According to an analysis of recent Department of Education data, four of our nation’s largest schools operate mainly online. These schools, including the University of Phoenix and Arizona State University, awarded almost 10,000 education degrees in 2011, proving that online education is more popular than ever.
What the Data Revealed
While traditional brick-and-mortar colleges still award the largest number of bachelor’s degrees for teachers, online schools are turning out thousands more master’s degrees in education than are traditional schools. While many people scoff at the idea of online schools providing a high level of quality for training teachers, the growth continues. Many believe that this is due to the large numbers of students who have decided to pursue a master’s degree as well as those who hold degrees in other fields, but want to break into teaching.
The Face of Online Education Students
The dean of the University of Phoenix’s College of Education, Meredith Curley, points out that many people choose to complete or advance their education after they have already started families and established a career. As such, the average age of online students is 33. A majority of these students work full-time while pursuing a degree.
Quality of Online Education Programs
Officials at the most popular of online teacher training programs point out that the degrees are not easy to earn. Most of the online classes are highly dynamic, and hold students to a higher level of accountability than many traditional classes. In addition, students must complete 100 hours of field experience before earning a degree.
Those in the know realize that these programs are highly valuable. According to a study conducted by Eduventures in 2012 showed that school principals show no preference of those trained in a traditional setting to those who earned a degree online. The survey also showed that teachers who studied through an online school felt equally prepared for the work as those trained in a traditional setting.
The fact is that training to be a teacher through an online program provides you with just as much skill and knowledge as a traditional program as long as you choose your school carefully. Just as in traditional colleges and universities, online schools vary greatly in quality. As such, it is vital to take the time to choose the best possible program for you.