Educators bring shape to our world by teaching children in private and public schools across a variety of subjects. In the 1560s, the word “educator” was defined as “one who nourishes or rears.” Educators are skilled in nourishing their students, providing discipline, and encouragement. With a Master’s Degree in Education, teachers can choose to specialize in a topic such as Special Education, Reading & Literacy, Music Education, Science & Math, Technology, Athletics & Coaching, and many other disciplines. Highly qualified teachers are needed at every level of education, across the country and while many states allow teachers to work with a Bachelor’s degree and the passing of a Teacher’s examination, a Master’s degree in Education helps with both job security and higher wages.
University Degree Offerings
For educators interested in teaching elementary aged children, often a Bachelor’s degree in Education will suffice. Many students however choose a Bachelor of Arts in Education major partnered with a minor in a specific subject such as History or Math. However, for educators seeking to teach at the middle and high school levels, a Master’s degree in Education is preferred with a concentration in an area of study. Additionally a Master of Education degree is needed for individuals seeking to step out of the classroom to design and create curriculum and instruction. Other out of classroom positions that normally require a Master’s degree includes school counselor and principal. Individuals with a passion for teaching adults can specialize in Adult Education with a career path in teaching adult literacy programs, English as a second language, and parent education.
Why an Education Degree Online
A Bachelor’s degreed educator currently working can achieve a Master’s degree in Education without resigning from their current position. Accredited colleges and universities have crafted online Master’s degree programs to provide the best possible knowledge and skills, within a convenient and flexible program. Distance and online degree programs have advanced significantly in the last 5 years and no longer do programs leave students feeling separated from their instructors and fellow classmates. Master of Education degree programs have been designed to encourage collaboration, interaction and communication between classmates and instructors while still creating the flexibility busy professionals require when seeking an advanced degree.
Master of Education Degree Courses & Areas of Study
Most programs require students complete both core classes and elective classes for graduation. Core classes may include:
Sociology of Education
Education, Gender & Development
Creative Arts in Classrooms
Choices for elective courses can include:
Information Technology in Education
Interactive Media in Education
Applied Behavior Analysis
Many programs allow students to concentrate in a certain area of study including:
Early Childhood Education
Master’s of Education Degree Career Opportunities
A Master of Education degree gives graduates the flexibility to pursue new higher paying positions and opportunities within the education field whether in teaching, curriculum design or in administration. In today’s competitive marketplace, higher education helps to secure positions and it frankly does not matter if the degree was achieved in a conventional formal or online – as long as it was granted through an accredited and highly respected educational institution. Education is both a challenging and rewarding field that requires knowledge, skills and talent; the Master of Education degree assists in furthering careers for impassioned educators.
Online Master of Education Degrees
Accredited colleges and universities across the country offer a wide array of Master of Education degree programs. The reputation of the college or university is as important as the specialized degree program chosen. Specialized programs include:
Early Childhood Education
Learning, Design & Technology
Master of Education Degree Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements for Master of Education degree programs vary widely from program to program. However, there are a few standards for admission including:
Application & Fee
Official transcripts from Bachelor Degree granting college
Copy of teaching credentials/licenses
Some programs may require person biographies and statements of academic interest. Acceptance to a Master of Education program can be competitive depending upon the college or university and the program chosen. The application process must be taken seriously and all items required for submission must be completed with careful consideration and accuracy.
Master of Education Degree Accreditation
Accredited colleges provide acceptable levels of quality in education and can be accredited regionally or nationally. Unfortunately, not all educational institutions that offer online degree programs are properly accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body. It is important to fully vet the accreditation of schools you are researching. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (“CHEA”) is an association of over 3,000 degree granting colleges and universities. According to their handbook, The Condition of Accreditation , there are three types of accrediting agencies:
National faith-related organization (accredit religiously affiliated and doctrinally based institutions that are degree-granting and nonprofit.
National career-related organization that accredit mainly for-profit career-based degree and non degree granting institutions.
Regional organization that accredit mainly nonprofit degree-granting institutions.
A comprehensive list of all the accrediting organizations recognized by the CHEA can be found in their handbook (See: http://www.chea.org/pdf/Condition_US_Accreditation_in_2009.pdf . Section VI: Recognition. Pages 16-19).
Accredited colleges and universities can have a primary accreditation that represents and covers the entire school and then may also be awarded separate accreditation for individual schools or programs.
Top-Ranked Education Degrees
The reputation of the school is just as important as the accreditation. Annually U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review release their rankings of colleges and universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks educational institutions in a variety of categories including: National, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Best Value Schools, Regional Colleges, Regional Universities, Business Program and Engineering Programs. Additionally they rank over 1,200 graduate schools including those with Education degree programs. Individual degree specialties included in the rankings include :
Curriculum & Instruction
Education Administration & Supervision
Elementary Teacher Education
Higher Education Administration
Secondary teacher Education
Student Counseling & Personnel Services
Professional Organizations for Educators
As with all professions, networking with colleagues throughout the country is important both personally and professionally. Below are some of the most active and well-known organizations for educators.
American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
National Art Education Association (NAEA)
American School Counselors Association
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
Council for Exceptional Education (CEC)
National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)
Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)