An accelerated online teaching degree could put you on the road to changing the lives of students just like yourself.
Do you remember your favorite teacher?
You rarely forget the teachers who impacted your life.
Teaching is a beautiful thing. Not only do you teach students but you can also inspire and challenge them. You could be the one that is thanked in a Nobel Prize winner’s speech!
As long as there are is a next generation there will be a need for teachers.
The National Center for Education Information (NCEI) estimates there will be a need for 4 million teachers in the next year. That’s a lot of jobs!
Do you get a few butterflies at the thought of teaching your own classroom? Of shaping the next generation?
There are only a few minor details holding you back from pursuing your lifelong dream of teaching.
- You need to work
- You don’t have the money for a 4 year degree
- You don’t have the time either!
You can conquer those details. The next generation needs good teachers! But it doesn’t have to take 4 years of grueling classes and $213, 000. Students need you now.
You could be teaching your own class in less than 2 years and for $31,000.
Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs Overview
You’re still reading?
You really do want to be a teacher! A teacher’s education has 2 parts.
- A Bachelor’s degree typically in Education but can also be in Science or Math, or even a non-education related field.
- Teacher’s certification or license which means taking a teacher education program that involves a student teacher internship.
Before you are handed a classroom full of students, you will prepare with classes like:
- Psychology for Educators
- Classroom Management, Engagement and Motivation
- Introduction to Instructional Planning and Presentation
- Children’s Literature
- Language Arts Instruction and Intervention
- Elementary Disciplinary Literacy
- Educational Philosophy for Teachers
- Learning Theory
- Wellness in the Early Childhood Setting
- Psychology of Childhood
Does that list of classes give you more respect for your kindergarten teacher? Teaching might appear to be easy and intuitive but it requires a lot of knowledge and practice to make it look so easy and simple.
Your teaching degree can give you that knowledge and practice you will need to be an inspiring teacher.
Careers with an Accelerated Teaching Degree
Teaching covers all the ages. You can choose to be a preschool teacher all the way up to a post-secondary teacher.
Pre-school teachers can often start working with an associate’s degree, but all other grades from kindergarten to grade 12 will require a bachelor’s degree. If you have dreams of teaching university you will be looking at master’s or doctorate level training in education.
Although most teaching jobs will pay more than the average occupation, this is not a career field that you go into for the money. Teaching is something you do to make a difference.
A teacher’s job will consist of:
- Class preparation
- Lesson planning
- Instructional time
- Extracurricular activities
- Parent-teacher meetings
- Professional development
Depending on your school year, teachers are working hard from September until the end of June. But don’t forget that teacher’s get summer break too! A just reward for your tireless work all year.
Salaries for teachers will vary depending on the grade level that you teach at.
|Elementary School Teacher||$54,890|
|Secondary School Teacher||$57,200|
|Middle School Teacher||$55,860|
|Career/Technical Education Teacher||$56,130|
|Special Education Teachers||$55,810|
|Adult Literacy Teacher||$30,760|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The job market for teachers is expected to see a job opening for almost 2 million new teachers in the next 7 years. Not because of new job creation but because of the current teachers retiring. There may be many openings waiting to be filled when you graduate.
Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
When you started school it was drilled into your head – school started in September. That’s the back to school month! As a teacher, you will have to go back to school in September BUT as a student, you can start when you like.
Yes. You can start in September like everybody else, but if you missed that boat you don’t have to wait a whole year to try again.
Most universities will offer staggered start dates.
Maybe September is the best time for you to start because your own kids will be in school. Or maybe September is crazy enough already. Go ahead and put it off a month or two and start once everybody is settled in.
You can be the one who decides when you start your classes.
Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
Teachers tend to be creative and flexible. That is a good trait when it comes to your accelerated online teaching degree. You aren’t stuck in semester-long classes.
You can opt-in to 2 different types of online classes
- Accelerated online classes
- Self-paced classes
Accelerated online classes are like quarters in a football game. The clock is set for 15 minutes when the timer runs out the game is done. Accelerated classes are like playing a game of football twice as fast. You still have a start date, deadlines for your assignments and a last day of classes. You also get to do a victory dance when you are done.
Self-paced classes are more like a track event. There is no timer saying when the round is done. You run as fast as you can until you complete your event. Self-paced classes allow you to set the pace and take consecutive classes in a shorter time frame. You could set a personal record for the most classes completed in one session.
Option 1: Accelerated Online Teaching Classes
When you are a teacher, you will be spending a lot of time in classrooms. Save some classroom time now by taking an accelerated online class.
A typical Intro to Education class will take you 16 weeks. Long class discussions and commuting hours. As much as you love the city bus, you don’t need to be on it for 2 hours a day.
Try an accelerated online class which is completed in 6-8 weeks. You cover all the same coursework. Still, get to participate in great classroom discussions. Hand in assignments that are graded by a professor and prepare you for teaching. On your transcript, your A+ will still look the same.
But you did all that in half the time. Like a football game at double speed. You can even go for a field goal and complete 2 online classes in the time it takes everybody else to do 1 class. Twice as fast. Just as good.
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Teaching Classes
When you function better as an independent player, self-paced classes are your game. Nobody holds you back. Like a sprinter on the track, you can go as fast as the wind carries you! No whistles are blown. The game doesn’t stop!
From start to finish only you decide how much you will do. It’s a pretty good deal for self-motivated learners.
Capella University offers a 12 week semester. During that 12 weeks you pay only $2300. Which is already a good deal on tuition.
But the better deal comes when you knock off as many online classes as you can. You are allowed, unlimited classes.
If you are a super keen learner, you could finish 8 classes in 12 weeks for only $2300. That saves you up to $6000 and another 16 weeks of sitting in class.
This plan is ideal for knocking off all the electives that are required but not really that interesting.
Types of Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs
Education degrees prepare you for educating. It seems pretty obvious, right?
But take a second to think of all the different ages and types of classes that teachers work with.
Do you love the thought of working with young children? Being the one who teaches a 3 year old his colors. Or helps a 7 year old read her first book. You are probably thinking of being an elementary school teacher.
If you love working with students that can participate in higher discussions or really want to pass on your love for English literature, you are probably aiming for high school/adult education.
But it is all under the umbrella of a teaching degree.
Here are the different types of accelerated teaching degree programs you can look into:
- Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
- Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)
- Bachelor’s in Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
- Bachelor’s in Science (5-12 Biological Science)
- Bachelor’s in Science (5-12 Chemistry)
- Bachelor’s in Science (5-12 Geosciences)
- Bachelor’s in Science (5-12 Physics)
- Bachelor’s in Science (5-9)
- Bachelor’s in Special Education
Even within every different teaching degree, you can specialize in your favorite topic. Science. Math. Literature. Physical Education. Music.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Teaching Degree Even More
Are you excited about getting into a classroom and being the teacher, not the student? There is no reason to doddle along, taking 4 years to complete your classroom work.
Take these 3 clever tips and save yourself years and thousands. Then get yourself into a classroom and teach those kids!
1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
One day you are going to be teaching classes and grading exams. You will have a student who already knows the material you are covering and they will be bored to death in your class. And probably quite frustrated.
Don’t be that student.
If you already know the material for a class you can just take the exam. No jokes.
Take the exam. Get credit. Move on with your degree.
At the College Level Examination Program, you can sign up to take 30 credits via credit by exam. You can take
– American Literature
– History of the United States
If you know the material already. Choose the exam. You can pass by just 50% and celebrate your credit.
2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
Have you been dreaming of teaching for a while? Maybe you worked in a preschool? Or volunteered as a classroom assistant? Took a course on the psychology of childhood? Or worked as an Educational Aide?
You can take that life and work experience and through your university receive credit. It’s a great opportunity!
Most universities will have a program geared towards assigning you credit for experience from:
- Early Childhood Education
- Disney College Program
- Teaching English as a Second Language
- Youth Ministry
You just got to ask your college advisor how it works. Complete the course as required and earn up to 15 credits for the learning you already have done in life.
3. Stay continuously enrolled with max course load
Okay Future Teacher, you will one day give many inspiring pep talks about working hard. You can use this as your story of how you completed your teaching degree through blood, sweat and extremely hard work.
Most high school graduates who are pursuing a degree in teaching will take 30 credits each year. This will take them 4 years to complete their degree and leave plenty of time for socializing, partying and spring breaks.
Or if you aren’t going to college to socialize, party and take breaks you can use up all that extra time to finish your degree faster.
Check with your university. You can take up to 18 credits each semester. And you don’t need to stop for the summer.
18 credits in the fall, 18 credits in the winter AND 18 credits in the summer semester. That will give you 54 credits in 12 months. Almost double the typical rate.
Then when your high school students question how smart you are, you can let them know that you got your degree twice as fast as the average person. Because you are smart and hardworking!
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
A teaching degree is ideal for transferring existing college credit. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-teaching field, you can then take a teacher certification program and apply to be a teacher.
If you don’t already have a degree, any existing credit you have is still valuable if it is:
- Earned from an accredited college
- Completed with at least a C in the class
- Applies to your teaching degree
Even if the credit is not applicable for your teaching degree. Still, transfer it! You can apply any credit to your electives. If you already have credit it will save you time and money!
Lower Tuition Costs
Remember how we said a career in teaching is not about earning gobs of money? Although you can be paid well, you will most likely not see six-figure incomes fresh out of college.
You don’t need to be graduating with a six-figure student loan either! That would take you decades to pay off.
If you are an out of state student at Michigan State University you are thinking about $1313 per credit hour. Your degree is 120 credit hours. Costing you $157,560.
As a resident of Michigan, you can attend Michigan State University at $482 per credit hour. That’s $57, 840, saving you quite a bit of money.
Smart students make smart teachers. Be smart! Use what you just learned to save yourself $1000s. You can take advantage of credit by exam and credit for life experience to save a lot of money.
Cost Of Teaching Degree
|Ways To Earn Credit||Number Of Credits||Total Cost|
|Attend Michigan State University||120||Non-Michigan Resident $157,560|
|Attend University of Georgia||120||Resident – $56,760|
|Attend Liberty University||120||$46,800|
|College Level Examination Program
Credit for Prior Learning
Remaining classes at Western Governors University
You could use this as a math lesson for your fifth grade class! Your students would be able to tell you which option will save you the most money.
Teaching Degree Accreditation
A degree does not allow you to teach. Your online teaching degree is the first building block you need. Your teacher certification program will include a student teaching experience. Student teaching is typically a full 15 weeks of being in a classroom every school day of the semester. You will know if you have what it takes to be a teacher after that!
Then you wrap up your classes in the certification program and are now eligible to apply to get a teacher’s license.
Yes, you need a license. Working with children is an important job!
In order to apply for a license, you will need to graduate from an accredited university. Check that your school is:
- NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education)
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- Approved by your state’s Department of Education
A teaching license is absolutely mandatory to have. Don’t forget that in your degree plan!
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai
An online accelerated teaching degree can prepare you to inspire and to build up the next generation. You can be the teacher that your students remember with smiles. The one person who believed in them. You can change the world through teaching.
What are you waiting for?
Be the inspiration your students need. You can have a story to tell of how hard you worked. How you were creative and used innovative ways to earn credit and save money.
Or you can wait? You can say not now.
In 4 years will you look back and regret you hadn’t started now? In 4 years you could have already been teaching for a year. Paid off your student loan. Making a difference every day just by showing up to work.
Is that the life you want?
Are you thinking about becoming a teacher? Earning a bachelor’s degree in teaching can open up many exciting opportunities in the world of teaching.
Like any degree, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in teaching takes time, dedication, money, and a real passion for wanting to work with children and young adults.
Teachers often report job satisfaction and feel that their roles as educators make a difference in the world. The hard work now can and will pay off.
Choosing the Right Accelerated Teaching Degree Program
Since there are a variety of specialty areas within the field of teaching, you can’t blindly choose a program. Before getting into a teaching degree, you should have a general sense of what grade level and subject(s) you desire to teach. You don’t need a detailed career plan right off the bat, but knowing that you’d prefer elementary to secondary education can help you immensely when it comes to choosing the right program.
Once you’ve determined that a program offers what you’re seeking (special education, for example), make sure the program you choose is accredited by a national and/or regional accrediting agency as recommended or preferred by the state in which you plan to teach.
Many education programs prepare students to take state exams and complete state applications for licensure or certification. Choosing a program that offers this resource can really streamline the process of becoming a teacher after you’ve completed your degree, so this type of program is recommended.
Choosing the Right Education Degree
There are three primary degree options if you’re looking to earn a bachelor’s degree in teaching: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.). If you’ve already found a program you love and that really suits your interests and goals, you may not have a choice as to which degree you’ll pursue.
Most programs will only offer one of the above degrees. Those that offer more than one type will have different requirements for each degree. For example, a BS in Education may require you to complete more Math or Science credits, while a BA in Education may require you to complete more Foreign Language credits. There is no uniform distinction, and it’s really up to each program as to what it wants to require for its degree.
If you have the certification and licensure required by the state to teach in a public school or a degree that trained you to teach your specialty subject(s) in a private school, most employers won’t have a preference for the specific type of degree you have (BA versus BS, for example). There isn’t usually a preferred degree, but it’s important that you know of the potential options.
Considering Online Options to Save Time and Money
If you don’t live anywhere near a college or university that offers a bachelor’s degree in teaching or if moving close to one isn’t an option for you, consider an online program. There are many reputable and accredited online programs that offer teaching degrees.
Not all online programs are less expensive than on-campus programs, so research tuition and fee rates before assuming which option will be more affordable for you. What you almost always save going the online route, though, is time. You can easily and conveniently complete your classes according to your schedule.
Teaching is generally not a field in which the name of the college or university you attended matters. What matters more is your experience with children in the field and recommendations from those who have observed you in the field.
Experience usually trumps your degree. This doesn’t mean that you should choose an online program that nobody has ever heard of before. Most online programs that are accredited and have been around for a while are decently well-known, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about which one to choose. It doesn’t hurt to briefly check out information like graduation rates and employment placement of recent graduates. Most programs are willing to share that information if you inquire.
Access to the Field
Even if you complete your degree online, most programs require a practicum component as part of their degree requirements. This means that you’ll be required to shadow a current teacher in the field to gain hands-on learning experience. This experience is invaluable to your future career as a teacher and many employers will prefer that you have already spent hours with real children in a real educational setting.
Before settling on your program, find out what the requirements for this component are. Be cautious if a program doesn’t require field experience for degree completion. It’s to your benefit to have this experience and having it officially listed on your transcript is a sound and reliable way to document it.
Some programs have built relationships with schools and school systems and prefer that you work there, while others may be open to you selecting your own field space. If this potential demand of mobility sounds unreasonable to you, choose a program that will allow you to complete your practicum component where it’s convenient for you.
Teacher Certification and Licensure
If you plan on teaching in the public school setting, you’ll either need certification/licensure or show proof that you’re pursuing it within a certain number of years of your initial hire. Each state has its own requirements and set of expectations.
Here’s an example: in the state of New York, you can submit an application for the state to review your credentials. If the state deems your credentials satisfactory, you’ll be issued certification to teach in New York. If not, you will receive a detailed explanation as to what is required of you to receive certification. If you’ve chosen a program that automatically prepares you for certification in New York, you can obtain your certification through your program and bypass contacting the state.
Another state may have a completely different system altogether. Some require certain examinations to be completed and passed.
If you plan to teach in a public school system, licensure and certification will be required eventually. Many private schools don’t require it and maybe a nice option for those looking for smaller classes (on average).
Private schools are also a great option if you fail to obtain licensure/certification right away or want to put it off for whatever reason. Be aware that private schools usually pay a slightly lower salary than public schools.
Teaching Career Outlook
Job satisfaction is pretty high among teachers. Career Cast ranked teaching as the #6 most satisfying job. In general, teachers feel like what they do makes a positive difference and helps others. Other perks of being a teacher include the number of days off that can be spent with family and friends and the friendly work environment.
Teaching may not be the highest paid career out there, but it still pays pretty well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that teachers make about $53,000 per year, on average. There are salary differences between elementary, middle, and high school teachers as well as between public and private school settings. Generally, teachers’ salaries raise each year to match their experience.
Preparing for Your Teaching Degree
The best thing you can do before pursuing any degree is to make sure that you have a genuine interest in the subject area. If working with children in a school setting isn’t possible, volunteer at an organization that primarily serves children. Babysit children within the age group you think you want to teach. While teaching is an extremely rewarding profession, it takes patience and compassion to be a successful and fulfilled teacher.
Even if you’re in love with the subject matter you study, you still need to be aware that earning a bachelor’s degree in teaching will take focus, energy and commitment. Like with any degree, you’ll be required to complete reading assignments, study for assessments and exams, and commit to learning the skills and knowledge you’ll need to be an effective classroom leader. If you’re ready and willing to learn, choosing a bachelor’s degree in teaching can potentially mean a life-long love affair with your job.