Online English Degree:
From Substitute to Certified Teacher

An online English degree may be faster and more economical than a traditional certification program.

And if you are a mother or can't afford to quit your current job, an online degree may be your best option.

However, the number one complaint from those who have earned degrees online is the lack of face-to-face contact with professors.

If you need to keep your day job, however, or if you are a busy parent, you can become a teacher by earning your certificate online.

The bottom line: Do your research before choosing an online degree program. Put yourself on the right track to earning a teaching certificate in your home state.

Megan from Ohio earned her master's in secondary teaching from the University of Phoenix. For this mother and substitute teacher, the traditional campus-centered program was simply impossible.

After earning her online English degree, she is now working as a tenth grade English teacher. Learn what she has to say below.

Describe what you liked best about your online educational experience:

I really enjoyed how flexible it was. During the time that I was earning my degree, I was also substitute teaching, so I never knew if I would be called into work that day or not. I was able to pick the times that I studied and did other things for the class. I also have kids so this enabled me to be there for them when there was some kind of emergency or sporting event. If they got sick I would be able to take care of them instead of having to worry about missing classes. Another thing that I really like about the online experience was the fact that none of my classes had conflicting times. So every time I scheduled for classes I was able to take whatever classes I needed without having conflicting class times. Lastly, I like the University of Phoenix because the layout of the whole degree was easy to follow, I knew what classes I needed to take and what prerequisites I needed.

Describe what you liked least about your online learning experience:

The major setback of obtaining a degree through an online program is the lack of one on one attention that you would otherwise get with the teacher. If I had a problem with one of the concepts or areas of the material, it was often hard to have it thoroughly explained to me. Explaining concepts and material through e-mail is not nearly as helpful as having it explained in person. Sometimes, e-mailing a teacher did not even help because it would take them a week or more to respond and at that point, it would be too late. I would recommend that for difficult classes, you find a way to take them in a classroom, not online. Also, not having a personal relationship with all of my classmates was extremely difficult. I find that when taking classes that is one of the most beneficial things. Having a support system of other students who are able to help you with material is really important and really helpful. It was hard to get to know students just through an e-mail basis.

How has this university degree helped or hurt your career?

Earning my master's degree online has definitely helped my career. I was able to find work as a full time English teacher rather than as a substitute. Once you are in the job market, an online English degree is as good as any traditional degree.

What would you say to others who may be thinking of earning an online English degree for teacher certification?

I would definitely recommend earning your degree online if you have kids or if your are working a demanding job. Otherwise interactive learning in the classroom tends to be much more effective.

Megan - Ohio - University of Phoenix - Secondary Teaching

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