Online Specialized Teaching Degree Programs Resource
A specialized teacher is a teaching professional who educates students with specific needs. These teachers specialize in one specific education field to which they devote themselves. There are several different areas of specialization available including teaching gifted students, ESL students, and adult students. The overall career outlook for these type of educators is positive, as more schools seek to hire teachers with specialized training to better accommodate the needs of students. Online degree programs from accredited schools are a worthwhile option for busy students. They offer specialized teaching degrees which can prepare a student for nearly any kind of teacher specialization.
Being a specialized teacher requires several different skills. First, they need excellent social skills. The ability to communicate well with other people is very important. Not only do they have to be a good speaker, but a good listener as well. They also need patience. Specialized teachers work with students who have unique problems, which require an educator to remain calm and supportive even during challenging times.
How To Become A Specialized Teacher
Becoming a specialized teacher often requires additional training. First, they must complete a program in specialized education and earn a degree. The curriculum for most specialized teaching programs consists of a mixture of general coursework as well as education classes to prepare prospective teachers for working with students in a classroom setting. The majority of education programs allow for specialization. Students can choose to take elective coursework which prepares them to work within a specific teaching field. The overall course of study in a specialized teaching program can take up to four to five years to complete. There are, however, fast track options available that can allow a person to receive a specialized education degree in as little as three years. Some of these fast track options are available online. Online specialized teaching programs are quickly becoming a popular option for students who need some flexibility in their studies.
Specialized Teaching Degrees and Certification
Once a person completes the necessary coursework, receives a specialized teaching degree or specialized certification, and becomes certified, they can start pursuing specialized teaching jobs. There are many specialized teacher job opportunities. Those specializing in ESL can travel and teach abroad. Teachers specializing in adult education can find jobs at vocational and extension schools. Others will find excellent career opportunities within a traditional school setting. Examples of these jobs include working with gifted students and within school administration. While not as flexible as more traditional teaching degrees, having a bachelor’s degree in specialized teaching allows a person to command a higher salary and focus on teaching in a field that they truly enjoy.
Profiles of Specialized Teaching Programs
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia maintains a degree program leading to the award of the Bachelor of Science in Special Education, which prepares students to work with special populations and become certified in Special Education General Curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the state of Georgia. The curriculum emphasizes the skills and knowledge educators need to work with children who have mild to moderate disabilities. The program is delivered online and requires only two campus visits, providing a highly flexible path to completion for working students and students with other life commitments. Dedicated advisors assist students with finding local practicum placements. Each semester, student’s live classroom observation and instruction time is increased to ensure that graduates are prepared to lead in the classroom. The University of Georgia’s College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
University of Missouri
The Bachelor of Educational Studies with an interdepartmental emphasis chosen by the student offered by the University of Missouri is designed for those who wish to work with adult learning populations in career and technical education and related fields. The emphasis of the program is on teaching students how to help prepare a highly skilled workforce in in-demand areas. The completely online format is designed specifically for working professionals and those who have previous work or academic experience, although high school graduates may also be admitted. The 120 credit hour program includes 45 credit hours of general education, 32 credit hours of education courses, and at least 24 credit hours in the area of concentration that the student chooses. Example concentrations include Health Sciences Occupations, Business Management, and Computer Applications. With full-time study, the degree can typically be completed in eight semesters.
Sierra Nevada College
Sierra Nevada College offers a unique dual degree program that allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education with teaching certification in four years, with the option to complete a fifth year to earn the Master of Arts in Teaching. Specializations within the degree program are Autism, Gifted Education, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Special Education. For the bachelor’s degree component, students may also choose a teachable major in a high school subject area to qualify for other state-level teaching certifications. The fifth year master’s component is taught through evening courses, allowing students to begin gaining work experience immediately after earning the undergraduate degree. Academically qualified students may apply to the Honors program, which pairs students with faculty mentors and opportunities for student-directed research. Graduates of the Teacher Education programs at Sierra Nevada College are highly recruited across the US in recognition of the department’s high academic quality.
Specialized Teaching Degree Requirements and Coursework
Many states require that students working with special populations have a specialized teaching degree or major to qualify for certification. A specialized teaching degree is a therefore good match for any student whose career plans include working with special education populations in Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12.
- Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction
- A.A. in Education
- M.A. in Education/Secondary Teacher Education
- And more...
- M.Ed. Teaching & Learning: History
- AA in Education (Non-Licensure)
- CERT: Preschool
- And more...
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Common Core State Standards Instructional Leader
- M.Ed: Special Education (Non-Endorsement)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
- And more...
- Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model
- Ed.S. in Assessment Evaluation and Accountability - General Program
- Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Global and Comparative Education
- And more...
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can I obtain teaching certification with a specialized teaching degree?
Answer: Yes. Most specialized teaching degree programs are designed to qualify and prepare students for teaching certification and endorsement in special populations.
Question: Are specialized teaching degrees offered online?
Answer: Yes, many schools across the US offer degrees in specialized teaching in online formats and can help students find local field placements for state level teaching certification.
Question: What learning areas can specialized teaching degrees prepare me for?
Answer: Specialized teaching degrees often offer majors or concentrations in learning areas such as early childhood special education, emotional disturbance, general special education, gifted and talented populations, visual impairment, and adult/career education, just to name a few.