Should I get an education degree?

Remember, the teacher who made you believe in yourself? The person who opened your eyes to possibilities? The mentor who gave advice when you struggled? Be that person for someone else by choosing an education major and becoming a teacher.

Teachers have the passion to make a difference in a life and in the world in which we live. Keep reading to answer the question: Should I get an education degree?

What different majors are there for prospective teachers?

If you want to be a teacher, there are a variety of majors and areas of focus. Some examples are primary P-5 education, middle childhood education, high school education and intervention specialist. Middle childhood education majors specialize in two subject areas while students who plan to teach high school major in another discipline such as such as history or English and add on an adolescent/young adult licensure. Multi-age licensures are also available for students who plan to teach a subject area such as music.

Intervention specialists teach students who have mild to moderate educational needs.

Additional endorsements may also be available such as Pre-K special needs and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

What type of hands-on experience can I expect? 

All candidates complete at least 100 field hours before student teaching.  And, in Ohio, students must complete a student teaching experience to obtain a teaching license. Taken during your final semester, you’ll be paired with a cooperating teacher and will teach in that classroom.

Should I get an education degree? What jobs are available? 

The most obvious answer is teaching. However, education majors are valuable in many workplaces. Education majors often thrive in workplaces which require strong interpersonal skills, effective communication and organization.

You can also pursue additional licensures or graduate degrees following graduation or after a few years of teaching.

These programs will prepare you to fill leadership roles or gain credentials in a specific area of instruction such as reading.

What is the difference between completing a degree and getting a license?  

Earning a degree means you have completed a major. 

To teach at a public school in the state of Ohio, a prospective teacher must complete a bachelor’s degree, including the approved courses in the chosen licensure areas, as well as additional professional licensure requirements including student teaching. In your student teaching placement, you will demonstrate that you can plan, instruct and assess for high levels of student learning in a classroom. 

To become licensed, education majors must also earn a passing score on the Ohio Assessments for Educators.

At Bluffton University…

Bluffton University’s teacher preparation program will prepare you to become an effective educator. Because class sizes are small, faculty will understand your goals and get to know you personally. A variety of endorsements are available and student groups such as BEO (Bluffton Education Organization) offer support systems and resources for future teachers. Local student teaching opportunities are available, but Bluffton also partners with the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture to offer student teaching placements in Chicago.

Students who want to further enhance the learning experiences in their classrooms, can pursue Bluffton’s Master of Arts in Education and additional graduate programs which allow you to add an endorsement or licensure.

Should I get an education degree? Written by Tricia Bell, content manager, with input by Dr. Gayle Trollinger, professor of education.