If you are passionate about teaching and want to pursue a career in education, you might be wondering how to get the right qualifications and credentials. One of the most common and convenient ways to do so is by earning an online teaching degree.
An online teaching degree prepares you for teaching roles in various educational settings, such as public and private schools, colleges and universities, and online learning platforms. You can choose from different levels and specializations of online teaching degrees, such as associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, and elementary, secondary, special, or adult education.
But how do you know which online teaching degree program is the best for you? There are many factors to consider, such as program cost, accreditation, curriculum, flexibility, and support. In this article, we will help you compare and evaluate some of the best online teaching degree programs in the US and guide you through the enrollment process.
Benefits of Online Teaching Degree Programs
Online teaching degree programs offer many benefits for aspiring teachers, such as:
- Convenience: You can study from anywhere, at any time, and at your own pace. You don’t have to commute, relocate, or quit your job to pursue your degree.
- Affordability: You can save money on tuition, fees, books, and living expenses by studying online. Many online programs also offer financial aid, scholarships, and discounts for online students.
- Quality: You can access the same curriculum, faculty, and resources as on-campus students. You can also interact with your classmates and instructors through online platforms, such as discussion boards, video conferencing, and email.
- Flexibility: You can choose from a variety of online programs that suit your interests, goals, and schedule. You can also transfer credits from previous academic, professional, or military experience, which can shorten your time to graduation.
- Accreditation: You can earn a degree that is recognized and respected by employers, licensing boards, and professional associations. Accreditation ensures that your program meets the standards of quality and relevance in the field of education.
Features of Online Teaching Degree Programs
Online teaching degree programs vary in their features, such as:
- Duration: Online programs can take anywhere from 1 to 6 years to complete, depending on the level and type of the program, and the number of credits you take per term. Typically, associate degrees take 2 years, bachelor’s degrees take 4 years, master’s degrees take 2 years, and doctoral degrees take 4-6 years of full-time study to complete. However, some online programs offer accelerated or part-time options that allow you to graduate faster or slower.
- Format: Some online programs are fully online, meaning that you don’t have to visit the campus at all. Others are hybrid, meaning that you have to attend some on-campus sessions, such as orientation, workshops, or exams.
- Curriculum: Online programs follow the same core curriculum as on-campus programs, but they may differ in their electives, concentrations, and capstone projects. You should check the course descriptions and learning outcomes of each program to see if they match your interests and goals.
- Practicum: Online programs require you to complete a practicum, which is a supervised teaching experience in a real classroom. You can either arrange your own placement in a local school or use the program’s partner schools. You should check the requirements and expectations of each program before applying.
- Support: Online programs provide various support services for online students, such as academic advising, tutoring, career counseling, technical assistance, and library access. You should check the availability and quality of these services before enrolling.
Costs of Online Teaching Degree Programs
Online teaching degree programs vary in their costs, such as:
- Tuition: Tuition is the main cost of online programs, and it depends on the number of credits, the level and type of the program, and the school’s reputation and location. Typically, public schools charge less than private schools, and in-state students pay less than out-of-state students. However, some schools offer flat or discounted tuition rates for online students regardless of residency.
- Fees: Fees are additional costs that cover expenses such as application, enrollment, technology, graduation, and transcript. Fees vary by school and program, and they may be charged per semester, per credit, or per service.
- Books and Supplies: Books and supplies are the materials that you need to complete your coursework, such as textbooks, software, and hardware. Books and supplies vary by course and program, and they may be included in the tuition or fees, or purchased separately by the student.
- Living Expenses: Living expenses are the costs of living while studying online, such as rent, food, utilities, transportation, and personal expenses. Living expenses vary by location and lifestyle, and they may be lower for online students than for on-campus students.
To give you an idea of the costs of online teaching degree programs, here are some examples of the tuition and fees of some of the best online teaching degree programs in the US:
|Tuition (per credit)
|Fees (per semester)
|Western Governors University
|Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
|University of Washington
|Bachelor of Arts in Early Care and Education
|$231 (in-state), $1,002 (out-of-state)
|University of Central Florida
|Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
|$180 (in-state), $748 (out-of-state)
|Florida International University
|Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
|$229 (in-state), $346 (out-of-state)
|University of West Florida
|Bachelor of Arts in Exceptional Student Education
|$219 (in-state), $648 (out-of-state)
These are only estimates and they do not include books, supplies, and living expenses. You should check the official websites of each school and program for the most accurate and updated information.
How to Compare Online Teaching Degree Programs
To compare online teaching degree programs, you should consider the following steps:
- Identify your career goals and interests: You should have a clear idea of what kind of teacher you want to be, what grade level and subject area you want to teach, and what state you want to work in. This will help you narrow down your options and choose the program that best suits your needs.
- Research the accreditation and reputation of the programs: You should only apply to programs that are accredited by recognized agencies, such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Accreditation ensures that your program meets the standards of quality and relevance in the field of education. You should also check the rankings, reviews, and alumni outcomes of the programs to see how they perform and what they offer.
- Compare the costs and financial aid options of the programs: You should compare the tuition, fees, books, supplies, and living expenses of the programs and see which ones fit your budget and expectations. You should also explore the financial aid options of the programs, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. You should apply for financial aid as early as possible and look for external sources of funding as well.
- Compare the curriculum and practicum requirements of the programs: You should compare the courses, electives, concentrations, and capstone projects of the programs and see which ones match your interests and goals. You should also compare the practicum requirements of the programs, such as the duration, location, and supervision of the practicum. You should choose the program that provides the most relevant and comprehensive learning experience for you.
- Compare the format and support services of the programs: You should compare the delivery mode, schedule, and flexibility of the programs and see which ones suit your learning style and preferences. You should also compare the support services of the programs, such as academic advising, tutoring, career counseling, technical assistance, and library access. You should choose the program that provides the most convenient and supportive online environment for you.
How to Enroll in Online Teaching Degree Programs
To enroll in online teaching degree programs, you should follow these steps:
- Choose the program that meets your criteria and goals: After comparing and evaluating different online programs, you should select the one that best fits your needs and aspirations. You should also check the admission requirements and deadlines of the program and make sure you meet them.
- Prepare and submit your application materials: You should prepare and submit your application materials, such as transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume, and portfolio. You should also pay the application fee and submit any additional documents that the program may require.
- Wait for the admission decision and accept the offer: You should wait for the admission decision from the program, which may take a few weeks or months. If you are accepted, you should accept the offer and confirm your enrollment. You should also complete any pre-enrollment tasks, such as orientation, registration, and payment.
- Start your online learning journey: You should start your online learning journey by accessing your online courses, interacting with your instructors and classmates, completing your assignments and exams, and participating in your practicum. You should also seek and use the support services that the program offers to help you succeed in your online learning journey.
Online teaching degree programs are a great option for aspiring teachers who want to earn a degree that is convenient, affordable, quality, flexible, and accredited.
Online teaching degree programs can prepare you for teaching roles in various educational settings, such as public and private schools, colleges and universities, and online learning platforms.
You can choose from different levels and specializations of online teaching degrees, such as associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, and elementary, secondary, special, or adult education.
To find the best online teaching degree program for you, you should consider your career goals and interests, research the accreditation and reputation of the programs, compare the costs and financial aid options of the programs, compare the curriculum and practicum requirements of the programs, compare the format and support services of the programs, and enroll in the program that meets your criteria and goals.