Associate Degree in Secondary Education

An associate's degree in secondary education can get you started on a teaching career at the high school level, though you'll need to complete a bachelor's degree to become a licensed teacher. Read on to learn more about 2-year degree programs in this field, including curriculum info and online learning options. Schools offering Education Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Do with an Associate's Degree in Secondary Education?

An associate's degree in secondary education prepares you to teach secondary education students. While this degree may be the start of your required education, you cannot teach until you've earned at least a bachelor's degree. The secondary education associate's degree program is usually used to complete the first two years of a 4-year bachelor's degree program. Even if you're not sure what subject matter you want to teach, you can use the associate's degree program to complete your general education courses.

Some schools offer a 2+2 program, in which you complete the associate's degree program and transfer to 4-year university or college to earn your bachelor's degree in secondary education. Earning an associate's degree in secondary education may qualify you for a position as teacher's aide or tutor. As an associate's degree candidate, you are able to complete your student teaching in the second year of the program, rather than waiting until the fourth year of a bachelor's degree program. This is beneficial because it gives you the opportunity to see if teaching is what you really want to do for a career.

Program Options 2+2 programs for students transferring to secondary education bachelor's programs are available
Career Options Teacher's aide, tutor
Common Courses General education courses, including English, fine arts, mathematics, science, social science
Other Requirements Maintaining a grade of C or better may be required to stay enrolled
Online Availability Completely online programs are rarely available; programs require an in-person teaching internship

What Will My Courses Be Like?

In addition to secondary education classes, you complete general education courses, including mathematics, social science, humanities, fine arts, science and English. If you've chosen your teaching major, you can take some area-specific courses prior to graduation. For instance, if your career goal is to be a math teacher, you might take extra higher-level mathematics courses.

You may also choose to take courses that help to prepare you for the Praxis exam, which you need to pass if you pursue a bachelor's degree. During the second year of the program, you participate in a practicum that gives you experience in classroom-based teaching.

Are There Any Requirements?

Associate's degree programs typically last two years and don't have many prerequisites. Enrollment may be a competitive process based on your experience and transcripts from prior schooling. You need to complete a designated number of credits required to graduate. Many schools require you to maintain a grade of C or better to stay enrolled.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Although online secondary education associate's degree programs are available, they're rare. And those that exist still require an in-person teaching internship, which must be completed in the classroom. To participate in an online program, you need a computer with Internet access and a personal e-mail address. Your courses are delivered through various methods, including e-mail, videoconferencing or course-management systems.

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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