Earning a degree online, can be a convenient way to improve your credentials while managing your lifestyle and eliminating the stress of a hectic commute. Virtual programs are on the rise, and most states have accredited universities offering a wide array of degrees and certificate programs. The field of education has become an increasingly popular career choice, with hundreds of online programs available to potential students.
When researching online degree programs in education, you should begin by researching the requirements of your local Department of Education to determine the requirements for licensure in your state. Many states only honor specific programs and a lack of careful research could result in paying for a degree you cannot use. Some state’s departments offer a comprehensive list of the universities whose programs they accept, so see if your state offers such a list by visiting their website or contacting the department directly.
Once you have found a school whose program meets the criteria for obtaining a teaching license outlined by your state’s department of education, you will need to consider the cost involved, what the technological requirements are (i.e., do you need a specific software program, internet speed, fax machine or scanner, etc) and the time frame involved in earning the degree. These questions can be answered by contacting the school directly and speaking with an academic advisor for the program you are considering.
Following the discussion with an advisor, it is a good idea to a conduct a self-assessment concerning the virtual classroom. When conducting the self-assessment, consider the following, am I motivated to learn on my own accord? Am I organized enough to meet deadlines and maintain my goals? Do I have the basic tools and abilities required to complete a virtual program? What grade level and subject matter do I want to be qualified to teach? Does my family respect the amount of time and physical space I will need to allocate toward completing my degree? The answers to these questions will help you determine what it is you hope to obtain and whether you have what it takes to earn your degree online.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind many online programs involve more work, time, and money than an on campus program, and a proactive approach to planning for possible technical difficulties will go a long way in helping you obtain your goal of a degree.