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When I first went to school to become a teacher, an elementary degree was enough to get me a teaching job. Today, master's degrees are the norm, and more and more schools are expecting teacher's to have a speciality. Many schools who have the resources are moving to switching classes in 3rd-5th grade, in addition to junior high, so having a masters degree in a particular subject can be an asset when applying for teaching jobs. An online Masters degree in Mathematics Education can also get you into a position to teach at the college level. If your ultimate goal is a doctorate degree, this is also an essential step to take.
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Degree Options and Prerequisites
In searching for information on the types of degrees offered under the category Masters in Mathematics Education, I discovered that there are various levels to choose from. Most online schools offer options as to the particular grade level you are interested in teaching. Some of the options included:
- Masters of Science in Mathematics Education Grades K-5
- Masters of Science in Mathematics Education Grades 6-8
- Masters of Science in Mathematics Education Grades 9-12
In looking at the prerequisites for admittance into a master's program, you will be required to hold a bachelor's degree and most ask that you hold a valid teacher's certificate. For someone like myself who has been out of teaching awhile, this will require checking with your state board of education to learn what the requirements are to become re-certified.
If it is an Master of Arts in Mathematics Education that interests you, Western Governors University offers degrees covering grades K-6, 5-9, or 5-12.
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Financial and Time Commitments
As I begin to look into furthering my education, the two factors that I weigh most heavily are cost and time.
For some examples on tuition costs, to earn a Masters of Science in Mathematics Education from Walden University you will find tuition is approximately $416 per credit hour. The program is about 30 credit hours, for a grand total of about $12,500. Drexel University offers a Masters in Mathematics Learning and Teaching; their tuition rate is $656 per credit hour. The program averages about 47 credit hours, with a total bill around $31,000.
Walden University's site explains that their online program offers presentations on videotape which may be more flexible to fit into your time schedule. They also list that there are online study teams that collaborate and communicate during the program. This part of the workload may follow a stricter time schedule where you will need to be on the computer at certain times of the day.
As far as your overall time commitment, it will depend on how many classes you can take each semester. Drexel lists that you must complete your degree within seven years. For Walden University's Masters of Science in Mathematic Education Degree, their site lists that it can be completed within 20-24 months. When applying, be sure to check to see if the school has a time limit on earning your degree, this will help you to plan your course of study so that you can complete your work before the school's deadline.
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Obtaining an online master's degree in Mathematics Education is a huge career move and you should do ample research and gather your facts before making a decision. With our uncertain economic times, one investment you can count on is investing in yourself.