Once you have made the decision to pursue a Master of Science in Education degree, choosing the right program depends on multiple factors. You will want to consider the cost of the program, the time it will take, and whether you would like to stay in state or try an out of state program. In addition, you will examine the strength of the faculty and the depth of the program's accreditation standings. One of your biggest decisions will be whether to enroll in an on-campus program of study or choose an all-online option.
The Online Option
More and more working professionals are opting to earn advanced degrees through online programs. The flexibility of scheduling and the online format make it easier to continue working while also earning the degree. In 2016, 31% of master's students were enrolled in fully online programs, according to a brief by Kristin Blagg of Urban Institute, and this number is steadily growing as more schools offer online degree programs.
Considering the Cost
In general, online options have proven to be less expensive than their on-campus equivalents. Even if you have the good fortune to live in the vicinity of a great school that offers the degree program you want, you will still have the additional costs of transportation and parking and, in many cases, childcare. Students who need to pay for housing in order to attend on-campus classes have significantly higher costs than the online option.
In addition, if you need to continue working while pursuing an advanced degree, you may find on-campus classes are not always offered at times that fit into your work schedule.
Although the cost of earning a master's degree in education online may not be the most important consideration, it is often a top concern for many grad students. GetEducated.com places the average cost of an online MSEd program for in-state students at about $18,300, with figures touching $53,000 on the high end.
It is important to keep in mind that, at some schools, out-of-state students pay a higher rate for online degree programs, even if the mode of program delivery is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
Southern Oregon University MSEd Online Programs
Southern Oregon University is a public liberal arts university with a "rising national reputation based on its faculty's notable research and creative talent as well as its practical liberal learning." The school is one of 25 institutions in the U.S. selected for membership in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
SOU offers three different Master of Science in Education online degree programs:
- MSEd with a Concentration in Leadership in Early Childhood Education
- MSEd with a Concentration in Adult Education
- MSEd with a Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction in STEM Education
Each of these programs consists of 45 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 16 months. Tuition for each credit hour is $369 and the same whether you live in or out of state. At this cost per hour, the total tuition for each program is $16,605, lower than the average of $18,300 for other programs of this kind in the United States.
In addition to reasonable tuition cost, SOU also offers multiple start dates each year, making it easier for you to begin whenever you are ready.
While cost may not be your top concern, affordability may be the key to determining which online master's degree program is right for you.
Sources:Urban Institute: The Rise of Master's Degrees
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