Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Responding to the growing demand for online educators, Indiana University Northwest has announced it will offer a new K-12 Online Teaching Certificate beginning in January 2015. The certificate program, which will be taught fully online, is a 15-credit hour program that will instruct certified K-12 teachers on how to develop and teach online courses geared toward primary and secondary level students.
While individualized learning has become prevalent in higher education over the past decade, online learning for K-12 students has also been gaining momentum. Dr. Angela Solic, Associate Director of IU Northwest’s Center for Innovation and Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CISTL) and Clinical Assistant Professor of Education, developed the certificate with the assistance of faculty from the IU Northwest School of Education to address the growing need for K-12 teachers skilled at teaching online courses.
According to Solic, online education for K-12 students benefits the students, teachers and school districts.
“Online courses are an important offering for K-12 students because they offer greater flexibility with learning content. Students can take remedial or advanced courses during school breaks, in study hall, or at night that might not be offered during the regular semester,” Solic said. “Teachers also benefit from the possibility of earning extra income and teaching in areas of interest that they can’t fit into the daily school schedule, while school districts will see potential increases in enrollment by being viewed as investing in innovation.”
The certificate requires completion of five accelerated courses, each at 7 1/2 weeks long, as well as each teacher to create his or her own fully online course over the duration of the program that can be taught within the school district once complete. Currently, the program is the only one of its kind offered in the State of Indiana and one of only a few offered nationwide.
“Given the high demand for online teachers and the potential that online courses have for accelerating the educational development of students, we are pleased to have invested in this practical professional development program for K-12 teachers,” Solic said. “We truly believe that instructing more educators on online teaching will be a win for teachers, school districts and, most importantly, students.”
The first program begins January 12, 2015, and runs through October 11, 2015. The deadline to register is December 22, 2014, to enroll in the first cohort, but teachers can enroll at any time after that, but might have to wait until the next offering of the first course. In order to be accepted into the program, enrollees must fill out an application, provide evidence of a Bachelor’s degree, and proof of a teaching certificate.
For information about enrollment in the K-12 Online Teaching Certificate Program, contact Kelly Zieba at (219) 980-6510. For questions about the courses and curriculum, contact Angela Solic at (219) 980-6642.