Graduate Certs. to teach other subjects?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by catlin0915, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. catlin0915

    catlin0915 New Member

    I'm working on my RA masters and know that I need at least 18 credit hours in the subject I plan on teaching online. Once I finish could I get a graduate certificate in a totally unrelated field that with 18 credit hours will I able to teach classes in the field I got certified in? If it's ok, is this a common practice? I've seen teachers from community colleges look for something like this and was wondering if it applied to online teaching as well.
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    You'll certainly be able to "check the box", as most schools require at least a Master's degree in the field, or a Master's degree with 18 semester hours in the field. So, you're good to go there.

    The problem is, there are usually plenty of applicants for online teaching jobs, and when faced with 2 candidates for a position, with one having a full Master's in the field, while the other has a Master's in an unrelated field, then a grad certificate with 18 hours, who do you think will get the nod, all other things being equal.

    I think grad certs are great, but as a supplement to your graduate degree(s). For example, I've toyed with getting a grad cert in Homeland Security or Emergency Management, because those are kind of natural extensions of my Criminal Justice Master's degree. Someone with an MBA, then gets a grad cert in something totally unrelated like Psychology and applies for a Psychology teaching job, is going to lose out 999 times out of a thousand to someone with a full graduate degree in Psychology.
  3. TomE

    TomE New Member

    I second what Bruce wrote, however, also consider that you may land a teaching job and develop a positive relationship with your program coordinator who may oversee a few different areas. In "times of need" when available professors are low, he might look to you, and your 18 grad hours, to teach a course in the secondary field. Probably not something to hang your hat on, but definitely something to consider in addition to the fact that it would bolster your CV, regardless.
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, this has been my experience. If my PhD is in Economics, a graduate certificate in Finance makes sense but a graduate certificate in Theology will not help much to teach theology.

    However, most employers prefer the Masters over the certificate. A MS in Finance with an MBA is going to be preferred over a MBA with a graduate certificate in Finance.

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