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Online learning programs give professionals in the educational system the amazing opportunity to work from a distance. Whether they want to use an associate’s degree to further their career in education, or utilize a doctorate’s degree to move beyond the teaching stage, being able to attend classes online leaves teachers with an incredible advantage as far as being employed as a long distance post-secondary educator. While teaching is a rewarding career, it can be a challenge to determine which programs are best suited for one’s skills and specializations. This guide is designed to help those in need of appropriate teaching placement assistance.

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The calling to educate others comes naturally to many people, and people like to learn. No matter one’s background or level of education, learning new ideas and concepts allows the mind to thrive, which gives people a feeling of validation. This is not only true for students. Those in the field of teaching enjoy the opportunity to continuously gain knowledge. The rise of technology, along with an evolving world of educational practices helps people to remain current in a developing world, and creates a growing need for academic administrators.

While concerns involving tuition rates, financial assistance, and accreditation play a role in determining where to attend a college or university, other determining factors often include the flexibility of one’s schedule, the ability to keep up with the demands of obtaining a degree. Schools of all kinds, including community colleges, universities, and private institutions, take into consideration the obligations that students might have that interfere with a campus styled form of learning. Therefore, more and more schools are incorporating distance learning into their academic curriculum.


Online educational programs provide a way of learning without the need to travel or relocate to a physical campus. With the use of webinars, e-mail, and other online interactive methods, students can access class assignments and stream lectures right from their home computer. Qualified professors work around the complexity of students’ unique schedules to deliver an education on a pace convenient for both parties. Attending classes online gives students and teachers lots of technological exposure, increasing their level of understanding for computers and technology. Mentors stand at the ready to assist students in need of further tutoring.
Becoming a teacher requires special certification. Some online education programs for those wanting to teach demand that the individual is experienced with the Internet and with on-campus teaching. An online program for those looking to go into teaching is ideal for those who want to continue work in studies while simultaneously looking after other work responsibilities.


Technology has certainly had its effect on teaching and learning, for students and educators both. There are several options available for those taking online courses to pursue their career as educators. There are certificate programs, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees. These training programs help prepare individuals to become educators and administrators. Distance learning brings the education to the students.
With such a vast field of options for those looking to pursue a career in educating, a sizeable amount of research needs to be done to recognize which post-secondary programs are appropriate for the individual student. Many of the programs do offer online classes for distance learning students. The following will provide information on the types of teaching degrees that can be obtained online, how these degrees can lead to a successful career in educating.


An associate’s level of a teaching or education degree takes up to about two years to complete. Sometimes, knowledge in early childhood teaching and elementary level teaching is a must. A CDA, or a Child Development Associate’s, is one credential that students may be able to apply for after completing the initial program. It is here where the online program will offer further work and education on infant learning, as well as toddler, pre-school, and kindergarten learning.
The curriculum for these programs is comprised of a general education and fundamental coursework combination, with focal points on instruction methods. Because the possession of a bachelor’s degree is the usual requirement for long-term employment, these programs are set up so that the student can easily transition to courses that would lead to a bachelor’s degree. The following table describes the different programs that are found in an associate’s level degree in education:

Intro to Early Childhood Education Early childhood development overview. Government regulations and standards, historical outlook and currently trending.
Creative Activities for Young Children Creative, developmentally appropriate practices that help foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, with an emphasis on activities that encourage independence, exploration, risk-taking and opportunities to think and act creatively, done in a child care environment.
Young Children with Special Needs A look at common differences in learning and disabilities within the classroom and how to address them. Early identification of special needs and its value, and the importance of intervening early, in accordance with relevant federal legislation.
Early Childhood Curriculum Planning Methods of teaching for educational settings that cater to younger children. Developmental domains, planning strategies, learning environment organization, facilitating teacher-child interactions, guiding children’s behavior, executing lessons, assessing, caregiver, appropriate play support, and addressing standards through integrated and emergent curriculum.


Bachelor’s degree programs typically take four years to complete. Students receive an introduction to the modern educational system and touch upon issues in public policy. The coursework for these future educators deals with methods of teaching, instruction on discipline and classroom management, and may sometimes include the study of statistical methods used in educational research. Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts and/or Bachelor of Science in general K-12 curriculum, specializing in subjects such as special education, mathematics, science, physical education, English, early childhood development, and more.
Most of the online programs for aspiring teachers require some fieldwork. The requirements vary from state to state, but all require licensure prior to beginning classroom instruction. The online degree program for future educators touches on subjects like instructional methods, education theory and practices, and delivers to the students the tools needed to successfully and properly operate the K-12 classroom environment. Subjects such as race and ethnicity may also be included in the learning, as to give teachers insight on educating persons from different cultural backgrounds.
The following table includes typical courses found in a bachelor’s degree program:

Classroom Management Classroom management techniques dealing with physical space and safety, time management, and behavioral norms.
Foundations of Education Introduction to historical foundations, professionalism, technology and its role, and trends and issues in education. Development of personal philosophy of education.
Child Development Explores a child’s physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development from birth to eighth grade. Defines various stages as they impact instructional practices and decisions in a preschool environment.
Models and Theories of Instruction   Covers underlying theoretical models of teaching and learning. Explorations of various lesson plans and assessment of effective teaching strategies that promote student learning.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Education Provides students with the opportunity to observe and apply legal and ethical issues within the context of an educational setting. Analysis and discussion on legal issues’ consequent impact on educators.
Assessment in Elementary Education Details the meaning of assessment. Explores how formative and summative assessments are used in the classroom. Analyses reliability and validity, standardized assessments, and assessment frameworks.
The Exceptional Child Overview of the exceptionality categories for elementary-age students with special needs. A look at identifying, assessing, and instructing a diverse population through the use of different methods and techniques. Historical perspectives and information related to special education law and current policies and practice.


Those in the teaching field who wish to further their own education can pursue a master’s degree in teaching online. A master’s degree in teaching enables the student to heighten their knowledge about teaching and helps them to gain even more specialized skills. These programs offer numerous specialization areas, like multiple-subject teaching or single-subject teaching. A more in-depth look into the practice of teaching and instructional technology are also topics students can investigate to promote within their own classroom an engaging environment.
While the completion of a master’s degree in teaching can be accomplished via the Internet, it should not be overlooked that most of the schools offering online degrees do require some fieldwork experience. This is so that the student can take what they have learned and actually apply it in real-life challenges within a classroom. This requirement is also sometimes a must in earning the credential toward becoming an educator.
Although the curriculum can vary considerably, listed below are some courses that can be found in the typical curriculum for a master’s degree in teaching.

Contemporary Issues in Education Outlooks on modern issues and trends in education theory and practice. School and national education perspective.
Educational Technology Examines how computers, web-based resources and multimedia are used to engage K-12 school students in problem-solving, creative inquiry and collaborative learning. Educational Research Skills needed to critically review, assess, and evaluate educational research using both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Educational Measurement and Assessment Explores theories and techniques of educational measurement and assessment for curriculum planning, development, delivery, feedback and improvement.
Developmental Psychology Overview of the cognitive development from the prenatal stage through adolescence. Theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues such as neurobiological plasticity, infant cognition, theory of mind, memory, language and executive functions are explored.
Cultural Psychology Culture and psychological processes effects on each other. Historical and modern treatments of cultural psychology. Deficit models, cross-cultural psychology, ecological niches, and the power of role and race.
Urban Education Social science and historical viewpoints trace the major developments and policy issues of urban education.
Social, Emotional and Personality Development Developmental processes that account for psychological adaptation in social relationships, schools, and other interpersonal settings.


A PhD in Education, or Doctorate of Education, (Ed.D, or D.Ed) is the highest achievable level of education as far as teaching degrees go. Students can choose any specialization within the field of education, such as policy, leadership, human development or research. A student must have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in order to enroll in a doctorate’s degree program. Students may also be asked to provide a dissertation prior to acceptance in a doctorate’s degree program. Completing the doctorate’s program typically takes about four years, however, this time frame can vary depending upon if the student is a part-time student or if they are a graduate research assistant.
Organizational leadership, qualitative research methods, and educational policy are some of the core classes that can be found in this type of degree. The curriculum is shaped more by the student’s preference of focus. A doctorate in a specific area of education is what is held by university professors, and is usually the main requirement in teaching at a post-secondary level. Those with their PhD in Education typically focus on publishing and scholarly research instead of, or in addition to, regular classroom instruction. Doctorate’s degrees are often held by school administrators, such as district superintendents. Other potential positions span nonprofit organizations and the federal government.


There are countless career options in the U.S. for future educators. Not only are there teaching positions for in the classroom, there are careers in the fields of administration, creation of a curriculum, educational research, and much more. Depending upon one’s experience, areas of specialization, location, qualifications, etc., career opportunities will vary. Below is a detailed list of potential career paths for those with a degree in education.

Coaches and scouts work together to recruit and train athletes, both amateur and professional. The training that the coaches provides covers all aspects of whatever game, from the rules, to conditioning, to professionalism. Coaches can also be mentors for athletes both on and off the field. Coaches for amateur teams, like at a high school level, may have to recruit a whole team on their own. At the college level and professional level, it is the scouts who usually take on this responsibility. A scout is a person who ventures out to seek potential professional talent in players, and sometimes uses incentives to execute a recruit of exceptional players.

Elementary Education Administrators
Administrators working in the elementary level of education ordinarily deal with individuals within grades K-5. They handle the everyday activities common for the students and staff. With strong skills in administration management, education, and technology, these individuals, with the help of school districts and other educators, work to create curriculum plans for educational programs. They evaluate different methods of teaching to ensure that quality education standards are always met. These professionals work together to promote academic achievement and success.

Elementary School Teachers
Elementary level educators usually instruct children in grades pre-K-5. They can work in public and/or private schools. While most of the work for a teacher at this level is to instruct within the classroom, other duties may include monitoring academic and extracurricular activities, teaching more than one subject, participating in field trips, and maintaining communication with students’ parents to periodically discuss behavior, academic business and planning.

Instructional Coordinators
Along with developing and implementing curriculum plans at the elementary and secondary levels, instructional coordinators also do this for institutions of higher education. Principals and teachers come together to evaluate the overall productivity and success of educational programs compared to local, state, and federal school board regulations. They analyze the performance of teachers, and help teachers strengthen their teaching skills by offering suggestions and providing them with extended training if necessary. The condition and material of textbooks and new technologies is also analyzed here.

Middle School Teachers
Grades 6, 7, and 8 are instructed by middle school teachers, either in a public or private school. These teachers develop lesson plans for their students, help them with assignments, administer homework and exams, and monitor their students’ academic progress and performance. Unlike elementary school teachers who teach multiple subjects to a class, middle school teachers commonly focus on teaching a specific subject to multiple classes. Like most teachers who teach at levels near here, middle school teachers meet periodically with the parents of the students to remain in communication over matters dealing with the progress of the student and to address any concerns throughout the student’s academic career.

Postsecondary Teachers
These individuals instruct learners who are attending four-year colleges and universities, vocational schools, professional schools, and community colleges. Post-secondary teachers working in universities and four-year colleges tend to dedicate more of their time to research and publication. Those teaching at community colleges and other smaller type schools tend to spend more time inside of the classroom and engaging with students. Those who fall into the category of graduate teaching assistants are typically holders of master’s or doctoral degrees. These professionals teach post-secondary courses while they work toward their graduate degrees. Many post-secondary teachers also delve into work dealing with academic committees or may serve on academic boards, attend conferences, or participate in institutional activities.

Secondary School Teachers
Grades 9-12 are taught by secondary school teachers in both public and private schools. Since this is the time where students are reaching the age of adulthood, it is not uncommon for these educators to begin preparing students for life-after-school. Like middle school instructors, secondary school teachers usually teach a specific subject to more than one class throughout a day’s work. They create lesson plans that promote skills involving job placement and/or college readiness. They grade assignments, help students reach their academic goals, and meet with parents periodically for progress reports.

Kindergarten/Elementary Special Education Teachers
Education for students who have special needs is taken care of by kindergarten and elementary special education instructors, who usually handle those in grades K-5. Like other teachers who teach near this grade selection, these instructors commonly teach multiple core subjects and create individualized, education plans, (IEPs) that accommodate the students’ different rates of learning. This process is begun by the teacher analyzing where a student should be placed, as far as academic ability and their emotional and physical condition. These instructors tend to work closely with social workers, counselors, and the parents to develop the most efficient strategy in ensuring the student’s academic and social success.

Teacher Assistants
Teacher assistants help educators by assisting with the preparation of coursework material and activities, and by helping to mentor students in need of further academic tutoring. These assistants can work in public schools, private schools, childcare centers, or in religious institutions. Requirements for entering this line of work differ from state to state, sometimes requiring a high school diploma, and other times requiring an associate’s level degree.

Training/Development Specialists
These professionals specialize in the creation of programs and training sessions designed to effectively teach and train new hires, as well as strengthen skills and improve the performance of existing workers. These specialists give presentations and organize seminars for business big and small, in nearly every area of the workforce, making them very important to staff development.