The Acceptability of Online Degrees: Principals and Hiring Practices in Secondary Schools

January 26, 2013

A national survey of high school principals (N = 683) was used to assess the acceptability of job applicant qualifications that included degrees earned either online, partly online, or in a traditional-residential teacher-training program. The applicants with coursework taken in a traditional-residential setting were overwhelmingly preferred over applicants holding a degree earned partly or wholly online. Chi-square analyses were used to examine the relationships among applicant selection and respondents’ demographic characteristics, their explanations for applicant selection, and background information. Results indicated that applicant selection significantly differed by gender, school type (public vs. private), opinions on hiring criteria, and experience with online classes. Further analysis indicated that online courses were perceived as not presenting sufficient opportunity for students to develop important social skills through interaction with other students and mentors.

Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education

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