Education has been of great importance in the United States since before public schools became available and compulsory education laws were passed in the 20th century. Over the years many things have changed about the teaching process in America, including a positive trend towards both educational opportunities and improvements in the baseline requirements of student graduates and educators. The field of education has today become a special priority in eyes of legislators, who have been working hard to bring up the nation’s quality of learning in an attempt to meet or exceed the standards set by other countries.
Though the economy has left many in the world without jobs, in the U.S. specifically there continues to be a shortage of qualified teachers in many regions. The process of becoming a teacher is traditionally thought of as a lifetime endeavor of learning and fine tuning, but starting one’s education on the right foot with an accredited program is pivotal to later success as an educator.
Types of Accredited Online Education Programs
The type and rigor of the education needed to become a teacher depends on what grade level an individual desires to teach. For example, teaching children in preschool is a significantly different experience from teaching high school students—not just in the content being administered, but also in the social and psychological nuances that come with the job.
Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Early childhood education is defined as the formal teaching of young children in a structured environment. Typically these students are below the age of five in most places, but in the United States the National Association for the Education of Young Children pushes that number to eight. Instruction at the “preschool” level involves teaching letters, numbers, and acceptable social behavior. Sometimes elementary education is coupled with curricula in early childhood education, and a graduate will teach all the basic core subjects like reading, writing, math, social students, and science to students in first through sixth grade.
Middle and Secondary Education
Teaching students at the junior and senior levels of high school requires a different approach to teaching younger children. It demands a nuanced understanding of adolescence, of how to deal with mentorship for higher education, and how to deal with complex psychological issues that arise as a result of becoming an adult. With this degree, a major and a minor subject need to be chosen and studied in tandem by a student.
Other Specialized Education
In addition to basic education, degrees in specialized areas are available that include education of those who have special needs, teaching English to students who speak other languages (ESL), adult education, and distance education. These types of teaching degrees often require a longer training period than a general education degree and may sometimes require a master’s degree.
Accredited Online Education Degree Programs
Based on the ratings of students, the following online education programs are a few of the most popular.
Ashford University offers an online Associate of Arts (AA) Early Education degree that can be completed in very little time, depending on the number of credits that are transferred. This 64-credit AA degree includes subjects such as general development, instructional strategy, and teaching special learners. Mobile apps allow you to stay in close touch with professors and fellow classmates.
Liberty University is one of the largest non-profit online universities in the country and offers a specifically Christian worldview in education. Liberty University’s online program is a flexible and affordable way to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education and opens up opportunities for teaching, administration, and other careers related to education.
For those who have already obtained their bachelors degree, Post University offers an online master’s in education with two options. Students can select either a master’s degree in teaching and learning, or a masters in instructional design and technology. This accelerated 33-credit program can be completed in 12 to 22 months and that focuses on creativity and innovative ideas. Technical help by phone, email, and chat–24 hours a day, plus access to an extensive online library– are a few of the advantages offered by this school.
Some Benefits of an Accredited Online Education Degree
Obtaining an education degree online has many benefits that include flexibility, the option to work at your own pace, and the ability to fulfill other responsibilities while completing your degree. With all the programs available, finding a suitable program can be a challenge. Whether you’re interested in getting an associate or bachelor degree, a little planning and research into accredited programs will go a long way.