Online Teaching Certification Programs & Resources for Earning Teaching Certificates Online

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Earning a teaching certificate online has become a popular option for aspiring educators. Not only does the online program offer in-depth education that can serve students in good stead upon graduation, the online teaching certification is a more flexible program that works well for those who are already dealing with a tight schedule. This guide offers information on teaching certificates that can be earned online, preparing aspiring students to pursue their education in a way that might be more advantageous to them.

Find Online Teaching Certificate Programs

Those who are looking for the perfect teaching certificate course are in luck: our search tool allows aspiring students to search through online courses based on options like price, institution and length of stay. These filters can make what was once a quite daunting list a more manageable short list of possibilities. Once that list is complete, it’s time to compare the options and choose the right one.

Degree Level
School Type

Types of Online Teaching Certificates

Teaching certificates prove that a teacher has the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the professional teaching profession. In addition, certificates in a specific area of education can help teachers advance their knowledge, prepare them to move into another area of teaching, set them up for a promotion or pay raise, and expose them to new areas of the educational system.

The reasons for taking an online teaching certificate course are as varied as the individuals who sign up. However, there are some key points to remember when pondering earning teaching certifications online. Here’s why they are so popular:

Attain a Professional Teaching License

Those who want to work in the educational field must have the proper certifications in order to do so. A teaching license is a necessity for those working in public education, and is preferred for those who work in private schools. Students will be prepared to teach in K-12 schools, day care centers, private academies, administration and similar roles.

Career Advancement in the Education Field

Earning a certificate beyond the most basic requirements can be a boon to those who want to move up in the field. By earning a certificate in a particular area of teaching, such as special education or technology education, students can open doors to advancement that would otherwise be closed. Over time, they can build on that knowledge with
even more targeted programs that help them achieve expert
status in their particular area.

Learn New Skills and Teaching Techniques

Even teachers who are happy where they are in the system often want to brush up on new things, such as emerging technologies or intriguing teaching techniques. Earning a certification that focuses on those things can help them bring even more in-depth education to the classroom, which leads to better-prepared students. These new skills might
even prompt a teacher to look into lateral employment moves
within their school, where they can put their new education to
the test.

Get Advanced Training

Those who want to hone in on one particular area of education and truly make themselves an expert in the field can use advanced training certificates to make it happen. Advanced training in one particular area, such as administration or special education, can provide more depth to their teaching approach, which can not only benefit students, but
the school system as a whole. Advanced training is also often a
selling point when it’s time to consider promotions or raise

Pursue Education on a Tight Schedule

These are all good reasons to pursue a teaching certificate, but why an online program? Online education provides an enormous opportunity for those who are already in the workforce or handling a variety of responsibilities that makes it impossible to sit in a traditional classroom. The flexible nature of online learning allows busy teachers to pursue their additional certifications on their own time and their own terms.
This means they don’t have to take precious time away from their classrooms in order to pursue their own educational goals.

Spotlight: 15 Online Teaching Certificate Programs

There are numerous teaching certificate programs offered online. Each program focuses on a different area of education, beginning with the most basic, all-inclusive certificate for general teaching and working into more in-depth programs. Keep in mind that most programs require students to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and are usually designed to advance the knowledge of those who are already working in the classroom.

  • Offered by: University of Nebraska Kearney
    Cost: 18 credit hours
    Length: Online only, making use of video lectures, chat rooms and more
    Format: Nebraska Supplementary Endorsement for Gifted Education
    Outcome: Great for those who want to work with gifted and talented students throughout the K-12 system, this graduate endorsement provides teachers with the knowledge base necessary to help those students. Courses focus on psychology, social and emotional development, assessment and evaluation, curriculum design and other points that are specifically targeted toward gifted students.

  • Offered by: Liberty University Online
    Cost: 3 to 6 classes (can be completed in one year)
    Length: Online only; includes online writing center and online tutors
    Format: Graduate Certificate in Autism Education
    Outcome: This program prepares students to work in special education, specifically with those who have the unique challenges of autism. Courses will focus on the needs of those on the autism spectrum, how to create the proper curriculum, fostering the emotional, educational and intellectual learning environment, and more.

  • Offered by: Drexel University
    Cost: $1,192 per credit
    Length: 34 total credits required
    Format: Highly interactive online learning
    Outcome: PA Administrative Certificate, Principal K-12

    Those who want to brush up on their administration skills and open doors to working as a principal can get the education necessary through this highly flexible online program. Courses focus on solving complex problems within a team atmosphere, mentoring and coaching teachers, and demonstrating pertinent competencies, such as conflict resolution, effective speaking and writing, and team building.

  • Offered by: Drexel University
    Cost: $1,192 per credit
    Length: 18 credits; can be completed in one year
    Format: Highly interactive online program
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Community College Administration and Leadership

    Focuses on skills and competencies put forth by the American Association for Community Colleges, preparing students to work in administration. Courses will teach students about higher education law, organizational leadership, college advocacy and professionalism; there are also numerous electives available to tailor the program to specific needs.

  • Offered by: Arizona State University
    Cost: $675 per credit
    Length: 15 credits (six courses)
    Format: Completely online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Advanced Analytics in Higher Education

    Coursework for this certificate focuses on application of theory in practice, and touches on several ‘hot’ topics such as data mining, predictive analysis, sentiment analysis, data management and security, data visualization and data contextualization, all through the lens of higher education. Real-world projects will allow students to apply their knowledge to immediate practice.

  • Offered by: University of Cincinnati
    Cost: $1,311 per credit
    Length: 15 credits
    Format: Core courses are taken online; field experience is required for the final credits
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in STEM Teaching and Learning

    Students will focus on graduate courses in STEM education, including the use of STEM knowledge to increase teaching abilities at any educational level. Designed for those currently working in the school system, students will be expected to use their newfound knowledge to create a STEM project-based learning activity, implement and assess the outcomes of student learning, and learn to adapt activities if necessary.

  • Offered by: University of Cincinnati
    Cost: $1,311 per credit
    Length: 15 credits
    Format: Core courses are taken online; field experience is required for the final credits
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in STEM Teaching and Learning

    Students will focus on graduate courses in STEM education, including the use of STEM knowledge to increase teaching abilities at any educational level. Designed for those currently working in the school system, students will be expected to use their newfound knowledge to create a STEM project-based learning activity, implement and assess the outcomes of student learning, and learn to adapt activities if necessary.

  • Offered by: University of Cincinnati
    Cost: University of Cincinnati
    Length: 18 credits
    Format: Online only
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in PreK-12 Reading, which prepares students to sit for the Ohio Reading Endorsement examination

    Created for those who want to serve as reading specialists in the PreK-12 school system, this certificate program focuses on social, cultural and language factors that affect reading ability, as well as assessment and evaluation, development of reading behaviors, second language acquisition and more. Critical analysis of literature will also be a key component of the program.

  • Offered by: University of Southern California
    Length: 15 units
    Format: Entirely online, with the exception of one term of guided practice
    Outcome: Educational Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities

    Students in this program will learn to deal with the special challenges presented by those with disabilities of various types. Courses focus on assessment of the curriculum, working with families, maintaining an effective classroom setting, case management, and the foundations of special education. One term of guided practice gives students an in-depth look at the special education classroom, allowing them to put their new knowledge into action.

  • Offered by: George Washington University Online
    Length: 18 credits; can be completed in 18 months
    Format: Completely online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design

    One of the first online graduate programs of its kind, this online teaching program provides students with the theories, principles, models, tools and techniques necessary to create actionable instructional design within various settings. From defining the issues to creating the solutions to implementation of new curriculums, students learn how to handle the hands-on design necessary to implement effective instruction.

  • Offered by: University of Florida Online
    Cost: $552 per credit hour
    Length: 12 hours
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: K-12 Teaching with Technology Graduate Certificate

    This program is designed to help teachers integrate various technologies into the classroom setting. Courses include instructional computing, designing technology-rich curricula, Internet in K-12 instruction, and blended learning environments. Graduates will have a firm grasp of how to provide education through emerging technologies, including online and hybrid options, as well as using technology to assist in the traditional classroom.

  • Offered by: University of Florida Online
    Cost: $552 per credit hour
    Length: 12 hours
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Managing Distance Education Environments

    Created for those who want to teach online courses, students will look at both theoretical and practical issues surrounding the delivery of quality education. Courses include instructional design, managing educational projects, distance teaching and learning, and distance education leadership and management. Graduates will be prepared to work with online schools and programs to create a solid curriculum and offer a solid education through distance learning.

  • Offered by: University of Washington
    Cost: $11,520 (total cost)
    Length: 13 months
    Format: Offered fully online, but can also be taken in person in Seattle
    Outcome: Name of certification earned

    Designed for K-12 teachers, this endorsement prepares graduates to establish, maintain and sustain a top-notch school library, help students find information quickly, and introduce them to a variety of information-gathering techniques. The use of technology in the library is discussed, as well as proper cataloging and classifications, collection development, integration of instructional technology and more. The use of technology to complete the online program complements the technology that will be used by graduates in their K-12 endeavors.

  • Offered by: Post University Online
    Cost: $570 per credit hour
    Length: 12 credit hours
    Format: Entirely online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration

    Those who want to work in the administration of colleges and universities can earn the education they need to open doors to new careers through this program. Courses include teaching the adult learner, the new post-secondary student, administration and leadership in higher education, and policy, politics and pressing issues. Graduates will be prepared to handle mid- to high-level responsibilities in higher education administration.

  • Offered by: Saint Joseph’s University
    Cost: $732 per credit hour
    Length: 30 credits
    Format: Online, but hands-on experience is also required
    Outcome: Pennsylvania Teaching Certification

    Designed for those who have not yet earned their initial certification, this program helps working professionals earn certification to teach secondary school students in math, science, English or social studies. The program includes several pertinent courses, including those in adolescent psychology, special education, assessment and monitoring, literacy, inclusive classroom practices and more. Students who opt for two additional electives will earn enough credits for their master’s degree.

  • Offered by: UMass/Dartmouth
    Cost: $1,104 per course plus applicable fees
    Length: Four online courses (about one year)
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Educational Policy

    Students will focus on educational policy, from both a historical and contemporary standpoint, as well as focus on emergent developments that could demand revision in accepted policies. The curriculum prepares students for management or analytical roles within local or state educational institutions, as well as prepares them to move into the master’s program if desired.

MOOCs & Free Teaching Certification Courses

Those who want to earn a great deal of knowledge but don’t want to spend a great deal of money to do so can look to MOOCs and other free teaching certification courses. These courses might end with a diploma or certificate, or simply a certificate of completion; some can be used to fulfill professional development requirements.

Course Offered by Length Outcome
Diploma in Teaching Skills for Educators ALISON 10-15 hours Official ALISON diploma, certificate or PDF
Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language ALISON 2-3 hours Official ALISON diploma, certificate or PDF
The Learning Classroom: Theory into Practice Annenburg Foundation 13 short sessions The ability to create a more structured and powerful learning environment
Teacher Development: Starter Kit for Teaching Online Edutopia Varies; students are encouraged to take an online course of their choice in addition to completing resource material Prepares teachers to handle education from the online perspective
Positive Behavior in Schools I: Introduction to Schoolwide Behavior Systems Public Broadcasting System 4 hours Teaches the use of behavioral supports and interventions suitable for classrooms or individual students; might be eligible for continuing education credit
Program Reviews: Arts and Humanities Public Broadcasting System 1 hour Certificate of completion
Classroom Video Production Public Broadcasting System 3 hours Certificate of completion
Careers Education and Guidance The Open University 8 hours Prepares teachers to foster successful school-to-work transitions for their students
Secondary Learning The Open University 11 hours This advanced course provides teachers of secondary students with a broader wealth of knowledge from which to create their curriculum
Teaching PE & Health, Elementary Education University of California Irvine 2-4 hours Designed for California teaching candidates, this course focuses on the fitness education of students in grades K-6
Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings UMass Boston Eight modules, one per week Early childhood educators will demonstrate eight core competencies; might be eligible for professional development hours
Psychosocial Aspects of Visual Impairment UMass Boston Four hours per week Designed for special education teachers who need extra training in dealing with children who face vision loss or impairment
Intro to Instructional Design Utah State University Six instructional videos This in-depth look at instructional design takes students from analysis and design to implementation and evaluation
Cooperative and Collaborative Learning Thirteen Ed Online 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Promising Practices in Online Teaching and Learning Texas Woman’s University/OpenStax CNX Varies Prepares students to move into online education
Introduction to Teaching with Skype Teacher Training Videos 1-2 hours Helps educators understand the various tools that can be used with Skype in distance learning

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