Online teacher assistant programs are not common, but they can be found at a few colleges. While teacher assistants can work at any level, these certificate programs generally offer training in working with younger children of preschool or elementary school age. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
An online teacher assistant certificate program usually requires about six courses that may include child development, child psychology, children's literature and classroom management. Some schools will apply credit from a certificate program to a bachelor's degree in education.
Teacher Assistant Certificate
An online teacher assistant certificate program provides an introduction to education theory, issues in education, child development and child psychology. Students also learn an assortment of clerical and instructional skills that qualify them to support the work of teachers, such as correcting homework or scoring quizzes and exams. Application to a certificate program minimally requires a high school diploma or GED.
Program Information and Requirements
All academic courses in an online teacher assistant certificate program can be completed fully online without visiting a campus. Course lectures, readings and other materials are accessible on a 24-hour basis through a school's website. Discussion boards, e-mail and phone provide for interactions with instructors and other students. Students may earn a teacher assistant certificate in under a year.
Students in an online program need a newer personal computer, Internet connection and word processing software to participate. Schools may use a content management system such as Desire2Learn or their own proprietary system to provide course materials and discussion forums.
List of Common Teacher Assistant Courses
Certificate courses are generally short and tightly focused on the primary subject. However, teacher assistant programs may include a course in English or composition.
This course surveys theories of learning and basic concepts in teaching. Coursework also addresses education history and current issues in education.
Students in this course learn the progression of human development from the fetal stage to adolescence. Cognition, concepts of self, social engagement and physical growth are among the topics covered.
This course surveys the range of books and stories written for children and analyzes their themes and messages. Course content also examines the role literature can play in the development of a child's oral and written communication skills.
Students in this course learn how perception, emotion, cognition and personality develop in children. Course content also considers the interaction of cognition and physiology and explores abnormal behavior.
Earning a teacher assistant certificate prepares students to become teacher assistants. A majority of teacher assistants work in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6% growth in employment of teacher assistants from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Enrollment of school-aged children is expected to increase slowly during that interval, but it is also expected to be somewhat faster for children who speak English as a second language and special education students. As of May 2015, teacher assistants earned a median salary of $24,900.
Continuing Education Information
A certificate from a teacher assistant program is sufficient to work at many schools, but some school districts require two years of college or an associate's degree. Schools that receive Title I funding from the government have this requirement. While teacher assistants in regular classrooms do not have to be licensed by the state, most states require that assistants who work with special needs students pass a test.
People who earn an online teacher assistant certificate and want to become teachers can earn a bachelor's degree and then a master's degree in teaching. Online programs are available at both degree levels. Credit transfer options may be available with bachelor's programs.
For those wanting to get a start in a teaching career as a teacher's assistant, certificate programs will teach them the fundamentals of education, child development, literature and psychology. Graduates can pursue bachelor's and master's degree programs to get the training needed to become teachers.