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Teacher Licensure Classes Online

written by: Daniel Brecht•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 5/19/2011

Are you a teacher or a teacher-to-be looking to obtain or renew a license? If so, then this article could be of help. It will suit the needs of teachers old and new.

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    Taking classes online allows a working adult to earn a higher education without quitting or giving up their daily routine, habits, or job. Online education gives freedom to students because it is flexible and convenient for many people who don't have time to attend on campus classes.

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    List of Institutions

    Many institutions are currently offering online options to people who would like to obtain or renew their teaching license. Below are just some of the programs available in a non-traditional format.

    The Heritage Institute

    The Heritage Institute offers online courses for K-12 teachers who are looking for professional development, salary enhancement, or who want to maintain their teaching certificate. Courses are self-paced, start any time, and can be completed in two to three months or less. All courses are offered for Antioch University quarter credits: this university is a Seattle institution accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The cost of the courses is affordable: three quarter credit classes cost $285 while five quarter credits classes cost $415. Note: Antioch offers a tuition payment plan and tuition assitance.

    Maryville University

    If looking for a graduate program, teachers and teachers-to-be can apply for a master's in education for professional educators at $440.50 per credit hour. (Check with the school for the latest tuition fees). Maryville University of Saint Louis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Those looking only for continuing education courses can apply to the WIDE World Online Developmental Courses.

    Walden University

    Walden University offers a teacher preparation program with a master of arts in teaching. This is an accelerated program geared towards teachers with a bachelor's degree that can be completed in twenty to twenty-four months. Walden's students are offered the chance to observe teachers from across the nation via video to learn and be exposed to different teaching styles; they are also given a chance to have virtual and in-class teaching experiences. (Check with the school for the current tuition costs of each program.) Note: There is an academic technology fee: $80 per term.

    University of Phoenix

    This university offers an MA in education/teacher education with an elementary or secondary licensure concentration.

    The master of arts in education/secondary teacher education (MAED/TED-S) is a graduate degree program that allows students with bachelor's degrees in disciplines other than education to enter the world of teaching and obtain their licensure. The program comprises of sixteen online courses, but students are required to gain a minimum of one hundred hours of field experience.

    The program, unfortunately, is not available in all states, and tuition varies depending on the student's location. Special rates are available to military students.

    Jones International University Online

    This university offers several master's degrees leading to an education licensure:

    • MEd in K-12 English as a Second Language Education: Teacher Licensure
    • MEd in K-12 English as a Second Language Specialist: Bilingual Education Teacher Licensure
    • MEd in Education Leadership and Administration: Principal and Administrator Licensure
    • MEd in Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Teacher Licensure
    • MEd in K-12 Instructional Technology: Teacher Licensure
    • MEd in Secondary Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Teacher Licensure

    These programs require the completion of thirty-six to forty-eight credit hours. Admission requirements vary depending on the chosen program, so it's better to check with an enrollment advisor before applying.

    Oregon State University

    This university offers continuing teaching licensure courses that allow students to learn to teach courses online and gain skill in teaching methods. Tuition is $486 per credit. (Note: The price may vary per acadmic year.) Check with the Schools' Student Services Center to discuss your educational needs.

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    Financial Help

    Through the National Board Scholarship Program (NBSP), you may be eligible for scholarships.

    There are federal funds to support National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). NBPTS offers the following for teachers:

    • Twenty-five certificates for teachers
    • Teacher leader certification
    • Higher education opportunities
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    Teacher Requirements

    To be able to teach, the following may be required:

    • The Praxis exam
    • Master's degree (or higher education)
    • Teacher's license

    Note:

    • Many states require prospective teachers to take the Praxis exam (i.e., to be tested for basic skills such as reading, writing, teaching, and subject matter of choice).
    • To be able to teach children (such as in elementary school), teachers can teach with having only a bachelor's degree; a master's degree is normally required to teach high school students, and a PhD is normally required to teach adults at the college or university level.
    • There are different types of teacher licensure (e.g., for early education, elementary education, special education, and secondary education).

    Fact: Public school teachers are required to be licensed, whereas licensure is not required for private school teachers.

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    Teacher Licensure Renewal

    • It is very important as well as required to renew a teacher license (done every ten years). It demonstrates the continued professional growth of teachers who are involved with student learning.
    • Being awarded a teacher licensure (a ten-year certificate) allows one to teach in most states; and, it's important to note that each state has its own teaching licensure requirements.
    • To be eligible for renewal, all candidates must pay the assessment fee ($1,150).
    • The application for renewing the National Board Certified teacher (NBCT) license is at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standard (NBPTS) website.

    Fact: Teaching licenses are given by the state board of education or an advisory committee.

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    Job Outlook

    According to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the average salary for traditional public school teachers increased 4.5 percent in 2006-07 to $51,009. Teachers who decide to continue their leadership training by taking online classes will likely earn a higher salary than those without it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for teachers are at about average, but they are needed for teachers to sustain those teachers who are about to retire. Also, according to BLS, employment of school teachers is expected to grow by twelve percent between 2006 and 2016.

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    References and Useful Sites

    • Walden University: http://www.waldenu.edu/Degree-Programs/Teacher-Preparation-Program.htm
    • The Heritage Institute: http://www.hol.edu/
    • Maryville Institute: http://www.maryville.edu/academics-ed-wide-online-courses.htm
    • The University of Phoenix: http://www.phoenix.edu/
    • Jones International University Online: http://www.jiu.edu/schools/education
    • Oregon State University: http://oregonstate.edu/