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How does MTI compare to Learners Edge & Advancement Courses?

How does MTI compare to Learners Edge & Advancement Courses?

November 26, 2022

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MTI: Professional Development Courses

MTI vs Learners Edge vs Advancement Courses: 

Which Graduate Company is Right for Me?

*All information provided is accurate as of the date of publication

Deciding which graduate school company to take your continuing education classes from can be daunting. Once you start looking for companies that offer graduate classes for teachers, you find dozens of options. Each company makes great cases for why you should choose them over any of the others. 

At the end of the day, you’re looking to find the company that is the best fit for you. So we’re here to provide you with what we know from the 2 companies we get asked about the most at Midwest Teachers Institute. We’ll compare the 3 of us on the factors that are the most common, and leave it up to you to make the decision that you feel is best. 

Keep in mind that this isn’t an extra degree, this is after you have your master’s and you want to choose another option to keep moving on the pay scale. So you start taking individual graduate classes until you max out. 

As you would expect, the 3 most common questions we get about all 3 companies are: 1) how much does it cost?, 2) how much work is there?, and 3) how long do I have to complete the work? We’ll answer all 3 of those, plus give you some extra information to help you out. 

It might seem like a bad idea for a company to honestly compare itself to its competition, but we believe that trust is more important than tricking you into spending your hard-earned money. 

Understand this, both Learners Edge and Advancement Courses will help you move over on the pay scale just the same as we do at MTI. 

That being said, there are differences, which will be broken down by the categories listed below. Let’s dive in. 

Cost

Let’s start with question #1. And it makes sense, most teachers have a salary that doesn’t allow us to spend frivolously. Where can you get the most bang for your buck? Here’s the breakdown:

Advancement Courses are self-paced online courses. They charge $449 for 3 credits, $349 for 2 credits, or $249 for 1 credit. The cost is the same regardless of the university you choose to receive your transcripts from. The cost for all course materials is also included in the price.

Learners Edge online courses are $459 for 3 credits, $359 for 2 credits, or $259 for 1 credit. The cost for the course also includes the cost of the required textbook. There is a person teaching the course, but there is no time required for you to be online at the same time as the other students. The cost is the same regardless of the university you choose to receive your transcripts from. 

Midwest Teachers Institute has a tiered cost based on what course type you choose and which university you select. MTI only offers 3 credit options, and all course materials are included in the cost. 

Distance courses from Andrews cost $375, and from CSUP or Dominican University they are $395.

E-Adventure courses are $375 from CCSJ.

Virtual field trip courses are $395 from CCSJ.

Online self-paced courses are $425 from Andrews and CCSJ, $450 if you choose CSUP or Dominican University. 

Online w/an instructor from Andrews and CCSJ are $475, from CSUP and Dominican University they are $495. 

Course formats available

Advancement Courses offers self-paced online courses only.

Learners Edge offers courses that are online only. They have offered onsite courses in the past as well at a few select cities, but during Covid-19 those have been suspended. 

Midwest Teachers Institute offers a wide variety of courses, all designed to meet the needs of our customers. We believe that the more choices you have, the more you can find something that works for your unique needs. 

MTI offers:

  • Distance/correspondence
  • E-Adventure 
  • Online with an instructor
  • Online self-paced
  • Onsite (on pause during Covid) with an instructor
  • Virtual field trip 

Required assignments

One of the drawbacks at many of these companies is that you can’t see the syllabus without sharing a lot of information and/or signing up to take the course. 

Advancement Courses lets you view the course syllabus simply by clicking on the course you want and downloading it. Each course is broken down into modules, which are structured to provide a mix of self-reflection and goal setting activities, a discussion forum, practice questions, project checkpoints, post-reflection, and a final project. In most cases you’ll need to get approval before moving on to the next assignment.

Learners Edge requires you to enter your name, email, state, and school district in order to see the syllabus if you are considering taking their courses. The amount of work required can vary from course to course, so you’ll need to check out exactly what is expected prior to signing up (if that is something that you care about). 

Although the work can vary from course to course, generally speaking you can expect a statement of intention and awareness assignment with multiple prompts, read and respond questions from the book, resource reviews, around 6 applications, and a reflection essay. 

Midwest Teachers Institute allows you to click on the syllabus for any course and view it without having to download (we host it online, even though it says “download syllabus”). Each type of course has its own syllabus, but they are consistent for each type of course.

For example, each distance course has 10 textbook questions, journal entries, 2 applications, a short action research project, and a short essay. 

Each online course (with an instructor) has a 5 week schedule that is similar to the distance course, but instead of textbook questions there is an online discussion that takes place for the week. 

Length of time to complete work

Advancement Courses will allow you up to 6 months to turn in your completed courses. You can contact them to receive a 1 month extension. 

Learners Edge follows the semester deadlines of their partnering universities. If you aren’t able to finish your work on time, you have an extra week extension. At that point you have the option to register again for the course during another semester for a $150 fee (if the course is offered again during that semester, up to one year after). 

Midwest Teachers Institute allows you up to one year to finish your courses, but also understands that sometimes life happens. If one year isn’t enough to finish, just reach out and you’ll be given an extension for more time. 

Partnering Universities

All 3 companies work by partnering with universities to provide your graduate credit (or semester hours, I’ll be using the term graduate credits throughout). So the courses are approved by the universities, delivered and evaluated by the graduate school companies, then the transcripts are delivered by the universities. In essence, it looks like you took the course directly from the universities, and indirectly you did. 

This might matter if your school district requires you to take classes from a regionally accredited university. As always, check with your school to make sure all courses will be approved prior to signing up. 

Advancement Courses is the oldest of the 3 companies here, having started in 1988. The company is based out of Maitland, Florida. Currently, they offer the following university options:

  • Andrews University (MI)
  • Colorado Christian University (CO)
  • Concordia University-St. Paul (MN)
  • Greenville University (IL)
  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  • Medaille College (NY)
  • Southern New Hampshire University (NH)
  • University of West Alabama (AL)

Learners Edge has been around since 2002, and it’s based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. Currently they offer the following university options:

  • American College of Education (IN) 
  • Andrews University (MI)
  • Augustana University (SD)
  • Colorado State University-Pueblo (CO)
  • Lourdes University (OH)
  • Pacific Lutheran University (WA)
  • Roosevelt University (IL)
  • Southern New Hampshire University (NH)
  • Upper Iowa University (IA)
  • University of Massachusetts Global (CA)

Midwest Teachers Institute is the newest of the 3 companies listed, founded in 2010. We’re based out of Dyer, Indiana. Currently we offer the following university options:

  • Andrews University (MI)
  • Calumet College of St. Joseph (IN)
  • Colorado State University-Pueblo (CO)
  • Dominican University (IL)

Most of these universities are authorized in all 50 states, so although the choices can seem a little overwhelming at times, you’ll probably be covered regardless of which one you choose. 

Many schools don’t care where the credit comes from, as long as it’s accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or approved by another governing body. 

Again, check with your district before choosing any university as the provider. 

What educators are a good fit for Advancement Courses or Learners Edge?

Both providers have an advantage in offering university partners from a wide geographic area. If your district or state requires you to choose a local college, then either of these companies might be right for you. 

Any educator choosing one of these companies would need to adhere to a shorter schedule, with the maximum amount of time allowed for course completion being 6 months (less for Learners Edge). 

Both companies also offer 1 and 2 credit options for courses, so if you need only 1 or 2 credits to complete your lane movement, you may consider them over MTI.

What educators are a good fit for Midwest Teachers Institute?

MTI has always strived to provide the most affordable graduate classes for educators. If you are looking to save money on your classes, MTI is the obvious choice. 

Educators looking for more creative options for courses can also enjoy some unique options provided by MTI.

Last, the amount of time provided is an advantage for any educator that chooses MTI over the competition. All 3 companies allow you to turn in work early, but only one allows you up to a year without having to pay more money. 

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