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Best 14 Online Master’s in K-12 Education in 2021

March 28, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Getting an online Master’s in K-12 education will enable you to do much more than a simple Bachelor’s degree. Depending on your concentration, you could become eligible to teach at the elementary level or choose a junior or senior high school level. You may also wish to consider a position as a school principal. Having that degree, you aren’t confined to the traditional school building. Graduates may find positions as online instructors. This is a field that is steadily growing as more and more parents opt to have their children home-schooled. You can also consider tutoring, at many levels or may find yourself in a position of being the sole teacher of a foreign dignitary or teaching the child of a star or performer and traveling the world. The possibilities for this type of degree are endless. 

What You Need to Be a Teacher

Teachers don’t make the amount of money they are worth but the position you fill will determine exactly how much you can make. The pay also varies by location, with teachers in the New England area making more than those in the Southern states. There are always available positions, however, because teachers are a necessity in a fully functional society. But what does it take to be a teacher? You will need patience above all else. If patience isn’t something you possess, it might be better to seek out a different career. Teachers also need to be able to take complex subjects and break them down into easy-to-digest chunks. You need to have the ability to plan, adapt, and understand different learning styles. Good teachers are also observant and are able to notice when a child is experiencing problems, either academically or emotionally. If you see yourself in this description, considering looking into one of the following schools.

Best 14 Schools Offering an Online Master’s in K-12 Education

1. Fort Hays State University

The program at Fort Hays State University does not require a thesis, but it does require a special research project. During your time at this school, you will learn not only effective teaching and leadership skills but also the skills necessary to deal with cultural diversity and working with special needs students. A practicum is required to round out the education.

  • Cost: $4,500 (resident), $11,376 (non-resident)
  • Length: 36 Credits

2. Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University offers an advantage to out-of-state students who only wish to study part-time. If you take only six hours a semester, you are charged resident tuition. This can be helpful if you need to budget your education with other living expenses such as running a household or supporting a family. Graduation requires two internships or a special graduate project.

  • Cost: $5,351 (resident), $7,110 (non-resident)
  • Length: 36 Credits

3. University of North Carolina (Wilmington)

Upon completion of the program at the University of North Carolina, you will have learned skills such as leadership and budgeting as well as communication skills. Your internships and practicum will help you begin a portfolio that will be to your advantage once looking for a position outside the school.

  • Cost: $7,457 (resident), $21,286 (non-resident)
  • Length: 36 Credits

4. New Mexico State

New Mexico State offers students a chance to gain their license or study without gaining a license. The program is designed to give students the basics of learning from the early years. Courses include cultural differences as well as learning differences. As you progress, you have the opportunity to specialize in either early childhood education, elementary teaching, or individualized upper-grade education.

  • Cost: $5,926 (resident), $18,275 (non-resident)
  • Length: 33 Credits

5. Southern Arkansas University

At Southern Arkansas University, you will need to choose between elementary, secondary, or K-12 licensure and stick with that track throughout the program. Before graduation, you will have to complete at least six hours of student teaching. Many of the students in this program find themselves being hired as full-time teachers at their student teaching position once they are licensed but this isn’t guaranteed.

  • Cost: $6,894 (resident), $9,810 (non-resident)
  • Length: 1-2 years

6. University of Colorado (Denver)

The University of Colorado offers a program that will see you gaining your license in elementary education upon completion. In order to be accepted into the program, you will need a prior GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate work and will undergo an interview. This program is taught by professors who have previously taught in the school system and the program has partnered with elite schools in the area for over three decades to ensure graduates are adept in the subjects they will be required to teach.

  • Cost: $8,111 (resident), $23,915 (non-resident)
  • Length: 51 Credits

7.  University of Georgia

Students at the University of Georgia will be working toward a degree in middle school teaching. With this in mind, students will need to choose a subject area to follow such as History, Social Science, Math, etc. Instruction will be given in multi-cultural education and graduates will be able to build on any previous experience they have earned in the field of teaching.

  • Cost: $11,168 (resident), $27,476 (non-resident)
  • Length: 36 Credits

8. Harding University

At Harding University, students can choose several paths toward their license. They may choose to work their current position in teaching while preparing or they can study full-time and then pursue student teaching in order to prepare for a license. In addition, students can choose between a license to teach in traditional classrooms or in special education. This school offers some of the most diverse choices available.

  • Cost: $11,928
  • Length: 35 Credits

9. Auburn University

  • Cost: $11,796 (resident), $31,956 (non-resident)
  • Length: 30 Credits

Auburn University offers an elementary teaching program that is designed for those who already holding a teaching certificate. This program will enable graduates to pursue higher-paying positions or positions requiring more in-depth knowledge. This program is best suited for teachers who wish to specialize in a particular subject such as teaching art or music.

10. Holy Family University

Holy Family University offers a course that prepares students to be licensed in Pennsylvania on the PK-4 level. They offer additional classes to add the required information for both fifth and sixth-grade licensing. The degree includes instruction in educational psychology and pedagogy and prepares graduates to work with ESL students those with special needs. There is also the opportunity to work with adults needing this level of education. This school has over six decades of experience turning out educators, which makes it a highly-respected choice.

  • Cost: $10,847
  • Length: 2 years

11. University of Alabama (Huntsville)

Students attending the University of Alabama have several tracks to consider. They may choose elementary education or middle and high-school tracks. In addition, students may choose to focus on teaching students on the autism spectrum. This is one of the few schools offering this option. Students may also opt to study Physical Education or Music as their specialization.

  • Cost: $11,588 (resident), $25,386 (non-resident)
  • Length: 46 Credits

12. Liberty University

The program at Liberty University is one that can be customized to fulfill the requirements for licensing in states throughout the country. Not only do you have this option, but you also have the opportunity to further specialize in areas that you are passionate about. This school is among the top two percent in online education, making it an excellent choice for students looking to gain a greater depth of understanding in their chosen field.

  • Cost: $8,349
  • Length: 18 months

13. Minnesota State University (Mankato)

The program at Minnesota State University prepares students by the standards set forth by the National Board of Teachers Standards Certification. In addition, their program is highly-customizable, allowing students to specialize or achieve general certification, depending upon their needs. For those interested in research, there is an option to pursue the research core.

  • Cost: $8,788
  • Length: 2 years

14. Oregon State University

The program at Oregon State University is the most hands-on course on our list. In order to graduate and get licensed, students must complete 600 practicum and internship hours. Students are thrown into a classroom-type situation from Day One and throughout your study, you will learn not only planning and teaching skills but also assessment skills and how to include social justice teachings into your regular lessons.

  • Cost: $15,269 (resident), $28,121 (non-resident)
  • Length: 51 Credits

How We Chose

The first criteria we used in determining our list of online Master’s in K-12 education programs was whether the school offered the necessary education to become a licensed teacher. Next, we took into consideration the satisfaction of past graduates and how likely it was graduates got a teaching position. We also noted how broad the program was and finally how easy it was to use the degree to specialize further. If you believe your school offers a program that fits with our list, send us your information and we will gladly review it. Future lists may very well include your school.

Are You Searching?

As a future student, you may already know what you are looking for in a school, or you may be trying to determine which of several areas you wish to pursue. Wherever you are in your search for higher education, it can help to have someone narrow down your choices and head you in the most likely direction for success. We can help save you hours of research. Reach out and let us know where you are in search. Give us a chance to show you what we can offer in the way to help. 

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