California Teacher Education Graduate Programs On-Campus

Find Teacher Education Graduate Programs On-Campus

Interested in inspiring the next generation of young students, or even teaching teachers themselves? Then you’re in the right place! Pursuing teacher education graduate programs on-campus may be the perfect next step for education professionals hoping to enhance their career preparation. Finding a graduate school of education with a campus location that is convenient to you could make enhancing your education that much easier. Education graduate programs may be especially well suited to the on-campus learning format. What better way to see the very principles you may be learning put into practice? Ready to find your perfect on campus teacher education program? Below, you’ll find more info on teacher education graduate programs on-campus. You'll also see tips on how to choose a school, make the most of your campus visit, and more!

Why Pursue a Teacher Education Program?

Teacher education graduate programs on-campus are typically courses of study that help educators prepare for their goals in the classroom and beyond. But why consider this path? Here are a few potential reasons:

  • Professional development – To maintain teacher certification or licensure, you may be required by your state to take professional development courses, or even pursue a masters degree.[i] Check with your state education department to learn more.
  • Explore an in-depth area of your profession – Are you interested in learning more about childhood literacy, art education, or the teaching of a particular subject like math, science, or English? Or perhaps you’d like to learn more about classroom behavioral issues or curriculum and instruction! Teacher education courses may help you enhance your professional knowledge or address specific challenges and goals.
  • You hope to enhance your career – Teachers who pursue additional education or certification may be able to pursue enhanced roles like instructional coordinator, assistant principal, or principal. [i]
  • You’re planning to change careers – If teaching sounds like your dream job but you earned your bachelor’s degree in an area other than education, teacher education courses may help you prepare for a potential new career path. [i]

What Teacher Education Graduate Programs On-Campus Might I Consider? 

Well, that depends! The teacher education program you pursue may have a lot to do with where you live and what your ultimate goals are. For example, some states may require teachers to earn a masters in education in order to qualify for certification or licensure. If that applies to you, you might want to check out education masters programs that suit your professional interests. Are you hoping to teach the theory and practice of education at the college level (in other words, teaching teachers)? If so, you may want to pursue a doctor of education degree. In fact, the majority of postsecondary education teachers earn a doctoral degree or pursue post-doctoral training. [ii]

Here are a few program types to potentially explore:

Education masters programs – As mentioned, earning a masters in education may be required in certain states. But not all education masters programs are the same! You could potentially pursue applied degree programs like a Master of Education (M.Ed.). A M.Ed. may cover the theory and practice of teaching. Or you could prefer an M.A. (Master of Arts) or M.S. (Master of Science) in Education, which may allow you to focus on a particular subject ranging from humanities to science education. Finally, pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) might help you learn the ins and outs of areas like classroom management and curriculum planning. A MAT may be an awesome path for those relatively new to teaching. Keep in mind that these masters in education programs may vary depending on the graduate school of education. These programs may also share overlapping areas of study. Be sure to check out the curriculum plan. Also, be sure to speak to a school representative to learn more about how a particular masters program may help you pursue your goals. You can reach out to the teacher education programs listed below by simply following the link.

Doctor of education programs – While not typically required for an elementary or secondary teaching career, earning a doctor of education may be a perfect path if you hope to teach education at the postsecondary level. [ii] A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Education program typically focuses on areas like education research and policy. In contrast, an EdD (Doctor of Education) program may help candidates explore applied educational leadership practices. However, these two program types could share overlapping areas. Doctoral programs are typically research-intensive with the goal of helping candidates to develop as scholars, researchers, and/or practitioners.    

Graduate certificate in education – Another potential path worth considering is to pursue a graduate certificate in education. These non-degree programs may help you to explore an area of professional interest. These interests could include: elementary education, early childhood, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and more! Teacher education graduate certificates could also be a great introductory step if you are new to the education field. Typically, you must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree to pursue a certificate. For example, about 13% of middle school special education teachers pursued a certificate after earning a bachelor’s.[iii] But in some cases, education professionals may pursue a post-master’s certificate, as did 21% of education administrators. [iv]

Why Attend a Teacher Education Graduate Program On Campus?

Today, learners may be able to choose among several degree formats like online and hybrid programs. However, some candidates may still opt to go the traditional route: attending a graduate school of education on campus. There’s no right or wrong answer. However, considering a campus-based program may be perfect if…

  • You live near teacher colleges or you’re willing to move to pursue your graduate degree. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to top teacher education programs. However, if you have the means of commuting to campus or relocating to attend the program of your choice, perhaps studying on campus makes sense for you.
  • You’ve always wanted the grad school experience. Living in student housing. Studying, researching, and socializing with likeminded colleagues. If that sounds like your idea of a great grad school experience, you may want to pursue a campus-based program. Of course, every teacher education program is different. But, studying on campus may be the perfect way to get involved in your academic community and hopefully have a little fun, too.
  • You learn better in person. The teacher education program format you choose may depend on your learning style and preferences. If you find it easier to stay motivated while learning in a traditional classroom setting, a campus program may be the way to go. On campus teacher education programs may have an additional benefit. You could not only see education professionals (your teachers) in action, but potentially practice in a classroom setting yourself!

The Campus Visit: Evaluating a Graduate School of Education

A common question among prospective education grad students may be, “What are the top teacher education programs that may help me prepare for my career goals?” However, there’s no easy answer to that query! Rather, you may need to evaluate education graduate programs based on your own criteria. Making a campus visit to your prospective graduate school of education may be the perfect place to start. Here are just a few things to look for:

  • Academics and Faculty – Does the program’s curriculum appeal to your interests and goals? Are you able to sit in on a class, or meet some of the program’s instructors.
  • Student Community – If possible, talk to current students in the program to get a feel for their goals, interests, and satisfaction levels.  Do you see yourself potentially fitting into the campus community?
  • Setting – Do you like the look and feel of the school’s grounds and academic buildings? If you plan to live on or near campus, see if you can check out the student housing, too.
  • Resources and Amenities – Do the teacher colleges you are considering have the kinds of resources you’re looking for, like common areas, fitness centers, good research libraries, and career counseling.
  • Accreditation – Do your homework to make sure your prospective graduate school of education is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.[v] This may help with future employers or in securing federal loans.

Ready to get started?

Below, you’ll find sponsored listings for some teacher education graduate programs on-campus that may interest you. Sort by degree level, like master’s, doctorate, and certificate, or location to find programs that may be perfect for you! Then contact the school directly to learn more or begin the application process. Good luck!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1081.00 | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2053.00 | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9032.00 | [v] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider

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