Online Degree in Elementary Education

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Creating
Lifelong Learners

More than 1.5 million elementary teachers currently work in the United States, all of them shaping the lives of children in their own ways. Yet elementary education goes beyond classroom teaching; it also affords opportunities in areas such as research, administration and public policy, allowing individuals to tailor their academic pursuits to match their personal and professional goals. Learn more about online elementary education degrees, including curriculum content, careers after graduation, and certification steps.

National Median Annual Salary & Job Growth for Teaching

The bureau of labor statistics provides the following data about job growth in the Teaching industry. As well as the following national median salary data for several different careers in the field of Teaching.

Career National Median Annual Salary (May 2014) National Projected Job Growth (2012 – 2024) Minimum Education
Elementary School Teachers $54,120 6% Bachelor’s Degree
Childcare Worker $19,730 5% High School Diploma
Preschool Teacher $28,120 7% Associate Degree
Teacher Assistant $24,430 6% Some College, No Degree
Special Education Teacher $55,980 6% Bachelor’s Degree
EXPLORE ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMS TO BECOME A TEACHER search programs

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Major Milestones for Elementary Educators

The individualized nature of education is a boon to students who can forge a path that best suits their strengths and interests. Below is an example of how one student leveraged a specialized interest into an elementary teaching career.

High School

Works as writing tutor in school district program matching high school and elementary students

College

Obtains associate degree in elementary education from local community college

First Job

As teaching assistant, helps 5th-grade teaching team manage projects across grade level

Back to School

Obtains online bachelor’s degree in elementary education

Promotion

Hired as second-grade classroom teacher, starts after-school reading club

Moving Up

Receives certification in reading and literacy; becomes reading specialist at K-6 level.

Leading Online Elementary Education Programs: 2017

Students who complete an online degree for elementary education will be prepared to begin a fulfilling career teaching in an elementary school setting. Online learning is a highly beneficial opportunity for students with family obligations, busy work schedules, or who are interested in having more control over their academic schedule. Because there are so many schools offering these programs, we’ve looked at each program and developed a ranked list based on the school’s merits, including tuition cost, class size, and student success rate. Look below and found the top online elementary education programs for 2017.

RankUniversity Name Score Net Price Financial aid percent Online Programs Aavailable Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateUniversity Information Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services
1LeTourneau University Score99.74
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate61%

An undergraduate bachelor’s degree in elementary education is offered at LeTourneau University, helping to prepare students to teach at up to the sixth grade level. Students will learn key leadership and classroom management skills that will help to ensure success in making a difference in children’s lives. Learning at LETU comes with several benefits, including access to on-campus fitness facilities, student housing, and a variety of campus events. If a student feels unsure about career opportunities their degree may afford, LETU’s career services are willing to explain where each degree may apply in a constantly adapting job market.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
2Judson College Score99.18
Net Price
Financial aid %95%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate37%

With a bachelor of science degree in elementary education earned at Judson College, students will become qualified to educate children in age groups ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade. As shaping of young minds is an incredibly important field, Judson only employs the finest faculty members to guide undergraduate students to becoming effective teachers themselves. Attending Judson doesn't just mean getting a quality education; students will also have the chance to interact with their peers and faculty members at a variety of campus events, club fairs, and community service options. Students who feel they need academic support for their classes may receive individual tutoring for specific subjects.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
3Chaminade University of Honolulu Score98.10
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate36%

The first step to getting licensure to teach up to the sixth grade level is to complete a bachelor’s degree program in elementary education, like that which is offered at Chaminade University of Honolulu. All of Chaminade’s programs are designed to be approachable, but students are able to further customize their academic schedule by incorporating online, evening, or summer/winter classes. Utilizing off-semester courses in the winter and summer will help students to complete their programs in the shortest amount of time possible, speeding them towards their career of choice. In their downtime, students may wish to engage in their community by joining a campus club or organization.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
4Troy University Score97.77
Net Price
Financial aid %45%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate35%

Troy University was established more than 100 years ago, and has spent that time developing their academics to guarantee students achieve their education and career goals. Among the numerous degrees offered at Troy is a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, designed specifically for students who are interested in becoming a necessary addition to an elementary education team. Earning a bachelor’s degree from Troy also prepares students to further hone their learning in a graduate level master’s or certificate program. Finding the quickest route to graduation can be difficult, which is why Troy employs academic advisors to guide students through their program and to success.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
5Southeastern Oklahoma State University Score97.67
Net Price
Financial aid %59%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate30%

The Bachelor of Science program in Elementary Education is a great opportunity for students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University to earn the necessary credentials to enter or advance a career in the field. The elementary education allows students to learn how to work with young children between grades one through eight. The program consists of 34 semester hours and covers important information such as literacy, remediation, along with various electives students can complete to gear towards their area of interest within the field.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
6University of Alabama at Birmingham Score97.66
Net Price
Financial aid %66%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate48%

College-bound students interested in studying a career that allows them to work with young children to develop their academics may benefit from enrolling in the early childhood and elementary education program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This program is designed to prepare graduates to enter a career as a preschool, kindergarten or elementary-school teacher. Courses cover vital information including classroom management, learning methods, and other learning strategies. The department offers courses on weekends and some online, so students can build their academic plan to work with their schedule.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
7United Tribes Technical College Score97.65
Net Price
Financial aid %44%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad RateN/A

Those with the passion for working with young children to develop their academic skills may benefit from enrolling in the elementary education program at United Tribes Technical College. This program is comprised of courses that are designed to teach various teaching methods and strategies for elementary-aged children. The school’s Teacher Education department aims to make quality education accessible for students from all walks of life by creating a comprehensive curriculum that allows future educators to someday become excellent teachers. Upon graduation, students will either receive their Associate of Applied Science degree or Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, depending on which program they enrolled in.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
8University of Southern Mississippi Score97.60
Net Price
Financial aid %74%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate50%

Students who earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Southern Mississippi will have the ability to add a focus to their degree. The degree program allows students to pick one area that is endorsed by the University of Southern Mississippi, each of which can translate into a better position in elementary education. Students are also prepared to teach their own class and receive a teacher’s license for teaching elementary level grades. The degree can also be completed online for students that have a full-time job or a family that they need to work around.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
9Quincy University Score97.55
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate56%

Quincy University offers a four-year program for students to earn their bachelor’s degree in elementary education. The degree program puts all students along the same path, but it does allow for some extra studies for students that want to get into a specific field of teaching. There is also a dual licensure program that allows students to earn both their elementary education and special education teaching licenses at the same time. Students that earn their bachelor’s degree from Quincy University will be well-prepared to begin their career as a student teacher, and eventually a full-time teacher.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
10Mississippi College Score97.39
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate62%

While many graduates of Mississippi College’s elementary education bachelor’s degree program go on to become teachers in the state of Mississippi, they'll have the experience to become a teacher in just about any school. A big part of the curriculum at Mississippi College is making sure that students are prepared to become teachers after graduation, so there are multiple options available for students to study in the field alongside professional elementary teachers. The degree can be completed in four years, and it will give students all they need to begin their career.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
11Prescott College Score97.35
Net Price
Financial aid %90%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
12Newman University Score97.07
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
13University of Delaware Score96.98
Net Price
Financial aid %54%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate80%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
14North Carolina Central University Score96.95
Net Price
Financial aid %81%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
15Northwestern State University of Louisiana Score96.94
Net Price
Financial aid %48%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate36%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
16Bay Path University Score96.90
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate50%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
17Nova Southeastern University Score96.52
Net Price
Financial aid %94%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate42%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
18Belhaven University Score96.50
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
19East Carolina University Score96.35
Net Price
Financial aid %50%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate58%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
20University of Louisiana at Monroe Score96.17
Net Price
Financial aid %56%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate37%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
21Wilson College Score96.13
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate37%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
22Arkansas State University-Main Campus Score96.06
Net Price
Financial aid %65%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate39%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
23Western Kentucky University Score96.05
Net Price
Financial aid %37%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate50%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
24Northern Arizona University Score96.03
Net Price
Financial aid %66%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
25Sterling College Score96.00
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate34%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
26Dickinson State University Score95.87
Net Price
Financial aid %63%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate35%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
27Missouri State University-Springfield Score95.86
Net Price
Financial aid %51%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate55%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
28Fort Hays State University Score95.81
Net Price
Financial aid %72%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate41%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
29Southwestern Oklahoma State University Score95.79
Net Price
Financial aid %63%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate35%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
30University of Northern Colorado Score95.78
Net Price
Financial aid %79%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
31Harding University Score95.71
Net Price
Financial aid %91%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate61%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
32William Carey University Score95.61
Net Price
Financial aid %74%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate58%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
33Northwestern Oklahoma State University Score95.44
Net Price
Financial aid %60%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate31%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
34Mayville State University Score95.42
Net Price
Financial aid %76%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate39%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
35University of Nebraska at Kearney Score95.40
Net Price
Financial aid %55%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate56%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
36Ball State University Score95.38
Net Price
Financial aid %47%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate57%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
37West Virginia University Score95.35
Net Price
Financial aid %57%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate56%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
38Gardner-Webb University Score95.33
Net Price
Financial aid %96%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
39Marshall University Score95.23
Net Price
Financial aid %58%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate44%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
40University of South Alabama Score95.17
Net Price
Financial aid %59%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate37%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
41Delta State University Score94.98
Net Price
Financial aid %42%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate37%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
42Wheeling Jesuit University Score94.96
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate61%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
43Indiana State University Score94.88
Net Price
Financial aid %75%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
44University of West Alabama Score94.87
Net Price
Financial aid %47%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate27%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
45Southwestern College Score94.85
Net Price
Financial aid %95%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate51%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
46University of Central Missouri Score94.84
Net Price
Financial aid %60%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
47University of the Cumberlands Score94.83
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
48University of South Dakota Score94.81
Net Price
Financial aid %63%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
49Concordia University-Chicago Score94.79
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
50University of Alaska Fairbanks Score94.78
Net Price
Financial aid %43%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate33%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
RankUniversity Name Score Net Price Financial aid percent Online Programs Aavailable Student-Teacher RatioUniversity Information Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services
1East Mississippi Community College Score99.73
Net Price
Financial aid %78%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

At East Mississippi Community College, students are able to pursue their goals of becoming an educator up to the sixth grade level by completing an associate degree with an emphasis in elementary education. Through the course of their curriculum, students will develop leadership and communications skills that are vital to the proper management of an elementary-level classroom. Earning an associate degree from EMCC can lead to several outcomes, including job placement after the completion of two years of schooling, or the possibility of transferring into a four-year school to continue learning in a bachelor’s degree program.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
2Yavapai College Score97.78
Net Price
Financial aid %15%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

Attending Yavapai College is an excellent stepping stone for students interested in starting a career in the field of elementary academics. At just 62 credits, this program can be completed in as few as two short years, allowing students to compile a basis of knowledge that will prepare them for transferring into a four-year school to pursue a bachelor’s degree. YC offers career counseling services to help students identify possible job outcomes available after the completion of their degree. Students may also wish to consider learning in one of YC’s online courses, allowing for the same great education in a more schedule-friendly format.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
3Arizona Western College Score96.76
Net Price
Financial aid %20%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

Students enrolled at Arizona Western College have the opportunity to pursue a few different kinds of programs. An associate of arts or an associate of science degree will prepare them for transfer into a bachelor’s program at a four-year institution, while an associate of applied science degree will orient them towards achieving job placement after two years of learning. AWC works to get its students out of the classroom and into real-life learning scenarios, helping to better prepare them for the specific objectives they will be completing upon being hired. AWC also offers career counseling to help students prepare their resumes and polish their interview skills.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
4Western Wyoming Community College Score95.00
Net Price
Financial aid %39%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

Students are able to prepare for a career in elementary teaching by earning an associate of arts degree with an emphasis in elementary education from Western Wyoming Community College. By completing a degree in just four semesters of learning, students open up opportunities for career advancement and continued education in a four-year bachelor’s program. WWCC believes that one of the keys to academic success is proper planning for the future, which is why they provide student services like academic advisement to guarantee students never get off track in their learning. Class sizes at WWCC are typically small, and cheap tuition means a more enjoyable learning experience.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
5Arkansas Northeastern College Score94.30
Net Price
Financial aid %26%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

The completion of an associate of science in elementary education at Arkansas Northeastern College will prepare students with an interest in educating elementary age children to develop the basic skills required for career and academic advancement. Several ANC programs may incorporate online learning opportunities for students who are looking to break away from traditional learning environments and take their education into their own hands. A typical associate degree at ANC will take around four semesters to complete, and with its low tuition cost and price per-credit, students will be able to graduate without putting too much strain on their finances.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
6College of Southern Idaho Score94.16
Net Price
Financial aid %46%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

If a student is interested in working with elementary age children, why not make a career out of it? With an associate degree in elementary education earned at the College of Southern Idaho, students will be put on the path to achieve their career aspirations of becoming an elementary school teacher. CSI facilitates student success by implementing applied learning techniques, allowing students to receive practical experience in their field of choice while also developing an encompassing base of knowledge in traditional classroom environments. Earning a degree from CSI is affordable, too, as tuition is low and several forms of financial aid are available for qualifying students.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
7Holmes Community College Score93.99
Net Price
Financial aid %37%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

In as few as two years, students attending Holmes Community College are able to complete an associate degree in elementary education, effectively preparing them for either continuation at a four-year school, or beginning a career in an entry-level position in an elementary education setting. Learning at Holmes CC puts students on the right course for success, regardless of what field they are interested in joining. Receiving an education is further simplified with distance learning opportunities that allow students to benefit from the same quality education without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
8Northwest Mississippi Community College Score92.77
Net Price
Financial aid %26%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

Beginning a career in elementary education can start with pursuing an associate degree in elementary education at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Students enrolled in this program will receive theoretical and applied knowledge administered by experienced faculty members. On average, class sizes at NWCC are small, allowing for a personalized learning experience for each student. Students interested in varying their school schedule may incorporate online learning options, giving them greater control over their academics. NWCC also provides its students with financial aid opportunities the remove any payment issues that may arise when planning for a college education.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
9Northeast Community College Score92.32
Net Price
Financial aid %38%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

Northeast Community College offers a variety of programs at the associate level, including associate of applied science degrees and associate of art/science degrees. Depending on the student’s career goals, Northeast CC is ready to find the best program to facilitate student success, as well as provide scheduling guidance throughout their degree program. With the completion of an associate degree from Northeast CC, students will have opportunities to either begin an entry-level position in their field of choice, or keep going with their education and pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree. Career counselors at Northeast CC are eager to help students learn how to apply their degree to a competitive job market.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
10Truckee Meadows Community College Score91.06
Net Price
Financial aid %22%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio

Like many of the degrees offered at Truckee Meadows Community College, the associate of science degree with an emphasis in integrated elementary education is designed to transfer into partnering four-year institutions, specifically the University of Nevada, Reno. An associate of arts or science degree at TMCC can be earned in approximately two years, and will guarantee admission into UNR, as well as waive certain core requirements needed for a bachelor’s degree. TMCC’s academic advisement office takes a special interest in facilitating student success by teaching students how to understand their degree requirements and take control of their academic schedule.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
11Cleveland Community College Score88.18
Net Price
Financial aid %1%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
12Fayetteville Technical Community College Score87.82
Net Price
Financial aid %1%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
13Coconino Community College Score86.73
Net Price
Financial aid %10%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less

Key Elements of Online Teaching Degrees

Online elementary education degree programs are intended to mirror their campus-based counterparts, offering students the same immersive learning experience. Although the mode of instruction is different, these programs follow the same curriculum, and also include in-person student teaching practicums. Below is an overview of what to expect from an online program in elementary education.

Interactive Virtual Instruction

Students in online elementary education programs use learning management systems such as Blackboard to access course materials (e.g. readings and assignments), take tests, and interact with their professors and other students.

Faculty

Typically, the same faculty members that teach on-campus courses serve as instructors and mentors for online students.

Online Proctored Examinations

Testing in online programs is similar to campus-based programs. Students may be required to participate in online proctored testing, which connects the student’s computer and screen (via webcam) to an online proctoring center where the student’s testing process is monitored.

In-Person Observations

In addition to a practicum in student teaching, some programs also require students to complete in-person observations at a local elementary or middle school.

In-Person Orientation

Although many programs offer online orientation, some online elementary education programs may require students to attend campus-based orientations or seminars.

Local Practicums

Student teaching is a critical component of teacher preparation programs. These practicums vary by educational institution. Some online programs may have teacher placement agreements with local school districts, while others allow students to gain approval to conduct a student teaching experience at an elementary or middle school in their local area.

Technology Requirements

Online learners need access to a convenient, reliable computer that has a high-speed Internet connection and the latest version of a Web browser. Some programs have online proctored exams that require a webcam, microphone, speakers and headphones.

Levels of Online Degrees in Elementary Education

Becoming an elementary school teacher requires that students complete both teacher preparation and bachelor’s degree programs. The bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum educational requirement, and many programs—both undergraduate and graduate—combine teacher licensure elements with the standard degree curriculum. Through a blend of theoretical and practical instruction, online elementary education degrees prepare educators to teach all subjects in K-6 classrooms.

  • Associate’s
    (2 years)
  • Bachelor’s
    (4 years)
  • Master’s
    (2 years)
  • Doctorate
    (4 to 6+ Years)
  • Graduate Certificates
    (1-3 years)

Associate degree programs in elementary education are preparatory in nature, allowing students to complete the first two years of a four-year teacher education program. Offered at junior and community colleges, instruction includes general education courses that help prepare students for state-required basic skills examinations. Because curriculum varies from college to college, students should request the curriculum from their targeted four-year institution to ensure their credits transfer appropriately. To graduate, students typically complete 60 credit hours of study.

The Bachelor of Science in elementary education qualifies graduates to pursue licensure at the elementary level, either K-6 or K-8. Students complete both knowledge- and concept-based coursework, as well as field experiences in student teaching. Spread across 120 to 128 credit hours of study, instruction is divided between general education classes, core coursework, electives, and a student-teaching practicum. Covering central concepts in elementary education, such as curriculum and instruction, classroom management, pedagogical theory and trends, and research, these courses prepare students to become effective classroom leaders.

The master’s degree in elementary education is a multifaceted program designed both to qualify students for first-time licensure as a teacher, as well as to advance the careers of experienced teachers. Master’s students also gain the foundation for future doctoral studies. There are two different academic tracks available at the master’s level, the Master of Education (MEd) and the Master of Arts/Master of Science (MA/MS).

  • Master of Education The Master of Education is oriented toward professional skill development, with coursework that focuses on the concepts and techniques educators use in the classroom.
  • Master of Arts/Science The Master of Arts and Master of Science are humanities- and research-based, respectively. Coursework is typically broader, and places less emphasis on professional skill development.

Within each degree track come different academic options, each with a separate type of curriculum.

  • Initial Licensure These master’s programs include general elementary education courses and—typically—multiple student-teaching practicums. Students are required to take the Praxis I and Praxis II tests in their endorsement area. Upon graduation, students are qualified to apply for a teaching license.
  • Non-Licensure The MEd degree commonly offers a non-practicum degree option, with curriculum that concentrates on professional skill development, for educators seeking to advance in their careers.
  • Certification These programs are for licensed elementary and middle school teachers who want to add an additional subject- or content-based endorsement to their teaching licenses. These programs generally include a student-teaching practicum.

Credit hours and time to completion vary widely by program. Many require 30 to 36+ credit hours, completed over two to three years of full-time study.

Doctoral programs in elementary education are the highest level of degree in elementary education. They are designed for licensed educators who want to pursue research-focused careers or move into administrative and educational leadership positions. There are two distinct academic tracks at the doctoral level: Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Doctor of Philosophy programs are for individuals who want to conduct original research in elementary education, in areas such as curriculum development, educational technology and student assessment. Depending on the program, students are required to complete between 55 and 90 credit hours of study, usually divided between core coursework, major and minor classes, and electives. They must also write and defend a dissertation.
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) The Doctor of Education is for educators who want to pursue administrative and supervisory positions, such as principals or superintendents. Curriculum focuses on transforming educational theory into practical applications in the classroom. Like the PhD, the EdD divides coursework between core classes, electives and major requirements. This allows students to explore academic areas of interest such as student behavior, curriculum development and instructional performance. Required program hours vary widely, typically between 54 and 90 credits, and students must produce an original dissertation.

A graduate certificate in elementary education is another option for individuals with a bachelor’s degree who want to earn a K-8 teaching license, or who wish to add a second endorsement to their existing teaching license. These non-degree teacher preparation programs usually require between 15 and 45 credit hours of study to complete. For individuals in initial licensure certificate programs, a student-teaching internship may be required. Curriculum covers the foundational principles of teaching elementary education, including the study of educational technology, curriculum development, literacy, and subject areas such as mathematics and science. Most programs require students to pass the Praxis subject assessment test as designated by their state for licensure.

Specialization Tracks in Elementary Education

Students may also choose to specialize their studies in a degree concentration; specialty areas vary by specific program, but common concentrations in elementary education include the following:

  • Autism
  • Child Development and Learning
  • Computer Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Gifted and Talented Education
  • Health Education
  • Library Science
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Special Education

Common Elementary Education Degree Courses

Elementary education curriculum is designed to prepare educators to teach in K-6 and, in some programs, K-8 classrooms. The curriculum is divided between instruction in knowledge-based areas such as literacy, science and social studies, and field practicums that provide students with hands-on learning in real classrooms. Below is a list of common coursework students may encounter in online elementary education degree programs.

Course Description
Family Culture and School

Covers family dynamics and the role they play in the education of children. Topics include family structures, family values, socioeconomic factors, and strategies for communicating with and involving families in instructional planning.

Communication Skills and Reading Comprehension

Introduces core concepts in reading instruction, covering subjects such as reading development and reading programs, teaching methodologies, and modern research in language arts.

K-6 Classroom Management

Prepares future educators to become effective communicators in the classroom, learning how to manage classrooms, develop systematic strategies to lead students, employ techniques to keep students on task, and foster an open atmosphere of communication in the classroom.

Instructional Design and Curriculum

Explores instructional design in teaching and learning in the elementary classroom, covering principles of assessment and curriculum development and how to apply them in designing appropriate approaches to instruction.

Technology for Teachers

Examines the role of technology in education, providing students with an understanding of how to leverage technology to facilitate student growth, how to integrate technological learning tools (such as the Internet), and how to conduct research and student assessments.

Choosing an Online Elementary Education Program

The decision to earn an online elementary education degree requires research and preparation. Future students should ensure their chosen program meets accreditation standards, provides a comprehensive curriculum, qualifies them for licensure examinations, and uses an online instructional delivery system that meshes with their learning style. Below is a checklist of factors students should consider to select the right online elementary education program.

  • Is the program accredited? Attending a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is a must, as this is required to earn licensure and certification in each state.
  • Is the program state-approved? The Department of Education in each state maintains a list of approved teacher preparation programs. Attending a state-approved program is typically required to be eligible for teacher certification and licensure in each state.
  • Does the program offer local practicums? Students should seek out programs that allow them to complete their student teaching internship and field experiences at a local elementary school. Some universities may not be able to offer placements in certain states.
  • Are courses taught by full-time faculty? Students should review the program faculty, ensuring that it doesn’t rely heavily on part-time or adjunct faculty.
  • What grades are qualified for licensure? Different programs cover different grade levels (e.g. K-6, Pre-K-6, or 1-8), so students should check the scope of grades covered.

Elementary Education Program Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary review process of institutions and educational programs that ensures adherence to recognized quality standards. The primary accrediting body for teaching programs is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Example accreditation standards include content and pedagogical knowledge, clinical partnerships, program quality, and program impact. It is important to attend an accredited program, as most state boards of education require it for licensure.

To learn more about the accreditation process, visit our page on accreditation and accrediting bodies.

Preparing for a Master’s in Elementary Education

The admissions processes to online programs in elementary education are structured somewhat differently, and students should familiarize themselves with the necessary steps, due dates and deadlines required by their targeted programs. Below is a sample preparation timeline for an individual with a bachelor’s degree in a different field who wishes to complete a master’s program.

Time Before Program Start Date
Step 1

Complete bachelor’s degree (any field)

1 to 4+ Years
Step 2

Complete master’s program prerequisite coursework (e.g. language arts, social sciences)

1 to 2 Years
Step 3

Request official college transcripts and letters of reference, and prepare professional resume

6 months
Step 4

Write professional statement/essay or prepare professional portfolio

6 months

Step 5

Prepare and submit application

3 to 10 months

Postsecondary education can be competitive, especially at the graduate level where many programs receive more applications than there are spots available. Prospective candidates seeking entrance to a master’s program in elementary education should take the necessary steps to be as competitive as possible during the application process. Below are some ways students can polish their applications and improve their chances for admission

Tailor your resume

Resumes should demonstrate how students’ professional experience relates to education, as well as their readiness to take on the academic rigors of graduate study.

Serve as a substitute teacher

Developing real-world experience in the classroom as a substitute teacher not only demonstrates a commitment to education, but allows candidates to refine the skills necessary to being a successful educator.

Work as a volunteer

Prospective elementary school teachers can volunteer with children- or youth-focused organizations (e.g. Boys and Girls Club) to gain experience working with similar student populations.

Build subject expertise

Elementary education teachers need to possess solid subject knowledge in a range of areas, from social studies to literacy. Brushing up on core subjects through professional development or refresher courses can help candidates show their willingness to learn and develop their content knowledge.

Elementary Education: Salary & Career Outlook

Multiple variables impact the occupational growth for elementary school teachers, including state and local district budgets and enrollment projections. Overall, the U.S. Department of Education projects a national enrollment of more than 36 million students in grades K-8 nationally by 2020; that translates to a nationwide growth rate of 6 percent for kindergarten and elementary school teachers between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings for elementary school teachers range from approximately $33,000 to upward of $80,000 per year. The following chart shows how elementary school teacher salaries compare to other careers in education.

Teaching Licensure & Professional Certifications

Before standing in front of a classroom, most prospective educators need become certified to teach through state licensure, although it’s worth noting that some private schools may not require this. Students may also choose to complete optional professional certification programs to enhance their skills and advance their careers. Below is an overview of the teaching credentialing and certification process.

Elementary Education Teaching Credential

Licenses are administered at the state level, with rules and regulations established by individual state boards of education. Typically, there are three major components: 1) education; 2) knowledge competency examinations; and 3) field experience. Below is a checklist of common licensing steps for elementary school teachers.

Elementary Education Teaching Certifications

Elementary school educators may also choose to pursue advanced professional credentials and training to expand their knowledge and potentially advance their careers. Credentialing programs are available from several organizations, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, as well as the American Board.

  • National Board Certification

    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards sponsors certification in 25 subject areas across K-8 education. Applicable elementary-level certificate areas include the following:

  • Art
  • English as a New Language
  • Exceptional Needs Specialist
  • Generalist (Ages 3-8)
  • Library Media
  • Literacy
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • School Counseling

Related Online Teaching Degree Programs

Students interested in a career in education, but who do not wish to concentrate on the elementary level, may select from a variety of teacher preparation programs that open up the field to working with children of different ages—from infants and toddlers to high-schoolers. Below are three related educational paths of study for individuals interested in becoming teachers.

Online Degrees in Child Development

Online child development programs prepare educators to work in the field of early education. Courses are designed to equip teachers with fundamental knowledge and skills to fashion effective learning environments for young children in a variety of professional roles and work environments.

Online Degrees in Early Childhood Education

Online early childhood education programs are founded upon the core principles of youth development, following curriculum standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Offered at the associate, bachelor’s and graduate levels, these programs prepare educators to work in both public and private youth-focused organizations, such as public schools or Head Start.

Online Degrees in Secondary Education

Online degree programs in secondary education prepare students to assume teacher positions in K-12 classrooms in specific subject areas, such as social studies, science, mathematics or English. Available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, secondary education programs include both classroom-based and field learning experiences—equipping students with the skills necessary to become effective educators.

Elementary Education Organizations & Resources