Earning a Master's Degree in Teacher Education
Everything you need to know about a master's degree program in teacher education.
Overview of a Master's Degree in Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
As a student ages and matures, the way in which they can be taught also expands. A master's degree in teacher education, multiple levels trains individuals to educate students in combined levels such as early childhood and elementary school. This is a valuable degree for current or aspiring teachers who want a leg up in the job market and to increase their earning potential.
Many people earn their master's degree in teacher education in order to advance in their career. In fact, many states require teachers to obtain their master's degree within a few years after they start teaching. Those students who do not have a teaching license can still pursue this degree, however this is only possible if the student completes a program that allows them to pursue their teaching license at the same time as earning their master's degree.
This degree typically takes between two and three years to complete. Students attending courses full-time complete their courses at a quicker pace. However many students may need to pursue their master's degree part-time in order to continue working their full-time jobs while completing their degree program.
Applying to a Master's Degree Program in Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
Most people who apply to the master's degree program in teacher education are looking to update and refresh their teaching skills by learning the latest trends in education. The basic application requirements for a masters degree program in teacher education include submitting a personal statement, at least three letters of recommendation, and your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Although it is not imperative that you have a bachelor's degree in education, the majority of people who apply to the program do have some teaching experience.
Typically, in order to be eligible to apply to a master's degree program in teacher education, a student needs to have earned at least a 3.0 GPA in college. However, there are programs that have higher or lower minimum GPA requirements.
How to Choose a Teacher Education Master's Degree Program
The first thing you need to do when choosing a teacher education master's degree program is to decide which levels you wish to specialize in, such as a combination of middle school and high school. If you don’t have a particular specialization in mind, you should check to see what positions are available in the schools in your area. There has been a nation-wide shortage of teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers, so you will have a greater chance of obtaining a job after graduation if you major in one of those four fields.
Although most programs are catered to students who already have their teaching credentials and some experience in the field, there are also programs for students who are new to the field. Those applicants who do not have a teaching degree should search out a program that allows them to pursue their degree while simultaneously pursuing their teaching credential. This type of program is perfect for inexperienced individuals looking for a fast track to a successful teaching career.
Find out what type of hands-on activities each program requires of students. For example, if the program requires that students complete an internship, check out where students have interned in the past and see if that school would be a good fit for your professional goals. You should use a similar guideline if your school requires classroom observation instead of an internship. You also should figure out if you want to attend a thesis program, which required completing an in-depth research paper or a non-thesis program, which does not require students to complete a comprehensive final project.
Practicing teachers who cannot take the time off to complete a degree should consider taking night, weekend or summer courses. This allows students the time to remain in their teaching positions while attending their master's degree program. Another great option for those short on time is to earn your master's degree in teacher education online. Online programs are a great option for teachers who have other responsibilities besides their job, such as caring for a family, as they allow students to complete their assignments in their own time.
Part-time study is also available at many schools. Although pursuing your masters degree in teacher education part-time takes longer than earning your degree full-time, the rewards are still as plentiful. Attending school part-time will also allow you to make smaller tuition payments as you will only be paying for two courses or less.
What to Expect in a Master's Degree Program in Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
In order to earn a master's degree in teacher education, students follow a combined curriculum in theory and practice. In the classroom, they are provided with information on how to observe a classroom and keep up-to-date with the latest educational research so they can stay on top of their game. The last portion of the program usually consists of hands-on activities, such as seminars, conducting research or completing a student teaching program.
Some programs require students to complete a master's degree thesis in order to graduate. This is usually an extensive research paper on a specific aspect within the field of education. The individual should be passionate about the subject, as they will be spending a year or longer working on the paper.
Top 10 Grad Schools for a Master's Degree in Teacher Education
- National University
- Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale
- University of Phoenix
- Western Governors University
- University of Memphis
- The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
- Ashford University - Online
- George Fox University
- University of Oregon
- Adams State College
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