Indiana is an interesting place to pursue a career as an educator. While U.S. Today ranks Indiana as the 21st best state in the nation, U.S. News ranks Indiana 35th best. Their metrics were a big factor in their ranking, but we appreciated U.S. News’ inclusion of cost of living, and racial equality as a factor when judging. The fact is, even if you work in Massachusetts or Vermont, this job is hard. There are myriad of things to consider before pursuing your career as an educator. In Indiana, you have a major advantage when it comes to education. There are some phenomenal public schools offering some of the best online education degrees in the nation: Ball State, Indiana University, and Purdue. All three of these schools have phenomenal teacher training programs, and if you’re paying in-state tuition you’re getting some of the best value for education anywhere. Ball State is known across the nation for their high quality programming in special education, and both Indian University and Purdue has decades of experience training teachers. Indiana has a long way to go to get to the top ten for education outcomes in the US. That being said, it’s not at the bottom either and so the task is not overwhelming. Combine that with the fact that the cost of living is one of the best in the nation according to U.S. News and you’ll start to see that making your way as a teacher does not have to be completely impossible financially. Teachers always have to be cost-conscious particularly when it comes to paying back student loan debts. Again, Indiana provides an answer- that’s the Hoosier Educators Scholarship, available to 200 prospective teachers per year. That’s $7,500 off of tuition. In the case of Ball State and Purdue, that nearly covers in-state tuition. What that leaves is you facing down the reality of what it means to be a teacher. Indiana is an affordable place to do it, and on the rise, but what about your passion? Do you have a blazing fire inside of you to do this job? If so, there are so many routes to get you where you want to go. You can take the traditional route from bachelor’s to career, or go non traditional with a few government incentive programs. Below we list all of the schools in Indiana that offers some form of online degree or certification. We also rank the top 5 programs in the Hoosier State, and walk you through the steps on how to get certified, what to expect from pay, and some key resources available for individuals looking to start their career or individuals who are starting their own education process. Remember, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” We think Aristotle’s words couldn’t be more pertainable to the reality of today’s education climate. If you’re ready for the challenge, then you’ll need to get certified. Here is the best way to do it in the state of Indiana.
- Ball State University
- Indiana University
- Purdue University
- Indiana Wesleyan University
- American College of Education
- Valparaiso University
- Bethel College- Indiana
- University of Saint Francis- Fort Wayne
- Grace College of Theological Seminary
Requirements for Teaching Licensure
The “traditional” route to certification in Indiana involves four main steps:
1.) Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Education
Complete a bachelor’s degree in education. Usually, a bachelor’s degree in education requires about 120 credit hours of general education courses, education courses, and electives. The common curriculum usually means about 30 or more major classes that correspond with state certification requirement, and additional course material that centers on theory and methods of teaching. We suggest you check the Licensing Guide For Indiana for anapproved route towards certification.
Some schools offer a licensure only route for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Like with most states, Indiana does require an initial teacher’s license as well as a proficient practitioner license.
2.) Complete a State-Approved Teacher Certification Program
For the traditional route, a “state-approved” teacher preparation program means working in an educational facility- typically a public school with a supervisor. Essentially it’s like having supervised on-the-job training before you are actually on the job. Teacher preparation programs are an important step into the field of education. Here you will gain exposure to the school system, learn how to work with a team, and learn how to put education theory into practice. Here’s a great resource for educator preparation programs in the state of Indiana.
3.) Pass the State-Mandated Exams
Generally, in the state of Indiana, you must complete the Indiana Tests for Education Licensure. Candidates must take a Pearson ES Developmental/ Pedagogy exam, as well as the Indiana CORE Academic Skills Assessment (CASA) for your specific subject area.
Are you finished with your bachelor’s in education, teacher preparation, and exams? Here’s a helpful checklist to ensure you have everything in order for licensure:
- Complete a Background Check
- Demonstrate Proof of Degree Completion with Official Transcripts
- Demonstrate Proof of Teacher Preparation Completion
- Provide Passing Scores for State-Mandated Exams
- Proof of CPR, AED, and Heimlich certification courses as well as suicide prevention training
- Complete an Application for Teacher Certification in the State of Indiana
- Pay a non-refundable Certification Processing Fee
If you have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education or are simply looking for other methods that lead to licensure check out these alternative routes towards teacher certification for the state of Indiana.
Online Education Program Admission Requirements
Every school varies when it comes to admission and furthermore, admission requirements will differ depending on whether or not you are looking to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree. Let’s first take a look at general admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree in education.
Generally speaking in order to gain admission to a bachelor’s degree in education you must have a high school diploma or have passed a GED with an acceptable GPA. College entrance exams like the ACT and SAT are still very common and score requirements vary per institution. Once you have the scores you need, the next step is to fulfill application requirements. In general, the application requirements include the application itself, the 2 or 3 letters of recommendations, an entrance essay demonstrating how you are good fit with the institution and occasionally an interview.
Admissions into a master’s program also varies but many require: a bachelor’s degree with least a 2.75 GPA, 2 years of teaching experience, 2-3 letters of recommendation from academic and professional supervisors, written essays of intent/ demonstrated passion and desire to attend program, and a GRE score. It’s important to check with your institution as some schools do not require a GRE score.
For Common Educator Roles in Indiana
- Preschool Teacher: $26,470
- Primary School Educator: $51,150
- Secondary School Educator:$51,700
- Higher Education Administrator: $131,957
- Principal: $84,040
- Special Education Teacher:$53,620
- Math or Science High School Teacher: $69,520
- ESL Teacher: $63,180
- School Psychologist:$50,783
Scholarships for Future Educators in the State of Indiana
Hoosier Educators Scholarship
Indiana Minority Teacher/ Special Education Services Scholarship
Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program
The 5 Best Online Education Degree
Providers in Indiana
Indiana has a total of 9 education degree-granting institutions that provide online education degrees. These range from community colleges offering associates in early childhood development or human services, to nationally ranked universities that offer a wide spread of masters level and education endorsement-level programming. While future students may want to go to the “best” online institution in their state for education degrees, they should take some to double check what exact degrees are offered by their institution of choice at the directory of all online education degrees at the bottom of the page. To select the following top five universities, we’ve looked at two factors: the number of fully online education degrees offered by an institution, and an “academic prestige” score. The academic prestige score takes into account metrics such as average amount of financial need received, average class sizes, admissions standards, and the percentage of faculty holding terminal degrees in their field. Also note that the tuition numbers below are just indicators of relatively how expensive or affordable a college is. The tuition numbers below, specifically, are the in-state (where applicable) undergraduate yearlong tuition rates for education degrees. Many universities, however, have similar tuition rates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Ball State University is a public research university located in Muncie, Indiana. There are 21,998 students enrolled at Ball State and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Ball State to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S. News Ball State University ranks as the 187th best school in the nation, 99th top public school, 35th for best online bachelor’s programs, and 36th for best online graduate education programs. The university supports its students with academic and career counseling, employment for students, and placement for graduates. When it comes to academics, Ball State offers a huge range of academic offerings from architecture to visual arts. There are currently 60 online degrees and certifications available including their online bachelor’s in operations management and supervision, online master’s in curriculum and instruction and online master’s in family and consumer science.
As one of the top-ranked online education universities, you may not be surprised to find that Ball State University offers great online education degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Bachelor’s-seeking candidates may pursue either their online bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or their online bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The ECE program focuses on ages birth to five. The ABA program focuses on the use of ABA as it pertains to people with autism. Their most popular online degree in education is their online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis with a focus on Autism. This program is approved by the BACB. There are several other programs available for master’s-seeking students including their online master’s in business education, online master’s in career and technical education, online master’s in coaching education, online master’s in educational psychology, online masters in curriculum and education technology, online master’s in elementary education, and online master’s in mathematics education. They also offer programs in secondary and special education. Some of the special education concentrations require time at their brick and mortar location. Ball State is a great options for teachers looking to further their career in education.
Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) is a pubic flagship institution located in Bloomington, Indiana. There are 49,695 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits IUB to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S. News IUB ranks as the 90th best university in the nation, 14th best undergraduate teaching university, and 115th Best Value School, 39th Top Public School, 41st best school for online bachelor’s programs, and 46th best school for online graduate education programs. Student support services include credit for life experience, remedial support, academic and career counseling, and placement for graduates. As an R:1 research university it may come as no surprise that IUB offers vast academic offerings including things like musical theater, environmental science, gerontology, artificial intelligence, and African studies. Currently, IUB offers nearly 20 online degrees.
When it comes to online education programs, IUB offers 16. Students may either pursue a graduate certificate, a Master of Science in Education or a Doctor of Education. All programs are available 100% online. The graduate certificates focus on the following: Autism, Learning Science Media and Technology, Instructional Systems Technology, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Education Law, Early Childhood Education, EFL/ESL, and Adult Education.The certifications range from 12-21 credit hours. The online Master’s of Science in Education programs require 36 credit hours for completion. Students may focus on Literacy, Instructional Technology, Special Education, Adult Education, and Educational Leadership. Their doctor of Education is in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education.
Purdue University is a public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. It is the parent institution of 9 polytechnic institutions located across the state. There are 41,513 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Purdue University to award comprehensive degrees programs and professional certificates. According to U.S. News Purdue University ranks as the 56th best school in the nation, 24th best school for veterans, 12th most innovative school, and 21st best school for online graduate education programs. To support their students Purdue offers academic and career counseling as well as employment for their students. This land, sea, and space granting university offers a wide range of academic programming in fields that range from ancient studies to food science. Currently, Purdue offers 22 online degrees such as their online master’s in agricultural economics, online doctorate in botany, and online postgraduate certification in speech, communication, and rhetoric.
Purdue University offers three online Master’s of Science in Education including: Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Learning Design and Technology (LDT). All student learn at their own pace from a top-ranked university offering some of the best online education degrees in the nation. The curriculum and instruction master’s offers four foci: educational technology, mathematics education, gifted talented and creative, and English language learning. Individuals pursuing the master’s degree in special education may go for their master’s only or pursue an initial special education license. The State of Indiana does have a compact agreement with most states meaning you should be able to transfer your Indiana teaching licensure to another state.The LDT program prepares students to work in myriad of professional settings including organizations, classrooms, agencies, companies and more. Each degree requires 36 credit hours for completion.
Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) is a private 4-year institution located in Marion, Indiana. There are 11,062 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. This institution is affiliated with the Wesleyan church. According to U.S. News IWU ranks as the 29th best school in the region, and 64th best value school. The university supports its students with remedial help, academic counseling, career counseling, and credit for life experience. Their National and Global program means that all programs are distance education programs. Their academic programs center around vocation and career-ready fields like business, health, education, and psychology. As a Wesleyan school the institution also offers a number of theological degrees. Currently there are 60 online degrees available that range from the associate’s to doctor’s level.
IWU offers a wide-range of education and education-related online degrees from associate’s to post-master’s certifications. The Associate’s degree program is in Early Childhood Education as is the Bachelor’s degree program. There are two main master’s degrees available: an MBA in School Administration as well as a Master of Education in four main areas- curriculum and instruction, school administration, special education, and teacher leadership. Additionally, there are 5 graduate certificates available for anyone interested in biology, mathematics, physics, and technology. There’s also a principal licensure program. As you can see, IWU offers a wide-range of programs for professionals either initiating or furthering their career in education.
The American College of Education (ACE) is a special focus distance learning institution headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Currently, there are 3,844 students enrolled. This is a for-profit institution. The Higher Learning Commission accredits ACE to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications. As an education school, it may come as no surprise that most all of the academic offerings are in the field of education. There is one program in health care administration. All other programs are master’s degrees in education and one is a doctor’s degree.
ACE is an education school that offers a number of programs. If you want to focus on a specific subject, chances are high that ACE has a program. The estimated in-state tuition rates are the lowest of our top five at $5,100. Here’s a look at the programs currently offered:
- M.Ed. in Advanced Studies Professional Educational Studies
- M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed. in Educational Business Administration Leadership and Administration
- M.Ed. in Educational Leadership Leadership and Administration
- M.Ed. in Educational Technology Professional Educational Studies
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed. in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed. in Health and Wellness Education Healthcare
- M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration
- M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology Professional Educational Studies
- M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed. in Literacy Teaching and Learning
- M.Ed. in STEM Leadership Professional Educational Studies
- M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership Leadership and Administration
- M.Ed. in Teaching English Learners Teaching and Learning
- M.A. in Elementary Teaching Teaching and Learning
- M.A. in Secondary Teaching Teaching and Learning
- Certificate in Adult Education and Corporate Training Professional Educational Studies
- Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study Leadership and Administration
- Certificate in Content Area Instruction Professional Educational Studies
- Certificate in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education Teaching and Learning
- Certificate in Teacher Leadership Leadership and Administration
- Certificate in Teaching English Learners Teaching and Learning
- Certificate in Transition to Teaching in Elementary Education Teaching and Learning
- Certificate in Transition to Teaching in Secondary Education Teaching and Learning
- Certificate in Virtual Instruction Professional Educational Studies