How Do I Obtain a Teaching Credential Online?

Because student teaching is a required component of teacher training and certification, you cannot obtain a teaching credential exclusively online. However, there may be a large portion of the coursework in a teacher training program that can be completed though distance learning. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Obtain a Teaching Credential

You'll need to obtain your teaching credential in order to begin working as a public school teacher in any of the 50 states. Private school teachers don't need certification, though some employers prefer that they have it. The process and requirements for gaining certification vary by state, but generally involve attaining a bachelor's degree and graduating from a teacher-training program with a student teaching or teaching internship component.

Teaching programs are also offered at the master's degree and post-baccalaureate certificate levels. These programs are usually open to students who already have a teaching credential and wish to specialize in a particular subject or area. Some master's degree programs are designed for students who do not already have a teaching credential.

A growing number of schools will allow you to earn a bachelor's or master's degree online, and some programs will let you complete the classroom portions of a teacher-training program online. If a program does require in-person portions, such as student training, online programs may have partner schools or a process in place so you can complete the requirements locally.

Degree Programs Leading to Teaching Licensure

Many colleges combine the necessary coursework and training needed to obtain a teaching license into a degree program, such as a bachelor's or master's, with some schools offering degree programs online. You can choose from a number of undergraduate degree tracks, such as a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education or a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education.

You should expect to devote around four years toward the completion of a bachelor's degree. Programs combine online coursework with practical teaching experience in a working classroom. Some of the key concepts studied in undergraduate courses include:

  • Teaching practices in elementary school classrooms
  • Founding techniques and principles of teaching
  • Student assessment and evaluation
  • Foundation of liberal arts studies

If you're looking to earn a graduate degree along with obtaining your teaching license, there are a number of online degree programs leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching. Typical program length is less than two years. Along with online courses, you will need to arrange for some in-classroom experience at a local school. Often, you can concentrate studies and experience in a particular field of interest, such as English, science, mathematics or social studies. Some of the essential topics covered in the course curriculum include:

  • Professional development
  • Student diversity in the community and classroom
  • Personality differences and teaching
  • Reading development and instruction

Non-degree Programs Leading to Teaching Licensure

There are also schools that offer online teacher training programs for those who already have a bachelor's degree and want to earn their teaching credential. Programs combine coursework that can be completed online with hands-on student teaching experience in a real classroom. Some programs allow for specialization in a certain area, such as elementary school, middle school or special education. Programs usually require between 15-18 credit hours. Upon completion of a program, you are eligible to apply for teaching certification through your local state Board of Education. Course topics include:

  • Multicultural influence on curriculum
  • Principles of classroom management
  • Principles of literacy
  • Context of modern education

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:

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