Why Online for a Master’s Degree for Teachers?

Educational systems at the federal, state and local levels are constantly changing. As they adapt to the needs and expectations of a new, more technological and global society, new positions in administration and teaching are coming available. Experienced teachers with advanced degrees in literacy, technology or administration, to name a few, have opportunities to advance and keep pace with the rapidly evolving educational system.

To earn an advanced degree in reading or teacher leadership or an endorsement in bilingual education, teachers with an undergraduate degree must successfully complete a program from an accredited post-graduate college or university. Earning an online master’s degree for teachers is one way on-the-job educators can achieve these goals.

Flexible Scheduling

Most teachers at the elementary, middle or high school levels will report that a parent phone call can derail even the best-laid plans. A last-minute meeting may be necessary to develop a student behavior plan. The struggling first year teacher or long-term substitute may need just a little extra attention from a devoted veteran. Teachers constantly face disruptions in their daily and weekly schedules. Many teachers feel that it would be almost impossible to fit traditional on-campus courses into a schedule that is already full and rarely predictable.

An online master’s degree for teachers gives experienced educators the flexibility to pursue additional education in an advanced subject of their choice while continuing to work. Although courses in online graduate programs have due dates and deadlines, instructional materials are available at the students’ convenience. Students write and submit assignments electronically at any time, day or night, and students can return to a lecture or presentation anytime, at their own convenience. A rigid course schedule does not confine teachers who are studying in an online environment.

Learning From a Distance

Another benefit of an online degree is that student location does not limit program choices. High-quality online graduate programs are available to dedicated teachers who live and teach in the most remote settings.

Some teachers would rather continue their education in a familiar setting. Universities that offer online master’s degrees for teachers may be the best choice for a student looking for a seamless transition from undergraduate to graduate programming. Even teachers who accept positions across the country can return to earn an advanced degree from their alma mater.

Teacher and Student Efficiency and Accountability

Another advantage of earning a degree online is that it may be more efficient than a traditional program. Assignments, comments and discussion in an online graduate program occur almost entirely in writing at online boards on which students and instructors post comments and questions regarding coursework and materials. Participants are much less likely to stray off topic if they have to write and perhaps defend any comment they post. Side conversations become public and are often community-regulated by all those involved.

The efficiency of an online program also fosters rigorous and high-quality instruction. Instructors respond in writing to individual student questions and concerns; unresponsive instructors are more accountable when their interactions with students are documented. In turn, students cannot hide in the back row. An instructor can quickly scan the discussion board and see who is — and who is not — engaged in the conversation.

Busy educators are learning that earning an online master’s degree for teachers may be the best way to continue their postgraduate studies. When seeking new positions or looking to move up the pay scale, teachers look for a flexible program that will provide a solid education in a new or continuing field of education. By earning a degree online, teachers can further their education and expand their opportunities on their own time, often without leaving home.

Learn more about the CSUSM online MA in Education, Literacy program.


Sources:

U.S. News & World Report: Online Education Offers Access and Affordability

Journal of Public Affairs Education: Comparing the Effectiveness of Classroom and Online Learning: Teaching Research Methods

USA Today College: The pros and cons of getting a degree online


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