There is an ever-present demand for passionate, quality teachers, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% growth for careers in education between 2019 and 2029. During that same period, the BLS projects 4% job growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, which is on par with the national average.
The country needs teachers, and a career in education can be quite fulfilling. Most teaching positions require at least a bachelor's degree. Pursuing an online bachelor's in education is a relatively flexible, affordable path to prepare for a rewarding career in education.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Education Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top Five:
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|1||Appalachian State University||Boone, NC|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||University of Nebraska Lincoln||Lincoln, NE|
|4||Baptist College of Florida||Graceville, FL|
|5||University of Missouri||Columbia, MO|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2021 Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Education Programs
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Appalachian State University
|Boone, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Appalachian State University has earned a reputation for providing quality on-campus and online degrees at an affordable cost. Appalchian's growing online catalog includes an online bachelor's in education that primarily serves working educators pursuing licensure in North Carolina.
Distance learners at Appalachian can choose from several 120-credit bachelor's in education degrees. Students take synchronous courses in a hybrid format and study educational psychology and educational assessment policies and practices. Each track culminates with a clinical internship that requires learners to intern at a North Carolina site.
Appalachian holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
One of the largest schools in the country, Miami-based Florida International University remains a preeminent provider of distance education programs. Many of the school's 54,000 students enroll in fully online degrees, such as FIU's online bachelor's in education.
The 120-credit curriculum typically takes four years to complete and serves learners who wish to teach children from birth to age eight. Courses include special needs of children and their families, language and literacy development, and ESOL principles and practices. The degree track does not lead to certification by itself and primarily serves learners unable to relocate for a clinical internship in Florida.
FIU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Nebraska Lincoln
|Lincoln, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
University of Nebraska Lincoln has become a leader in online education in recent years. UNL now offers an online bachelor's in education focused on issues relating to children from very mobile families.
The 120-credit program prepares graduates to work with children from military, immigrant, or homeless families. Graduates leave the program prepared to work in non-licensed positions in childcare centers and homes, Head Start programs, and similar settings. Courses include adapting for developmental differences, technology and young children, and working with families.
UNL holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Baptist College of Florida
|Graceville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
Originally a school for training Baptist ministers, the Baptist College of Florida now provides several different on-campus and online liberal arts degrees, including an online bachelor's in education.
Prospective online education majors can choose from a bachelor's in science education that does not lead to licensure or a bachelor's in elementary education or secondary education in English or social studies that leads to Florida licensure. All four online programs consist of 124 credits and typically take four years to complete. Courses in all tracks include teaching diverse populations, disciplinary literacy, and classroom management.
BCF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Missouri
|Columbia, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
The University of Missouri serves 30,000 students with an array of on-campus and online degrees. Online offerings that cater to both established professionals and traditional students include Mizzou's innovative online bachelor's in education.
The 120-credit program usually takes four years to earn and prepares graduates for educational leadership and technology positions. Cores include information management and the successful scholar, introduction to digital media, and introduction to project management. The school also gives learners the option to complete a 21-credit concentration in either education games and simulations or educational leadership.
Mizzou holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
University of North Carolina Wilmington
|Wilmington, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
University of North Carolina Wilmington's growing catalog of affordable programs includes online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. In-state students seeking teaching licensure should consider UNCW's online bachelor's in education.
Students can earn a 124-credit bachelor of arts in elementary or middle school education on either a North Carolina teaching licensure or non-licensure track. The curriculum also allows students to earn the degree in several concentrations, including behavioral studies, early childhood, and language arts. Many learners transfer to the bachelor's program after earning their associate at Coastal Carolina Community College, which maintains a close articulation relationship with UNCW.
UNCW holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of West Florida
|Pensacola, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Founded in 1963 in Pensacola, the University of West Florida consistently ranks highly among four-year schools statewide for its affordable online programs. UWF's online catalog now includes a flexible, fully online bachelor's in education.
The 132-credit program prepares students to work with special needs learners. Graduates from this program leave with eligibility for Professional Florida Educator's Certificate in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) and K-6 Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages. The program culminates in two 100-hour supervised field experiences, the second of which heavily focuses on teaching English language-learners.
UWF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Nebraska Kearney
|Kearney, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Serving a student body of around 6,000, University of Nebraska Kearney provides rigorous distance education programs to southern and western Nebraska and beyond. UNK's online offerings have grown to include an online bachelor's in education for early childhood educators.
The 120-credit program caters to in-service teachers, assistants in preschools, and other working professionals unable to relocate or attend on-campus classes. The certification that graduates earn prepares them to work with children from birth to age five in special education and children in conventional settings from birth to age eight. Learners choose between a specialization in birth through kindergarten or age three through third grade.
UNK holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Ball State University
|Muncie, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Founded in 1918 in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University now operates two additional Indiana campuses and an online college. The school's online bachelor's in education deserves consideration from early childhood educators with some college credit.
The 120-credit program caters to working professionals who hold an early childhood education associate degree. Graduates leave the program prepared to work in Head Start and pre-K education settings that require advanced degrees without also needing state licensure. Courses include promoting pro-social behavior in learners, early emergent literacy, and assessment of young children with exceptional needs.
The early childhood education program holds national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Ball State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
|Monroe, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
The University of Louisiana at Monroe maintains a strong commitment to distance education. ULM currently offers 35 majors in a fully online format, including an online bachelor's in education for early childhood professionals.
The 120-credit program typically takes four years to complete and primarily serves working professionals. The program accepts learners with no previous college degree. Courses include assessment principles and practices; foundations for diverse learning environments; and classroom, behavior, and instructional management. Online students access mostly asynchronous coursework through Moodle.
The bachelor's in elementary education holds national accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. ULM holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?
Completing an online bachelor's in education program prepares graduates to educate students from a variety of backgrounds with compassion and understanding.
An online bachelor's degree in education program combines study of the philosophy and history of education with practicum experiences in the classroom. Participants learn effective classroom management strategies, how to develop and implement curricula, and the nuances of working with a diverse population of learners.
Taking an average of four years to complete, most bachelor's in education programs require 120 credits. Depending on the school, students may complete various practica in different educational settings throughout the program. An online bachelor's in education program typically conclude with a semester or a year of student teaching.
Prospective students can apply to online bachelor's in education programs in specific areas like early childhood education, elementary education, special education, and secondary education. Learners with a secondary education focus choose a concentration in a specific subject area, such as social studies, math, or English.
Completing an online bachelor's in education program prepares graduates to educate students from a variety of backgrounds with compassion and understanding. To teach at a public school, learners must also obtain a teaching license. However, they can teach in private schools without a license.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?
In online bachelor's in education program, courses vary based on your concentration, although most programs feature similar core courses. The following section highlights five common courses that students may encounter while pursuing their bachelor's in education.
- Curriculum and Development
Examining the history, philosophy, sociology, and psychology of learning, this course dives into theories and trends related to designing curricula. Learners study teaching methodologies they can use to implement research-based strategies for effective teaching.
- Psychological Foundations of Teaching
This class lays out important theories in educational psychology and the impact these theories have on educational trends. Coursework covers psychology in the context of schools, and learners focus on human motivation and child development to make informed decisions around teaching strategies. Degree-seekers gain an understanding of cultural and historical perspectives of students from various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds to better inform instruction.
In this course, students dissect different types of assessments and examine their different uses. Prospective teachers study various ways of assessing diverse students, including students with special needs, English language learners, and learners with various cultural backgrounds. The course focuses on how to interpret assessment results to improve teaching methods.
- Instructional Design
This course applies learning theory to maximize the design and development of instruction. Future teachers learn to create assessments of student needs and to design and develop curricula based on their findings. The course teaches learners how to create and use learning objectives to guide instruction and assessment.
- Student Teaching
In this course, student teachers complete a semester or year teaching a grade and/or subjects related to their specific degree. Student teachers are assigned at least one cooperating teacher who evaluates their teaching throughout the course. This experience provides future teachers with the opportunity to create and teach lessons and reflect on their own teaching abilities.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Education?
Although some graduates pursue nonteaching positions, most individuals who earn an online bachelor's in education program are interested in becoming teachers. There is a steady demand for highly qualified, passionate educators. According to the BLS, most teaching positions, like middle school teachers, are projected to grow by about 4% between 2019 and 2029.
Earning an online bachelor's in education prepares you to enter the classroom ready to impact the lives of your students. Becoming a teacher also offers a stable career with solid pay. For example, high school teachers earn a median salary of $61,660.
Learn more about careers in education, and see where an online bachelor's in education can take you.
- Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers typically teach one grade level each year. They provide creative instruction across subject areas like reading, math, science, and social studies. Elementary school teachers follow school or district curricula and supplement with their own materials to ensure students meet state standards.
- Curriculum Designer
Curriculum designers assess and create curricula for teachers to use in classrooms. They can work for large companies that create textbooks and study plans for teachers to use in the classroom. Curriculum designers create assessments and materials that align with government teaching standards.
- Reading Specialist
Reading specialists improve the literacy skills of students who demonstrate a need for reading intervention. Reading specialists screen and assess the literacy needs of students. They also create goals to improve reading deficits and help learners meet these targets.
- Middle or High School Teacher
Secondary school teachers usually provide instruction in a single subject area like math, English, science, or social studies. Typically teaching more than one class, teachers design or modify curricula to ensure students successfully meet educational standards. Teachers attend meetings, record grades, provide feedback, and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners.
- Adult Education Teacher
Adult educators can work in a variety of settings, including teaching English language learner courses and providing alternative evening courses for adult students who did not complete high school. Adult educators can work for school districts, government agencies, or nonprofits.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Education Programs
- Is a bachelor's in education worth it?
To become a teacher, you need a bachelor's degree at the minimum. A bachelor's in education focuses on the necessary skills and knowledge needed to be an effective teacher. Teaching jobs are in demand and offer above-average salaries and good benefits.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in education?
The most common career path for those completing a bachelor's in education program is teaching. Degree-seekers can concentrate on specific age groups, specific subjects, or specialized areas within teaching. Graduates may also be qualified to develop curricula.
- Is education a good major?
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, majoring in education is a great option. A bachelor's in education provides a thorough exploration of pedagogy and teaching philosophies, along with experience in the field. Keep in mind that you must earn a state license to teach in public schools.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in education?
Teacher salaries vary depending on a worker's education and experience. However, according to the BLS, the median annual salary for K-12 teachers is around $60,000.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a bachelor's in education?
High school teachers who work at public schools tend to earn more than private school teachers or public school teachers who work at elementary or middle schools.