If you have a caring attitude, the ability to command a child's attention, and are passionate about helping to shape the lives of future generations, an online degree in elementary education can set you on the path toward an extremely rewarding career. An elementary education degree gives you the skills and knowledge to teach students from the first to the sixth grade a variety of subjects, including language arts, math, science, and history. Generally, schools require that you also earn your teaching certification prior to working in a classroom setting, which can be completed alongside your bachelor's degree.
Online elementary education degree programs combine online coursework with field experiences, like student teaching in local schools, to prepare students for the real-world rigors of the classroom. Students who graduate with a bachelor's in elementary education can go on to teach at the elementary or middle school level, or with the proper certifications, can work as a special education teacher, administrator, or instructional specialist.
What are the most affordable elementary education programs? Here are our top 10:
|1||The Baptist College of Florida||Graceville, FL|
|2||University of Louisiana at Monroe||Monroe, LA|
|3||University of North Carolina at Wilmington||Wilmington, NC|
|4||East Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|5||University of South Carolina||Columbia, SC|
|6||Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS|
|7||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|8||Wichita State University||Wichita, KS|
|9||Fort Hays State University||Hays, KS|
|10||Old Dominion University||Norfolk, VA|
Many students interested in obtaining a bachelor's in elementary education already work with children in some capacity, such as a daycare worker or teacher's assistant. That's where online elementary education degree programs come in; they're more flexible than traditional programs, so many students can continue to work as they take classes online. Plus, online classes are typically much more affordable than the traditional college experience.
This list highlights some of the best colleges for students looking for an affordable online elementary education degree option -- though, crucially, not a cheap online elementary education degree. At a cheap college, you get what you pay for -- and if you aren't paying much, you're not getting much in terms of a decent education. Our list of the most affordable online elementary degree programs focuses on programs that provide exceptional value. Your dollar stretches further while you still get a world-class education.
Affordable Online Elementary Education Degrees
The Baptist College of Florida
|Graceville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
BCF is a Christian school located in Graceville. The college offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online students pay the same price per credit, regardless of where they live. Participants benefit from a flexible, asynchronous learning format.
The 124-credit program comprises general, biblical foundation, and professional coursework, preparing students to teach kids from kindergarten through sixth grade. Covered topics include psychology of teaching and learning, teaching diverse populations, classroom management, and survey of special education. Students must also complete a reading practicum and an educational internship.
Applicants must submit official transcripts, a pastor recommendation, a personal reference, and SAT or ACT test scores. BCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
|Monroe, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
ULM offers more than 30 online programs, including an affordable elementary education degree. Online students all pay the same tuition rate, and participants complete most program requirements remotely. The 120-125-credit program typically takes four years to complete.
The curriculum of this bachelor's program includes coursework in educational psychology, assessment principles and practices for all learners, and balanced literacy. Students must also complete a residency, which requires supervised time teaching or co-teaching in a classroom.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended schools. ULM holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This elementary education program holds accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
|Wilmington, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
UNCW offers several online degree programs, including a bachelor of arts in elementary education. The program prepares students for licensure. Coursework can be completed remotely, although some classes may use a synchronous format requiring students to attend live online sessions.
The curriculum develops the skills students need to lead classrooms from kindergarten through sixth grade. Coursework includes the teaching of science, reading foundations, and instructional design and evaluation. Students engage in field experiences that provide hands-on learning opportunities throughout the program.
To qualify, candidates must possess a high school diploma with a minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA or a GED certificate. They must also pass the Praxis exam and submit official transcripts.
East Carolina University
|Greenville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
ECU is a public university located in Greenville, North Carolina. The university offers more than 120 online degree and certificate programs, including a bachelor of science in elementary education. ECU offers this program through a part-time cohort model that caters to students transferring credits from a North Carolina community college. Prospective students should reach out to an advisor to determine their eligibility.
Online learning at ECU typically uses an asynchronous format, but professors may require some live chat sessions. The program includes coursework in technology in education, foundations of American education, and teaching students with exceptionalities in elementary classrooms. Students must also complete a semester-long internship to graduate.
University of South Carolina
|Columbia, SC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 77%||
UofSC offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online students pay lower tuition rates than on-campus students, and more than 90% of learners benefit from financial aid. Full-time students typically finish this degree completion program within three years.
This program caters to students who have completed at least 45 college credits. The remaining curriculum includes classes like issues and trends in teaching and learning, schools in communities, and culturally sustaining pedagogy for the elementary classrooms. Students must also complete a year-long internship during the final year of the program.
Qualifying candidates must possess a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in previous college coursework, and applicants should submit official transcripts from previously attended schools. UofSC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Kansas State University
|Manhattan, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
K-State is located in Manhattan and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online learning uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework remotely at any time of day.
The 120-credit program includes coursework in public speaking, core teaching skills, foundations of education, and educational psychology. The curriculum includes an internship requirement and prepares students to apply for initial teaching licensure.
First-year applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit official transcripts along with SAT or ACT test scores. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
WGU is an online university offering a self-paced bachelor of arts in elementary education. Students who demonstrate competency in a subject can pass through courses at a quicker pace than traditional programs. About 60% of students complete the program within 36 months.
The curriculum includes 40 courses and covers essential topics like elementary reading methods and intervention, managing engaging learning environments, and the school as a community of care. Students may complete all coursework online, but the program also includes an internship that requires supervised classroom hours.
WGU's affordable elementary education degree costs a flat rate per term, and this program holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Students must pass a criminal background check and a state-specific skills test for teaching. Applicants must also submit official transcripts and complete a phone interview.
Wichita State University
|Wichita, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
WSU offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in early childhood unified/elementary education. Online students pay the same per-credit tuition, regardless of where they live. The program caters to current para educators looking to advance their careers and become licensed teachers.
The 120-credit program prepares students to obtain the elementary teaching and early child unified teaching licenses. The curriculum includes classes like introduction to the education profession; linguistics for elementary teachers; and the philosophy, history, and ethics of education. Students must also complete an internship.
Qualifying candidates must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants also need to submit official school transcripts and SAT or ACT test scores. Nontraditional learners and transfer students with at least 24 college credits do not need to submit test scores.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
FHSU offers over 200 degree programs, including an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online students pay the same price per credit, regardless of their home state. The program uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments remotely at any time of day.
The 127-credit program prepares students to apply for a teaching license in Kansas. Nonresident students should check their state's licensing requirements to ensure this program prepares them for licensure. The curriculum explores areas like elementary art methods, curriculum and assessment, literacy methods, and classroom management. To graduate, students must also complete an internship.
Qualifying candidates must possess a high school diploma with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA or a GED certificate. Applicants should also submit official transcripts from previously attended schools and ACT or SAT test scores.
Old Dominion University
|Norfolk, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
ODU — based in Norfolk, Virginia — offers a variety of online degree programs, including a bachelor of science in elementary education. Many courses in this program use an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete course requirements at their convenience. However, some classes may use a synchronous approach that requires students to log in at specific times for live class sessions.
The program comprises 120 credits and includes a teaching practicum. Transfer students must complete at least 30 credits through ODU. The curriculum includes coursework in instructional technology, assessment of learning, elementary statistics, and sociocultural perspectives in education.
Qualifying candidates must pass a criminal background check prior to enrolling in this program. Applicants also need to submit transcripts.