Online Secondary Education Degrees

A career in secondary education starts with a degree. Learn about flexible online programs, subject specializations, and job facts.

Updated September 7, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Secondary Education Degrees

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Secondary Education Programs

The U.S. public school teacher shortage has motivated schools to offer more secondary education online degrees, attracting future teachers with their convenience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual salary of $61,660 for high school teachers. The position garners a wage higher than the median annual salary of $39,810 for all occupations.

Many education graduate programs view a degree in secondary education as meeting the educational requirement for admission. Online teaching degree holders who pursue a graduate degree in education can qualify for postsecondary teaching jobs or top-level research positions. A secondary education program also prepares graduates for non-classroom jobs, including career counselors, corporate trainers, and instructional designers.

Teaching Secondary Education? Ask these Questions


How long does it take to earn a degree in secondary education?

A bachelor's degree in secondary education typically comprises 120 credits and takes four years of full-time enrollment to complete.

What is a degree in secondary education?

With a teaching license, a secondary education online degree qualifies holders to teach grades 7-12, or middle and high school subjects.

Can you teach middle school with a secondary education degree?

Yes. In many U.S. school districts, graduates of a secondary education program can teach middle school subjects.

What can I do with a degree in secondary education?

Aside from qualifying graduates to teach at the high school and middle school levels, a degree in secondary education can also lead to jobs in curriculum development, education administration, and career counseling.

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Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get a Degree in Secondary Education?

An accredited degree in secondary education meets the educational requirement for a teaching license in most states. Additionally, a secondary education program provides excellent preparation for postgraduate study in education or a related field.

Earning a secondary education online degree often saves enrollees time and money. Many programs follow accelerated delivery schedules, allowing students to graduate earlier than most on-campus enrollees. Online learners do not incur additional housing and transportation expenses, which can yield substantial savings during a four-year program.

How Much Does a Secondary Education Degree Cost?

National Center for Education Statistics data shows undergraduate attendance costs at public four-year institutions came to an average of $20,598 in 2018-19. One year of enrollment at a private nonprofit college or university amounted to $47,541 on average. Both figures include tuition, fees, room, and board. Students can expect to pay similar amounts for a bachelor's degree in secondary education.

Online enrollees often do not pay for on-campus room and board, significantly lowering the cost of attendance. Without on-campus housing expenses, students paid $9,212 to attend public institutions and $34,758 to enroll at private nonprofit schools. In addition, some schools allow out-of-state online enrollees to pay in-state tuition. This savings opportunity could prove significant, so students should find out if a prospective institution offers this option.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Secondary Education Majors Make?

Several factors influence the salary levels of secondary educators, including their professional arena and state. BLS data shows elementary and secondary schools hire the highest number of professionals in this field, with 979,330 positions in 2020. However, state government agencies and religious organizations pay the highest mean salaries for secondary educators at $83,010 and $70,580, respectively.

The states that paid the highest salaries for secondary school teachers include New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Professionals in these states garnered annual mean wages of $88,890, $86,900, $84,130, $78,900, and $78,510, respectively.

A degree in secondary education qualifies graduates to become career or technical education teachers at vocational schools or junior colleges. Secondary education degree-holders who earn a master's in education typically qualify to teach collegiately. Postsecondary teachers earn a median annual salary of $79,540. The BLS projects a 9% growth rate for these jobs, much higher than the average growth rate of 4% for all occupations.

Courses in Secondary Education

A secondary education program usually requires degree candidates to declare two majors: secondary education and their future subject. A typical secondary education curriculum includes coursework in assistive technology, instructional strategies, and characteristics and development of adolescent learners.

Secondary education programs include fieldwork allowing students to observe teachers in an actual classroom setting. Candidates undergo supervised contact with high school or middle school enrollees, usually as teacher aides. The courses below represent some of the most common classes in a secondary education program.

Certifications and Licensure for Secondary Education

States require secondary school teachers to acquire licensure before they begin their teaching career. State education boards determine licensure requirements, so they vary by state. Industry-recognized professional organizations administer different certifications, but most states do not require them. That said, certification presents the holder as a committed professional with specialized knowledge and skills in specific practice areas.

The American Academy of Special Education Professionals reserves this credential for master's-trained special education practitioners. Applicants must complete five certificates of advanced professional development in areas including principles of IEP development and response to intervention. After completing the certificates, applicants must pass a 50-question multiple choice exam. The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing administers the CHES credential. The certification measures a candidate's interpretation and application of knowledge in the seven areas of responsibility as specified in A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education Specialists 2015. Applicants must show completion of at least 25 credits of accredited coursework directly relevant to the areas of responsibility. The American Board awards the certification to applicants with at least a bachelor's degree who pass a standard background check. The program requires candidates pass the Professional Teaching Knowledge Exam (PTK), consisting of 145 multiple choice questions and a writing component. Applicants must also pass the American Board General Science Exam after the PTK.

Scholarships for Secondary Education

The critical need for teachers usually means that education students can find financial support from various sources, starting with institutional aid. Students in or entering a secondary education program can explore scholarship opportunities from professional organizations and nonprofit private groups, like those below.

Scholarships for Secondary Education
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Physics Teachers

$2,000 The American Association of Physics Teachers accepts applications from undergraduate students enrolled in a physics teacher preparation program. Applicants submit recommendation letters.

Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Secondary Teacher Scholarship

$1,500 Applicants of at least sophomore status enrolled in a program leading to a secondary school teacher career can apply. The Daughters of the American Revolution sponsor the program.

Prospective 7-12 Secondary Teacher Course Work Scholarship

$10,000 Texas Instruments Demana-Waits Fund supports this program for full-time students pursuing a degree leading to a career as a certified teacher of secondary school mathematics. Applicants of at least sophomore status qualify with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Online Secondary Education Programs 2022

#1

Hobe Sound Bible College

School Information
Location Hobe Sound, Florida
Graduation Rate 53%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Association for Bibical Higher Educaiton
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private institution, Hobe Sound Bible College enrolls students on its Florida campus. With 18 online programs available, the school educates distance students in various disciplines. Graduates of the institution's online bachelor of arts in secondary education often pursue lucrative careers in education.

Along with core classes, the program requires advanced coursework that prepares degree-seekers for positions in education. Graduates can apply the critical thinking and analytical skills gained during upper-division coursework to careers in a variety of fields. While most bachelor's degree-seekers graduate in four years, part-time enrollment may extend degree completion time.

The school delivers student support services to on-campus and online learners, including academic advising and career counseling. The institution holds accreditation, which means enrollees can receive federal grants and loans.

Hobe Sound Bible College Numbers:

Total Programs: 25

Total Bachelor's Programs: 13

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

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#2

Chaminade University of Honolulu

School Information
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Chaminade University of Honolulu delivers high-quality online programs for distance degree-seekers. Students can pursue the institution's on-campus programs in Hawaii. Enrollees pursuing the online secondary education degree benefit from scheduling flexibility.

Distance learners in the secondary education program complete coursework in a virtual classroom environment, gaining experience with the latest technology. Online students can participate in online class discussions and attend virtual office hours. In addition to core coursework, degree-seekers in the secondary education program complete advanced classes in field-related topics. After earning an online secondary education bachelor's degree from the institution, graduates often secure entry-level careers.

An admissions advisor can provide specific application details, including requirements and deadlines.

Chaminade University of Honolulu Numbers:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 26

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Percentage of Students Awarded Aid: 99%

Percentage of Students Awarded Loans: 38%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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#3

Western Governors University

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Western Governors University's bachelor's in secondary education prepares online students to succeed in education careers. The online BS in mathematics education program's flexible scheduling options can make it easier for busy learners to complete degree requirements.

Enrollees can attend classes at Western Governors University's campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. With 65 online programs, distance learners benefit from a variety of options. The institution also offers 30 online bachelor's programs that are ideal for busy degree-seekers.

The online mathematics education degree features core courses, general education requirements, and upper-division classes. To complete the online bachelor's program, degree-seekers earn at least 120 credits. The curriculum features core and specialized classes that foster field-specific and transferable skills.

Learners can access support services including academic advising, tutoring, and career services. Undergraduates and alumni can explore their professional options with the help of faculty advisors and career counselors. The school's dedicated financial aid counselors work with students as they locate and apply for educational funding.

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#4

Sterling College

School Information
Location Sterling, Kansas
Admission Rate 40%
Graduation Rate 53%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Sterling College delivers an online bachelor's in education that is ideal for busy learners interested in advancing their skills. Students can pursue the online education program to access flexible scheduling options that make earning a degree easier. After earning an online bachelor's degree from the institution, graduates often secure entry-level careers.

The education program uses a rigorous curriculum that covers foundational and advanced topics. Learners can customize the curriculum through elective coursework, and they take general education classes. Students gain transferable skills while completing general education coursework. Learners can customize the program through experiential learning opportunities and electives.

The private institution delivers six online programs, with 36 total programs available. Working professionals often pursue one of the school's five online bachelor's programs. The institution holds accreditation, which means students can submit the FAFSA and determine whether they qualify for federal financial aid.

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#5

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

School Information
Location Waxahachie, Texas
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 45%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private institution offering online and on-campus academic programs in various fields. The Waxahachie-based school delivers 74 programs, including 60 online programs. The flexible bachelor's in English, language arts, and reading offers affordable tuition rates and allows students to work while earning their degree.

While earning the bachelor's degree, learners complete core major classes to develop a foundation for upper-division coursework. Degree-seekers take specialized elective courses and complete experiential learning components such as internships to gain knowledge and skills necessary for careers. During their undergraduate studies and after graduation, individuals can access professional assistance from faculty advisors and career counselors.

The accredited institution meets federal requirements to distribute aid through programs like the Pell Grant. For specific application details, including requirements and deadlines, prospective students can contact an admissions advisor.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University at a Glance:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 39

Online Bachelor's Programs: 28

Number of Online Students: 1,440

Undergraduate Admission Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 45%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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