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An online bachelor's degree in education prepares students for teaching roles in public and private K-12 settings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for high school teachers to grow 4% between 2018 and 2028, amounting to approximately 38,200 new jobs. High school teachers made a median annual salary of $60,320 in 2018, and the top 10% of earners made more than $97,500 during the same timeframe.

This guide ranks the best online bachelor's in education programs to help students find the right programs for their needs. We also cover important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Education 2020

#1 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
#2 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
#3 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
#4 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
#5 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
#6 Florida International University Miami, FL
#7 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
#8 Ball State University Muncie, IN
#9 University of Toledo Toledo, OH
#10 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS

1
University of Missouri - Columbia
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4

University of Nebraska - Lincoln 

Lincoln, NE

About this school

Chartered in 1869, the University of Nebraska Lincoln is among the nation's leading research universities, boasting R1 Carnegie classification. UNL enrolls more than 26,000 students annually through over 250 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs.

The online bachelor's in early childhood education in a mobile society (ECEMS) includes general education, core, and elective requirements. Courses include guidance and classroom environments; technology and young children; and health, safety, and nutrition. The online education degree culminates in a multi-part practicum and capstone experience. The degree does not lead to licensure.

Admission into the ECEMS program requires at least 30 college credits from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students who do not meet prerequisites may receive conditional admission until credits are completed toward the major. Online students can access career services and military and veteran discounts through the GI Bill.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
5

Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a renowned research university with R1 Carnegie classification. The university enrolls more than 24,000 students each year, including more than 4,600 distance learners through Drexel Online. Students can choose from over 200 programs across 15 colleges and schools.

The online bachelor of science in education offers certification and non-certification tracks. The certification track prepares students for pre-K-4 elementary or special education licensure. The non-certification track prepares graduates for education and research positions outside of the traditional classroom. Both tracks include general education and pedagogy coursework. The certification track requires additional concentration courses in preK and special education and a student-teaching experience.

Most students complete the part-time program in 2-2.5 years. Applicants can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree. Drexel offers multiple start dates throughout the year. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%
6

Florida International University 

Miami, FL

About this school

A pioneer in distance education, Florida International University offered its first online course in 1998 and launched its first online degree five years later. FIU comprises 11 campuses across south Florida and in Washington, D.C., in addition to an online division. Students can choose from more than 100 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, including an online bachelor's in education with an early childhood development track.

The 120-credit program promotes the holistic development of children from birth to age eight. Students explore early education theory and practice, math and science in early childhood, play and development of social competence, and education history. The program does not lead to licensure. New freshmen are paired with a personal success coach for advising services.

Students can begin in the fall, spring, or summer. General undergraduate admission requirements include high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. The online education degree requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and the completion of at least 60 lower-division credits.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
22%
7

East Carolina University 

Greenville, NC

About this school

East Carolina University enrolls nearly 29,000 students from 47 states and 73 countries annually. The school offers more than 250 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, including more than 125 online programs.

Offered through the College of Health and Human Performance, the online bachelor's degree in birth through kindergarten education requires 120 credits of general education, professional studies, specialty studies, and elective courses. The curriculum covers topics like early intervention, preschool education, and special education theory and practice. In addition to coursework, students must complete an internship and a practicum.

The online education degree prepares graduates for teaching certification. Online enrollment is currently limited to North Carolina residents. Students earning the bachelor's degree in education online must attend an orientation seminar, upper-division interviews, and senior-year internship seminars on campus.

Applicants must meet general education prerequisites and submit Praxis core, SAT, or ACT scores. Students must maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA or a grade of "C" or above in all major coursework to earn the degree.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%
8

Ball State University 

Muncie, IN

About this school

Founded in 1918, Ball State University hosts more than 22,500 students through a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The school offers more than 60 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, including an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education that does not lead to teaching licensure.

The 120-credit program prepares graduates to build family and community relationships and promote child development and learning. The curriculum combines core, early childhood, and special education requirements. Students culminate the degree with a practicum focusing on work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs.

Courses use an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Learners can access a technology help desk, online orientation options, and academic advising services.

Applicants need an associate degree in early childhood education from an accredited institution. In lieu of an associate degree, applicants can complete at least 45 credits toward the early childhood education major.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%
9

University of Toledo 

Toledo, OH

About this school

Established in 1872, the University of Toledo is a public research institution that enrolls more than 20,500 students annually both on campus and online. UT offers over 300 graduate, undergraduate, certificate, and professional programs across 13 colleges, including over 50 online degree and certificate programs.

UT's online bachelor's in education program features a fast track in early childhood education. The 64-credit program comprises four 16-credit terms. The program prepares graduates to work as educators and caregivers for children from birth to age five. The curriculum emphasizes gifted, at-risk, and mild-moderate special needs education for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Course topics include creating effective learning environments; early literacy, language, and social studies; and meeting the needs of young children with disabilities. The program does not lead to licensure.

Applicants must hold an associate degree in early childhood education with a minimum 2.7 GPA. UT evaluates potential transfer credits on a case-by-case basis. Online students have access to a dedicated student success coach, online tutoring services, a library, and a technology help desk.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
58%
10

University of Southern Mississippi 

Hattiesburg, MS

About this school

The University of Toledo is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Judith Herb College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
68%
11

University of North Carolina Wilmington 

Wilmington, NC

About this school

Established in 1947 with an inaugural class of 238, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington now enrolls nearly 17,500 students annually across five academic schools and colleges. Students can choose from more than 50 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs.

UNCW offers a bachelor of arts in elementary education as an extension distance program in partnership with Coastal Carolina Community College (CCCC). The bachelor's degree in education prepares students for K-6 teaching certification in North Carolina and offers concentrations in:

  • English as a second language
  • Behavioral studies
  • Early childhood
  • Language arts
  • Science and health
  • Math and technology
  • Social studies
  • Fine arts
  • International studies

All students must complete an internship sequence, including a K-6 practicum, and seminars in education and classroom management. Some online courses require synchronous meetings. UNCW supports online learners with its career center, disability services, and technology assistance.

Students typically complete an associate degree at CCCC before applying to the bachelor's in elementary education at UNCW. Students can begin online coursework in the fall, spring, or summer semester.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
12

Appalachian State University 

Boone, NC

About this school

Founded in 1899, Appalachian State University enrolls more than 19,000 students on its campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains and through App State Online. Students can choose from more than 150 graduate and undergraduate degree programs across seven schools and colleges.

Appalachian's 120-credit, online bachelor's degree in education is a degree-completion program for students with prior college experience. The program includes general education, professional education, major, and elective requirements. Students must choose a second academic concentration from a variety of liberal arts disciplines and teaching subjects. The degree culminates in an internship or student-teaching experience for ages 6-12.

The online education degree leads to K-6 teaching certification for qualified students. Applicants need at least 30 transferable credits to enter the program. Students must also submit Praxis I or CORE scores and hold a minimum 2.7 GPA. Courses for the program begin in the fall.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
13

University of Nebraska at Kearney 

Kearney, NE

About this school

Founded in 1903, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is a public research institution that offers more than 150 graduate, undergraduate, and professional programs. The university enrolls nearly 7,000 students annually from 50 states and 50 countries.

UNK offers two online bachelor's in education degrees: a bachelor of science in early childhood and family advocacy and a bachelor of arts in education - early childhood inclusive. Both programs require 120 credits of coursework and field experiences. The BS in early childhood and family advocacy prepares graduates for non-teaching positions in public agencies and childcare centers. The BA in early childhood inclusive leads to teacher certification.

Early childhood and family advocacy students must complete an internship in addition to field experiences. Early childhood inclusive students must choose a specialization in either birth through kindergarten or age three through grade three. All students complete 5-7 field experiences, depending on their specialization.

Online students gain access to a virtual library, academic advising, and a technology help desk. The university accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must meet core prerequisite coursework and graduate in the top half of their high school class, hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, or meet minimum SAT/ACT score requirements.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
14

Chaminade University of Honolulu 

Honolulu, HI

About this school

Established by a group of Marianists in 1955, Chaminade University of Honolulu is Hawaii's only Catholic institution and one of only three Marianist schools in the United States. Chaminade offers nearly 50 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs on campus and online.

Chaminade offers a variety of online education degrees, including BS and BA degrees in early childhood education (ECE), a BS in elementary education, a BA in elementary education for Oceania, a BS in secondary education, and a BS in special education. Most programs comprise 120 credits and include general education, major, and elective courses. Some programs require the completion of pre-major coursework on topics like child development and introduction to ECE.

All online education degrees at Chaminade require at least one practicum or field experience. Degrees leading to certification also require a student-teaching course. The bachelor's degrees in special education and secondary education require a passing score on the Praxis II subject test or secondary education test, respectively, as a condition of graduation.

All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Military students qualify for tuition discounts. Students can begin on one of four start dates per year.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
33%
15

Asbury University 

Wilmore, KY

About this school

Founded in 1890, Asbury University enrolls nearly 2,000 students from 41 states and 35 countries annually. Asbury offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and several graduate programs across 15 schools and colleges.

Asbury's online bachelor's degree in elementary education requires 124 credits. The degree-completion program includes foundation, major, and elective courses. Foundational coursework examines topics in biblical studies, humanities, and social science. Major courses include language arts methods, teaching reading, and human growth and development. Courses span eight weeks.

In addition to online coursework, students must complete clinical experiences in structured, guided, and open inquiries and a two-part student-teaching experience. Students must complete clinical experiences on site in Kentucky elementary schools. Graduates qualify for P-5 teaching certification in Kentucky.

Students can transfer up to 75 credits toward the degree. The program offers four start dates per year. Asbury charges the same per-credit tuition rate for all online students regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
62%
Percent Receiving Loans
69%
16

Regis University 

Denver, CO

About this school

Regis University is the only Jesuit Catholic university in the Rocky Mountain region and enrolls more than 10,000 students annually across four campuses and an online division. Students can choose from nearly 200 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across five academic colleges, including over 75 online programs.

The online BA in elementary education leads to K-6 teaching licensure. The program emphasizes literacy, teaching underserved populations, and the effects of unemployment on education. The 120-credit curriculum includes general education, upper- and lower-division major courses, and elective requirements.

Coursework explores topics like the foundations of teaching, perspectives on education, and designing instruction for all learners. Classes span eight weeks. The program requires an intensive student-teaching experience during the final semester. Students must pass the PLACE or Praxis exam in elementary education before satisfying student-teaching requirements.

Regis accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
17

Webster University 

Saint Louis, MO

About this school

Established in 1915, Webster University began as a Catholic college for women. Today, Webster hosts coeducational students through hundreds of graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across five schools and colleges.

Webster offers an online education degree through its School of Education and the Department of Teacher Education. The online BA in educational studies explores the impact of sociology, psychology, and philosophy on the contemporary K-12 system. The 128-credit program does not lead to teaching licensure.

Students complete courses in instructional design, education of students with exceptionalities, and foundations of education. Additionally, students must complete an educational internship to gain experience in the field. Students choose from three professional elective modules: 12 credits of upper-level education courses; 12 credits of community engagement courses; or 12 credits of courses in sustainability studies, international human rights, or entrepreneurship.

Webster accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers multiple start dates per year. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
68%
18

Southwestern Assemblies of God University 

Waxahachie, TX

About this school

Founded in 1943, Southwestern Assemblies of God University originated from the merger of three Bible schools. Today, SAGU enrolls nearly 2,000 students both on campus and online. Students can choose from more than 70 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs in business and education, music and communication, and Bible and church ministries.

SAGU offers multiple online bachelor's in education degrees in areas like elementary education and middle and secondary education with subject certification in English, language arts, reading, social studies, and history. Most programs require 120-127 credits and a student-teaching experience to graduate.

All SAGU undergraduate programs include a biblical studies module within the general education requirements. Bachelor's degrees in specific content subjects also include content concentration coursework.

All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Learners have access to resources like the SAGU Wellness Center, the Counseling Center, and the Career Center. Applicants must submit official academic transcripts, a Christian character reference, and placement test scores for admission consideration.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
82%
19

Fort Hays State University 

Hays, KS

About this school

Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University enrolls more than 15,500 students each year, including over 7,000 online learners. Students can choose from hundreds of graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across five colleges.

FHSU offers online bachelor's degrees in education with focuses on early childhood unified, elementary, elementary with special needs, and secondary school with a business concentration. The programs comprise 126-132 credits and include general education, major, and elective courses. In addition to coursework, students must complete an internship and student-teaching experience. All of these online education degrees lead to teaching licensure.

Applicants must have graduated in the top third of their high school class or completed the Kansas Qualified Admissions Pre-College Curriculum with a minimum 2.5 GPA and meet SAT or ACT minimum score requirements. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
20

Prescott College 

Prescott, AZ

About this school

Prescott College is a liberal arts institution that hosts undergraduate and graduate students through three physical locations and an online division. Students can choose from nearly 40 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across 24 fields of study.

Prescott offers several online bachelor's degrees in education, including programs leading to teacher certification in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education. Students can also pursue a BA in early childhood special education or mild/moderate special education (K-12).

All of the online education degrees at Prescott College require 120 total credits of general education, upper- and lower-division major, and competency elective coursework. Students also complete an internship or student-teaching experience, depending on the program.

Prescott College accepts applications on a rolling basis and enrolls students in the fall, spring, and summer terms. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
39%
Percent Receiving Loans
70%
21

The Baptist College of Florida 

Graceville, FL

About this school

Founded in 1943, the Baptist College of Florida is the only higher learning institution in the state supported by the Florida Baptist Convention. BCF enrolls more than 400 students through over 25 graduate and undergraduate programs and boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1.

BCF offers several online bachelor's degrees in education, including a BA in education studies, elementary education, English secondary education, and history/social studies secondary education. BCF also offers specialized bachelor's degrees in music education and leadership/Christian education.

The programs comprise 120-133 credits. Graduates of the elementary education, English secondary education, history/social studies secondary education, and music education programs can seek teaching certification. Graduates of the BA in education studies and leadership/Christian education can pursue non-licensed education positions.

Most of the online education degrees at BCF require an internship and a practicum. Courses use an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
62%
Percent Receiving Loans
38%
22

Dakota State University 

Madison, SD

About this school

Established in 1881, Dakota State University offers more than 50 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across four colleges. The university enrolls more than 3,200 students annually, including more than 1,700 exclusively online learners.

DSU offers online bachelor's degrees in elementary education and elementary special education. The elementary education program requires 120 credits and leads to K-12 teaching certification with an educational technology endorsement. The special education program requires 141 credits and leads to K-8 elementary education teaching licensure or K-12 special education teaching licensure with an endorsement in educational technology.

Both programs require a 30-credit general education module that includes coursework in math, English, lifespan development, and South Dakota American Indian culture and education. All students also complete a practicum and a year-long student-teaching experience. Both programs include professional education courses on topics like computer-based teaching and learning and curriculum and instructional strategies. DSU accepts applications on a rolling basis.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%
23

California Baptist University 

Riverside, CA

About this school

Established in 1950 by the state's Southern Baptist Convention, California Baptist University occupies three campus locations and an online division. CBU enrolls more than 11,000 students annually and employs 100% Christian faculty and staff. Students can choose from more than 150 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, including more than 40 online programs.

The online BA in early childhood studies is a degree-completion program that includes courses like early childhood curriculum, cognitive development in infancy and early childhood, and assessment of young children, including children with disabilities. The program does not lead to teaching certification, though students seeking K-12 licensure may pursue CBU's separate credentialing program. Graduates qualify for jobs like education advocate, researcher, and community leader.

The university accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers six start dates per year. CBU prefers applicants with at least 24 transferable credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
55%
Percent Receiving Loans
67%
24

Maranatha Baptist University 

Watertown, WI

About this school

Founded in 1968, Maranatha Baptist University enrolls more than 1,000 students through eight academic colleges, a seminary, and a Bible institute. Students can choose from more than 15 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs.

Maranatha offers an online bachelor of science in educational studies for non-traditional students seeking an alternative certification pathway toward becoming a Christian school teacher. The curriculum aligns with the credentialing requirements of the Association of Christian Schools International and the American Association of Christian Schools. However, the program does not lead directly to state-issued teacher certification.

The 128-credit program includes education core, educational cognate, liberal arts core, and biblical studies core courses. Courses explore topics like foundations of education, classroom management, and educational assessment. The program also requires a junior practicum, a student-teaching experience, and an education seminar.

Applicants must demonstrate strength of biblical character, as evidenced by a written salvation testimony, attendance at a Bible-preaching church, and Christian character references. Additionally, they must submit high school transcripts and ACT scores. Maranatha accepts applications on a rolling basis and admits students in the fall and spring semesters. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
43%
25

Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA

About this school

Established in 1971, Liberty University is an evangelical Christian liberal arts institution that enrolls over 100,000 students on campus and online every year. The school offers more than 400 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across 17 schools and colleges.

The online bachelor's degree in education offers concentrations in:

  • Elementary education
  • Elementary education in interdisciplinary studies
  • Middle education
  • Middle education: social sciences
  • Middle education: English
  • Special education
  • Special education: interdisciplinary studies
  • Early childhood education in interdisciplinary studies
  • Biblical and educational studies: biblical and theological studies

All programs require 120 credits and take about 3.5 years of full-time study to complete. Foundational coursework includes instructional design, teaching and learning for diverse populations, and foundations of education. The biblical and educational studies degree leads to certification for Christian school teachers. All other programs lead to Virginia teaching licensure.

Students can begin on multiple start dates throughout the year. Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
50%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Education Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked the following online bachelor of education programs based on quality, curricula, faculty strength, school awards, rankings, and reputation, including the school's reputation for providing online degree programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Education?

A bachelor's degree in education typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

Is It a BA or a BS in Education?

Students can earn a BA or a BS in education. BA programs focus more on liberal arts, while BS programs focus more on the sciences.

What Bachelor's Degree Should I Get to Become a Teacher?

Students interested in liberal arts topics should choose a BA program, while learners interested in STEM topics should select a BS program.

How Much Is a Bachelor's Degree in Education?

The cost of a bachelor's degree in education depends on several factors, such as type of school, residency requirements, and transfer policies.

Can I Teach Without a Teaching Degree?

Many states provide alternative paths to teaching certification for individuals with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated subject.

Can You Become a Teacher With an Online Degree?

Yes, as long as the degree comes from an accredited school.

Choosing an Online Bachelor's Degree in Education

When researching online education degree programs, students should consider several factors, such as program cost, transfer policies, and on-campus requirements. We cover several important considerations for prospective students below.

  • Program Cost: Typically, public schools cost less than private schools, and in-state students pay less than out-of-state students. However, many schools allow all online students to pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
  • Transfer Policies: Many schools offer transfer credit for prior academic, professional, and military experience, which often saves time and money on a degree.
  • School Size and Type: A school's size and type can affect factors like class sizes, tuition rates, and student engagement. For example, a small, private school may have higher tuition rates but also offer more one-on-one attention from faculty than a larger public school.
  • Program Length: Most programs take four years of full-time study to complete, but some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to graduate in 2-3 years.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Many bachelor's in education programs exist completely online, while others require learners to visit campus for in-person components. Students should ensure they can meet all on-campus requirements before committing to a program.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Nearly all bachelor's in education programs require a student-teaching practicum. Students should choose a program with practicum opportunities aligned with their interests and goals.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Students pursuing an online bachelor's in education develop knowledge and skills in lesson planning and classroom management. They also learn how to work with exceptional students, support diverse classrooms, and develop innovative instructional methods.

Many bachelor's in education programs offer concentrations in areas like elementary education, secondary education, special education, and science education. Students should ensure their prospective programs offer concentrations aligned with their goals and interests.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Education Curriculum

Child Development

Child development classes examine the principles of human growth and development and how they affect learning. The curriculum focuses on development from conception through adolescence, exploring aspects of cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development.

Literacy

This course teaches students how to provide literacy instruction across grade levels. Students learn about developmental processes associated with literacy and reading while building knowledge and skills in effective instruction methods.

Subject-Specific Curricula

Subject-specific courses prepare students to instruct a particular subject, such as math, English, or social studies. These classes vary based on the student's intended content area.

Theories of Learning

This class examines the various theories and methodologies related to different learning modalities. Students learn when to use different methods and how to determine what strategy is best for a particular class or pupil.

Instructional Methods

This course explores teaching and assessment methods, teaching students how to make informed decisions about leading their classrooms and educating pupils.

Bachelor's in Education Licensing and Certification

All states require teachers in K-12 public schools to hold licensure. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all states require a minimum number of student-teaching hours under the supervision of a licensed teacher. Students in a bachelor's in education program usually complete around one semester's worth of student-teaching, gaining practical experience in the field.

Licensure candidates must also pass exams. Exam requirements vary by state, but the Praxis exam and the edTPA are common requirements. Depending on grade level and intended content area, some prospective teachers may also need to pass skills tests or subject area exams.

If a teacher receives licensure in one state but wants to move to a different one, they must meet all of the new state's licensure requirements. Many boards of education provide state reciprocity — making it easier and faster for educators to earn licensure in a new state — but not all, so it's best to check with your local state board.

Teaching Jobs

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in education can pursue teaching jobs in public and private schools. They can work as elementary, middle, and high school teachers. With further study through a master's degree, graduates can also assume administrative education roles. Doctoral graduates can pursue research and faculty positions at colleges and universities. Learn more about the spectrum of education degrees through The Best Schools guide.

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary educators typically work with K-6 students, ensuring they understand the fundamentals of basic subjects before moving to middle school. These teachers create and deliver lesson plans, teach students how to interact with their peers, provide evaluations, and communicate with parents and guardians about their child's progress. Elementary teachers need at least a bachelor's degree. Those who want to work in public schools also need licensure.

Median Annual Salary

$57,980

Projected Growth Rate

3%

High School Teachers

High school teachers instruct 9-12-grade students. They provide instruction in specific content areas, administer assignments and grades, and help learners prepare for standardized tests. They may also write letters of recommendation for students applying to college. Like elementary school teachers, high school educators need a bachelor's degree at minimum. They also need a teaching license if they work in a public school.

Median Annual Salary

$60,320

Projected Growth Rate

4%

Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers typically work with students in grades 6-8. They create lesson plans, collaborate with other teachers and administrators on issues around student success, prepare learners for standardized tests, and communicate with parents. Middle school educators need at least a bachelor's degree. They also need a license when teaching in a public school.

Median Annual Salary

$58,600

Projected Growth Rate

3%

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Education Degrees

Students should only consider accredited schools. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, academic rigor, and student learning outcomes. Only students at accredited schools can receive federal financial aid, and many schools only accept transfer credits and degrees from accredited institutions. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire candidates with an accredited degree.

Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, vocational, and technical schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Programs within a school, such as business, social work, and education programs, may also receive accreditation. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation accredits teaching programs. Students can verify a school's accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Professional Organizations for Education

Education students and professionals can take advantage of professional organizations. The following organizations offer benefits such as professional development, continuing education, and networking opportunities.

Association of American Educators

AAE is the largest nonunion education association in the country. Members have access to scholarships and grants, in-house publications, state chapters and partners, and other professional resources.

National Association of Elementary School Principals

Designed to support professionals in charge of K-6 schools, NAESP provides local and national advocacy efforts, a skills-learning center, leadership initiatives, and online webinars. The group also engages in education research and hosts an annual conference.

National Education Association

NEA is the largest teacher union in the U.S., maintaining state and city chapters across the nation. The group provides advocacy for educators, an online book share library, online lesson plans and teaching resources, and ideas for classroom activities. Members can sign up for the NEA newsletter and take advantage of professional benefits and discounts.

American Federation of Teachers

AFT represents 1.7 million education professionals across 3,000 local affiliate groups nationwide. The group represents both K-12 and postsecondary teachers and administrators alongside government employees, nurses, and healthcare professionals. AFT provides community engagement and political activism opportunities.

U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education oversees K-12 and postsecondary institutions and sets national regulations. The federal department oversees government-funded student loans and grants and collects data about the state of American education. The department also oversees college accreditation.

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