Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs Explained

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Accel­er­at­ed pro­grams com­press tra­di­tion­al teacher train­ing into a short­er time­frame, often allow­ing com­ple­tion in as lit­tle as one year.
  • There are mul­ti­ple options for accel­er­at­ed teach­ing pro­grams includ­ing bach­e­lor’s, mas­ter’s and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.
  • An accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degree may be a demand­ing pace, but it can help save you mon­ey in the long run.

As a teacher or some­one who has fin­ished some form of edu­ca­tion, you may have a plan in front of you: go to uni­ver­si­ty, get a degree, and start work­ing. If your goal is to become a teacher, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in your field and a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion prov­ing you can teach. This can take a lot of time, pre­vent­ing you from pur­su­ing your dream for the next 4 years.

How­ev­er, you may have heard of a bet­ter alter­na­tive: accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degree pro­grams. While the accel­er­at­ed degree holds the same pow­er as the tra­di­tion­al type, very few have heard about it. In this arti­cle, you will learn more about these pro­grams to deter­mine whether they are the right choice for your needs.


What Are Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs?

An accel­er­at­ed edu­ca­tion degree pro­gram is a method for you to become a cer­ti­fied teacher with­out hav­ing to go through the stan­dard time­line. Unlike the aver­age bachelor’s edu­ca­tion degree pro­gram that lasts about 4 years, the accel­er­at­ed ver­sion lasts around 1 to 2 years.

The cur­ricu­lum is sim­i­lar to a stan­dard pro­gram, but the course­work is more intense and con­densed. At grad­u­a­tion, you will obtain a degree that grants you the same oppor­tu­ni­ties as the tra­di­tion­al one, mak­ing it the per­fect choice for career changers.

Types of Accelerated Teaching Degree Programs

When it comes to phys­i­cal, hybrid, or online teach­ing degrees, there are mul­ti­ple options that you could go for, including:

1. Bachelor’s Degree

The bachelor’s degree is the main proof you can use to prove you are eli­gi­ble to be a full-fledged teacher. This pro­gram allows you to have your class, usu­al­ly enabling you to teach up to mid­dle school class­es. That said, the age lim­it often depends on the insti­tu­tion you teach at, as some also allow high school teach­ing with a bachelor’s degree.

2. Master’s Degree

When you already know how to teach due to your bachelor’s degree but want to improve your scope, a master’s degree could be your choice. It can help tran­si­tion to teach­ing pro­grams close to your field but still rel­a­tive­ly dif­fer­ent. They are usu­al­ly cho­sen by pro­fes­sion­als who can teach mid­dle school but wish to advance to a high school teach­ing level.

3. Certification Programs

The bachelor’s and master’s degrees only allow for stan­dard teach­ing. How­ev­er, if you are look­ing to spe­cial­ize in a cer­tain area (i.e., a bilin­gual set­ting or spe­cial needs class­es), then you could enter a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram. This can offer you the accel­er­at­ed teach­ing cre­den­tials that enable you to teach in these environments.

Benefits of Accelerated Teaching Courses

Short-term teach­ing degrees come with a series of advan­tages, such as:

1. Shorter Completion Time

Accel­er­at­ed pro­grams are com­plet­ed much faster in com­par­i­son to your aver­age bachelor’s degree. While the stan­dard course takes around 4 years, the accel­er­at­ed one usu­al­ly takes two. Depend­ing on the pro­gram and the num­ber of cred­its you need, it can be fin­ished in as lit­tle as a year. If you are already work­ing and wish to advance in your career, this kind of pro­gram could even be com­plet­ed dur­ing your sab­bat­i­cal so you can get back to work as soon as possible.

2. Cost-Saving Alternative

Tuition costs are often deter­mined by the num­ber of class­es you have and how many semes­ters you must fol­low. For the most part, you need to pay around $20,000-$25,000 per year to get your degree at a tra­di­tion­al uni­ver­si­ty. How­ev­er, if you fol­low an accel­er­at­ed class, that sum is cut in half. As a result, you might have to pay a lit­tle over $10,000 per year to get the same credentials.

3. Immersive Learning Experience

When fol­low­ing stan­dard pro­grams, the feel­ing might not be as immer­sive. There are plen­ty of class­es that are spread quite far apart, not allow­ing you to get all the knowl­edge at once. Accel­er­at­ed cours­es are intense and immer­sive, offer­ing a more sat­is­fy­ing learn­ing expe­ri­ence. Every­thing is con­densed, which means you are get­ting all the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion fast, focus­ing on the impor­tant aspects.

Challenges and Considerations to Remember

Fast teacher train­ing pro­grams also come with cer­tain chal­lenges that you need to keep in mind, including:

1. Demanding Pace

An accel­er­at­ed pro­gram cov­ers the same cur­ricu­lum as a tra­di­tion­al one, the only dif­fer­ence being that the class­es are more inten­sive. For exam­ple, if stan­dard pro­grams offer two weeks to study a top­ic, accel­er­at­ed class­es allow only one. While many enjoy this aspect because of the faster com­ple­tion rate, some could find the pace rather demanding.

2. Difficulty in Maintaining Balance

As a work­ing indi­vid­ual, it might feel like you bare­ly have any free time. If you already have a job and have also decid­ed to get your quick teacher cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, things might become quite com­pli­cat­ed and over­whelm­ing. When you are bal­anc­ing work, com­mut­ing, and class­es, you might be left with no free time, which could take its toll on your health.

3. Ensuring Adequate Experience

Tra­di­tion­al teach­ing pro­grams often mix prac­ti­cal ses­sions with the­o­ret­i­cal class­es. This gives stu­dents plen­ty of time to gath­er enough expe­ri­ence to teach in a class. Since accel­er­at­ed class­es have a faster pace with few­er class­es, you might not be able to get ade­quate prac­ti­cal teach­ing experience.

Admission Requirements

When it comes to get­ting fast-track teacher edu­ca­tion, there are cer­tain require­ments and pre­req­ui­sites that you should con­sid­er. They often depend on the pro­gram you are join­ing and your cur­rent skills and level.

Typical Qualifications and Prerequisites

The admis­sion cri­te­ria for an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram are not too dif­fer­ent from the tra­di­tion­al type. For exam­ple, you will need a bachelor’s degree (or proof that you are cur­rent­ly fol­low­ing one). It does not need to be in edu­ca­tion, but in the domain you are attempt­ing to teach. Most pro­grams also ask for a min­i­mum GPA of 2.0, back­ground checks, pre­req­ui­site edu­ca­tion cours­es, let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion, and vol­un­teer work or experience.

Application Process

When apply­ing for an accel­er­at­ed edu­ca­tion degree, you should start by research­ing avail­able pro­grams. You should go for one that aligns most with your goals and pos­si­bil­i­ties. Once you find the right course, it’s time to gath­er the doc­u­ments, such as your:

  • resume
  • diplo­ma
  • stan­dard­ized test scores
  • let­ters of recommendation
  • oth­er paper­work they might require of you

Once you sub­mit the appli­ca­tion, you should fol­low up to ensure that every­thing is in order.

Tips for Choosing the Right Program

There are plen­ty of pro­grams out there that you could go for, each offer­ing dif­fer­ent ben­e­fits. Here are some fac­tors to con­sid­er before mak­ing your choice:

· Check for Accreditation

There are count­less accred­it­ing bod­ies in the U.S. that can cer­ti­fy an accel­er­at­ed degree in edu­ca­tion. Check the pro­gram of choice and see whether or not it is accred­it­ed, and then ver­i­fy it with the U.S. Depart­ment of Education.

· Look at the Faculty’s Expertise

Next, you will want to exam­ine what fac­ul­ty mem­bers are involved in the pro­gram. The more exper­tise they have, the high­er the qual­i­ty of their class­es should be. You should also con­sid­er whether they offer per­son­al­ized guid­ance in case you want to learn more.

· Test Their Support Services

As a stu­dent seek­ing inten­sive teacher train­ing, you should check out the program’s sup­port ser­vices. Look for career coun­sel­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, along with tutor­ing and resource avail­abil­i­ty. If the insti­tu­tion offers online learn­ing plat­forms or access to libraries, you could take it as a good sign.

· Analyze the Teaching Components

This is anoth­er impor­tant fac­tor to check. Is the edu­ca­tion degree online accel­er­at­ed pro­gram only based on online class­es, or does it also include field expe­ri­ence? Does it offer any intern­ships? All these can be very use­ful for gain­ing real-life experience.

Career Opportunities Upon Graduation

Whether you get a bachelor’s degree or an accel­er­at­ed master’s in teach­ing, you’ll have to con­sid­er your career oppor­tu­ni­ties after you get the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This way, you can deter­mine which pro­gram works best for you.

Types of Teaching Positions Available

Dif­fer­ent online teach­ing degrees can pre­pare you for var­i­ous types of jobs. Most accel­er­at­ed pro­grams pre­pare you to be a class­room teacher, but if you go for a master’s or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram, you also open oth­er posi­tions. For instance, with such a doc­u­ment, you can become a spe­cial edu­ca­tion teacher, a sub­ject area spe­cial­ist, or an ESL (Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage) professor.

Opportunity for Continued Education

Once you get your bachelor’s in edu­ca­tion fast, you should also look into oppor­tu­ni­ties for con­tin­ued edu­ca­tion. Find out if there is a master’s or PhD pro­gram that you could fol­low to improve your skills. After grad­u­a­tion, get­ting addi­tion­al cer­ti­fi­ca­tions is always a good idea to keep up with the advance­ments in education.

The Bottom Line

Accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degree pro­grams are the per­fect choice for poten­tial teach­ers who want to get their degrees with­out spend­ing four years on this edu­ca­tion­al path. The cours­es are more intense than tra­di­tion­al pro­grams, but the faster time­line allows you to get your own class much soon­er. Research your options and con­tact your admis­sion coun­selor for extra details and pro­fes­sion­al advice!