Online Certificate Programs in Distance Education

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Online distance education certificate programs typically require prior completion of an undergraduate degree in education or a related field upon enrollment.
  • Professional Prerequisites: Most online distance education certificate programs do not require professional experience; however, it is strongly recommended.
  • Average Program Length: 1 year (full time)

With more students taking online classes each year, and more schools offering distance learning opportunities, there is a growing need for qualified educators in this country. An online distance education certificate program is designed to prepare educators and other education-related professionals to evaluate, design, and implement distance learning opportunities in academic or professional environments. The curriculum typically incorporates distance teaching and learning, technology, instructional design, and evaluation. Through an accredited online distance learning certificate program, students can also cultivate the diagnostic skills needed to provide effective distance-learning methods. This certificate is ideal for those already working professionally in the field of education or distance education, as well as those seeking advancement within a similar field or those considering a career change.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Distance Learning

An online distance learning certificate program typically covers online curriculum development, interactive media, new technologies for education delivery, and Web community networking, among other subjects. Students will also gain expertise in understanding innovations in distance education, as well as management, and decision-making. Many students may eventually choose a concentration, such as K-12, or post-secondary distance education studies. Through this certificate program, students will learn that certain elements of teaching, like timing, core content, communication, and exercises and assignments, must be specifically tailored to online delivery methods. The online distance learning certificate program offers a well-rounded curriculum in the best practices for online teaching and learning.

For the right candidate, the convenience of the online distance education certificate program means students are able to take advantage of flexible scheduling, and complete the certificate in their own time. At the same time, many online certificate programs strongly advocate a hands-on approach in work experience in this field and encourage students to participate in as much direct involvement, through internships, training, or other education or distance education-related development, as possible. Many accredited online learning institutions will offer students the chance to custom-build their own curriculum while completing their course work, to understand how their own classes might be used effectively, or not, for the specific purposes of online learning. Some online schools also offer students the opportunity to be a guest-instructor for an online course, or develop and implement a mock lesson plan, to test its effectiveness online.

What Your Online Certificate in Distance Education Can Do for You

An increasing number of educational institutions are dependent upon distance educators. Because distance educators must be able to adapt to changing technologies and new industry developments, professional online instructors must be able to develop course work specifically for distance learning, and ensure that their lesson plans will convey information in a way their students will understand, if only through their computers. Distance education may be a non-traditional means of education, but it is a rapidly growing field. In addition to the inherent advantages of taking classes and getting an education anytime, anywhere, students who are serious about a career in distance education but may not know exactly what level of teaching they want to pursue yet are great candidates for the online certification. The certificate takes less time to complete than an online degree program, and is more convenient than taking classes on-campus, but still provides the flexibility of potentially extending education into a higher degree or teacher certification, once the certificate is completed.

Graduates of an accredited online distance education certificate program will be eligible for a wide array of jobs in the school system, like online instructor positions, but also educational coordinator and curriculum and instruction design jobs. As more colleges and universities add online classes and programs, distance educators are in high-demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary teachers, for example, are expected to see job opportunities increase by 17% by 2020, due to an increase in postsecondary online student enrollment and the growing need for qualified online educators to meet this need. However, individual job prospects will vary.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

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Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.