Online Graduate Programs in Education Frequently Asked Questions

Accreditation

Is this program accredited?

Yes. The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Accreditation by the Commission indicates that the institution has been carefully evaluated and found to meet standards agreed upon by qualified educators.

Why is regional accreditation important?

Regional accreditation is the primary type of institutional accreditation recognized in the United States. Some institutions with online programs hold national accreditation because they are unwilling or unable to meet the rigorous standards of regional accreditation. You should also know that many educational institutions holding regional accreditation do not recognize credits or degrees earned at institutions that are nationally accredited. This is very important if you plan on transferring from one college or university to another part way through a degree program, or if you plan to pursue additional degrees at different colleges or universities.

Do your programs lead to certification?

The CAGS AEL is approved for Building Administrator certification (040) in Maine, and the MSEd - Reading Specialist is approved for (092) Literacy Coach Certification in Maine. Your state may offer reciprocity for these certifications. None of our online graduate programs are approved for initial teacher certification. 

Coursework

I have an extremely busy work and family life and cannot attend in-person classes each week. Is this program for me?

You can complete your studies at your convenience in the comfort of your own home. No campus visits are required. You will have access to your coursework 24 hours a day, which can be completed around your busy schedule.

Do I have to log on at specified times to attend/listen to class sessions?

No. All of our courses are asynchronous - you choose when to log in and complete your coursework (while adhering to all posted deadlines and due dates, of course). In the event there is a live session, the instructor will make the video available for viewing at any time. 

How many hours per week will I need to study?

On average, most students spend 15-20 hours per week studying to ensure completion of one three-credit course per eight-week term. However, this can vary greatly depending on your personal and professional circumstances.

Can I double up on courses?

Historically we have found that students have the most success by starting out with one course per eight-week term. However, if you can show that you are able to complete the coursework competently, you may contact your student support specialist to explore enrolling in more than one course per term.

What is a “focus area,” and if I choose a focus area, will I be locked in to only taking courses in that subject?

The following applies to our MSEd (not the MSEd - Reading Specialist degree) and PMC programs.

At UNE Online, a focus area is a suggested bundle of electives in a specific area of interest. 

You can choose your electives from our suggested groupings in four optional focus areas (curriculum & instructional strategy, literacy K-12, inclusion education, and educational leadership), or you can customize your degree by selecting a combination of electives that best serves your professional interests. Even if you choose an optional focus area, you are not forced to take all of the courses in that focus area; for instance, you could take four inclusion courses, and one literacy course. We also allow our students to take electives from our other online graduate programs: you can find these on the Shared Interprofessional Course List page. This flexible offering allows you to customize your course plan based on your specific career goals.

While this bundle of electives will be listed on your transcript and the focus area  can be emphasized on a personal resume, please note that the focus area title will not appear on your transcript or diploma.

What does it mean when we say you will need to be “employed in an educational setting or have access to an environment in which you can apply course concepts and strategies” to fulfill some aspects of these programs at UNE?

Educational professionals spanning teachers, librarians, administrators, technology specialists, and others can find great value in our programs. To ensure your success, you can find descriptions of typical assignments below:

Assignments that involve analysis of classroom and school data: How learning is measured in a classroom or school-wide setting? You may need access to classroom assessment data, standardized test data, or commonly developed and scored assessments to answer this question. If you are working as an administrator, teacher or paraprofessional you probably already work with these sorts of data regularly.

Assignments that involve curriculum and instruction: What is the adopted curriculum of your school or district? What training goes with it? Who is responsible for choosing and reviewing it? Beyond a traditional classroom setting, other school personnel such as school counselors, librarians often have curricular responsibilities. Other topics central to your school setting might cover how instruction is evaluated or how new teachers are mentored.

Portfolios of professional work: Some courses may require that you create, utilize or reflect upon collections of your professional work. This could include lesson and unit plans, strategic plans for faculty development, presentations to colleagues, or committee work.

Master of Science in Education (MSEd) and MSED – Reading Specialist (MSEd-RS) Programs

Do you offer official initial teacher certification?

Our online graduate programs do not offer initial teacher certification at this time.

How long will it take to earn my master's degree?

The MSEd or MSEd-RS may be completed in fewer than two years. Get in touch with an enrollment counselor to discuss a schedule that will fit your needs.

What is the difference between the MSEd and the MSEd-RS?

The MSEd is a 30-credit program in which you can customize half of the degree with your chosen electices. The 36-credit MSEd-RS specifically prepares you to become a certified Literacy Specialist in the State of Maine. The two degrees only share two courses in common (EDU 600: Teacher as Leader and EDU 610: Differentiation Theory and Strategies). Beyond that, the MSEd has an additional three core courses and five electives, while the MSEd-RS has ten additional required courses. The MSEd-RS also requires a clinical practice experience, whereas the MSEd does not require any sort of internship or clinical study.

 

Will the MSEd-RS qualify me for any certifications?

This Master of Science in Education – Reading Specialist program prepares you to become a Reading Specialist or Literacy Coach in a K-12 setting, and this program is approved preparation for Literacy Specialist Certification (092) in the State of Maine. If you are looking for certification or reciprocity in a different state, we encourage you to review your state’s certification requirements with our interactive map.

Do you accept transfer credits into the master's degree programs?

Upon acceptance, students may apply to transfer up to three 3-credit courses (maximum of nine credits) into the Master of Science in Education program. Transfer credit cannot be accepted into the Master of Science in Education – Reading Specialist degree or any other program leading to State of Maine certification.

In order to be considered, courses must:

  • Be classified as graduate level.
  • Be worth 3 credits.
  • Have been taken within five years of application.
  • Have been completed with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Be equivalent to one of the required program courses or an elective course that meets the goals of the student’s education.

To request consideration for transfer credit, a student must provide an official transcript and a course syllabus for each course. Your enrollment counselor or student support specialist can assist you with this request.

Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC)

How long will it take to earn my Post-Master's Certificate?

The 15-credit Post-Master's Certificate can be completed in less than one year. Get in touch with an enrollment counselor to find out the particulars of your program. 

Do you accept transfer credits into the PMC program?

Transfer credit is not accepted for the Post-Master's Certificate at this time.

Can I transfer or “stack” any of my PMC courses into the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program at UNE Online?

Yes, our PMC students or any PMC student from a regionally accredited institution are welcome to transfer up to four 3-credit courses (maximum of twelve credits) into our Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program.

Transfer courses must:

  • Be classified as post-master’s level.
  • Be worth 3 credits.
  • Have been taken within five years of application.
  • Have been completed with a grade of "B" or better.
  • Be equivalent to one of the required program courses or an elective course that meets the goals of the student’s education.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) and CAGS – Advanced Educational Leadership (CAGS AEL) Programs

How long will it take to earn my CAGS or CAGS AEL?

You may be able to complete your CAGS or CAGS AEL in fewer than two years. Get in touch with an enrollment counselor to find out the particulars of your program. 

My goal is to become an administrator (e.g. principal, assistant principal, or superintendent). Which CAGS program do you recommend?

If you currently have your master’s degree, our 30-credit CAGS in Advanced Educational Leadership (CAGS AEL) will lead to Building Administrator (040) certification in the State of Maine. If you are looking for similar certification in a state outside of Maine, we encourage you to research your state’s certification requirements with our interactive map.

Do you accept transfer credits into the CAGS programs?

Due to the stringent standards of Maine state certification, the CAGS AEL program does not accept transfer credits. However, our CAGS program does allow students to transfer in up to two 3-credit classes for a total of six credits, which allows more flexibility in customizing your educational experience.

Can I transfer or “stack” any of my CAGS courses into the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program at UNE Online?

Yes, our CAGS or CAGS AEL students or any CAGS or CAGS AEL student from a regionally accredited institution are welcome to transfer up to four 3-credit courses (maximum of twelve credits) into our Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program.

Transfer courses must:

  • Be classified as post-master’s level.
  • Be worth 3 credits.
  • Have been taken within five years of application.
  • Have been completed with a grade of "B" or better.
  • Be equivalent to one of the required program courses or an elective course that meets the goals of the student’s education.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Where can I learn more about your doctoral offering?

We have an entire FAQ page dedicated to our online Ed.D. program.


Admissions

I am interested in pursuing this program. How do I get started?

An enrollment counselor is prepared to answer all of your questions and walk you through the steps necessary to apply to this program. Complete an information request to have an enrollment counselor contact you.

How much do your programs cost?

Course tuition for our programs can be found on the tuition costs page. The University of New England's online Graduate Programs in Education offer online students the same outstanding education that campus-based students receive. Easy access to affordable education helps us fulfill our goal of ensuring that every individual who has the desire to further their education has the opportunity to do so.

I graduated just over a year ago from a UNE program. Do I need to reapply to get into a CAGS program?

If you graduated more than a year ago, you will need to reapply. Due to privacy policies, UNE does not keep personal student records for more than a year.  However, if you graduated within a year, all you'll need to do is fill out a continuing education application. Contact an enrollment counselor to get started. 


Questions?

If you have any questions about the coursework or the program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.