Benefit Online College Programs

It is one thing to be an excellent teacher and it is another to know how to continue earning a living from teaching after teacher layoffs. The primary reason for this is that economic survival as an intellectual isn’t on the course list in graduate school. For some reason the idea that dedicated public school educators could suddenly find themselves unemployed as a result of massive budget cuts is not available to professors that teach future public school teachers. Fortunately is it possible for a teacher with an earned graduate degree, a Ph.D. or master degree, to convert academic and intellectual strength into an online teaching citadel by learning how to acquire online adjunct instructor jobs with post-secondary academic institutions. The growth of online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs is creating many online teaching positions that must be filled by technically adept and academic qualified online adjunct instructors. The alert educators should realize by now that making the effort to learn how to teach online for multiple online degree programs is one of the best ways to construct a viable financial fortress in these troubled times.

The teacher layoffs seem to have taken a great number of academics by complete surprise, but the next round of pink slips should be met with a plan to discover the benefits of teaching online. The growth of online bachelor degree program and online master degree programs plus the adoption of distance learning by the thousands of community colleges and technical schools is creating a host of online adjunct jobs that must be filled by prepared academics. It is necessary for a prospective online adjunct instructor to learn how to use a personal computer because in order to teach college and university students enrolled in online college courses an online instructor will be required to move smoothly in and out of multiple digital interfaces. The educators with at least a modest level of skill with a computer should have no trouble learning how to interact with the online degree programs with two to five different post-secondary academic institutions. It goes without saying in order to teach online it is first necessary to start applying to teach online courses. This can be accomplished by navigating the Internet and locating the faculty application section of the thousands of post-secondary websites.

There is nothing like experience to encourage the candor necessary to make a realistic decision, and educators have the intellectual tools required to accurately determine the viability of distance learning in terms of their professional careers. There is very little discussion available about the growing presence of distance education technology, and the alert academic examining this should easily identify a growing number of online adjunct instructor jobs with online bachelor degree program and online master degree programs. Obviously, the educator that masters the functions of a personal computer and becomes proficient in the navigation of the Internet can start building an online teaching schedule. It is possible to teach online full time or part time depending on the amount of academic work the academic is willing to accept form various community colleges, state universities and for-profit colleges. The important first step any teacher interested in online learning must take is to start making applications in the faculty application sections of the thousands of post-secondary websites on the Internet. Each school that offers online college courses to its enrolled students actually needs academically qualified and technically proficient online adjunct instructors.

The shadow of teacher layoffs on the traditional campus is creating a need for academics to take a fresh look at jobs teaching online college courses. Obviously, the authority derived from taking control of the teaching schedule can have a very positive effect on an educator feeling threatened by budget cuts, and online teaching provides a teacher with an earned graduate degree the opportunity to increase the number of online classes in an online teaching schedule or decrease them according to financial goals. The best way to start acquiring online teaching positions is to apply for any many online adjunct faculty openings as possible each day in the faculty application sections of post-secondary websites. Every community college, state university, four-year state college, technical school and for-profit college offers its enrolled students online college courses, and there are more online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs every academic year. This means there is every reason to believe that an aggressive application strategy can eventually produce an online teaching schedule that will generate as much online adjunct income as can be earned by continuing to teaching in a traditional academic environment.

There is nothing esoteric about teaching online, but too many academics seem to think that logic is misplaced in the effort to transition out of the physical classroom and into a variety of online college classes that can be taught from a personal computer. The current thinking about distance education technology on the part of academic administrators is located in the economic impact the budget cuts to public education are making on the traditional academic industry and the skyrocketing cost of maintain the physical plants known as campuses. The logic of distance learning is that it is far less expensive to distribute post-secondary academic instruction on the Internet from a computer server than it is to continue offering the same academic instruction in a physical classroom. The new and returning college students understand the logic inherent in the convenience of earning an academic degree from work and at home from their laptop computers instead of driving a vehicle at odd hours of the day and evening to remote physical location. These two logics combine to produce many online adjunct openings that must be filled by academics with earned graduate degrees, a master degree or doctorate, as more online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs are deployed in an attempt to satisfy the education needs of swelling post-secondary student populations with less costly alternatives to the physical classroom. Additionally, these circumstances make it possible for a prospective online adjunct instructor to use logic to construct a sustainable online teaching schedule.

It may be difficult to find the bright spot on the traditional academic campus since the teacher layoffs seem to have no end. The nature of the educator with a graduate degree, however, is not one that gives up easily in the face of challenge, so an academic willing to learn how to teach online from a personal computer can actually produce a sunny academic forecast by understanding the role of distance education technology and how it is creating many online adjunct job openings. The aggressive online adjunct instructor can build an online teaching schedule populated with as many as ten online college classes. There is no doubt if each online class pays the online instructor two thousand dollars the online adjunct income can compete against a traditional faculty salary and win. Further, the online adjunct instructor can teach the college and university students enrolled in the online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs from any place on the globe that provides a connection to the Internet. Obviously, it will take some focus and determination to transition out of the physical classroom and into an online teaching schedule, but teaching online for a living is preferable to watch traditional teaching jobs disappear at an increasing rate as budget funds for public education make the cost of maintaining the physical plants knows as campuses and the classrooms on them less affordable every semester. The best strategy for locating online adjunct faculty openings is to learn how to submit evidence of academic achievement and classroom experience in the faculty application sections of post-secondary websites.

When educators still teaching in the physical classroom or teachers recently unemployed as a result of public education layoffs think about the prospect of teaching online for online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs the question of whether it can actually produce enough online adjunct income to make it worth the effort. The answer is that a full time online teaching schedule containing six to ten online faculty openings can generate an income that will equal or exceed that what can be earned by continuing to teach on the traditional campus. Of course, there is more than income available to an online adjunct instructor. For example, every online college courses is located on the internet. This means that all that is necessary to access the online degree program is a laptop computer and an Internet connection. Actually, it is this feature about earning an academic degree online that attracts so many new and returning college and university students. The point is that the online instructor and the college students do not need to be present in any one physical classroom in order to connect with each other. Since every post-secondary academic institution is deploying online courses as quickly as possible, the economic opportunities for educators with earned graduate degrees, a doctorate or master degree, and sharp computer skills is practically endless because it is easy to teach online for multiple schools without actually being on the schools’ campuses.

The teacher layoffs came like a thunderclap for many academics teaching in a physical classroom on a traditional campus. However, just as the passing of a thunderstorm reveals the clear sky often painted with rainbows, the disturbance in the academic labor market reveals online teaching as a viable alternative to traditional academic employment. For example, a traditional academic position generates just one salary, and that salary can be lost to severe budgetary cuts in public education. Conversely, an online teaching schedule populated with multiple online faculty positions generates a variety of online adjunct income streams that are not interdependent in the sense that if one is lost the others continue throughout the year. Since every community college, technical school, state university and for-profit college now offers online degree programs to their enrolled students, the chances of developing a alternative academic career that can be coordinated from a personal computer located in any developed geographic location on the planet are very high. The best place to start investigating online teaching opportunities is to visit the websites of post-secondary academic institutions. Each school has a faculty application section that is specifically designed to accept academic credentials and documentation of classroom experience. The budget cuts to public education are creating a rocky academic employment landscape that can be smoothed out by building an online teaching schedule. Academics worried about their employment status in the physical classroom should make the effort to apply for online adjunct faculty jobs with online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs because it is now obvious that the majority of post-secondary educational instruction is being moved to the Internet. The reason there are so many opportunities to teach online is simply because academic administrators are discovering that it is very cost efficient to provide new and returning college students with online college classes leading to an academic degree they can earn from their personal computers. Of course, each online college course must be taught by a qualified online adjunct instructor, so as the online college degree programs become more available the number of online teaching job openings grows at the same time. The academic with an earned graduate degree and a moderate level of computer skill can begin building an online teaching schedule by entering the required information about academic achievement and classroom experience in the faculty application sections of community colleges, four-year state colleges, state universities and for-profit schools. It will take a high degree of focus to organize a successful search for online teaching positions, but the effort will be worth it since teaching online can smooth out the academic employment landscape by generating online adjunct income all year long.

One of the most difficult issues facing educators during the rounds of teacher layoffs is which direction to go in after becoming unemployed as a provider of educational instruction. After all, the general economy and the associated high levels of unemployment in other fields does not offer much in the way of opportunity for an intellectual seeking alternative employment in public education. In addition, the vast majority of teachers are place bound in that they are accustomed to working on the same physical campus for decades and the idea of having to travel to another geographic location in search of teaching work is truly a difficult prospect. Fortunately, distance education technology can solve both of these problems by providing the academic with an earned graduate degree, a doctorate or master degree, with plenty of adjunct online faculty jobs and an extreme level of professional mobility. Since all online college degree programs are located on the internet all of the interaction an online adjunct instructor has with them is accomplished from a personal computer. This means the professional mobility inherent in online teaching as a career path is literally not available to educators that stay in the physical classroom on the traditional campus. Academics with earned graduate degrees that want a ticket out of the traditional classroom can find the ticket in an online teaching schedule.

Many academics are forced to deal with teacher layoffs resulting from budget cuts to public education and they are finding the task difficult and demoralizing since the general economy is suffering from high unemployment. After all, if an educator can no longer teach in a physical classroom on a traditional campus just where else is there to work and earn a decent living. Fortunately, distance education technology is coming to the rescue for alert academics with earned graduate degrees, a master degree or doctorate, and at least a modest level of computer skill. The best way for educators to confront the academic employment issue is to learn how to construct an online teaching schedule populated with online adjunct job openings with online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs. The distance learning programs are increasing in number each semester provides an alternative career path for academics that understand why online college courses are important to new and returning college students and academic administrators of post-secondary academic institutions. The real reason there are so many available online faculty job openings is that college students want to avoid the cost of traveling to a physical campus and administrators want to avoid the cost of maintain the physical classrooms. The prospective online adjunct instructor can learn about the distinct possibilities of earning a living by teaching from a personal computer by visiting the thousands of state university, community college, four-year state college and for-profit college websites on the Internet.

The situation for educators teaching in physical classrooms is murky right now as a result of the continuing uncertainty about emerging teacher layoffs. While this is understandable given the situation on the traditional campus, it can be rectified by beginning a successful campaign for online teaching. However, in order to do so an academic must have a clear vision about the changes in the academic labor model. To put a sharp point on the reality of teaching today, academic administrators are no longer willing or able to support the salaries paid to traditional educators working traditional public education settings. Instead, they would prefer to hire online adjunct instructors to fill the growing number of online adjunct professor jobs at the post-secondary academic level. The teacher working at the secondary or elementary level of the academy with a graduate degree, a master degree or Ph.D., should take a long look at the online teaching opportunities with community colleges, state universities, for-profit colleges or technical schools. Every post-secondary academic institution has a website, and on each academic website is a link on the first page that will lead to the faculty application section. It is in this section of the school’s website that information about available online teaching jobs can be found by prospective online adjunct instructors.

When an online adjunct college professor is teaching online college classes from a laptop computer while sitting in the lobby of a small hotel in Paris the freedom afforded by online teaching positions is palpable. It is possible for an academic with a graduate degree, a master degree or Ph.D., and an online teaching schedule to teach college and university students all year long from practically any geographic location in the world. While many teachers would not travel or move to Paris, there are many educators who have been the subject of budget cuts that would like to simply move to a less costly town or small city. The problem with traditional teaching is that the same academic labor problems are magnified in the less populated areas. Teaching at the post-secondary level of the academy in numerous online adjunct professor jobs is a goal that can be achieved by making many applications for online adjunct jobs every day. The way to make these applications efficiently and effectively is to navigate the Internet to the websites of community colleges, state colleges and four-year universities. Inside these academic websites is a faculty application section. This section of the post-secondary website is designed to accommodate the submission of classroom experience and academic achievement.

The broad consensus about online education is that it satisfies a great number of needs for college and university students and the academic administrators that must meet the enrolled students’ educational needs. Teachers working in physical classrooms should understand the function of online degree programs insofar as they meet the new academic employment dynamics as they are defined by the cost-efficiency of distance education technology. The simple fact of the matter is that online adjunct jobs are less burdensome on public education budgets than traditional teacher salaries. The alert educator will understand that the way to continue teaching and still earn a decent living in the face of continuing layoffs is to learn how to apply for and acquire online college classes. An online teaching schedule populated with six to twelve online courses can generate multiple online adjunct income streams throughout the calendar year. Granted, teaching online will require a graduate degree, a master degree or Ph.D., and increasingly sophisticated computer skills, but the academics that make it a professional goal to access the growing number of online teaching positions will be able to earn a living long after the teachers on the physical campuses have been told to go home.

It is becoming harder than ever to remain in the physical classroom since the budget cuts to public education seem to have no end. As more traditional educators lose their salaries from teaching it is important for them to realize that online teaching jobs can relieve academic hardships. The truth of the matter is that distance education technology is relatively easy for academic administers to deploy since it is a mature technology and the post-secondary level of the academy, community colleges, state universities and for-profit colleges, utilize it as a way to replace the expensive physical classroom on the traditional campus. The result of the emergence of online college degree programs is a great deal of online adjunct employment that needs the participation of academically qualified and technically adroit online adjunct instructor to accept it. Every online college class that is developed in order to allow a college or university student to earn an academic degree from a personal computer must be taught by an academic with an earned graduate degree. However, if a teacher with a bachelor degree is willing to earn a master degree or Ph.D. it will be possible upon graduate to start building an online teaching schedule populated with numerous online college courses.

It is not at all necessary to exit the physical classroom in order to start teaching online for online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs. In fact, it would be a very good idea for an educator that is still teaching on a traditional campus to stat investigating how online adjunct jobs are being created each time a new online college degree programs is made available to college and university students. The fact o the matter is that each online college courses within an online degree program must be taught by an online adjunct instructor with an earned graduate degree, a doctorate or master degree, and at least a moderate level of computer skill. It is possible to teach as few as one or two online courses at a time, and since many online degree programs offer classes that last only five to eight weeks long and are offered to college students twelve months of the year, the online adjunct income streams can certainly come in handy in the event of another round of teacher layoffs. The best search strategy for locating adjunct teaching positions online is to navigate the Internet to the faculty application sections in the websites of community colleges, state universities and for-profit colleges.

Why We Need College Leader To Step Up

Some college leaders seem to believe that issues such as college costs, student debt, learning outcomes, and placement rates for graduates are sensationalized by the media and not nearly as serious and important as they are made out to be. (Maxwell, Dr. David, President, Drake University, “Time to Play Offense”, Inside Higher Education, 2/4/13).

When parents and students have both made sacrifices and borrowed mightily to finance the student’s college education, how can college leaders trivialize or ignore the fact that students typically must pay back $25,000 to $100,000 in college loans and credit card debt? Furthermore, parents with more than one child have probably done one or more of the following to cover college costs and related expenses: 1) Taken out personal loans, 2) Borrowed against their house, 3) Increased their credit card limits, 4) Tapped into their retirement savings, 5) Postponed large purchases, repairs and vacations, and 6) Ignored needed medical and dental procedures.

Many college leaders apparently have little idea how much debt students and their parents must take on to complete a four or six year education. Does your college know exactly how much debt each student has built up by the time they graduate? Do they know how much money each parent now owes because of college expenses for their children? Try adding all of that student and parent debt together to get a total. Do your leaders express any concern? Are they doing anything about the problem? By the way, for most students, student loans are not financial aid. They are student debt that has to be paid back. If a typical student owes say $35,000, you can estimate the monthly payments for 5, 10, 15 or 20 years.

In perhaps 60+ percent of the families with two, three or four children, money is tight. Of course these families care about college costs, student debt, learning outcomes, and placement rates for graduates. Parents want their children to graduate with job offers that will enable them to live independently, take care of their own expenses and begin to pay back the money they borrowed, and rightly so.

The preponderance of students want to graduate with a good job, ideally one in their field of study, at a salary on which they can live. To accomplish their goals, students need more help than they are receiving from most colleges today. It is time for large numbers of college leaders to wake up, step up and pay more attention to the employment needs of their financially stressed students. To effectively meet these needs, college leaders will have to mobilize and refocus their college communities, provide resources and implement methods and systems that can improve student employment results.

Ignoring such a significant issue speaks poorly of college leaders. Great college leaders put students first, take on the difficult problems and solve them. Poor leaders deceive themselves and others, put other priorities ahead of students, make excuses, shift blame, resist change and never realize how many students they have prevented from maximizing their success in the job market.

Importantly, far too many colleges fail to accumulate, analyze, utilize and share the statistics and information that will show them how well they are serving the employment needs of students. To serve students effectively, colleges must know how they are doing in areas other than academics. The factors used to evaluate student employment success and a college’s job search preparation performance can be displayed on a spreadsheet chart with the following column headings. (See Below) For columns 2 – 15, a number should be inserted for every major offered.

Student Employment Success Chart

Column 1 – “Majors” – List each major (All 60 – 100+) offered by your college.

Column 2 – “Graduates” – Number of graduates in each major?

Column 3 – “Related” – Number who accepted job offers directly related to their majors.

Column 4 – “Unrelated” – Number who accepted job offers unrelated to their majors.

Column 5 – “No Job Offer” – Number who received NO job offers by graduation.

Column 6 – “Received” – Average # of job offers received by students in each major.

Column 7 – “Percent” – Percent of students in each major receiving one or more job offers.

Column 8 – “Improvement” – Percent improvement (+) decline (-) from the previous year.

Column 9 – “Dollars” – Average $ amount of job offers received by students in each major.

Column 10 – “National” – National average $ amount offered to students in each major.

Column 11 – “Employers” – Number of employers visiting campus to recruit each major.

Column 12 – “Interviews” – Student interviews on campus for Full-Time jobs in each major.

Column 13 – “UnRel Int” – Student interviews on campus for jobs unrelated to their major.

Column 14 – “Internships” – Number of internships that were available in each major.

Column 15 – “P/T Jobs” – Number of Part-Time Jobs that were available in each major.

Note: Colleges should complete this chart as students graduate each year. Columns 3 – 9 can be resurveyed after six months (using Columns 16 – 22) to see how many additional students have been employed and how much the numbers have changed.

Column 16 – “Related” – Number who accepted job offers directly related to their majors.

Column 17 – “Unrelated” – Number who accepted job offers unrelated to their majors.

Column 18 – “No Job Offer” – Number who received NO job offers.

Column 19 – “Received” – Average # of job offers received by students in each major.

Column 20 – “Percent” – Percent of students in each major receiving one or more job offers.

Column 21 – “Improvement” – Percent improvement (+) decline (-) from the previous year.

Column 22 – “Dollars” -Average $ amount of job offers received by students in each major.

Some colleges will be uncomfortable with this tool and may refuse to use it, try to discredit it or keep the results confidential. However, great college leaders utilize analytical tools that will help them evaluate performance and make better decisions. They do not ignore or obfuscate the numbers and facts. They stay on top of them, value them and continually take steps to improve them. Smaller leaders ignore or even hide these numbers and try to shift the focus away from their college’s performance.

College leaders who only provide students with the most basic career and job search assistance seldom track their performance and can only guess how well their students are doing in the job market. It is likely that some college leaders do not want to know. At the other extreme, whenever a college leader says something like, “97% of our students are employed within six months of graduation”, it raises questions. Colleges that boast exceptionally high placement rates seldom provide any details to backup their statements. It would be interesting to know whether the statement is true, what job titles those students now hold and how much they are being paid (Would you like fries with that?).

Those college leaders either do not care what happens to their students or they are unwilling to face the truth. Such leaders are clearly ignoring the needs and wants of their students. The best leaders recognize that students do not simply attend college to obtain a good education, they need, want and expect colleges to guide them through the job search preparation process, so they can effectively compete for employment opportunities.

Question 1: How much money will students need to earn in order to live on their own, cover all of the normal living expenses and pay back their college loans?

Whatever it is, that number is critical. Students who are not able to obtain a job which offers a living wage rate will immediately start off in a big hole. Students and parents already know that. Not all colleges seem to care about that fact.

Question 2: How many majors does your college offer where few jobs exist and/or the starting rate is very low?

Colleges that offer many majors in fields where there are few jobs or only low paying jobs are also likely to provide students will little useful job search preparation assistance. They send students out into the job market unprepared to compete for the few positions that pay a living wage. Some would ask why a college would offer so many majors that have very few employment opportunities and do so little to help students with their job search, although we all know the answer.

Question 3: Why would a college that does a good job of preparing students for their field of study not do an equally good job of helping students identify, prepare for, pursue and land good jobs?

The leaders of each college should think about and answer this question. Since very few students know how to prepare for and conduct a comprehensive and effective job search, they need help. Because grades alone are no longer enough for most employers, students need to hear (from day one) that there are things they should be doing during each semester to make themselves stronger employment candidates. Thereafter, students need ongoing training and coaching, so they can achieve the level of readiness that is needed to compete for the best jobs.

Question 4: Does your college say, “It is not our responsibility to help students prepare for and conduct an effective search for employment? or “We really don’t care if our students obtain good jobs. or “We aren’t going to devote the time, money and resources to student job search preparation assistance.”

College leaders do not verbalize those negative sentiments. However, some of those leaders make their distant, uncaring approach known by ignoring this important issue and by starving the functions that try to help students prepare for their senior year job search.

Question 5: Does your college ever survey students and parents to find out what is important to them, like graduating with a good job?

Of course, college leaders should not ask those questions if they do not want to know or do not intend to do anything about the issues they identify.

The Most Important Question: Why would any college leader ask students to work so hard toward their dreams, let them get close but not allow them to touch those dreams?

Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens to many students when a college does not provide the help, concern and guidance that students need to get ready to pursue and win the job offers they deserve.

Colleges that have delegated the job search preparation and student employment functions to a single department with a one employee or less for each one thousand students cannot possibly believe that they are being successful in providing the information, training and guidance that students deserve and need.

Students want only three things: 1) A good education, 2) An enjoyable college experience, and 3) A good job when they graduate. With that in mind, students need and want leaders who believe in them, stand up for them, fight for them and want them to be successful in everything they do. For students, success means not only graduating with a good education, it also means graduating with a good job, one that will help fulfill their dreams and launch their careers. College leaders who will not or cannot effectively address the needs of their students in all three areas will be remembered for their inflexibility, shortcomings and failures rather than their effectiveness, forward thinking and successes.

Students need college leaders who not only claim innovation, agility and flexibility in their strategic plans, they need leaders who demonstrate those qualities by fully and enthusiastically addressing the employment preparation needs of their students. Unfortunately, too many college students see leaders who accept and even encourage understaffed, underfunded, uninspired and very limited employment preparation efforts that reach too few students and force many good students to enter the job market unprepared to compete for the jobs that pay a living rate. For large numbers of students to find employment success, the entire college community must come together to provide the information, training and guidance that is needed. Does that happen at your college?

College leaders must be expected to anticipate and adjust to the changing needs of students. Helping large numbers of students prepare for their senior year job search is an important part of the job. When two thirds (or more) of your students do not know how to prepare for and conduct a comprehensive and effective job search and have not done the things that employers need, want and expect, something is terribly wrong.

The willingness of college leaders to go the extra mile and help students successfully launch their careers will always be seen as adding great value to the college experience. No longer can colleges, even those with praiseworthy academic programs, ignore what is obvious to students and parents. Students want and need good jobs when they graduate. It is time for college leaders to step up, recognize the need and address that need with enthusiasm and determination.

Insight About Special Education

Special education professionals work to promote students’ overall behavioral, social and academic growth. Special education professionals aide students in developing socially appropriate behavior within their family, school and community. Teachers of special education help students become more confident in their social interactions. Special education professionals administer activities that build students’ life skills.

What Does the Job Entail?

Are you interested in helping others? Can you handle and care for people who learn differently and have other behavioral problems? Do you want to make a difference in a young child’s life? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you might consider a career in special education. Below is a breakdown of the short and long-term responsibilities of a special education teacher.

First and foremost, special education teachers focus on the development and academic needs of children with disabilities. They encourage learning in disabled students by implementing educational modules and behavioral techniques. Special education teachers work alone or with general education teachers to individualize lessons, develop problem-solving techniques and integrate children into group projects with other students. Furthermore, special education teachers are responsible for ensuring that the needs of disabled children are met during assessment periods.

Did you know that special education teachers work with a team of professionals, qualified staff and family in order to fulfill their job requirements? It is true. In fact, special education teachers work in conjunction with these entities to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student. An IEP is designed in collaboration with a child’s parents, school principal, social worker, speech pathologist and general education teacher to ensure effective implementation. An IEP targets a student’s needs and growth areas for maximum response. The specialized goals set by the IEP are woven throughout all aspects of a child’s daily activities. Teachers of special education must monitor a child’s setbacks and progress and report back to parents and administrators. Planned goals and tasks are outlined for family members to refer to while a student is at home as well.

The types of disabilities a special education teacher might encounter are difficult to predict. For one, the qualifications for special education services vary greatly from mild disabilities to extreme cases of mental retardation or autism. Types of disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: speech impairments, hearing disabilities, emotional disturbances, orthopedic impairments, brain trauma cases, blindness, deafness and learning disabilities.

Do You Exhibit These Qualities?

Now that you have an idea of the job’s demands, let’s see if you have the right qualities to be a special education teacher.

Recognize the symptoms and needs of special needs students

Patience

Ability to work with one or more parties to achieve short-term and long-term goals

Strong communication skills

Ability to motivate others

Ability to multi-task

Knowledge of the most recent education modules, medical research and behavioral practices

  • Creativity

Knowledge of the latest medical technology relevant to special education

Taking the Next Step toward a New Career

Once you have decided to enter the field of special education, you will need to follow several steps. Due to the specialization of the field, special education teachers in all 50 states must receive licensure before employment. Licensures are approved by each state’s board of education, and the requirements for certification differ between states. Nevertheless, the growing shortage of special education teachers has led institutions of higher education to offer more special education degree and certification programs. In fact, special education degrees are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels throughout the nation. Not to mention, the booming field of distance learning has made certification more accessible from any location in the United States.

In many cases, hopeful special education professionals do not meet the requirements of special education licensure due to their prior completion of degree programs outside of the field of education. Therefore, several states have begun to offer alternate forms of certification. The hope of these programs is to attract new special education professionals and fill the growing need for teachers. The chance to positively impact the lives of special needs children is one of the driving motivations and benefits of entering this field.

After several years, some special education teachers look for new opportunities within their field. In the most common situations, special education professionals transfer to administrative or supervisory positions. Others, after receiving a higher degree, become college professors and educate new students in the field of special education. Experienced teachers of special needs students have also moved up to serve as mentors to incoming special education teachers.

As for the future of special education and employment, there are many changes on the horizon. Most significantly, the job market in special education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is projected to “increase faster than the average of all occupations by 2014.” Due to the new emphasis on education and training in legislature, special education professionals will become even more valued.

Can I Make a Living as a Special Education Teacher?

As mentioned previously, the special education job market is on the rise. In 2004, the BLS reported 441,000 employed special education teachers in the nation. While only 6 percent worked within private schools, over 90 percent were employed by public schools or districts. In rare cases, special education professionals were involved in home or hospital care.

Several factors determine a special education teacher’s financial compensation. Such factors include experience, educational background, area of specialty and geographical location. In May 2004, the BLS reported the following breakdown of median annual earnings of special education teachers:

Preschool, kindergarten and elementary school level: – $43,570

Middle school level: – $44,160

Secondary school level: – $45,700

Special education teachers receive increases in salary through additional involvement in their schools’ educational activities and through coaching school athletic teams. In some districts, being a mentor to a new special education teacher carries additional monetary benefits. However, the most common way to increase earnings is through the completion of a higher degree, which can also make a teacher’s instruction more credible and valuable.

All About Online Education

More and more young people are choosing non-traditional education to start and advance in their careers while completing and furthering their formal education. “Typical distance learners are those who don’t have access to programs, employees who work during scheduled class hours, homebound individuals, self-motivated individuals who want to take courses for self-knowledge or advancement, or those who are unable or unwilling to attend class” (Charp, 2000, p. 10). Three key elements surround the online learner: technology, curriculum, and instructor (Bedore, Bedore, & Bedore, 1997). These elements must be keenly integrated into one smoothly and operationally functional delivery tool.

While an online method of education can be a highly effective alternative medium of education for the mature, self-disciplined student, it is an inappropriate learning environment for more dependent learners. Online asynchronous education gives students control over their learning experience, and allows for flexibility of study schedules for non traditional students; however, this places a greater responsibility on the student. In order to successfully participate in an online program, student must be well organized, self-motivated, and possess a high degree of time management skills in order to keep up with the pace of the course. For these reasons, online education or e-learning is not appropriate for younger students (i.e. elementary or secondary school age), and other students who are dependent learners and have difficulty
assuming responsibilities required by the online paradigm.

Millions of students use e-learning solutions in over 140 countries: corporations such as Kodak and Toyota and education providers like ExecuTrain, New Horizons, the Enoch Olinga College (ENOCIS), Phoenix University amongst the hundreds of schools and colleges.

Studies have shown student retention to be up to 250% better with online learning than with classroom courses. Several recent ones have helped frame the debate. The Sloan Consortium published a widely distributed report titled “Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States in 2005” that examined the growing prevalence of online education across U.S. institutions.

In addition, a study conducted by the Boston-based consulting firm Eduventures found that, while about half of institutions and more than 60 percent of employers generally accept the high quality of online learning, students’ perceptions differ. Only about 33 percent of prospective online students said that they perceive the quality of online education to be “as good as or better than” face-to-face education. Ironically, 36 percent of prospective students surveyed cited concern about employers’ acceptance of online education as a reason for their reluctance to enroll in online courses.

But what actually drives quality? A March 2006 report released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education identifies six quality indicators: mission, curriculum and instruction, faculty support, student and academic services, planning for sustainability and growth, and evaluation and assessment.

The debate rages on while the Pros and Cons of Online Adult Education for today’s international students are constantly analyzed to determine if this type of education platform can deliver predictable and measurable results.

The Enoch Olinga College (ENOCIS) is one institution which uses this type of delivery system. ENOCIS enhances their learning experience by offering many other “value added”, cost reducing benefits to students. Online pupils can apply for scholarships available to students of excellence and other financial aid programs like the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), with attractive interest rates. They also provide convenient payment facilities, on line banking, Western Union Quick Collect, bank cards and a student who is granted a loan can start repaying it after two months if they have a corporate guarantor.

Pros of Online Education:

The key advantages of the online education experience are briefly explained below:

1. Cheaper: Online courses may be more affordable than those offered at colleges or trade schools. You may also save on transportation costs like gas, bus passes, and parking permits because you don’t need to commute to school and there are no housing or meals plans to worry about since you do not need to live on or near a college campus. Housing expenses and other costs associated with living expenses are usually the most expensive aspects of a college education, so by taking an online course you could save quite a bit of money.

The best part of online education is the absence of travel and immigration problems. Some students may prefer not to pursue traditional on campus education, as it involves traveling to attend lectures. With online education, an applicant does not need to travel. Courses simply require accessing the internet in order to begin the learning process.

2. More Convenient: By taking courses online, you’re able to decide when you study and for how long. You are also able to schedule your studying around your work or social schedule.

Since you’re not bound to a classroom, you may do your work wherever you have access to a computer and the internet. You’ll be able to set your own pace and decide exactly how fast you want to go over the material.

Take online courses when you need them, not based on some college’s annual or semester schedule. You can learn when you need it (Just-In-Time) A course is as close as a computer with an Internet connection.

3. Flexibility: with no set class times, you decide when to complete your assignments and readings. You set the pace. In some programs, you can even design your own degree plan. The online students can carry out their private or official work, along with the online education. As it provides the convenience of time flexibility, a student can login and logout as per his desire whereas, the traditional education do not provide such flexibility in learning.

Flexibility of online education allows the student control over their studies. They can allot more time in the topics, which they feel comparatively hard and vice versa. The speed of learning depends solely upon the students.

4. Technology: With the help of the scientific technology, students can do their online education at any place. The only mandatory pre-requisite is the availability of computer along with an internet amenity. Side benefits include the learning new technologies and technical skills

5. Availability: distance-learning opportunities have exploded over the past few years, with many accredited and reputable programs.

6. Accessibility: with an online course, you can work on the course just about anywhere you have computer access. Your learning options are not constrained by your geographic location. The new virtual classrooms have created a myriad of learning opportunities for global learning and education center. On line education is a new era experience adapting to the needs of the world citizen.

7. Self-Directed: you set your own pace and schedule, so you control the learning environment.

8. Time Spent in Classroom: now you can take a course on just about any subject without ever having to be in, or travel to, a classroom so you have very little wasted time. Note, however, that some distance-education programs still do have an in-class component and normally to receive a fully accredited US university degree an international student must spend one or two semesters on campus.

9. High Quality Dialog: Within an online asynchronous discussion structure, the learner is able to carefully reflect on each comment from others before responding or moving on to the next item. This structure allows students time to articulate responses with much more depth and forethought than in a traditional face-to-face discussion situation where the participant must analyze the comment of another on the spot and formulate a response or otherwise loose the chance to contribute to the discussion.

10. Student Centered: Within an online discussion, the individual student responds to the course material (lectures and course books, for example) and to comments from other students. Students usually respond to those topics within the broader conversation that most clearly speak to their individual concerns and situations resulting in several smaller conversations taking place simultaneously within the group. While students are expected to read all of their classmates’ contributions, they will become actively engaged only in those parts of the dialog most relevant to their needs. In this way, students take control of their own learning experience and tailor the class discussions to meet their own specific needs. Ideally, students make their own individual contributions to the course while at the same time take away a unique mix of information directly relevant to their needs.

11. Level Playing Field: In the online environment learners retain a considerable level of anonymity. Discriminating factors such as age, dress, physical appearance, disabilities, race and gender are largely absent. Instead, the focus of attention is clearly on the content of the discussion and the individual’s ability to respond and contribute thoughtfully and intelligently to the material at hand.

On line adult education can be more effective and better for certain types of learners (shy, introverted, reflective, language challenged, those that need more time). Distance education courses are often better for people who learn through visual cues and experiential exercises.

12. Synergy: The online format allows for a high level of dynamic interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves. Resources and ideas are shared, and continuous synergy will be generated through the learning process as each individual contributes to the course discussions and comments on the work of others. The synergy that exists in the student-centred virtual classroom is one of the unique and vital traits that the online learning format posses..

13. Access to Resources: It is easy to include distinguished guest experts or students from other institutions in an online class as well as allow students to access resources and information anywhere in the world. An instructor can compile a resource section online with links to scholarly articles, institutions, and other materials relevant to the course topic for students to access for research, extension, or in depth analysis of course content material in the global classroom.

14. Creative Teaching: The literature of adult education supports the use of interactive learning environments as contributing to self-direction and critical thinking. Some educators have made great strides in applying these concepts to their on ground teaching. However, many classes still exist which are based on boring lectures and rote memorization of material. The nature of the semi-autonomous and self-directed world of the virtual classroom makes innovative and creative approaches to instruction even more important. In the online environment, the facilitator and student collaborate to create a dynamic learning experience. The occasion of a shift in technology creates the hope that those who move into the new technology will also leave behind bad habits as they adopt this new paradigm of teaching. As educators redesign their course materials to fit the online format, they must reflect on their course objectives and teaching style and find that many of the qualities that make a successful online facilitator are also tremendously effective in the traditional classroom as well.

Cons of Online Education:

Briefly explained are some factors that could negatively affect your success with distance learning courses:

1. The Technology:

a. Equity and Accessibility to Technology: Before any online program can hope to succeed, it must have students who are able to access the online learning environment. Lack of access, whether it be for economical or logistics reasons, will exclude otherwise eligible students from the course. This is a significant issue in rural and lower socioeconomic neighborhoods and educating the underserved peoples of the world. Furthermore, speaking from an administrative point of view, if students cannot afford the technology the institution employs, they are lost as customers. As far as Internet accessibility is concerned, it is not universal, and in some areas of the United States and other countries, Internet access poses a significant cost to the user. Some users pay a fixed monthly rate for their Internet connection, while others are charged for the time they spend online. If the participants’ time online is limited by the amount of Internet access they can afford, then instruction and participation in the online program will not be equitable for all students in the course. This is a limitation of online programs that rely on Internet access. Equity of access to learners of all backgrounds and parts of society

b. Requires New Skills/Technologies: if you’re not computer-savvy or are afraid of change or new technologies, then online education will probably not work for you. The online students are required to learn new skills, such as researching and reviewing the internet. For the online students, they need to learn the techniques of navigation on an online library for necessary information. Technical training and support of learners and instructors

c. Computer Literacy: Both students and facilitators must possess a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to function successfully in an online environment. For example, they must be able to use a variety of search engines and be comfortable navigating on the World Wide Web, as well as be familiar with Newsgroups, FTP procedures and email. If they do not possess these technology tools, they will not succeed in an online program; a student or faculty member who cannot function on the system will drag the entire program down.

d. Limitations of Technology: User friendly and reliable technology is critical to a successful online program. However, even the most sophisticated technology is not 100% reliable. Unfortunately, it is not a question of if the equipment used in an online program will fail, but when. When everything is running smoothly, technology is intended to be low profile and is used as a tool in the learning process. However, breakdowns can occur at any point along the system, for example, the server which hosts the program could crash and cut all participants off from the class; a participant may access the class through a networked computer which could go down; individual PCs can have numerous problems which could limit students’ access; finally, the Internet connection could fail, or the institution hosting the connection could become bogged down with users and either slow down, or fail all together. In situations like these, the technology is neither seamless nor reliable and it can detract from the learning experience.

2. The Institution: Many online education facilities are relatively new with many courses and hence, lack in modern instructors for instructing the new curriculum. Estimates show that there is still a need for an increase of more 50% of qualified instructors for online education.

b. The Administration and Faculty: Some environments are disruptive to the successful implementation of an online program. Administrators and/or faculty members who are uncomfortable with change and working with technology or feel that online programs cannot offer quality education often inhibit the process of implementation. These people represent a considerable weakness in an online program because they can hinder its success.

3. The Facilitator :Lack of Essential Online Qualities: Successful on-ground instruction does not always translate to successful online instruction. If facilitators are not properly trained in online delivery and methodologies, the success of the online program will be compromised. An instructor must be able to communicate well in writing and in the language in which the course is offered. An online program will be weakened if its facilitators are not adequately prepared to function in the virtual classroom.

4. Perceptions/Reputation: while slowly changing as more and more mainstream colleges and universities embrace distance learning, there still is a stigma attached to distance education to the student’s interaction in the online education. Some of the students believe that, there are few opportunities with regards to face-to-face interactions and feedbacks.

5. No Instructor Face Time: If your learning style is one where you like personalized attention from your teachers, then online education will probably not work for you.

6. Little Support: students are expected to find their own resources for completing assignments and exams, which is empowering for some, but daunting for others.

There is little support and limited guidelines provided in online education system. Online students are required to search as per their own imaginations for completing exams and assignments.

7. Lacking Social Interaction: while you often interact with classmates via email, chat rooms, or discussion groups, there are no parties or off line get-togethers.
If you enjoy meeting new people and learn better while you’re interacting with other people, you may want to reconsider online education.

8. No Campus Atmosphere: part of the traditional college experience, of course, is the beauty of the campus, the college spirit, but you have none of that with distance-education courses.

Since you’re not on campus or in classes, you may lack opportunities to meet other students. You will not have many opportunities to interact face-to-face with your professors, so they may not have a real sense of who you are as a person.

9. Making Time: if you are a procrastinator or one of those people who always needs an extra push to complete work, you may have a hard time making time for your online classes. On line learning requires new skills and responsibilities from learners

10. Academic honesty of online students: requires a new mindset to online assessment. Most education experts agree that rote memory testing is not the best measure of learning in any environment and new measurement and evaluation tools are evolving.

11. Types and effectiveness of assessments: The importance of outcomes in online learning cannot be over emphasized. Does the program have measurable results? Are students learning what you say they should be learning? Then there are institutional outputs: course completion rates, job placement rates (if that’s the goal of the institution), graduation rates, student success on third-party tests, and student satisfaction scores.

These factors, both the pros and cons, contribute greatly to making an informed decision about the direction of your career path and how you are going to accomplish your goals: on line, in the classroom or a combination of both.

Institutions and companies that use continuing education to meet their needs also face similar decisions. Institutions that deliver online education are confronted with a series of challenges, including the search for good faculty, use of technology, and provision of adequate student services.

The Sloan Consortium report “Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States in 2005” found that 64 percent of chief academic officers and faculty believe that it takes more discipline for a student to succeed in an online course than it does in a face-to-face course.

More and more major business and industry is turning to on line continuing education as a viable and cost effective resource for training its personnel. Hilton Hotel has 380 hotels worldwide and is represented in 66 countries.

When you weigh the benefits and advantages of on line adult continuing education the cost of study and flexibility of scheduling tip the scales of programs like the Enoch Olinga College, Capella and Phoenix University’s distance learning program on line adult continuing education is becoming a world wide respected form of education.

However, as with any situation, there are both pros and cons with the concept of online education and the benefits of the virtual or global classroom. You may want to evaluate both before you decide on an online education program. By examining the advantages and disadvantages, you will be able to make a more informed decision. But, at the end of the day, online learning is independent learning. A lot of structure has been put into online programs, but it still comes down to a learner sitting in front of a computer by him or herself. The knowledge you receive or the benefits it will generate either in development of self esteem or increasing earning capacity will depend sole upon you the student.