Online Secondary English Teacher Certification and Certificate Programs

Dec 12, 2019

Get info about online programs in secondary English education. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Online secondary English teacher certificate programs are open to bachelor's degree holders. Fully online programs are available, but some programs require some in-person practicums. These programs help aspiring secondary English teachers to qualify for state certification. Credits from the certificate program may be applied toward a master's degree in secondary education. This is especially convenient for teachers whose states require them to earn a master's degree after earning their teaching certification. In addition to earning a bachelor's degree and secondary English teacher certificate, aspiring English teachers typically need to accumulate supervised teaching experience before they can sit for their state certification exam.

Secondary English Teacher Certificate

Several online post-baccalaureate secondary school teaching certificate programs allow students to specialize in secondary English education after demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of English through undergraduate coursework. Certificate program graduates are recommended for teaching certification in the school's home state.

Program Information and Requirements

Distance learners can earn a teaching certificate in 1-2 years. In addition to online classes, a semester-long student teaching practicum at a local school is required for the certificate programs. Some programs require on-campus visits, while others conduct all discussions via interactive Web boards.

Course Topics

Coursework prepares future teachers to pass state department of education exams for secondary English teachers. Students take content courses in reading, writing and English literature, as well as general teacher preparation classes in pedagogy.

Teaching English

Distance learners explore methods of teaching English to grades 6-12. They develop instructive language arts content with the goal of motivating and engaging multicultural classrooms.

Computers in the Classroom

Educators increasingly use computers for instruction and assignments. State standards for using technology in the classroom are reviewed and examples are given of computer lessons.


Teachers provide instruction for a range of aptitudes in reading and writing. Theories and methods for evaluating and training types of learners are addressed.

Career Information

English teachers work at public schools, private academies and as tutors. Private school teachers and tutors may not require certification in all states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the mean annual salary for secondary school teachers was $64,340 in 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Each state develops its own process for teacher certification; however, many states have reciprocal agreements to recognize the certificates earned through accredited schools in selected other states. Online teaching certificate programs are geared toward the certification requirements in the school's home state, but students can take an teaching certificate program through a school in the state where they intend to teach, or a state with reciprocal arrangements for recognizing teaching certificates.

State teaching licensing or certification usually requires a bachelor's degree in the content area, a certificate from an accredited school, a supervised teaching internship, qualifying scores on subject area competency exams and a clean federal and state criminal background check. Students who desire to continue in a master's in secondary education program can often transfer certification program coursework.

Aspiring secondary English teachers with bachelor's degrees can build the instructional skills they need through an online certificate program in the field. This provides the necessary educational foundation for work in the field, so after they become licensed, graduates can apply for teaching jobs.

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