Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Education

Rankings, Salaries & Courses

Updated on: 05/20/2020
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An online education degree provides the essential academic background for a career as a teacher or educational administrator. In a bachelor's program, degree-seekers explore instructional theories and strategies, classroom management, and how to conduct student evaluations and assessments. Learners also study curriculum development and educational psychology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that growth rates for teaching professions will keep pace with the overall job market between 2018 and 2028. Median salary levels topped the $60,000 mark in 2018, providing educators with stable, above-average earnings.

Practically all careers in education require at least a bachelor's degree in teaching. Earning an online teaching degree offers many benefits, including flexibility and affordability. Learners pursuing online teaching degrees can study on a self-directed schedule rather than following set class times. Additionally, many schools charge online students lower tuition rates while freeing them from the financial burdens of room, board, and commuting.

Top 10 Teaching Degree Programs Online 2020

  1. Florida International University - Miami, FL
  2. Appalachian State University - Boone, NC
  3. The Baptist College of Florida- Graceville, FL
  4. Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA
  5. Ball State University - Muncie, IN
  6. Gardner-Webb University - Boiling Springs, NC
  7. Webster University - Saint Louis, MO
  8. Regis University - Denver, CO
  9. University of Louisiana at Monroe - Monroe, LA
  10. North Carolina Central University - Durham, NC

Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Education for 2020

Online Bachelor's
Individuals researching online teaching degrees can browse the following sections for information on career paths, educational specializations, and earning potential. Learners can also review rankings tables that list the best places to complete your teaching degree online.

School rankings provide a valuable window into the current trends defining the education landscape. Beyond browsing schools with the best reputations, you can also use rankings charts to compare costs, accreditation, scholarship and funding opportunities, and available concentration areas.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Florida International University Miami, FL
$9,180 Tuition
58% Graduation Rate
$9,180 Tuition
58% Graduation Rate

Florida International University offers over 100 online degrees, including a 120-credit online bachelor's in early childhood development.

The program's core curriculum includes coursework in art in early childhood, cultural/social foundations of teaching, issues in early childhood education, and language and literacy development. FIU's online teaching degree prepares graduates for careers as preschool teachers and childcare workers. The program does not lead to teaching licensure.

First-time applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer applicants must send official college transcripts. Transfer students with fewer than 60 credits should follow first-time applicant guidelines.

Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.




2 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
$10,491 Tuition
72% Graduation Rate
$10,491 Tuition
72% Graduation Rate

Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University serves almost 20,000 students. Despite its large enrollment, Appalachian provides individualized experiences by maintaining an average class size of 28 students. The university boasts nearly 130,000 alumni worldwide.

Appalachian offers online programs that deliver coursework both synchronously and asynchronously. Appalachian offers 120-credit teaching programs in elementary education, middle grades education, special education, and career and technical education. The university also offers a part-time bachelor's in child development.

All of Appalachian's online education degrees require a practicum in North Carolina. These programs offer a mix of fully online and hybrid delivery methods. Transfer students need a minimum of 30 college credits and must submit all official college transcripts.

Appalachian State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.




3 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL
$9,252 Tuition
62% Graduation Rate
$9,252 Tuition
62% Graduation Rate

The Baptist College of Florida offers a private, Christian education. Located in Graceville, BCF serves over 400 undergraduate students and boasts a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

BCF offers four online teaching degrees:

  • Elementary education (124 credits)
  • English secondary education (129 credits)
  • History/social studies secondary education (123 credits)
  • Music education (133 credits)

Distance learners enrolled in the elementary education degree must complete an internship and a reading practicum. The other three programs only require an internship.

BCF charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students. Applicants must submit all official academic transcripts, a personal letter of recommendation, and a letter of recommendation from the pastor of their church.

The Baptist College of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

4 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
$36,727 Tuition
74% Graduation Rate
$36,727 Tuition
74% Graduation Rate

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University features 24/7 tech support and access to the library, career center, and writing center for online learners.

Drexel offers an online bachelor's in education with licensure and non-licensure tracks. The certification track prepares students for one of preK-4 or preK-4 special education licensure. The non-certification track prepares graduates for education-adjacent careers in instructional design, education nonprofits, or youth advocacy. Each track requires 2-3 years to complete.

First-year applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer students with more than 24 college credits must submit college transcripts. Drexel allows transfer students to bring up to 90 credits with them.

Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5 Ball State University Muncie, IN
$13,642 Tuition
63% Graduation Rate
$13,642 Tuition
63% Graduation Rate

Ball State University boasts more than 70 fully online programs. Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State claims almost 200,000 alumni worldwide.

The university offers a 120-credit online bachelor's in early childhood education. Ball State's online education degree features classes like literature for young children, infant toddler curriculum and environment, and administration of early childhood programs. All students also complete a practicum at a local school. The program eliminates all in-person requirements and delivers coursework asynchronously. The program does not lead to licensure.

All applicants need an associate degree in early childhood education with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Ball State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

6 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
$19,197 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate
$19,197 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate

Located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Gardner-Webb University serves 3,500 students. Gardner-Webb also offers several online programs, including three online teaching degrees: bachelor's degrees in elementary education, birth to kindergarten education, and elementary education for teacher assistants.

Each program requires approximately 120 credits. Students enrolled in the elementary education and birth to kindergarten degrees must complete practicums. Both of these programs lead to teaching licensure in North Carolina.

Applicants to the elementary education and birth to kindergarten programs must have already completed 24 college credits. Applicants to the teacher assistant program must already hold an associate or bachelor's degree. Gardner-Webb charges all students the same tuition regardless of residency.

Gardner-Webb University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
$22,727 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate
$22,727 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1915, Webster University was one of the first Catholic women's colleges west of the Mississippi River. Based in Saint Louis, Missouri, Webster offers both online degrees and programs at its satellite campuses in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Webster University offers a 128-credit online bachelor's in educational studies. Notable courses include educational research, instructional design, and foundations of education. All students in the program must complete an internship in the field. The program does not lead to teaching licensure. Program graduates find work in nonprofits, education, and instructional design.

First-year applicants must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer applicants with fewer than 30 college credits must submit official high school transcripts.

Webster University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

8 Regis University Denver, CO
$26,273 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate
$26,273 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate

Regis University is the only Jesuit university in the Rocky Mountains. Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis serves around 10,000 students and claims nearly 80,000 alumni worldwide.

Regis offers a 120-credit online elementary education degree. Learners must complete a full semester of student teaching in a kindergarten through sixth grade classroom. The program qualifies students to sit for the teaching licensure exam in Colorado. Core courses include cultural competence in education, perspectives in education, and foundations of teaching.

Regis offers rolling admissions. Applicants seeking eventual licensure in foreign language, math, or science need a previously earned bachelor's degree in that content area area. Prospective students must submit official transcripts, a resume, and a background check. All applicants also complete an interview.

Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

9 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
$9,455 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate
$9,455 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate

The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) offers almost 100 majors and minors. Approximately 66% of incoming freshmen receive an institutional scholarship. ULM enrolls around 9,000 students.

ULM offers a 120-credit online bachelor's in elementary education. Core courses include assessment principles and practices for all learners; classroom, behavior, and instructional management; and educational foundations for diverse learning environments. Most students complete this online teaching degree in four years.

Applicants must submit official transcripts. Transfer students must complete college-level English and math courses with a minimum "C" grade before applying.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. ULM's elementary education program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

10 North Carolina Central University Durham, NC
$12,470 Tuition
46% Graduation Rate
$12,470 Tuition
46% Graduation Rate

Located in Durham, North Carolina Central University maintains a rich history as a historically black university. In recent years, NCCU has expanded its distance learning presence.

NCCU's 120-credit online bachelor's in early childhood education covers birth to kindergarten education. Core courses include assessment and evaluation in early childhood; health, nutrition, and safety in early childhood; and introduction to educational psychology. All learners also complete a practicum at a school in their community. Students must maintain a minimum 2.77 GPA to graduate. Program graduates find work in Head Start programs, home-based early intervention services, childcare referential agencies, or preschools.

NCCU offers three different application deadlines. Applicants must submit all official transcripts.

North Carolina Central University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. NCCU's early childhood education program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

11 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK
$8,927 Tuition
36% Graduation Rate
$8,927 Tuition
36% Graduation Rate

Based in Juneau, UAS serves over 5,000 students and offers 75 degrees and certificates.

UAS features two, 120-credit online teaching degrees: a bachelor's in elementary education and a bachelor's in special education. Both programs require a practicum. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Core courses in the elementary education program include foundations of literacy and language development, the learner and the learning process, inclusive education for students with disabilities, and integrated curriculum and instruction.

Applicants to the special education program must complete a background check. First-year students must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum of 30 college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

The University of Alaska Southeast is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

12 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
$9,635 Tuition
0% Graduation Rate
$9,635 Tuition
0% Graduation Rate

Bellevue University boasts 50,000 alumni worldwide. Located in Nebraska, BU serves around 13,000 students annually. BU offers two online teaching degrees: a 127-credit bachelor's in adult education and 120-credit bachelor's in public health education.

The public health program prepares students for careers in coaching or physical education. The adult education program features courses in adult learning theory, learning styles fundamentals, instructional design strategies, and electronic instructional methods and delivery.

BU charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students. Active-duty military and their spouses qualify for discounted tuition. The university requires proof of high school or GED completion for admission. Transfer applicants must submit all official college transcripts for evaluation. Students must complete at least 30 credits through BU.

Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

13 Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
$11,142 Tuition
48% Graduation Rate
$11,142 Tuition
48% Graduation Rate

Winston-Salem State University is a historically black university located in North Carolina. WSSU serves over 5,000 students.

WSSU's online bachelor's in birth-kindergarten education requires 120-126 credits and offers three tracks: licensure, administration and leadership, and early intervention and preschool. The licensure track requires a practicum and student teaching. The business and preschool concentrations require internships in early childhood education. Core courses include child and family assessment, language and communication disorders, and guidance and classroom management.

Applicants need three professional references, a writing sample, a video essay, and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Winston-Salem State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

14 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
$13,746 Tuition
65% Graduation Rate
$13,746 Tuition
65% Graduation Rate

Based in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University serves over 12,000 students.

ECU offers two, 120-credit online teaching degrees: a bachelor's birth-kindergarten education and a bachelor's in family and consumer sciences education. ECU also offers bachelor's completion programs in elementary education, middle grade education, and special education. Applicants to these completion programs must graduate from a North Carolina community college.

Each program requires a student teaching experience. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in all classes required for their major.

First-year applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer students need at least 24 credits of courses. Students must earn acceptance into the teaching program by completing all general education requirements with a minimum 2.7 GPA.

East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

15 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
$15,975 Tuition
58% Graduation Rate
$15,975 Tuition
58% Graduation Rate

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers 170 majors and 20 pre-professional programs. Around 40% of students attend UNK as first-generation college students.

UNK offers a 120-credit online bachelor's in early childhood education with specializations in birth through kindergarten and age three to grade three. All students must complete a field experience. Core courses include methods of inclusive education, music and movement for early childhood teachers, and supporting young children through family and community involvement.

First-time applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer students need more than 24 transferable college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. UNK charges different tuition rates for Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas students; Midwest exchange students; and other out-of-state students.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

16 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
$9,091 Tuition
43% Graduation Rate
$9,091 Tuition
43% Graduation Rate

The University of West Florida serves over 12,000 students. Based in Pensacola, UWF features average class sizes of 34 for lower-level courses and 25 for upper-level courses. UWF offers two online education degrees: a 132-credit bachelor's in exceptional student education and a 120-credit bachelor's in community education.

The exceptional student education program requires two supervised 100-hour field experiences and a student teaching capstone. Core courses include effective learning environments, literacy for the emergent learner, and methods in inclusion and collaboration. The bachelor's in community education prepares graduates for careers as museum education coordinators, after-school coordinators, preschool teachers, and parent educators.

Transfer students need at least 30 transferable college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. First-time applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores.

The University of West Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

17 North Greenville University Tigerville, SC
$20,111 Tuition
54% Graduation Rate
$20,111 Tuition
54% Graduation Rate

North Greenville University serves over 2,500 students from 35 states and 25 countries. Based in Tigerville, South Carolina, NGU maintains an average class size of 14 students.

NGU features a 120-credit online bachelor's in elementary education with two required practica. Core courses include methods and materials for young children, teaching content with language and art, and professional development and collaboration. All distance learners also complete a capstone project. The program does not lead to teaching licensure.

First-year applicants must submit official high school transcripts. Transfer students need official high school and college transcripts. NGU charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students.

North Greenville University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

18 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO
$17,833 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate
$17,833 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate

The University of Missouri serves over 30,000 students through 300 programs. Nearly 48% of Mizzou students graduate without debt.

Mizzou's 120-credit online bachelor's in educational studies offers two concentrations: educational leadership and educational games and simulations. The program culminates in a capstone project. Mizzou delivers all of the program's coursework asynchronously and eliminates on-campus requirements. Core courses include individual and group leadership, information management and the successful scholar, and introduction to project management.

First-time applicants must submit standardized test scores and official high school transcripts. Transfer students need at least 24 college credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

The University of Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Mizzou's education studies program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

19 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
$12,420 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate
$12,420 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate

Based in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University serves over 15,000 students on its 200-acre campus and online. FHSU boasts a 96% job placement rate after graduation.

FHSU offers three online teaching degrees: a 126-credit bachelor's in early childhood education, a 127-credit bachelor's in elementary education, and a 132-credit bachelor's in secondary education. Each program leads to teaching licensure. The secondary education program requires a double major in business education. Students in the elementary education and early childhood education degree programs must complete internships. All three programs require student teaching.

Applicants must complete all general education requirements with a minimum "C" grade. Students with a bachelor's degree are exempt. First-time applicants must submit standardized test scores and all official transcripts. FHSU charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students.

Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

20 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
$24,170 Tuition
55% Graduation Rate
$24,170 Tuition
55% Graduation Rate

Based in Riverside, California Baptist University serves around 11,000 students.

CBU offers an online bachelor's in early childhood studies that requires 48 major credits. Most students complete the program in 16 months. Core courses include cognitive development in infancy and early childhood, STEM integrated with the arts, and assessment of young children. Program graduates can begin careers in research, early childhood advocacy, educational policymaking, and early childhood intervention. This program does not lead to teaching licensure.

First-year applicants need a high school diploma. Transfer students need at least 24 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. CBU charges the same tuition to out-of-state and in-state students.

California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

21 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
$22,913 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate
$22,913 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate

Chaminade University of Honolulu serves over 1,000 undergraduate students through approximately 50 programs. Around 98% of Chaminade students receive financial aid.

Chaminade offers online teaching degrees in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Students in the early childhood education program can earn a Montessori certification. Each program requires approximately 120 credits and student teaching. Each online course at Chaminade lasts 10 weeks and offers flexible scheduling.

Transfer students must submit all official college transcripts. First-year students submit official high school transcripts. Chaminade charges the same tuition to out-of-state and in-state students. Active-duty military, national guard, reservist military, and non-active military members receive tuition discounts.

Chaminade University of Honolulu is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Chaminade's education programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

22 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
$20,465 Tuition
72% Graduation Rate
$20,465 Tuition
72% Graduation Rate

The University of Alabama serves over 38,000 students. Based in Tuscaloosa, almost 40% of UA's students come from Alabama.

UA features a 120-credit online bachelor's in early childhood education. Core courses include lifespan human development, parent and family development, and child centers and programs. All students must also complete an internship at a preschool accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

First-year applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer students need more than 24 college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. The program charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students.

The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

23 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
$17,315 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate
$17,315 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate

The University of Nebraska Lincoln offers 150 different majors, serving over 25,000 students and employing almost 2,000 full-time faculty members. UNL's average undergraduate class consists of 39 students.

UNL features a 120-credit online bachelor's in child, youth, and family studies with an emphasis in early childhood in a mobile society. Students must complete two practica, including a final practicum as a capstone project. Distance learners can take classes at UNL or 11 other schools through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. This program does not lead to teacher licensure.

First-year applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer students must submit official college transcripts. UNL requires students to apply directly to the online teaching degree and complete 30 college credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA before moving on to upper-level courses.

The University of Nebraska Lincoln is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.




24 Asbury University Wilmore, KY
$22,646 Tuition
62% Graduation Rate
$22,646 Tuition
62% Graduation Rate

Located in Wilmore, Kentucky, Asbury University offers over 150 programs and provides more than 800 scholarships each year. Around 99% of Asbury's students receive financial aid.

Asbury's 124-credit online bachelor's in elementary education requires two student teaching experiences completed in Kentucky. Asbury recommends (but does not require) that applicants reside in Kentucky or nearby states. Core courses include classroom management, facilitating elementary success, and technology for education. Each course lasts eight weeks, and Asbury offers four start dates each year. The curriculum also features open inquiry and guided inquiry clinicals. This program does not lead to licensure.

Applicants must submit official high school or college transcripts. Asbury charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students.

Asbury University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

25 Maranatha Baptist University Watertown, WI
$17,974 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate
$17,974 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate

Located in Watertown, Wisconsin, Maranatha Baptist University offers a nonprofit, private education rooted in Christian values. MBU features 39 undergraduate programs.

MBU's 128-credit online bachelor's in educational studies prepares students to teach in Christian schools. This program prepares students for certification by the American Association of Christian Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International. It does not provide government-issues licensure. Core courses in the program include classroom management and positive behavior practices, secondary school reading, and educational assessment.

Program graduates can pursue careers as Christian teachers, school support staff, or curriculum development professionals.

Transfer students must submit official college transcripts and character references. First-year students must submit official high school transcripts, standardized test scores, and a letter of recommendation. MBU charges the same tuition to in-state and out-of-state students.

Maranatha Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Best Online Associate Programs in Education for 2020

Online Associate
Rankings also preview common courses, helping familiarize aspiring educators with academic expectations and learning outcomes. Finally, degree-seekers can consult rankings charts to answer questions about institutional and programmatic accreditation, which ranks among the most important factors to consider when evaluating online teaching degrees.
Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 South Texas College McAllen, TX
$1,610 Tuition
22% Graduation Rate
$1,610 Tuition
22% Graduation Rate

South Texas College is a public four-year school that enrolls more than 32,000 students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. South Texas College charges all online learners in-state tuition rates, and most students receive financial aid.

The college offers an online associate degree in teaching with three specialization options: early childhood through sixth grade, middle school, and grades eight through 12. Each specialization option prepares learners to obtain the correlating Texas teaching license. Each option requires 42 core credits and 18 credits of fieldwork. Although South Texas College delivers core classes completely online, students complete the field study in person. Students typically earn their online teaching degree in five semesters.

Graduates can qualify for a substitute teacher or teacher assistant license. Students who intend to pursue licensure to teach full time can transfer the associate degree into a four-year program.

2 Casper College Casper, WY
$6,438 Tuition
37% Graduation Rate
$6,438 Tuition
37% Graduation Rate

Casper College was established in 1945 as Wyoming's first junior college. Now one of the most comprehensive community colleges in the nation, Casper enrolls students on campus and online.

The college delivers an AA in early childhood education program in a hybrid format. The degree requires 61-62 credits, about half of which are in childhood education courses. Students complete general education courses online and most major coursework in person, including student teaching. Learners must also complete training in first aid, CPR, and defibrillators.

Most graduates transfer to a bachelor's degree program or pursue a teaching endorsement. After earning their AA, many graduates work in childcare centers, preschools, and child development centers. Most full-time learners take 15-17 credits per semester and complete the program in two years. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all major courses.

3 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
$18,591 Tuition
28% Graduation Rate
$18,591 Tuition
28% Graduation Rate

Based in Minnesota, CSP is a Christian liberal arts school. The university offers an entirely online AA in early childhood education program.

The 64-credit curriculum includes a 12-credit emphasis in either certificate classes or regular classes. Both options prepare students to pursue a four-year degree, such as CSP's bachelor of arts in early childhood education. Students learn skills necessary to teach students from birth through third grade, in accordance with the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program guidelines.

CSP delivers online courses in an accelerated seven-week format, and the university charges a flat per-credit tuition rate. Graduates often become preschool teachers, teacher assistants, and daycare directors. According to the university, more than 95% of CSP graduates receive a job offer within one year of earning their degree.

4 St. Francis University Loretto, PA
$26,597 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate
$26,597 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1847, Saint Francis enrolls students from around the world in its fully online degree programs. The university offers an associate of science in early childhood education in fully online and hybrid formats.

Learners can pursue the degree entirely remotely or can take some classes on campus in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Designed for students who hold a child development associate certificate, the program prepares learners to work with students in pre-K through fourth grade.

Graduates of the AS program often secure positions as teaching aides and daycare assistants, and many graduates transfer into a bachelor's program in early childhood education. Students can complete the 63-credit program part time or full time, and Saint Francis delivers online courses asynchronously.

The university accepts transfer credit. Full-time students with no transfer credits typically finish the program in 4-5 semesters. All undergraduate students pay the same flat per-credit tuition rate.

5 Arkansas Northeastern College Blytheville, AR
$5,012 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate
$5,012 Tuition
69% Graduation Rate

With some of the lowest tuition rates in the state, Arkansas Northeastern College offers an affordable online AS in childhood education with an emphasis in mid-level education. Learners can complete the program entirely or partially online.

Students pursuing the two-year online teaching degree choose two concentrations from options including English language, arts, math, social studies, and science. Coursework in elementary education prepares students to transfer into a bachelor's program or work as teacher assistants.

The curriculum includes 37 general core credits, 12 education credits, and 13-16 elective credits. Required courses include introduction to teaching, survey of the exceptional child, and Arkansas history. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA to graduate.

Applicants must submit ACT scores and Praxis reading, writing, and math scores. Applicants need at least a 2.7 GPA.

6 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS
$7,698 Tuition
25% Graduation Rate
$7,698 Tuition
25% Graduation Rate

HutchCC enrolls nearly 5,000 students each semester. The college delivers programs that prepare students to enter the workforce or transfer into a four-year university.

The online AS in elementary education program provides foundational knowledge that many graduates apply to earning a bachelor's degree in the field. Full-time students complete the program in two years. The elementary education degree transfers easily to most universities. When necessary, HutchCC works with students to restructure the curriculum to meet the requirements of their chosen four-year institution.

The associate degree requires 60 credits, most of which comprise education courses. Students earn two credits from a practicum and a success seminar. As a public school, HutchCC offers discounted tuition rates to Kansas residents.

7 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID
$18,786 Tuition
38% Graduation Rate
$18,786 Tuition
38% Graduation Rate

Northwest Nazarene University offers two- and four-year undergraduate degrees that lead to careers in high-demand fields. The majority of NNU students are nontraditional learners, including high school students, continuing education students, and distance learners.

NNU offers a fully online AA in elementary education program with flexible scheduling options. The university delivers online courses in an accelerated eight-week format, and students can pursue the online education degree full time or part time. The online education degree requires 63 credits, at least half of which students must complete through NNU. Learners must also complete a 15-credit concentration.

The university does not offer the elementary education degree on campus. After earning the online teaching degree, many graduates transfer into a bachelor's program, such as NNU's accelerated teaching degree program.

8 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
$3,477 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate
$3,477 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate

Based in Florida, SPC structures programs with accelerated eight-week sessions, allowing students to graduate more quickly. The college offers an online AS in early childhood education that prepares students to become preschool teachers.

The program requires 60 credits. Students gain skills in classroom management, family interactions, and legal responsibilities. Except for a three-credit internship, learners complete program requirements entirely online. Students specialize their degree through six elective courses. After completing the AS program, students can earn a certificate in early child development, preschool specialization, or infant and toddler specialization.

Current high school students can earn credits to apply toward their online education degree. Students can also receive credit for their child development associate certification. To graduate, students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses.

9 Vance-Granville Community College Henderson, NC
$3,836 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate
$3,836 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate

Part of the North Carolina Community College System, VGCC maintains four campuses and offers day, night, and online courses.

The flexible and accessible early childhood education degree program is ideal for current high school students and working professionals. The online teaching degree prepares learners to work with preK-8 students in various settings.

Most graduates begin working immediately after earning the degree. Because the program prepares students to obtain a North Carolina teaching certificate, learners must complete some in-person student teaching. Graduates often obtain state credentials to work in preschools, public schools, and private schools.

Graduates can also transfer to a four-year university. The childhood education program holds accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

10 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
$22,913 Tuition
43% Graduation Rate
$22,913 Tuition
43% Graduation Rate

Chaminade is the only Catholic university in Hawaii. As a private school, Chaminade charges all learners the same tuition rates, regardless of residency status. However, 98% of students receive some type of financial aid.

Designed to prepare students for bachelor's studies, the online AS in early childhood education program leads to teaching certification. Aside from an in-person fieldwork practicum, students can complete all associate degree requirements online.

The online teaching degree requires 60 credits, and students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. The curriculum includes a child development psychology class, multiple introductory courses, and education elective courses. Full-time students typically complete the program in two years.

Graduates often pursue Chaminade's bachelor of science in early childhood education. Graduates can also secure positions working with children ages 2-6.

11 Florida Gateway College Lake City, FL
$3,599 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate
$3,599 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate

Based in Lake City, FGC offers affordable programs. State residents and online learners receive discounted tuition rates.

The AS in early childhood education program holds accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The curriculum provides the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to teach preK-8 students. Learners complete coursework primarily online and gain in-person clinical experience in classroom settings. The program's clinical experience courses meet requirements for Florida preschool and elementary teaching licenses.

The program requires 60 credits. Students can specialize in infant-toddler, preschool, child development early intervention, or childcare center management. Many graduates find jobs as preschool teachers, assistant teachers, and childcare directors in the state.

12 Surry Community College Dobson, NC
$7,852 Tuition
51% Graduation Rate
$7,852 Tuition
51% Graduation Rate

Surry Community College delivers programs that emphasize marketable skills. Graduates of the early childhood education degree often teach in preschools, public or private schools, and childcare centers. Graduates can also pursue a four-year degree in the field.

SCC students can earn the teaching degree online or on campus in Dobson, North Carolina. Students typically complete the 72-credit curriculum in four semesters, and the program culminates in a four-credit capstone practice course. Except the in-person capstone, SCC delivers the program entirely online.

The education program holds accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Students can reduce their degree completion time by transferring previous college credits into SCC. The college charges an estimated flat tuition rate for the entire program, and state residents receive a discount.

13 Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL
$3,978 Tuition
30% Graduation Rate
$3,978 Tuition
30% Graduation Rate

Hillsborough Community College enrolls more than 45,000 students on five Florida campuses and online. Distance learners can pursue degrees with flexible scheduling options, including an AA in education teacher preparation.

The AA degree requires 60 credits and is designed to transfer into a bachelor's program. The curriculum requires 60 credits, which full-time students typically complete in two years. HCC delivers online coursework asynchronously through Canvas. Students can choose to take select courses on campus.

Most graduates of the AA program transfer into a four-year early childhood education program. HCC designed the AA curriculum to transfer easily to most Florida colleges and universities. The community college charges per-credit tuition rates, and in-state learners receive a discount.

14 Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC
$7,224 Tuition
34% Graduation Rate
$7,224 Tuition
34% Graduation Rate

In addition to its main campus in Bolivia, North Carolina, BCC serves students through campuses in Southport, Leland, and Supply. The college also offers a variety of online programs.

Students can pursue an online early childhood education degree to prepare for careers working with children ages eight and below. The program requires 66 credits and covers topics including the nutritional needs of children, communicating with children and families, and the care and guidance of children. Full-time students typically complete the program in five semesters, including one summer semester.

BCC delivers the education program online and asynchronously, except for a four-credit early childhood capstone practice course. Students complete the capstone in person during their final semester. Graduates can qualify for a North Carolina teaching license.

15 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
$10,458 Tuition
35% Graduation Rate
$10,458 Tuition
35% Graduation Rate

The University of Alaska Fairbanks operates seven campuses across the state. For students who cannot attend in-person classes, UAF offers online programs.

The university's online associate of applied science in early childhood education program helps students gain the foundational knowledge necessary to work with children eight years old and younger. Graduates often secure positions as preschool and kindergarten teachers. The 60-credit curriculum covers topics including child guidance, positive social development, and healthy learning environments. The program culminates with two practicum courses that satisfy experience requirements for an Alaska teaching license.

All online students pay the same flat per-credit tuition rate, regardless of state residency. Aside from the required practicum courses, students complete the entire program online and asynchronously. Applicants must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.

16 Campbellsville University Campbellsville, KY
$17,843 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate
$17,843 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate

Campbellsville University is a private Christian school based in Kentucky. The university welcomes students from all religious backgrounds but does require some Christian courses.

CU offers a fully online AS in education program, which holds accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The online education degree prepares students to become instructional assistants and substitute teachers in Kentucky. Students take accelerated eight-week courses, and full-time learners typically graduate in two years.

The online education degree requires 62 credits, composed mostly of pedagogy, foundation, and personal development courses. Students complete one Christian religion course, and those pursuing a P-5 teaching certificate take specific elective courses.

Students can apply up to 32 transfer credits toward the associate degree, and all students in the program pay the same per-credit tuition rate. University staff members help full-time online students secure additional financial aid.

17 Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR
$11,674 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate
$11,674 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1909 to educate rural farm workers, Arkansas Tech University now teaches students across the nation through its comprehensive online school.

Students pursuing the online AS in early childhood education learn to design classroom curricula, communicate with parents, and prepare children for future education. Because ATU requires no in-person practicum, the program does not lead to licensure.

Graduates of the early childhood education program often pursue bachelor's studies to qualify for licensure in Arkansas. ATU designed the associate degree to seamlessly transfer to most four-year institutions. ATU charges online students a per-credit tuition rate, and state residents receive a discount.

18 Clovis Community College Clovis, NM
$5,996 Tuition
40% Graduation Rate
$5,996 Tuition
40% Graduation Rate

Based in New Mexico, CCC delivers an AA in early childhood education program in a hybrid format. Students complete most of the 71 required credits online and undertake practicum courses in person.

The degree leads to licensure, qualifying graduates to teach children from birth through third grade in New Mexico. To graduate, students must earn a grade of C or better in all education courses. Full-time students typically complete the early childhood education degree in five semesters.

Graduates often work as preK-3 teachers and daycare directors. Some graduates transfer into a four-year program. CCC maintains an open admissions policy, so students can register for courses immediately after completing an application.

19 Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor, MI
$2,038 Tuition
41% Graduation Rate
$2,038 Tuition
41% Graduation Rate

Established in 1965, Washtenaw Community College educates more than 18,000 students each year. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, WCC enrolls learners from around the world.

Aspiring teachers can pursue WCC's online general education degree with an emphasis in early childhood education. The program offers two tracks: an employment pathway and a transfer pathway. Each option requires 60-65 credits, depending on the specific courses the student selects. WCC offers all early childhood education courses online.

Because the program requires no in-person components, graduates cannot qualify for a Michigan teaching license. However, graduates can transfer into a bachelor's program that leads to licensure. WCC delivers online courses asynchronously, and many students continue working while earning the associate degree.

20 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE
$8,457 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate
$8,457 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate

Known for offering affordable degrees, Northeast prepares students to pursue high-demand careers. Based in Norfolk, Nebraska, the community college offers an associate in early childhood education program that helps students gain real-world experience.

The 60-credit AA in early childhood education program qualifies graduates to pursue a Nebraska teaching license. Aside from two in-person practicum courses, students complete the program entirely online. The AA degree transfers easily into most four-year institutions. However, many graduates pursue education careers immediately after earning their associate degree.

Full-time students typically complete the early childhood education program in two years. The practicum courses require at least 90 contact hours, which Northeast allows learners to complete at various locations throughout the state. Nebraska residents and South Dakota residents receive discounted tuition rates.

21 College of Central Florida Ocala, FL
$6,448 Tuition
17% Graduation Rate
$6,448 Tuition
17% Graduation Rate

CF enrolls more than 10,000 students annually across its four campuses. While the college offers bachelor's degrees, more than 83% of students pursue an associate degree. The majority of CF students are 18-34 years old, and many study online.

CF offers the AS in early childhood education in a hybrid format, delivering courses online and at its main campus in Ocala. Of the 60 required credits, students must complete only six practicum credits in person.

While earning their associate degree, early childhood education students can obtain a certificate in childcare center management or childhood development early intervention. Some graduates transfer into a bachelor's program. CF accepts transfer credits and allows students to earn credits by examination. Florida residents pay a discounted tuition rate.

22 Volunteer State Community College Gallatin, TN
$5,731 Tuition
48% Graduation Rate
$5,731 Tuition
48% Graduation Rate

Based in Gallatin, Tennessee, Vol State enrolls more than 11,000 students. The college offers an affordable AS in elementary education program that is ideal for students who plan to transfer into a bachelor's program.

The elementary education degree requires 60 credits, including 19 major credits. Because Vol State delivers the program entirely online, graduates do not qualify for a Tennessee teaching license.

Most full-time students complete the program in four semesters, over two years. Learners complete all courses asynchronously. Recent high school graduates must submit ACT or SAT scores and high school transcripts. Applicants with transferable credits must submit previous college transcripts.

23 Gulf Coast State College Panama City, FL
$3,128 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate
$3,128 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate

Based in Panama City, Florida, GCSC delivers degree programs that emphasize practical skills. The college offers flexible learning options, educating students at four Florida campuses and online.

Students pursuing the early childhood education associate degree prepare to work with children who are five years old and younger. Students develop managerial, caregiving, and communication skills. Learners complete several in-person requirements, including a supervised work experience course.

GCSC offers the program in two formats. The traditional semester-based format includes accelerated eight-week online courses and two face-to-face coaching sessions. The fast-track option allows learners to study at their own pace. Each track requires 60 credits.

While some graduates enter the workforce immediately after earning the early childhood education degree, most graduates transfer to a four-year institution.

24 Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK
$6,128 Tuition
37% Graduation Rate
$6,128 Tuition
37% Graduation Rate

TCC enrolls more than 23,000 students each year, including recent high school graduates and working professionals. The college offers flexible programs that fit student needs.

Available entirely online, the two-year AA in elementary education program prepares learners to pursue a bachelor's degree in the field and earn an Oklahoma teaching certification. The program requires 60 credits, and full-time students typically graduate in two years.

The elementary education associate degree meets undergraduate core requirements for many four-year schools. TCC works with students to facilitate a smooth transfer process. Students pursuing the associate degree must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants must undergo a criminal background and sex offender check.

25 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
$27,432 Tuition
23% Graduation Rate
$27,432 Tuition
23% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1971, Liberty enrolls about 100,000 students. Liberty is a Christian institution and offers an online AA in education program.

The 60-credit associate in education prepares students to pursue education careers and four-year degrees. The program holds accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Students complete accelerated eight-week courses entirely online. Most learners complete the program in 1.5 years, and those with previous credits can graduate more quickly.

The curriculum includes coursework in communication, critical thinking, and Christianity, along with 21 major credits. Graduates often teach at Christian schools and work with homeschooled students. The program does not lead to teaching licensure, so aspiring teachers should plan to transfer to a four-year program. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

How Much Can You Make in a Teaching Career?

The BLS projects jobs for U.S. high school teachers to grow 4% from 2018 to 2028, which is on pace with other occupations during this timeframe. Some parts of the country project greater demand.

The BLS provides a detailed regional breakdown of available teaching jobs and localized growth expectations. Missouri, Ohio, Maine, Arkansas, Connecticut, and Texas employ a higher-than-average density of teachers. New York, California, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Connecticut led all states in high school teacher salaries in 2018, with median earnings in all five states topping $76,000.

However, elementary and high school teacher positions represent just one of many possible careers in education. Students pursuing online teaching degrees can prepare for other paths by declaring a concentration or specialization. Examples include adult education, special education, English as a second language education, and early childhood education.

Projected Job Growth (2018-28): 3%
Job Description

Elementary teachers work with students in K-5 classrooms. They may specialize in a certain grade level, depending on their experience and education. Teachers use their strong background in child development to create and implement teaching plans across many subject areas. They may also work closely with parents to track student progress and ensure academic success.

Projected Job Growth (2018-28): 4%
Job Description

High school teachers often hold a bachelor's degree in education with a specialization in their chosen subject area, such as math, social studies, or physical sciences. These teachers plan and implement lessons, facilitating different types of learning for diverse classroom settings. They assign and grade student work, monitor student progress, provide individualized help when necessary, and communicate student concerns with parents.

Projected Job Growth (2018-28): 3%
Job Description

Special education teachers work with students of all grade levels with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities who may require special assistance in school. These teachers develop individualized education programs for students with varying needs and abilities, and they update programs and plans.

Projected Job Growth (2018-28): -1%
Job Description

These instructors teach vocational and technical courses to high school and college students. They may teach within secondary schools or in independent vocational centers in car repair, healthcare, information technology, or the culinary arts. These educators plan and implement lessons, work closely with students of varying levels, and monitor classrooms.

Source: BLS

The list below outlines salary and Job Growth 2018-2028 data for professionals in education, training, and library positions across the United States. Geographical location can play a significant role in earning potential, as does education background. For example, education professionals in the District of Columbia, Florida, and New Jersey report the highest annual wages in this position, while those in Tennessee, Iowa, and Illinois report lower earnings. Find out more about your home state in the data provided below.

Find the Best Online Education Program for You

Researching online teaching degrees can prove cumbersome due to the sheer volume of available options. Learners should focus on essential details, including course topics, concentrations and specializations, and practical training requirements. Use the question-and-answer section below as you research online teaching degrees.

Common Courses Taken for an Online Teaching Degree

Course titles and class content vary by school. However, the curriculum includes certain subject areas regardless of where you earn your online teaching degree. Accredited teacher's colleges help alumni obtain their teaching licenses, meaning that graduates of reputable schools share a common knowledge base that positions them to pass state-level licensing exams.

Online learners often explore subject areas including:

Instructional Theory

Also known as pedagogy, instructional theory covers the established and emerging learning models teachers use to structure their classes.

Educational Psychology

Understanding how the human brain works and adapts with respect to learning is a critical aspect of teacher education.

Literacy and Numeracy

Teachers play an essential role in helping students build foundational, intermediate, and advanced literacy and numeracy skills. Specialized courses help aspiring educators develop reliable techniques for fostering student success.

Practical Training and Field Requirements

Candidates must hone their developing skills by observing experienced teachers in real-world settings and practicing their own classroom leadership abilities.

Concentrations affect curricula, and some required courses apply only to students in particular specializations. For example, if you enroll in an elementary education degree, your courses will include a strong focus on early childhood development.

Specialties and Fields of Study in Education

Online schools and teacher's colleges vary with respect to available specializations. Not all schools offer all concentrations, so if you intend to become a particular type of teacher, consider narrowing your search.

Some commonly offered educational specializations include:

Early Childhood Education

This concentration addresses the unique needs of young learners from preschool to age eight.

Special Education

Students with developmental or learning disabilities have distinct needs and require specially trained teachers.

Adult Education

Adults returning to school after a long absence benefit when paired with teachers who understand their unique learning challenges.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL teachers possess advanced abilities that help non-native English speakers improve their language skills and adapt more easily to English-only learning environments.

Aspiring educators may also pursue niche concentrations including:

Education Administration

If you aim to become a principal, superintendent, or school administrator, you need an advanced understanding of the structure and function of education systems.

Curriculum Development

Some educators work outside of the classroom, developing and standardizing curricula on a regional or state level.

Hearing and/or Visual Impairment Education

Students with sensory deficiencies need teachers with advanced, specialized training and educational tools.

Concentrations supplement core courses and curricula, usually accounting for about half of a program's total credit requirements.

Internships in Education

Internships allow degree-seekers to turn their theoretical training into hands-on experience. Also known as experiential learning, internships for education students take many forms. Most internships require in-person participation at a physical location, so learners in online teaching degree programs must plan accordingly. You may need to implement temporary changes to your weekly schedule to accommodate an internship, especially if you work full time.

Education internships may involve tutoring, helping students prepare for ACT/SAT exams, completing administrative work, and developing curriculum. Many online education programs ask students to undertake internships or other forms of practical training to complete their degree requirements. In such cases, internships must meet required standards to ensure that they deliver an adequate educational experience. You can start your search for approved internships at your school's education department. Most accredited education colleges maintain partnerships with elementary and secondary public and private schools that accept internship placements.

If you live a long way from your online teacher's college, you can supplement your efforts by seeking local internships. In addition to contacting public and private schools directly to ask about possible opportunities, you can also work with community outreach groups that run after-school literacy and numeracy programs. Organizations such as Breakthrough Collaboration offer summer internships for education students. Your experience can often help you land a job. Make sure you clear any potential internship with your department before participating.

Attending Online vs. On-Campus

From a curriculum perspective, an online education degree is similar to an on-campus program. Both options feature similar classes, program structures, and graduation requirements. Most schools make no distinction between degrees earned online and on campus, ensuring that your credentials hold equal value.

However, the teaching profession demands specially developed classroom leadership and one-on-one interaction skills. As such, most online education programs include on-campus and in-person attendance requirements to develop these proficiencies. While specifics vary, most online teacher education degrees ask remote learners to attend seminars, workshops, or limited campus residencies. Teacher's colleges usually design these components to last 1-2 weeks. They also endeavor to schedule them at convenient times, such as during summer holidays. However, you must pay for travel, accommodations, food, and other expenses while completing these requirements.

Despite these extra costs, online students stand to save a great deal of money over the course of a four-year degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public four-year colleges charged an average of $11,013 for room and board in the 2017-18 school year, while typical room-and-board costs reached $12,408 at private four-year schools. Studying online relieves you of these financial burdens while essentially eliminating commuting costs. Some schools even offer advantageous tuition rates to learners in online programs. The savings can prove substantial over the course of the program.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a vital certification of an institution's quality. Attending an accredited school ensures that you receive an education that meets high academic standards.

Because teaching is a regulated profession, accreditation also impacts your academic and professional future. State teacher licensing bodies only consider applicants who earned their degrees at accredited institutions. Similarly, reputable graduate schools require students in advanced programs to hold undergraduate credentials from accredited schools.

Accreditation also affects your ability to transfer existing credits to a new school or program. You should never consider completing your online teaching degree at a school that does not hold universally recognized accreditation credentials.

School Accreditation

Schools can hold national or regional accreditation. National accreditation usually applies to religious schools and institutions that focus on practical and vocational training. Many for-profit schools and exclusively online schools also hold national endorsements. Recognized accrediting agencies that offer national credentials can validate schools throughout the United States.

Regional accreditation differs in several key ways. First, regional accrediting agencies only operate in smaller geographic areas even though the credentials they bestow enjoy nationwide recognition. Second, regional accreditors usually endorse academically oriented schools, such as state colleges, large public universities, and nonprofit four-year institutions and graduate schools.

Most employers, schools, and education experts agree that regional accreditation holds more value. Regional accreditors usually apply stricter evaluation policies, and regionally accredited schools typically maintain significantly higher admission standards. You can check a school's accreditation status using databases from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.

Programmatic Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation is a third type of quality certification. Unlike national or regional accreditation, programmatic accreditation is an optional rather than mandatory requirement. If you earn a teaching degree online at a regionally accredited school that does not hold programmatic accreditation, your degree still carries full value, and employers and other accredited institutions still recognize it.

However, programmatic accreditation carries added prestige, ensuring that your program exceeds quality standards. The programmatic accreditation process also evaluates the faculty's ability to impact or change the academic or administrative function of a given program, which signals higher levels of agility and responsiveness to student and labor market needs.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation ranks among the best-known accreditors of teaching programs. CHEA recognizes many others, which you can explore in its list of programmatic accrediting organizations.


Scholarships and Financial Aid for Education

Financial aid describes the many types of funding assistance available to online and traditional learners. The term covers student loans and work-study opportunities as well as grants and scholarships.

Grants and scholarships merit special consideration, as these types of financial aid do not require repayment or any additional effort beyond the application process. Students meeting eligibility criteria apply for the grant or scholarship, and administrators award aid packages to degree-seekers who most closely meet their evaluation criteria. Some programs distribute aid in a lump sum, while others provide financing in installments or work directly with schools to deliver tuition discounts or other rebates or reimbursements.

Many learners and even some administrators use the terms grant and scholarship interchangeably. However, there are key differences. Most grants consider the applicant's financial need as the main criterion, while most scholarships consider a student's academic performance, community leadership, overall potential, or other merit-based standards in determining awards.

See below for some financial aid opportunities for learners pursuing online teaching degrees.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation Scholarships

As the philanthropic arm of the AKA sorority, the Educational Advancement Foundation offers several merit- and need-based scholarships in varying amounts. Students in good academic standing at accredited institutions may apply. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA for consideration. These scholarships benefit students in their sophomore year of studies or beyond. Scholarships are not renewable.

Federal TEACH Grant

The government provides most financial aid for students in the form of loans. The TEACH grant offers up to $4,000 per year to students going into education. Learners must take specific classes and agree to work in certain high-need schools and educational settings upon graduation to qualify. Grant recipients must agree to work in these positions for a set amount of time following graduation.

The NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship, offered by the National Education Association (NEA), provides $2,500 to eligible students who are also members of the NEA Student Program. Applicants must submit a list of NEA projects that they have worked on, recommendation letters, a personal essay, and transcripts showing at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants must mail all application materials.

Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

This scholarship helps fund the education of students in STEM fields pursuing teaching careers at elementary and high school levels. The program offers varying types of scholarships and stipends with various funding. Most of the programs require external components, such as completing projects specific to the scholarship or stipend.

Teacher.org "Inspire Our Future" Scholarship

Teacher.org offers this scholarship to students working to become teachers or practicing teachers who wish to continue their education. The scholarship supplements tuition and related expenses in any teacher education program. Applicants must submit an essay of 500-700 words for consideration. The $500 award cannot be renewed. Applicants need a minimum 3.5 GPA and must be currently enrolled in an accredited program.

After Graduation: Options for Teachers

Students can explore multiple options after completing an online education degree. Getting licensed is a popular path. Individuals with a bachelor's degree fulfill the basic academic requirements to pursue licensure. Each state's teacher licensing board maintains its own standards, which may include completing a bachelor's degree, teacher preparation program, and a specified number of supervised practice teaching hours.

Some teaching specializations require a master's degree to qualify for state licensure. Students also increasingly elect to earn a master's or other advanced certification to differentiate themselves in a competitive job market.

Advancing Your Teaching Degree

As in many other fields, education professionals with advanced degrees enjoy higher earning potential and enhanced career options. According to the BLS, labor force participants with master's degrees make significantly more money than those with bachelor's degrees. In a master of education program, you can also advance your teaching and classroom management skills while thoroughly developing your concentration or specialization area.

If you desire to work in curriculum development or school administration, you may choose to pursue a master's degree. The degree qualifies you for teacher training positions, opening up an entirely new pool of private-sector employment prospects and careers in education.

Master's programs in education usually take 1-2 years of full-time study to complete. Admission standards vary, with more selective and competitive schools and programs preferring licensed teachers with job experience. Master's programs oriented toward highly specific specializations may also feature these types of admission criteria. Other programs cater to students who earned their bachelor's degrees in non-education fields, leading to generalized master of education degrees. These programs often feature more flexible admission policies.

Applicants to master's programs in education need at least a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. High academic performance standards usually apply. Applicants commonly need a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Schools may also request recent GMAT, GRE, or MAT standardized test scores.

Supporting documentation plays a critical role in your application's success. Many graduate schools want to see a demonstrated commitment to a career in education along with evidence that you stand a strong chance of succeeding in your professional aspirations. Schools may ask for a detailed resume, multiple recommendation letters, and a personal statement detailing your career objectives and how the program will help you reach them. Interview requirements may also apply.

Higher academic expectations apply to master's programs. Coursework challenges you to apply the knowledge you gained in your bachelor's program and student teaching experience in new ways. Some graduate programs, especially specialized ones focused on narrow and highly specific concentrations, lead directly to state-level licensure. This adds to their professional value and practicality, as you can emerge with the necessary qualifications to step right into a teaching job.

Certifications and Licensure

To hold a teaching position in the U.S. public school system, you need a valid license. State-level bodies issue these licenses. Specific requirements vary by jurisdiction. However, in general, applicants must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in education, complete an approved teacher preparation course, and complete a minimum number of supervised student teaching hours. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check. Private schools maintain their own hiring standards, but almost all reputable private institutions only consider applicants who already hold a teaching license or meet state licensure requirements.

In addition to an online teaching degree and a license, you may also need specific certifications to hold certain positions. For example, the New York State Education Department issues certifications specific to language education, grade level ranges, subjects, coaching types, classroom teacher types, teaching assistant types, and school leadership and administration position types. In many cases, you can earn these certifications before or after you obtain your license and launch your teaching career.

Clean licenses with no past or pending disciplinary actions usually transfer from one state to another with ease. However, transferability varies among jurisdictions. You may need to earn additional licenses or certifications to work in another state.

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