Online Bachelor’s and Associates Degree Programs in Education

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Rankings, Salaries & Courses

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 Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Education

Rank School Location
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
2 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
3 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
4 Mayville State University Mayville, ND
5 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
6 Judson College Marion, AL
7 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
8 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
9 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
10 University of Wisconsin-Superior Superior, WI
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Accredited Online College Programs

Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Education for 2020

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.

  1. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Graceville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel Universityfeatures 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
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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-creditonline 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
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

Best Online Associate Programs in Education for 2020

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.

Top 10 Online Associate Programs in Education for 2020

Rank School Location
1 South Texas College McAllen, TX
2 Casper College Casper, WY
3 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
4 Saint Francis University Loretto, PA
5 Arkansas Northeastern College Blytheville, AR
6 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS
7 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID
8 Saint Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
9 Vance-Granville Community College Henderson, NC
10 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
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Accredited Online College Programs

  1. South Texas College
    Location

    McAllen, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Casper, WY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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. Saint Francis University
    Location

    Loretto, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Blytheville, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Hutchinson, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Nampa, ID

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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. Saint Petersburg College
    Location

    Clearwater, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Henderson, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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
    Location

    Honolulu, HI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

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.

  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher


    Median Annual Salary: $57,980
    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.

  • High School Teacher


    Median Annual Salary: $60,320
    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.

  • Special Education Teacher


    Median Annual Salary: $59,780
    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.
  • Career and Technical Education Teacher


    Median Annual Salary: $56,750
    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.


  • Alabama
    Median Annual Salary: $47,560

    Number Currently Employed: 620

    Projected Job Growth: +10.8 percent


  • Alaska
    Median Annual Salary: $63,780

    Number Currently Employed: 890

    Projected Job Growth: +1.6 percent


  • Arizona
    Median Annual Salary: $47,260

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Arkansas
    Median Annual Salary: $45,400

    Number Currently Employed: 460

    Projected Job Growth: +9.1 percent


  • California
    Median Annual Salary: $63,620

    Number Currently Employed: 21,400

    Projected Job Growth: +10.3 percent


  • Colorado
    Median Annual Salary: $53,830

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • District of Columbia (DC)
    Median Annual Salary: $78,810

    Number Currently Employed: 340

    Projected Job Growth: +7.4 percent


  • Connecticut
    Median Annual Salary: $64,810

    Number Currently Employed: 740

    Projected Job Growth: +5.5 percent


  • Delaware
    Median Annual Salary: $54,490

    Number Currently Employed: 150

    Projected Job Growth: +7.2 percent


  • Florida
    Median Annual Salary: $48,890

    Number Currently Employed: 11,650

    Projected Job Growth: +16 percent


  • Georgia
    Median Annual Salary: $49,410

    Number Currently Employed: 840

    Projected Job Growth: +25.6 percent


  • Hawaii
    Median Annual Salary: $52,940

    Number Currently Employed: 710

    Projected Job Growth: +7.9 percent


  • Idaho
    Median Annual Salary: $41,690

    Number Currently Employed: 260

    Projected Job Growth: +11.2 percent


  • Illinois
    Median Annual Salary: $57,010

    Number Currently Employed: 2,660

    Projected Job Growth: +4.3 percent


  • Indiana
    Median Annual Salary: $47,490

    Number Currently Employed: 310

    Projected Job Growth: +11.1 percent


  • Iowa
    Median Annual Salary: $51,200

    Number Currently Employed: 2,940

    Projected Job Growth: +11.1 percent


  • Kansas
    Median Annual Salary: $44,710

    Number Currently Employed: 160

    Projected Job Growth: +5.1 percent


  • Kentucky
    Median Annual Salary: $49,730

    Number Currently Employed: 4,750

    Projected Job Growth: +9.1 percent


  • Lousiana
    Median Annual Salary: $45,240

    Number Currently Employed: 2,410

    Projected Job Growth: +11.2 percent


  • Maine
    Median Annual Salary: $48,530

    Number Currently Employed: 230

    Projected Job Growth: -0.9 percent


  • Maryland
    Median Annual Salary: $63,590

    Number Currently Employed: 1,340

    Projected Job Growth: +7 percent


  • Massachusuetts
    Median Annual Salary: $66,430

    Number Currently Employed: 520

    Projected Job Growth: +14.1 percent


  • Michigan
    Median Annual Salary: $52,890

    Number Currently Employed: 2,900

    Projected Job Growth: +15.9 percent


  • Minnesota
    Median Annual Salary: $55,000

    Number Currently Employed: 3,010

    Projected Job Growth: +6.6 percent


  • Mississippi
    Median Annual Salary: $44,020

    Number Currently Employed: 140

    Projected Job Growth: +3.5 percent


  • Missouri
    Median Annual Salary: $51,050

    Number Currently Employed: 910

    Projected Job Growth: +15.9 percent


  • Montana
    Median Annual Salary: $42,200

    Number Currently Employed: 250

    Projected Job Growth: +5.3 percent


  • Nebraska
    Median Annual Salary: $50,640

    Number Currently Employed: 130

    Projected Job Growth: +7.1 percent


  • Nevada
    Median Annual Salary: $48,940

    Number Currently Employed: 1,700

    Projected Job Growth: +16.6 percent


  • New Hampsire
    Median Annual Salary: $52,930

    Number Currently Employed: 380

    Projected Job Growth: +11.9 percent


  • New Jersey
    Median Annual Salary: $59,840

    Number Currently Employed: 4,360

    Projected Job Growth: +7.2 percent


  • New Mexico
    Median Annual Salary: $50,620

    Number Currently Employed: 460

    Projected Job Growth: +5.2 percent


  • New York
    Median Annual Salary: $67,470

    Number Currently Employed: 1,860

    Projected Job Growth: +27.5 percent


  • North Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $49,410

    Number Currently Employed: 11,280

    Projected Job Growth: +9.8 percent


  • North Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $49,970

    Number Currently Employed: 220

    Projected Job Growth: +2.8 percent


  • Ohio
    Median Annual Salary: $56,390

    Number Currently Employed: 3,770

    Projected Job Growth: +17.4 percent


  • Oklahoma
    Median Annual Salary: $40,160

    Number Currently Employed: 280

    Projected Job Growth: +3.9 percent


  • Oregon
    Median Annual Salary: $58,810

    Number Currently Employed: 21,030

    Projected Job Growth: +12 percent


  • Pennsylvania
    Median Annual Salary: $58,430

    Number Currently Employed: 1,550

    Projected Job Growth: +7.5 percent


  • Rhode Island
    Median Annual Salary: $62,480

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • South Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $47,910

    Number Currently Employed: 650

    Projected Job Growth: +10.4 percent


  • South Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $41,260

    Number Currently Employed: 140

    Projected Job Growth: +3.6 percent


  • Tennessee
    Median Annual Salary: $47,740

    Number Currently Employed: 1,240

    Projected Job Growth: +6.6 percent


  • Texas
    Median Annual Salary: $51,520

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Utah
    Median Annual Salary: $50,140

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Vermont
    Median Annual Salary: $52,310

    Number Currently Employed: 90

    Projected Job Growth: +2.2 percent


  • Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $57,790

    Number Currently Employed: 1,870

    Projected Job Growth: +12.9 percent


  • Washington
    Median Annual Salary: $55,410

    Number Currently Employed: 2,390

    Projected Job Growth: +17.4 percent


  • West Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $45,440

    Number Currently Employed: 530

    Projected Job Growth: +10.6 percent


  • Wisconsin
    Median Annual Salary: $50,520

    Number Currently Employed: 320

    Projected Job Growth: +7.5 percent


  • Wyoming
    Median Annual Salary: $48,540

    Number Currently Employed: 270

    Projected Job Growth: +4.5 percent


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.

Learn More…

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