Online-only Master's program and getting hired

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by MrsCollins, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. MrsCollins

    MrsCollins New Member

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    Jun 24, 2015

    Principals (or anyone else who's done hiring)... How do online-only schools come across on a resume? I have a BS in Elementary Ed from a brick and mortar state school, but I'm thinking about getting my Master's of Special Ed from Western Governor's University. It seems like a fantastic school (non-profit and NCATE accredited) but the only thing I worry about is how seriously it's taken by principals.

    Does anyone have any experience with hiring anyone from WGU? Or any alumni who want to weigh in on whether they felt their degree was beneficial?
     
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  3. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2015

    I got my credential through WGU, using the Post-Bacc program. I finished in 2011, when the job market here was very tough. WGU is not known out here at all, so I think it did make it a little tougher. If Special Ed is a high needs area, and since your original degree/credential is through a more traditional school, it might work out well.

    I have gone on to enroll in a master's program at WGU and looks like I will finish it in a year. Looking forward to a nice salary bump once I'm done.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wouldn't be well received in my area of NJ
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    My feedback comes from the ESL community. Apparently there are districts that won't even talk to people who earned their degrees this way. Not what you want to hear, I am sure.
     
  6. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    You're going to have to ask people in your area, I think. I haven't heard of anyone around here getting a degree through WGU, but in CA no one would care if you got your masters online or not. Some of the Cal States have excellent online-only masters programs.

    I'll be honest, I'm not even sure what WGU is outside of this forum, so I wouldn't know their reputation. If it worries you, maybe you could get an online degree from a brick and mortar school? LOTS of brick and mortar schools have online-only graduate programs.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Definitely check with your Department of Education to make sure those credentials are accepted. It varies from state to state, school to school.
     
  8. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    I got my Master's through an online-only program, but was not able to get licensed in my state because the course requirements were different. So I can only apply to private schools, subbing positions, or paraprofessional positions.
    (My undergrad was not in education so I was not previously licensed)
    However, since your undergrad was in education, adding a Master's degree on top of it should be no problem at all.
    Interviewers/employers are always impressed by my resume and the fact that I have a Master's (even without a teaching license).
    So you will be fine :)
     
  9. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    I graduated from WGU and feel I received an excellent education. However, I do understand why some administrators would be hesitant to consider such candidates, especially when they usually have plenty of other candidates to choose from.

    I graduated in December, was hired for a long term position (to cover a maternity leave) in January, and was then hired full-time for next school year in April. This is in Ohio, where it can be very difficult to find a job. In my experience, the degree from an online institution does make it harder to get hired. There is no doubt I had to prove myself to a greater extent than most candidates do (HR and my principal both admitted this). However, to their credit, they gave me a shot (in the long-term assignment) and fortunately I was able to make the best of it.

    Just my two cents, and again this was in Ohio. Perceptions could be totally different in other states/areas. Good luck with whatever you choose!
     
  10. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I do not know much about the school, but is it exclusively an online school that is out of your state of residence? If not, how will the administration know if you took the courses online v. in class? It does not indicate how you took the classes on transcripts.
     
  11. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    ^ Yes!
    Nowhere on my transcripts or diploma does it mention that I took the courses strictly online. No one has to know unless you tell them! :)
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I am relatively certain that WGU does not have a brick and mortar campus. They advertise everywhere as an online school, so I'm thinking it won't be hard for admin to take one look and figure that one out.
     
  13. ahodge79

    ahodge79 Companion

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    I don't think it matters much here. You could look into a regular school that offers classes online. I noticed a lot of people (including admins) have degrees from National.
     
  14. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    I got my Master's from a school that offered their entire program online. My first time on campus was to walk in the graduation ceremony (I was the first in my family to get a Master's degree, so pictures were necessary...).
    Tuition was affordable, I didn't have to drive/attend classes, and I can say my degree is from a known brick-&-mortar school :)
     
  15. mathme

    mathme Rookie

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    It is all about your current teaching experience. I am currently a WGU MAT student and was offered a job in every district I interviewed in.
     
  16. ACinTexas

    ACinTexas Rookie

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    @Child whisperer may I ask, which school did you attend?
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I earned my degree from a public university in Ohio (no, not the big one with the football team) and only stepped foot on campus three times. All of my courses were online, but the college is known as a traditional institution whose accreditation has never been called into question. However, some schools that function 100% online may not have accreditation in certain states, and others may simply have a reputation as degree mills. Always, ALWAYS, check with your state's Department of Education before spending money on tuition.
     
  18. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My principal's cert is from an online program, so I'm guessing she wouldn't have a problem with it! :)
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I would think it would only be an issue if you were getting your original degree online since it might call into question what kind of field experiences/student teaching experience you had. A masters online wouldn't matter in my area. I've been on the interview committee in 2 of the schools I've worked in and where a candidate has gone to school has never come up. We're looking for quality answers to our interview questions, not superficial things like a fancy college experience. My undergrad was at a very small private university. I think my program was excellent and I did feel 100x more prepared that my friends who went to large state colleges, but 95% of people have never heard of the school I went to. It's never been a problem for me- I've always gotten tons of interviews when job searching.
     
  20. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    I wouldn't use the word "attend" since I never physically went there :D I took classes/got my degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. My first/last time on campus was graduation!
     
  21. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    It really doesn't matter as long as the school is accredited.
     

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