What You Should Know About This Degree
Secondary education is a bachelor’s-level entry field, meaning an undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement for obtaining a state-issued teaching license or certificate and qualifying for teaching jobs.
To maintain their credentials, teachers must complete continuing education credits, many of which can be satisfied through graduate-level coursework. Additionally, teachers in Maryland, New York, and Connecticut are required to earn a master’s degree in order to remain licensed or certified.
There are two types of master’s programs in secondary education – those that are designed for students who do not have a background in education and need to obtain their teaching credentials, and those that cater to students who already are licensed or certified teachers. 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, review your state’s requirements for teaching licensure or certification. Each state sets its own regulations, so you want to make sure you select a program that meets your state’s requirements.
Education programs typically require student teaching as part of their curriculum. Individuals who are employed as teachers may be able to complete these requirements at their current job. If you are not presently working in a school, be prepared to spend at least one term in a school setting.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Secondary 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.
- Does this program offer the specialization that I want? Secondary education teachers typically focus on a specific subject such as math, science, English, or social studies. Confirm that the program you are considering will allow you to concentrate on your subject of choice through electives or a focused track.
At this point, you should start gathering your application materials, and confirming application submission deadlines, to ensure a smooth application process. This is also a good time to research your options for financing your master’s degree. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits. Other options include student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and grants.