United States Online General Education Graduate Programs
Currently working adults might find that Online General Education Graduate Programs address their need for a convenient way to balance learning with existing teaching careers or other obligations. If you are looking for a program that gives you a solid foundation of research, writing, pedagogical skills and methods to take into your classroom, general education graduate programs often include a core curriculum around which you can take courses that align with your interests whether these are in the social or natural science, the humanities, fine arts, instruction and student success or mathematics.
Online General Education Graduate Programs: Essentials
Online General Education Graduate degrees are offered as certificates, masters and doctorate degrees. If you are considering a career as a teacher, scholar, or professional in the field of education, an online general education degree is a great place to begin. Some online graduate programs in general education are for teachers with master’s degrees who are seeking a PhD in order to qualify for postsecondary teaching and advanced research positions[i]. Others are suitable for students with an undergraduate degree that is not in education. Yet others are aimed for the teacher who has a Bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited university.
DID YOU KNOW? Community colleges or career and technical schools may hire candidates with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions may be more selective, and thus frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree (BLS)[ii].
What Types of Online General Education Grad Degrees are there?
There are many possibilities for specialization in general education degree programs. Study education policy, curriculum development, or stay abreast of the latest pedagogical methods and theories. Other teacher graduate programs focus on education administration, community education, and Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). For more general training, an online general education degree may prepare students to earn teaching licenses and credentials, and develop curriculum and programs for audiences beyond the classroom.
In some of our sponsored programs, students take core courses and are encouraged to choose a concentration area such as:
- Multiple Subject Teaching (elementary)
- Secondary English, Math, Science or Social Science
- Specialist instruction
- Education and Supervision
- Educational Assessment
- Teaching and Learning
- Qualitative Research
Since licensing for teachers varies by state, a good idea is to look into a program that addresses your goals. For instance, some states require teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification[iii]; whether you are able to pursue a master’s in education before obtaining your teaching certification depends on the state you live in. If you are in the position where you need teacher certification, there are general education online degrees that offer this. When in doubt, your own state’s education department and the prospective online university are good resources for more information.
In terms of accreditation, in the United States, the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education recognize the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation.[iv]
Potential Features of Online Graduate Degrees in General Education
Online General Education Graduate degrees may be a great fit for individuals who need flexibility with their schedule because most allow you to complete your assignments in your own time. Working professionals, stay-at-home parents or students who live too far from the graduate school they want to attend are good candidates for online programs. A few things to consider while you are reading
- Typically, if an online program is ‘100% online’ it means there are no on-campus requirements, however, education and teacher graduate programs often entail fieldwork, a practicum or supervised teaching.
- Courses are usually available through a web-based course management system, and are either asynchronous (pre-taped) or synchronous (live-streaming) or a combination, depending on the online school.
- Some programs may involve the use of textbooks, e-books, online publications and online libraries and research tools.
- E-learners may participate remotely with classmates via online group chats or projects.
- Emails, texts, web chats and other digital technology may be involved to keep in touch with professors and other students.
Take the Next Step
Distance-learning may be the convenient and flexible format you need to pursue an advanced degree in education. To get started searching, browse through sponsored online programs on the GradSchools.com directory. Some of your choices could include Online M.S. in Higher Education – Educational Assessment and Evaluation, Online Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate, or Online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision –General Program.
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Purdue University Global
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- Plainfield, VTPlainfield, VT
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