Taking a Non-Traditional Approach to Obtaining a Teaching Degree
Obtaining a teaching degree has traditionally been accomplished through pursuing higher education at a brick-and-mortar school. Teaching education degrees have long been considered the best way to prepare a student for a career as a teacher, with higher-learning institutions incorporating fundamental training in basic educational courses like mathematics and English, courses on teaching methodology and then progressing to actual student teaching.
All of these courses are designed to prepare a teaching candidate to successfully pass state-required teaching examinations.
With the shift in the ways college courses are offered, such as online courses and MOOCs (massive open online courses), colleges are utilizing the internet as a means to reach more students remotely. This approach could result in lower college expenses to students, as well as open the opportunities for learning to prospective students unable to attend campus classes due to family or job commitments.
Reasons that Students Pursue Education Degrees Online
- The spiraling costs of traditional college courses often cause students to attend college on a part time basis while working part time;
- Many students are pursuing college degrees after beginning their families, leading students to consider online courses as a viable option to allow them to obtain their education while remaining at home to take care of young children, and
- Many traditional college programs take more than four years to complete due to constraints on the courses offered each semester, whereas online courses offer more flexibility for students to complete necessary courses.
Which Online Teaching Degree Programs are Best
US News & World Report has recently released its 2014 rankings on the best online programs. This year’s rating system incorporated peer review (evaluations wherein the schools ranked their competition), one-year retention data, graduation dates and the time period allowed for students to complete their degree. For someone considering obtaining their teacher education online, this ranking system could prove to be an invaluable tool.
In choosing a college or university for an online teaching degree, students must consider the fact that they will have to complete additional requirements in order to become a certified teacher. Students enrolling in an online program should inquire as to whether they will be able to complete their state’s requirements for becoming a teacher before embarking upon a course of study.
Additional Requirements for Completing Teacher Education Programs
Although a complete teacher education program cannot be completed entirely through online courses, students may find accredited programs offering a substantial number of classes are available right at their fingertips and on their own schedules. Students will still be required to complete any mandatory student teaching requirements in actual classroom settings.
They will also be required to pass any mandatory teacher’s examinations and other state licensing requirements, the same as traditional students.
With the abundance of online courses available to students today, finding the right teaching program to suit one’s lifestyle and economic situation is much easier today than for students a mere decade ago. The availability of online courses will enable college students to pursue courses geared towards their particular gifts and talents, which will hopefully create better educated teachers for the future.