Education & Teaching Degrees to Become a Teacher
Teachers touch a student's heart every day and help shape their minds. One of the greatest joys of being a teacher is pursuing a hobby of yours through obtaining an education or teaching degree — whether it be sports, history, or science — and knowing you made the difference in someone's life. We have taken the first for you by listing accredited, online programs below. It's up to you to take it from there.
|M.Ed. in Teaching M.Ed. in Elementary Ed. M.Ed. in Special Ed.||Liberty University – Liberty University offers online degree teaching programs including: M.Ed. in Teaching, M.Ed in Elementary Ed., and M.Ed. in Special Ed. These programs do not require intensives, teaching, internships, or licensure tests. They are mainly for Elementary education and train students in Leadership. Students also have the option of earning a ACSI Certificate.|
|MA in Teaching MSE in Instructional Tech.||Kaplan University – Kaplan University offers online degree programs in teaching including: MA in Teaching and MSE in Instructional Tech. This program is very flexible and allows students to specialize in a wide range of subjects including: Teaching Literacy and Language-Grades K-6, Teaching with Technology, Teaching Mathematics Grades K-12, and Teaching Science Grades K-12.|
|MA in Teaching MA in TESOL||University of Southern California – University of Southern California offers online programs in teaching including: MA in Teaching, and MA in TESOL. USC offers a separate course of study for aspiring teachers and current educators. Faculty members include current and former teachers, principals and school district administrators. It combines coursework and school-based fieldwork.|
|M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership||University of Cincinnati – University of Cincinnati offers an online M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership. This program allows students to build upon their leadership skills to become effective role models for both their peers and students. The curriculum is designed for innovative learning and is at the forefront of educational innovation. It includes peer-group work.|
|MS.Ed. in Teaching & Learning||Keiser University – Keiser University offers an online MS.Ed. in Teaching & Learning. This program provides teachers and education administrators an intensive study of theory and practice. Students can specialize in one of two areas: Teaching and Learning or Leadership. Graduates are able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of advanced educational theory and practice.|
|M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction M.Ed. in Administration M.Ed. in Instructional Design M.Ed. in Reading & Language M.Ed. in Science Education||University of Massachusetts – University of Massachusetts offers online degrees in Education including: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, Administration, Instructional Design, Reading & Language, and Science Education. These degree programs prepare students for careers in a wide variety of fields within education. Students can specialize in their area of interest and receive leadership training.|
|BS in K-8 Education BS in Special Ed. BS in Sec. Ed. Business BS in Sec. Ed. English BS in Sec. Ed. Social Studies BS in Sec. Ed. Math||Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University offers online degrees in Education including: BS in K-8 Education, Special Ed., Sec. Ed. Business, Sec. Ed. English, Social Studies, and Math. These degree programs are designed to prepare learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers and responsible leaders from the context of a Christian heritage.|
Complete Guide to Becoming a Teacher
Working as an educator isn’t quite as simple as earning your degree and applying for a teaching certificate. You can take any one of several different career paths, each with its advantages and disadvantages based on your goals and interests. If you’re ready to get started on the route to becoming a teacher, you can get started with this guide to becoming a teacher.
Types of Teaching Degrees
If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, your first step is to enter a bachelor’s degree program in either teaching or education. Most colleges allow you to choose from early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, or special education, and if you choose secondary education, you may want to further specialize by earning a minor in your subject area of choice (like math or history). You can also instead become a teacher from a different bachelor’s degree background by entering a post-bachelor’s certification program, which takes one to two years to complete.
More and more states a beginning to require teachers to have a master’s degree or earn one within the first few years of teaching. You can get a professional certification instead, but going the extra effort to get your master’s degree qualifies you for better jobs and more money. Some schools offer a fifth year master’s degree program, where you can earn your master’s degree directly after earning your bachelor’s degree in just an additional year, rather than taking two years to earn it in a typical program.
Lastly, you can continue on to earn your doctorate degree in this field, which allows you to qualify for the highest jobs in the educational field, as well as teach at the college level. There are three main doctorate choices in this field: the EdS (educational specialist), which is for those who want to work in leadership positions in schools, most commonly in special education or school psychologist roles; the EdD (doctorate in education), which is for those who want to work in professional leadership roles such as serving as district superintendent or college educational roles; or PhD (doctor of philosophy) in education, which is for those who want to work in policy making, teacher education, or theory.
To start, teaching specialties are divided by age/educational level. To work with the youngest children (five and under), pursue a degree in early childhood education. Elementary education is for teachers who want to work with kids in grades kindergarten through six. Secondary education is for teachers who want to work with kids in grades six though twelve. In some states, there’s a separate certification and education program for “middle grade” teachers, who want to work with students in grades six through eight.
Alternatively, you can choose to specialize in special education. This field is for teachers who want to work with students of all ages who are dealing with disabilities that could affect learning.
If you work as a secondary educator, you’ll teach a single subject rather than teaching the basics in all areas. Core subjects in the educational field are English, history, math, science, and social studies. You can also choose from a subject such as art, a foreign language, music, physical education, or technology.
Student teaching, which is a part of any education program for teachers, allows you to practice standing in front of a classroom of students before it is your full-time job. Think of this as an internship – you’ll be working in the field in real-life situations, but the focus will still be on your learning under the supervision of real teachers.
As a student teacher, you won’t get paid to work – in fact, you’ll need to pay tuition to work as a student teacher. This type of program is typically done in conjunction with your education, so instead of going to classes, you’ll go to work for one to two semesters. You’ll start by observing a teacher in the classroom, then move on to helping students. During the second half of your student teaching, you’ll work more independently as the classroom’s real teacher observes you and evaluates your performance.
Earning Your Teaching Certification
In order to work in your state, you need to be certified, which requires you not only to complete at least a bachelor’s degree program, but also to complete student teaching and pass an educational test. Each state has different requirements for earning your teaching certification.
In most states, however, the test that you’ll need to pass is called the Praxis (45 states and the District of Columbia all use the Praxis). The scores you need to pass vary by state and specialization. First, you’ll take the Praxis I, or Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) which covers basic math, reading, and writing skills.
This is followed by the Praxis II exams, with different tests depending on your teaching goals. You’ll start by taking a Principals of Learning (PLT) test in early childhood, elementary, middle grade, or high school, depending on your teaching goals. Then, you’ll take Teaching Foundations and/or Subject Assessment tests to qualify to teach a specific subject area. These tests each take two to four hours to complete.
Finally, the Praxis III is required in some states. This is a more flexible type of exam where you’re monitored in a classroom by live assessors/interviewers while working under a temporary license. You’ll be scored on classroom environment, lesson planning, student instruction, and professionalism, and if you pass, you can then get your permanent teaching license.
After becoming a teacher, what can you expect to earn? That depends on a variety of factors include your specialization, your location, and your experience. According to the American Federation of Teachers, the average salary for teachers is between $35,157 and $53,291, but with a doctorate, you could earn a six-figure salary in some roles.
Keep in mind that as a teacher, you’ll also be eligible for loan forgiveness if you commit to working in a high-need area. With this government program, some of your student loans won’t have to be repaid, though you won’t have as much location flexibility.