Online Master's degree in Education

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Sources

Sources:

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  • Liberty University Online Programs, Online Masters in Education (M.Ed.), on the Internet at https://www.liberty.edu/online/education/masters/med/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
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Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students. — Solomon Ortiz

Everyone has that one teacher that has made a positive difference to their lives. It is a well-known fact that molding young minds, inspiring a love of learning and giving individuals a chance to be the best they can be can be an immensely rewarding experience. It is this love of learning that teachers look to instill in others that makes many teachers want to strengthen their own expertise in the field.

The Changing Face of Education

Educational trends are changing -- with new technology being used in classrooms across the country. To quote from a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Education, "The conversation has shifted from whether technology should be used in learning to how it can improve learning to ensure that all students have access to high-quality educational experiences". Methods of instruction, too, are different from the yesteryears. In fact, according to the 2018 report "Schools of the Future: Content, Curriculum and the Physical Space", students are increasingly being allowed to direct the course of their own learning paths while teachers act as mentors and guides.

This means that teachers with a bachelor's degree need to stay up-to-date with the latest educational trends. Add to this the countrywide shortage of teachers and it can mean that an online master's in education can help teachers get the knowledge they need as well as help them find better career opportunities.

If you are wondering what you can do with a master's in education, the short answer is a lot! There are a number of different jobs in education that open up to holders of masters' degrees including those in education administration, special education, educational technology, instructional design and more. Job titles may include:

  • Corporate trainer
  • Curriculum developer
  • Educational consultant
  • Educational coordinator
  • School principal or administrator
  • Special education teacher

A master's in education can come with a nice jump in wages too. For example, high school teachers with a bachelor's degree earned annual median salaries of $60,320 in 2018 but high school principals (an occupation with a minimum requirement of a master's degree) earned an average of $95,310 in the same year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A full schedule of teaching, grading papers, guiding students' extra-curricular activities or tutoring students that need extra help can leave very little time in a teacher's life to attend classes in a brick-and-mortar setting. An online master's in education degree program can give working teachers the flexibility they need as students to advance their career goals. Additionally, most employers tend to view advanced online degrees favorably according to Washington's Top News. This shows that they acknowledge that you have received the same rigorous instruction as you would have in a brick and mortar school.

Online Master's Degree Program in Education

Prerequisites:

Bachelor's in education or a related field

Typical Duration:

Up to two years of full-time study

No. of online colleges offering this program:

186

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    See Methodology
    Ranking Seal

    You can rely on the featured master's degree programs listed below since our methodology uses factors that are likely to be important to you, as a prospective online student. Please take a look at our methodology for the entire list of 19 criteria this ranking is based on.

    In addition, we've scraped information from each college website giving you insights into the distinguishing factors that make up a degree program and quality factors that might help as you decide on a college to enroll in. If you need further assistance, be sure to use our Degree Finder tool.

    1
    Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA-
    Admission Rate
    30%
    Graduation Rate
    47%
    No. of Online Programs
    127
    Tuition Fees
    $15,734
    No. of programs offered:3
    Program Offered:

    Online Master of Education. The program may help students increase their understanding of teaching and learning theories and methodologies and to prepare for advanced licensure.

    Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Higher Education. The program may provide the training needed to mold students and professionals into effective leaders and administrators in higher education.

    Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction. This program may equip students with an understanding of classroom management methods that may improve the quality of the teaching experience. It aims to provide focused training for participants interested in either furthering their education or in careers as K-12 educators.
    Flexibility:
    • Fully online program
    • Eight-week courses with eight different start dates each year
    • Asynchronous
    Quality Factors:
    • Liberty University is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • The online M.Ed. in education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation system
    Credit Hours:
    • The online M.Ed. degree program and the M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction each typically involve a total of 36 credit hours and may be completed over 1.5 years
    • The M.Ed. in higher education requires 30 credit hours and may be completed in 1 year
    • The University may accept up to 50% of the degree total as transfer credits earned from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade
    Differentiators:
    • Online Masters in Education (M.Ed.)
    • Students seeking licensure may be required to complete an internship or student teaching assignment where they may learn valuable tools and skills for implementation in the classroom
    • Students may choose from the following three specializations: administration and supervision, math specialist endorsement and reading specialist endorsement
    • Online Master of Education in Higher Education
    • Featured courses include an introduction to higher education, social and political aspects, economics and finance as well as a capstone course in current issues in higher education
    • Students may choose from the following two specializations: educational leadership or instructional design and technology
    • Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Students may choose from a variety of specializations: early childhood education, education technology and online instruction, elementary education, English, general education, gifted education, history, leadership, middle grades endorsement, special education and student services
    • Students may have access to a wide variety of resources and materials through the Liberty University Jerry Falwell Library search portal
    • Students may avail of online writing guidance through peer tutoring, presentations, and web resources from the online writing center
    • Online supplemental instruction from peer tutors and 24/7 tutoring from the online tutoring source may be available
    Type of Institute:

    Private, not-for-profit

    Scholarships Offered:

    A variety of Liberty University online scholarships may be available for online students who qualify. Examples are the Heroes Fund Scholarship and the Virginia Army National Guard Scholarship.

    2
    Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Natchitoches, LA-
    Admission Rate
    80%
    Graduation Rate
    39%
    No. of Online Programs
    55
    Tuition Fees
    $5,180
    No. of programs offered:5
    Program Offered:
    Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction. The program aims to provide certified teachers with advanced knowledge of research, pedagogy and content

    Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Education. It is an advanced program that strengthens the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of certified teachers to help them work with young children, their families, and their communities

    Online Master of Education (M.Ed) in Educational Technology Leadership. With a focus on current issues, leadership, and learning technologies, the program may enable students to create collaborative learning environments

    Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership. This program can help students in developing knowledge and skills necessary to successful educational leadership in diverse settings.

    Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education. This online program aims to provide certified teachers with the knowledge of the development and application of special education curricula and instructional methods to help students achieve academic success

    Flexibility:
    • Classes are conducted online
    • Some courses may require occasional attendance on campus
    Quality Factors:
    • Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a SARA-approved institution
    • The University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • These programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
    Credit Hours:
    • Typically involves 36 hours of graduate work
    • A maximum of 9 hours may be transferred from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of B or better
    Differentiators:
    • These programs require that participants have a valid teaching license
    • Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Students may choose from the following concentration areas: English education, reading, professional teaching standards, school librarian and transition to teaching
    • Online Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
    • The program consists of education courses and a practicum experience that aligns with the standard laid down by the National Association for the Education of Young Children
    • Online Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership
    • This program offers two concentrations -- K-12 teaching and learning, and workforce development
    • The degree may also lead to add-on certifications in Louisiana for computer literacy, educational technology leader, educational technology facilitator, and online instructor.
    • Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership
    • Students who complete the program and pass the School Leader Licensure Assessment (SLLA) may qualify for a Louisiana Level One Administration License
    • Online Master of Education in Special Education
    • Some courses may require participants to obtain field experiences in a variety of setting outside the classroom and school of the individual
    • Participants may choose from four concentrations -- gifted education, early intervention, elementary (grades 1-5) mild/moderate special education, and middle school (grades 4-8) and secondary (grades 6-12) mild/moderate special education
    • Students may have access to scholarly materials from the Watson Memorial Library at Natchitoches and can email any reference questions they may have to the librarian
    • Online one-on-one or group academic tutoring may also be available from the academic success center
    Type of Institute:

    Public

    Scholarships Offered:

    The university may offer eligible students certain academic/leadership scholarships and performance scholarships. Please visit the website for more information.

    3
    University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY-
    Admission Rate
    74%
    Graduation Rate
    41%
    No. of Online Programs
    51
    Tuition Fees
    $22,640
    No. of programs offered:1
    Program Offered:
    Online Master of Arts (MA) In Education. The program engages experienced education professionals seeking to advance their careers. The various concentrations offered in the program are designed to help candidates enhance their teaching skills and continue striving for professional achievement, responsible service and leadership in teaching.

    Flexibility:
    • Fully online program
    • May be completed in an average time of 18 months
    Quality Factors:
    • University of the Cumberlands is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • The School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
    Credit Hours:
    • Typically requires 30 to 45 credit hours
    • A maximum of 9 hours of credit may be transferred from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C or better
    Differentiators:
    • Some courses may require candidates to obtain field experience
    • The program may provide additional certification in the following concentrations -- literacy specialist, school counseling, and teacher leader
    • Online students may access various scholarly materials such as databases and periodicals from the digital library. Students may also avail of research assistance from librarians, interlibrary loans and order articles for delivery from the lending library.
    • Students may be assigned a student success coordinator and an academic advisor once they are admitted to the program
    Type of Institute:

    Private, not-for-profit

    Scholarships Offered:
    • Students may be eligible to apply for federal funding programs listed on the University website
    4
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC-
    Admission Rate
    79%
    Graduation Rate
    62%
    No. of Online Programs
    55
    Tuition Fees
    $4,452
    No. of programs offered:12
    Program Offered:
    Flexibility:
    • Fully online programs
    • Some may require practical teaching experiences
    Quality Factors:
    • East Carolina University is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • The graduate teacher education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Public Schools of North Carolina, Department of Public Instruction
    Credit Hours:
    • Typically requires 30 to 45 credit hours
    • A maximum of 9 hours of credit may be transferred from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C or better
    • Typically involve 36­-39 semester hours, depending on teaching area
    • A maximum of one third of credit hours may be accepted as transfer credits from previously attended regionally accredited institutions
    Differentiators:
    • These programs require the completion of a final product. Depending on the teaching area selected, students may be required to complete a comprehensive examination (written or oral), thesis, research project, portfolio or other such product.
    • Students pursuing kindergarten education may choose to specialize in one of six areas including assistive technology, autism and autism spectrum disorder, community college instruction, deaf-blindness, teaching English as a second language, or an individualized strand
    • Students pursuing curriculum and instruction program may choose from concentrations in English education and history or social studies education
    • Students pursuing mathematics education program may be required to complete either a capstone project or a school-based experience
    • Students pursuing special education program may choose from four concentrations -- behavioral/emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities and low incidence disabilities
    • Students may have access to a variety of electronic resources such as e-books, e-journals, databases
    • They may also avail of writing guidance from the online writing lab and tutoring, mentoring and academic skill building from the Pirate Academic Success Center
    Type of Institute:

    Private, not-for-profit

    Scholarships Offered:

    A variety of scholarships may be available to eligible online students. Examples are The Becky Keith Ledford Scholarship, The Benjamin Scott Denton Graduate Fellowship in Special Education and The Burney & Judy Warren Scholarship. For details, please visit the school website.

    5
    University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL-
    Admission Rate
    28%
    Graduation Rate
    33%
    No. of Online Programs
    28
    Tuition Fees
    $7,614
    No. of programs offered:12
    Program Offered:
    Flexibility:
    • Fully online programs
    • Courses are generally offered in 8-week formats in six terms per year
    • Typically takes 1-2 years to complete
    Quality Factors:
    • University of West Alabama is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    Credit Hours:
    • Typically involves around 30-34 credit hours
    • Up to 9 hours as transfer credits may be accepted from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C or better
    Differentiators:
    • Except for the M.Ed programs in early childhood development, learning, design and technology and student affairs in higher education, the other online M.Ed programs include certification
    • Some programs may include a practicum experience or internship
    • Students pursuing instructional leadership program may also be required to participate in seminars
    • Students pursuing learning, design and technology program may choose from a variety of electives such as learning systems design, instructional technology tools, course design and development in online education, and assistive technology and the law
    • Students may be assigned advisors to help them achieve their academic goals
    Type of Institute:

    Public

    Scholarships Offered:

    Students who qualify may apply for the Teacher Connect Scholarship. Please visit the school website for more information.

    6
    Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA+
    Admission Rate
    61%
    Graduation Rate
    42%
    No. of Online Programs
    44
    Tuition Fees
    $4,341
    No. of programs offered:8
    Program Offered:
    Flexibility:
    • Most programs are fully online although some concentrations and endorsements may be offered in hybrid formats
    • Synchronous and/or asynchronous sessions
    • Courses offered in 16-week and 6-week formats
    Quality Factors:
    • Kennesaw State University is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • The M.Ed degrees in Educational Leadership, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, Special Education, are fully accredited by the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education
    • The M.Ed. in TESOL is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
    Credit Hours:
    • Typically involves a total of 36 hours
    • Transfer credits may be earned from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C or better
    Differentiators:
    • Some courses may require field experiences where the candidates can get to hone their practical skills
    • Students may be required to complete a capstone experience and portfolio or some other final product
    • Online Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
    • Students may have three electives in which they can choose to complete an endorsement or certificate program. The choices in endorsements are in elementary reading, online teaching, teacher leadership, the gifted in-field endorsement, and the English of speakers of other languages (P-12) endorsement. Certifications that may be available are the GaPSC-approved tier I leadership certification and graduate certificate in special education
    • Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership
    • Two concentrations may be offered online -- leadership in urban schools, and leading independent and charter schools
    • Online Master of Education in Instructional Technology
    • The program may include courses in subjects such as designing and developing online learning, data analysis and school improvement, and instructional technology leadership
    • Online Master of Education in Middle Grades Education
    • The program may offer three concentrations in a fully online format -- language arts, mathematics and social studies, along with additional embedded endorsements. A science concentration is a hybrid program as some courses may be completed on campus. Some endorsements too may be offered in a hybrid format.
    • Online Master of Education in Secondary Education
    • The program may offer three concentrations in a fully online format -- English, history and mathematics. A science concentration may be offered as a hybrid program as some courses may be completed on campus.
    • Online Master of Education in Special Education - General Curriculum
    • Candidates may choose from several electives such as autism spectrum disorder, coaching, preschool special education, reading, and English to speakers of other languages
    • Online Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    • Participants who major in TESOL receive the ESOL Endorsement after the first 2 semesters in the program
    • Online Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
    • The program focuses on peer coaching, adult learning strategies, family and school collaboration and research, therefore preparing participants for roles as instructional leaders
    • The program may require a residency project and research component
    • Candidates may be required to appear for the Teacher Leadership Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) exam before completing the program
    • Graduates who successfully complete the program may earn the initial certification in Teacher Leadership offered through the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (Ga-PSC)
    Type of Institute:

    Public

    Scholarships Offered:
    • President's Emerging Global Scholars Program
    • Dasher-Spruell Scholarship
    • Great Books Cohort

    Visit the school website for more information. Please note that the scholarships are awarded to only those who qualify.

    7
    Concordia University-Saint Paul, Saint Paul, MN+
    Admission Rate
    55%
    Graduation Rate
    55%
    No. of Online Programs
    53
    Tuition Fees
    $21,750
    Program Offered:
    Online Master's of Arts in Education - Early Childhood. This program blends aspects of educational administration with topics that focus on the needs of young children
    Flexibility:
    • Fully online program
    Quality Factors:
    • Concordia University - Saint Paul is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
    Credit Hours:
    • 30 credit hours
    • The college may accept transfer credits earned from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C or better
    Differentiators:
    • Includes an elective practicum experience
    • Online resources from the library can be accessed 24 hours a day and seven days a week
    • Student support services such as academic advising and tutoring are available
    Type of Institute:

    Private, not-for-profit

    Scholarships Offered:
    • CSP Academic Scholarship
    • CSP Talent Scholarship
    • CSP Scholarships for Transfer Students
    • CSP Scholarships in Partnership

    To know more, please visit the school website. Scholarships are awarded to eligible students only.

    8
    Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, OK+
    Admission Rate
    92%
    Graduation Rate
    31%
    No. of Online Programs
    17
    Tuition Fees
    $5,610
    Program Offered:
    Flexibility:
    • Fully online program
    Quality Factors:
    • Southwestern Oklahoma State University is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
    Credit Hours:
    • A total of 32 credits
    • Up to 9 applicable semester hours may be transferred from previously attended institutions
    Differentiators:
    • Students may be required to complete a capstone senior project involving research
    • Access to online scholarly materials as well as research and reference guidance
    • Academic advising and program specific online career development resources are available
    Type of Institute:

    Public

    Scholarships Offered:

    A few of the scholarships the university offers to those who qualify are:

    • Academic Scholarships
    • Athletic Scholarships
    • Talent-based Scholarships
    • Southwestern Oklahoma State Regents Scholarships

    Please visit the website for more information.

    9
    University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL+
    Admission Rate
    82%
    Graduation Rate
    40%
    No. of Online Programs
    13
    Tuition Fees
    $7,512
    Program Offered:
    Online Master's of Education in Elementary Education. The program aims to provide advanced study for teachers who already hold the Class B professional elementary education (K-6) certificate.
    Flexibility:
    • Fully online program
    Quality Factors:
    • University of South Alabama is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    Credit Hours:
    • A total of 30 credits
    • Up to 9 semester hours may be transferred from previously attended institutions
    Differentiators:
    • Electives on offer include trends and practices in teaching art in the elementary school, organizational patterns and curriculums in ECE, language development in ECE, children's literature for the gifted and literature for children and adolescents
    • Access to online scholarly materials as well as research and reference guidance
    Type of Institute:

    Public

    Scholarships Offered:

    A few of the scholarships the university offers to those who qualify are:

    • Freshman Scholarships
    • Transfer Scholarships
    • Departmental Scholarships

    Please visit the website for more information.

    10
    Ball State University, Muncie, IN+
    Admission Rate
    62%
    Graduation Rate
    62%
    No. of Online Programs
    66
    Tuition Fees
    $9,112
    No. of programs offered:5
    Program Offered:
    Online Master's degree in Business Education. This program is designed especially for business and marketing educators at the middle school, high school, and postsecondary levels who are seeking an advanced credential or further professional opportunities.

    Online Master's degree in Career and Technical Education. It's flexible curriculum is offered year round and is designed to help the students achieve their degree and professional goals as quickly as possible.

    Online Master's degree in Elementary Education. The program may help students in gaining knowledge in content areas, educational research and theories, and strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners

    Online Master's degree in Mathematics Education. The program can make graduates more competitive in the job market than those holding just a general bachelor's in teaching

    Online Master's degree in Secondary Education. As current or prospective middle or high school teachers enrolled in this program, they can gain expertise in teaching, curriculum development, and administration

    Flexibility:
    • Fully online program
    Quality Factors:
    • Ball State University is a SARA-approved institution
    • It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
    Credit Hours:
    • A total of 30 credits
    • Up to 9 semester hours may be transferred from previously attended institutions
    Differentiators:
    • Online Master's degree in Business Education
    • The program provide specialized tracks and does not require thesis
    • Online Master's degree in Career and Technical Education
    • The degree can be pursued along with the Director of Career and Technical Education licensure pattern, for those who are interested in becoming a career center director
    • Online Master's degree in Elementary Education
    • Focus areas include early childhood education, reading and literacy instruction, and specialties in related areas
    • Online Master's degree in Mathematics Education
    • Concentrations are for elementary and middle school teachers, for secondary school teachers, and for elementary and middle school specialists
    • Online Master's degree in Secondary Education
    • Concentrations on offer are education core, secondary teaching license, teaching of a content or special area, dual credit teaching credential
    • Access to online scholarly materials as well as research and reference guidance
    Type of Institute:

    Public

    Scholarships Offered:

    The university offers the following scholarships to eligible students:

    • Ball State Scholars Award
    • Distinction Scholarship

    Please visit the school website for more details.

      The specialization you choose can play an important part in the route your career takes in the future. For example, individuals who want to teach may want to choose a specialization in teaching or individuals who want to work in other aspects of education might be suited to other concentrations in education. Some specializations you may be able to choose along with typical coursework from during your online master's degree in education include:

      • Adult education and training: characteristics of adult learners; facilitating and assessing adult learning
      • Career and technical education: frameworks for teaching career and technical education; literacy in career and technical education
      • Curriculum and instruction for educators: curriculum theory and development; principles of curriculum improvement
      • Educational leadership: human resource planning and evaluation; dynamic educational leadership
      • Elementary education: managing the elementary learning environment; development of the elementary student
      • Instructional design and technology: instructional media and learning environments; designing for computer mediated learning
      • Secondary education: the diverse secondary classroom; data applications for secondary educators

      The curriculum of online master's in education can vary depending on your chosen specialization. However, core coursework in master's in education program may include topics like principles of learning and research methods in education. You may also learn how to assess the performance of other teachers to help develop your leadership skills. You can learn more about different online education degrees and what they entail here.

      How To Choose An Online Master's Degree Program In Education?

      Apart from criteria like convenience to your schedule, tuition and scholarships, it can be important to look at the accreditation of online masters programs in education. Accreditation can demonstrate the meets the strict academic standards employers are looking for. Additionally, attending an accredited school may help you transfer your credits from one program to another should you need to do so. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is the main accrediting body for online masters' in education degree programs.

      What Can I Do With An Online Master's Degree In Education?

      Education Teachers, Postsecondary
      Average Salary
      $73,680
      Projected Job Openings
      6,600
      Projected Job Growth
      10%
      Postsecondary education teachers’ primary duties are to teach, conduct research or experiments, publish original research, apply for grants to fund their research, or supervise graduate teaching assistants. However, their roles may vary with their positions in a university or college. If you truly enjoy sharing your expertise with others, then pursuing a career in this field may be right for you! Typically postsecondary teachers must have a doctoral degree. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. According to the BLS, employment for postsecondary education teachers is projected to grow 15 percent by 2026. New York has the highest employment level for this occupation (employment: 5,590; annual mean wage: $88,580), followed by Texas (employment: 4,620; annual mean wage: $65,520), and Illinois (employment: 4,510; annual mean wage: $62,280).
      Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
      Average Salary
      $72,190
      Projected Job Openings
      1,800
      Projected Job Growth
      10%
      Recreation and fitness studies teachers are typically in charge of taking classes pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. To pursue a rewarding career in this field, you typically need to earn a doctoral degree, although a master’s degree may be sufficient for a job in community colleges. The number of jobs for recreation and fitness studies teachers, according to the BLS, is projected to grow 15 percent by 2026. The three states with the highest employment level in this field include California (employment: 2,030; annual mean wage: $114,220), Texas (employment: 1,640; annual mean wage: $78,150).
      Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

      School principals form a link between the teaching staff and the administration. Contrary to what many school students think, principals aren't just around to be disciplinarians. They are in charge of the learning environment in a school -- from approving curricula to ensuring the school has the budget to provide an effective learning environment. According to O*Net, principals of schools across the country typically hold educational credentials beyond an undergraduate degree with 44 percent of principals having a post-master's certificate and 37 percent with a master's degree.

      Step 1: Needed prerequisites:

      School principals need to be organized in order to juggle a number of different tasks so as to run successful schools. They need to have leadership skills, be able to make decisions as well as have the ability to communicate effectively with staff, students of different ages, parents as well as members of the school board. O*Net lists integrity and dependability as the two top characteristics all principals should have.

      Step 2: Education / work experience required:

      According to the BLS, the basic education required to become an elementary, middle, high school principal is a master's in education degree with a specialization in education leadership or education administration. School principals also usually have to have several years of teaching experience. Some principals may start off their administrative careers as assistant principals and work their way up the career ladder.

      Certifications

      Some states may require school administrators to be licensed as well as certified in their field. The process to obtain a certification in each state is different. States may require educational administrators to take specialized courses and pass an examination to obtain their certification. They may also require a background check. It can be best practice to check with your state board of education to see specific requirements.

      Apart from state required certifications, school administrators may choose to specialize in a certain aspect of school administration, such as accounting and finance for example, and obtain professional certifications from private certifying bodies like the Association of School Business Officials International which offers the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO) certification.

      Other occupations within the field of education may require you to hold certifications as well. For example, if you are planning to continue teaching, you may keep your teaching certification current (or renew it as required) in addition to your master's degree. You can learn more about the certifications teachers need on our online teaching degree programs page.

      Licensure

      Most educators in the public school system (private schools usually do not necessitate any) require a license from the state board of education. The requirements for licensure can depend on your job role and the state you work in. Your state's educational board may ask you to pass an examination, undergo a background check, possess minimum educational credentials, have a certain amount of work experience and take specialized classes in order to be eligible. You may also have to renew your license periodically by taking an exam or continuing education classes. Visit your state board of education for specific details.

      There are plenty of financial aid program, scholarships and grants that may be offered to students who qualify or meet the criteria of the aid program. Programs like Transition to Teaching, Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge can all help you reach your career goals with lower costs in short durations of time. Some scholarships to help you get started on your search include:

      Career Advancement After Earning A Master's Degree In Education

      Educational administrators or principals may move up the career ladder to become superintendents while others may become instructional coordinators and work at the school district level. Doctoral degrees in education may open up avenues in educational research, become a teacher educator or even work in the corporate field as an educator. They may also become deans of educational institutions. You may also be invited to sit on the board of an educational institution or be a part of educational policy making bodies at district, state or national levels.

      Sources
        Methodology:

        To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in business administration by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

        1. Offer a bachelor's degree in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
        2. Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
        3. Have awarded at least one bachelor's degree in that subject in 2016-17
        4. Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for bachelor's and 11 ranking variables for master's (listed below)

        We then ranked 115 colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

        1. Bachelor's Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
        2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
        3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
        4. Retention rate
        5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
        6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
        7. Student-to-faculty ratio
        8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
        9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
        10. The availability of any tuition plans: Payment
        11. The availability of any tuition plans: Guaranteed
        12. The availability of any tuition plans: Prepaid
        13. The availability of any tuition plans: Other
        14. Services: Academic/Career
        15. Placement for Completers
        16. Credit offerings: Dual
        17. Credit offerings: Life
        18. Credit offerings: AP
        19. Credit offerings: Military
        Sources: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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