Are you a Massachusetts teacher looking to further your career by earning a master’s degree? If so, you may be considering online master’s degree courses. It makes sense. Where once time and money were barriers to earning a graduate degree, teachers can now build their coursework schedule in an online degree program around their busy professional and personal lives. Following are some factors to consider before committing to an online master’s degree program.
Online courses mean you don’t need to travel to and from campus or incur the associated costs. And because some programs allow you to finish faster, you’ll spend less money on college expenses over the course of the degree program. The time costs are also greatly reduced with the ability to accomplish everything from the comfort of your home.
Online classes allow you to schedule class around other parts of your life. Teaching professionals who seek a master’s degree already have a demanding job. Online courses help you manage both performing well at your job and obtaining an education at the same time.
A perception lingers that online classes are somehow easier to succeed in than traditional classes. This is not the case. The degree programs offered through Merrimack College are accredited and rigorous in preparing teachers both for leadership roles and for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
Some students prefer to learn through an online environment. Flexibility and the ability to control the pace of the course are important for professionals balancing work and school. Most online degree programs offer shorter (typically eight-week) course lengths that allow you to take on one topic at the time. All options that can make furthering your education more realistic. And with many avenues of communication available for both professors and students, you won’t lose the collaborative aspect of an on-campus education.
You’ll want to check your own computer equipment to ensure that it works with the school’s online learning platform. It’s also important to make sure you have consistent, reliable WiFi or other means for connecting with the internet. Take advantage of your university’s tech support if you have unresolvable issues.
Buy-In Equals Success
Perhaps more than with traditional classes, buy-in, and commitment from students is essential to success in online degree programs. Students must make the effort to manage their time well, contact instructors when needed, and reach out to fellow students who can support you as you work through the coursework.
There may even be chances to meet in person with fellow classmates. Students should take advantage of those opportunities – and any school-sponsored in-person workshops or guest speakers – as much as possible.
Online master’s degree courses may seem unusual at first if you’ve never done it. But the vast majority of students eventually find it works well for them, especially for those in demanding professions like teaching.