Online education in accredited schools where employees, students with disabilities, housewives, or expatriates can get an education. For online master’s degrees, educational institutions have started offering the curriculum of the master’s degree program online. Lectures are delivered online and students are also assessed online. For professionals and housewives, who want to pursue a career in education can now obtain online masters in education. However, a student must verify the online master’s degree program before enrollment. Also, a student needs to find out the compatibility of such a certificate in his state, where he intends to use it for the future. Many states in the U.S. do not accept online certificates.
Masters in education online vs On-Campus
Online learning has brought a revolution in the field of education. It is a new mode of learning. With each passing day, more and more institutions are switching to the online mode of teaching. They are offering their courses and programs online for individuals who want to acquire education. These individuals do not have to attend school. Similarly, online Masters in education have also been introduced online. But before anyone join the online learning program, it is important to consider some factors.
First of all, a student who wants to get a degree online needs to assess his learning style and academic skills. He should analyze the process of online learning. Every individual has a unique learning style. And it is quite possible that a person may not cope with this mode of learning and prefers on-campus learning. Thus, it is necessary to understand the process of online learning before joining the online learning program.
Online learning requires self-discipline and self-direction from students. It is quite different from on-campus learning. Because online education doesn’t have a fixed schedule, and a student can take a course whenever he wants. It is up to the student to determine to fulfill his course requirements before the deadline.
For pursuing a degree in education, it is important to have a six-month teaching internship to get teaching licensure. Without fieldwork and teaching internship, the license awarding body will not award certification to a student. Therefore, these requirements must remain in mind before starting an education course online.
Most of the education courses online do not provide any kind of certification. This makes the course useless because a student then cannot start a job without a degree. Even if an online course provides certifications, most of the states in the U.S. do not recognize it. They don’t consider online learning as a credible source to obtain an education degree from. Though it will surely change soon.
Benefits of Online Masters in Education
Access to Major Areas of Education
For individuals, who want to pursue a career in education, many education degree options are available online for future teachers. While most of the fields in education are not available online, some major areas of education are available online. These areas are elementary education, secondary education, middle grades education, and special education. Lastly, courses for administrative roles, such as instructor and curriculum specialists, are available online.
In the U.S, states offer a higher pay grade to teachers who have obtained a master’s degree in education. According to PayScale, a master’s in education has an average annual salary increase of $5,000 as compared to a bachelor’s degree holder. Teachers move from entry to a professional level, based on their expertise and education. Administrative roles such as instructors and specialists which require a master’s degree also have high salaries.
An online degree in education is way more affordable than acquiring an on-campus degree. The tuition fee for campus education is high. Besides the tuition fee, there are other costs which are associated with on-campus education. These costs are transport cost, accommodation cost, energy cost, and psychological cost. On the other hand, a student pays a onetime fee for joining an online degree program. Acquiring a master’s degree from campus is expensive as compared to acquiring an online master’s degree.
Many teachers want to obtain a master’s degree in education. But they do not have time to go to campus. They do not want to quit their jobs or relocate to another place. Therefore, they can enroll in online masters in an education program. It will help them carry on with their jobs and also acquire higher education. They can arrange their coursework around their schedule. These online programs let the teachers attend top education programs from their homes. This is why many teachers go for online programs to advance their education.
Accreditation for Online Masters in Education Degrees
Education institutions and programs have to meet the highest standards for academic excellence. Educational institutions must have programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP reviews the program’s curriculum, standards, and methods to recognize education programs. Other accreditation bodies are Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). The procedure of accreditation is the same for online programs. An online education program goes through the same rigorous process as an on-campus education program.
Master’s in Education Careers
After completing the masters in education online program, a teacher then has a variety of educational career paths to choose from. When an individual acquires a master’s degree in education, he becomes equipped with the latest research and data. His understanding of the subject improves. He applies new things during his class, which he had learned during the program. Once he gets a degree, he can continue teaching in a class. He can also make a career in counseling, administration leadership, or curriculum development. Some of the career options include principal, school superintendent, and reading specialist. A graduate can also become an instructional coordinator, educational program designer, training and development manager, and a student affairs coordinator.
Online M.Ed. Program Goals.
Building 21st Century Skills
One of the goals of the online education program is that the teachers will learn new strategies and skills. They can apply these skills and strategies once they are graduated. By using digital technology, the program can help students analyze information critically. It will help them to compose and create information and collaborate.
Engaging in Classroom Inquiry
Online program stimulates classroom inquiry. The programs enable students to use their critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skills. The courses are student-centered, and it encourages them to solve real-life questions. As a result, the students become inquisitive. Once they are graduated, they can help their students analyze things critically.
Online M.Ed. programs allow educators to investigate issues of inequality, diversity, social justice, and inequity. Prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping often lead to inequality. An educator must learn to cope with such inequality. These issues help educators to create an inclusive and collaborative classroom environment. Thus, students from different backgrounds and disabilities can get a master’s in education online.
Scholarships for Masters in Education Online Students
Students who enroll in online masters in education program quality for many financial grants and scholarships. A federal program, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant is available to master’s students. Especially for those who want to teach in high need areas and subjects. Besides scholarships, master’s students can receive fellowships, graduate assistantships, and employer tuition assistance. These scholarships provide financial aid up to $4000 per year to students. In the U.S., there are many scholarship options available for education students. These are TEACH Grant, STEM Scholarship, Inspire Our Future Scholarship, Bright Futures Scholarship, and Bishop Graduate Fellowship.
Recommendations for Choosing Online Masters in Education
First of all, a student should examine the accreditation and state approval of the online education program. If a program is accredited from CAEP and the state recognizes such an online degree, then the student can go for it. Besides accreditation, a student needs to consider the standard of the online program, and the overall cost of the program.
Furthermore, other things that need to be considered are a commitment to the program. A student needs to analyze whether he can fully commit to the online program. He also needs to determine whether online learning can fit with his schedule. Besides, a student must analyze the importance of the online program to his career goals. He should consider whether the online course will advance his career. Lastly, a student must consider whether the program meets the teacher certification requirements. For this purpose, he needs to inquire about certification requirements from his state’s board of education.
In a nutshell, online masters in education is a viable option for professionals and disabled students. These online programs are slowly getting recognition. Many states in the U.S. now recognize such online programs as well and emphasizing advanced teaching degrees. Thus, the future is bright for online learning. More educational institutions are expected to offer online programs in education and other fields as well in the future.