The Value of a Master’s Degree in the Classroom
Professionals considering a career transition or current teachers who are looking to renew their professional state teaching license are no longer required to earn a master’s degree according to recent Ohio legislation. However, there is still tremendous value in earning a graduate degree for a career in the classroom.
Prior to the legislation that eliminated the master’s degree requirement from the licensing process, Ohio teachers were initially required to earn a two-year provisional license after successfully completing the Praxis I and II exams and graduating from an accredited four-year college or university. Before their provisional license expired, teachers were required to pass the Praxis III exam and complete an Entry-Year mentor program, which would earn them their first five-year professional license. To renew the 5-year license, teachers had the option of earning six college semester credit hours or completing the equivalent professional development hours. Teachers were then required to earn their master’s degree. This process supported continuing education and kept teachers engaged in their own education and professional development.
The recent legislation removed the master’s degree component from the 5-year licensure renewal process. Teachers are now just required to complete six college semester credit hours or the equivalent professional development hours.
A Master Plan for New Education Requirements
The Ohio Department of Education has not arbitrarily eliminated licensure components; they have systematically created a four-tier career structure that positions teachers on a realistic path towards career advancement through continued education.
- Resident license
- Professional license
- Lead status
- Senior status
New teachers are initially granted a resident license and can then move up to the professional license by earning a bachelor’s degree and completing six semester credit hours or the equivalent professional development hours every five years. Teachers can choose to remain in the professional tier throughout their career, which requires no advanced education. However, teachers who seek career advancement can earn a master’s degree to move into the higher brackets to pursue administrative positions and earn higher pay.
Silver Lining for MAEd Holders
Ohio’s new licensure system has displeased many current teachers who have already put the time and resources into earning a master’s degree, or who are in the process of completing their advanced degree in accordance to previous state requirements. However, there is a silver lining to holding a Master’s of Arts in Education (MAEd), and current teaching professionals should not be discouraged from continuing their education once employed in Ohio.
- Advance your career: Ohio’s new licensure process is designed to position MAEd teachers on a direct path towards career advancement, including administration roles. A MAEd qualifies teachers for lead and senior status, which enables them to pursue new career opportunities in Ohio’s educational system.
- Greater benefits: An advanced education degree is associated with job security. Additionally, Ohio teachers earn a higher salary with a master’s degree.
- Stronger pedagogy aptitudes: Teachers who choose to continue their education gain a broader understanding of the latest pedagogy methods and trends to help bolster their effectiveness in the classroom.
Despite Ohio’s newest licensure process, educators seeking broader success in the classroom, greater benefits and career advancement opportunities should continue their education with a MAEd.
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