Before beginning a Master of Education (M.Ed.) program, it is important to understand the time commitment required. Most programs, such as those offered by the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), offer degree plans tailored to the student's desired course load and pace. This is especially true for students enrolled in flexible online programs. Some enroll as full-time students, typically taking three courses in any given term, while others choose to enroll as part-time students. The benefit of attending part time is the option of working while enrolled, though the degree may take longer to finish.
Online master's degree programs allow for more versatility and the opportunity to study remotely. Students create their own schedules, which can be ideal for those currently teaching. Taking courses as a full-time student can be time consuming, even through an online program, placing additional constraints on those working full time. Those who decide to enroll part time by taking one or two courses at a time often do so to strike a better balance of studies with their personal and professional responsibilities, even if it means taking a little longer to graduate.
Other factors that determine the time it takes include the type of degree the student pursues.
UTA offers a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies as well as M.Ed. degrees in specialized Curriculum and Instruction. M.Ed. programs in Curriculum and Instruction can be completed in 18 months, and students in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program can earn their degree in as few as 16 months.
Students in an online M.Ed. program can enroll in fewer classes when their work schedules get busy and take more classes when their schedules are a little less hectic. Some also choose to take a difficult class that requires more time and attention on its own. These M.Ed. programs offer summer courses when teachers typically have more time available. Since the majority of classes in each M.Ed. program last only seven weeks, students have the option of increasing or decreasing their course load at the end of each seven-week period.
Students who believe that online coursework will require less effort than in-person classes sometimes ask, "Why not go full time with coursework and work a full-time job?" Universities known for their on-campus degree programs pride themselves on offering online programs with the same academic rigor. According to U.S. News & World Report, students enrolled in intensive seven-week-long classes tend to spend up to six hours a week on each course credit. While the actual amount of study time will vary based on various factors, this translates to 18 hours of study time for a single class.
In a Chron article on master's degree completion times for teachers, Shelly Frost points out that teachers recognize the value of M.Ed. programs. Whether it's to improve one's resume, receive training to improve teaching effectiveness, or simply satisfy a requirement for a promotion, educators view the degree as a way to boost their professional potential.
Learn more about UTA's online M.Ed. programs.
Sources:U.S. News & World Report: Discover the Weekly Number of Hours Online Students Study
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