Teaching Degrees: What You Need to Know
Search for a teaching program that fits you
Researching and deciding on the teaching degree program that will best suit your goals is critical to your success. It can take effort to find the right fit, but the education degree program you choose can influence your entire teaching career. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the teaching degrees that are available.
What Makes a Great Teaching Degree Program?
A major goal of every teacher preparation program is to educate future teachers in the most effective methods of instruction for a variety of different learning styles. Each teaching degree program offers a unique experience, leaving it to you to decide which one is right for you. There are many questions that are important to consider while you hunt for your ideal education degree program:
Is your education program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), or one of the regional agencies? Remember that accreditation equals quality.
Does the school offer a program that allows you to work while completing schoolwork? Can you transfer credits from courses at other schools or earn credit for previous teaching experience?
Does the focus and philosophy of the education program match your interests in becoming a teacher? Is the curriculum designed using standards developed by specialized professionals?
How much student teaching experience does the school offer? Consider what your state requires. Does the school partner with veteran teachers to mentor you in classroom environments?
What percent of graduates pass the state licensing exam? Is there a service on-campus that can help you with test prep and in seeking a teaching job? What is the job placement rate after graduation?
If you’re a single parent, does your campus offer any support, such as childcare, while you attend classes? Consider your unique needs if you want to go to school the traditional route.
Choosing Your Teaching Degree
If you are looking for teacher education degrees but are confused about how much schooling you need for your career goals or even what different titles such as MEd and EdD mean, you’ve come to the right place. Below, learn about the differences in your teaching and administrative degree options.
Associate’s Degrees in Education
Earning an associate’s degree in education is an option for anyone considering a career in the classroom but not yet ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree. There are distinct advantages to starting with an associate’s degree, and for many students, it’s an accessible entry point into the education field.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Education
Earning a bachelor’s degree is a must if you aspire to become a licensed teacher, but there are a few options to think about as you make your decision. A bachelor’s degree in teaching or education generally covers a broad liberal arts education while stressing both content and pedagogy—the art of teaching.
Master’s Degrees in Education
Education degrees at the master’s level add a depth of understanding to the broader liberal arts offerings of a bachelor’s degree. In states where a master’s degree isn’t required to start teaching, students with a bachelor’s degree may be able to continue teaching while earning a master’s level teaching degree online or on campus. Here are the most common master’s degrees in education:
Doctoral Degrees in Education
Teachers who wish to increase their skills for advanced certification requirements or other professional objectives can complete a Doctorate in Education or Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction to help them achieve leadership roles and earn higher pay. Many teachers with doctoral degrees spend their days in upper administration or as researchers.
Degrees in Teaching Specialties
Some teaching degrees are designed around subject matter or a specific group of students as well as age. For instance, special education teachers can easily work with students from kindergarten to twelfth grade in a single week, depending on the structure of the school district. To meet the needs of teachers who wish to focus, special endorsements are available. These require additional education and passing an exam, but the payoff is worth it if you feel strongly about your specialty area or age group.
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