Thank you for considering the online programs of Biola University’s School of Education! The following Frequently Asked Questions were prepared to help you learn more about how our online programs work and the type of student that is most successful with online education.
As with any program in higher education, there are several inherent qualities a student needs in order to be successful. These same qualities apply to online students as well. Distance-Education.org lists six qualities of a successful online student as:
You may want to consider taking a FREE online learning readiness assessment by clicking here.
Full-time students take an average of three classes per semester and part-time students, one to two classes. Our average is two 3-unit classes per semester. For a suggested timeline of the program in which you are interested, click here, find your anticipated program and view its Program Sheet.
Most classes within Biola’s School of Education graduate programs are asynchronous, meaning that you do not need to be online with your professor or peers at the same time. For example, one professor sets us her class where you write responses to discussion questions within a 3-day window and are then interacting with 3-5 posts, responding to peers’ ideas. You may also be asked to provide a journal entry of your personal thoughts regarding various curriculum issues. In addition to the posts and journal, you might have a research paper and 5-6 other shorter assignments. Some of these may be done in groups using email, Skype and other interactive platforms. Occasionally, a professor will have an online open forum where a group of students can synchronously dialogue with the professor and with other students.
Our classes are taught on the Canvas Learning Management System, which allows you to interact seamlessly with both professor and your fellow students. On the user interface, there is a place for “hall talk” to speak about non-class issues with your peers; some professors use this as a forum for prayer requests or praises. While each professor runs his or her course differently, the commonality is robust interactions and discussion with Christian educators around the world.
Yes. You determine and take the number of classes that best fits into your schedule. Your advisor can assist you in determining the best courseload and sequence of your program.
No. Classes taken online are completed over the same 16-week semester that our on-campus students complete their classes.
Tuition rates are the same for our online and in-person classes. See our Tuition and Financial Aid page for the most recent tuition rate.
Yes. While the majority of our students have some experience in education, we usually have 20-25 students each year who are new to the field and join our educational programs.
For students interested in teaching outside of California, our online programs will not include classes toward certification in their own states. These students are encouraged to contact the Department of Education for certification in that state.
All students interested in earning their Preliminary Single or Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing can only earn these credentials in person on our La Mirada campus, but may complete their Clear Credential or the Special Education Credential online within California.
While California’s teacher credentials have reciprocity with most states in the Union, there might be one or two additional requirements in some states. For example, in California, an elementary teacher candidate is required to take a class in California History. If the candidate chooses to teach outside of California, there may be additional coursework required that is pertinent to their new setting.
Professionalism and courtesy are a requirement for any class. Part of the richness of Biola University is having the opportunity of meeting and engaging with persons who come from diverse traditions and cultures other than your own. As the body of Christ, we are called to treat each other with love and respect and must express our opinions in ways that respect and honor fellow classmates.
Academic rigor in both class formats is similar. Our students who have taken online or in-person classes have done equally well with respect to their employment opportunities and acceptance in and graduation from doctoral programs. Transcripts for in person and online classes from Biola University are identical.
While this varies some from class to class, most professors ask students to use Canvas’ introduction page where they can post information about themselves. Discussion often includes questions that encourage biblical integration, where students share what they believe the Bible says about the ideas being discussed. Students often share something about their personal lives. Professors often provide a forum for students to share prayer requests or to discuss things outside of class.
As part of Biola University, the School of Education relies upon our Career Services’ BiolaLINK job placement search engine to connect both those wanting to hire Biola students and those Biola students wanting to be hired. In our classes, we encourage participation in professional organizations—local, regional and national—to prepare students to become lifelong learners.
While classes vary some in their integration levels and strategies, all are committed to present truth from a biblical perspective and will align with the School of Education’s mission.
If a class requires fieldwork, all students--whether online or on campus, in state or out of state--must complete the same number of fieldwork hours to meet this class requirement. Fieldwork completed outside of California cannot be applied toward a California credential or permit. Students will need to contact our Fieldwork Coordinator by the second week of the course to arrange the required fieldwork by completing the Online Fieldwork Placement Site Request Forms.
You will be expected to interact with and contribute to the class just as much as if you were in our in-person classes. Generally, a 3-unit class requires about 6 hours of work per week.
You can contact us by phone at 562.903.4843, or email us today (we may even add your question to this list!).