Guide to an Online Teaching Education

by Jennifer Croley
Guide to an Online Teaching Education

With many online teaching programs available, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Fortunately, the options can be divided into two main areas: programs for those seeking a bachelor's or initial teaching certification and programs for current educators who want to continue their education. You can also narrow your choices based on whether you are seeking a bachelor's or graduate degree and whether you want to focus on a specific level or subject.

How Online Teaching Programs Work

The majority of online teaching programs offer graduate degrees for current educators. Several schools also offer graduate programs that help non-teachers with a bachelor's degree become certified teachers.

There are a few programs offering online bachelor's degrees in teaching. Even though the number of programs is limited, there are different concentration areas available such as elementary education and secondary math or science

No matter what their focus area, online teaching students who want to become certified will have to fulfill student teaching requirements in addition to their required coursework. For example, students enrolled in Drexel University's Bachelor of Education program must complete 12 weeks of full-day student teaching.

Dr. Janet Schnitz, Executive Director of the Teachers College at Western Governors University, advises students who want to become certified teachers to do their research before enrolling in a program. "You definitely need to be aware of the requirements in the state where you want to teach, and then you will then need to check with the programs you are interested in to make sure they prepare students to meet those requirements," counsels Schnitz. You can find more information about state certification requirements on the website for the National Education Association (NEA).

Online Teaching Schools & Programs

Below are links to information on various online teaching programs:

Undergraduate Programs
Graduate and Other Programs

Paying for an Online Teaching Education

The cost of an online teaching education varies depending on whether you are seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree or taking individual courses. For most online degree-seeking students, the primary options for financial aid are federal grants and federal or private loans. School financial aid offices can provide information on the types of aid available and how to apply. Some schools also may offer scholarships, and current educators may receive assistance from their school districts.


If you are already a licensed teacher, there are many options to further your education online by earning a graduate degree or taking individual courses. If you are seeking a bachelor's degree and want to become a certified teacher, you will need to do some research on requirements in your state and should be prepared to complete student teaching in addition to your online classes.

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