Overview for Online Teacher Certification Programs in Ohio
For the state of Ohio, teacher certification, also known as licensure, is obtained by completing at minimum a bachelor's degree with teacher preparation courses. It is possible to complete these courses online, but earning teaching certification also requires the completion of a field experience, where student-teachers observe a classroom in person. Therefore, no teacher preparation program can be done entirely online.
There are a wide variety of teacher certification programs due to varying grade levels and subjects. The career goals of an individual typically determine what program they enter; for example, an aspiring preschool teacher may choose an early childhood education program, while an aspiring science teacher may choose a science education program. Additionally, an alternative pathway is available to those who hold a bachelor's or master's degree but did not complete any teaching courses. This is known as an alternative resident educator license, and this program can also be done partially online, usually in a shorter amount of time than other teacher preparation programs.
Teacher Certification Program Requirements
Teacher certification programs require students to take courses on how to effectively communicate and engage with children while leading a classroom. A few topics covered in these courses can include:
- Educational Technology
- Educational Psychology
- Classroom Management
Additional Requirements for Teacher Certification
Whether they are completing teaching courses through a bachelor's program or an alternative resident educator program, aspiring educators in the state of Ohio must earn their education through an accredited program that is approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
They must also complete a field experience, which requires the passing of a background check and can include participation in certain activities in the classroom. The field experience may be broken up into certain intervals throughout a student's program, or it may be done all at once; it depends on the school the student is attending. Students may be required to complete additional classroom observation hours as well.
List of Online Programs for Teacher Certification in Ohio
Many schools in Ohio have online and hybrid programs for aspiring teachers. These programs are accredited and approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Although there are online master's programs available, a bachelor's degree with teacher preparation courses or an alternative resident educator program is the minimum requirement.
Notre Dame College
Notre Dame College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education with a focus on Early Childhood Education, which is preschool through 5th grade. Students in the program participate in over 100 hours of classroom observance and student teaching. Each course lasts 16 weeks, and students can expect to complete the program in 4 years. Courses in educational psychology, understanding young students with special needs, and developmental reading, writing, and music can prepare students to work with young children of various backgrounds.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University has an online Bachelor of Science in Science Education program that has a focus on secondary earth science, which is meant to prepare individuals to teach grades 7-12. In addition to teacher preparation courses, students take a variety of science courses such as geology, ecology, physics, biology, and chemistry. A minimum of 75 hours of classroom observation is required, in addition to 12-20 weeks of student-teaching.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, which can prepare students to work with children in preschool up through grade 5. The program can last 27 months for those with an associate's degree in early childhood education or 48 months for those without, and courses can last for either 5, 8, or 10 weeks. Prerequisite education courses in topics such as children's literature and learning processes must be completed before students move on to elementary education core courses, which include math, general teaching methods, and developmental literacy. Students must complete field experiences in a variety of environments from preschool classrooms to urban and upper elementary classrooms.
Wright State University
Wright State University offers a hybrid Alternative Resident Educator Institute program that can prepare those with a degree but no teaching courses to become teachers. The program lasts 6 weeks and has a mix of online and in-person instruction, as well as activities outside of the classroom. Students are also required to complete a field experience, but it is shorter than traditional teaching programs. Topics the program covers include diverse learners, content methods, assessment, and an introduction to education.
Ohio requires teachers to possess a bachelor's degree and complete teacher preparation courses through an approved program. Online degrees and alternative pathways can help students complete coursework as they manage in-person field experiences.