Online Elementary Education Degrees 2021

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Elementary Education Degree

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As early education providers, elementary education instructors teach at the K-6 or K-8 level, depending on the school district. States require individuals who teach 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.

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Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Elementary Education

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Liberty University $15105
2 Bemidji State University $7360
3 Northern Arizona University $8698
4 Mayville State University $5053
5 University of Nebraska at Kearney $5460
6 Judson College $16248
7 University of Southern Mississippi $7549
8 University of North Carolina Wilmington $4356
9 Chaminade University of Honolulu $23180
10 University of Wisconsin-Superior $6535

Teaching Elementary School Questions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

Acquire Necessary Knowledge
A quality bachelor’s in elementary education program gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue teaching careers.
Attain Professional Credibility
A bachelor’s degree in elementary education indicates that a professional holds relevant expertise, giving them credibility in the field.
Meet Licensure Requirements
All public school teachers need a license to practice. A bachelor’s in elementary education meets the educational requirements for licensure.
Improve Classroom Skills
Elementary education programs train students in effective teaching methods that they can apply in the classroom.
Prepare Graduate Study
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education can apply for graduate programs in the field.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

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.

Scholarships for Elementary Education

Schools, private organizations, and governmental agencies offer scholarships to help students offset the cost of a degree. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines three scholarship opportunities for elementary education majors.

  • Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Elementary Teacher Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Administered by the Daughters of the American Revolution, this scholarship welcomes applications from adult learners (25 years or older) in an accredited elementary education program. Applicants need a minimum 3.5 GPA. Recipients can apply for renewal every year they meet the scholarship eligibility requirements.

    Amount: $1,500

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  • Leon Bradley Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: This program supports students completing their student-teaching training. The scholarship accepts applications from minority students enrolled in an accredited education or teaching program. Applicants must be in their final year of enrollment.

    Amount: $3,500

    Explore Here

  • TAU Kappa Epsilon Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) offers several scholarships for education majors. Applicants must be TKE members. They must also meet minimum GPA requirements and submit an essay and transcripts.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Programs 2021

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  1. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



    Liberty University is a private, Christian-affiliated university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty's online Bachelor of Science in elementary educationis a fully accredited degree program that can be completed 100% online. An optional 300-hour practicum is available for those interested in obtaining hands-on experience. Students must complete 120 credit hours to earn this degree, with up to 75% of those hours being transferrable from other institutions. An average of 3.5 years is needed for completion of all required studies. Potential career options for graduates include jobs at education centers and private schools, as well as in homeschooling, education ministries, paraprofessional teaching, tutoring and more. This degree does not fulfill all teaching licensure requirements, but licensure requirements for Virginia can be fulfilled by completing a 5th year Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Students from outside Virginia are advised to contact the licensing board of their individual states for details on licensure requirements before enrolling in this Liberty University degree program.

  2. Bemidji State University

    Bemidji, MN



    Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, offers itsBachelor of Science in elementary educationin an online/on-site hybrid, degree-completion format. This Distributed Learning in Teacher Education (DLiTE)degree program is designed to be completed in 3 years and combines online coursework with 3 face-to-face meetings per year in the Minneapolis area. Face-to-face meetings typically require 2 to 3 days' attendance each. Students must have their A.A. degrees or have completed the MN transfer curriculum, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, to be eligible for this degree program. Completion of 63 credits in the major course of study are required, all of which must be taken through BSU. The program meets all Minnesota Board of Teaching requirements, leading to teaching licensure in the state. Out-of-state students should contact their own states' licensing agencies for information on licensure requirements before enrolling. A B.S. in elementary education typically prepares graduates for careers as preschool, kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

  3. Northern Arizona University

    Flagstaff, AZ



    Northern Arizona University'sBachelor of Science in elementary educationdegree is offered in a blended format that combines online coursework with in-person classes at 1 of 11 community college campuses located throughout the state. NAU's B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education can be completed as a cohort program, school-based program or traditional program and requires a minimum of one semester of student teaching. The degree is available with 5 concentration options: history/social studies, humanities, language/cultural diversity, math and science. Students must successfully earn 120 total credit units, of which 64 may be transferred from other institutions. A total of 66 units must be completed in the major course of study, with an additional 12 units completed in the student's chosen concentration. At least a "C" grade must be earned in all major and concentration courses, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Graduates are eligible for state certification in Arizona in Elementary Education for grades 1 through 8. NAU is the only university in Arizona that is accredited by theNational Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (NCATE).

  4. Mayville State University

    Mayville, ND



    Mayville State University's Bachelor of Science Education in elementary education is designed to allow working adults and others to complete their MSU teaching degrees through a combination of online coursework and evening Interactive Video Network (IVN) classes. IVN classes are offered at 5 North Dakota locations: Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, Williston State College in Williston, North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, Dakota College in Bottineau and the MSU campus itself. As an alternative to in-person attendance, students may attend classes via desktop conferencing for synchronous coursework in North Dakota. Students are also required to choose specializations or minors. Specialization options include early childhood, reading and special education. Minor choices include accounting, business administration, early childhood education, general science, library media and information science, mathematics, science for the elementary teacher and special needs. Students must complete a minimum of 123 credits to earn this degree. Study may be pursued either full-time or part-time, but courses must be taken in the specific order as outlined in the cohort rotation.

  5. University of Nebraska at Kearney

    Kearney, NE



    The Bachelor of Arts in early childhood inclusive degree offered through the University of Nebraska Kearney's eCampus program is designed for nontraditional students, such as in-service teachers, preschool assistants and HeadStart staff members who are interested in earning their degrees but are unable to attend traditional on-site classes due to work obligations and/or geographic location. This hybrid program consists of online, asynchronous coursework and in-person student teaching and school-based experiences. Students can choose between 2 specialization options: birth through kindergarten, for working with infants and toddlers, or age 3 to grade 3, for individuals interested in teaching at the elementary education level up to 3rd grade. The degree requires completion of 120 credit hours, including 45 general education credits, 50 program-specific credits and 24 professional sequence credits. Students wishing to apply credits previously earned from other schools can consult UNK's Transfer Guide for information on transfer eligibility. Graduates earn early childhood teaching certificates that allow them to teach children ages 0 through 5, in special education settings and children ages 0 through 8 in regular education settings.

  6. Judson College

    Marion, AL



    Located in Marion, Alabama, Judson College is a private, Baptist-affiliated institution and the 5th oldest women's college in the United States. Judson offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in elementary education degree that can be earned through a combination of online classes and field experience participation. Students must complete their general education requirements prior to starting their major degree courses. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 must be maintained throughout the program. Courses are taught in a cohort model, meaning online students begin and finish classes at the same time as their on-campus counterparts. Courses are offered during 3 yearly terms: August to December, January to April and May to June. Judson's B.S. in elementary education is designed to support state and national education standards and prepare graduates for employment as teachers at the K-6 grade levels. However, Judson College certifies Alabama degree candidates only, and all field experience and clinical practice observation placements are made exclusively with Alabama schools.

  7. University of Southern Mississippi

    Hattiesburg, MS



    The University of Southern Mississippi's online Bachelor of Science in elementary education is unique in that it is designed to support persons employed as teacher assistants in obtaining their bachelor's degrees and becoming certified as teachers while maintaining their current jobs. This degree can be completed entirely online. However, as part of the Southern Miss Teacher Assistant Program (TAP), students complete a semester of student teaching in the classroom. Many TA's will complete this student teaching semester in the classrooms where they are currently employed, while others will require separate placements, as determined by the TA's school district. The State of Mississippi requires candidates for teacher certification to obtain endorsements in two subject areas. The degree program itself provides the student with a reading endorsement, and the student chooses a second endorsement in one of the following 6 subjects: social studies, foreign languages, mathematics K-8, mathematics 9-12, English and science. Graduates with this degree typically pursue careers as K-6 teachers, although others may find jobs with titles such as behavior intervention specialist, community education coordinator, curriculum specialist, reading interventionist and many others.

  8. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Wilmington, NC



    The University of North Carolina Wilmington's online Bachelor of Arts in elementary education is a degree-completion program designed for students entering their junior year of study. It's offered in a hybrid format in which all coursework is completed online, with the exception of in-person tutoring, classroom visits and extensive field experiences in elementary classrooms. For non-resident students, field experience participation is dependent on individual state authorization and UNCW's authorization status with the state. To learn more about your specific state's authorization status, see UNCW's Authorization by State. Students are required to choose from among 9 concentrations: behavioral studies, English as a second language, early childhood, fine arts, international studies, language arts, math and technology, science and health, and social studies. Most courses are asynchronous, meaning that students can access and complete coursework at times most convenient to them. However, coursework is not self-paced and students should expect to complete assignments by given due dates. UNCW's online B.A. in elementary education program leads to licensure in the state of North Carolina to teach grades K through 6.

  9. Chaminade University of Honolulu

    Honolulu, HI



    Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private, coeducational university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Marianist religious order. For those interested in the elementary education field, Chaminade offers a Bachelor of Science in elementary education degree. Coursework can be completed entirely online, with the exception of certain in-person activities, including a student teaching experience. Students must pass the Praxis II Licensure Field Content Verification examination prior to student teaching. The degree requires completion of 120 credit hours, which includes general education, pre-major and major required classes and a small number of electives. Upon successful completion of the degree program, graduates are licensed to teach on the K through 6th grade level, based on the Hawaii Teachers Standards Board licensure guidelines. Graduates are also qualified to teach K through 6 in most other states. Students residing outside of Hawaii, however, are advised to consult their home states' licensure agencies prior to enrolling in Chaminade's B.S. in elementary education program to determine if this degree results in eligibility for teaching licensure in their states.

  10. University of Wisconsin-Superior

    Superior, WI



    The University of Wisconsin-Superior's online bachelor's degree in early education is a hybrid program in which students complete their coursework online and participate in in-person teaching internships in elementary or middle school settings. Students must complete their general education/University Studies requirements or earn their A.A., A.S., B.A., or B.S. degrees from other institutions prior to starting this program. The early education program requires students to choose from among 6 specialized minors. Students successfully completing the minor in early childhood education are eligible for teaching licensure for PK-6 (ages 0 through 12), allowing them to work in early childhood/Head Start programs, 3K, 4K and preschool classrooms. Those completing the special education minor are eligible for licensure to teach grades 1-8 (ages 6 through 13 or 14) and grades 6-8 (ages 12 through 13 or 14) in special education class settings. Minors in geography, health, language arts and social studies lead to licensure in grades 1-8 (ages 6 through 13 or 14) and allow graduates to teach middle school in the field related to the corresponding minor.

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