Online Master’s Programs in Education & Teaching

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Updated on: 09/20/2018

For professional educators who wish to advance their career, a master’s degree in education and teaching is the way forward. A master’s degree provides an opportunity to improve teaching skills, increase salary and increase job stability. It also opens the door to administrative positions within the field of education. Learn more about master’s programs in education and teaching, including top ranking colleges, what types of classes are available and career opportunities after graduation.

Best Online Master's in Education and Teaching

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Best Online Master’s in Education 2018-2019

Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factors

Data Sources: Eligibility Criteria:
  • Each college must be accredited
  • Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
  • Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
  • Each college must have at least one online program 1
Ranking Factors:
  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Flexibility
  • Program

Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.

  • A dash in our Rankings Tool indicates IPEDS data was not available.
  • Tuition displayed in in-state and per year unless stated otherwise.
2-Year Schools

The data for this year’s rankings were compiled from the Department of Education, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System as well as information published by the colleges and universities listed here. All programs included in our rankings are fully accredited.

Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, Ohio $9,024 100% 78% 59% 4 Yes Yes Yes

Teachers looking to further their education with a Christian emphasis can tailor the online Master of Arts in Education Teaching and Learning program at Mount Vernon Nazarene University to meet their learning interests and professional development needs. The school was established by the Church of the Nazarene, and its faith-based focus is on lifelong learning and service. Aside from 13 required course credit hours, the MA in Education Teaching and Learning program allows teachers to choose the courses they want to take in order complete their degree and pursue licensure. Flexible program start dates and course scheduling allow students to easily fit the program into their everyday lives. The 31-credit program takes typically 16-24 months to complete. Participants proceed through the program in a cohort model, allowing them to develop relationships with other students. Online courses are taught by faculty members with years of experience as educators and administrators. Required core courses include School Leadership and Ethical Practice, Multiculturalism in Education, Educator as Researcher, and Consultation, Collaboration and Cooperation. Elective selections include Applying Learning Theory in the Classroom, Children's Literature and Social Justice, Curriculum Leadership, and Behavior Analysis and Learning Environments. Tutoring is available for online students through an online service called Smarthinking, which connects students with a live tutor and also offers writing resources and study aids. Financial aid may be available to eligible students. The school offers special benefits to former and current members of the U.S. military, including possible credit for military training and special considerations for financial aid. Mount Vernon Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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2 Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake, Indiana $24,768 94% 77% 63% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Grace College combines trends in higher education with a biblical view of the field in its online Master of Science in Higher Education program. The evangelical Christian college stresses the integration of faith and learning to produce graduates of character and competence who are prepared for service. The higher education program's curriculum includes a historical look at education, current issues of diversity and social and cultural trends, as well as legal, governance and finance issues. The 36-credit hour degree takes about 2 years to complete, and most courses are 8 weeks in length. Applicants of the program must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students proceed through the online courses in a cohort, meeting weekly learning objectives and tasks. Instructors have terminal degrees and extensive experience in the education arena. Courses in the MS in Higher Education curriculum include History and Foundations of Higher Education, Leadership in Higher Education, Grant Writing, the College Student, Student Affairs in Higher Education, Finances for Nonprofit Organizations and Legal Issues in Higher Education. Upon graduation, successful candidates are equipped to pursue career positions in higher education such as dean of students, director of campus activities, campus chaplain, ministry team leader or student affairs administrator. Students in online programs at Grace College benefit from many resources as well, including an online orientation, academic advising, tutoring, writing lab, library services, financial aid and career counseling. Grace College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the School of Education by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

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3 Cairn University Langhorne, Pennsylvania $8,256 100% 99% 62% 4 Yes Yes Yes

The online Master of Science in Education at Cairn University is aimed at educational leaders for whom a Christian focus in the classroom is a top priority. The school instructs from a biblical perspective, benefitting students of the Christian faith. For example, program tuition is discounted 50% for applicants who are educators working in Christian schools. Additionally, students may be awarded credit for Bible or theology courses completed at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts school or seminary. Applicants of the MS in Education program must have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and submit 2 essays, 1 a spiritual statement describing the student's conversion to Christ, spiritual growth and church involvement and the other a statement of purpose that details the student's employment status, goals and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree. The 39-credit hour program takes about 2 years to complete. Coursework covers curriculum design, teaching models, current trends, and theoretical and philosophical foundations of education. Adequately meeting the needs of varied student populations is addressed in the program through courses that specifically focus on special education, diverse learners and non-native English speakers. Sample courses in the MS in Education curriculum include Overview of Christian Theology, Teaching Models and Instructional Strategies, Global Trends in Education, Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations, and Biblical Integration for Educators. To graduate, candidates must complete all required coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA and create a capstone Instructional Design Project, similar to a master's thesis. Classes are taught in an asynchronous format via the eLearning online learning platform. Online students are supported through services such as mentorship, synchronous and asynchronous feedback from the school's writing lab and financial aid opportunities. Cairn University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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4 Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, Tennessee $24,698 97% 73% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree at Trevecca Nazarene University is a licensure-seeking program designed for both students and current teachers. This degree program aims to create strong school leaders by teaching them the skills needed for effective curriculum design and the use of date for improved student learning. Program participants will learn about current educational technology and instructional evaluation, how to manage staff effectively and the value of diversity from instructors who are not only practicing professionals, but who have also shown strength as educational leaders. Courses for the Master of Education in Educational Leadership include Leadership for Instructional Effectiveness, Valuing Diversity for School Effectiveness, Assessing Learning for School Improvement, Using Research and Data for Improved Student Learning and Law, Ethics and Politics for School Leaders. This program is fully online, and it does not entail any classroom or residency requirements. Classes are asynchronous, making it easy for students to complete classwork on their own schedules. The cohort-based program keeps the same group of students together throughout the program, which fosters networking, the building of support systems and the establishment of long-term friendships. The 30-credit program takes about 16 months to complete, including licensure. The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Online students at Trevecca can also apply for financial aid in the form of grants and loans to help with tuition costs.

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5 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia $23,800 78% 22% 49% 4 Yes Yes Yes

Students looking for graduate options in the field of education will find 3 different choices for master's degrees at Liberty University: a Master in Education, a Master of Education in Higher Education and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Each degree also offers areas of specialization. Master in Education students can choose from administration and supervision, math specialist and reading specialist focuses; those getting a degree in higher education can specialize in educational leadership or instructional design and technology; and specializations in early childhood education, educational technology and online instruction, elementary education, English, general education, gifted education, history, leadership, middle grades, special education and student services are offered for the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree. Coursework for each of the 3 M.Ed. programs is 100% online, but the programs may offer optional on-campus courses in an intensive format as well as opportunities for internships, practicums and field experiences. Most courses are 8 weeks and have 8 different start dates each year. Depending on degree and specializations, career options could include principal, math specialist or literary coach (M.Ed.), university admissions professional or member of an educational research team (M.Ed. in Higher Education), or curriculum developer, librarian or school technology specialist (M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction). Students can log in to Blackboard, the school's online learning environment, to perform coursework at their convenience. Resources for online students include academic advisers, an online student community and helpful tutorials and webinars covering subjects from financial aid to military-specific benefits to navigating Blackboard. Liberty's education master's degrees fall under its School of Education, which is accredited by the National Council for accreditation of Teacher Education, through the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation as an Educator Preparation Provider.

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6 Siena Heights University Adrian, Michigan $24,390 99% 77% 44% 2 Yes Yes Yes

The online Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership at Siena Heights University is designed to provide high-quality professional education to students who are currently employed, or pursuing a career, in higher education. The focus of the program is the personal and professional development of the individual as a leader in postsecondary education. The 36-credit hour curriculum addresses important issues facing higher education institutions today. Emphasis is placed on student development, effective instruction and assessment, and using technology in higher education to support instructional and administrative tasks. Courses include Finance and Quantitative Leadership, History of Higher Education, Leadership Theory, Organization and Administration of Higher Education, Higher Education Law, and Ethics and Social Justice. By the program's end, students will be able to explain how economic, political and social content has framed higher education developments over time, recognize transformational changes in American higher education over the past 4 centuries, and understand how participation in higher education has been impacted by class, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religious affiliation and sexual orientation. Courses are taught by full-time and/or adjunct faculty with extensive real-world experience. In addition, students enrolled in online programs have access to numerous resources online, including personal academic advising/degree planning, financial aid, library database and support, student accounts and technical support. Siena Heights University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships, as well as veteran and military benefits, may be available to eligible students.

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7 Freed-Hardeman University Henderson, Tennessee $21,950 99% 92% 55% 2 Yes Yes Yes

Freed-Hardeman University offers a number of master's degree programs in education. One program is offered online: the Master of Education Major in Curriculum and Instruction, which is a non-licensure program consisting of 37 credit hours and a capstone action research project. The core curriculum covers everything from research methods to developmental psychology to instructional theory and design. Electives can be selected from three categories: curriculum and instruction, school counseling and special education. All graduate students in this program must complete a Bible course, BIB 540 Introduction to Christianity, as well as EDU 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies. Students participate in online courses via web conferencing and have access to academic advising and an IT help desk. In addition, students may use a variety of tutorials for help with Blackboard, online learning readiness, online course systems and myFHU student portal. Freed-Hardman University does not offer a special discounted tuition for online students; the tuition rate for graduate students is $570 per credit hour with no additional fees. To apply, candidates must submit an application and application fee, a recommendation from a university teacher, an employer/supervisor and from someone who can serve as a character reference, transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework and a test score for the MAT or GRE. Students who already have a master's degree don't need to submit a test score. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on undergraduate work and participate in an interview with an adviser.

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8 Tusculum College Greeneville, Tennessee $24,860 95% 69% 36% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Designed for working K-12 teachers, the Master of Arts in Education – Curriculum & Instruction degree at Tusculum University is offered fully online. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as 12 months. The curriculum includes 10 courses and teaches students how to plan instruction, design developmentally appropriate practices and assess and communicate learning progress. Students have the option to choose a Special Education emphasis area, but this program is only available partially online because it includes several hybrid courses at the Morristown Center and a field experience requirement. This option requires 11 courses and includes courses on assessing students with special needs, emotional and behavioral disorders and the interventionist and independence models of education. Students access courses via the Moodle learning management system, which has a mobile-friendly design so students can access the virtual classroom when they are on the go. Tusculum University doesn't offer a special tuition discount for online programs. The tuition for master's degree programs is $370 per semester hour plus a $100 graduation fee. In order to qualify for admission, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. They must complete an application, submit official transcripts of all coursework, submit a resume of professional experience, and participate in possible phone or in-person interviews. In addition, students for whom English is a second language must have a score of 540-542 (paper), 207 (computer-based), or 76 (internet based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam in the last 5 years.

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9 William Woods University Fulton, Missouri $23,230 100% 73% 52% 5 Yes Yes Yes

William Woods University offers a number of graduate education programs online, including Master of Education (MEd) in Teaching and Technology, MEd in Athletics/Activities Administration, MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and MEd in STEM. Graduation requirements vary by program. For example, the MEd in Athletics/Activities Administration includes 11, 3-credit courses and 110 hours of field experience through a student internship. In comparison, the MEd in Curriculum and Instruction requires 10 three-credit courses and an Action Research course involving a classroom study suitable for journal publication. The curriculum in this program prepares students for National Board Certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, but it does not meet Missouri requirements for building-level administrative certification. Online courses use the Moodle learning management system. All online students have access to the Owlnet portal, which includes information about student schedules and financial aid as well as access to free 24/7 online tutoring and library resources. General tuition rates are the same for both online and on-campus students, with a rate of $350 per credit hour for graduate programs. However, students must pay an additional $125 fee for each online course. Both online and on-campus students must also pay a fee for credential learning credits, at $100/credit hour, and a graduation fee of $100. To apply for admission to the online MEd graduate programs at Williams Woods University, students must complete an application and submit transcripts from the college or university from which they graduated. A grade point average of 2.5 or higher is required.

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10 Clarks Summit University South Abington Township, Pennsylvania $23,890 79% 61% 57% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Students can complete the 31-credit online Master of Education program at Clarks Summit University in as little as 2 years. Available concentrations include Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Administration. The Curriculum and Instruction concentration teaches students to design age-appropriate coursework and effectively evaluate classroom learning environments. The Educational Administration Concentration helps prepare students with practical leadership skills associated with managing school policies, finances, record keeping, public relations and school counseling. Both concentrations are based on a biblical worldview and a Christian philosophy of education. While the Master of Education program is offered fully online, a number of support services are available. Students may access thousands of journals and articles at the Murphy Memorial Library and participate in a reciprocal borrowing program with academic libraries throughout the U.S. and Canada. They may also receive assistance from an academic adviser, the Online Writing Center and IT helpdesk. In addition, they may receive accommodations through disability services, as needed. Class sessions begin 5 times a year, giving students flexibility. Online courses don't require students to log on at any set times, but there are due dates for assignments to help students keep pace. Clark Summit University does not offer a special tuition discount for online students; the cost per credit hour is $520. However, a number of other special discounts are available such as the Christian worker discount, ABHE discount, CSU alumni discount, Word of Life discount, military discount and international student discount. Admissions requirements include a bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

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11 Aurora University Aurora, Illinois $24,000 96% 77% 57% 1 Yes Yes Yes

The online Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from Aurora University focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content and Common Core State Standards and practices. Students in the program learn how to boost achievement levels in math and science, where the US still ranks behind other developed countries. The program takes 1 year to complete for students attending full time and includes 37 credit hours. Examples of courses in this program include Statistics and Probability, Applications in STEM and Curriculum Development and Assessment in Mathematics and Science. Online students have access to a number of resources including a technical help center, 24/7 tutoring, an Academic Support Center, the Philips Library databases and e-books and academic advising. In addition, students can take orientations that explain Aurora University's history, mission and values, how to navigate Moodle and take online courses, academic policies, support services and strategies for academic success. At Aurora University, the cost of tuition varies by degree program, and no special tuition discount is offered for online programs. The cost per semester hour is $565 for the online Master of Arts in Mathematics Education. However, 98% of students receive some form of financial aid, and all students are considered for academic scholarships automatically once they are enrolled. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Previous undergraduate coursework in calculus is strongly encouraged. In addition, applicants must submit a resume, personal statement, 2 letters of recommendation and official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities.

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12 Evangel University Springfield, Missouri $22,146 84% 61% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership program at Evangel University is a 30-credit, 2-year degree program that is offered fully online. The program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to serve as a school principal and become a leader at the district, state and national level. The program helps prepare students for a principal certification and completion of the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education building-level administrator licensing exam. Classes include Administration of Special Programs, School Supervision and Improvement and Human Relations and Collaborative Process. The curriculum also requires a leadership internship and a capstone project to help students apply what they learn in class to a real-world environment and demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Evangel University doesn't offer a special discounted rate for online students; tuition for an education degree program at the master's level is $300 per credit hour. However, online students don't have to pay the same per-semester fees as full-time students in seated and hybrid programs. Students can contact the Graduate Studies office for information about scholarship applications and deadlines that are available in varying amounts. To qualify for admission to the program, applicants must have a teaching certification and submit official Praxis or GRE test scores. Two years of teaching experience is preferred. In addition, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work or the previous 2 years as a full-time student.

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13 Missouri Baptist University Saint Louis, Missouri $25,816 99% 57% 41% 4 Yes Yes Yes

Missouri Baptist University's Master of Science in Education degree in curriculum and instruction prepares students for various leadership positions in education, such as K-12 lead teachers and curriculum and instruction coordinators. Offered fully online or through a hybrid (part online, part on-campus) delivery method, this degree offers students the option to complete studies on a full- or part-time basis. Taught through a Christian perspective, the MS in education enhances students' understanding of curriculum and instruction as well as imparts the technological skills required for today's classroom instruction. Requiring 31 semester hours, classes are taught asynchronously, so students have the advantage of completing work at their own pace. Online courses at MBU are taught by the same professors and faculty from its main campus and regional learning centers. Most courses are 8 weeks in length, with a few lasting up to 16 weeks, and the program can be completed in 1-2 years. The Distance Learning Center at Missouri Baptist provides academic and technological support for students. Online students have 24-hour access to courses and materials as well as to interactions with other students through social media and discussion boards. Online learning video tutorials as well as an online orientation are available to help students acclimate to the online learning format. An application, 1 letter of recommendation, a professional statement and official transcripts from all the institutions where students received prior credit are required for admission. Financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify. Admissions counselors help guide and direct students in building an appropriate financial aid package.

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14 Nyack College Nyack, New York $25,350 100% 100% 44% 3 Yes Yes Yes

Nyack College is a traditionally evangelical Christian college that offers a variety of degrees under the umbrella of its Master of Science in education program. Students may pursue MS degrees in childhood education, childhood special education, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or inclusive education, all of which are offered online. The childhood education, childhood special education and TESOL degrees each offer 2 tracks: one for students interested in preparing for New York State's teaching certification and a noncertification option for those pursuing master's degrees in order to work overseas, teach at private or parochial school settings or earn professional licensure. The inclusive education program is for students who are already certified and wish to add this extension to their existing certifications. Ranging from 30-45 credits, each program's requirements vary and depend upon whether or not the student wishes to obtain certification. Students should expect 30-40 hours of field experience each semester. Field experience entails observing tenured teachers and working with students in small-group settings at schools. Students interested in applying should submit their applications, official transcripts, 2 academic recommendations and 1 professional recommendation, as well as autobiography and purpose statements, 30-minute writing samples and interviews with the program director. Students should have undergraduate degrees with GPAs of at least a 3.0. Nyack College is an eligible institution for the TEACH Grant, which is a federal program for students in teacher education programs. In exchange for TEACH Grant aid, students agree to teach at specified schools for 4 years within 8 years of graduation. The education department of Nyack also offers a variety of grants for incoming students that can be renewed with a maintained a 3.0 GPA. Students complete this program with a cohort who progresses together through courses, and a primary instructor serves as the adviser and coach who provides guidance and support to students as they move through the program.

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15 Southwest Baptist University Bolivar, Missouri $23,100 98% 9% 50% 1 No Yes Yes

Southwest Baptist University's Master of Science in education program offers 2 degrees completely online, with some courses available to take in person. About half the courses in the curriculum and instruction M.S. Ed. degree are offered in person based on market demand. The instructional technology leadership M.S. Ed. program is offered completely online. The curriculum and instruction degree is designed to help teachers expand their knowledge of teaching, curriculum development, learning technology and assessing learning. Using a research-based approach, students are prepared for leadership positions in education. The instructional technology leadership degree emphasizes the advancement and improvement of learning through the use of technology. The program integrates video, audio, computer and telecommunications into coursework, and training working in groups, interviews with experts, role-modeling, networking and research in the field. Both programs require 33 credits to be completed over the course of 2 years. Emphasizing practical knowledge that can be immediately applied to classroom settings, Southwest Baptist University is a Christian-centered institution that seeks to engage students in community service. Those seeking admission to Southwest Baptist's online education program should have undergraduate degrees with GPAs that are at least 2.75 and either their Missouri teaching certificates, passing Praxis II scores or passing GRE scores. Students should submit their official transcripts along with applications and questionnaires. Financial aid and loans are available to online students through the SBU Office of Financial Aid. Enrolled students gain access to resources including free counseling services.

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16 Fontbonne University Saint Louis, Missouri $25,980 79% 97% 51% 2 Yes Yes Yes

Fontbonne University's Master of Arts in education degree is a 33-credit-hour degree program with concentrations in curriculum and instruction, diverse learners, reading and special education. These concentrations allow professionals the ability to tailor their studies to better suit their individual career goals. Students must complete 4 core courses totaling 12 hours, along with a minimum of 21 additional hours in their major areas of study and elective courses in order to graduate. Action research is conducted as part of each concentration. The reading concentration is available completely online, while the other concentrations are offered in a hybrid format of online and evening courses. Students who didn't receive their undergraduate degrees in education but wish to pursue this master's degree and obtain their teaching certifications can apply for the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree, a 33- to 36-hour program which also is offered at Fontbonne University as a hybrid program. A 15% discount is offered to qualified educators - those who work at least part time in nursery schools, the pre-K through 12th grade school system or post-secondary institutions. Admission requirements include a completed online application, a TOEFL score of 80 or 6.0 IELTS for non-native English speakers, an undergraduate degree, official transcripts from previously attended institutions, 3 professional references and a personal statement of 300-500 words. Various resources are available to students on and off campus. The Kinkel Center for Academic resources is available to all students and can be accessed in person or online. This center provides tutoring in a variety of subjects. Students can also take advantage of the Jack C. Taylor library online for resources and research tools.

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17 Martin Luther College New Ulm, Minnesota $15,410 98% 78% 72% 2 No Yes Yes

Martin Luther College's Master of Science in education degree provides an education that is framed by a Christ-centered Lutheran perspective. Endowing students with practical knowledge and techniques, this degree is offered completely online. Students may follow a suggested program of focus or create their own customized plans to best accommodate their working and professional goals. Students may select from concentrations in leadership, instruction, special Education or educational technology. After completing the core courses within a concentration, students may continue to deepen their understanding of their selected specializations, or they may elect to take courses outside of their field. Thirty-six credits are required for a single concentration, while those pursuing double emphases are required to complete a minimum of 39 credits. Students should complete all required courses with a minimum GPA of a 3.0 as well as complete a capstone (research) project or comprehensive examination for graduation. Interested students must have undergraduate degrees in education from accredited universities with undergraduate GPAs that are at least 3.0. Students must submit applications along with undergraduate and graduate transcripts and written statements describing their views on education, teaching, or ministry, as well as describing their aspirations as they pertain to this program. International students for whom English is a second language must take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The time commitment for an online course is generally expected to be the same time commitment for a course taken in person; however, online students have the advantage of flexibility. As courses are offered in an asynchronous format, students and instructors don't need to access their courses at specific times each day; instead, online students have 24-hour access to their online course materials (for the duration of the class) and can work at their own pace, as long as they observe deadlines within the class. A free mini orientation is offered to online students to introduce and familiarize them with the format and technology required for distance learning.

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18 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, Minnesota $21,750 88% 55% 46% 9 Yes Yes Yes

Concordia University St. Paul is a Christian liberal arts institution affiliated with The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. CU offers 7 education-related master degree programs, all of which can be completed through online study, including: MA in Early Childhood, MA in Educational Leadership, MA in Educational Technology, and MA in Special Education with Emphasis on Specific Learning Disabilities. Master of Arts degrees in Curriculum & Instruction, Differentiated Instruction, and Teaching are also available. With the exception of its MA in Teaching (which includes preparation for K-6 licensure), CU's MA in Education programs are designed primarily for licensed working teachers seeking to expand their knowledge and teaching skills. Students must successfully complete 30 credit hours of coursework (33 credit hours for Early Childhood, 33 credit hours for Special Education with SDL, and 42 credit hours for Teaching with K-6 Licensure) to earn their degrees. All coursework is completed 100% online. However, students are welcome to visit CU's campus to meet with their instructors and to access library and other academic resources. To apply to any of CU's MA in Education programs, candidates must submit official transcripts from a regionally-accredited institution where they've earned a bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Candidates must also submit a personal statement that describes their work experience and professional goals. No standardized test scores are required to apply for these degree programs. Concordia University offers tuition discounts to active military personnel, and eligible veterans receiving full Chapter 33 benefits can earn their CU degree tuition-free.

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19 Columbia International University Columbia, South Carolina $23,690 100% 34% 65% 2 No Yes Yes

Christian-affiliated Columbia International University's fully online Master of Education (MEd) degree prepares graduates for teaching and leadership positions in a variety of K-12 Christian educational settings, and to pursue further graduate work (such as a PhD in education or a related discipline) leading to college-level research and teaching positions. Two learning tracks are available: Educational Administration, which concentrates on strategic planning and development, and educational management; and Instruction and Learning, which concentrates on content design, and instructional strategies and concepts. CIU's MEd is a 30-credit hour program, consisting of 4 core courses, 4 concentration courses, and 3 Christian-centered foundational courses. The program is designed with working students in mind and is normally completed in 2 to 4 years, but must be completed within 6 years from the date the student begins coursework on the degree. To graduate, the student must maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA throughout their course of study with no single grade lower than a "C". CIU provides a variety of support services to online students, including academic counseling and virtual access to the G. Allen Fleece library. To be accepted, candidates must demonstrate the ability to successfully pursue the program by way of either a minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA for their most recently obtained degree, or with a GRE test score above the 50th percentile (verbal and quantitative reasoning sections) and a 3.5 rating on the analytical writing section. Candidates must also provide proof of prior work experience in education through one of the following: 2 years of classroom experience, a current teaching certificate, an undergraduate degree in education, or a minimum of 2 years in education administration.

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20 York College York, Nebraska $19,310 97% 44% 39% 1 No Yes Yes

York College, a Christian-affiliated institution, offers a fully online Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction degree designed for adult learners who are currently employed as well as those who wish to start a career in education as a teacher, K-12 principal, project manager, or training and development professional. York's MAE degree program is comprised of 6 educational core and 6 curriculum and instruction courses. Students earn 3 credit hours per course for a total of 36 credit hours. Course titles include Organizational Leadership, Program Planning & Evaluation, Assessment of Learning, and Curriculum Mapping. The program concludes with the completion of a capstone project based on an action plan developed during the Research Design & Development course. All courses for the MAE degree are presented in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can access their coursework at anytime from anywhere through York's Virtual Campus platform. Both full-time and part-time study options are available. Admission requirements for the MAE program include a bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university earned with an overall minimum 2.5 GPA. Candidates whose degree was obtained from a non-accredited institution may still be accepted into the program and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.5 may submit a personal statement about their aspirations and goals to be considered for admission. There are no standardized test or work experience requirements for admission into this degree program.

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21 Belhaven University Jackson, Mississippi $24,950 84% 49% 51% 5 Yes Yes Yes

Belhaven University, a private Christian-affiliated school, offers 3 education-related Master of Education (MEd) degrees that can be earned completely online: MEd: Curriculum and Instruction, MEd: Educational Technology, and MEd: Reading Literacy. Belhaven also offers a MEd: School Leadership and Supervision degree whose coursework can be completed fully online but requires completion of a 1,000-hour in-person internship. The School Leadership and Supervision degree program is open to Mississippi residents only.Each Belhaven MEd program requires successful completion of 33 credit hours of coursework. Programs are designed to be completed within 4 years, but may be completed in as little as 2 years depending on the number of transfer credits applied to the program from other accredited colleges. Courses are presented in an accelerated 8-week subterm format. Students can view recorded lectures and work on course materials and assignments at their own pace and on their own schedules. Those with an undergraduate degree in education or who have completed a teacher preparation program may apply for a Belhaven MEd program. Admissions requirements include a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA on undergraduate work or minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on any previously completed graduate work. Applicants must also possess a valid standard teaching license. Admission into the School Leadership and Supervision program additionally requires 2 letters of recommendation. Applicants who don't meet these admission requirements but demonstrate potential for success may be admitted on a probationary basis and must maintain an average 3.0 GPA through the first nine semester hours of coursework to continue in the program. These applicants may also be required to submit an essay or letters of recommendation for review by the program committee.

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22 Mayville State University Mayville, North Dakota $6,667 96% 57% 31% 1 Yes Yes Yes

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) offered by Mayville State University is designed to assist individuals with non-teaching bachelor's degrees who are interested in entering the teaching profession obtain their teaching certification and earn an accredited master's degree. The program is standards-based to support the secondary teacher's certification requirements of the North Dakota Standards and Practices Board. Non-North Dakota residents considering this degree program are advised to review their home state's teacher certification requirements and consult with a MSU adviser to determine if this degree program will lead to proper licensure in their state. Mayville's MAT program is a fully online, 32-credit graduate studies program consisting of 11 mandatory classes in subjects that include Foundations of Education and Leadership, Child and Adolescent Development, Foundations of Practice in Reading Instruction, and Human Relations and Diversity. Also included is a comprehensive capstone project in which the student demonstrates competencies required for effective classroom teaching. Online students have access to a wide range of academic support services as outlined in the Online & Distant Student Handbook. Services include academic advising, Smarthinking live tutoring, and access to MSU's library resources. Candidates for admission into Mayville's online MAT program must possess a bachelor's degree from a properly accredited institution. Additional admission criteria include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and successful completion of the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. Candidates must also submit official transcripts verifying all undergraduate coursework, a current resume or CV, admission interview essay, and 3 letters of recommendation.

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23 Cumberland University Lebanon, Tennessee $20,760 81% 49% 41% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Cumberland University's Master of Arts in Education (MAE) is offered primarily to licensed teachers seeking an advanced professional education degree that's focused on their individual interests and personal growth. While no specific concentrations are available, students choose elective coursework based on their unique professional development goals. This degree program is not, however, geared toward individuals interested in acquiring their teacher licensure for the first time. The program consists of 10 courses totaling 30 credit hours and consisting of 4 advanced educator core courses and 6 personalized elective courses. Electives may be chosen from the education preparation program or courses offered by other graduate-level programs throughout CU. Elective choices require the approval of a university academic advisor based on the student's professional development plan. Additionally, a number of add-on endorsements to current Tennessee teacher's licenses can be obtained through degree coursework and passing Praxis test scores. Students interact with instructors and fellow classmates through CU's virtual campus. Instructors are also available by phone and on-campus meetings. CU's MAE program is designed to be completed within 18 months, but may be finished in as little as 1 year. Fully online and hybrid (combination of online and on-campus coursework) options are available. Admission to the MAE program requires that the applicant hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Acceptance is determined by a review of the applicant's overall qualifications indicating their ability to successfully complete the program. There are no specific undergraduate minimum GPA or work experience requirements, and standard test scores need not be submitted.

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24 New England College Henniker, New Hampshire $36,754 94% 98% 35% 8 No Yes Yes

New England College's online Master of Education degree is designed for individuals currently working in the education profession, including certified teachers and those interested in becoming certified, and persons interested in adding a new certification. A major feature of NEC's M.Ed. program is its substantial number of concentration options. Students can choose from among 14 specializations such as Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Literacy: Math, Literacy: Reading and Language Arts and Special Education. Students may also consult with the Director of Graduate Programs to develop a concentration tailored to their individualized professional goals. For students in New Hampshire without a teaching credential, NEC additionally offers a separate program that leads NH State Certification. International students should note that NEC's M.Ed. program does not support F-1 visas. To earn their degree, a student must complete 28 credits of core coursework and 9 credits in their chosen concentration. Online coursework is presented in an asynchronous format allowing students to study according to their own schedule and at their own pace, as long as coursework deadlines are met. All coursework is done 100% online and no campus visits are required. Online students have access to a number of academic support services including NEC's Danforth Library online and Smarthinking Online Tutoring, as well as virtual study groups and individualized feedback from instructors. To apply for admission into NEC's M.Ed. degree program, an applicant must submit an official copy of their transcripts along with a resume detailing their work history and experience. There is no minimum undergraduate GPA requirement to be admitted to the program, although a GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred. Applicants are not required to submit standardized test scores, personal essays or letters of recommendation.

School website
25 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, Florida $9,630 100% 70% 43% 6 Yes Yes Yes

St. Leo University, a Catholic-affiliated liberal arts institution, offers its Master of Education (MEd) degree primarily to full-time educators seeking to increase their classroom effectiveness and take on leadership responsibilities at their schools and in their communities. St. Leo's MEd degree prepares graduates for careers throughout the education profession in jobs such as K-12 teacher, exceptional student education teacher, reading supervisor, curriculum specialist and school principal. St. Leo's Master of Education is offered in 5 concentrations, all of which feature an online component: Educational Leadership (fully online or blended), Instructional Leadership (fully online), Exceptional Student Education (hybrid, with fully online classes and field work assignments to be completed in the student's own school setting), Reading (fully online), and Instructional Leadership and Reading (fully online). St. Leo additionally offers a Master of Science in Instructional Design in a fully online format. In addition to the online class experience, St. Leo distance learners have access to a range of support service, such as academic and career counseling, and membership in virtual student clubs and organizations. To graduate, students must complete all core and concentration coursework (36 to 42 credit hours, depending on the specific concentration) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (no more than 2 grades of C in required courses). Admission into any of the 5 MEd concentrations requires a bachelor's degree earned with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 may still be admitted, but are required to submit GRE or MAT test scores for admission consideration. There are no specific work experience requirements. However, work experience is one of several factors considered in determining acceptance into the degree program.

School website
26 Colorado Christian University Lakewood, Colorado $12,567 96% - 41% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
27 Anderson University Anderson, South Carolina $7,542 100% 54% 53% 2 No Yes Yes School website
28 Wilson College Chambersburg, Pennsylvania $9,000 100% 58% 44% 1 Yes No Yes School website
29 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, Mississippi $7,780 81% 56% 63% 3 Yes Yes Yes School website
30 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, Kentucky $5,670 100% 71% 36% 14 No No Yes School website
31 Regent University Virginia Beach, Virginia $12,726 87% 81% 53% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
32 University of Mary Bismarck, North Dakota $12,100 100% 77% 59% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
33 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama $7,588 77% 58% 59% 6 Yes Yes Yes School website
34 Valley City State University Valley City, North Dakota $5,270 91% 98% 49% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
35 University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Norman, Oklahoma $4,886 80% 71% 70% 2 Yes Yes Yes School website
36 University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming $4,338 70% 95% 59% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
37 Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi $10,206 99% 49% 54% 1 No Yes Yes School website
38 Ohio Valley University Vienna, West Virginia $6,540 62% 64% 42% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
39 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, Illinois $7,812 97% 53% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
40 Hampton University Hampton, Virginia $10,776 67% 65% 58% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
41 Lindsey Wilson College Columbia, Kentucky $9,503 97% - 35% 1 No Yes Yes School website
42 Midway University Midway, Kentucky $6,552 74% 60% 29% 2 Yes Yes Yes School website
43 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama $10,470 56% 53% 68% 3 Yes Yes Yes School website
44 Oklahoma Wesleyan University Bartlesville, Oklahoma $9,270 97% 73% 37% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
45 Maranatha Baptist University Watertown, Wisconsin $7,200 76% 68% 45% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
46 Hannibal-LaGrange University Hannibal, Missouri $10,500 86% 62% 38% 2 Yes Yes Yes School website
47 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, Hawaii $18,600 98% 91% 51% 4 Yes Yes Yes School website
48 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, Texas $5,784 54% 67% 81% 8 No Yes Yes School website
49 Bluefield College Bluefield, Virginia $8,280 91% 85% 51% 1 No Yes Yes School website
50 Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina $4,744 36% 68% 71% 5 Yes Yes Yes School website

What Can I Learn in an Online Master's in Education & Teaching Program?

An online master’s degree in education and teaching will provide up-to-date information on educational philosophy, the most advanced teaching methods and hands-on experience with the latest classroom technologies. Students must also complete teaching practicums in real-life classrooms and submit a master’s thesis.

Full-time students can complete an online M.Ed. in two years, though it is not unusual for some students to take three years. Students seeking a master’s degree in education and teaching should expect to acquire the following skills:

  • A deeper general knowledge of the philosophy of education
  • New skills for engaging students
  • A deeper understanding of teaching practices
  • Greater respect for the school and its community

What common courses are offered in a master’s in education & teaching program?

Specific courses in a master’s in education and teaching program may vary between colleges, but some of the most common courses include:

Educational Leadership

This course introduces students to general theories and practices of leadership in education, as well as organizational behaviors within schools. Students learn about the challenges today’s school leaders face.

Philosophy of Education

Students learn how philosophical ideas about education developed historically and how they have influenced teaching practices.

Sociology of Education

The focus of this course is how social forces influence students in schools throughout the United States. Students also learn how inequalities based on gender, social class, and race affect individuals within the education system.

Educational Research and Statistics

The purpose of this course is to introduce the concept that education can be studied as a science. Students are introduced to statistical techniques and research methods.

Advanced Educational Psychology

This course aims to familiarize students with the concepts, objectives, and methods of modern-day psychology and their role in learning and instruction. Students also learn about the psychological origins of behavior problems in children and how to manage them.

Guidance and Counseling

Students gain an understanding of types and techniques of counseling within the education system. This course also includes pupil appraising and assessment techniques.

Techniques of Evaluation and Methods of Test Construction

This course introduces students to models of educational evaluation, the role of different approaches, and techniques of student evaluation.

What exams or projects should I expect?

In addition to completion of the core curriculum and elective courses, all programs require students to fulfill a culminating project and gain real-life experience in order to graduate. Some programs may also require students to pass an exam. Concluding projects may include:


An online master’s degree in education and teaching typically culminates in a directed practicum, which affords students an opportunity to gain insight and experience in the world of education. The field placement will depend on the region where the student is taking the program and any specialized area of study.


Students may choose to submit a formal master’s thesis after completing the required number of thesis credit hours. In this case, the student will be required to successfully defend the thesis and complete any requested revisions before submitting them to the graduate school.


Students may have to complete a comprehensive written exam. The exam covers all aspects of the master’s program and is usually completed in one sitting.

What specializations are available in a master’s in Education & Teaching program?

A wide range of specializations is available as part of a master’s program in education and teaching. Here are some of the most common:

Educational Leadership

Master’s programs which focus on educational leadership are good options for those who wish to advance to a career as a school administrator. A specialization in educational leadership may lead to a position as a school principal or superintendent. It can also help applicants for teaching positions stand out because it qualifies them to take on the role of a lead teacher.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Specialization in ESL is advantageous for teachers in the U.S. because many schools have a large percentage of English language learners. This specialization can be particularly marketable for those seeking positions in urban and inner-city school districts.

Special Education

There is a growing demand for special education teachers in the U.S. Students who specialize in special education as part of the master’s in education and teaching should find plenty of job prospects upon graduation. Those who do not wish to only teach special education may still find this specialization useful when working with students with various disabilities.


A focus on literacy, or reading education, with a degree in education and teaching is another very practical choice. Teachers with a specialization in literacy may evaluate students’ literacy levels and teach students to read using the latest evidence-based strategies.

What Can I do with a Master’s in Education & Teaching Degree?

A master’s degree in education and teaching can lead to a number of potential careers both inside and outside the school setting. Some potential career paths include:

Postsecondary Teacher

Teachers with a master’s degree in education and teaching can teach at the college level online and on-campus. Graduates are also qualified to work in higher education for admissions services, with student organizations, and as part of university research teams.

School and Career Counselor

Academic Counselors advise students about their studies, help them overcome difficulties, and discuss career options with them.

School Principal

As the administrative leader of the school, the principal is directly responsible to the Superintendent for the professional and successful operation of the school. The principal is expected to create a model of success for all students and foster an environment conducive to learning. A master’s degree in education and teaching, particularly with a specialization in educational leadership, is a gateway to this type of position.

Adult Educator

Adult schools and vocational colleges are also potential employment options for people who hold a master’s degree in education and teaching. Adult learning facilities often offer training in computer skills, languages, life skills, and vocational skills.

Curriculum Developer

Also known as an instructional coordinator, a curriculum developer collaborates with schools and school boards to evaluate students’ educational requirements and to create a plan for meeting them. The curriculum will include what subjects and areas of those subjects will be taught, and the method by which it will be taught. Curriculum developers are also responsible for reviewing and recommending educational texts, websites, and other teaching aids. They also train teachers in how to use these educational tools in the classroom.

Corporate Trainer

Large corporations favor individuals with master’s degrees in education and teaching to train and motivate their employees. This can be a lucrative career and involves training new and current employees to optimize their productivity and efficiency. A corporate trainer is responsible for guiding, motivating, and teaching employees. The type of training and subject matter depends on the needs of the company and each specific employee.

Joining a professional association can help you develop your skills and build your professional network. If you are beginning or completing a master’s in education and teaching, you may wish to consider joining one of the following professional organizations.

American College Personnel Association

This organization aims to encourage and promote college student learning by raising awareness about programs and practices relating to student affairs on campus.

Association for the Study of Higher Education

The 2,000 plus members of ASHE are dedicated to higher education as a field of study. The organization promotes collaboration of members through conferences, research, and publications.

National Education Association

The U.S.A.’s largest professional employee association. It is dedicated to advancing all levels of public education.

How Much Can I Make with a Career in Education & Teaching?

Career Lowest 10% Earned Annually Median Annual Salary Highest 10% Earned Annually Job Growth 2016-2026
Postsecondary Teacher Less than $39,040 $76,000 More than $170,160 +15%
School and Career Counselor Less than $32,660 $55,410 More than $91,960 +13%
School Principal Less than $60,760 $94,390 More than $140,780 +8%
Instructional Coordinator Less than $35,550 $63,750 More than $101,500 +11%
Corporate Trainer Less than $33,150 $60,360 $102,340 +11%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in these fields are all predicted to see a significant increase, especially postsecondary teachers and school counselors. However, many of these positions may be part-time as many colleges and universities are hiring fewer full-time teachers.

In general, those with graduate degrees will earn more than those without. According to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the median salary for those with a bachelor’s degree in education is $46,000, while those with a graduate degree earn a median salary of $60,000.

Online Master’s in Education & Teaching Program Accreditation

One key factor to consider when evaluating online master’s programs in education and teaching is accreditation and state approval. Every state in the U.S. mandates that education and teaching programs meet a minimum of one of the following, this may vary from state to state:

  • National accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly known as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  • Regional accreditation from one of the U.S. Department of Education’s accrediting bodies.

  • Program approval from the state board of education in the issuing state.

Should the education program not meet the state’s standards for licensing, certification will not be granted. A program offered in one state may not meet the requirements of a different state.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Education & Teaching Degree

Many teachers with modest incomes are understandably concerned about how to pay for a master’s degree in education and teaching. Some places to find financial assistance include:

  • Federal Financial Aid

    Many students find that filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a good place to start. You can learn more from our graduate student financial aid guidebook.

  • Scholarships

    Throughout the U.S. there are multiple private and non-profit organizations offering discipline-specific scholarships at a graduate level. A good place to start is They provide an extensive list of available scholarships.

  • Assistantship

    Many students have received tuition remissions in return for working as a teacher’s assistant during the academic year. Other institutes provide research support for students who are working on their thesis. The Graduate School at Maryland University is a good example of how an assistantship works.

  • Your Current Employment

    Because online master’s degrees in education and teaching are flexible, many students are able to complete their graduate education while maintaining their current job. Having a regular income can certainly help to offset payments for tuition fees. Students who currently work in a school or college may also receive tuition assistance from their educational facility.

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