Many of the people who eventually become a teacher in Wisconsin start their careers outside of education. Like many professionals, they reach a point where they realize their passion is for education.
In past years, making the transition from one career to another seemed all but impossible, but thanks to online learning, working professionals can now become a teacher in Wisconsin by earning a master’s degree while also maintaining their current job. Online courses allow for self-paced learning from wherever the student has access to the Internet.
It’s also an attractive option for working teachers who want to earn a master’s degree and boost both their teaching expertise and ability to attain higher pay and better positions.
Marian University MAE Program
An online Master of Arts in Education (MAE) is a good example of a quality online program that can bridge the gap between shifting from one career to another. Marian University’s program focuses on teacher education. Offered 100% online through the school’s online MPath Flexible Learning Program, the degree program makes it more convenient than ever for professionals to become teachers in Wisconsin.
The program is geared toward those who have earned a bachelor’s degree and want to become a teacher for grades 1 through 8. Graduates of the program are also qualified for the Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence license through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
The faculty at Marian University use the same teaching strategies in the classroom that they themselves use to teach students. They understand the hurdles faced by professionals who are making the transition from other occupations. For example, Assistant Professor Polly Manske earned a degree in finance and worked in the insurance industry for a decade before deciding her real passion was to teach.
“Having entered the teaching profession as a career-changer myself, I can appreciate the challenges and excitement of a program such as Marian’s MPath Flexible Learning Program – because I’ve been there,” Manske said.
Applying Theory to the Classroom
In the MAE program at Marian University, students learn the latest teaching strategies and how to apply them to the classroom. The program focuses on creating graduates who will move on to become leaders in education.
The 35-credit program includes a variety of courses that students can take at their own pace. The coursework covers all the areas graduates will need to excel as teachers in Wisconsin. They include:
• Foundations of Education
• Educational Theory
• Foundations of Clinical Practice
• Collaboration and Co-Teaching
• Literacy in the Primary Grades
• Literacy in the Intermediate Grades
Courses also focus on planning and delivering curriculum for mathematics, science and health, social studies and language arts.
“Our program focuses on preparing you to enter the classroom confident and ready for the challenge,” Manske said. “Throughout your coursework, you’ll be introduced to foundational theory that supports effective practices in today’s K-12 classrooms.”
Manske also said the program incorporates best practices “to ensure that you have opportunities to apply your learning to real-world scenarios through case studies and strategic field experiences in local classrooms.”
Alternate Route Pathway
Degree programs such as the MAE at Marian University are considered an “alternate route pathway” to enter the teaching profession by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Many of these programs focus on career changers who have decided to enter the teaching profession.
With the use of online courses, students can achieve a better balance between career, family and furthering their education to become a teacher in Wisconsin. Opportunities provided through systems such as the Marian University MPath Flexible Learning Program open the door for teachers to achieve their career goals.