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Best Online Degrees in: Schools for English Language Arts

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for English Language Arts

Value
Granite State College is being granted the award for best value in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English and language arts. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average net price for a beginning full-time student in the 2010-2011 school year was $9,076. For this, students receive an education from an accredited college, as well as career support that can benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Flexibility
The award for the most flexibility in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English goes to Ashford University. This online program allows students to complete their assignments and earn their degrees around their own schedules without having to attend class or complete assignments at set times. Ashford has been given an A+ rating for their flexibility by students on College Prowler.

Accelerated Programs
Ashford University Online is a leader in offering accelerated programs for its students. Ashford allows students to transfer up to 99 90 credits of approved previous coursework toward their Ashford University bachelor degree from Ashford University. Ashford also has the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program that allows students to submit turn their corporate training, continuing education programs, prior school credits, or other nontraditional sources of previous learning work and life experience to be assessed for potential into transferable credits through a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). On occasion, students are also allowed to take an extra course load in order to speed up completion of their degree.

Career Support
Ashford University wins the award for best career support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English and language arts. Career Services at Ashford assist students in writing their resumes and provide them with interview techniques and tips as well. They will help their students expand their professional networks by connecting them with industry professionals and potential employers. Ashford will also assist students in searching for a job and matching their degrees to a career.

Financial Support
The award for the best financial support from a school offering an online degree in English and language arts goes to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 98% of the university’s students are receiving financial aid. Their financial aid program will find a way for students to afford a private-school education through scholarships, grants, and loan aid.

Library and Research Support
Ashford University is being given the award for the best library and research support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English and language arts. Ashford offers a variety of online books, scholarly and general magazines, newspaper articles, legal documents, government publications, reports, company profiles, and more. They also offer research resources and assistance, as well as librarian and instructional aid support.

Alumni Engagement
The award for best alumni engagement in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English goes to Ashford University. Ashford’s alumni association holds regular networking events and has multiple social media networks that allow alumni to interact and expand their professional networks. Alumni are also able to share their success stories on the school’s website and stay up to date on what’s going at Ashford through the alumni magazine. Ashford strives to help their alumni succeed by offering career services and discounts on a variety of things, including rental vehicles, travel, and consumer products.

Prior Learning Options
The award for best prior learning options in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English goes to Ashford University. Ashford University Online is a leader in offering accelerated programs for its students. Ashford allows students to transfer up to 90 credits of approved previous coursework toward their Ashford University bachelor degree.

Ashford also has the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program that allows students to submit their corporate training, continuing education programs, prior school credits, or other nontraditional sources of previous learning work and life experience to be assessed for potential transferable credits. On occasion, students are also allowed to take an extra course load in order to speed up completion of their degree.

New Online Student Orientation
The award for new student orientation in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in English goes to Ashford University. Ashford provides students with information about online education. An academic advisor will be assigned to each student who will walk them through the orientation process, answer any questions they may have, and routinely check on their progress throughout their tenure at Ashford. They also provide an introductory course that will allow students to become familiar with the online environment before starting the courses for their major.

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language Arts

A degree in English language arts is typically designed for students who want to teach English in K-12 schools. The field of English language arts encompasses all manner of communicating in the English language, emphasizing reading comprehension and writing skills, but also including speaking and listening skills. Students of English language arts are exposed to a great deal of classic and contemporary literature, and must be able to communicate the primary themes of these literary works in their social and historical contexts. Aside from cultivating these skills themselves, students of English language arts programs learn how to teach reading, writing, and literature to high school, junior high, middle school, and elementary populations.

Most bachelor’s degrees in English language arts can be completed in four years, but program length does differ somewhat from school to school. Students may be able to complete these programs in a shorter timeframe if they transfer in credits from community college, high school AP classes, or through CLEP testing. Because each state has specific, additional educational requirements for teacher certification, including student teaching, some students may take longer than four years to complete the program to meet those requirements.

Class Curriculum

English language arts curriculum includes basic and advanced instruction in English composition, Western and Eastern literature, and various styles of writing. Writing courses might include creative writing, fiction writing, nonfiction writing, and poetry. In addition, a number of education courses are included in the teacher education component that are focused on instructing students how to effectively teach English language arts. Students may take the following core courses:

  • Literature for the Classroom Teacher. In this course, students learn effective methods of promoting literacy and are exposed to research into the teaching and learning of literature. Students also learn strategies for literacy instruction, including how to select appropriate literate for the grade or age group being taught.
  • Expository Writing. This course is designed to teach students how to communicate a message clearly through prose. Students learn how to write for specific audiences, select and narrow a topic, develop and support a thesis, and refine their writing through rough drafts, editing, and revision.
  • Children’s Literature. In this course, students are exposed to a wide variety of literature written for children. Special emphasis is often placed on differences in genres, symbolism, and cultivating a student’s ability to critically evaluate various children’s texts.

Homework in an English language arts program is writing-intensive. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of various writing forms in reports, essays, short stories, and literary criticism. For example, students may be asked to read two different texts and write an essay comparing the two works and detailing how each author brings across specific themes. Even in teaching-oriented courses, students may be asked to write an essay on the most vital pedagogical principles that guide English language arts instruction, drawing from what they learned in their classes. Students pursuing teacher certification must also complete a semester-long student teaching internship in a real-world classroom environment where they gain practical experience developing lesson plans and teaching students.

Building a Career

The most common careers for students who complete a degree program in English language arts is kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers. To enter these careers, students typically enroll in an English program and specialize in English language arts education so that the core professional education course work to earn teacher certification is included in their degree requirements. Requirements for teacher licensure vary by state, but in general, students must have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an approved teacher education program, and often must pass both a general teacher certification test and a test that demonstrates their knowledge in their particular subject area.

The median yearly salary for teachers was $48,800 for kindergarten and elementary teachers, $51,960 for middle school teachers, and $53,230 for high school teachers, as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, teacher salaries vary based on a number of factors, such as how much experience you have, the size of your school district, your degree level, and other considerations. Between 2010 and 2020, slow employment growth is expected for high school teachers and average job growth is expected for middle and elementary school teachers, the BLS explains.

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