Graduate Certificate in Education Programs in Virginia
Graduate Certificate in Education Programs offer educators an opportunity to explore a new professional path, update teaching skills, or gain credibility in a specific area. If you have decided to pursue a career in teaching, a post-bachelors certificate or a post-masters graduate certification might be instrumental in helping you to attain your professional teaching credentials. With the availability of so many concentration areas and learning formats from on-campus to online, graduate certificate programs in education are well worth considering.
What Are Graduate Certificate in Education Programs?
Also referred to as ‘post-baccalaureate’, ‘post-master’s or ‘add-on’ certificates, these graduate programs are designed for educators who are already certified but want to become qualified to move into administrative positions, or teach a new content area or grade level. In fact, some experienced teachers may want to combine a Graduate Certificate in Education with a Masters degree.
Graduate Certificate in Education Program: Essentials
Graduate certificate programs correspond to education at the Master’s degree level, generally consisting of 9 to 21 credit hours of coursework, and 1-year duration. An accredited bachelor’s degree in Education is a standard prerequisite for entry into a Graduate Certificate program.[i] Some applicants may need to meet minimum GPA requirements and submit letters of recommendation and a resume.
Most graduate allow students to be enrolled in a graduate certificate program and a master’s or doctoral degree program simultaneously. Credits from the Graduate Certificate in Education Program may also count toward the graduate degree you are earning, or applied to a more advanced degree in a related field. Some certificate programs are also open to students from other fields that might be pursuing a Master’s or Doctorate degree and want a targeted education experience that is short-term.
Why Consider a Graduate Certificate in Education?
Although the specific academic path to a teaching licensure varies by state, teaching in public schools typically requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in a subject area and a state-approved certification or license. Some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification. Motives for choosing a Graduate Certificate In Education vary but here are a few common reasons
Essentially, education graduate certificate programs offer teachers a short term and targeted academic experience and an addition of highly-focused skills. Some certification is designed to prepare educators to effectively integrate current and developing technologies, theories or practical applications into various educational environments.
DID YOU KNOW? Many high schools report that they have difficulty filling teaching positions for certain subjects, including math, science (especially chemistry and physics), English as a second language, and special education. As a result, teachers with education in those subjects or certifications to teach those specialties should have better job prospects. (BLS)[ii]
Teacher Certification vs. Graduate Certificate
A Graduate Certificate in Education can mean any number of things. Usually these are designed for already certified educators. For instance, you have a Bachelor’s degree in education and want to teach special education so you enroll in a Graduate Certificate in Autism program.
Teacher Certification involves a specific series of procedures[iii]:
- Obtaining a bachelor’s degree
- Completing a teacher preparation program (includes either an undergraduate, master’s, or alternative program)
- Getting state or national certification to teach by completing all requirements
- May involves student teaching or mentoring with an experienced teacher
- Criminal background check
- General certification exam
What Types of Graduate Certificates in Education are there?
The extensive directory on GradSchools.com allows you to browse by general and more specific education certificate programs, so you can really pinpoint one that aligns with your ambitions.
The following is a ‘road map’ to the different Graduate Certificate in Education Programs and their concentration areas.
Curriculum and Instruction
Early childhood Education
Education, Leadership & Administration
- Educational Policy
- Educational Research
- Student Affairs & Development
Education, Technology & Online Learning
Educational & School Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- School Counseling
- School Psychology
- Elementary Education
- Secondary Education
Special & Gifted Education
- Education of the Deaf
- Education of the Gifted
- Special Education
- Physical & Coaching Education
- Reading & Literacy
- Teaching Art
- Teaching English
- Teaching Foreign Language
- Teaching Math
- Teaching Music
- Teaching Science
Online vs. On-Campus
Online education certificate programs generally follow the same curricula as on-campus programs, but may be more convenient to busy working teachers. What you need to decide is whether you prefer hands-on learning and face-to-face interactions or are comfortable and autonomous to complete your graduate certificate remotely. Some online education certificate programs may offer you both formats in one – meaning part online, part onsite.
How to Search
Searching for a Graduate Certificate in Education is really straightforward. Just choose the subject, choose your program format (campus, online, hybrid) and review options. You can also refine this search by location to find graduate schools by city, state or country. The green tabs allow you to request information from the graduate school directly, the orange tab takes you to the grad school website itself. Super convenient!
To give you an idea of how broad and diverse the listings are for graduate certificates in education, here is a sample of potential options: Master of Education in Learning, Design and Technology, Art Education, Classroom Reading Endorsement (P-12), Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership, and Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, Assessment Certificate (MESA)(M.Ed.). The list goes on so make sure to browse by subject.
Take the Next Step
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for teachers with certifications should be more favorable. [iv] If you are ready to continue your success as an educator, use our listings to find and compare accredited Graduate Certificate in Education programs so you can take that next step!
[i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_certificate | Sources: bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/mobile/high-school-teachers.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/mobile/high-school-teachers.htm | [iii] www.teach.org/teaching-certification |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm
Purdue University Global
The George Washington University
George Mason University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
James Madison University
Old Dominion University
University of Mary Washington