Online Elementary Education Degrees 2021

Begin a rewarding career in teaching in 2021. Here, we list the best online bachelor’s in elementary education programs.

September 27, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Elementary Education Degrees 2021

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Elementary Education Degree

Elementary education degrees enable you to teach kindergarten through fifth grade, depending on the school district. States require teachers at this level to hold at least a bachelor’s in elementary education, which is more specialized than a standard teaching degree. In addition, elementary educators must pass a licensure exam, usually administered by the state's board of education.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that elementary education teachers earn a median salary of $59,420 per year. Graduates with a bachelor's in elementary education often pursue teaching careers. However, they may also pursue careers in other education-related settings, including museums, community outreach centers, and corporate training.

Teaching Elementary School Questions

true Q. What is the difference between a certified teacher and a licensed teacher?

States establish teacher licensure requirements, while schools establish teacher certificate requirements. Some states oversee schools offering teaching certificates.

true Q. What degree do you need for elementary education?

States require public elementary education teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree in the field.

true Q. Can I teach high school with an elementary education degree?

Some school districts allow it, but teachers must show certification in the subject area they plan to teach.

true Q. What is the average salary for elementary education school teachers?

According to the BLS, elementary education teachers earn a median annual salary of $59,420.

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What Are the Goals of an Elementary Education Degree?

Online elementary education programs generally prepare graduates for teaching careers. Students can earn elementary education degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Many online elementary education programs allow students to specialize in a particular area, such as art, science, or mathematics. Specialization usually requires earning a credential or undergoing further training.

A bachelor's in elementary education often includes courses in child psychology and development; philosophy of education; teaching science, mathematics, and technology; and curriculum design. Degree candidates may also complete an internship experience that includes supervised teaching.

Why Get a Degree in Elementary Education?

Completing a bachelor's in elementary education offers many benefits, several of which we highlight below.

A quality bachelor's in elementary education program gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue teaching careers. A bachelor's degree in elementary education indicates that a professional holds relevant expertise, giving them credibility in the field. All public school teachers need a license to practice. A bachelor's in elementary education meets the educational requirements for licensure. Elementary education programs train students in effective teaching methods that they can apply in the classroom. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in elementary education can apply for graduate programs in the field.

Licensing and Certification in Elementary Education

All states require public school teachers to hold licensure. Elementary school educators can apply for one or more of the licenses and certifications listed below.

K-12 teachers can apply for this certification, which remains one of the most respected and recognized teaching certifications. In addition to its own certification criteria, the site maintains an interactive map of every state's licensing requirements. This credential qualifies holders to work in various early education settings, including state-approved child development centers and home-based care. The certification process includes a professional portfolio review and observation of the candidate interacting with children. Administered by the Center for Effective Reading Instruction, this certificate requires candidates to pass the Knowledge and Practice Examination for Effective Reading Instruction. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree and complete at least 45 training hours.

Teaching Certification for Elementary Education

Many elementary education teachers earn certification during their bachelor's program or immediately after graduation. Certification requirements vary by state, but most candidates need at least a bachelor's degree.

Future educators must also complete a student-teaching experience, which they typically complete during their bachelor's program. Candidates must also pass a skills assessment test and complete a certain number of credits in a specific teaching field.

Some states participate in teacher reciprocity agreements that allow teachers to transfer their license to a new state. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification facilitates teacher reciprocity between member states.

Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Programs 2021

University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA $9455

ULM's bachelor's degree in elementary education leads to Louisiana teacher certification for grades 1-5. First-year and transfer students can apply. The 120-credit program runs fully online. The curriculum provides an orientation to teaching. Enrollees learn classroom and behavior management strategies.

Students explore teaching methods for math, science, and social studies. They learn how to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of diverse students. Enrollees can complete additional credit for an early childhood education add-on. This meets certification requirements to teach nursery and kindergarten. Co-teaching and student-teaching provide hands-on classroom experience.

Eight-week terms help students finish the degree faster. ULM charges all students the same tuition regardless of residency. First-year students submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Drexel University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA Unconfirmed

Drexel's bachelor's degree in elementary education prepares enrollees for preK-4 elementary or preK-4 and special education teacher certification. The program requires 180-188 credits. Students complete general education coursework. Learners also explore general, cognitive, and educational psychology.

Enrollees study literacy and content skill development. They learn how to design learning spaces and assess young children. Learners develop teaching methods for subjects such as math and science. All enrollees complete student-teaching experiences. Drexel's four, 10-week quarters help students take more courses each year. Learners can transfer up to 60 credits.

Online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. First-year students submit a high school or GED diploma. Transfer students need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Kansas State University View School Profile Manhattan, KS $18002

K-State's online bachelor's degree in elementary education leads to K-6 teaching licensure in Kansas. The program requires 120 credits. Students learn how to make accommodations for exceptional children in the classroom. They also learn teaching methods for math, science, and social studies.

A course develops classroom assessment strategies. Students can use 15 elective credits for a concentration. A yearlong teaching internship provides hands-on experience at a local school. K-State faculty use video technology to observe and evaluate students' teaching skills. Enrollees receive ongoing coaching and tutoring.

Teachers licensed in Kansas can teach in other states by completing additional requirements. Online learners pay the same tuition regardless of residency. First-year students submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

East Carolina University View School Profile Greenville, NC $13746

ECU offers many online degree-completion programs, including a BS in elementary education. The Partnership Teach program enrolls students transferring from a North Carolina community college. Learners complete the program as part of a cohort. The program trains students to teach grades K-6.

The curriculum emphasizes reading skills. Enrollees also explore classroom assessment strategies. They apply teaching methods directly in the classroom throughout the program. Students complete a full-time internship during their senior year.

Partnership Teach Fellows receive a $10,000 scholarship. Applicants need an AA and a passing score on the Praxis core exams.

University of Nebraska at Kearney View School Profile Kearney, NE $15975

UNK's 120-credit BA in education leads to initial teaching certification in Nebraska. Students learn how to teach children in regular and special education settings. Enrollees gain the skills needed for infant and toddler, Head Start, and early intervention programs. Students complete coursework online. However, UNK requires a supervised field experience in Nebraska schools.

Coursework covers teaching in a democratic society. Students learn how to manage and assess children in preschool and elementary classrooms. The early childhood endorsement focuses on teaching methods in math, science, and social studies. Enrollees learn how to work with young children with special needs. The program offers two specializations: birth through kindergarten and age three to grade three.

Students can transfer an associate degree or credits to complete the degree faster. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Eastern New Mexico University View School Profile Portales, NM $10918

ENMU's BS in early childhood education (ECE) offers an emphasis in birth through pre-K. The degree does not lead to licensure. However, the program trains learners to work in preschools and Head Start programs. Students can complete courses entirely online or in a hybrid format.

ECE coursework builds on learners' prior education. Students explore human development and the needs of the whole child. Enrollees learn how to guide young children and teach reading and writing. They develop infant and toddler assessment and evaluation strategies. Students can complete an optional minor. Enrollees gain hands-on experience through practicums.Students receive ongoing support such as online tutoring. They can access online resources such as databases and e-books through the school's success center. Online admission requires an associate degree or completion of the program's 100- and 200-level courses.

Gardner-Webb University View School Profile Boiling Springs, NC Unconfirmed

Gardner-Webb offers a degree-completion BS in elementary education. The program trains learners to teach grades K-6. The degree meets requirements for a North Carolina class A teaching license. Learners can also pursue a non-licensure track.

Enrollees complete major and minor coursework. The major explores topics such as literacy foundations and effective teaching principles. Enrollees learn how to teach math, science, and social studies. A required minor focuses on educational psychology and learning challenges. An exceptional children concentration teaches enrollees how to work with diverse learners.

Students observe experienced teachers in preK-12 schools. They apply lessons learned during 16 weeks of full-time supervised teaching. Admission requires prerequisite coursework and college transcripts.

Saint Francis University View School Profile Loretto, PA Unconfirmed

SFU offers a degree-completion early childhood education (ECE) program. Learners can pursue a BA or BS. Applicants need work experience and college credit. The BA prepares learners for work in ECE settings. The degree does not lead to certification or licensure. The BS includes a student teaching component required for teacher licensure in Pennsylvania. Students can enroll full time or part time in either program.

Both programs require 128 credits. Enrollees explore topics such as educational psychology and reading strategies and assessment. Students learn early childhood teaching methods. Learners in the BS program complete 15-16 weeks of student teaching.

Admission to the BS program requires at least 48 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

North Carolina Central University View School Profile Durham, NC $12470

NCCU's BA in elementary education leads to a second bachelor's degree and teacher licensure. Unlicensed teachers and teacher assistants receive credit for work experience. Enrollees learn through lectures and project-based lessons. The 60-credit curriculum includes an orientation to teaching. Students also explore educational psychology and instructional technology.

Students learn how to teach math, language arts, and social studies. They explore teaching strategies for students with special needs. Coursework blends projects and field experiences at a K-6 school. Graduates qualify for a North Carolina A-level K-6 teaching certificate.

Enrollees can use open education resources to save money. Applicants must pass the Praxis CORE or equivalent exams. Admission requires a BA or BS. Applicants also need a cumulative 2.7 GPA. Prospective students must work as a K-6 teacher, teacher assistant, or instructional assistant.

Chaminade University of Honolulu View School Profile Honolulu, HI Unconfirmed

Chaminade's BS in elementary education leads to K-6 teacher licensure in Hawaii. The program focuses on experiential and service-based learning. Students explore topics such as child development.

The major examines educational psychology and technology. Students learn how to teach math, science, and language arts. They develop strategies to manage school environments. Enrollees spend 70 hours observing and participating in the classroom. This requirement provides hands-on experience before learners begin a semester-long student teaching assignment. Nonresidents should ensure the program meets their state's teacher licensure requirements.

The program features small class sizes. A peer-to-peer network helps enrollees hone their teaching skills. All students pay the same tuition, regardless of residency. Military personnel receive a tuition discount. Chaminade makes SAT or ACT scores optional.

Fort Hays State University View School Profile Hays, KS $12420

FHSU's BS in elementary education leads to K-6 licensure in Kansas. The 127-credit program blends general education coursework with clinical experience. The major explores human growth and development. Enrollees also learn how to educate exceptional students.

Advanced courses teach classroom management and curriculum and assessment strategies. A course sequence develops teaching methods in math, literacy, and social studies. Students complete field experiences in diverse school settings. Nonresidents should ensure the degree meets teacher licensure requirements in their state.

Students can transfer general education and lower-division credits. FHSU charges all students the same tuition. First-year students can choose to submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum 2.75 GPA in their last 60 credits.

University of North Carolina Wilmington View School Profile Wilmington, NC $17771

Students can pursue UNCW's BA in elementary education fully online or in a hybrid format. The program leads to K-6 licensure in North Carolina. The hybrid option includes a partnership with Coastal Carolina Community College (CCCC). Students complete a CCCC associate degree. They build on that knowledge with online teacher preparation at UNCW.

The program covers algebraic reasoning and literature in elementary school. Enrollees learn classroom management skills. The program offers concentrations such as early childhood education and language arts. Students make classroom visits and complete field experiences. UNCW provides practicum placements at local public schools.

Enrollees receive one-on-one tutoring on the CCCC campus. Student organizations such as Kappa Delta Pi provide extracurricular activities. Graduates receive support through the First Years of Teaching Support Program. The bachelor's degree in elementary education also prepares students for UNCW's master of arts in education program.

University of Illinois at Springfield View School Profile Springfield, IL $10733

A teacher assistant (TA) program at Southern Miss prepares TAs for teacher certification in Mississippi. Enrollees can complete the degree-completion BS in elementary education online in two years. The flexible BS allows TAs to continue working as they prepare to lead K-6 classrooms. The degree leads to a reading endorsement. Educators can add other endorsements. Options include math and social studies.

The program requires 121 credits, including 62 major credits. Learners gain a foundation in early childhood education. Students learn how to manage classrooms. A course focuses on how to evaluate exceptional children. Enrollees learn how to teach core subjects such as early literacy and social studies. Student teaching provides classroom experience.

The program only enrolls TAs in Mississippi. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA on pre-major coursework.

University of Southern Mississippi View School Profile Hattiesburg, MS $13773

Liberty's bachelor's in elementary education leads to Virginia teacher licensure. Learners can complete the 120-credit program in 3.5 years. The program includes general education coursework. The major explores the foundations of education and the elementary school curriculum. Enrollees learn how to teach elementary and middle school math, science, and social studies. A course explores behavioral and individual differences.

Enrollees apply their learning during student-teaching experiences. Learners can choose a middle school or special education add-on license. Students can transfer their teaching license to other states through reciprocity agreements. Federal TEACH Grants can help students pay for tuition. Free e-books also help enrollees save money.

Students can transfer up to 75% of the degree's requirements. Classes last eight weeks. Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA Unconfirmed

Regis offers a 123-credit BA in elementary education. The degree leads to initial teacher licensure. Students concurrently complete the BA and licensure. They qualify for licensure in elementary, special, and culturally and linguistically diverse education. Students can complete the degree entirely online.

The major explores how to teach exceptional learners. Enrollees learn elementary teaching methods in subjects such as math and science. A course focuses on behavior management and intervention. Learners complete 200 field hours before student-teaching. They student teach at a K-6 school in Colorado. Regis partners with more than 100 schools to ensure placement. Learners must pass PRAXIS exams before student teaching.

Learners can transfer up to 81 credits. Regis charges the same tuition to all students. Admission requires transcripts and a background check.

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