At some point in your teaching career you’ll most likely need to obtain a master’s degree. The most common reason for teachers to get this degree is to improve their salaries. It’s pretty common for teachers to have their salary capped at a certain point unless they continue their education.
To help offset the cost for master’s degrees, many companies have partnered with universities to offer degrees at a discounted rate. Two examples of this are Midwest Teachers Institute (MTI) and Learners Edge (LE).
Our goal is to present the information for both companies and allow you to make an educated decision. We’ll look at the most common factors people consider when looking for a master’s degree along with a few other important factors.
Some of these factors may or may not mean that much to you. It’s not up to us which factors mean the most to you, we just want to give you the information necessary to make the best decision based on your needs.
Of course, the most common question people have is the cost. So let’s start there.
Learners Edge charges just under $8500 for their master’s degrees with their university partner. This cost, according to their site, can vary based on the program you choose and transfer credits from LE being accepted.
Midwest Teachers Institute has master’s degrees for under $8000 offered through their university partner. This cost is the same regardless of the program you choose. Also, the credits earned from MTI are an integral part of the degree, meaning they are automatically accepted as part of the program.
Learners Edge works with the American College of Education (ACE) to offer their degrees.
ACE is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) as well as the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
This means that LE and ACE degrees should be available to most schools across the country. As always, check with your local district/state standards to ensure you are covered.
Midwest Teachers Institute partners with Colorado State University Pueblo (CSUP) to offer their degrees.
CSUP is also accredited by the HLC, meaning that their classes are accepted throughout the United States. As stated above, check to ensure that your school/district accepts degrees covered by the HLC.
With a total of 7 master’s degrees offered, Learners Edge has the most options available. These degrees include:
- Master of Education in Advanced Studies
- Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
- Master of Education in Educational Technology
- Master of Education in Elementary Education
- Master of Education in Special Education
- Master of Education in Integrated Curriculum
- Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
Compare this to Midwest Teachers Institute, with a total of 4 master’s degrees. There are some similarities, and a few alternatives. These include:
- Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
- Master of Arts in Special Education
- Master of Arts in Physical Education and Health
- Master of Arts in ESL/ELL (Linguistically Diverse Education)
Learners Edge contributes to each master’s degree by allowing up to 9 credits to transfer towards one of the degrees listed above. The student is then responsible for taking the remaining 25 credits through ACE.
There are 2 exceptions to this.
The first is the Master of Education in Teacher Leadership, which allows 6 credits to transfer for the degree. In this case, the remaining 25 credits are completed through ACE.
The second is the Master of Education in Integrated Curriculum, which also allows 9 credits to transfer, but only requires another 22 credits to complete.
Midwest Teachers Institute is a more integral part of the degrees with CSUP. As their partner in education, we’ve developed a program that combines 4 courses through CSUP along with 9 courses offered from MTI.
The 9 courses that you take through MTI are varied depending upon the degree you are pursuing.
All 4 courses from CSUP are the same, regardless of the degree that you are seeking.
Time to complete:
As stated on the ACE website, master’s degrees take 16 months to complete.
The courses provided by ACE are offered at set beginning dates and term dates. As such you are locked into a sequence of courses for the majority of your degree.
The courses that transfer from LE (9 credits max) are flexible, and as such can be taken at your own leisure.
As for Midwest Teachers Institute, our 9 classes make up the bulk of the degree. Since they are generally all taken as distance/correspondence courses, you may take them at whatever pace you desire. This means you can work as fast, or as slow, as you desire. This is an example from the curriculum and instruction degree.
The courses taken for the CSUP portion of the degree require a teacher to meet at set times. Since this is a total of 4 classes, they generally are taken in groups of 2 in consecutive semesters.
The last course, the capstone course from CSUP, obviously must be completed after all the others have been finished.
As such, a teacher wishing to move quickly could finish their degree in as little as 12 months.
What educators are a good fit for LE?
Learners Edge has the advantage of offering more degree options. Depending on what you want to do with your degree, there may be a better option for you at LE.
And since ACE is offering the majority of classes in each degree, there is more structure and set times that you need to be available to take your courses.
What educators are a good fit for MTI?
Midwest Teachers Institute has the main advantage of price. Since the majority of the courses come from MTI, the degree itself will always be more affordable. This is due to the constant efforts we make to provide courses at a reasonable price.
MTI also has the advantage in flexibility. Since only 4 of the courses run during set times (those provided by CSUP) you have the option to work as fast or slow as you desire. This gives us the ability to offer you a degree faster than LE.
Last, MTI also offers 2 degree options that LE doesn’t. Although the PE/health degree doesn’t technically lead to licensure (as is the case with all degrees listed throughout this article), we have had students take the degree and then gain the endorsement on their state license.
And as ESL and ELL populations continue to grow in our schools, more and more individuals are opting to provide themselves with another option in their teaching credentials.
Written March 1, 2023
By Shawn Bean