Explore the Rewarding Careers an Online Education Program can Provide
One of the most rewarding professions is being an educator. Working in a classroom is just one potential career opportunity available for students who earn an education degree. Educators also include administrators, early childhood specialists, librarians, daycare workers, camp counselors, caregivers, and even specialists in the health industry, to name just a few.
The role of an educator is to pass information to a student. It can occur in a classroom setting, a counseling session, in a health care setting, or as a one-on-one tutorial experience. Educators not only make a difference in the lives of the people they're working with today, but they also impact a person's future.
If you're thinking about starting a career in education, consider some of the positive benefits educators have in sharing knowledge with others:
- You're a lifelong student – Guiding a student or providing an educational experience for an individual involves much more than sharing information. Educators can be perceived as the best learners because they're constantly receiving feedback from their students or clients, which makes for an ongoing learning experience.
- Provide inspiration – The opportunity to give students and clients a potential chance at changing their future is invaluable. In the classroom setting, students look up to their classroom leader and often take what they learn in the classroom to create a positive path in their lives.
- Let your creativity shine – Educators have plenty of opportunities to make the information fun and exciting. The classroom is one of the few work environments where extensive creativity is allowed and encouraged.
Pursuing an education degree is made easier with online programs because of the scheduling flexibility online universities offer. Students can live at home, saving money on room and board, and transportation. Working students pursuing a new or advanced degree can continue working full-time, scheduling their school around work and family time. Ashford University offers education degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels, providing students with many potential career options in several educational fields.
The College of Education at Ashford University offers education degrees in fields that include early childhood education, education and public policy, English language learner studies, library science and media, instructional design, cognitive studies, and many more. Students earning these education degrees may be eligible, depending on state regulations, for educational careers ranging from early childhood development to administrative positions in the school setting, as well as positions as instructors in human resources, Web design, corporate education, and many more in other industries. The job outlook for kindergarten and elementary school positions is projected to grow 12 percent through the year 2022, according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Services. Health educator positions are anticipated to grow 21 percent during the same time frame, and corporate training and development manager positions may increase by 11 percent.
Not only is the job growth looking favorable for many educator positions, but there is also financial assistance through the federal TEACH grant and other federal loan forgiveness programs giving students powerful reasons to think about enrolling in an education degree today. The following grants are available to students pursuing their education degree at Ashford University:
- TEACH Grants – The U.S. Department of Education, through its Federal Student Aid office, established this Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant program for undergraduate and graduate students. The grant makes up to $4,000 a year available for qualified candidates.
Students applying for the TEACH Grant must agree to classroom instruction in a high-need field, in a school program that serves low-income students. This service must be for four years, within eight years of earning a degree, and if the service is not accomplished in that time, the grant will turn into a direct unsubsidized loan and will need to be repaid. Ashford University students have the opportunity to apply for this grant money, depending on their state’s regulations and subject area needs.
High-need fields that fulfill the agreement may include: English language acquisition and bilingual education, special education, science, mathematics, reading specialist, and foreign languages.
- Loan Forgiveness – The federal government has a loan forgiveness program through the Federal Student Aid office, and it's available for students with Direct or Stafford loans.
This Loan Forgiveness may allow students to have up to $17,500 forgiven for Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, as well as subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. Students who have PLUS Loans do not qualify for the Loan Forgiveness program. The requirements are a student, upon graduation with his or her education degree, must provide classroom instruction full-time, for five years consecutively in schools that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications. Students who receive a degree in special education are eligible for the loan forgiveness program as well.
Each year the federal government publishes a list of low-income schools that participate in the loan forgiveness program and it can be accessed at www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp.
Ashford also offers a couple of scholarships of its own for students in the College of Education. These include:
- Ashford University Teacher Scholarship – Three classroom educators in schools in Clinton, Scott, or Jackson counties in Iowa, or Carroll, Whiteside, or Rock Island counties in Illinois, will be awarded this scholarship of full tuition, learning materials, and the technology fee covered each year. The winners must be enrolled in either the online Master of Arts in Education or the online Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology programs.
- Teacher Appreciation Scholarship – Like the Ashford University Teacher Scholarship, the Teacher Appreciation Scholarship is awarded to four classroom educators each year who are pursing either an online Master of Arts in Education or an online Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology degree. They must be employed in any San Diego county (California) school. Visit www.ashford.edu/admissions/community-scholarships.htm#ATC to learn more about these two scholarships.
If you're interested in becoming an educator in a school system or another industry, these scholarships at Ashford University help to create opportunity for earning a degree in this field. When combined with the scheduling flexibility of online education degree programs, the opportunity might be hard to ignore.
Visit www.ashford.edu/degrees/online/education.htm to view all the education degrees offered by Ashford, as well as the career opportunities created by those degrees.
Lizzie Wann is the Content Director for Bridgepoint Education. She oversees all website content and works closely with New Media, Career Services, and Student Services for Ashford University.
Successful completion of any online program in Ashford University's College of Education by itself does not lead to certification or licensure in any state.