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As K-12 schools and districts across the country deal with a shortage of qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers, securing an online bachelor's in science education offers a variety of career opportunities. Science educators help young people learn key skills that prepare them to fill the many STEM-related jobs that need talented and knowledgeable professionals.
This page ranks the best online bachelor's in science education programs nationwide. We also provide information on common coursework, career options, and expected salary and job growth data for prospective students interested in this important field.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Science Education Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 3:
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|1||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|2||Midway University||Midway, KY|
|3||St. Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL|
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Science Education Programs
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Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
WGU is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and serves over 121,000 distance learners each year. The university's comprehensive academic catalog includes five online bachelor of science in science education programs.
Students can pursue a bachelor's in science education for physics, chemistry, earth science, and biological science. They can also enroll in a science education track specifically for future educators who want to teach middle school.
Applicants must pass a basic skills test for their home state. Some of WGU's teacher education programs do not accept learners from certain U.S. states; prospective students should confirm their eligibility with an enrollment advisor. WGU's education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
|Midway, KY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Midway offers over 30 certificates and degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in education studies with a science emphasis. Because this 120-credit degree does not lead to initial teaching licensure, the program serves students who want to teach outside the U.S., work in administrative/paraprofessional positions, or immediately pursue a master's degree.
Required coursework covers topics like classroom management theory and multicultural education. Learners gain hands-on experience through a practicum. They can use 22-28 elective credits to take advanced major coursework or complete a complementary minor. The university powers distance education with the Moodle platform.
To qualify for enrollment, first-year applicants should have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Midway also prefers applicants who score at least 18 on the ACT or the equivalent on the SAT.
St. Petersburg College
|Clearwater, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 35%||
About 20,000 students at SPC take online classes, and the school offers more than 50 programs to distance learners. This includes an online bachelor of science in middle grades general science education program, which serves as a degree completion pathway.
Major core courses include physical science for middle grades teachers, introduction to environmental science, and interactive projects that promote learning in science. Participants also complete 160 clock hours of field experiences and a 15-week internship. Graduates prepare for science teaching positions in grades 5-9.
Applicants should have an associate degree or at least 60 credits earned at an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students should have also passed all sections of Florida's General Knowledge test.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Science Education Program?
To succeed in an online bachelor's in science education program, students must possess a passion for teaching, the ability to work well with others, and a deep interest in science.
To succeed in an online bachelor's in science education program, students must possess a passion for teaching, the ability to work well with others, and a deep interest in science. They must also exhibit patience and a willingness to continually learn new concepts in both science and learning theory.
Most bachelor's programs require students to complete 120 credits. Roughly half of those credits consist of coursework focused on teaching methods and specific subjects within the sciences.
Students can usually choose from numerous concentrations depending on their interests, including the following:
- Earth science
- Natural science
- Physiology and anatomy
In addition to their coursework, students must complete one or more semesters of student teaching. Through these experiences, students learn from and assist established classroom teachers in actual school settings. Student teaching usually involves providing one-on-one guidance to students, leading classroom discussions, and creating lessons and assignments.
Before they graduate with a bachelor's in science education, students may need to present or submit a capstone project, through which they demonstrate what they learned during their academic and student teaching experiences.
The typical full-time student graduates with a bachelor's in science education in 4-5 years.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Science Education Program?
No two online bachelor's in science education programs provide the exact same academic experience. However, students often find similar courses and student teaching requirements as they research the best programs nationwide. The list below includes five of the most common classes students might encounter in a bachelor's in science education program.
- Introduction to Education
This course explores the important role of elementary and secondary education in society and provides an introduction to how professional educators approach their work. Students look at philosophical perspectives on teaching and learning and delve into operational processes of schools and school districts.
- Foundations of Assessment
Degree-seekers learn how to develop goals, lesson plans, and assessment methods for students at the elementary and secondary levels. This class covers best practices for measuring student learning according to state and federal guidelines, and how to engage parents and guardians in the learning assessment process.
- Secondary Classroom Management
This course focuses on best practices in managing middle and high school classrooms. Learners explore evidence-based discipline methods, behavior management skills, and organizational patterns that will allow them to effectively provide learning opportunities for students. The course covers solutions to common challenges classroom teachers encounter at the secondary level.
- Adolescent Growth and Development
Learners in the course explore how humans develop from birth to adolescence, including the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical aspects of development. This knowledge prepares graduates to serve as effective educators for learners at the middle and high school levels.
- Laboratory Methods for Science Teaching
This course focuses on how teachers can best educate students in a lab setting. Learners examine how teachers set up and engage students in hands-on lab experiences, and how teachers balance labs with more traditional classroom instruction. This class also covers how to instruct students in the proper handling of tools and equipment.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Science Education Degree?
A bachelor's in science education offers a variety of career opportunities. Many graduates begin careers as high school teachers, who made a median annual salary of $61,660 in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects 4% job growth for high school teachers between 2019 and 2029.
Discover where a bachelor's in science education can take you. Learn more about careers in education.
- Secondary School Teacher
Many individuals with an online bachelor's in science education teach middle school or high school science classes. They may specialize in a certain area or teach multiple subjects, such as biology, chemistry, physics, human anatomy, and earth science. Secondary teachers spend most of their day teaching, often with one or more free periods they can use to prepare lessons and assignments.
- Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers often instruct students on a variety of subjects, including the core areas of science, social studies, math, and English. While they may possess more advanced knowledge in science, they must gain a familiarity with numerous subject areas to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience at the earliest grade levels.
- Adult Education Teacher
Graduates with a bachelor's in science education may also work with adult learners, helping individuals 18 and older develop their reading, writing, and math skills. Teachers may also instruct learners in more specific subject areas, such as the sciences and social studies. Adult educators often work at junior or community colleges, educational service agencies, and vocational schools.
- Training and Development Specialist
A bachelor's in science education can lead to a successful career as a training and development specialist within businesses and organizations. Because science education programs focus on teaching techniques, graduates are prepared to train new employees in an organization's rules, processes, and strategies.
- Guidance Counselor
Some graduates decide to switch paths and serve as guidance counselors rather than classroom instructors. These professionals assist students with mental and emotional health issues, selecting classes, and planning for college. A bachelor's in science education offers a solid foundation for those wanting to enter this field, although most guidance counselor positions require a master's degree in school counseling or a related discipline.
Science Education Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Science Education Programs
- Is a bachelor's in science education worth it?
If you feel a passion for science and teaching young people, a bachelor's in science education can be well worth the time and effort. While teachers in the United States rarely earn large salaries, science educators can gradually increase their pay over time. Still, few teachers enter the field for the money.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in science education?
A bachelor's in science education allows you to teach science and other subjects to elementary, middle, and high school students. This degree may also qualify you to serve as an adult education teacher or a training and development professional for businesses and organizations.
- Is science education in demand?
The demand for talented science teachers is increasing, as these professionals play an important role in preparing students to enter the STEM workforce. Some schools and districts are hiring more science teachers as they allocate more funding to STEM education.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in science education?
According to the BLS, high school teachers earn a median annual salary of $61,660. Data from Indeed indicates that teachers can bring in considerably higher pay as they gain more experience. An experienced teacher, for example, can make more than $80,000 per year. Of course, salaries also vary based on location.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in science education?
While K-12 science teachers can earn competitive pay, individuals with a bachelor's in science education may find more lucrative opportunities serving as a training and development manager. According to the BLS, these professionals made a median annual salary of $113,350 in 2019.