The Best Online Teaching Degrees

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An online teaching degree allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of children and teenagers. With the right online teaching credentials, you’ll have the chance to provide engagement and enrichment through the online medium. An online teaching degree indicates that you have the skills and credentials to provide instruction, encourage creativity, and inspire young people all through online education.

Like traditional education, online teaching will require you to earn a bachelor’s degree in teaching as well as a teaching certification. In some states, you may also be required to earn a master’s degree in teaching before you can earn certification. But if you’re interested in online teaching, you’ll also need a background in the methodologies and best practices specific to web–mediated education. You can build this background through online teacher certification programs or even through singularly focused online schools for teaching. Read on to find the very best teaching degrees and teaching credential programs online:

Online Teaching Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

Best Online Teaching Degrees
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We selected schools providing online education programs based on the quality of their programs and the types of courses offered, as well as the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online teaching degree programs.

The Best Online Teaching Degrees

1. Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University (MSU) established its College of Education in 1952, but began offering education courses 50 years earlier. MSU’s College of Education focuses on improving learning and teaching across the U.S. and around the world, especially within the contexts of global and urban education as evidenced in the Urban Educators Cohort Program and the Global Educators Cohort Program.

The National Academy of Education and lead organizations, such as the American Educational Research Association have inducted members of the college’s renowned faculty.

The college’s curriculum promotes education policy reform and prepares graduates to help implement this reform. The curriculum also build connections between practice and theory through partnership with communities and schools. Michigan State University also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

All students must complete a full academic–year internship before receiving teacher certification. The college’s faculty and students also conduct rigorous, comprehensive research which addresses the problems and needs of practice. The College offers the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship and is home to a host of research centers, such as the Literacy Achievement Research Center, the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, the National Center for Research on Teacher Education, CREATE for STEM Institute, and the Confucius Institute at MSU. Doctoral students can participate in the Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding, a faculty–led international study trip.

The MSU College of Education’s online teaching degree options include:

  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Health Professions Education
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum
  • Master of Arts in Special Education – Learning Disabilities
  • Master of Arts in Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorders

Several of its programs feature fully online or hybrid options, and the college offers an accelerated plan for undergraduate students who hold 56 credits.

Accreditation

Michigan State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The College of Education is also accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

2. Indiana University – Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

The University of Indiana Bloomington has a long history of teacher education – offering its first teaching course in 1852. Founded in 1908, the University of Indiana Bloomington School of Education prepares graduates for careers as skilled educators. The school strives to improve learning, teaching, and human development in a diverse, rapidly changing, and increasingly global society. It also informs educational practice and theory through research and works in partnership with constituents to effect change throughout the world. Indiana Bloomington offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The School of Education is composed of five academic departments — Curriculum and Instruction; Counseling and Educational Psychology; Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Instructional Systems Technology; and Literacy, Culture and Language Education. The University of Indiana Bloomington is also home to a dozen institutes and centers, such as the International Center for Home Education Research, the Project on Academic Success, and the Urban Center for the Advancement of STEM Education. The UI Bloomington School of Education helps build stronger communities through several outreach and collaboration experiences, such as Global Gateway for Teachers; Make, Innovate, Learn Lab (MILL); the Saturday Science Quest for Kids; and iRubric. It also features cultural immersion programs, which allow students to teach in urban communities.

The School of Education’s online Master’s in Education programs include:

  • Master in Adult Education
  • Master in Educational Leadership
  • Master in Instructional Systems Technology
  • Master in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education
  • Master in Special Education
  • Ed.D Instructional Systems Technology
  • Ed.D Literacy, Culture, and Language Education

Accreditation

Indiana University – Bloomington is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The university is also a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

3. University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

The University of Georgia’s College of Education, founded in 1908, enrolls more than 4,500 students. One of the most comprehensive and largest schools of education in the country, the College of Education offers more than a dozen undergraduate majors and about 90 graduate programs leading to a host of careers such as administrators, psychologists, counselors, educators and more. The college strives to be a center for innovative research, service projects and teaching, and to contribute to a healthy, just, well–educated, and equitable society.

The college engages in research which advances human development, education, policy, and health. The faculty and curriculum also provide cutting–edge ideas to the next generation of scholars, leaders, and practitioners in the fields of teaching, learning, and individual development. University of Georgia also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The college is home to several research centers, such as the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, the Georgia Center for Assessment, the Center for Physical Activity and Health, the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, and the Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research. The college enriches students’ learning experiences through a host of research labs, including those in Athletic Training, Biomechanics, Cognitive–Communication Rehabilitation, Cognition and Skill Acquisition, and more.

The University of Georgia’s online Master’s programs in Education include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Special Education
  • Master of Education in Adult Education
  • Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Applied Cognition and Development
  • Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education
  • Master of Education in Learning, Design and Technology, Instructional Design and Development
  • Master of Education in Middle Grades Education
  • Master of Education in Reading Education
  • Ed.S. Specialist of Education in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education

Accreditation

University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its College of Education holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council on Teacher Education (NCATE), the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

4. Arizona State University – ASU Online

Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona State University has a long history of teacher education with its beginnings as a normal school in 1885. Its Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, founded in 2010, continues the tradition by preparing graduates for successful careers as educators, school principals, scholars, and policymakers. The college integrates experiential learning and use–inspired research, and engages students and faculty in programs which combine data gathering from the field with clinical training. Arizona State University also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Faculty members draw from a range of academic disciplines such as psychology, cognitive science, and sociology to gain insight on learning styles, scientific theories, policies, and more. The Fulton Teachers College consists of two academic divisions — the Division of Teacher Preparation, which provides students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies to positively impact children, schools, youths and communities; and the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation, which prepares graduates for careers as full–time faculty at research institutions.

In 2016, the college’s Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education hosted the inaugural symposium of the Comparative and International Education Society – in partnership with edXchange.

The college features several centers, including the Center for the Art and Science of Teaching, the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education, the Sanford Inspire Program, and the edXchange.

The college also is home to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool and the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy.

Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Master’s of Education online options include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education in Educational Studies
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction: Applied Behavior Analysis
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction: Gifted
  • MEd in Early Childhood Education – Certification/Endorsement
  • MEd Educational Leadership (Principalship)
  • MEd Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts English as a Second Language
  • EdD Leadership and Innovation

Accreditation

Arizona State University – ASU Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5. Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning

Tallahassee, Florida

Established in 1905, Florida State University’s College of Education is the oldest college of education in the state of Florida. The college features challenging, innovative programs and unique teaching methodologies. The college allows students to engage in leading educational research and technology. The College of Education prepares graduates to meet the challenges of an ever–changing field, and explore new teaching methods and advances in educational technology. Accordingly, Florida State also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The College of Education designed its education courses around a theory–to–practice model. Students can engage in industry–leading research in teacher preparation, educational techniques, scientific inquiry, educational policy, sport management, and more. Florida State University (FSU) features six issue–focused research centers, including FSU–Teach, the Learning Systems Institute, the Human Services Center, and the Adult Learning Evaluation Center.

FSU’s College of Education provides Master’s degree in Education online and online graduate certificates:

  • Ed.D Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Post–Masters in Educational Leadership/Administration
  • MS Curriculum & Instruction
  • MS Educational Leadership/Administration
  • MS Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies
  • MS Learning and Cognition
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

6. University of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

The University of Florida’s College of Education offered its first education classes in 1906. The college enrolls about 1,400 students through more than two dozen degree and academic programs. The college is composed of the following schools – the School of Teaching and Learning; the School of Special Education, School Psychology & Early Childhood Studies; and the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education.

Designed to enhance school improvement, teacher retention, and student achievement, the college is home to several centers, such as the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, the Institute of Higher Education, the National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development, and the Lastinger Center for Learning. The centers highlight the college’s partnerships with school districts, public schools, and communities. University of Florida also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Nationally recognized faculty teach courses focusing on human behavior, cutting–edge research, and more.

Among the college’s online Master’s degrees in Education offerings are:

  • Master Curriculum and Instruction (Specialization in Education Technology)
  • Master Curriculum and Instruction (Specialization in Teacher Leadership for School Improvement)
  • Master Educational Leadership
  • Master Reading Education
  • Master Special Education (Specialization in Teach Well)
  • Master Student Personnel in Higher Education
  • Ed.D Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education
  • Ed.D Educational Leadership
  • Ed.D Educational Technology
  • Ed.D Higher Education Administration

Accreditation

University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

7. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

Founded in 1905, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, College of Education at Illinois is renowned for preparing leaders in the field of education, groundbreaking research and a worldwide impact. The land–grant school of education advances knowledge and impacts policy through teaching, research, and outreach. The college contributes to making education accessible and equitable to all learners; prepares researchers, leaders, and advocates who are committed to helping learners of all ages; and develops innovative methods and tools. The university also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The Bureau of Educational Research supports interdisciplinary or interdepartmental collaboration, creating an enriching research culture for students and faculty. The college is home to several research centers, such as the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation & Assessment, the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities, and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. The college also established the Youth Literature Festival, which celebrates the value of reading in the lives of youths.

Among College of Education at Illinois’ Master’s of Education online offerings are:

  • MS Teaching Biology
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate Diversity & Equity in Education
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate Foundations of eLearning Higher Education
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate Global Studies in Education
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate International Education Administration & Leadership
  • EdM, EdD LDL – Bilingual & ESL Education
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate Learning Design & Leadership
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate New Learning (LDL)
  • EdM, Endorsement Teacher Leader Specialization
  • EdM, EdD, Certificate, Endorsement Technology Specialist (LDL)

Accreditation

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Founded in 1923, Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education enrolls about 3,300 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, both on campus and online through its top–ranked Penn State World Campus. The college’s curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in education concepts as well as several study abroad and international student–teaching opportunities. The College of Education embraces technology as a powerful educational tool and conducts online tutoring outreach to urban schools. Penn State also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The college’s faculty includes 19 Fulbright scholars and receives millions of dollars annually to conduct groundbreaking research. Penn State’s award–winning Professional Development School builds on a partnership with the State College Area School District and features a full–school–year student teaching experience. The college also participates in outreach through the Center for Science and the Schools, diversity programs for high school studies, and LifeLink PSU, an enrichment program with the local school district. The College of Education also is home to several research initiatives, including the Center for the Study of Higher Education, Adult and Family Literacy, the Krause Innovation Studio, and the Institute for Research in Training & Development, as well as special programs, including the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, the American Indian Leadership Program, and Joint Degree Programs in Law and Education Policy Studies.

Among Penn State’s online Master’s in Education are:

  • Master of Education in Adult Education
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction – Children’s Literature
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Higher Education
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Certificates

Accreditation

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California began offering education classes in the 1890s and established its School of Education in 1918. The Rossier School of Education enrolls about 2,000 students on campus and online. The school’s curriculum provides students with the skills they need to make a significant difference in the lives of their students. The Rossier School of Education prepares students to apply evidence–based theories and principles of motivation, learning, and cultural competence and to develop skills to negotiate barriers to learning. The school supports forward–thinking researchers and scholars whose work reflects a diversity of experience and perspectives.

The curriculum incorporates cutting–edge technology and collaborative, innovative solutions to improve education outcomes. This is why Southern California also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online. It is also noteworth that the same USC faculty teach the college’s online and on–campus programs.

Faculty performs cutting–edge research in five areas — Economics and Finance; Governance and Accountability; Organizational Leadership; Politics and Public Policy; and Learning and Motivation. The college’s research centers include the Center for Human–Applied Reasoning and the Internet of Things; the Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice; and the Center for Urban Education.

USC’s Rossier School of Education’s Master’s in Education online programs include:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • MAT in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • M.Ed. Learning Design and Technology
  • M.Ed. in School Leadership
  • Ed.D Organizational Change and Leadership
  • Special Education Credential
  • Gifted Education Credential

Accreditation

University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

10. University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Founded in 1909, the University of Kansas School of Education prepares graduates for careers as teachers, counselors, administrators, health and sport professionals, and psychologists. The school is home to a host of research and service organizations, such as the Center for Research on Learning, the Center for Psychoeducational Services, the Life Span Institute, and the Beach Center on Disability. University of Kansas also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The curriculum expands and deepens students’ understanding of education as a fundamental human endeavor, and helps society respond to and define its educational challenges and responsibilities. The school’s online teaching degrees allow students to apply what they’re learning whether teaching online, in the classroom, or in a consultative setting. The same nationally recognized faculty teach the school’s online and on–campus courses.

The University of Kansas’ online Master’s programs in Education offerings include:

  • Master in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master in Curriculum and Instruction – Reading
  • Master in Curriculum and Instruction – TESOL
  • MSE Educational Administration
  • MSE Secondary Special Ed and Transition
  • Master in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • MSE and Endorsement Special Education
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

University of Kansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

11. University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa, College of Education, founded in 1847, has a long history of excellence and service. Its world–renowned faculty prepares graduates for careers in educational administration, psychology, teaching, and student development, among others. The College of Education helps students build knowledge and practice to address societal changes and develop the competencies and practices needed to address complex social and educational issues. The University of Iowa also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The College of Education is home to several research centers, including the Belin–Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, the Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment, the Iowa Reading Research Center, and the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research.

The University of Iowa offers several online Master’s in Education programs, including:

  • Master of Arts Educational Measurement and Statistics
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency
  • Certificate in Online Teaching
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Master of Arts In Learning Sciences

Accreditation

University of Iowa is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

12. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Education and Human Sciences, established in 1908, features a multidisciplinary approach which integrates learning and teaching, scholarship, research, outreach, and service. The college is dedicated to enhancing the lives of — and strengthening the relationships among — people, families, communities, and schools. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

With a variety of options, the College of Education prepares graduates to work in early childhood settings with young children, especially those in military installations; as educational leaders; as teachers of deaf or hearing–impaired students; and more.

The curriculum helps students develop the processes, principles, and skills needed for effective leadership.

The university is home to the Ruth Staples Child Development Lab, one of the oldest university laboratory schools in the nation; the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools; the Early Development and Learning Lab; the National Center for Research on Rural Education, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences; and the Center for Instructional Innovation.

Established to make the university’s resources available to the education institutions, agencies and organizations of Nebraska, the Bureau of Educational Research and Field Services conducts and disseminates educational field studies and research.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Education and Human Sciences’ online degree offerings include:

  • Master of Arts, Master of Education, Endorsement in Deaf Education
  • Master of Arts, Master of Education, Certificate, Endorsement Early Childhood Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching Learning & Teacher Education: Specialization in World Language Teaching
  • Master of Higher Education Administration
  • M.Ed Principal Endorsement P–12 Education Administration
  • Ed.D in Educational Leadership & Higher Education
  • Ph.D in Educational leadership & Higher Education
  • Ed.D Superintendent Endorsement P–12 Education Administration
  • Bachelor of Science Child, Youth & Family Studies: Emphasis in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society

Accreditation

University of Nebraska – Lincoln is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

13. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, founded in 1910, is an international leader in the education field. Dedicated to preparing graduates for life–changing careers as a health educators, teachers, public policy experts, researchers, or administrators, the school enrolls approximately 1,200 students. The school’s focus includes improving the educational experience for children in urban schools, exploring the synergy between classroom practice and public policy, understanding strategies and factors that lead to classroom success, and developing obesity prevention programs. University of Pittsburgh also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The school’s online courses, designed for working professionals, feature peer discussion sessions, instructor interaction, and projects and assignments that promote critical thinking. The School of Education houses several research centers, such as the Learning Research & Development Center, the Learning Policy Center, the Center for Urban Education, and the Office of Child Development. Education students gain hands–on experience through the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School, a kindergarten to eighth–grade tuition–based campus–based program affiliated with the School of Education.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s online Master’s programs in Education include:

  • Master of Education in Elementary Education
  • Master of Education in English and Communications
  • Master of Education in Mathematics Education
  • Master Education in Secondary Social Studies Education
  • Supervisor of Special Education Certificate

Accreditation

University of Pittsburgh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

14. University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Founded in 1867, the University of Missouri’s College of Education enrolls approximately 2,700 students. The college consists of the Department of Learning, Teaching & Curriculum; the Department of Educational, School & Counseling Psychology; the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis; the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies; and the Department of Special Education.

Mizzou Ed values equity, inclusiveness, and diversity and offers several diversity–related initiatives, activities, and programs. These include The Bridge, a Diversity Committee, and the Office of International and Intercultural Initiatives. Mizzou also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The University of Missouri Center for Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support works with programs worldwide to provide schools and educators with research–based tools and information. The College of Education is also home to the ReSTEM Institute and the Hook Center for Educational Leadership and District Renewal.

The College of Education offers more than 90 online education Master’s programs and certificate options, including:

  • Master of Education in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Education Early Childhood Special Education
  • Master of Education Early Childhood Education/Autism
  • Master of Education Educational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Educational Studies with an interdepartmental emphasis
  • Master of Education English Education
  • Master of Education Gifted Education
  • Master of Education Learning Systems Design and Development
  • Master of Arts Library Science
  • Master of Education Literacy Education
  • Master of Education Mathematics Education
  • Master of Education and Graduate Certificate Online Educator
  • Master of Education Social Studies Education
  • Master of Education and Graduate Certificate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Master of Education Technology in Schools
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

15. University of South Carolina – Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina

The University of South Carolina’s College of Education is a leader in comprehensive preparation for counselors, teachers, education administrators, researchers, policymakers, and athletic trainers. The College of Education emphasizes the construction and application of skills and knowledge to promote educational equity, excellence, and opportunity. The college bridges the gap between research, theory, and practice to promote excellence in learning and teaching. The University of South Carolina also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Divided into four academic departments — Educational Leadership and Policies; Educational Studies; Physical Education and Athletic Training; and Instruction and Teacher Education — the College of Education focuses on educational leadership in public and private sectors, educational psychology and research, special education, professional development of teachers, and physical education.

The College’s award–winning faculty members have received millions of dollars in grants and research funding. The college’s faculty and students engage in a variety of research endeavors. The college’s research centers include the Office of International and Comparative Education, the South Carolina Educational Policy Center, and the Yvonne and Schuyler Moore Child Development Research Center.

The College offers dozens of degree programs, including the following online teaching degree programs:

  • Master of Education Teaching
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction – Curriculum Studies Concentration
  • Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction – Educational Technology Concentration

Accreditation

University of South Carolina – Columbia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Its programs are also recognized by the American Council on the Teachers of Foreign Languages, the National Science Teachers Association, and the National Association of Education of Young Children, among others.

16. George Washington University, GW Online

Washington, D.C.

George Washington University founded its Graduate School of Education and Human Development in 1909, although teacher education at the university began five years earlier. Comprised of five academic departments, the Graduate School of Education enrolls more than 1,400 students. The school features an innovative curriculum which prepares graduates for leadership roles, advocacy, and careers as effective educators. GW also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Its academic departments include Curriculum and Pedagogy, Educational Leadership, Human and Organizational Learning, and Special Education and Disability Studies. The school’s research centers include the Center for Advancement of Research in Distance Learning, the Center on Education Policy, the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, and the Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research and Education.

The school provides online Master’s in Education degrees and online graduate certificates, such as:

  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Secondary Special Education & Transition Services
  • Master of Arts in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
  • Education Specialist in Educational Leadership & Administration
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

George Washington University, GW Online is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

17. Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Established in 1907, Purdue University West Lafayette’s College of Education has a long history of comprehensive teacher preparation, producing graduates who understand student learning styles and who have the unique skill sets needed to help students succeed. Through scholarship, teacher preparation, and research, the College of Education works to effect positive change and transform the lives of learners of all abilities and ages. Purdue also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Purdue University West Lafayette is home to a host of research centers and institutes, including the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, the Center for Advancing the Teaching and Learning of STEM, the Gifted Education Resource Institute, and the Evaluation and Learning Research Center. World–renowned faculty members lead the university’s rigorous academic programs, including its online teaching degree porgrams.

The College of Education’s online Master’s degree in Education programs include:

  • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design & Technology
  • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
  • Certificates

Accreditation

Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and its College of Education holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

18. George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

The largest and most comprehensive graduate school of education in Virginia, George Mason University’s Graduate School of Education is a nationally recognized leader in special education, educator preparation, counseling, and school leadership. The Graduate School of Education offers innovative academic programs, which include instructional design and technology, and advanced study for school leaders and teachers. The school promotes learning and development across the lifespan. George Mason also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The College advances knowledge through 11 research centers, including the Center for International Education, the Center for Restructuring Education in Science and Technology, the Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning & Educational Technology, and the Center for Education Policy and Evaluation. The Graduate School of Education offers studies in nearly two dozen academic areas, including advanced studies in teaching and learning, educational psychology, and transformative teaching.

George Mason offers many of these programs through online teaching degree programs, including:

  • Master in Curriculum and Instruction, Assistive Technology Concentration
  • Master in Curriculum and Instruction, Blended and Online Learning in Schools Concentration
  • Education Leadership Master in Education and Graduate Certificate
  • Master in Education Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

George Mason University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

19. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina State University’s College of Education has a dedication to the advancement of research, educational success, and professional development for its students. The College of Education’s practice and inquiry reflect integrity, the value of diversity, and a commitment to social justice. Composed of three departments — Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education; and Teacher Education and Learning Sciences — the college emphasizes real–world experience through hands–on engagement and research opportunities. The university also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Award–winning faculty members prepare students for a host of careers in teaching and educational leadership. The university’s William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation advances education through innovation in learning, teaching, and leadership. The institute provides professional development programs, conducts research, and develops educational resources.

The school offers nearly two dozen online Master’s programs in Education, including:

  • Master of Education and Master of Science in Digital Learning and Teaching
  • Master of Education Science Education
  • Graduate Certificate Teaching, Training, and Educational Technology
  • Master of Education Technology Education
  • Master of Education Training and Development

Accreditation

North Carolina State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

20. University at Albany

Albany, New York

Established in 1844, the State University of New York at Albany’s School of Education provides evidence–based strategies for teachers, principals, and school district leaders. A leader in higher education and teacher preparation in the state, the school focuses on technology–based learning and teaching, the development of literacy throughout the lifespan, teacher leadership, and strategies to foster human development and mental health. The School of Education enrolls more than 4,000 students.

Its renowned research faculty members explore change in learning and teaching, international educational policy, literacy, mental health counseling, educational technology, and human development. The university also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The School of Education strives to enhance learning and human development, produce rigorous scholars, and prepare professionals for schools, communities and higher education. SUNY Albany’s School of Education receives millions of dollars in funding for its 15 research centers and institutes, including the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, the Child Research and Study Center, the Educational Evaluation and Research Consortium, and the Pathways Into Education Center.

The School of Education offers more than 50 degree programs from undergraduate to doctoral, including several online programs:

  • Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology
  • Master of Science in Childhood Education
  • Master of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Science in Reading
  • Certificates

Accreditation

University at Albany is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and holds programmatic accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

21. Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Kansas State University’s College of Education is the largest teacher preparation program in the state of Kansas. The College of Education is home to a dozen research centers and organizations, such as the Center for Rural Education and Small Schools, the Council for Public School Improvement, the Center for Social Studies Education, and the Office of Innovation and Collaboration. The university hosts a Professional Development Schools partnership program, which allows students to participate in clinical experiences.

The college’s curriculum combines teaching techniques with technology, to challenging and inspiring students to engage in lifelong learning. Kansas State also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online. Students also can receive short–term intensive learning experiences through the Kansas State University Global Teacher partnerships.

The College of Education offers a host of academic programs, including several online teaching degree and educational leadership programs:

  • Master in Academic Advising
  • Master in Adult and Continuing Education
  • Master in Curriculum and Instruction with specializations
  • Master in Educational Leadership
  • Master Teaching K–6
  • Bachelor in Elementary Education
  • Graduate Certificate Academic Advising
  • Graduate Certificate Adult Learning
  • Graduate Certificate Teaching English as a Second Language for Adult Learners

Accreditation

Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

22. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

The UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education prepares counselors, school leaders, and teachers to provide access and quality educaiton for students of all backgrounds. The Cato College of Education also provides students with the skills and training to positively impact youth, families, schools, and communities. The college enrolls more than 2,300 students.

Award–winning faculty perform cutting–edge research related to struggling readers, autism, students with disabilities, the teacher shortage, and more. The university also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The college houses research centers and institutes, including the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation, the Multicultural Play Therapy Center, the Urban Education Collaborative, and the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education. The UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education offers a host of programs, ranging from undergraduate majors and minors to doctoral programs, and nine online master’s degree programs, which students can complete in about two years.

Online Master’s in Education programs include:

  • Master of Teaching in Elementary Education (Phase II)
  • Master of Teaching in Middle and Secondary Education
  • Master in Teaching in Special Education (K–12)
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
  • M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology
  • M.Ed. in Middle and Secondary Education
  • M.Ed. in Reading Education
  • M.Ed. in Special Education: Academically or Intellectually Gifted
  • Master of School Administration
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

University of North Carolina at Charlotte is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

23. Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Founded in 1918, Ball State University has a long history of training teachers. Its Teachers College provides students with rigorous classroom instruction and experiential learning. Ball State also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The college boasts one of the largest graduate enrollments in the nation and distinguished faculty in educational psychology and special education. The Teachers College is home to nine research centers and community outreach clinics, such as the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Alliance for Community–Engaged Teacher Preparation, the Center for Gifted Studies & Talent Development, and the Center for Economic Education, among others. The college’s faculty also co–edits The Teacher Educator, a prestigious journal.

The Teachers College offers the following online teaching degrees and educational leadership programs:

  • Master of Arts in Career and Technical Education (Department of Technology provides the degree)
  • Master of Arts in Curriculum and Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Supervision with principal’s license
  • Master of Arts in Education in Elementary Education
  • Master of Arts in Mathematics Education (K–12)
  • Master of Arts in Secondary Education
  • Master of Arts in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Technology
  • Ed.D. in Adult, Higher, and Community Education
  • Ed.D. Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Education Specialist in Superintendency
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

Ball State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

24. University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Founded in 1931, the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education provides instruction on educational policy, human development, information sciences, and pedagogy. The curriculum emphasizes evidence–based practice and prepares graduates to meet the challenges facing 21st century educators. The University of Buffalo also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The school boasts more than 18,000 alumni worldwide. Composed of four departments — Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology; Educational Leadership and Policy; Library and Information Studies; and Learning and Instruction — the Graduate School of Education prepares students for a variety of career options.

UB’s award–winning faculty members have secured millions of dollars in grants to further their research. UB is home to several centers and special projects, including the Center for Continuing and Professional Education, the Early Childhood Research Center, the Gifted Math Program, the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, and the Teacher Education Institute. The university’s City Voices, City Visions program teaches secondary school educators to integrate video media into their curriculum.

Among UB’s online Master’s in Education programs are:

  • EdM Education and Technology
  • EdM English Education
  • Master of Science in Information and Library Science
  • EdM Math Education
  • EdM Music Education
  • Master of Science School Librarianship
  • Ph.D Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning

Accreditation

University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and holds programmatic accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the Council on Rehabilitation Education.

25. University of Houston

Houston, Texas

The University of Houston’s College of Education trains teachers, counselors, principals, health educators, and academic leaders through a combination of research and real–world experience. The College of Education works to eradicate inequities in health and education in order to bring positive transformation to communities. The University of Houston also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The College of Education includes three departments — Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Psychological, Health and Learning Sciences; and Curriculum and Instruction. Depending on their career goals and personal interests, students can focus on early childhood to eighth–grade, Asian American studies, counseling psychology, higher education, and more. The University of Houston is also home to several institutes and research centers, including the All Kids Alliance, the Consistency Management & Cooperative Discipline program, the Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education, and the Institute for Urban Education.

The University of Houston’s College of Education allows students to complete online Master’s degrees in Education and online graduate certificates:

  • M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction with specializations
  • M.ED. Higher Education
  • Ed.D Professional Leadership
  • M.Ed. Special Populations
  • Graduate Certificates

Accreditation

University of Houston is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

26. University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

The University of Dayton’s School of Education and Health Sciences combines critical reflection with a learning community focused on educational theory and practice. The School, which excels at early childhood and urban education, prepares future leaders and teachers to succeed in diverse settings, and helps teachers grow professionally and meet challenges — all with the Catholic, Marianist educational philosophy. The curriculum fosters both integration and specialization and prepares graduates to use the highest quality of leadership, learning and scholarship to build strong learning communities. Dayton also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Through real–world experiences, the School of Education and Health Sciences prepares graduates for careers as administrators, teachers, school psychologists, counselors, human service practitioners, and more. The school provides students with access to research, hands–on training and leading–edge technology through partnerships, offices and centers, including the Urban Teacher Academy, the Lalanne Program, the Bombeck Family Learning Center, and the Dayton Early College Academy. The University of Dayton is a member of the Teachers for a New Era Learning Network, supported by the Annenberg Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Dayton’s community outreach initiatives include the Center for Catholic Education, the Center for Early Learning, and the Dayton Early College Academy.

The University of Dayton’s School of Education and Health Sciences offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs, including many students can complete online:

  • Early Childhood Leadership & Advocacy, B.S.E.
  • Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy, M.S.E.
  • Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, M.S.E.
  • Literacy, M.S.E.
  • Teacher as Leader, M.S.E.
  • Technology–Enhanced Learning, M.S.E.
  • Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, M.S.E.
  • Educational Leadership, M.S.E.
  • Educational Leadership with a Catholic School Leadership Concentration, M.S.E.
  • Educational Leadership with a Leadership for Educational Systems Concentration, M.S.E.
  • Intervention Specialist Licensure Program (K–12 Mild/Moderate)
  • Principal Licensure
  • Superintendent Licensure
  • Certificates
  • Endorsements

Accreditation

University of Dayton is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

27. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

The University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services consists of three schools, including the School of Education. The School of Education is the largest of the schools with about 2,300 students enrolled. The School of Education offers many degree programs, including bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. The curriculum prepares educators to address social justice issues, make data–driven decisions, and engage in an evidence–based practice of education. The University of Cincinnati also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

Students gain real–world knowledge through extensive field–clinical experiences. The school is also home to six research centers: The Center for English as a Second Language; the Action Research Center;the Arlitt Preschool Center; the Developmental & Learning Sciences Research Center; the Center for Studies in Jewish Education & Culture. and the Literacy Research and Innovation Center.

School of Education faculty conduct research in curriculum studies, early childhood education, K–12 education, educational studies, literacy and ESL, special education, and instructional design and technology.

The University of Cincinnati’s online Master’s programs in Education include:

  • AAS Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with specializations
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership with specializations
  • Master of Education in Literacy & Second Language Studies with specializations
  • Master of Education in Special Education with specializations
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Teacher Licensure Endorsements

Accreditation

University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The university also holds programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Cooperative Education, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

28. Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University’s College of Education helps students serve as agents of change and to work within socially responsive learning communities. The College of Education identifies and addresses critical issues related to education and uses technology to support and broaden learning opportunities. The College of Education focuses on ethics and dignity, collaboration and public engagement, and diversity. The college’s curriculum prepares human service providers and teachers to work with culturally diverse learners and to foster a climate of open dialogue and respect. Auburn also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The College of Education consists of the following departments — the Department of Curriculum and Teaching; the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology; the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling; and the School of Kinesiology. Many academic programs combine coursework and clinical experience. Auburn University is also home to several centers and institutes, such as the Auburn Center for Evaluation, the Center for Disability Research and Policy Studies, the Warrior Research Center, and the Truman Pierce Institute.

Auburn University offers many online degrees, including master’s, doctorates and educational specialist, as well as certificates in the following program areas:

  • Administration of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Adult Education
  • Collaborative Teacher Special Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English Speakers of Other Languages
  • Foreign Language Education: French
  • Foreign Language Education: Spanish

Accreditation

Auburn University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

29. University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

The University of South Florida’s College of Education, founded in 1959, promotes social justice and transformative education through innovative teaching, rigorous research and locally and globally engaged partnerships. A leader in education, USF College of Education strives for academic excellence through collaborative community service and clinical practice. USF also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

USF College of Education features global engagement through conference presentations, partnerships, study abroad trips, and visits to international universities. The College of Education is home to eight centers and institutes, including the Institute for School Reform, the Center for Migrant Education, and the Advanced Placement Summer Institute. Some College of Education online degree programs do require clinical experiences, practica, or internships.

The Master’s degree in Education online offerings include:

  • Master of Arts in Adult Education
  • Master of Arts in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Intellectual Disabilities
  • Master of Arts in Career and Technical Education
  • Master of Arts in Gifted Education
  • Master in Reading K–12
  • Master in Special Education with concentrations
  • MEd in Instructional technology
  • MEd in Secondary Education with an emphasis in TESOL
  • EdS in Instructional Technology

Accreditation

University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

30. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) has a long history of teacher education, having begun as a normal school in 1891. The School of Education combines practical learning experiences and rigorous coursework. Through field placements, internships, community–engaged scholarship, and practicum, students and faculty work collaboratively toward solutions for a more equitable society.

The School of Education also provides hands–on experience through on–campus centers, such as the SELF Design Studio, the Coalition for Diverse Language Communities, and the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services, among many others. The university also offers numerous pathways for earning an online teaching credential. Its course offerings include various teaching credential programs online.

The School of Education’s Collaborative for Educator Preparation oversees practices and policies of the university’s professional education programs, and its Council of Program Coordinators ensures and coordinates the quality of existing licensure programs.

The UNCG School of Education offers the following online teaching degrees and educational leadership programs:

  • MEd in Teacher Education: Elementary Mathematics Education
  • MEd in Birth–Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development
  • Master of Library and Information Studies
  • Post–Baccalaureate Certificate in Leadership in Early Care and Education
  • Post–Master’s Certificate in School Administration
  • Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership

Accreditation

University of North Carolina at Greensboro is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and holds programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).Many of the same conditions which apply to traditional educators will apply to students earning an online teaching degree. In order to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the United Sates, an individual must obtain a teaching certificate. Some private schools also require a teaching certificate. The Board of Education of each individual state controls the certification process. Certification requirements may vary, however all states require aspiring teachers to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree. Some states require at least a master’s degree in teaching or a related field before candidates can obtain certification.

How to Get Teacher Certification

Many of the same conditions which apply to traditional educators will apply to students earning an online teaching degree. In order to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the United Sates, an individual must obtain a teaching certificate. Some private schools also require a teaching certificate. The Board of Education of each individual state controls the certification process. Certification requirements may vary, however all states require aspiring teachers to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree. Some states require at least a master’s degree in teaching or a related field before candidates can obtain certification.

Many prospective teachers obtain a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. In addition to providing teaching skills, these programs typically include study in an academic subject such as English, history, math, or one of the sciences. Some prospective teachers choose an alternative route consisting of a bachelor’s degree in an academic subject, plus supplementary coursework in pedagogy.

All states require classroom experience or student teaching. In addition, some states require aspiring teachers to pass a special examination.

Some states have alternative teaching certification programs for people who don’t have education degrees. There are also alternative certifications for those interested in career and technical education.

Accredited Online Teaching Degree Programs

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) serves as an accreditation organization for teacher education programs in the United States. CAEP was established in 2013 through the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

CAEP has received recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the nation’s largest institutional higher education membership organization. CHEA provides quality aassurance and oversight of accrediting agencies alongside the U.S. Department of Education.

Alternative Teaching Certification Programs

Every state requires teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree but it’s not typically necessary that it be a Bachelor in Education Degree. Students earning bachelor’s degrees in a variety of subjects can still go on to earn a teaching certification. States have alternative certification programs for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education. Individuals basically have two types of certification programs to choose from: Programs provided through the state; and programs provided through independent agencies.

Many states do not provide specific types of teaching certificates to alternative pathway candidates, such as those intersted in special education or those with online teaching degrees. Some states only allow alternative pathway teachers to teach in shortage areas or at specific grade levels, often secondary grades. Since alternative pathway teachers already have a bachelor’s degree, many programs give these students the chance to earn a master’s degree while simultaneously working toward a teacher licensure. Many teachers who select the alternative certification path go on to acquire a master’s degree. Students can typically complete a master’s degree program in two years.

Teachers at private schools are not required to meet the state requirements for public school teachers. However, private high schools usually prefer teachers with a bachelor’s degree and a major in a subject area. Private schools usually prefer kindergarten and elementary school teachers with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and middle school teachers with a bachelor’s degree and a major in elementary education or a content area. A teaching license or certification may not necessarily be required to teach at a private school.

Alternative Certification in Career and Technical Education

Career and technical education (CTE) covers a wide array of subjects such as information technology, agriculture, business, and health sciences. Some states provide options which allow prospective CTE teachers to substitute previous work experience and education for bachelor’s degree credits.

The most commonly used guidelines for prospective career and technical education teachers allow individuals with sufficient knowledge and experience in their subject to teach full–time under a provisional certificate while an experienced teacher mentors them. Individuals on this path often need to complete a professional development plan which includes supplemental coursework in teaching strategies and standards. Individuals who complete these requirements along with testing requirements from their state, may advance from a provisional teaching certificate to a basic teaching certificate.

Graduate Teaching Degrees

Master of Education

Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs attract individuals with an interest in specialty training in the educational field or in a leadership position, such as a school principal or an educational administrator. M.Ed. programs meet the academic and professional interests of professionals in the education field.

Some M.Ed. programs cater to educators who already have a teaching license and some cater to individuals seeking education employment outside of a traditional classroom. Some programs provide M.Ed. degrees to individuals without teaching experience.

Master of Education programs typically cover the strategic and theoretical aspects of education as well as subjects related to human psychology and behavior which apply to the science of education and instruction. They cover instructional and professional subjects applicable to school and student performance.

Graduates can use this degree to advance careers as educators, but the leadership and organizational skills they’ve learned could also apply to a wide variety of industries unrelated to education.

Typcially, students in Master of Education programs must also gain practical experience in a formal or informal education setting through student teaching, a fellowship, internship, or formal observation hours. Program lengths vary, generally between one and two years.

Master of Education degree specializations include:

  • School Counseling
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Adult Education
  • Museum Education
  • Classroom Technology
  • Economics and Policy
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Leadership
  • Instructional Design
  • Curriculum Development
  • School Psychology
  • Administration

Master of Arts in Teaching

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree programs attract current and prospective K–12 teachers who seek additional certification to advance in their careers or seek their initial teaching license. MAT degree programs attract individuals interested in improving teaching methods and style or enhancing their expertise in a specific content area.

Master of Arts in Teaching programs have a focus on the act of teaching as well as the practical skills and knowledge teachers use to teach groups and individual students. MAT degree programs examine education theories, methods, philosophies, concepts and styles and develop skills in areas such as curriculum design and literacy. Enrollees learn how to improve student performance. Students also learn how to effectively integrate technology into instruction.

Students study theoretical and practical educational research and perform their own research. Students in a Master of Arts in Teaching degree program typically select a specialized subject in the education field.

Master of Arts in Education specializations include:

  • Specific subject area such as English or mathematics
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Gifted Education

Some MAT degree programs require students to complete a master’s thesis. Online MAT degree programs typically include a student teaching experience. Everyone seeking their initial teaching license must gain student teaching experience and teachers who seek to gain additional certification in a different grade and/or subject must gain teaching experience. Student teaching typically spans between one and two semesters.

Program lengths vary, generally between one and two years.

Doctorate in Education

A Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.), a terminal degree, focuses on applying foundational knowledge and research to real–world issues in education. Ed.D. programs prepare students for administrative, academic, professional, clinical or research positions in K–12 and higher education, public institutions, civil service, and private organizations.

Instead of focusing on developing new research (such as with a Ph.D. program), Doctorate of Education students utilize existing research to inform decisions about specific issues which can lead to improving practices within their specialization areas.

Doctorate in Education programs prepare students for leadership positions such as school district executives, training supervisors, chief learning officers in large corporations, faculty at the university level and more.

Doctor in Education programs include specializations such as counseling, educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, postsecondary education, administration, special education and more.

Ph.D. in Education

Ph.D. in Education programs prepare professionals to become education researchers, university faculty members, senior–level education leaders, policymakers, practitioners and scholars in many settings.

Professionals with a Ph.D. in Education may have an impact on education research, practice, and policy.

Ph.D. in Education programs typically emphasize producing new knowledge in the education field while improving research and analytical skills. Ph.D. students can specialize in areas such as education policy and program evaluation, education leadership, literacy studies, higher education administration and policy, education, special education, society and culture, human development, learning and teaching, and more.

Jobs with a Teaching Degree

Teaching and non–teaching careers in education include:

  • Adult Literacy and GED teacher
  • After–School Programs and Youth Organizations Professional
  • Career and Technical Education Teacher
  • Childcare Center Director
  • Curriculum Developer/Instruction Specialist
  • Early Childhood Education Teacher
  • Education Administrator
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • ESL Teacher
  • Health Educator
  • High School Teacher
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher
  • Online Instructor
  • Professional Tutor
  • Special Education Teacher
  • School Counselor
  • School Principal
  • Youth Worker

Non–teaching careers outside of education include:

  • Corporate Trainer
  • Education Coordinator at Museum, Zoo, Aquarium, etc.
  • Educational Sales
  • Government Organizations
  • Human Resources
  • Interpreter
  • Publishing
  • Technical Writer

Teacher Salary Information

Salaries in the teaching profession depend upon three major factors: geography, educational level, and length of service. The following are the 2016 median annual salaries for the following positions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Career Median Salary
High school teachers $60,320
Special education teachers $59,780
Middle school teachers $58,600
Elementary school teachers (except special education) $58,230
Kindergarten teachers (except special education) $55,470

Job Outlook for Teachers

Teachers seeking employment in vital subjects such as math, science and special education or who are willing to work in regions with teacher shortages may find employment more readily. The The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment growth of 3-4% from 2018 to 2028 for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. Many schools report having difficulty finding teachers for specific subjects such as math, science (especially chemistry and physics), special education, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The BLS also reports that teachers at every level likely have better job opportunities in urban and rural school districts than in suburban school districts.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Federal Student Aid Office of the U.S Department of Education mentions two types of loan forgiveness programs for teachers:

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Under this program, teachers who teach full–time for five complete and consecutive academic years in specific elementary and secondary schools or in educational service agencies which serve low–income communities may qualify for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on their Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans as well as their Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If teachers have only PLUS loans, they are not eligible for this type of forgiveness.

The Teacher Cancellation Program

Teachers with a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program may qualify for loan cancellation for full–time teaching at a low–income school, or for teaching in specific subject areas. They can also qualify for deferment for these qualifying teaching services. Teachers should check with the school which made their Federal Perkins Loan for more information.

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