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Top Online Schools for Education

By A.W. Berry,
Staff Writer

Being a teacher is an important and noble calling. Getting a degree or certificate online is a great way to start.

The Top Online Schools for education provide a thorough training that is recognized as a prerequisite for education licensing in its particular field of training. Accreditation and area of study are additional factors to consider when evaluating an education program. Variables such as tuition costs, student services, job placement programs and post-graduate statistics such as loan default rates also influence the quality of an online program for education.

1. The University of Southern California-Rossier School of Education ranked in the top 20 in 2011 for education programs by the benchmark U.S. News & World Report's annual assessment. This online program is also placed among the best online education programs by U.S. News. The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that the school has an 88-percent graduation rate and a relatively low default rate on specific types of federal loans.

2. Columbia University Teachers College is a prestigious school ranked highly by the Kiplinger Top 15 Online Graduate Programs. The institution qualifies for federal financial assistance and is regionally accredited by both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Teachers College at Columbia University is also ranked fourth nationally by U.S. News, which lends itself well to its online education program as being among the best.

3. University of Illinois at Springfield Masters of Teacher Leadership program is among the best online degree programs due to its award as the most outstanding online program by the Sloan Consortium, an association of over 200 organizational members. This school is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and the Higher Learning Commission per the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES). The University of Illinois at Springfield is also ranked fourth among regional public schools by U.S. News.

4. The Walden University Teacher Preparation Program Master of Arts in Teaching can also be considered one of the Top Online Schools for education. The school is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, in addition to being recognized as having pre-licensing programs by theMinnesota Board of Teaching. Walden's partnership with the Association of California School Administrators also facilitates reduced teacher tuition assistance. Walden University has low student financial assistance default rates and high student retention per the NCES. The university offers multiple online graduate-level education degrees.

5. Old-Dominion University is an example of an institution that offers quality online education at low cost that may be of benefit to state residents. Online educational programs offered by Old-Dominion are also considered a reliable means of professional development by Fairfax County Public Schools. This kind of regionally-recognized program helps in-state professionals keep their non-credit continuing education costs low while utilizing a sanctioned online educational program. When choosing an online education for professional development, Old-Dominion has demonstrated potential and utility for its online students.

Last edited: May 9, 2012, 5:07 pm EST
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