free online degrees

Concordia University Ann Arbor now offers a free online pathway to a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education/teacher certification thanks to a new partnership with Talent Together, a consortium of 55 intermediate school districts in Michigan.

Any Michigan resident with a minimum of a high school diploma is eligible to apply to Talent Together to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from CUAA at no cost. Participants will also have the opportunity to earn an income while they complete their studies through an approved apprenticeship. The program may be especially attractive to:

  • Paraeducators who have yet to complete their bachelor’s degree
  • Substitute teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and still need to earn certification
  • Parents and community members interested in teaching as a career
  • Professionals who wish to change careers

CUAA’s online degrees in education offer flexibility

Both the master’s and bachelor’s degree options at Concordia are offered in an online, self-paced format. Concordia intentionally designed the programs with working professionals in mind, said Assistant Dean of Education Adam Paape, EdD.

“The need for qualified teachers is significant and so we want to do what we can to encourage people to consider a career in this rewarding field,” said Paape. “Our partnership with Talent Together removes the burden of tuition from the equation, and, with Concordia’s flexible online delivery format, now is the time for those who have been thinking about leading their own classroom to earn their degree.”

While online programs at the master’s level are common, an entirely online bachelor’s degree is somewhat unique, Paape added. There are currently 11 institutions of higher education who have partnered with Talent Together. Of the 11, CUAA is one of only four institutions with an online offering at the undergraduate level, and the only institution with an entirely online bachelor’s degree in upper/lower elementary education.   

The qualifying CUAA programs include:

Future teachers already on board

Already, Concordia has dozens of candidates who are taking advantage of the opportunity. In January, a total of 36 individuals began Concordia’s accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Upper and Lower Elementary Education program. An additional 22 have applied for a summer 2024 start.

Daisy Judson is among the students who started the accelerated bachelor’s program earlier this month.

“I knew after my first year working as a paraprofessional at Onsted Middle School that I had found my place, but I didn’t know how I was going to find the time or how I was going to financially afford to go back to school for a degree,” Judson said. “I’ve only been enrolled in Concordia’s program for a couple of weeks, but I have enjoyed it so far. I like that I can do everything in my own time, at my own pace. Recently, Onsted had a whole week of snow days and I was able to work ahead on my Concordia coursework. I wouldn’t have had that flexibility to work ahead with some other programs.”

Della Henry, another student enrolled in Concordia’s program through Talent Together, current works as a paraprofessional position, supporting students with learning disabilities in a middle school setting.

“Talent Together is helping me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed teacher,” Henry said. “Concordia’s online bachelor’s program is the right fit for me because its accelerated, asynchronous classes align perfectly with my current responsibilities.”

Want in?

Applications to Talent Together are open now through March 3. Talent Together will notify applicants if they are accepted. Click on the button below to get started, and note “Concordia University Ann Arbor” when prompted to indicate your collegiate program of choice.