Authored by Rodney Southern in Teaching and Learning
Published on 01-30-2009
If you’re thinking of changing careers and the idea of teaching appeals to you, you might want to consider getting an online teaching degree. These days many well-respected universities offer online programs, and for a person who’s already established in his or her career, this may be a very good way to go. This way you can continue working and earning a paycheck while furthering your ambition. Most of these programs have little or no residency requirements, and they can be less expensive than traditional university programs because the cost of lodging and textbooks don’t have to be factored in or are significantly lower.
If you’re investigating an online teaching degree, first be sure that the university you’re investigating is accredited in your state or country. You don’t want to invest time and money in an online teaching degree only to find out that your degree is useless where you live!
The first step in getting an online teaching degree is to investigate schools that offer them. Search both traditional universities and schools that are primarily online so you’re armed with all the facts and can pick a program that works best for you. Once you have a list of schools that fits your criteria for cost, program, prestige, etc., then it’s time to start the admissions process.
The admissions process for getting an online teaching degree will be similar to that of an ordinary university; you’ll have forms to fill out, references to provide, and probably essays to write. The degree of competitiveness for getting an online teaching degree varies from school to school; some schools have policies of accepting anyone who applies, while others are highly competitive and may require much more of an effort. At any rate, rest assured that you should easily be able to find a program that offers an online teaching degree.
Once you’ve been accepted into a program to get an online teaching degree, you’ll be assigned an advisor that will help you pick a curriculum that meets the school’s requirements and your interests and needs. This process is very similar to the advisory process in an ordinary university, except that it will probably take place over the phone or online. Schedules in online teaching programs can work one of two ways; some schools have active chat programs that are set up on specific times and dates where you meet in a virtual classroom to discuss the week’s work, while others present the information for you to read at your leisure and then set up message boards and/or instant message services for you to discuss as questions come up. In fact, you should investigate which methods are used (a combination of both is also sometimes put into play) while you’re applying if you have a strong preference for one or the other.
The truth is that an online teaching degree is a great way to make your dreams of being a teacher come true, especially if you’re already established in the work force and returning to formal education after some time. Who knows, maybe the next step after your online teaching degree is getting an online teaching job!