10 Most Affordable Doctorate in K-12 Education Online in 2021
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Online Ed.D in K-12 Education programs give students the chance to earn an advanced degree from a college or university that offers online classes. For many students, going back to school or getting a doctoral degree is almost impossible because they can't afford to take time away from work. Those who want to work as curriculum directors, principals and college professors though will need this type of advanced degree. To help students find programs that they can actually afford, we created a list of the most affordable online doctoral programs for those interested in K-12 education.
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Most Affordable Online K-12 Education EdD Programs in 2021
Our Methodology, Explained
|Academic Quality||Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates||30%|
|Affordability||Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid||10%|
|Reputation||Admission and enrollment rates||30%|
|Program Offerings||Number of program options||20%|
|Online Enrollment Score||Portion of learners taking at least one online course||10%|
Additional Doctorate in K-12 Education Offerings
Texas A&M University
Tuition – $11,036 per year
University of South Carolina
Online Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction
Tuition – $11,454 per year
Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D)
Tuition – $12,075
Western Illinois University
Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D)
Tuition – $12,655
Online Ph.D in Education in K-12 Studies
Tuition – $13,998
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There a Time Limit to Finish These Programs?
Many students do not realize that colleges have a time limit in place that tells students how long they have to work on and finish their degrees. The idea behind this time limit is that it keeps students from filling up spots that others might want because they take too long to finish their programs of study. Education programs typically give students between five and seven years to finish a doctoral degree. Most students spend one to two years taking required classes and spend the rest of their time working on their dissertations. Most top schools will require that students do a dissertation defense too. This asks them to present their work and then answer questions asked about that work.
What are Some of the Disciplines in K-12 Education?
When talking about educational disciplines, the term can refer to the individual topics that teachers cover and the different fields within the industry. Those topics can include math, science, social studies and gym. Most undergraduate programs allow students to pick both what they want to teach and the age range of the students they will teach. This allows those students to graduate and feel ready to teach elementary school math, high school biology or another subject.
Discipline can also refer to some of the positions and areas of interest within this field like school administration. Superintendents are those responsible for multiple schools in a district. They investigate complaints reported by students, teachers, principals and parents, but they also help schools operate within a strict annual budget. Curriculum professionals focus more on the curriculum that schools use. Other disciplines within this field include instruction design, academic research and post-secondary education.
What Jobs are in the Education Field?
The education field has a number of jobs available that go beyond simply working with students. Some of the graduates of these programs work in colleges and universities to train the next generation of students on how to work with their own students. These professors usually have teaching experience at the K-12 level and spend years working with younger students. They share their knowledge with those who want to one day teach students.
A large number of graduates take on administration jobs such as school principals and superintendents. Principals can work in both public and private schools. They are the ones responsible for disciplining students and teachers, interviewing and hiring new teachers, sharing information with parents and the school board and handling the daily needs of the school. Superintendents generally perform more duties on a daily basis and work in or for multiple schools instead of just one.
Curriculum and instruction is a field of educational study that is on the rise. Those working in curriculum design and development are the ones who create new textbooks and find new materials for students and their teachers. They also look at things like test scores to see how well the new curriculum works. Instruction development and design professionals are the ones who work with teachers and train or educate them on how to best meet the needs of their students. Graduates of these programs can also work for government and non-profit research institutes and organizations.
How Much Do Graduates of These Programs Make?
Comparing the cost of an online K-12 Education Ed.D to the amount that they can make is a great way for students to see just how well the investment they make in their futures will pay off in the long run. Administration professionals working in elementary, high and middle schools can earn more than $95,000 a year. The states that pay administrators the highest average salaries include New York, Illinois and California. Professionals working in those states earn an average salary of more than $100,000 a year.
The average salary of a high school, elementary school or middle/junior high school teacher is less. High school teachers earn more and have a median salary of around $58,000 a year. Elementary school teachers and those who work with younger students earn around $55,000 a year. It's worth noting though that teachers do not need an advanced degree and can find work with just a bachelor's degree. Administrators need both a doctoral degree and some experience. Those working in research as well as curriculum and instruction can earn more than $100,000 a year, though it depends on where they work.
What is the Future Outlook for the Field?
The future outlook for these professions is generally favorable, especially as more charter schools open. It wasn't that long ago that parents only had the option of sending their children to a public school or paying for a private school. Many private schools place an emphasis on religious learning, but there are some private schools that are nondenominational. Charter schools offer an alternative that is more affordable. Those schools need administrators with experience in supervision, curriculum and instruction. Some charter schools are specialized schools that focus on the performing arts or STEM studies. Outlook in this industry is also high because of the number of teachers and administrators reaching retirement age. This leaves more jobs open to recent graduates.
Do Online Programs Help Students Become Certified?
Becoming a teacher in most states requires a few select things. The first is a bachelor's degree. Though substitute teachers can work on a temporary basis without having a license, most states require that teachers have a license. Before becoming a teacher, the individual must submit his or her fingerprints to the police station and pay for a full background check. This check looks for arrests and other issues that might prevent an individual from working with students. Many states also ask that teachers have a bachelor's degree in teaching or education and that they agree to work on and earn a master's degree later. Online programs of this type can help students who do not yet have a license get certified to become a teacher. Some programs also help students meet the requirements to sit for board exams and get licenses that are valid all across the country.
How Can Educational Doctoral Students Get Experience?
Though enrolling in a cheap online K-12 Education Ed.D program helps students save money on the cost of earning a doctoral degree, it may limit the experience that they get working with administrators and teachers. Not all online programs have an internship component, but students in those programs can still gain some experience. They can sign up for an independent research project and gain some fieldwork experience while completing that project. Students can also look at which programs have an internship requirement and ask those schools about how they can find internships working in their own cities.
Doctoral candidates can also look for other ways to gain experience such as volunteering to help a local school during the day or when it hosts a fundraiser. They can work as substitute teachers and get some experience actually teaching students on a daily basis. Some may find it helpful to do administrative work outside of schools to see how other industries operate.
How Do Hybrid Programs Work?
In addition to standard online educational doctoral programs, there are also a few hybrid programs. Some of these programs give students the option of taking some of their classes on the campus, but other programs require that students participate in events designed specifically for online students. Students will spend a full weekend or several weeks on that campus, and the college can arrange for those students to stay in a dorm room or find a hotel near the campus. Programs with a residency component give students the chance to interact with the professors teaching their online classes and the students enrolled in those classes too.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Explore Similar Programs.
Thanks for checking out our list of the most affordable online programs for K-12 education. We hope our hard work and research helps prospective students pick the top online Ed.D in K-12 education programs.
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in K-12 Education Online.
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