacher Education. Only programs that have been accredited are eligible to offer a pathway towards licensure. Programs that do not hold accreditation will not offer a pathway to licensure. All accreditation information is posted on a school program’s page; if it is not listed, candidates are encouraged to speak with the admissions office or seek confirmation from their state’s Department of Education.
Teacher licensure, either at the initial or advanced level, is not guaranteed in online master’s of education online degree programs. Some programs do offer licensure, but only to students who live in the state in which the school is located. This is important for graduate candidates to keep in mind, especially if they are considering attending an online program that is out of state. This information is generally found on the program’s website or by calling the school directly. It is also highly encouraged that all students check with their state’s Department of Education in order to ensure that their chosen program will satisfy the requirements in order to sit for the educator licensure of their choice.
Not All Programs Are Created Equal
With so many online master’s in education degrees available, it is crucial that students understand that not all programs are created. For-profit programs may offer great deals on their educational programs and may be of high quality, but few will prepare students for classroom settings due to their curriculum’s structure. If earning a license in teaching is not important for students, these programs may be a good idea. For anyone interested in teaching in the United States, however, reputable nonprofit and not-for-profit programs exist that have the backing of the government and accreditation councils.
Related Resource: 15 Cheapest Online Programs in Educational Leadership and Administration
Online education is becoming universal. From educators to businesspeople, nurses to cybersecurity officials, everyone has the chance to earn a graduate degree online. While the process to find the right school can take some time, most candidates will find that their ideal online master’s in education online degree is waiting for them.