An accelerated master’s degree in education, or accelerated M.Ed., can be earned in a couple of ways. The time it takes to earn the degree will depend on the path you choose as well as the specific school from which you are earning the degree. Most states require teachers to pursue a bachelor’s degree and eventually obtain a master’s degree if they choose to keep their certification. However, going back to school to do so may be difficult for teachers who have to juggle busy schedules throughout the school year. Accelerated degrees are designed to allow teachers to earn their degree quickly while continuing to work in their current positions.
Types of Accelerated Degrees
When looking for a faster way to earn a graduate degree, teachers can choose from one of two options. First, the traditional accelerated master’s degree in education is designed for teachers who already hold a bachelor’s degree and who are certified in the subject area they plan to teach. These programs can be completed in 12 to 18 months, and they are designed for self-motivated education professionals. Most accelerated degrees are offered fully online, and students gain the professional knowledge and skills required to help student populations thrive by exploring the latest research-based strategies and education theories.
Another option for those who have not yet begun their post-secondary education is to pursue a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program such as the 4+1 degree. This program is designed to allow students to complete the requirements for both the bachelor’s and the master’s degree at the same time. Beginning in their fourth year of study, students may typically begin to satisfy requirements for graduate-level work. These accelerated master’s degrees in education are available online, on-campus, or a combination of the two. They typically take five years to complete, which is less time than the six or seven years it would take to earn the degrees separately.
Benefits of an Accelerated Degree
Teachers who wish to pursue graduate education but who cannot afford to quit their current jobs to do so may benefit from an accelerated degree. These programs allow students to earn a degree on their own time, often via online learning. Another benefit to consider is that there are certainly more job opportunities available to those with a master’s degree, and teachers with a graduate degree may earn considerably more in terms of salary than peers with a bachelor’s degree. In addition, accelerated degrees may cost less in the long run, especially considering the money saved on materials, books, fees, tuition, and living expenses. Some schools also allow you to use undergraduate credit earned toward your master’s degree, thus contributing to a shorter program.
Regardless of the path chosen, students are still required to complete the same amount of coursework in an accelerated program as they would be in traditional master’s degree programs. The only difference is they must do so in a shorter period of time. Before enrolling in an accelerated master’s degree program, make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the field and that you are certain it is the career path you’d like to pursue. Earning an accelerated M.Ed. can be an excellent option for teachers who wish to pursue graduate education but who may not have as much time to do it as traditional students.