Online Teaching Certificate and Certification Programs

Online teaching certificate programs allow recent college grads and career changers to become certified teachers. State-approved teaching certification programs require significant student teaching, so learn about your options. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study in an Online Teacher Certificate Program?

If you have already earned your bachelor's degree, you can complete a state-approved online certificate program in elementary education, secondary education, English language learner education or special education to become a certified teacher. Depending on the school and your teaching specialty, these programs typically range from 20-30 units. Elementary and special education programs generally require more coursework than programs for high school teachers.

You will study the history and foundations of the educational system and educational psychology in addition to teaching methods. You will also learn methods for including children with special needs and possibly students who are learning English in your classroom. Some representative class topics include the following:

  • Psychological foundations of education
  • Teaching students of varying abilities
  • Classroom assessment
  • Adolescent psychology
  • Educational technology
  • Teaching methods

ProgramsOnline certification offered in elementary, secondary and special education or English language learning
CourseworkTypical coursework may include foundations of education, assessment, psychology and teaching methods
In-Person Requirements A 9-12 week student-teaching experience and additional observation hours
CertificationCertification exams and background clearance may be completed as part of the program, though only the state awards certification
Online Experience Computer and common applications needed to communicate with instructor and classmates

What Part of the Program Will I Have to Complete in Person?

In addition to the student-teaching internship, which typically lasts between 9-12 weeks, you may be required in many of your education courses to complete specified hours of observation and participation in local classrooms with mentor teachers. These hours may be called a practicum or field work. The practicum and internship experiences provide the opportunity to see theory put into practice and to receive valuable feedback from experienced teachers.

Will I Have My Teaching Certification on Program Completion?

Teaching certification requirements vary by state. Earning a certificate or degree in your teaching specialty from a state-approved program is the primary requirement for licensure. Many of the additional requirements will be met through the course of your teacher training program, such as taking professional and subject knowledge exams and getting a background clearance.

Once you have completed your testing and the school's course and internship requirements, your school will in most cases issue you an institutional recommendation to take to the state board of education to apply for licensure. You may also need to demonstrate knowledge of the state and national constitutions by taking classes or passing exams.

How Do I Take Online Courses?

In most teacher education programs, you will be able to log in to access your course website and learning management system at your convenience. All you need to participate in online courses is a computer with sufficient memory, Internet access and standard productivity software, such as MS Word and Excel. You may find it necessary to scan documents and send PDF files at times as well. E-mail is the most common medium of communication between classmates and instructors online. However, there are other communication tools that many online courses employ, such as discussion boards, blogs and news groups.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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