Online Curriculum and Instruction Degrees

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If you are interested in pursuing a career in the realm of education, a standard degree in education may sound like the obvious choice. However, this is not the only pathway to a career as an educator: another option for you to explore may be an online curriculum and instruction degree. Professionals in the education field are in high demand, making this degree a solid choice for anyone with the desire to make a difference in the school setting.

An integral part of being an educator is creating and delivering engaging educational content that meets school and state standards. An online degree in curriculum and instruction will prepare you to do just that. A program in curriculum and instruction can allow you to learn best practices for teaching to students of a wide variety of learning styles, prefrences, and abilities. This degree is an option for individuals wishing to pursue their initial teaching license, as well as for those who are already teaching in the classroom and wishing to pursue further education.

While there are options to earn a bachelor's degree in curriculum and instruction, it is more common for an already established teacher to pursue a master's of this type. A classroom teacher that earns a master's in curriculum and instruction may be eligible for raises, special positions (such as mentor, grade-level chair, etc.), or promotions to administrative level positions. Employment possibilities for those with their master's in curriculum and instruction include instructional coordinator, curriculum and instruction specialist, vice principal, postsecondary teacher at a junior or community college (some, but not all, will accept candidates at the master's level), and postsecondary education administrator. Therefore, this degree is an option for those who wish to teach and/or those who wish to work in education without being a classroom teacher.

A teacher with a degree in curriculum and instruction can be specialized in a certain area, making them a valuable asset to a school above and beyond that of a teacher without this degree. Concentrations in reading instruction, technology, special education, gifted and talented, etc. may be available for the degree candidate to choose from. Having this concentration may increase employment opportunities for the graduate with a degree in curriculum and instruction.

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School Level Program Admissions

University of West Alabama

Bachelor Bachelor of Science Early Childhood Development Website

The University of Iowa

Master Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency Website

Purdue University

Master Online MS in Education Website

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Master Master of Administrative Science Website

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Benefits of Studying Online

If you have decided to go for your degree in curriculum and instruction, it is time to familiarize yourself with your schooling options. There are both in-person and online options available for those wishing to obtain this degree. So, why choose online?

There are many benefits to be reaped by those who choose online learning. Online learning offers great flexibility as it allows you to take your classes when and where you are most comfortable. Most adults don't have the luxury of freeing their schedule and furthering their education through a traditional campus set-up, and therefore many are turning to the online campus.

A lot of time, effort and money is wasted when taking classes on a traditional campus due to the commute. Campuses are often located in congested cities and busy "college towns," making navigating traffic a struggle. Parking may be expensive as well if you drive your own car. The online campus eliminates all of these uneccessary complications so you can focus solely on your learning.

If you are currently a teacher hoping to expand your skill set through earning a master's in curriculum and instruction, online learning is the ideal choice. Through a virtual campus experience, you will be able to keep your teaching job during the day and study at night. You can also put the skills you learn as you progress through the course into practice in your own classroom.

Typical Online Curriculum and Instruction Course Requirements

Classes/areas of study you can expect to find in an online curriculum and instruction course are:

  • Educational technology
  • Assessment
  • Online learning
  • Adult learning
  • Teacher leadership
  • How to diagnose reading problems
  • Multicultural education
  • Theories of learning
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Instruction in English/reading
  • Instruction in mathematics
  • Instruction in social studies/science
  • Social and political issues in education
  • Curriculum evaluation

Keep in mind that there may be an in-person "field work" component to an online curriculum and instruction course, meaning you may have to go to a real-life classroom to put your learning into action. You may be required to find a school and/or teacher to agree to work with you on this part of your learning. Make sure to ask the online college of your choice about such in-person requirements.

Also keep in mind that some online campuses may require you to physically visit their campus at some point. Make sure to inquire about this as well when choosing your campus.

If you are aspiring to become a classroom teacher, note that finishing your degree does not automatically qualify you for a teaching license. Qualifications needed to obtain a valid teaching license vary by state. If you are seeking your teaching license, ask a representative of the college you attend if the curriculum and instruction degree program has a licensure track that meets the requirements for teaching licensure.

Student teaching is generally required to become a licensed teacher. If you are in an online degree program, you may need to find your own school and cooperating teacher to host your student teaching semester. You will need a supervisor from the college to oversee your student teaching. They may do this in person or over the internet through video capabilities.

You will likely need to pass a state mandated test (such as the PRAXIS) to complete the requirements for a teaching license. Again, if teacher licensure is your goal, make sure to check with a representative of the college about additional requirements outside of the degree program needed to apply for licensure. You will need to decide the grade (and in some cases, subject) you wish to teach as there are different requirements for different levels and subjects.

Online Curriculum and Instruction Programs

  • Western Governor’s University North Carolina- Master of Science Curriculum and Instruction

    This degree is different than some others because you do not need a teaching license to be accepted into the program. Therefore, this course is an option for professionals in other fields that wish to break into education. This program takes 6-25 months to complete, as this program is set up to let you move at your own pace. Because tuition is based off of time and not number of credits, students who are able to move through the program more quickly can save money. Financial aid is available.

  • University of Phoenix- Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction:

    This course is made of up 35 credits that take 17 months to complete. You will take one course at a time for six weeks per course. This makes this program ideal for busy professionals that have limited time to dedicate to schooling. This program does not lead to teacher licensure, rather, it is intended for current teachers looking to obtain a degree in this area to improve their craft. Financial aid is available.

  • University of South Florida- Master of Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages:

    This is a 33 credit course that takes two years to complete. This program is designed for professionals who are already teaching that would like to advance their skills by being trained in TESOL (Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages). In other words, teachers with a concentration in TESOL are prepared to teach English to students who are not native English speakers. Classes in this degree will focus on linguistics and culture to prepare teachers for this specialty. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA as well as two years of work experience is required prior to being accepted into this master’s program. Financial aid is available.

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