One of the most well-known and desirable accrediting associations for education programs is the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE is dedicated to helping establish high-quality teacher preparation. NCATE, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1954 and currently accredits 656 institutions. It accredits both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
NCATE offers accreditation based on the following eligibility requirements:
- Knowledge, Skills and Professional Dispositions: The institution providing the program must prepare candidates to meet professional, state and institutional standards.
- Assessment System and Unit Evaluation: The program must have an assessment system that ensures that candidates are suitable for graduation requirements.
- Field Experience and Clinical Practice: NCATE requires students to participate in clinical field experiences so they can demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for effective teaching.
- Diversity: The program must provide a diverse curriculum that allows students to demonstrate and apply skills necessary to teaching diversity.
- Qualifications, Performance and Development: Faculty are required to model professional practices, including the assessment of their own performance and abilities.
- Unit Governance and Resources: The program must obtain the proper resources, technology, authority and personnel to prepare candidates for professional, state and institutional standards.
Of the 689 institutionally accredited online education schools, only a select few are NCATE accredited.
Students who attend a top accredited online education college can anticipate taking a variety of classes to prepare them for teaching in public and private schools. Accredited online education classes will offer students basic knowledge in:
- Perspectives in Education: Students study and explore the characteristics and role of a professional educator, focusing on the social, philosophical and political aspects of teaching.
- Curriculum Planning and Implementation: Students attending an accredited online education school learn methods of teaching, lesson planning and implementation and assessing pupil learning.
- Student Teaching and Classroom Management: Students pursuing a top accredited online education degree learn basic classroom management skills by instructing in a real classroom setting.
An accredited education program allows students to develop the following skill sets:
- Proper Communication: Students attending an accredited online education university learn how to become proficient communicators, both verbally and nonverbally, by learning good listening and speaking skills.
- Problem Solving: Many of the best accredited online education courses that students attend help them develop unique problem solving skills needed in a classroom setting.
- Leadership: Students pursuing an education degree gain valuable leadership skills by learning the role of a mentor and instructor.
The best accredited online education universities are designed to prepare students for a career in teaching. Obtaining a degree in education allows students to indulge in a variety of occupations within the teaching field. Students who wish to pursue a career in education must not only complete an education degree but also obtain a teaching license.
With a degree in education, students can explore several professions within the field; however, certain positions require different levels of degrees. Students who have obtained an online associates degree in education can typically pursue jobs in tutoring, childcare, preschool teaching and aiding teachers. Students with an associates degree in education also use it as a stepping stone for further studies by later pursuing an online bachelors degree in education. With a bachelors degree, students can become primary and secondary school teachers. Students with a bachelors degree can also explore school administration positions. An online masters degree in education not only allows students to pursue careers in primary and secondary teaching but also prepares students for careers in school counseling and administration. Finally, by earning an online doctoral degree in education, students can pursue teaching positions at colleges and universities.