What You Should Know About This Degree
Most teaching jobs are available to students who hold a bachelor’s degree, provided students meet the criteria for a professional teaching license or certificate in their state. However, many students pursue a master’s degree in education in order to specialize in an area like gifted and talented education, maintain their credentials, and increase their salary.
Master’s in gifted and talented education programs are either designed for practicing teachers who already have their teaching credentials, or individuals who are fulfilling educational requirements in pursuit of their teaching credentials. Your educational and professional background will determine which kind of program you seek.
If you are pursuing a master’s as a way to enter the teaching profession, be sure to review your state’s requirements for teaching licensure or certification. Each state sets its own regulations, as they can dictate the type of degree you earn, where you earn it, and what kind of accreditation the program must have.
Even if all of the coursework for a master’s in gifted and talented education program is delivered online, you will likely have to fulfill practicum or student teaching requirements in-person. If you are currently working in a school, you may be able to use that setting for these requirements. Otherwise, you should be prepared to spend at least one term in a classroom setting.
You can ask the following questions when researching master’s in gifted and talented education programs:
- Is this program CAEP-accredited? Programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation are widely recognized as meeting the highest standards for teacher education. Some states may require students earn their degree from a CAEP-accredited program as a prerequisite for obtaining their teaching license or certificate. If this applies to you, be sure to choose a CAEP-accredited program.
- How are classes delivered? Online classes are usually delivered in one of two ways. Asynchronous classes do not have set meeting times. Instead, students can access their lessons and assignments at any time. Synchronous classes meet remotely at pre-scheduled times throughout the term. Determine which type of delivery format works best for you before selecting a program.
At this point, you can also gather your application materials and confirm application submission deadlines and procedures. You will also want to explore your options for financing your master’s degree. These resources can include student loans, institutional and outside scholarships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer, if available.