Iowa General Education Master’s Degree Programs
General Education Masters Degree Programs provide a solid base of knowledge, research, critical thinking and pedagogical skills. With the variety of on-campus programs to choose from, students are able to tailor their own education to personal career interests and goals. Whether these are in education theory and practices to apply in your classroom, or your preference is to work in the education system itself, studying on campus places you in a community of educators. If you prefer to learn in a traditional classroom and have face-to-face interaction your professors, GradSchools.com has an excellent directory of sponsored listings to choose from!
General Education Masters Degree: Campus Program Basics
A General Education Masters Degree is typically 1 to 3 year program depending on whether you find an accelerated program or attend part-time or full-time. Some Masters degrees in education are offered for students with undergraduate degrees in Education, while others may be geared to the student with a Bachelor’s degree in another field who is looking for a career change. There are thesis and non-thesis options, and in some programs there may be a directed practicum.
Furthermore, you may find masters programs in general education that are designed for individuals who already have their teachers certificate, while others offer a path to certification.
Whether you are able to pursue your master's degree in education before obtaining your teaching certification depends on the state you live in; contacting your state’s education department for more information is a good idea when in doubt.
Admissions processes for many programs is similar, although you should pay attention to the differences in each university’s application. Most graduate schools require a personal statement, two to five letters of recommendation, college transcripts and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores; some schools require a resume.
Types of General Education Master’s Degrees | MAT, MEd, MA Ed, MS Ed
Choosing a General Education Masters Degree should be carefully considered, since each type of degree may be intended for a specific direction whether this is in or out of the classroom.
Master of Arts in Teaching
The Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT degree, is often chosen by aspiring educators since the primary focus in on the advancement of one’s teaching career. In the case of high school teachers[ii], middle school teachers[iii], kindergarten and elementary teachers[iv] for instance, some states require you to earn a master’s degree after earning your teaching certification. Some M.A.T. programs provide a path to initial certification and are intended for career switchers who have an undergraduate degree but not in education. Master of Arts in Teaching curriculums may include:
- Concentration areas such as elementary, middle, or secondary education
- An academic content area such as mathematics or English
- Focus on pedagogical theory and implementation
Master’s in Education
The Master’s in Education, or MEd degree is often chosen by those interested in moving beyond classroom teaching and into the education system. The master of education degree often may not require the completion of a master's thesis. However, depending upon the graduate school, a capstone, portfolio or comprehensive examination may be a requirement. This degree often includes 3 majors:
- Curriculum and Instruction
Master of Arts in Education
The Master of Arts in Education, or MA Ed degree, is typically considered a research degree designed for students who are interested in conducting research studies (e.g. education policy) and preparing for a Doctorate degree program in education. M.A. Ed. Programs commonly require the completion of a thesis, since this commonly regarded as a prerequisite for doctoral-level study. Often this type of degree allows students to pick a concentration or specialization area depending on whether they intend to remain in the classroom or enter into administration. Some of the possible concentrations might include:
- Elementary education
- Secondary education
- Special education
- Educational leadership
Master of Science in Education
The Master of Science in Education, or MS Ed degree, typically takes on a more quantitative and scientific approach and commonly appeals to those who prefer research to in-class teaching. Course topics might include subjects such as:
- Instructional technology
- Evaluation methods
Why Study On-Campus?
Choosing an on-campus General Education Masters Degree places you in a social learning setting where you have the opportunity to create new networks through interaction and participation. If you are someone who is looking for a potentially enriching experience, campus programs bring you into real classrooms where you are able to learn via live demonstrations and watch your own professors in action so to speak. This may be extremely beneficial for someone who wants to refine their own confidence and classroom skills. Plus, you get access to campus facilities such as libraries, student services, fitness, and events such as live guest lecturers or other events.
How to Choose a Graduate School for Education
Knowing the type of degree you are interested in (MAT, MEd, MA Ed, MS Ed) may make it easier for you to pinpoint a graduate school with a program choice that aligns with your vocational and academic needs. GradSchools.com also has a helpful navigation system. Find graduate schools by location; select the city, state or country tab to find masters programs in the area you prefer. Request info from the school to see if it works with you. Our directory of sponsored listings is extensive; choose from options such as Education MA, Initial Educational Administration (EdS), MA in Teaching, or MEd in Education: Problem-Based Learning/Critical Skills.
Note that accredited educator preparation programs may be denoted as CAEP accredited. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is the current accrediting agency since 2013.[v]
Take the Next Step
Education is one field where advanced degrees may open up new avenues, whether as a professor in the form of tenure,[vi] or as an administrator[vii]. If you are ready to take the next step in your own education, why not start searching for a graduate school today!
sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm |[v] ncate.org/Home/tabid/680/Default.aspx | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm |[vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm |
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