Last year, hundreds of teaching positions in Virginia went unfilled, says Linda Linnartz, Coordinator of Academic Quality and Outreach for the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Most required specialized training in subjects such as special education, mathematics, the sciences, and skills for teaching English Language Learners.
Acquiring new endorsements and skills can add depth to teachers’ resumes, making them more desirable to school divisions. But finding time for extra educational opportunities can be difficult for working teachers and administrators.
The Curry School of Education is among the top 20 education schools in the nation, Linnartz says. As a member organization of Roanoke’s Higher Education Center, the school offers online degrees and endorsements for educators who want to earn specialized credentials, to renew their licenses, or simply to acquire new skills.
Part-time online Master of Education (M. Ed) degree programs are offered in areas such as curriculum and instruction, reading, and instructional technology. Multiple certificate and endorsement programs also are available, including gifted, library media, and ELL, as well as workshops on topics such as sports medicine and academic diversity.
There is a huge demand for improvement in student reading skills, Linnartz says, and the reading program at Curry School of Education is nationally recognized for both research and practice, and offers programs and certificates to meet this need. Students can study online at their own pace, and receive the same quality education they would in a face-to-face setting.