Earning a Teaching Credential Online

An online teaching credential program provides a flexible means of taking state-required teacher certification courses without starting your college education from scratch. Get the facts about classes and requirements. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Online Teaching Credential Programs Can I Enroll In?

There are three types of teaching credential programs available online: bachelor's degree, post-bachelor's certificate and master's degree programs. The most common of these is the post-bachelor's certificate program, which varies in length from 20-30 semester units.

With online bachelor's programs, some schools will allow you to transfer general education courses from previous educational training and complete your degree online, while others will let you earn your entire undergraduate program via distance education, with the exception of fieldwork and internship requirements. Additionally, some post-bachelor's certificate programs can segue into master's program.

Types of Online Programs Bachelor's, post-bachelor's certificate and master's programs available
Common Courses Teaching methods, Special education, Classroom management

What Will I Learn?

In addition to knowledge of your subject area, you'll need to have an understanding of the developmental characteristics of your students to become an effective teacher. You'll also learn about the history of education in America, as well as a variety of educational philosophies. Other aspects of your training will involve differentiating instruction to include learners of all abilities. Regardless of your subject area, you'll likely take a course in how to meet the needs of English language learners in your classroom. Following is a list of common core courses that you might encounter in an online teacher-credentialing program:

  • Educational psychology
  • Classroom management
  • Special education
  • Teaching methods
  • Educational technology
  • Learning assessment

Many courses include a fieldwork component, through which you'll spend a set number of weekly hours observing and participating in a K-12 classroom with a mentor teacher. Additionally, you're likely to complete a 9- to 12-week student teaching experience. This requirement is often the culmination of your teaching credential program and provides you with the feedback and experience necessary to succeed as an elementary, middle or high school teacher.

What Additional Requirements Do I Need to Earn My Credential?

Completion of a teacher education program doesn't automatically lead to a teaching credential. However, your school should assist in the credentialing process by ensuring that you're aware of state testing requirements. It may even provide special workshops to prepare you for professional knowledge and subject exams. Once you've completed a state-approved teaching credential program and passed the required tests, you still may have to fulfill additional requirements, which vary by state.

How Do I Take Courses Online?

Online courses in education are highly interactive. To participate, you will need a computer with adequate memory and standard productivity software. You also may need the capability to scan documents and send PDF files. Your courses typically will be accessible through a learning management system, which documents your participation. This includes uploading assignments, downloading materials, posting discussion responses and taking assessments. Additional tools used in online classes often include streaming video, chat rooms and blogs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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