Prospective online elementray education students will find a comprehensive guide on this page with degree options at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. We also provide a list of the best online schools offering elementary education degrees and the best master's programs. These schools were identified and ranked based on tuition costs and alumni salaries provided by PayScale. Elementary education degree programs focus on the skills needed to teach kindergarten through eighth grade, including lesson planning and classroom management.
In addition to regional accreditation, aspiring elementary school teachers should check their degree programs have been accredited by the CAEP to ensure they will be getting the quality education necessary to become a licensed teacher. Requirements to be a certified teacher vary by state, so aspiring teachers should also consider where they decide to receive their training depending on the state they wish to work in.
2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Elementary Education Degrees
This list highlights the 22 best value colleges offering online bachelor's degrees in elementary education. Graduates of the #1 school, Kansas State University, report earning a median salary of $81,100. Oregon State University, ranked #2 on the list, costs $13,905 annually for an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, with alumni reportedly earning median salaries of $64,600.
Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.
Kansas State University, located in Manhattan, Kansas, offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. The program focuses on both the best methods and the latest technology used in elementary school classrooms today. Along with theory and instruction, the program features a field experience, where students teach at an accredited school in their locality. KSU instructors watch the student teachers in real-time via live video and provide feedback and evaluation. Graduates are eligible to apply for an initial teaching license in the state of Kansas, which is transferable to other states. The degree is available entirely online, and 120 credits are required to graduate. Learning is asynchronous, and coursework is delivered via the Canvas learning management system. Canvas allows students to view lectures and course materials, download files and upload completed assignments, view grades, participate in class discussions, communicate with instructors, and more. Online students at K-State have access to such services as academic support, tutoring, counseling, career assistance, resume writing, and legal services. Kansas state residents under the age of 21 who are applying as first-year students must complete the Kansas pre-college curriculum with a minimum GPA of 2.0; non-residents must earn a minimum GPA of 2.5. First-year students who are over the age of 21 must submit final high school transcripts or GED scores, as well as transcripts from any previous college coursework. Home-schooled students must show that they have completed pre-college coursework. All applicants are also required to submit applicable test scores or rank in the top third of their class.
#2 Oregon State University
Annual Tuition: $13,905
Median Salary: $64,600
Locations: Corvallis (OR)
Oregon State University is located in the city of Corvallis. The university offers both a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies. Both programs are available with a pre-education option that allows students to enter a teacher licensure program in elementary education. The curriculum covers such areas as infant and child development, adolescent development, children’s literature, history of the United States, English literature, art, and science. A total of 180 quarter credits are needed to complete the degree; credits from previous coursework can be transferred, but a minimum of 45 out of the last 75 credits must be earned at OSU. Coursework is completed 100 percent online, and the program has four start dates per year. The Canvas online learning management system is used to deliver coursework. Canvas supports assignment submittal, quizzes, tests, audio and video materials, discussion boards, email, interaction with peers and instructors, and more. Online students have access to a success coach, 24/7 library support, free tutoring, career counseling, and around-the-clock technical support. Students who are distance learners can add a minor to their degree program to increase their competitiveness in the job market after graduation. Several factors contribute to the admission process at OSU: the strength of high school curriculum, academic performance (a minimum GPA of 3.0 is preferred), test scores, an insight resume, and evidence of characteristics that will contribute to the educational and cultural diversity of the university.
#3 Brenau University
Annual Tuition: $19,530
Median Salary: $64,300
Locations: Multiple Locations
Accreditation: SACS COC
With its main campus in Gainesville, Georgia, Brenau University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education that leads to students receiving their teaching certification for pre-school through fifth grade by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. To be placed in a school after graduation, students must pass the Teaching Field Content Exams for the academic content area. New students must attend an orientation, either on-campus or online, where they learn about their program and meet the academic support team. The curriculum offers both classroom instruction and field experience. Coursework is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system, and the program includes the receiving and submitting of assignments, participation in class discussions, using video and audio materials, reading, and more. Courses are delivered in seven-week sessions. Distance learners have access to a free copy of Office 365, academic tutoring, writing, and career services. Applicants must provide transcripts from each school they have attended. If they are transferring less than 30 college credits, they must also submit high school transcripts. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required. Applicants are assessed based on GPA, completed course work, test scores, community and school involvement, and other factors. Home school students and those with a GED are welcome to apply, but will likely be subject to an admissions interview. High school transcripts must also be submitted. A decision is typically made within 7-10 days after all documents have been received.
#4 Old Dominion University
Annual Tuition: $12,210
Median Salary: $59,000
Locations: Norfolk (VA)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Teacher Preparation) and an online Bachelor of Science in Special Education (Teacher Preparation). Both are degree completion programs. The BS in Elementary Education includes classroom instruction, a field experience, and a capstone project. The BS in Special Education prepares students to teach in grades K-12, and the program includes fieldwork as well as a teacher candidate internship. Graduates of both degrees are eligible for teacher licensure in the state of Virginia. However, the programs are only available only to students in Virginia and Washington State. A total of 120 credits are required to complete the degree, and at least 30 must be completed at ODU. All course materials can be accessed online from any location. Some online classes have live, regular meeting times, while others do not. Exams and assignments may be scheduled at specific times by the instructor. All courses follow the university’s regular academic calendar. Online students at ODU have access to the same support services as on-campus students. These include help with testing, writing, reading, research, and technical support, and they can utilize the student success center and career development assistance. Applicants to ODU must submit SAT/ACT scores and high school transcripts. They may also choose to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Students who have relevant prior work experience, a portfolio, or an exam may be able to apply these toward the total credits required for the degree.
#5 University of Louisiana-Monroe
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Median Salary: $54,200
Locations: Monroe (LA)
Accreditation: SACS COC
An online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Grades 1-5 is offered at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The program is comprised of five main components: general studies, professional and pedagogical studies, content studies, integrative studies, and clinical and field experiences. Instruction is provided in teaching math, science, and social studies; teaching skills and methods are covered, and students acquire real-world experience in student teaching assignments. A total of 120 credits are required to complete the degree. Online courses at UL are taught in 4-, 8-, or 16-week formats, depending on the course and semester. Coursework is delivered via the Moodle online learning management system. A “My Homework” application, compatible with many different mobile devices, allows students to organize assignments, set alarms, color code coursework, and more. Online students have access to the student success center, academic advising, tutoring, technical support, and other support services. Students applying as freshmen must complete the Louisiana Board of Regents Core Curriculum (19 credits), have a minimum 2.35 overall GPA, and submit SAT/ACT scores electronically. Depending on the student’s prior educational history, a placement test may be required. Transfer students must have an associate degree or at least 18 transferrable credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer students under 25 must have taken at least one college-level English or math class; those over 25 must have taken at least one remedial English or math class. It may be possible to test out of some courses by passing a standardized exam such as CLEP or DSST.
#6 Wilmington University
Annual Tuition: $11,430
Median Salary: $53,600
Locations: New Castle (DE)
Wilmington University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Education Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education K-6. The program consists of 120 credit hours and is designed for students who plan to work in educational institutions that do not require state licensure/certification. The curriculum includes 48 credits of general education requirements, six credits of fine arts, six credits of behavioral science core courses, and 48 credits of education courses. Coursework for the online program is delivered through the Canvas learning management system and includes collaboration with faculty and peers, and video conferencing. Distance learners have access to Wilmington's full host of resources, including academic advising, tutoring, and library services. An Online Student Association is also available through Canvas. Wilmington has an open admissions policy and generous credit transfer and credit for prior experience policies. Admission requirements include an application and fee, official transcripts, and proof of immunization. While applicants are not required to submit SAT/ACT scores, doing so may excuse them from taking math and English placement tests.
#7 University of South Carolina-Columbia
Annual Tuition: $20,856
Median Salary: $55,300
Locations: Columbia (SC)
Accreditation: SACS COC
The University of South Carolina-Columbia offers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education intended for students seeking to complete a previously started bachelor’s degree. Graduates of the program are qualified to obtain certification to teach grades 2 through 6. The university offers start dates in the fall and spring, and the 120- to 126-credit hour program can be completed in two-and-a-half to three years when attended full time. Students are instructed on teaching pedagogy, student diversity, classroom management, assessment, and core subject education and participate in a year-long student teaching internship in their final two semesters of the degree. Prospective students are required to submit an official transcript demonstrating 36 credit hours of specific program prerequisites to be considered for admission. Many of the online Elementary Education Degree required courses are delivered online asynchronously, meaning students are not required to log in and complete coursework at any set time. Distance learners have access to a number of resources and support services, including online tutoring, writing support, and academic success consulting.
#8 Fort Hays State University
Annual Tuition: $6,997
Median Salary: $49,400
Locations: Hays (KS)
Fort Hays State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education both on-campus and entirely online. This degree program consists of 127 credit hours, comprising 55 general education credits, 25 professional studies and major credits, 14 credits of major courses, 21 credits of internships and methods courses, and 12 credit hours of student teaching. Along with the traditional program, FHSU offers a Para Pathway to licensure program for working para-professionals in elementary education. This allows students to participate in hands-on education while keeping their job at their school district. Upon completion of the degree program, students will have licensure in Kansas. Students should be aware of the licensing requirements for their state if they are planning to teach outside of Kansas. Online courses are delivered through Blackboard. The program may include discussion boards, videos, and team projects. Distance learners receive access to free online tutoring and a writing center. Admission requirements for first-year students include prerequisite courses and minimum ACT/SAT test scores, or rank of top ⅓ of high school graduating class. Transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 on all previous college coursework.
#9 University of Southern Mississippi
Annual Tuition: $8,624
Median Salary: $49,300
Locations: Hattiesburg (MS)
Accreditation: SACS COC
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (For Teacher Assistants) program for current teacher's assistants hoping to complete a bachelor's degree in elementary education. The program is online and designed to support teaching assistants in becoming a certified teacher while they are working as a teacher's assistant. Graduates are eligible to apply for Mississippi Educator's License in elementary education. There are also options to expand past elementary education if students are interested. Students are encouraged to research their own state's licensing requirements. All coursework must be completed before students begin student teaching. Admission requirements for first-year students include an application with fee, SAT/ACT scores, immunization records, and high school transcripts showing completion of prerequisite courses. Transfer students must submit an application with fee, transcripts, and immunization records. Distance learners receive a host of support services through the Office of Online Learning. Some of the available resources include access to a writing center, technical support, and academic support services.
#10 Stephen F. Austin State University
Annual Tuition: $23,398
Median Salary: $54,900
Locations: Nacogdoches (TX)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Stephen F. Austin State University offers three online interdisciplinary bachelor’s degrees leading to certification in elementary education. Students choose to concentrate their studies in Teaching Core Curriculum in Middle-Level Grades (grades 4 through 8) or Early Childhood Through Grade 6, or Special Education (grades K-12). Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified for certification in the state of Texas. Students in all concentrations gain theoretical knowledge through coursework in the foundations and modern practices in education and real-world experience through field experiences and student teaching in real classrooms. Online coursework must be completed in a sequence specified by the department, and students must visit the campus once a semester. In addition to university admission requirements, applicants must have completed 45 credit hours of approved coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 prior to applying, and experience working with children. Applications to the middle-level grades and special education tracks are accepted continuously, while the early childhood through grade 6 concentration requires that applications be submitted by a certain deadline for fall or spring admission. Students pursuing the online elementary education degree have access to a number of virtual support services, including tutoring and library resources.
#11 Central Methodist University
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Median Salary: $48,600
Locations: Fayette (MO)
Central Methodist University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Elementary Education. The program courses run either eight or 16 weeks long, depending on the class. The online material mirrors the classroom instruction, and upon completion of the program, graduates will be licensed to teach in the state of Missouri. CMU offers an opportunity for students to take a few classes as a visiting student before committing to a full program. Online students will be required to participate in hands-on fieldwork in their local area. Admission into the program is selective and requires applicants to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a 21 or higher ACT score, or 1050 or higher SAT score. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0 and must submit their high school and college transcripts. Distance learners at Central Methodist have access to support services, including library reference assistance, career services, and tutoring. efore committing to a full program. Online students will be required to participate in hands-on field work in their local area. Tuition for this online program is $260 per credit hour.
#12 National University
Annual Tuition: $16,650
Median Salary: $51,400
Locations: La Jolla (CA)
National University offers a fully online bachelor's degree program in elementary education with Nevada licensure. Students will be prepared to enter the workforce in Nevada, as the program and courses meet the state licensing requirements. This online degree program is unique as it allows students to apply for, transfer to, and/or begin the program at any time. Classes begin at the beginning of every month and last for only four weeks. This allows students to focus on one subject at a time and helps them finish the degree more quickly. Classes are delivered asynchronously, so students complete courses on a schedule most convenient for them. Coursework involves participation in discussion boards, readings, and written assignments. A live chat feature allows students and faculty to engage with one another in real-time. An orientation course is available online to introduce students to technological requirements. Online students have access to tutoring, veterans' services, career services, and academic advising. The library provides online resources and a 24/7 online reference assistant. Interested candidates may apply for monthly start dates.
#13 Saint Leo University Online
Annual Tuition: $11,100
Median Salary: $46,100
Locations: St. Leo (FL)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Saint Leo University awards students a teaching certificate from the Florida Department of Education and ESOL and Reading endorsements. Through a progressive teaching curriculum and field placement, students graduate the program with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to facilitate learning in their own classrooms. Students are offered real-world experience opportunities in addition to field placements, including a full-time, semester-long internship, meetings with school district representatives, and mock interviews with school principals. Applicants must submit official transcripts documenting all prior education, including high school and college or university coursework. Saint Leo offers six start dates and online classes begin and end every eight weeks. Students in the 120-credit hour online Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education are supported in their studies with free, virtual tutoring, access to library resources, technical support available 24/7, and the same advising and career services afforded to their on-campus counterparts.
#14 Gardner Webb University
Annual Tuition: $14,336
Median Salary: $47,100
Locations: Boiling Springs (NC)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Gardner Webb University is a Christian institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. The core program consists of 49 credit hours of coursework, and 12 hours of student teaching which occurs over the fourth semester. Students will also need to complete prerequisite and general studies credit requirements. There are opportunities in the program for students to learn through hands-on field experiences in elementary classrooms. Graduates will be licensed to teach kindergarten through sixth grade in North Carolina. Admission requirements for first-year students include an online application, official high school transcripts, and SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students must submit an online application and college transcripts. All of the courses in the program are offered in an online format, though scheduled class meetings may be required. Gardner Webb's Center for Personal and Professional Development hosts an Online Learning Lab, which provides academic and career resources. Distance learners also have access to technical support and the library.
#15 Mississippi State University
Annual Tuition: $11,369
Median Salary: $44,900
Locations: Mississippi State (MS)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Mississippi State University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with concentrations in Early Childhood or Middle School. Students in the program are instructed in the theoretical fundamentals of teaching, including pedagogy, child development, and classroom management. They further advance their knowledge and practice through hands-on field experience in the classroom. Graduation requires the completion of 123 credit hours of general education, prerequisite and major area coursework, classroom observation, and student teaching. Distance learners from out-of-state can complete field experiences at a school near them. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA (with a 2.75 GPA in prerequisites), two recommendation forms from educators, 40 hours of work experience with children, and a certified background check. All coursework is completed through the Canvas learning platform. Start dates for the program are offered in the fall or spring, though core courses can be started during the summer term. MSU's Center for Distance Education provides online students access to various resources, including tutoring, library services, the writing center, career services, and technical support.
#16 Granite State College
Annual Tuition: $10,950
Median Salary: $39,200
Locations: Concord (NH)
Granite State College offers several online bachelor’s degrees in the field of elementary education. Their BA in English Language Arts and BA in Social Studies degrees offer certification in Elementary Education and General Special Education. Their BA in Math Studies degree offers certifications in Elementary Education and General Special Education, and Mathematics: Middle Level. All of these programs provide a liberal arts education and a path toward a career in teaching. Each program requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of general education, prerequisite, and core coursework, as well as a student teaching experience. Credit may be awarded for work experience, career credentials and certifications, and military service. Courses are delivered through the Moodle online learning platform, and distance learners are provided access to remote library resources, career advising, and personal counseling. Granite State offers a free online application and rolling admissions so students can begin at their convenience. Applicants must have a high school diploma (or equivalent).
#17 University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Annual Tuition: $18,758
Median Salary: $41,400
Locations: Wilmington (NC)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington qualifies graduates for a teaching certificate in grades K through 6 in the state of North Carolina. The 120-credit hour curriculum is designed to instruct students in the theory, methods, and practices of educating children at an elementary level, and to provide hands-on learning through field experiences and a student teaching internship in local elementary classrooms. Students can choose to pursue a concentration to supplement their knowledge in one of nine areas, including Behavioral Studies, Math and Technology, Fine Arts, and International Studies. The online bachelor's degree in elementary education program also offers opportunities for international experiences to observe classrooms outside of the US. Coursework is accessed and completed through the Canvas online learning platform and may include readings, assignments, exams, and live class meetings. Online learners have access to remote counseling, career services, library resources, and math and writing centers. Admission criteria include a minimum GPA of 2.7, completion of college-level English, math, and science coursework, and a passing score on the Praxis exam.
#18 Wichita State University
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Median Salary: $36,300
Locations: Wichita (KS)
The Bachelor of Arts in Education- Early Childhood Unified/Elementary Education degree at Wichita State University is a teacher apprentice program that prepares graduates to apply for Kansas state teaching licenses in elementary teaching and early child unified. The curriculum requires the completion of 120 credit hours of general education, prerequisite, and core coursework. It includes instruction in literacy strategies, linguistics for elementary teachers, working with diverse learners, and special education. Students are also required to complete at least four internships in the elementary classroom. With the exception of the classroom internships, all coursework is completed online and may include Powerpoint presentations, synchronous webcam instruction, or recorded video lectures. Online learners have access to 24/7 tech support, remote tutoring, and virtual advising. Prospective students are required to submit official academic transcripts, references, placement test results, and a certificate of health. Applicants are also required to complete a criminal background check.
#19 Nova Southeastern University
Annual Tuition: $31,150
Median Salary: $45,200
Locations: Fort Lauderdale (FL)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Nova Southeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education that equips students with the education, knowledge, and skills needed to meet state and national standards in the discipline. Graduates of the program are fully qualified to obtain certification in elementary education (K-6) in addition to endorsements in ESOL and Reading by the Florida Department of Education. The curriculum is built on both the foundations of education and the most current best practices in teaching, and students gain practical, real-world learning through field experiences and a 12-week internship in the final semester. Freshmen applicants must submit an official high school transcript, an SAT or ACT score report, and one letter of recommendation to be considered for admission to the 120-credit hour online Elementary Education Degree program. Transfer applicants are required to submit transcripts reflecting all coursework completed at the college level, a transfer report from their current or most recently attended college, and, if requested by the department or the university, an SAT or ACT score report. Online coursework is interactive and students learn, participate, and communicate through video lectures, chat rooms, conferencing and content sharing tools, and other virtual tools and resources.
#20 University of Wisconsin-Superior
Annual Tuition: $9,150
Median Salary: $33,200
Locations: Superior (WI)
Students pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at the University of Wisconsin-Superior can choose to apply their studies to a Bachelor of Arts or Science in the discipline. The program is designed to provide students the education and qualifications needed to obtain a grades K through 9 teaching license in the state of Wisconsin. Students in the program are required to minor in Early Childhood Education or Special Education. The curriculum covers foundational coursework in multicultural education, human development, learning theories, and instruction in teaching core elementary subjects. Students are also required to minor in either Early Childhood Education or Special Education. In addition to university admission requirements, applicants must have earned a 2.75 GPA or higher in their last 40 completed college credit hours and a B or higher in the prerequisite introductory education courses. Students in the online Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education complete all required coursework through the university’s virtual learning platform. A number of student support services and resources are made accessible to online learners, including tutoring, career services, technology services, and library resources.
#21 Western Governors University
Annual Tuition: $6,750
Median Salary: $32,000
Locations: Salt Lake City (UT)
Western Governors University students pursuing a career in education can choose to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education or a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and Elementary Education. Graduates of either program are eligible for a teaching license at the elementary level in all 50 states. The Special Education and Elementary Education program provides dual licensure in special education for K-12. Students in both programs participate in supervised student teaching, providing practical, real-world learning, and the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned through theoretical instruction. The online Elementary Education degree requires the completion of 40 courses and takes 36 months, on average, to finish. The Special Education and Elementary Education degree is completed through 47 courses, typically in 42 months. Classes begin every month, and applicants are required to complete a state-specific basic skills test and pass a criminal background check for admission consideration. Online students can access the Student Support Center Monday through Saturday and the IT Service Desk 7 days a week.
#22 Liberty University
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Median Salary: $31,700
Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education or the Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education at Liberty University gain practical, hands-on experience through practicums and internships at local schools. Both degrees require the completion of 120 credit hours and take three-and-a-half years to finish, on average. The curriculum of the BS and the BE includes instruction in classroom management, learning theory, diverse learners, and elementary curriculum. Graduates of the BE program are eligible for a teaching certificate in the state of Virginia. The BS is a non-licensing program, meaning completion of the program does not lead to a certificate in teaching. Classes begin every eight weeks and are facilitated online through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses are asynchronous, meaning there are no required login times. Liberty University provides students with a number of support services, including academic advising and access to the Online Writing Center. Applicants are required to submit an official transcript reflecting a minimum earned GPA of 2.0 and a high school self-certification form.
Overview of Online Elementary Education
While an online associate degree is not enough to work as a teacher, there are associate degree programs designed specifically to ease the transition to a four-year bachelor's program in elementary education.
Bachelor's programs in elementary education can be found online, and this is the minimum level of education that must be completed in order to work as an elementary school teacher.
There are also master's programs online, and there are programs available for those who don't have a teaching background and who want to switch careers, or those who work in education but want to earn an advanced degree.
An online doctoral program may be an appropriate choice for someone who is interested in working at the university level as a professor or in research, or in top leadership or administration positions within the field of education.
Lastly, there are various online certificates available for current teachers and aspiring teachers alike. Certificates can be earned by those who have a bachelor's in a subject not related to education or teaching, but who want to go into teaching without committing to a master's program. Licensed educators may earn additional endorsement certificates online in order to add to their skill sets. For example, a licensed elementary school teacher may choose to earn a certificate in teaching math at the elementary school level.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary Education
Those seeking a flexible way to earn their bachelor's in elementary education may be interested in pursuing their degree online.
This type of program can be found at colleges and universities and typically takes four years and 120 credits to complete. Some programs may have an option to complete a fifth year in order to also earn a Master's in Teaching and licensure. Admission to one of these programs will require a high school diploma or GED, and may also require such application materials as an admissions essay or statement of purpose and SAT or ACT test scores. The cost of tuition will depend on the program attended, but will likely be at least $12,000 a year.
Students will learn about teaching methods, lesson planning, and classroom management, as well as how to cater to a variety of students who may have unique needs, such as ESL students or students with a disability. Student teaching will also likely be required. Some programs might have teaching certification preparation built into the program, while others will not.
Upon graduating with a bachelor's in elementary education individuals will be qualified to find work in public schools at the elementary level—if their program included a licensure component—or to seek out the necessary additional requirements for licensure based on their state. They can also sometimes find work in private schools without certification. Graduates will also be prepared to move on to master's-level programs in the field of education.
When choosing a degree program, an important thing to keep in mind is accreditation. There are three main types of accreditation: national, regional, and programmatic. National and regional accreditation have to do with accrediting the school as a whole and making sure that the school meets certain standards of quality. National accreditation focuses mostly on vocational or trade schools while regional accreditation deals with degree-granting schools. Accreditation is important for many reasons, including ease of transferring credits, access to federal financial aid, and an assurance that future employers will see the degree as valid.
Programmatic accreditation is when an organization that specializes in a certain subject area accredits programs within that subject. For instance, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the current main accrediting body for education programs. CAEP was formed when The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) merged with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Students looking to get a degree in teaching or education should make sure that they are enrolling in a program that has received programmatic accreditation. Either way students enrolled in a program accredited by one of these agencies can be sure that they are receiving a quality education that will prepare them well for their future career.
In order to work as an elementary school teacher within the public school system, an individual will need to become certified. The requirements to earn a teaching certificate will differ from state to state, so aspiring teachers should check on the requirements for the state that they want to teach in. Some typical requirements include earning a bachelor's degree, completing student teaching, and passing a certification examination. Continuing education may be required to keep certification up-to-date, and some states want teachers to earn a master's degree after they have earned their certification. There are also programs in every state that allow those who have a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching related subject to go through extra training in order to become a certified teacher. This type of certification is known as an “alternative route.”
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