25 Best Online Education Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

For some, the road to becoming a great teacher starts with an online Education degree! Are you ready to become an enthusiastic, plugged-in student?

Saying that you want to pursue a career in education can mean many different things. Let’s put all of the career paths in education up on the chalkboard to see which one is your best fit.

Types of Online Education & Teaching Degrees

Select the education specialization that most interests you

Whether you want to pursue a general education degree or focus on an area of specialization, you have numerous options with multiple areas of specialization available from top colleges.

Online Education Degree

This category actually covers any teaching specialization you’re interested in pursuing. An online education degree simply means that you’re working your way toward becoming qualified to be a teacher or administrator in a virtual program instead of driving to a campus.

 

This can be a great option for a full-time teacher who is looking to pursue a master’s degree that will potentially put them in the running for administrator roles. It can also work for anyone who is simply interested in a more convenient and affordable way to enter the teaching profession.

Online Early Childhood Education Degree

Studying early childhood education (ECE) online is a great option if you’re interested in working with young children in a preschool or Head Start program. An ECE program will prepare you to work with children up through age eight.

Early childhood education is a great fit for someone who is interested in molding and supporting the youngest learners! Ideally, you will have creativity and a passion for creating and implementing engaging lesson plans.

 

While working with young children can look like playtime, you actually need very specific training and skills to be effective in this role. A degree program should help you learn how to balance fun and learning for this very specific age group.

Online Education Administration Degree

Some people are more interested in the administrative aspect of the education system. Administrators work “behind the scenes” to make sure that procedures and policies are being followed for both students and teachers. Of course, most school administrators are highly visible!

Administrators are tasked with managing safety, educational compliance, disciplinary actions, and scheduling. They often meet with students when problems need to be addressed.

 

An administrative role may be a good fit for you if you enjoy solving problems and creating new systems.

Online Elementary Education Degree

Elementary school teachers typically teach students from kindergarten through sixth grade. Most elementary schools around the country assign anywhere from five to 40 students to one teacher! That means you’ll need to be a master at managing a class.

As an elementary school teacher, you’ll be teaching core subjects like math, English, science, history, and social studies throughout the day! It will be necessary to come up with engaging, meaningful lessons that incorporate the learning styles of multiple students.

 

This is certainly no easy task! However, it is definitely rewarding.

Online Higher Education Degree

You may be interested in pursuing a degree that will prepare you for a role as a high school teacher. Those interested in teaching at the high school level often specialize in a specific subject like math, history, or English. As a result, you often need a higher education or master’s degree to land staff positions at high schools.

 

Teaching a specialty in high school is a great choice for anyone who has a passion for one subject. Looking to bring your expertise to the classroom? There’s even a possibility to obtain an education degree while pivoting into a teaching career from another field.

Online Special Education Degree

Special education is a highly specialized degree path for those looking to work within school systems to support students with exceptional needs. As a special education teacher, you’ll work daily to address the differences and needs within a special education classroom.

A special education teacher should understand how to create individual learning plans. You will be teaching students with learning disabilities, physical challenges, and mental challenges daily.

 

Special education teachers must be good at adapting practices and procedures to meet extremely specific needs. In addition to preparing lessons, instructors are often tasked with using special equipment and facilitating accessibility. You are truly playing the roles of teacher and advocate every day!

Courses for an Online Teaching Degree

A teaching program is full of interesting courses that explore both educational philosophies and practical strategies. Future teachers learn how to manage classrooms, comply with testing requirements, and meet the needs of students.

Here’s a look at some courses you might encounter while pursuing your education degree:

Instructional Planning provides strategies and blueprints for creating effective lessons.

Methods of Teaching introduces future educators to contemporary approaches to teaching and assessing within classroom settings.

Psychology for Educators covers the fundamentals of student responses and behaviors in the classroom.

Education Degree Salary

What can teachers expect to make? Teacher salaries can vary by region and grade level. Here’s a glance at median salaries from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for those in the education field:

  • Education Administrator: $94,340
  • High School Teacher: $60,320
  • Elementary School Teacher: $57,980

One thing to know is that teachers are often considered for administrator roles within school systems when positions open up. That means that there’s room for growth in a new role even if your background is in teaching. Yes, you often can become a principal after being a teacher!

Professional Organizations for Those with a Teaching Degree

You’ll actually find dozens of organizations for those with teaching degrees! Most organizations are grouped by teaching specialty or subject. Here’s just a sample of some popular organizations for teachers:

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • National Art Education Association (NAEA)
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
  • National Association for Music Education (NAFME)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

Some organizations provide resources for teachers looking to develop skills or create dynamic experiences for students. Others are focused on protecting teacher rights and benefits.

Licensure Following an Education Degree

Licensure is extremely important if you want to work in a public school system. You will be required to obtain a state teacher’s license in the state you’d like to work in.

You’ll need to complete all state-mandated requirements to obtain licensure. This typically means completing specific education courses, putting in student-teaching time, and passing examinations.

How to Find Accredited Online Teaching Degree Programs

It’s important to choose a degree program that will qualify you for licensure as a teacher or administrator following graduation. You may want to focus on regional accreditation from one of the seven main accrediting bodies in the United States.

What is the benefit of regional accreditation for an education program? School districts are likely to hire you from a college or university that meets stringent guidelines. In addition, you will have more freedom to transfer your hard-earned credits if you decide to switch programs.

It’s also important to consider teacher-specific accreditation. Here’s the list of key accrediting bodies:

  • The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is often considered the top accreditation agency in the education field. CAEP ensures that educator programs are preparing future teachers to master their subjects through practical and clinical training.
  • The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) evaluates programs to ensure that students at colleges and universities are being prepared to be effective specialists in elementary and secondary schools.
  • The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) is a fully philanthropic body that works to enhance degree programs to create effective, empowered future instructors.

All of the accrediting bodies are focused on making sure colleges and universities are operating by standards that are compatible with the demands of school systems around the country. This is important because educators have professional, legal, and ethical obligations to their students that must be understood before graduation.

Financial Aid for Online Teaching Bachelor Degrees

If you’re pursuing an undergraduate degree in education, you have all of the same federal, state, and private financing options available to you as other students. This includes loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

You also have a list of funding and scholarship opportunities that are available exclusively to education students. Here’s a rundown of some of the major scholarship opportunities for future teachers:

  • The Federal TEACH Grant offers up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach in high-needs schools after graduation.
  • The NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship offered through the National Education Association (NEA) provides $2,500 to eligible students with minimum 2.5 GPAs.
  • The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program is open to students in STEM fields who are pursuing teaching careers.
  • The Teacher.org “Inspire Our Future” Scholarship is open to any teaching student with a minimum 3.5 GPA who is currently enrolled in an accredited program.

There are many state and regional scholarship opportunities available for educators. In fact, there is even a government-run Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program for teachers who agree to work in low-income schools for five consecutive years.

Questions Related to Earning an Education Degree Online

Do you still have some questions about what it takes to become a teacher? Let’s take a closer look at the steps that will get you at the head of the class as quickly as possible.

Can You Go to School Online to Become a Teacher?

Yes, you can study for a teaching degree online. Just be prepared to participate in a student-teaching program that will give you real-world classroom experience.

Can You Get a Bachelor of Education Online?

Yes, it’s possible to study to become a teacher online without the need to report to a campus.

What Is the Best Online College for Teaching Degree?

It’s going to be really important to select a college that has accreditation that will qualify you to obtain your state teaching license. That means that the answer can depend on the state you want to live or teach in.

Generally, any school with regional and CAEP accreditations is going to be an appropriate choice.

What Is the Quickest Way to Get a Teaching Degree?

Applying to four-year programs for a bachelor’s in education is the conventional path to a teaching degree. If you already have an undergraduate degree in another subject, you may be able to obtain a master’s degree that qualifies you to teach in two years or less.

Is an Education Degree Worth It?

Education is a stable, rewarding field that places you in the role of shaping the minds that will lead the world one day! Yes, the day-to-day work can be difficult. However, few careers offer such immediate rewards.

One of the great things about being a teacher today is that there are more resources for creating a dynamic classroom than ever before! What’s more, online degree programs make it easier to obtain higher degrees that will allow you to work your way up to an administrator role while teaching on a full-time basis if that’s your goal.

Calling all future teachers! A career that will change lives is just on the other side of applying to some schools. Of course, you’ll also change your life in the process!

List of 25 Best Online Education Bachelor’s Degree Programs

#1  Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University campus

  • BS in Career and Technical Education
  • BS in Elementary Education (Hybrid)
  • BS in Middle Grades Education (Hybrid)

Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2  Arizona State University

Arizona State University campus

  • BA in Education – Educational Studies
  • BA in Education – Educational Studies – Early Childhood Education
  • BS in Health Education and Health Promotion

Arizona State University is accredited by the by the Higher Learning Committee.

#3  Bellevue University

Bellevue University campus

  • BS in Adult Education
  • BS in Public Health Education

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Central Methodist University

Central Methodist University campus

  • BS in Education – Early Childhood Education
  • BS in Education – Elementary Education
  • BS in Education – Middle School Education
  • BS in Educational Studies

CMU is accredited and/or recognized by the Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University campus

  • BA in Early Childhood Education
  • BA in Elementary Education
  • BA in Special Education

Colorado Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Dakota State University

Dakota State University campus

  • BS in Education – Elementary Education
  • BS in Education – Elementary Education/Special Education

Dakota State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#7  Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University campus

  • BS in Education – Business Education

Dickinson State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8  East Carolina University

East Carolina University campus

  • BS in Birth – Kindergarten Education
  • BS in Elementary Education
  • BS in Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • BS in Middle Grades Education
  • BS in Special Education

East Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#9  Florida International University

Florida International University campus

  • BS in Early Childhood Education – Early Childhood Development
  • BS in Exceptional Student Education – Special Education, Educational Foundations, and Policy

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10  Liberty University

Liberty University campus

  • BEd in Elementary Education
  • BEd in Middle Education – English
  • BEd in Middle Education – Social Sciences
  • BEd in Special Education
  • BS in Early Childhood Education – Interdisciplinary Studies
  • BS in Elementary Education – Interdisciplinary Studies
  • BS in Special Education – Interdisciplinary Studies

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11  Mayville State University

Mayville State University campus

  • BS in Education – Early Childhood Education
  • BS in Education – Mathematics Education
  • BS in Education – Special Education

Mayville State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#12  Minot State University

Minot State University campus

  • BS in Early Childhood Education

Minot State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#13  National University

National University campus

  • BA in Early Childhood Development
  • BA in Early Childhood Education
  • BA in Elementary Education
  • BA in English Education
  • BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • BA in Mathematics Education
  • BA in Special Education

National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#14  Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University campus

  • Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies – Early Childhood
  • BAS in Early Childhood

Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University campus

  • BS in Elementary Education
  • BS in Marketing Education
  • BS in Special Education
  • BS in Technology Education

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#16  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University campus

  • BA in Educational Studies – Early Childhood Development
  • BA in Elementary Education

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  Troy University

Troy University campus

  • BS in Occupational Education

Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#18  University of Alabama

University of Alabama campus

  • BS in Human Environmental Sciences – Early Childhood Education

The University of Alabama is accredited and/or recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#19  University of Arizona

University of Arizona campus

  • BAS in Early Childhood Education
  • BS in Literacy, Learning and Leadership

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#20  University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida campus

  • BS in Technical Education and Industry Training

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#21  University of Florida

University of Florida campus

  • BA in Education Sciences
  • BS in Health Education

The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#22  University of Georgia

University of Georgia campus

  • BS in Special Education

University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  University of Southern Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi campus

  • BS in Elementary Education

The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#24  University of Wisconsin – Stout

University of Wisconsin Stout campus

  • BS in Career, Technical Education and Training
  • BS in Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • BS in Marketing and Business Education
  • BS in Special Education
  • BS in Technology Education

University of Wisconsin-Stout is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools.

#25  Webster University

Webster University campus

  • BA in Educational Studies
  • BA in General Studies

Webster University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

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Carmen Reed
Carmen Reed
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Joy Mays
Joy Mays
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Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson
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