Experienced educators are often described as lifelong learners. Professional development may be a requirement for license renewal and moving up on the pay scale, but teachers would take classes and go to seminars anyway because of their desire to improve their professional skills. Earning a master’s degree online, while remaining in the classroom full time, is an ideal way for teachers to improve their practice or prepare to be educational leaders.
Two Master’s Degree Programs in Education at Fitchburg State University
You may want to freshen up your instructional practice, learn about current issues in education and investigate how children learn in more depth. Or you may have an eye on leadership positions in the field of education — whether at the grade level, building level or district office. In any case, Fitchburg State offers two comprehensive programs to help you meet your professional goals.
Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching (Non-Licensure)
This all-online degree program will prepare you “to articulate and apply educational theory and research to improve teaching skills and student performance.” Throughout the course, you will evaluate the process of research, examine strategies for working in inclusive environments and strengthen your reflective practice.
Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Management
If you are considering a career change or advancement in your current education career, this 100-percent online degree program will prepare you “for a broad range of administrative and leadership roles, both inside and outside the classroom.” It covers managerial skills related to school politics, personnel, fiscal responsibility, physical resources and organizational structures. Mastery of these skills will position you for effective leadership. The program emphasizes working collaboratively while leading and managing an educational organization dedicated to the improvement of teaching and learning.
The Convenience of All-Online Learning
When taking coursework from a highly regarded university in an online format, the benefit goes beyond studying at your convenience or saving on gas and parking.
Convenience and flexibility – Although on-campus programs in the field of education have a teacher-friendly schedule, being on time or even present to every class is difficult at best. Most classroom teachers can attest to the need for flexibility. Even the most meticulously planned afternoon can be disrupted by an unexpected parent visit or phone call. An all-online learning program gives the teacher 24/7 access to lectures, assignments, chat rooms and resources. There is no need to schedule around strict class times or places.
Choices – For experienced teachers living in remote or rural areas of the country, or even working abroad, an online degree may be the only possibility for advancement or quality professional development opportunities. If you have access to the internet, you can select the best school for your goals. The resources of a university like Fitchburg State, with its strong reputation and education programs dating back more than a century, are available to you online.
The Value of Selecting an Accredited School
Teachers at all levels of education are facing increased levels of responsibility. They are expected to be fluent in the process of research and in best practices of teaching, as well as capable of working with a diverse population under difficult circumstances. These expectations continue to rise while budgets fall, salary scales freeze and class sizes increase.
Because of these challenges, it is critical that teachers make wise choices when selecting universities for postgraduate work. An accredited university program has met rigorous standards of education after completing a lengthy process of reports, self-reflection, site visits and interviews.
Fitchburg State University has earned accreditation status from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional council currently recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the national accreditation organization.
Selecting Fitchburg State, a regionally and nationally accredited university for your graduate degree, will ensure that you receive a quality education.
Immediate Application of Knowledge, Skills and Strategies
Coursework at Fitchburg State University deals with all areas of education, inside the classroom and out, including learning environments, data-driven instruction, technology and assessment. Each course is designed to provide practical information and hands-on methods for putting knowledge, skills and strategies in place immediately. According to Professor Janna Heiligenstein, “Every course has a strong emphasis on putting theory into practice and expects you to be reflective on your site experiences in relation to the course learning.”
By using platforms such as Blackboard, Zoom, and private social media pages, such as Facebook, Dr. Heiligenstein’s students become colleagues and have a support group available day and night. These online resources provide quick and easy access to others who may either have an answer to a troubling classroom question or who may have suggestions for a helpful resource.
As a working professional, you want to make the most of the time, resources and finances you have. Online learning from an accredited university like Fitchburg State eliminates several of the barriers to earning a degree respected locally and nationally by educators and administrators. You will save travel time, incorporate theory right into your teaching practice, and have full-time access to the resources you need to be successful and reach your goals.
Learn more about Fitchburg State’s online M.Ed. programs.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation: 2017-2018 Directory of CHEA-Recognized Organizations