Elementary education, also called primary education, represents the first stage of standard education in the United States, and consists of class levels ranging from kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 35.4 million students are enrolled at roughly 67,000 public elementary schools in the United States. Elementary education focuses on the fundamentals of core academic subjects, including English, social studies, mathematics, and science. Students also begin to learn about art, music, drama, and other forms of artistic expression.

College students pursuing a bachelor's in elementary education usually plan to become teachers. Others may pursue careers in educational administration, curriculum and instruction, or special education. Most bachelor's programs include student-teaching courses, which allow students to receive supervised training from experienced educators and hone their presentation skills in real-world classrooms. Online elementary education programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as their on-campus counterparts, including student-teaching requirements. The self-paced schedule of most online elementary education degrees works well for students with part-time jobs, childcare responsibilities, and other obligations that might interfere with classroom-based learning.

Learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor's degree in elementary education and what kind of career opportunities you can expect with this comprehensive guide.

ARE ONLINE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEGREES RESPECTED?

Students who want to earn their early education degree online should make sure their prospective school has accreditation. Learners should specifically look for program accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Read more here..

HOW TO GET AN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION TEACHING DEGREE ONLINE

Students who want to earn an early education degree online must first meet admission requirements. After gaining admission, learners must complete all curriculum requirements and maintain an acceptable GPA. For more specific information, students should contact their prospective institutions. Read more here..

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEGREE?

Professionals who hold a bachelor's in elementary education are prepared to work as elementary teachers, special education teachers, and ESL teachers. Read more here..

WHAT IS AN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEGREE?

A bachelor's in elementary education prepares graduates to teach grades K-6. These teachers focus on the fundamentals, such as reading, writing, math, and science. Read more here..

HOW TO GET A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION

Students must first meet program application requirements. After gaining admission, learners must complete all curriculum requirements while maintaining an acceptable GPA. Students should check with their prospective programs for more precise information.

WILL AN ONLINE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Online elementary education bachelor's programs provide a comprehensive field overview for aspiring teachers and administrators. Courses typically cover subjects including teaching foundations, learning technology, classroom management, behavioral science, and education laws and ethics. Classroom-based practicum courses allow students to apply the methods and techniques they learned in functional settings. The best online elementary education bachelor's programs also prepare students for their state's licensure requirements. Currently, public school teachers must earn full licensure or certification in all 50 states; specific requirements vary by state, but most include a licensing exam, a background check, and a set number of supervised classroom hours.

WILL AN ONLINE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online elementary education bachelor's programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar education. Students can access course lectures and readings, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with their professors from the comfort of their home computers. They can also study remotely using their laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For added convenience, online elementary education students can usually coordinate student-teaching courses at schools near their current residences.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY ELEMENTARY EDUCATION BACHELOR'S DEGREE?

Students who graduate with a bachelor's in elementary education and complete their state's licensure or certification requirements are qualified to teach in most public or private schools. Many online elementary education bachelor's programs allow students to earn specialized degrees in niche areas like special education or educational administration; these specializations may open up further job opportunities for graduates.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 38%

Western Governors University is a nonprofit, online university founded in 1997. The school offers competency-based degrees in business, education, information technology, and health and nursing.

WGU's BA in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in elementary education prepares prospective teachers to become licensed educators in their state. The online elementary education degree combines theoretical concepts and practical experience to prepare graduates to plan a curriculum and manage a classroom. Students complete all coursework online, but they also acquire in-class experience through WGU's demonstration teaching (DT) component. The DT component is a full-time, intensive clinical experience that lasts 12 to 20 consecutive weeks and is hosted by an experienced teacher and supervised by a clinical supervisor.

Students enrolled in this online bachelor's degree in elementary education complete 40 courses, and the program expects students to complete at least 12 competency units per six-month term. At the start of each term, students map out the next six months with an academic adviser to determine which competencies remain.

Learners complete courses on the foundations of teaching; effective teaching practices; and elementary education methods for teaching the language arts, math, science, and social studies. The curriculum also requires 12 courses in general education and at least 75 hours of preclinical in-classroom observation.

As a competency-based degree, the time it takes to complete program requirements varies by student. Over 75% of students complete the WGU online elementary education degree in less than four years. On average, students transfer 28 credits into the program. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Tuition: $3,225/term
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 1.5-4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: Collegiate Readiness Assessment

Contact
Phone: (866) 225-5948
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Founded in 1971, Liberty University is a Christian liberal arts institution that serves approximately 100,000 students across 16 colleges and schools. The university offers more than 550 programs of study, with over 250 of those programs available to online learners. Liberty began offering distance education in the 1980s and launched its first exclusively online program in the 1990s.

Liberty's 120-credit bachelor of science in elementary education is an interdisciplinary program that provides pre-teacher preparation for aspiring teachers throughout the country. The program equips learners with the foundational skills in methodology and learning theory to teach elementary students in public and private schools.

The online elementary education degree requires no campus visits. Students can progress through the degree requirements at a pace that fits their schedule and accommodates their prior commitments, such as family responsibilities or full-time work. Prospective teachers study critical learning theories, teaching best practices, and the latest technology used in the classroom. The program also offers an optional 300-hour practicum, during which online learners gain hands-on experience. To fulfill licensure requirements, students can complete a fifth year, as part of Liberty's online master of arts in teaching.

Liberty offers one of the most generous transfer credit policies among online colleges for an elementary education degree. Liberty allows students to transfer up to 90 of the required 120 credits. Students take an average of 3.5 years to complete all degree requirements. Liberty courses run for eight weeks, which allows for accelerated learning. Liberty University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luoundergrad@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3 East Carolina University Greenville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Established in 1907 as a teaching school, East Carolina University is now a regionally accredited public university in Greenville, North Carolina. The school's total enrollment approaches 29,000 students, with over 23,000 learners studying at the undergraduate level. Today's ECU students hail from all 100 North Carolina counties, 48 states, and 44 countries.

The College of Education at ECU offers eight undergraduate and 17 graduate degree programs, 12 certificate programs, and 25 fully online programs. Through the university's Partnership East (PE) program, students who begin their education at a partnering community college in North Carolina can complete the final two years of their online teaching degree in elementary education, middle grades education, or special education.

Students in ECU's online bachelor in elementary education program can enroll in either a part- or full-time cohort. Part-time cohorts begin each fall, and full-time cohorts start in the summer. The program requires 125 credits, split between general education requirements, professional studies, a specialty area, and an academic concentration. Courses include technology in education, diversity in the classroom, and foundations of American education.

Additionally, all PE students earn a concentration in reading, which prepares them for additional certification in reading and literacy. Students receive practicum placements each fall and spring. The program culminates with a year-long supervised internship in a K-6 public classroom.

Applying to this online elementary education degree completion program is a two step process. Transfer students must first gain acceptance into PE, then they can apply for ECU admission. Applicants must demonstrate a 2.5 GPA or higher in community college coursework. For admission tests, applicants can submit PRAXIS I, ACT, or SAT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor Elementary Education
Tuition: $4,452/term in-state; $20,729/term out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 125 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (252) 328-1136
Email: lesperancem@ecu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Located in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University is a comprehensive regional university that serves over 15,000 on-campus and online students. Founded in 1902 as a training school for teachers, FHSU attained university status 75 years later.

Students can earn degrees from FHSU's "virtual college" at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The 127-credit online bachelor of science in elementary education qualifies candidates for licensure to teach grades K-6 in Kansas. Out-of-state students must check with their state's board of education to determine transfer requirements and degree compatibility. Courses for this online elementary education degree are split between non-restricted and restricted courses; the latter are only accessible to students admitted to the teacher education program.

Restricted courses explore pedagogical topics, such as instructional tech for teachers, curriculum and assessment, and educational psychology. Similar to most other online elementary education degree programs, FHSU requires teaching students to complete a field experience. FHSU students enrolled in this online elementary education degree must complete 12 credit hours of student teaching in a K-6 classroom. In order to qualify for a student teaching placement, learners must attain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 and must earn a C or better in all professional education courses.

Program candidates who already hold a bachelor's degree can waive general education (GE) requirements and apply directly to FHSU's teacher education program. GE prerequisites differ for first-year students and transfer students with more than 45 credit hours. FHSU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Tuition: $288/credit for virtual college
Credit Requirements: 127 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, PPSE, or Core test scores

Contact
Phone: (785) 628-4204
Email: tigers@fhsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5 Calvary University Kansas City, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

A nondenominational Christian university based in Kansas City, Missouri, Calvary University offers on-campus and online programs in several fields, including Bible studies and theology, intercultural studies, business administration, theater arts, and education. In total, Calvary offers more than 45 majors. The school's 145-credit bachelor of science in elementary education is one of seven teaching programs that Calvary offers to both online and on-campus learners. Additionally, every Calvary degree begins with required biblical foundation courses.

Calvary's online elementary education degree includes 21 credit hours in biblical education, 50 in general education, and 74 in professional education. In the professional part of the curriculum, aspiring teachers take on topics such as teaching methodology, educational assessments, classroom management, and educational technology. Two field experiences and a student teaching practicum in the student's local community account for 10 of the 74 required professional education credit hours.

Online learners at Calvary enjoy the same educational experience as students who attend class on campus. Asynchronous learning occurs through Calvary's recorded course lectures and online course materials, and online and on-campus learners regularly collaborate on projects.

With roots dating back to 1932, Calvary emerged in 1961 following a merger between two Bible colleges: Kansas City Bible College and Midwest Bible College. The school grew once more in 1987 after Citadel Bible College joined Calvary. To apply to Calvary, prospective undergraduates must submit ACT or SAT scores, official school transcripts, and two references: one personal and one pastoral.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Tuition: $405/credit
Credit Requirements: 145 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (816) 322-0110
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 70%

Based in the Kansas city of Manhattan, Kansas State University's online branch offers over 70 programs tailored to distance learners from all over the world. Students can choose from bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, certificates, endorsements, and credits in professional development.

The BS in elementary education prepares future K-6 teachers for careers as knowledgeable, ethical, and caring educators for elementary-aged students. Online learners receive instruction that reflects the latest technology used in teaching. Coursework for this 120-credit online elementary education degree is available entirely online, while students complete the required field experience at an accredited school near them.

After completing 52-53 credits of general requirements, students complete the remaining 68 credits in major or professional coursework. This usually takes about two years to complete. Upon program completion, graduates may sit for an initial teaching license to teach K-6 in the state of Kansas; out-of-state students must check the degree against their own state's licensure requirements.

Students pursue the elementary education major as part of a cohort, with new cohorts beginning each May. Optional concentrations include English, mathematics, science, special education, and an open option which students can tailor to their interests with the help of an adviser. Students who choose the English as a second language or K-12 online teaching concentrations must complete their concentration courses at K-State.

Among online colleges with an elementary education degree, K-State is likely one of the oldest. Opened in February of 1863, K-State was the state's first public institution of higher learning. The university holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Tuition: $436/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or SAT CR+M score

Contact
Phone: (785) 532-5575
Email: global@k-state.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

The University of Illinois at Springfield became an official campus of the University of Illinois in 1995, and today it has become a leading provider of online education in the state. The school offers over 50 online programs designed for students to complete their degree, learn a new skill, advance their career, or transition to a new profession. The BA in elementary education is one of more than 30 bachelor's degrees available to online learners at UIS. All students accepted into an online program at UIS pay a flat e-tuition rate, regardless of where they live.

The accredited UIS bachelor of arts in elementary education consists of six categories: general education, introductory courses, core courses, methods courses, clinical practice, and concurrent major content. Prospective students must apply separately to the Department of Teacher Education (TEP), meeting the specific criteria for GPA and prerequisite coursework. Transfer students with an associate degree can apply directly to TEP and begin their studies at UIS as a junior.

TEP candidates take introductory courses in child development and working with exceptional children. Core courses explore technology for teaching, classroom management, and curriculum planning. Methods courses include the core content areas of elementary education, such as reading and language arts, mathematics, social studies, the humanities, and science.

This UIS online teaching degree in elementary education culminates with a concurrent capstone and student teaching clinical experience. Working with a TEP faculty adviser, students may apply for student teaching at an approved local school upon completing all TEP coursework. Students then complete assignments relative to student teaching as part of their final capstone.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Tuition: $359/credit
Credit Requirements: 46-49 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score
Work Experience: 30 hours

Contact
Phone: (217) 206-6682
Email: tep@uis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 75%

Palmetto College is the online branch of the University of South Carolina System, offering online degree completion programs for students with at least 45 credit hours of previous college work. In partnership with two-year colleges throughout the state, students in Palmetto's online learning programs can pursue their college degree without the need to relocate or commute.

The 120-126-credit online BA in elementary education prepares graduates to teach children in grades 2-6. Prospective teachers explore topics like student engagement; curriculum development; and how to collect, analyze, and interpret student data to inform instruction.

To apply to this online elementary education degree, applicants must have completed at least 36 credits of coursework with at least a 2.5 GPA. Once admitted to the program, online learners complete 62 credits in major requirements and participate in extensive field experiences at South Carolina's P-12 schools. To enroll in upper-level courses, students need a cumulative GPA of 2.75. Students may need to travel to complete the field experiences. Full-time students take an average of 2-3 years to complete the degree.

Palmetto College enrolled its first students in 2013 with the goal of making a UofSC college education accessible for as many students as possible. UofSC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Tuition: $5,200/term in-state; $10,428/term out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120-126 credits
Program Length: 2.5-3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 801-1053
Email: pcadm@mailbox.sc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9 Regis University Denver, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis University serves more than 10,500 students a year. The Jesuit university's undergraduate liberal arts division, Regis College, offers over 55 programs to nearly 2,000 full-time students. Online learners can choose from more than 20 bachelor's programs in such areas of study as accounting, business, healthcare, education, and computer science.

Students admitted into Regis' 120-credit hour BA in elementary education with an initial license may take courses on campus or online. However, learners must complete all field experience and student teaching hours in the state of Colorado. Through this online bachelor's degree in elementary education, students simultaneously fulfill Colorado's state standards for specific teaching license and endorsement areas. Learners must pass the PRAXIS exam before they can apply to student teach in their final year.

Regis' online elementary education degree develops teachers who are data literate, can think critically, and apply the latest instructional technology. The program consists of 45 credits of core requirements, 30 credits of foundational requirements, 18 credits of upper division requirements, 24 credits of professional sequence requirements, and three credits of general electives. Students can transfer up to 75 credits into the program and may take up to seven years to complete the accredited program of study.

To apply to the teacher preparation program at Regis, prospective students must submit transcripts of any prior college coursework and demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants who progress through the admissions process must also sit for a candidate interview. Regis holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with Initial Licensure
Tuition: $430/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (800) 944-7667
Email: ruadmissions@regis.edu Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

The University of North Carolina Wilmington enrolls nearly 17,000 students a year, and is a member of the UNC System. The coastal research university also offers several undergraduate and graduate programs delivered exclusively through online and blended courses. These programs make a UNCW college degree accessible to students throughout North Carolina.

The bachelor of arts in elementary education at UNCW prepares students for careers as K-6 teachers. Aside from the field experiences, online learners can complete the online elementary education degree entirely online. Becoming a teacher through UNCW's online degree program is a two-step process. Students must first gain admission to the university, then near the end of their sophomore year or entering their junior year, students apply for admission to the Watson College of Education (WCE).

Upon completing general education requirements in their first two years, admitted WCE students take 64 total credits in the major. This includes 16 credits in the professional core, 17 credits in professional education, 17 credits in content areas known as "the block," and 14 credits in the final year internship.

The practicum includes classroom visits, tutoring, and student teaching. Available concentrations include the behavioral sciences, English as a second language, early childhood, fine arts, international studies, math and technology, and language arts.

Founded in 1947, UNCW began offering distance education programs in 1995. The school also maintains a generous transfer credit policy. Students can transfer up to 64 credits from two-year schools, and up to 93 credits from four-year institutions. UNCW holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Available Concentrations: Behavioral studies, English as a second language, early childhood, fine arts, international studies, language arts, math and technology, science and health, social studies
Tuition: $4,400/term in-state; $18,416/term out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 124 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or Praxis Core score

Contact
Phone: (910) 962-2674
Email: higginsh@uncw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11 LeTourneau University Longview, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

LeTourneau University is an accredited, interdenominational Christian university in Longview, Texas with an enrollment of nearly 3,200 students. The school welcomes students from over 46 states and 35 countries. LETU offers over 140 programs of study in aviation and aeronautical science, engineering, business, arts and sciences, nursing, theology, and education.

LETU offers the bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies with a choice of four certification options, including a concentration in early childhood through sixth grade. This flexible, fully online elementary education degree prepares students for licensure in the state of Texas to teach at the K-6 level. Learners who take the upper-level course on English language learners and bilingual literacy methods can also sit for the TExES certification exam for English as a Second Language instruction.

After completing 45 semester hours, a student may apply to the LETU Education Preparation Program, for which they must interview. A grade lower than a C in any teaching courses, concentration courses, reading courses, technology courses, or education courses disqualifies the applicant from consideration. Applicants must demonstrate basic skills in reading, written communication, and math through ACT, SAT, THEA, or Accuplacer test scores.

The BA in interdisciplinary studies requires students to complete 122 semester hours. LETU gives students seven years to complete all degree requirements. As part of the curriculum, every student must take 12 semester hours in theology and vocation. Students begin to acquire field experience in their freshman year and end their studies with a semester in student teaching during their senior year.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
Available Concentrations: Early childhood-6th grade, 4th-8th grade core subjects, 4th-8th grade language arts/social studies, 4th-8th grade math/science
Tuition: $355/credit
Credit Requirements: 120-122 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or CLT score

Contact
Phone: (800) 759-8811
Email: admissions@letu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Mississippi State University offers a BS in elementary education to students anywhere in the world. This accredited online elementary education degree offers concentrations in early childhood or middle school. All courses are available online, and the curriculum, assignments, and requirements parallel that of the on-campus program.

The online learning format allows students to continue their professional commitments through the end of their junior year, at which time they transition to field experiences. As is the case with other online elementary education degree programs, students work full time as student teachers in their final semester. MSU allows students to complete their field experiences and internship locally at an approved elementary or middle school. Prospective students should note that MSU cannot place students in internships in Georgia.

Through this online elementary education degree, prospective teachers learn the latest in evidence-based practice. Students admitted to the teacher education program can start in the fall or spring; any student that must still complete one or more core courses can begin in the summer. The school primarily delivers its coursework asynchronously. Distance learners do not pay an out-of-state tuition fee.

Admission criteria for the MSU teacher education program include a 2.50 cumulative GPA, a minimum 2.75 GPA for core curriculum coursework, 40 hours of work experience with children, and satisfactory ACT or PRAXIS Core exam scores. MSU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Available Concentrations: Early childhood or middle school
Tuition: $356/credit
Credit Requirements: 123 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or Praxis Core score
Work Experience: 40 hours

Contact
Phone: (662) 325-3473
Email: elemonline@colled.msstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter

13 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Founded in 1943 in Graceville, Florida, The Baptist College of Florida has in recent years expanded its academic scope to include a range of distance education programs. The school now offers an online bachelor's degree in elementary education which prepares graduates for Florida teaching licensure.

The 124-credit curriculum includes 51 general education and elective credits, 12 credits in theological studies, and 61 in major classes. Of the 51 required non-major credits, 33 may apply to a specialization in math, science, or the performing arts. Major coursework comes in two sequences: professional education and elementary education.

The first sequence includes field experiences and focuses on general educational methods and concepts; the second concentrates on elementary-specific educational methods and concepts. Elementary-specific coursework covers topics such as theoretical underpinnings of English to speakers of other languages, teaching diverse classrooms, and diagnosis and remediation in elementary reading.

The degree culminates in two internship sequences. In the first, students take 15 credits of preparatory coursework on concepts and methods for teaching math, language arts, and other foundational subjects. In the second, students complete a 10-credit internship and two-credit practicum. Florida students must pass all three sections of the state's teacher certification exams before enrolling in their culminating internship, while out-of-state students must pass their own state-specific certification requirements.

Applicants must present a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify for admission. The Baptist College of Florida holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Education
Tuition: $350/credit on-campus; $230/credit online
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (850) 263-3261
Email: grjumper@baptistcollege.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Based in Cedar Falls and founded in 1876, the University of Northern Iowa offers distance learning programs tailored to nontraditional learners. Many students choose to earn the online bachelor's degree in elementary education at UNI through its unique 2+2 program, which allows them to fluidly transition from a Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) associate program to UNI's bachelor's program.

The 137- to 142-credit program combines online and in-person coursework, typically taking two years to complete. UNI offers elementary education students the option to double major in elementary and middle school teaching. Elementary education course topics include schools and American society, classroom assessment, and teaching content literacy in the intermediate grades.

The program culminates with two, eight-week supervised teaching placements. Students on the single-major track complete a K-3 placement, followed by a classroom placement teaching grades 3-6. Double-major students first teach grades 3-6, then grades 6-8. Typically, students complete the culminating student-teaching experience at an Iowa elementary school, but they may also do so out of state with special department approval.

Students must demonstrate a 2.0 minimum GPA for admissions consideration. UNI currently only offers its elementary education program to graduates of and current enrollees in DMACC associate of arts programs. The University of Northern Iowa holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Teaching K-6
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (319) 273-2121
Email: carolina.wilson@uni.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

Founded in 1913, University of Louisiana at Monroe builds on its solid record as a high-quality public university through an array of online education programs which emphasize flexibility. Many nontraditional students pursue the school's online elementary education degree as preparation to sit for licensure.

The 120-credit degree covers general studies, professional and pedagogical studies, content studies, integrative studies, and field experiences. After introductory educational coursework and general studies requirements, students typically take content studies coursework in teaching methods for subjects such as science, social studies, and mathematics.

Courses in professional and pedagogical studies include assessment principles and practice, foundations for multicultural learning environments, and instructional management. Some courses in pedagogical studies require a minimum number of observation hours, along with regular course materials. The program culminates in two residencies in elementary teaching settings with an approved mentor. Students must complete virtually all graduation coursework before completing their second residency, though the program permits them to finish one final online course during the residency period.

Applicants must demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0 for consideration. ULM allows students to submit transcripts for unofficial evaluation of previously earned credits before officially applying to the program. Students may also access several prior learning assessment options, including a portfolio evaluation, standardized exams, and course-specific skill exams.

ULM's elementary education degree holds accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Tuition: $400/credit
Credit Requirements: 120-125 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (318) 342-3145
Email: onlinedegrees@ulm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16 Wichita State University Wichita, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

One of the oldest and largest public universities in Kansas, enrolling over 19,000 students, Wichita State University offers more than 60 undergraduate programs across six colleges. Recently, the school has expanded to offer a range of affordable online undergraduate and graduate programs to nontraditional learners. These include an online elementary education degree which serves nontraditional and transfer students who work as teacher apprentices and want to bolster their credentials and earn teaching licensure.

The 120-credit program tailors strongly to transfer students and offers a shorter, 67-credit degree track for students who already hold associate of arts degrees. Course topics include principles of successful mentor-mentee relationships, differentiated instruction for diverse learners, and linguistics for elementary teachers. The degree culminates with a year-long, eight-credit internship during which students must accumulate 600 hours of experience.

The program also gives students the option to pursue a non-credit internship to enhance their educational experience and accumulate field experience before their culminating internship. The degree qualifies graduates for Kansas' early childhood unified or elementary education licensure — and to receive English for speakers of other languages endorsement.

The school only offers its elementary education program to students over the age of 21, or those who hold at least 24 transferable college credits. Learners must be employed as a para-educator and demonstrate either a minimum GPA of 2.0 or a minimum GED score of 680 for consideration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education
Tuition: $220/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Work Experience: Must be currently employed as a paraeducator

Contact
Phone: (844) 888-3217
Email: operator@wichita.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Located in Brookings and founded in 1862, South Dakota State University represents the state's largest and oldest continually operating public university. With over 12,000 enrolled every year, SDSU often attracts nontraditional students returning to school. Many students pursue SDSU's affordable, partially online program in early childhood education — developed in partnership with Dakota State University (DSU).

The 141-credit program typically takes five years to complete and tailors to learners seeking dual certification for teaching elementary and middle school students. SDSU structures its early childhood education program around the National Association of the Education of Young Children's learning benchmarks. Students learn to promote children's cognitive, social, and emotional development, coordinating effectively with parents and the greater community.

Major coursework includes topics such as pedagogy and curriculum, play and inquiry, and child development from the prenatal stage to age eight. Students take coursework in a combination of online, in-person, and hybrid formats, which sometimes require in-person meetings at SDSU's Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education. The program culminates with a two- to 16-credit supervised teaching experience in an approved early childhood education setting, and two credits in a two-part practicum sequence. The school requires students to complete 35 credits through the partnering campus at DSU.

Students must demonstrate a minimum 2.6 GPA for admissions consideration and maintain that GPA to graduate. SDSU's early childhood education program holds accreditation from the National Association of the Education of Young Children and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Available Concentrations: Birth through age eight, cooperative elementary education, kindergarten endorsement, early childhood special education endorsement for birth through age five, English as a new language endorsement, coaching certifications
Tuition: $340/credit
Credit Requirements: 141 credits
Program Length: 4-5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.6 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (605) 688-4415
Email: jennifer.kampmann@sdstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Founded in 1910, USM remains one of the top destinations in the state for students who want to work as teachers. The school was founded with a focus on teacher-training programs and now offers an affordable online elementary education degree tailored heavily to working professionals.

The 124-credit program serves teacher assistants looking to qualify for teaching licensure while maintaining their current employment. Course topics include foundational studies in early childhood education, computer applications in education, and research and pedagogy in content area literacy. The program's unique general education requirements include required credits in aesthetic values and communication skills.

Students can complete the program in a fully online course of study, but they should plan carefully with an adviser. Graduates from this program automatically qualify for a supplemental reading endorsement in Mississippi, but may need to take additional coursework to qualify for a second endorsement if they plan on teaching in the state. USM's elementary education program requires students to complete at least 30 credit hours of field experience, comprising 15 practicum credits and 15 observation credits, to qualify for licensure.

Students must demonstrate a minimum 2.75 GPA and work full-time in a K-6 teaching assistant position at an approved school for consideration. Online students at USM pay in-state tuition. USM's elementary education program holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education (for Teacher Assistants)
Tuition: $4,312/semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or CPC score
Work Experience: Must be currently employed as a paraeducator

Contact
Phone: (601) 266-5518
Email: online@usm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19 Midway University Midway, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

Midway University began as women's college in 1847 and remained Kentucky's last all-women's college until 2016. The school's inclusive philosophy encompasses a range of online programs, including its affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education.

The 120-credit program readies graduates to teach students from preschool to fifth grade in Kentucky. Major course topics include technology in the educational setting, the exceptional child and legal aspects of special education, and human growth and development. Students take courses through the school's Moodle-based learning management system in an asynchronous format.

Midway's elementary education program allows students to pursue the degree at an accelerated pace. Some courses come in a four- or six-week format, rather than following the typical eight-week semester timeline. Students who take at least two courses per eight-week semester and demonstrate financial need may qualify for financial aid. The program gives students the option to pursue dual certification in elementary and middle school teaching.

Midway's student success center provides all online students with access to virtual tutoring. All students must complete at least 12 hours of supervised teaching to qualify for licensure. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum 2.75 GPA and submit two letters of recommendation from active educators. Transfer students receive an unofficial evaluation of transferable credits prior to admission and can transfer up to 21 credits based on a prior learning assessment.

Midway University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Tuition: $395/credit online
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (800) 952-4122
Email: admissions@midway.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 24%

Established in 1972 with campuses in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka, University of Alaska Southeast serves around 3,500 students yearly, many of them low income and from marginalized groups. UAS offers an affordable online elementary education degree tailored to its student body's unique needs.

The 120-credit degree prepares graduates for kindergarten through eighth grade teaching licensure. Major coursework covers topics such as introduction to educational technology, multicultural education, and children's literature. The program also features unique required coursework on issues relating to Native Alaskan culture and history, which bolsters curriculum requirements on multicultural classrooms and prepares students to educate disadvantaged Alaskan populations.

Students take coursework through UAS's online learning management system, which combines asynchronous and synchronous formats. The program culminates with a nine-month, seven-credit student-teaching experience in learners' senior year. To qualify for the student-teaching experience, learners must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and submit an application for student-teacher candidacy, including a personal essay and letter of recommendation from a certified teacher. Once they complete the teaching experience, students must present a professional portfolio documenting their experience.

The school requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 for admissions consideration. UAS also offers students access to its Fresh Start GPA program, which allows students returning to school at UAS after a hiatus of three years or more to petition for a reset cumulative GPA. The University of Alaska Southeast holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Tuition: $212/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (907) 796-6404
Email: jllofthus@alaska.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21 Asbury University Wilmore, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Established in 1890 in Wilmore, Kentucky, Asbury University represents an affordable, high-quality public university, maintaining liberal arts values rooted in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. The school has expanded its credentials into online learning; many prospective teachers earn elementary education licensure in Kentucky through Asbury's online bachelor's degree in elementary education.

The 124-credit degree prepares graduates to teach students from preschool to fifth grade in Kentucky; it comprises 36 general education credits, 82 credits in major coursework, and six in electives. Among the program's 36 required foundational credits, students must take nine in theological coursework. Asbury's elementary education program caters to students who already hold associate degrees, allowing them to transfer up to 75 prior credits.

Major coursework covers topics such as human growth and development, interventions for differentiation, and technology for education. Students complete coursework online using the Discovery learning management system, which combines asynchronous and synchronous elements. The program culminates in a two-part, 12-credit student-teaching experience. Asbury requires students to complete their student-teaching sequence at a Kentucky school, for which reason the program best suits residents of Kentucky or neighboring states.

Students must demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA and good academic standing for consideration, though Asbury does sometimes admit students with lower GPAs on a conditional basis. Asbury University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or CLT score

Contact
Phone: (859) 858-2804
Email: josh@asbury.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Old Dominion University, founded in 1930 in Norfolk, Virginia, houses over 24,000 students, making it one of the largest universities in the state. This highly regarded public university's online program offerings draw nontraditional learners. ODU now offers an online bachelor's degree in elementary education, intended to transition into a master of science education program for teaching licensure in Virginia.

The 120-credit elementary education program serves associate degree holders looking to earn their online bachelor's in education quickly before moving on to a master's, as the school allows students to transfer up to 90 prior credits toward their degree. The school's guaranteed admission agreement with Virginia community colleges also streamlines the process for in-state applicants who hold associate degrees.

Major coursework covers topics including language acquisition and reading for students with special needs, human growth and development, and preK-12th grade instructional technology. Virginia students benefit from a three-credit course on state history, required as part of the social studies content area within their general education. Students take all coursework completely online in a combination of asynchronous and synchronous formats.

The degree culminates in two practicums that integrate instruction across curriculum and classroom management and practice. These practicums require 40 and 70 hours of supervised teaching, respectively.

ODU only offers its master's in elementary education program to residents of Virginia and Washington State. Students from Virginia community colleges must demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify for guaranteed admission. Old Dominion University holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Interdisciplinary Studies: Teacher Preparation)
Tuition: $352/credit in-state; $389/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits minimum

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.3 minimum (with test optional designation)
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (757) 683-4044
Email: idsteacherprep@odu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23 Ottawa University - Kansas City Overland Park, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University commands respect as one of Kansas' best private schools for small class sizes and quality instruction. It also boasts online programs tailored to busy professionals, including an online bachelor's degree in elementary education.

Ottawa University developed this 124-credit online bachelor's program to serve busy working professionals on limited timetables, allowing students to transfer 80 prior credits toward their degree. The elementary education program prepares students to obtain their teaching licensure in Kansas and Arizona through a rigorous curriculum mixing method coursework, professional education and pedagogy coursework, and field experience — which informs OU's liberal arts curriculum.

Major-specific coursework includes the exceptional child, educational psychology, and integrating the fine arts. Students take coursework through OU's online learning management system, usually in an asynchronous format, which emphasizes flexibility. Some of the program's content knowledge courses, such as elementary methods for mathematics, require a certain number of field experience hours along with regular course materials.

Students residing in Arizona also take two additional courses on the Arizona and U.S. constitutions. This bachelor's program culminates in a two-part capstone field experience that requires 12 hours of teaching and research in an elementary education setting.

Ottawa University offers its elementary education program to students residing in Kansas, Arizona, and Missouri. First-year and transfer students with fewer than 30 transferable credits must pass the school's AlcoholWise and Haven online courses on student ethics before beginning coursework. OU's online bachelor's in elementary education holds accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Tuition: $499/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (855) 774-7714
Email: admiss.kc@ottawa.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24 Mayville State University Mayville, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

Established in 1889, Mayville State University remains one of the oldest and most affordable public universities in the North Dakota University system. The school builds upon its solid reputation with an array of online and distance degrees and certificates, which include a partly online bachelor's in elementary education.

MSU designed this 123-credit program, which usually takes four years to complete for working professionals returning to school to earn their bachelor's in elementary education. Students earn the degree through a combination of online and on-campus elements. Major coursework includes theories of learning and management, teaching English language learners, and special needs in an inclusive environment.

Students access courses both online in a synchronous format and at several on-campus sites through the school's interactive video network. The program concludes with a 10-credit, 15-week student-teaching experience in either North Dakota or a neighboring state. Afterward, students present an electronic portfolio documenting their student-teaching experience to the department.

The school allows students to pursue specializations in reading, special education, and early childhood, along with a kindergarten endorsement. Articulation agreements with many community colleges in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wyoming make the degree-earning process easier for transfer students and graduates who hold associate degrees.

MSU only offers its elementary education program to residents of North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0. MSU's online elementary education bachelor's program holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Available Concentrations: Reading, special education, early childhood
Tuition: $295/credit
Credit Requirements: 123 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT score

Contact
Phone: (701) 788-4721
Email: connie.kaldor@mayvillestate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Since 1919, Bemidji State University has worked to provide students in North-Central Minnesota with affordable and convenient quality instruction. Likewise, the school's highly flexible online bachelor's degree in elementary education often appeals to practical graduates who want to update their associate degrees.

The 63-credit program, which typically takes students three years to complete, serves associate degree holders and returning students who have completed general education requirements. Graduates qualify to obtain certification to teach K-6 students in Minnesota. Major coursework includes health and drugs in society, human relations in education, and learning environment design.

Students take coursework online in an asynchronous format and must attend three in-person meetings at Anoka-Ramsey Community College's campus in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. These meetings typically take place over 1-3 days. The program culminates in a one- to 12-credit student-teaching experience taken over a minimum 16-week period in either a Northern Minnesota elementary school or an out-of-state location with special department approval. Students typically work with mentor-coaches and cooperating teachers in their culminating practicums.

Students must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA for admissions consideration and must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to graduate. The school does not allow students to transfer equivalency credits from other institutions for Standards of Effective Practice major requirements. The program allows students to transfer some equivalency credits for math and physical health-related courses. Bemidji State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Tuition: $267/credit
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or Minnesota NES score

Contact
Phone: (763) 433-1484
Email: dlite@bemidjistate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Timeline 4-5 years
Program Costs $10,000-$25,000 in annual tuition
Popular Minors and Dual Areas of Study Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Educational Administration, Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Art Education, and Music Education
Accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
Additional Considerations Public school teachers must earn full licensure in all 50 states; some private institutions also list licensure as a prerequisite, but it is not a universal requirement for private schools.

Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Program

Online bachelor's in elementary education programs typically require a high school diploma, but some may also accept a GED with a high school transcript showcasing credits earned. Volunteer experience in education or a related position makes for a stronger application, but bachelor's in elementary programs don't typically require prior teaching experience.

Many programs don't impose minimum GPA requirements, but some may reserve merit scholarships for applicants with higher GPAs. Programs with minimum GPA requirements may vary in their expectations, but generally mandate a minimum GPA of 2.5. Not all programs require SAT or ACT test scores, and those that do may waive their exam score requirements for students with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Curriculum for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education

Each early education program offers its own unique curriculum, but most teach foundational topics for quality teaching, such as lesson planning and classroom management. We've provided a sample course selection below that spotlights essential content and skills for all elementary educators.

  • Lesson Planning and Assessments: Students learn how to plan for lessons using curriculum and learning objectives, deep knowledge of their students' learning strengths and gaps, and learning theory. This course also covers different methods of evaluating student success, and how to integrate these methods into teaching.
  • Emerging Literacy: This course explores new teaching literacy, which involves helping new readers grow into proficient readers across different kinds of texts. Course content includes phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition, and print concepts. It usually includes observational and teaching time in a classroom, and may overlap with a teaching practicum.
  • Developing Mathematical Thinking: Coursework covers content review and strategies for teaching fundamental math topics, including number theory, natural and rational numbers, proportions, ratios, and decimals and percentages. Students also learn how to open math units and lessons using critical inquiry, and to help students understand concepts through problem solving.
  • Teaching Emerging Bilinguals: This course teaches historical and modern issues around teaching emerging bilingual students, often called English language learners, plus basic methods for integrating English immersion structures into lessons. Students examine the role of culture, strategies for promoting English learning, and methods for assessing language acquisition progress.
  • Classroom Environment and Management: Students learn how to create supportive and engaging learning environments for collaborative groups and individuals. Methods address one or more of the following: optimal student focus, beneficial interaction with teachers and peers, and intellectual stimulation. Teachers in training also learn the importance of working with students' families and professional colleagues in determining which techniques and arrangements work best for each student.

Skills and Competencies Gained in an Online Bachelor's Program in Elementary Education

Most elementary education programs teach the common teaching skill sets, which may include knowing how and when to use a particular instructional strategy, how to set up and manage a classroom, and how to tailor lessons for students with a variety of learning needs.

  • Selecting Instructional Methods: Students learn how to choose appropriate instructional methods, based on the learning situation and content. Different content disciplines, for example, often require different teaching approaches.
  • Assessing Student Performance: Teachers must assess how students perform on assignments, tests, and quizzes, and determine whether students are ready to progress or if they need further instruction on the same content. Aspiring teachers learn to use student assessment data to guide their lesson planning for both groups and individuals.
  • Classroom Management: Classroom management involves creating a structured learning environment, setting classroom rules and expectations, and monitoring and redirecting students to ensure they stay on task.
  • Knowledge of Curriculum Design: Elementary teachers don't usually design their own curricula, but they should have a solid understanding of how to design and introduce curricula in order to develop effective lesson plans and meet learning objectives.
  • Differentiating Learning: No two learners are exactly alike, which is why teachers must structure lessons to meet their students' diverse learning needs. Teaching strategies depend on students' strengths and gaps. Teachers should also make sure their lessons accommodate students with individualized education plans.

Certifications and Licenses a Bachelor's Program in Elementary Education Prepares For

  • Reading Specialist Certification: Reading specialists understand a range of literacy issues and how to use targeted individual and small-group strategies to assist students in reading and writing. A reading specialist certification program may require students to first obtain their master's degree in education.
  • Foreign Language Education Certification: Teachers with foreign language education certification are equipped to teach emerging bilinguals and support students with learning disabilities. In addition to teaching methods, curriculum often covers modern trends and issues impacting this group of learners. Most foreign language certifications qualify teachers to apply their expertise in K-12 classrooms.
  • Special Education Certification: Special education certifications generally qualify teachers to instruct students with moderate disabilities or those with moderate and severe disabilities. Teachers also learn scaffolding and differentiating skills, which they can apply in any classroom. Those with a specialist education certification may choose to teach in either an inclusive or a pull-out classroom.

Accreditation indicates that a school or program meets a predetermined set of standards. Schools may gain either regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation comes from one of six accrediting agencies, while national accreditation comes from an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious, and credits transfer more easily between regionally accredited institutions. For education programs in particular, students should look for program-specific accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which recognizes programs that meet third-party professional education standards.

The ED creates educational policy and coordinates federal aid assistance at the national level. It also approves national and regional accrediting agencies to assess the quality of bachelor's in elementary education programs. CHEA, an independent organization overseen by a board of directors, also approves quality and grants accreditation to colleges and universities. Most schools across the U.S. recognize national accreditation offered by both groups, though the ED governs federal student aid. Teachers can find a full list of of accredited schools from both the ED and the CHEA on the agencies' websites.

Job Placement

Professional educators enjoy low unemployment rates, according to a 2014 survey by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW). The survey found that college graduates with an education-related bachelor's degree and no work experience face an unemployment rate of 5.1%, while experienced college graduates with an education bachelor's experience an unemployment rate of 3.7%.

However, a more detailed breakdown reveals that unemployment rates vary by specific education majors. The table below highlights unemployment rates for nine education-oriented bachelor's degree fields, starting with elementary education.

Bachelor's Degree Major Unemployment Rate for College Graduates with Work Experience
Elementary Education 3.4%
General Education 3.9%
Physical and Health Education Teaching 3.5%
Early Childhood Education 5.4%
Secondary Teacher Education 5.4%
Special Needs Education 4.3%
Language and Drama Education 4.2%
Art and Music Education 3.1%
Miscellaneous Education 3.4%

Source: 'From Hard Times to Better Times' by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW)

Of the listed degree fields, elementary education ties 'miscellaneous education' for the second-lowest unemployment rates. Comparatively, the national unemployment rate for all occupations currently sits at 3.9%.

Salary Potential for Bachelor's in Elementary Education Graduates

According to the 2017-18 PayScale College Salary Report, college students who graduate with a bachelor's in elementary education earn a median annual salary of $36,000 after five years on the job, and $49,300 after 10 years. This amounts to a salary increase of 68% after a decade in the workforce. Using PayScale data, the table below weights earning potential for elementary education majors against students who earn bachelor's degrees in other education-related fields.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, college students who graduate with a bachelor's in elementary education earn median annual salaries of $34,700 after five years on the job and $48,900 after 10 years. This amounts to a salary increase of 40.9% after a decade in the workforce. Using PayScale data, the table below weights earning potential for elementary education majors against students who earn bachelor's degrees in other education-related fields of study.

Bachelor's Degree Field Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career
Secondary Education $40,200 $61,400
Health and Physical Education Teaching $35,900 $60,100
English Teacher Education $35,900 $58,000
Education (General) $38,700 $57,800
Music Teacher Education $36,800 $55,600
Special Education $35,000 $51,500
Art Teacher Education $35,300 $51,300
Elementary Education $34,700 $48,900
Early Childhood Education $34,800 $41,900

Source: The 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

Of the degree fields listed above, elementary education graduates ranked fourth-to-last for entry-level salary, and second-to-last for mid-career salary. Earning potential also varies depending on job titles, and other factors like school district size and geographical region. The next table explores career salary growth for four of the most common elementary education career pathways.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Median Annual Salary for Experienced Median Annual Salary for Late-Career
Elementary Teacher $38,739 $43,706 $49,846 $57,411
Special Education Teacher (Preschool, Kindergarten and Elementary $40,845 $44,782 $50,125 $56,094
Elementary School Principal $73,672 $79,056 $82,411 $84,674
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher $38,348 $39,878 $45,912 $53,224

Source: PayScale

Elementary principals earn the highest salaries of all four careers listed on the table at each benchmark. Elementary teachers enjoy the highest growth in earning potential, which increases by 43.6% after 20 years on the job. Special education and English as a second language (ESL) teachers at the elementary level see a salary increase of 33%-42% over 20 years.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate with a bachelor's in elementary education and fulfill their state's licensure requirements qualify for dozens of teaching jobs, plus select administrative roles normally reserved for candidates with undergraduate degrees. Four common careers for elementary education degree recipients are outlined below.

Kindergarten and Elementary Teachers: Teaching is the most common professional route in elementary education; according to the BLS, more than 1.5 million kindergarten and elementary teachers currently work in the United States. These teachers primarily focus on foundational subjects in their classrooms, and often incorporate art, music, games and other activities into their teaching methods. They meet with students' parents and guardians on a regular basis to discuss behavior and academic progress.


Special Education Teachers: Special education serves students with developmental, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. Most public and private school special education teachers maintain classrooms separate from the rest of the school; this allows students with disabilities to come and go throughout the day. Like primary teachers, special education teachers frequently meet with their students' parents or guardians.


Elementary, Middle and High School Principals: Principals serve as school leaders in K-12 schools, and assume responsibility for overseeing staff, managing school operations, and coordinating curriculum. Ongoing tasks include assessing progress toward academic goals set by both the principal and the state; making sure teachers and students have access to necessary resources, such as furniture and teaching materials; and ensuring that buildings and other services operate safely and efficiently.


Teacher Assistant: Serving as a teacher assistant can establish a path to finding a full-time teaching position. Teacher assistants, sometimes called paraeducators or teacher aides, support teachers in the classroom by working one-on-one with or with small groups of students. Assistants may also help reinforce behavioral rules and classroom expectations, supervise students at lunch or during recess, and help teachers prepare for lessons.

Professional Organizations

Professional education associations provide valuable teaching resources, professional development opportunities, and networking events. Many membership-based organizations offer discounts and scholarship opportunities to students, and some may also provide grant funding to teachers in the classroom.

National Education Association:

The NEA represents and serves public P-12 teachers nationwide, along with college-level instructors and progressors. The organization has earned recognition as the largest employee network in the U.S. In addition to providing free research articles and teaching tools online, the NEA offers members discounts on services and information on local events.

Council for Exceptional Children:

In addition to setting standards for special education programs, the CEC advocates for student-centered policies at the local, state, and federal levels. The organization offers a dedicated career center for special education teachers, plus professional development events and webinars for educators.

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development:

A pioneer of the Whole Child approach, ASCD develops and promotes high-quality curriculum for all children, and a wealth of professional development resources and events for professionals. The organization works with an extensive network of community partners, including those in the arts, policy, and health education spaces.

Financing your elementary education degree can pose a challenge, but undergraduate students can explore diverse funding resources to help pay for college. Whether looking to finance part or all of your bachelor's degree, financial aid options exist for all students -- from federal loans and grants to institutional and private scholarships.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID:

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but they might also consider plenty of overlooked financing options to reduce their overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA:

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) marks the crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown of the process, including answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS:

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, plus the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS:

Online college programs can provide a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY:

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
2 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
3 Regis University Denver, CO
4 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL
5 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
6 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
7 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
8 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
9 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
10 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC
11 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
12 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
13 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
14 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
15 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
16 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
17 Hobe Sound Bible College Hobe Sound, FL
18 New Mexico State University-Main Campus Las Cruces, NM
19 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
20 Midway University Midway, KY
21 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
22 St Petersburg College St. Petersburg, FL
23 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
23 Ottawa University-Kansas City Overland Park, KS
25 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD