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Across the United States, more than 3.3 million teachers educate the next generation of learners each day. These professionals work in public and private schools, serving students from the pre-K level through high school.
The following ranking features the best online bachelor's in secondary education programs for those who aim to work with learners at the middle and high school levels. Our guide also offers information on career opportunities, job growth, student teaching requirements, and common coursework students can expect to find in these programs.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Secondary Education Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||Fort Hays State University||Hays, KS|
|2||Arizona Christian University||Phoenix, AZ|
|3||Chaminade University of Honolulu||Honolulu, HI|
|4||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|5||North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University||Greensboro, NC|
|6||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA|
|7||Great Basin College||Elko, NV|
|8||Ottawa University||Ottawa, KS|
|9||Union Institute & University||Cincinnati, OH|
|10||Prescott College||Prescott, AZ|
- How We Rank Schools
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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.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Secondary Education Programs
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Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
FHSU delivers comprehensive academic programs through its 31 departments. Offerings include a bachelor of science in secondary education that prepares candidates to work as licensed middle or high school teachers if they pursue a double major. Individuals who want to become business teachers can complete all coursework online; otherwise, students must take some classes on campus.
Classes cover topics like foundations of education, human growth and development, and educating exceptional students. Candidates also delve into instructional technology, learning how to incorporate computer software and online platforms into classroom instruction. Like other bachelor's in secondary education programs, learners also complete student teaching.
Applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA and adequate ACT or SAT scores. At critical points during their training, candidates undergo teacher education disposition assessments. FHSU provides a variety of financial aid, including scholarships for first-time and transfer students.
Arizona Christian University
|Phoenix, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
ACU provides over 50 academic programs, many of which students can access remotely. Its undergraduate catalog contains an online bachelor of science in secondary education that prepares candidates to teach at charter, private, and public schools. Students can complete a fully remote curriculum or engage in hybrid learning by taking some classes at the Phoenix campus.
Major coursework includes educational psychology, classroom management, and introduction to the exceptional child. This bachelor's in secondary education program enables candidates to pursue a field emphasis. Options include history, math, English language arts, business, and physical education.
First-year applicants need to score at least 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT. They must also hold a minimum 2.5 GPA. All students benefit from financial aid, such as loans, grants, and scholarships.
Chaminade University of Honolulu
|Honolulu, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Chaminade powers distance education with the Canvas platform, offering 10 online undergraduate programs. Degree options include a bachelor of science in secondary education. By completing this 120-credit program, graduates prepare to work as licensed grade 6-12 teachers in Hawaii and most other states.
The online bachelor's in secondary education curriculum covers topics like managing school environments, exceptional children, and assessment methods and tools. Candidates also develop the skills needed to teach in their area of specialization, with options in science, social studies, mathematics, and English. The program culminates with student-teaching practice.
First-year applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also score at least 19 on the ACT or 1000 on the SAT. This secondary education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
WGU serves more than 121,000 distance learners each year. Students can pursue many online education degrees through the Teachers College, including five bachelor of science in secondary education programs.
Candidates may pursue a secondary science education degree, choosing from specializations in physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. They can also enroll in a mathematics education program, which contains coursework covering probability and statistics, linear algebra, and advanced calculus. These programs hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.
To enroll in a bachelor's in secondary education program, applicants must pass a basic skills test for the state in which they reside. They also complete a 20-30-minute phone interview.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
|Greensboro, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
North Carolina A&T State University delivers remote learning opportunities through Blackboard Learn. Its academic catalog includes an online bachelor of science in agricultural education that comes with secondary education and professional service tracks. Designed for associate degree-holders, this program prepares students for careers as literacy coordinators, young farm instructors, and high school teachers.
Bachelor's in secondary education candidates take classes like rural sociology, animal science, and agricultural business and marketing. They also examine environmental science topics, including natural resource conservation and sustainability. Graduates may pursue initial teacher licensure from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
North Carolina A&T State University uses a holistic student evaluation process. The average incoming first-year learner boasts a 3.56 GPA and scores at least 20 on the ACT or 1053 on the SAT. Transfer applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA.
|Philadelphia, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 74%||
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel educates about 24,000 students in over 200 academic programs each year. Undergraduate candidates can enroll in an online bachelor of science in secondary education program that emphasizes instructional technology and STEM subject areas. Distance learners access asynchronous classes through Blackboard Learn.
Course topics differ based on what subject a student chooses, with options like social studies, earth and space science, mathematics, and chemistry. All bachelor's in secondary education candidates develop crucial skills related to inclusionary teaching practices and instructional evaluation.
At the end of their sophomore year, candidates undergo an evaluation process that determines whether they can enroll in the teacher certification program. Admission materials include a personal essay, three recommendation letters, and standardized test scores.
Great Basin College
|Elko, NV||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
GBC champions affordable, career-relevant education, serving about 3,800 students at campuses and learning centers across 10 Nevada counties. The school also offers remote academic options, like an online bachelor of arts in secondary education. Program graduates are prepared to gain teacher certification from the Nevada State Board of Education.
Students pursue one of five endorsements: biological science, business education, English, social sciences, and mathematics. Learners who follow the social sciences track take classes like cultural geography and oral communication. All online bachelor's in secondary education candidates develop hands-on experience through supervised teaching internships.
To enroll in this teacher education program, applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also pass background checks and a professional conduct review. GBC provides ample financial aid opportunities, including veterans benefits and institutional scholarships.
|Ottawa, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
As a leader in distance education, Ottawa University offers accelerated, eight-week classes that enable online students to earn certificates and degrees. The school's academic catalog includes a bachelor of arts in secondary education that trains candidates to identify and support the needs of different learners. Participants can complete a fully remote curriculum or create a hybrid experience by taking some classes on campus.
Courses include educational psychology, foundations of schools in a diverse society, and the exceptional child. Candidates also learn to design, implement, and assess instructional materials and techniques for early and late adolescent students. Graduates can gain licensure in business, English, history, and mathematics.
This online bachelor's in secondary education program meets teacher preparation standards in Kansas and Arizona. First-year applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores.
Union Institute & University
|Cincinnati, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 11%||
Union has offered accessible academics to working professionals and other nontraditional learners since 1964. Today, the school delivers a comprehensive array of degree options, including an online bachelor of science in secondary education. With courses starting every eight weeks and part-time and full-time scheduling options, candidates can obtain their credentials largely at their own pace.
This bachelor's in secondary education program prepares candidates for teacher certification in Florida. Courses cover topics like classroom management, educational assessment, and effective instructional practices. Students pursue specialized training in their concentration, choosing from English, science, math, or social science.
Union accepts up to 90 transfer credits based on prior work and college experience. Tuition rates ignore residency status. Distance learners can apply for a variety of scholarships, including awards for community college graduates.
|Prescott, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Prescott College is a private liberal arts institution that serves about 800 students each year. The school delivers over 30 remote academic programs, including a bachelor of arts in education with secondary education certification. Candidates can also take some flexible classes on campus to create a hybrid learning experience
To earn their online bachelor's degree in secondary education, students complete classes like adolescent psychology and applied reading methods. Participants round out their undergraduate training with a research-focused senior project. Graduates gain institutional recommendation for initial teacher certification in Arizona.
Application materials include an autobiographical essay, current resume, and professional statement of intent. Prescott College provides several financial aid programs, including scholarships for online students and future educators.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Secondary Education Program?
Student teaching is a key component of most bachelor's in secondary education programs.
Students who do best in online bachelor's in secondary education programs tend to possess strong communication skills and a passion for teaching others. Teachers must maintain discipline and a sense of control in the classroom while encouraging learners to explore their interests and talents in a variety of ways.
The typical bachelor's in secondary education program takes four years to complete. Students spend the first two years completing general education coursework before moving into coursework that focuses on their major. Most bachelor's programs require 120 credits.
Student teaching is a key component of most bachelor's in secondary education programs. Through these experiences, students learn directly from experienced educators in classroom settings. Students may also deliver instruction, lead class discussions, and provide one-on-one assistance to young learners.
Students typically focus their studies on specific subjects they aim to teach. As a result, bachelor's in secondary education programs typically include concentrations in math, social studies, science, and English language arts. Although most students seek a bachelor of science (BS) degree, some programs provide bachelor of arts (BA) tracks, often best suited for students who wish to teach art or music.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Secondary Education Program?
Online bachelor's in secondary education programs offer various courses to help students understand how to best serve the diverse needs of learners at the secondary level. Students explore concepts in areas like curriculum development, classroom management, and educational technology. Although specific courses vary depending on the program, the list below offers some common examples.
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
This foundational course explores key concepts and best practices in planning and delivering instruction, along with formal and informal assessment techniques. Students examine how teaching methods, classroom management practices, the needs of diverse learners, and educational technology all influence the curriculum development process in K-12 settings.
- Classroom Management
In this course, students learn how to create a positive and productive learning environment, including effective discipline plans consistent with best practices and individual teaching philosophies. Students learn how culture, ability, and interest affect student behavior and how teachers can establish positive relationships with students and families alike.
- Adolescent Development and Education
In this course, students learn about common behaviors and characteristics of adolescents and how they affect the ways teachers deliver instruction at the middle and high school levels. The course examines the cognitive development, social issues, physiological changes, and attitude shifts that individuals experience as they move from childhood to adolescence.
- Practices in Multicultural Education
This course helps degree-seekers understand how they can best serve learners from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Learners explore how to help meet students' needs both in and out of the classroom and how educators can approach diversity as a strength and resource for all students.
- Technology in the Classroom
Students explore how to use technology to deliver instruction and enhance learning for middle and high school students. Degree-seekers create their own instructional materials and media using a variety of technical tools. Students consider how classroom technology can help prepare young people for the jobs and opportunities of the future.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Secondary Education Degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachers made an annual median salary of $61,660 in 2019. The BLS also projects steady 4% job growth for high school teachers between 2019 and 2029. Middle school teachers have a similar career outlook, with a median annual salary of $59,660 in 2019 and a projected growth rate of 4%, according to the BLS.
Over one million professionals served as high school teachers in the United States in 2019, while about 627,000 worked as middle school teachers. Earning a master's degree and serving as an educational administrator offers higher pay, with professionals in this field earning a median annual salary of $96,400 in 2019.
See where an online bachelor's in secondary education can take you. Learn more about education careers.
- Secondary School Teacher
Working as a middle or high school teacher is the most common path for graduates with a bachelor's in secondary education. These professionals serve in public or private schools, typically working with students in grades 6-12. Teachers prepare and deliver lessons, meet with parents, and assess student performance.
- Adult Educator
Some graduates apply their bachelor's in secondary education degrees in careers serving older students who may seek their GED credential well into adulthood. Adult educators may teach students a variety of subjects commonly found in high school curricula.
A bachelor's in secondary education provides an effective step toward becoming a librarian in a school, municipal, law, university, or medical library. To become a librarian, individuals must secure a master's degree in library science. Librarians select, organize, and distribute books, research, academic journals, and electronic materials. Some states require school librarians to hold a teaching license.
- Instructional Coordinator
Instructional coordinators work within school systems to create curriculum resources for teachers, often training staff in how to implement various curricula. The position usually requires a master's degree but can offer an ideal path for those who wish to positively influence student learning without working with children directly.
- Corporate Trainer
Corporate trainers must possess an ability to teach others and make complex topics clear and easy to understand. The skills and knowledge gained in a bachelor's in secondary education program translate well to working with professionals rather than middle or high school students. Corporate trainers usually work for large businesses or third-party consulting firms.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Secondary Education Programs
- Is a bachelor's in secondary education worth it?
A bachelor's in secondary education offers a strong career path for individuals who enjoy working with children and young adults and possess a passion for teaching. Over time, middle and high school teachers can earn competitive salaries, especially if they earn a master's degree.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in secondary education?
Most individuals with a bachelor's in secondary education become middle or high school teachers, usually focused on subjects like math, science, social studies, English, or the arts. However, some move into careers in corporate training, adult education, libraries, and school administration. Classroom teaching is just one possible career path for graduates.
- Are secondary education majors in demand?
Demand remains steady for secondary teachers. The BLS projects 4% job growth for middle school teachers and high school teachers between 2019 and 2029, roughly in line with the average projected growth across all occupations in the United States. During the same period, the BLS projects 6% job growth for instructional coordinators. As such, secondary education majors should continue to see solid demand for their expertise.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in secondary education?
According to the BLS, high school teachers earned an annual median salary of $61,660 in 2019. Salary potential depends largely on experience and level of education. Teachers who later become principals, for example, can make nearly $100,000 per year.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in secondary education?
Serving as a secondary teacher often provides the greatest earning potential for graduates of bachelor's in secondary education programs, with an annual median salary of $61,660 in 2019. However, training and development specialists earn a similar salary, making an annual median salary of about $61,210 in 2019.