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Advance your teaching certification with Touro GST’s M.S. in Instructional Tech

Discover five benefits of the STEM-Certified Instructional Technology master’s degree program at Touro Graduate School of Technology and find out how getting certified as a NYS Ed Tech Specialist can boost your salary and open doors to new opportunities.
By Davlynn Gundolff

If you’re a K-12 teacher who’s eager to embrace EdTech tools to keep your students engaged and excited about learning, there’s good news! The Instructional Technology master’s degree program teacher certification track at Touro College Graduate School of Technology can help you level up your classroom skills and curriculum with the latest educational technology – and help you to advance your teaching career in the process.


STEM-certified and NYSED-approved, the IT master’s program at Touro GST offers a teacher certification track designed to help educators find innovative ways to incorporate technology and improve learning for students. The program, which consists of 11 courses, is taught by faculty who actively work in Instructional Design helping academic institutions incorporate technology and build curricula that pull in students and make learning more enjoyable.


The master’s degree in Instructional Tech at Touro Graduate School of Technology is both affordable and flexible, allowing you to move forward in your teaching career without having to put it on pause. Classes can be taken in person or online, and with evening and weekend options available, you can pursue your degree while you continue working as a teacher. “If you have concerns about going back to school and not having time for it, this program is great,” teacher and ITP alumna Jennifer Britton explains.


Students in the IT master’s program also get tremendous support from the faculty and administrators – and even the Dean. Class sizes are small enough for one-on-one attention, and students really get to know their professors and fellow classmates. “I liked how small and inclusive all the classes were,” says Juliana Herrera, also a program alumna and current teacher. “The professors teach in a way everyone understands and are willing to help you grow as a learner.” She also appreciated the school’s career services, like resume review and interview prep.


The Touro master’s degree program in Instructional Tech caters to working teachers who already hold New York State teacher certification in any subject area and makes it convenient to advance your NYS professional certification in the education technology field. Upon completion, you’ll be fully prepared to become a New York State-certified Educational Technology Specialist.


However, the benefits don’t end there! Keep reading to learn five ways that earning your master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Touro Graduate School of Technology can help you advance your career as a K-12 teacher.




1. Increase your current teaching salary and lifetime earning potential


Earning your master’s degree in a field like Instructional Technology can dramatically boost the salary you earn over the lifetime of your teaching career. In New York State, a master’s degree is required to teach at the K-12 level, but many teachers are eligible for a salary differential that extends to retirement benefits if they earn 30 credits beyond their first master’s – with another differential for a completing a second master’s degree.

In neighboring states like New Jersey and Connecticut, teachers only need a Bachelor’s degree to work in a classroom, but earning a master’s degree can increase a teacher’s salary immediately. Among large school districts in the country, 88% offer salary differentials that increase a teacher’s pay by increments as they get more education. Those increases add up, and on average, teachers at the top of the pay scale who’ve earned their masters degrees earn $7,000 more per year.


2. Develop stronger teaching and technology skills as a K-12 educator


There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted both students and teachers, and the effects are here to stay. While distance learning is (hopefully) a distant memory, students rely on technology – both in the classroom and in life – more than ever, and tapping into tech is one of the keys to keeping their attention and creating effective lessons.


The Touro GST IT teacher certification track master’s degree program is specifically designed to help K-12 educators do exactly that. With classes that include “Designing Online Instruction,” “Advanced Web Applications in the Classroom,” and “Children, Technology, and Media Literacy,” teachers build a solid foundation in all aspects of EdTech, and then they get the chance to put it into practice.


“Touro GST has a well-designed program with a practical element: You have to build a full online course,” explains Dr. Patricia Baia, a Senior Instructional Designer at Touro Law Center and ITP professor. It’s an opportunity for students to put what they’re learning to test in anticipation of applying it in the real world. Jennifer agrees. “I got a really well-rounded education in the program, from technical to practical.”


For Juliana, graduating from the program has had a huge impact on what she’s been able to do for her students. “I still implement many of the tools I learned at Touro,” she shares. “As a technology teacher, I teach my scholars about digital citizenship, research, and how to format a document. The program allowed me to advance my skills in applications and the technical side of things at the school.”


3. Build your knowledge, network, and support system


Because it’s flexible and affordable, the Touro GST IT master’s degree teacher certification track draws teachers from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. The diverse group you meet in class will expand your network, and you’ll develop skills and engagement techniques you can start applying with your own students immediately.


For Jennifer, one of the highlights of the program was learning from other teachers in the program who were outside her normal bubble. She and her fellow classmates traded ideas and could take what they were learning in the program, try it in the classroom, and then compare notes on what worked and what didn’t. “Networking and collaborating was one of the most rewarding aspects!” she enthuses.


Many Touro students also appreciate the faculty and the support they get from the school well beyond graduation. “Teachers can expect to gain a community that's willing to help you succeed in life,” says Juliana. “They are constantly communicating about opportunities and the professors at are engaging and approachable. They are available to help you grow as a learner.” Jennifer seconds that perspective: “The faculty was great. They were easy to talk to, and I’ve maintained relationships with some of them after graduating.”


4. Open doors to new opportunities in your existing school


The program also gives you the knowledge and skills to move to other K-12 opportunities within your school. The Touro College Graduate School of Technology STEM-certified master’s degree in Instructional Technology fully prepares graduates to become New York State certified Educational Technology Specialists, allowing them to pursue opportunities like Computer Lab Teacher, Technology Teacher, Distance Learning Director, and more.


Jennifer experienced this first-hand. Just as she was completing her degree, her principal offered her a computer science position in the school. “I could actually use everything I learned, and a technology plan I created for class was even incorporated into my school’s code of conduct!” She now works as the school’s Head of Technology, serving as the single point of contact for all things tech.


5. Pave the way to strategically improve K-12 teaching at a higher level


If your goal is to improve K-12 education at a more strategic level, the Touro GST IT master’s degree can help with that, too. The specialized teacher certification track will give you a solid foundation in Instructional Technology and Instructional Design principles in classes that span the philosophy of education to classroom networking. Once you’ve completed the STEM certified program, you can help other K-12 teachers by working as an instructional designer or instructional technologist.


As a K-12 Instructional Designer, you’ll work with teachers, principals, and other administrators to design curricula and learning modules for students. You’ll also be equipped to offer guidance on annual teacher workshops and trainings to help educators implement the plans you create. On-average, Instructional Designers earn an annual salary around $75,000.


If you have a passion for technology, you can use your master’s degree in IT to become an Instructional Technologist, where you can expect to earn up to $76,000. In this role, you’ll make recommendations for EdTech and other technologies that K-12 teachers can implement in the classroom to enhance student learning and engagement. You also may help to train them to use tools like Flipgrid and Schoology.


With so many benefits, the NYSED-approved Master’s program in IT at Touro Graduate School of Technology is a great way to take your career in teaching to the next level. Whether you’re hoping to get your certification as an Educational Technology Specialist or you simply want to continue your education to unlock higher pay and more opportunities as a K-12 teacher, contact Touro GST today to learn how we can help you build the career in education you deserve!