If you’re passionate about elementary education, you already have the makings of a great teacher. Now you just need your bachelor’s degree.
What are the options for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education?
Some bachelor’s degree programs emphasize particular aspects of elementary education. For example, you may choose a program that focuses on rural or urban education. You might want a program that allows you to earn an endorsement in English as a Second Language or become certified as a Reading Specialist. These are all things to consider when deciding where you’ll earn your bachelor’s degree.
If you prefer a traditional, on-campus college experience, check out our ranking for the Best Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Degrees. If you prefer the flexibility and convenience of an online program, you’re in the right place.
How much can you earn with a degree in elementary education?
PayScale data indicates that the median salary for early-career elementary teachers is $39,440. Salary generally increases with experience. As of 2016, the average salary for all elementary school teachers was $55,490 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What can I do with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education?
Bachelor’s degrees will often include a teaching license. Depending on the state, an elementary teaching license will allow you to teach all subjects starting in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade up through fifth or sixth grade.
What are the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education?
Almost all programs that lead to teacher certification will require a student teaching experience. This teaching internship can last one semester or a full academic year.
Remember that each state has its own requirements for teacher licensure. A bachelor’s degree program is typically designed to meet the requirements for the state where the college or university is located. If you’re attending an out-of-state institution through an online program, be sure to work with your own state’s Department of Education to make sure you meet all the relevant requirements for licensure.
What are the best online bachelor’s degrees in elementary education?
To calculate this ranking, we investigated a number of key data points. Student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate, incoming students’ test scores, and endowment size are all considered in our measurement of institutional excellence. Financial aid packages, average tuition costs, and expected early career salary for graduates are examined in our measurement of student success.
Both of these assessments are used to calculate an overall score for each school. We compile data from reputable sources such as U.S. News & World Report, PayScale, and the IPEDS database as well as individual college websites.
Based on this methodology, we present the following ranking for the very best online bachelor’s degrees in elementary education.
1. Mississippi State University
Founded in 1878, Mississippi State University is a land-grant institution in Starkville. The university has won acclaim for its service initiatives, community engagement, and academic opportunities. MSU has particularly been noted for the impact of its education programs, which operate a partnership to encourage the brightest students in the state to become teachers. The online undergraduate program in elementary education offers all the convenience of distance education and all the benefits of experiential learning.
MSU offers the only online undergraduate degree in elementary education in the state of Mississippi. The program leads to a B.S. in Elementary Education and a teaching license for pre-kindergarten through grade 6. Students will choose between the early childhood or middle school concentration. Required coursework for the program includes:
- Exploring Diversity Through Writing
- Individualizing Instruction for Exceptional Children
- Managing Elementary and Middle Level Classrooms
- Social Foundations
All of the coursework for the program is available fully online. Students will be able to continue working until their junior year, which is when field experiences begin. During junior year, students will be required to spend between two and six hours per week in a nearby elementary or middle school. By the end of senior year, students will be working full-time in a local classroom.
2. Drexel University
The main campus of Drexel University is in Philadelphia, but the school serves learners all over the world through its online degree tracks. The distance learning programs at Drexel have been ranked in the top five nationwide for student engagement by U.S. News & World Report. The online Bachelor of Science in Education provides an intensive and innovative program for future teachers.
The B.S. in Education from Drexel is a part-time program requiring 10 terms. The degree track typically takes two and a half years to complete, but some students may require more time depending on the number of transfer credits and the course load in each term. This program leads to Pennsylvania elementary certification for pre-kindergarten through grade 4. Courses within the Pedagogy curriculum for this program include:
- Special Education Foundations: Referral and Assessment
- Inclusionary Practices for Exceptional Students
- Foundations in Education: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective
- Creating a Positive Classroom Climate
Interested candidates can apply as a transfer student if they have already completed at least 24 credits from a regionally accredited institution. Alternatively, they can apply as a first-time student. For this option, students must have been out of high school for at least two years. The degree is also available through a non-certification track, which does not require a student teaching placement.
3. LeTourneau University
With a total enrollment of roughly 3,000, LeTourneau University represents a community of students from 46 states, 29 countries, and 50 Christian denominations and other faiths. One of the leading Christian universities in the South, LeTourneau offers a renowned undergraduate program leading to teacher certification. The degree track is offered both fully online and through the LeTourneau main campus in Longview, Texas.
The online courses at LeTourneau are based on an accelerated five-week format. The teacher preparation program is an Interdisciplinary Studies degree, with options for certification in Early Childhood (EC) through grade 6 or in grades 4 through 8. Coursework for the EC-6 certification includes:
- Foundations of American Education and Culture
- Development and Learning of the Young Child
- Classroom Management And Organization For The Elementary School
- Intervention and Remediation of Reading Difficulties
The teacher preparation program at LeTourneau boasts excellent outcomes for its graduates. In 2012, the pass rate for LeTourneau students taking the State Board of Educator Certification exam was 100 percent. The pass rate over the past three years is 98 percent. Online students may choose to add to their degree with an English as a Second Language Supplemental Certification, Special Education Supplemental Certification, or Reading Minor.
4. Asbury University
Emphasizing the dual pillars of academic excellence and spiritual vitality, Asbury University is an acclaimed Christian liberal arts college. The main campus is in Wilmore, Kentucky, while a number of online degree completion programs make an Asbury education available around the country. The online elementary education program features engaging learning technologies in a collaborative, student-centered environment.
The fully online degree completion program leads to a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Kentucky certification for pre-kindergarten through grade 5. Online classes are based on an eight-week schedule. The degree requires a total of 124 credit hours. Of these, 84 credit hours will be earned from coursework within the major through classes such as:
- Technology for Education
- Learning and Performance Assessment
- Interventions for Differentiation
- Classroom Management
Up to 75 credits may be transferred into the elementary education program from another institution. Candidates will need to complete the required clinical experiences at a Kentucky elementary school, so most students of the program are in-state residents or are able to travel to Kentucky to meet the student teaching requirements. Program start dates are available in January and March. Online degree completion programs are also available in Organizational Management, Leadership and Ministry, and Instruction Design.
5. Midway University
With ties to the Christian Church, Midway University is a liberal arts institution offering an array of well-respected associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. The university was established in 1847 as the Kentucky Female Orphan School. Today, Midway serves roughly 1,200 students across three colleges. In addition to residential programs, Midway offers numerous excellent online tracks, including degrees in business, sports management, healthcare, psychology, and elementary education.
The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, available fully online, offers a pathway to Kentucky licensure in pre-kindergarten through grade 5. The courses for the program are based on an eight-week format. Requirements for the Elementary Education major include courses such as:
- Multicultural Education
- The Exceptional Child and Legal Aspects of Special Education
- Educational Evaluation Techniques
- Human Growth and Development
Five start dates for the elementary education degree track are available throughout the year. Graduates of the teacher preparation program at Midway have a 100 percent pass rate for the provisional teacher licensure exam. Among all Midway students, 90 percent receive some form of financial aid, so many students will pay less than the published tuition rates. The student-faculty ratio at Midway is 14 to 1, ensuring that both on-campus and online students receive plenty of personalized attention and support from faculty members.
6. Liberty University
The academic programs at Liberty University run the gamut, from certificates to doctorate degrees and in every discipline from biology to music and beyond. All of these programs carry the hallmarks of a Liberty University education: academic excellence rooted in a Christian worldview. As the largest Christian university in the world, Liberty offers a B.S. in Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies that prepares students professionally, spiritually, and personally for a teaching career.
The fully online elementary education track at Liberty requires 120 total credit hours, up to 90 of which may be transferred in from another institution. The program features an optional 300-hour practicum experience. Liberty’s elementary education program does not lead to teacher licensure. Coursework in this program includes:
- Principles of Education
- Classroom Management for Teachers
- Educational Philosophy for Teachers
- Learning Theory and Portfolio Development
Although the bachelor’s degree at Liberty does not culminate in licensure for public schools, graduates of the program may work in homeschooling, tutoring, at a private school, or as an educational paraprofessional. Liberty also offers fully online tracks for a B.S. in Early Childhood Education Interdisciplinary Studies and in Special Education Interdisciplinary Studies. Liberty is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
7. Regis University
Whether on-campus or online, Regis University offers nationally ranked programs for an array of undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university was founded in 1877 in Las Vegas before moving to its current location in Denver, Colorado in 1887. The university remains true to its roots as a Jesuit institution by offering top-tier academic and service opportunities for its students. The B.A. in Elementary Education from Regis is available in residential, accelerated, and online formats.
Regis University’s Elementary Education program leads to teacher licensure in kindergarten through sixth grade. The degree track requires 120 credit hours, of which 45 are earned in core undergraduate classes. Another 51 credits are in major-specific coursework, and 21 credit hours come from the required professional sequence. Coursework within the Elementary Education major includes:
- Perspectives in Education
- Cultural Competence in Education
- Designing Instruction for All Learners
- Teaching Reading and Writing
While the program is available fully online, all field experiences and student teaching hours must be completed in the state of Colorado. Candidates may also pursue a licensure-only program that does not culminate in a degree. Students may enroll in the program part-time and take up to seven years to complete the degree track.
8. University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Recognized nationwide for scholarly excellence and a superb faculty, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington has been a member institution of the UNC system since 1969. In the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the Best Regional Universities in the South, UNC Wilmington earned the number 14 slot. The fully online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education incorporates an emphasis on both foundational teaching strategies and innovative instructional technology.
Housed in the acclaimed Watson College of Education, the B.A. in Elementary Education degree leads to licensure in kindergarten through sixth grade. A total of 124 credit hours are required. Courses within the Professional Core for Elementary Education majors include:
- Teacher, School, and Society
- Psychological Foundations of Teaching
- Elementary School Programs and Practices
- Instructional Design and Evaluation
Students in the B.A. Elementary Education program will choose among eight available concentrations, each requiring 18 credit hours. Choices include language arts, social studies, math and technology, science and health, fine arts, English as a second language, international studies, and behavioral studies. UNCW is not authorized to allow students to complete internships and clinical experiences in all other states. Out-of-state students can work with an advisor to see if they will be able to complete their student teaching placement in their home state.
9. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University has a main campus in Norfolk, and additional campus locations in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. In addition to these campuses, ODU is also home to a robust distance learning program. Old Dominion has been offering innovative distance education for over 30 years. The teacher preparation program through ODU Online offers a seamless transition into a post-baccalaureate licensure program.
The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Teacher Preparation is a degree completion program. The degree track is designed to lead into the ODU Master of Science in Education (which is also available fully online). Required coursework for the degree includes:
- Fundamentals of Human Growth and Development: Birth through Adolescence
- Foundations and Introduction to Assessment of Education
- PK-12 Instructional Technology
- Language Acquisition and Reading for Students with Diverse Learning Needs
As a degree completion program, the Elementary Education online track offers only upper division (300 and 400 level) courses. The B.S. degree is only available for students living in Virginia or in Washington State. ODU partners with a number of community colleges for guaranteed admission to the teacher preparation program. By earning an associate’s degree through one of these partner colleges, students may be able to complete their entire bachelor’s degree online.
10. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Located northwest of Terra Haute in Indiana, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has been nationally ranked for academic excellence, affordability, and military friendliness. The college was chartered in 1846, making it the oldest Catholic college in Indiana. SMWC’s online degrees have been ranked among the top programs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. The elementary education degree at SMWC offers a flexible yet rigorous program that leads to dual licensure in general K-6 education and K-6 special education.
The Traditional K-6/Mild Intervention Education degree program requires 120 total credit hours. Coursework for the program is available both online and on campus. Some classes are also available in a hybrid format. The degree track requires 18 credit hours in the Education Core, which includes classes such as:
- Philosophical and Ethical Foundations of Education
- Education in a Global Society
- Effectively Collaborating with Families and Community Resources
- Educational Psychology
The field experiences for the elementary education program may include diverse placements in public and private schools within a 200-mile radius of SMWC. These field experiences culminate in a full semester of student teaching. Classes at SMWC are typically offered in a standard 16-week format. Certain classes are offered in an accelerated eight-week format.
11. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University, located in Kansas roughly midway between Kansas City and Denver, has an on-campus enrollment of about 4,700. The Virtual College, meanwhile, has a headcount of over 6,600. The thriving distance learning program at Fort Hays features a number of acclaimed education degrees, including a licensure program for elementary education.
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education will culminate in teacher certification for kindergarten through sixth grade. The degree track requires a total of 127 credit hours. The course of study includes 55 hours in general education requirements, 26 credit hours in professional studies, and 34 hours in major-specific courses. Another 12 credit hours will be earned through student teaching placements. Course titles within the professional studies curriculum include:
- Human Growth and Development
- Educating Exceptional Students
- Introduction to Instructional Technology
- Diverse Learners
The Elementary Education degree is available both fully online and at the main Fort Hays campus. The National Council on Teacher Quality has ranked FHSU the sixth best value in the nation among Colleges of Education. FHSU is fully accredited by NCATE. Fort Hays has an overall placement rate of 95 percent for its alumni, including students accepted into graduate programs of study.
12. East Carolina University
A public research university in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University is home to 12 schools and colleges, including a highly regarded Honors College and Graduate School. The university has a student body of roughly 29,000. ECU boasts a suite of accolades from Washington Monthly, the Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report, among many other publications. The National Council on Teacher Quality has recognized ECU for its outstanding teacher training programs.
The Elementary Education major is intended for students who have already completed their lower division general education requirements, either at ECU or at a community college. All students in this program will complete a full-time teaching internship in a public school classroom during their senior year. Required coursework for Elementary Education majors includes:
- Classroom Organization and Management in Elementary School
- Technology in Education
- Foundations of School Learning, Motivation, and Assessment
- Learning and Instruction in Elementary School
Students may enroll in the elementary education program as part of either a full-time cohort or part-time cohort. Full-time cohorts generally begin in the summer, while part-time cohorts start in the fall. Full-time students can complete the program in two years. Part-time students will typically require three years (11 quarter terms) to finish the program. ECU has a student-faculty ratio of 18 to 1.
13. The Baptist College of Florida
Founded in 1943 and sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention, the Baptist College of Florida is located 90 miles northwest of Tallahassee in Graceville. BCF also operates distance learning sites in Jacksonville and Orlando. All of the degrees at BCF are available on the main Graceville campus, through the distance learning sites, and fully online. These flexible degree programs offer a spiritually rooted, intensive course of study for future educators.
The bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education includes teacher certification for the state of Florida, as well as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement and a Reading Endorsement. The degree track includes 33 hours in general education requirements and 18 hours in Biblical/Theological Foundations coursework. Classes within the Elementary Education major include:
- Foundations and Curriculum of Education
- Psychology of Teaching and Learning
- Foundations and Applications of Differentiated Instruction in Reading
- Theoretical Underpinnings of ESOL
Students must complete 50 hours of undergraduate coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.50 prior to applying to the Teacher Education Division of BCF. The Baptist College of Florida also offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Secondary Education, History/Social Studies Secondary Education, Leadership/Christian Education, and Education Studies.
14. University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi is one of the leading research universities in the South. USM is one of just 76 public doctoral universities to earn the “higher research activity” designation from the Carnegie Foundation. AffordableCollegesOnline.org recognized the online programs at Southern Miss among the top 35 programs nationwide. The university offers a unique program called the Teacher Assistant Program (TAP) which leads to licensure for kindergarten through sixth grade.
Southern Miss offers a fully online Elementary Education program that is specifically designed for current teacher assistants. Students will be able to pursue licensure to become a fully certified teacher while continuing to work full-time as a teaching assistant. Coursework for the TAP degree track includes:
- Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children
- Foundational Studies in Early Childhood Education
- Introduction to Literacy: An Integrated Language Arts Approach
- Science for Elementary Teachers
Besides becoming an elementary school teacher, graduates of the TAP program have gone on to careers as a Behavior Intervention Specialist, Reading Interventionist, Community Education Coordinator, and Director of Advocacy. A fully online bachelor’s degree is also available in Special Education. All distance education students at Southern Miss pay resident tuition, regardless of state residency.
15. Troy University
Founded as a teachers college called Troy State Normal School in 1887, Troy University now offers a comprehensive suite of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Many of these degrees are available fully online through Troy’s highly respected distance education program. The online teacher education degrees from Troy emphasize affordability, flexibility, and one-on-one instruction from experienced faculty.
The online Elementary Education major at Troy includes 60 credit hours in university core requirements, 33 credit hours in major-specific education courses, and 33 credit hours in teaching field requirements. Graduates of the program will earn teaching certification for kindergarten through sixth grade. The Elementary Education major includes the following classes:
- Educational Psychology and Classroom Assessment
- Teaching with Technology
- Curriculum and Instructional Delivery
- Diverse Learners
Troy offers extensive options for aspiring educators, with undergraduate P-12 licensure programs in visual arts, instrumental music, choral music, physical education, and theatre. Numerous licensure programs are also available for secondary education. The teacher training programs from Troy University hold national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Troy has earned numerous distinctions as one of the best universities for veterans and military members.
16. University of the Cumberlands
The University of the Cumberlands enrolls roughly 1,400 residential undergraduate students and just under 900 undergraduates who attend online. Cumberlands’ roots go back to 1888, when it was founded as the Williamsburg Institute by a small group of Baptist ministers. The university has grown significantly from its humble beginnings, and formally changed its name to the University of the Cumberlands in 2005. Today, the university offers 44 undergraduate majors and 36 minors, including a B.S. in Elementary Education.
The Cumberlands School of Education allows students to earn their Elementary Education degree fully online. The only in-person components to the program are the clinical experiences and student teaching placement. The degree track leads to Kentucky licensure for pre-kindergarten through grade 5. Required coursework for all Elementary Education majors includes:
- Effective Teaching Practices
- Classroom Management and Behavior
- Psychology of Learning and Exceptionality
- Survey of Individuals with Exceptionalities (P-12)
All Elementary Education majors will choose one academic emphasis area, in which they will take between 21 and 23 credit hours. The University of the Cumberlands partners with numerous Kentucky community colleges for the Educator Preparation program, which allows undergraduates to complete a number of prerequisite lower division courses before transferring to UC.
17. Western Governors University
A true pioneer in distance education, Western Governors University is an ideal choice for non-traditional students. All of WGU’s degrees are available fully online, including programs in information technology, health and nursing, business, and teaching. In 2015, WGU received recognition from the National Council on Teacher Quality as the “best value” program among 1,100 education schools and programs nationwide. The ranking was based on quality, affordability, and effectiveness in preparing teachers for the classroom.
The degree program at WGU requires students to complete a professional portfolio as well as an in-classroom student teaching experience. The program leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a K-8 teaching certificate. Candidates for the degree will complete coursework such as:
- Foundational Perspectives of Education
- Instructional Planning and Presentation in Elementary Education
- Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners
- Classroom Management, Engagement, and Motivation
Undergraduate students are expected to enroll in a minimum of 12 units during each six-month term. Students of WGU will have access to a proliferation of support services, including a personal student mentor, course mentors, and other support staff. The Teachers College of WGU holds full accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
18. Gardner-Webb University
Fifty miles west of Charlotte in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Gardner-Webb University is a private institution offering a number of regionally and nationally ranked undergraduate programs. Founded in 1905 to provide the “best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence,” the university retains close ties with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Grounded in faith and a commitment to academic excellence, Gardner-Webb offers a highly relevant teacher preparation program for elementary education.
The online program at GWU leads to a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and North Carolina certification for kindergarten through sixth grade. Students will complete university core classes before beginning the Elementary Education track, which consists of three semesters of coursework and field experiences, followed by one full semester of student teaching. Courses within the Elementary Education major include:
- Fine Arts Integration in 21st Century Schools
- Introduction to Integrated Curriculum and Assessment
- Literacy and the Language Arts for K-9
- Healthful Living for Elementary Education
The Elementary Education track offers an optional concentration in teaching exceptional children. This concentration requires 14 credit hours. Gardner-Webb also offers licensure and non-licensure tracks for early childhood education (birth through kindergarten), and numerous certification tracks for middle school (grades 6 through 9).
19. Southwestern College
Southwestern College is a unique school offering a number of distinctive academic paths. Its main campus, located in Winfield, Kansas, caters to students seeking a traditional college experience. On the other hand, SC’s Professional Studies division is designed for working adults, military learners, career changers, and other non-traditional students. Degrees from the Southwestern College Professional Studies division are all available fully online, including a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.
The program at Southwestern College leads to Kansas certification for kindergarten through grade 6. The B.A. in Elementary Education requires a minimum of 124 credit hours, at least 30 of which must be earned from SC. Candidates for this degree will complete the following core courses:
- Introduction to the Reading Process
- Fine Arts in the Elementary School
- Teaching English as a Second Language
- Elementary School Methods and Management
Students applying for the Elementary Education program must have already earned at least six college credits, and must have a minimum GPA of 2.75. Out-of-state candidates are welcome to apply to the program, but students are responsible for checking with their own state’s Department of Education to verify licensure requirements and certification reciprocity with Kansas.
20. University of Wisconsin–Superior
The student body at the University of Wisconsin–Superior includes roughly 2,500 total scholars. Of these, about 700 are students of UW-Superior’s excellent distance education program. Elementary Education is one of the top programs at the university. The online format makes this highly acclaimed degree accessible to students all over the state and throughout the country.
Once students have completed undergraduate general education requirements, they can apply to the Teacher Education Program. Students in the Elementary Education track can choose between a minor in Early Childhood (leading to licensure for pre-kindergarten through grade 6) or in Middle School Teaching (leading to licensure in grades 1 through 8). All Elementary Education candidates will take the following courses:
- Human Development
- Theories of Student Learning
- Principles and Practices of Inclusive Teaching
- Teaching Art in the Elementary Grades
Students with an Elementary Education major and Middle School Teaching minor will choose an area of concentration. Options for the concentration include math, science, languages, social studies, and health, among numerous others. UW-Superior also offers on-campus programs in Early Childhood, Health Education (K-12), Physical Education, and Language Arts (grades 1-6, also available online). UW-Superior has a student-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. The university boasts a 96 percent placement rate for its alumni within six months of graduation.
21. Chaminade University of Honolulu
Chaminade University of Honolulu is one of the premier private universities in Hawaii. It’s the only Catholic university in the state and one of just three Marianist institutions in the country. The university serves a student body of approximately 2,400, roughly half of which are undergraduate students. Chaminade is home to a celebrated Division of Education, which offers a broad range of education degrees. Students at Chaminade will have the chance to engage in a highly motivated, multicultural community of scholars, whether they attend classes on campus or online.
The program at Chaminade leads to a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and licensure in kindergarten through sixth grade. A teaching certification earned through Chaminade is valid in most U.S. states. Required coursework for the Elementary Education major includes:
- Educational Psychology
- Music, Art, and Physical Education
- Educational Technology
- Managing School Environments
The Chaminade teacher education program is exceptional for the number of clinical experiences and service learning opportunities. Teaching candidates will be required to complete a minimum of 74 hours of observation and participation in elementary classrooms in addition to the student teaching placement. The student-faculty ratio at Chaminade University is 11 to 1, and the average class size is just 19. Among Chaminade students, 43 percent identify as Catholic.
22. University of Alaska Southeast
The University of Alaska Southeast has a main campus in Juneau, and also operates satellite campuses in Ketchikan and Sitka. It is a member institution of the University of Alaska System, offering highly respected associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees across a number of academic disciplines. The teacher preparation program at UAS emphasizes an interdisciplinary focus on content knowledge and culturally responsive practice.
The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education is available on the Juneau campus and fully online. All candidates for the degree will engage in a nine-month intensive student teaching experience during their senior year. The program leads to initial Alaska teaching certification for kindergarten through eighth grade. Coursework within the Elementary Education major includes:
- Introduction to Educational Technology
- Foundations of Literacy and Language Development
- The Learner and the Learning Process
- Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities
All students of the program will take a class in Alaska History, Alaska Native Cultures, or a related topic. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate from the teacher preparation program. B.A. candidates are assessed against state and national standards, including the objectives set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The University of Alaska Southeast also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education.
23. National University
Based in La Jolla, California, National University is a nonprofit institution encompassing four schools and two colleges. The university grants more master’s degrees to Hispanic and African American students than any other university in California, and it’s in the top 10 nationwide for the number of master’s degrees granted to women. National University offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate academic tracks online, including a highly ranked program for Elementary Education.
The National University program leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Nevada elementary licensure. The degree track requires a minimum of 180 quarter units. Of these, 85.5 quarter units (19 courses) are required as part of the Elementary Education core curriculum. These courses include:
- Development and Learning
- Survey of Multicultural Literature
- Leadership and Assessment
- Parent Engagement
Candidates in the Elementary Education program will complete 60 hours of field experience prior to undertaking their student teaching placement. As part of the student teaching requirement, students will compile an ePortfolio detailing their professional education competency. National University also offers an alternative route to Nevada elementary licensure for post-baccalaureate students. All of the coursework for the alternative licensure path is transferable into the Master of Education with Nevada Elementary Licensure program.
24. Grand Canyon University
First established in 1949, Grand Canyon University is based in Phoenix, Arizona and serves students all over the world through a prestigious distance education program. The university is one of the leading Christian universities in the Southwest, with a biblically rooted mission that cultivates a vibrant interdenominational community of scholars. The teacher education programs at GCU include a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, a B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education, and a B.S. in Elementary Education.
The GCU program culminates in initial Arizona licensure for elementary and middle school (grades 1 through 8). The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education requires 120 credit hours, which includes university core classes in critical thinking, global perspectives, and Christian worldview. Coursework within the Elementary Education major includes:
- Child and Early Adolescent Development and Psychology
- Instructional Planning and Assessments for Elementary Teacher Candidates
- Social Justice for Educators
- Creating and Managing Engaging Learning Environments
While the on-campus courses are based on a 15-week schedule, online courses are offered in an accelerated seven-week format (with a few exceptions). In addition to the online coursework, all distance students will complete extensive field experiences in a local school or educational setting.
25. University of Louisiana at Monroe
The University of Louisiana at Monroe is located in the commercial and cultural hub of northeastern Louisiana. Established more than 80 years ago, ULM now serves roughly 9,000 students. eULM, the university’s distance education program, offers more than 30 degree tracks and extensive student support services. Future teachers can enroll in the B.S. in Elementary Education track, which incorporates the many excellent tools and resources of an eULM education.
Students of eULM can earn teaching certification for grades 1 through 5. The curriculum integrates general studies, professional and pedagogical studies, content studies, and clinical and field experiences. Required coursework includes:
- Classroom, Behavior, and Instructional Management—Elementary
- Balanced Literacy: Primary Grades
- Educational Psychology
- Behavior Support and Interventions
The teacher preparation programs at ULM are fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). eULM offers a number of opportunities to earn college credit for prior knowledge and professional experience. Several nationally standardized Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) are accepted at ULM, including CLEP or DSST. Some ULM classes also offer skills tests that qualifying students can take to place out of a required course.