Some 2-year M.A.Ed. programs are designed for currently licensed teachers, while others are open to individuals with undergraduate degrees seeking initial teaching licensure. Toward the end of the program, students are generally required to participate in practicums and student-teaching experiences. Some programs may require a master's thesis. Students will need a bachelor's degree, and some programs may require a degree in the liberal arts field. Applicants may be required to possess, or be eligible to earn, a state teaching license.
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Master's of Arts in Education: Elementary Licensure
Program curricula may vary according to whether the program is designed for working teachers or those who have yet to commence their teaching careers. Courses might include:
- Teaching literacy
- Teaching and learning process
- Curricula design
- Multicultural education
- Research applications
- Educational statistics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that elementary school teachers (except special education teachers) should see a 6% employment increase between 2014 and 2024. However, opportunities vary according to grade level and geographic location. Urban and rural areas should have more opportunities than suburban areas. Additionally, teachers who speak more than one language should have an edge over their competition as non-English-speaking student populations rise. According to May 2015 BLS data, elementary school teachers earned a median salary of $54,890. These figures do not include special education teachers.
Licensure and Continuing Education Information
Public school elementary teachers in all states are required to obtain licensure, according to the BLS. While requirements vary for each state, they typically include a bachelor's degree, completion of a teacher-preparation program, and a passing exam grade. Annual continuing education classes may be required to keep the license valid.
Doctoral degrees in elementary education are available as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees. Ph.D. programs focus on research, while Ed.D. programs provide advanced experiential learning. Individuals seeking administrative positions in elementary schools can earn a master's degree in educational administration or educational leadership.
Students with an undergraduate degree in education, or those with current teaching licenses, can advance their careers by applying to a Master of Arts in Education: Elementary Licensure program. These programs will allow students to obtain greater educational qualifications and hands-on experience.