Best Online Bachelors in Education 300x265

Updated: May 30, 2017

Whether you want to teach young children, cultivating in them the building blocks of language and cognition, or with adolescents who are eager for guidance, formation, and development, a degree in teaching and education can help you make the difference you want to see in the world. That’s what this list of the best online bachelor’s of education degrees is for.

From the classroom to outdoor education, covering the arts to sciences, children and young adults need help making sense of the world and making sense of their place in world. And though teachers are known for their modest salaries (PayScale has them making approximately 47k annually, on average), the rewards are far bigger than monetary. You can be there not only to guide them, but to literally change their lives.

Online programs in education are an affordable, accessible, and flexible way to earn an advanced degree, especially if you find yourself in a situation that makes going back to school either logistically or financially problematic. Despite the stigma online programs once held, they have mostly shed those stereotypes and have increasingly solid reputations, in large part because online programs are developed and taught by the same faculty who teach the traditional, on-campus courses. And in most cases, the diploma looks exactly the same as those garnered by “traditional students,” yet it was obtained at half the price.

What are the Best Online Education Degrees for 2017?

While some programs specialize in early childhood educations and others in special education or high school education, they all share one thing in common despite the difference of name and emphasis: they are the best at preparing students for a long career in teaching. Here at College Choice we’ve collated and compared the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of graduates from online education programs across the country to create a definitive ranking of the nation’s fifty best. We first chose programs with the most renowned academic reputation and from those pared the list down to those with high retention rates—a reflection of student satisfaction—added those with the most economical accessibility, and finally we included the averages of early career salaries (care of PayScale) to arrive at a list marked by thorough research and extensive data aggregation. Our figures come from the university and colleges’ websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

1

Arizona State University

College Choice Score: 100

Credit Hour Cost: $530

Program Website

Arizona_State_University

Through Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, students can enroll in a fully online Educational Studies bachelor degree program. This unique program is for those who want to investigate the role of education on a global scale, analyze the impact of education on diverse populations, and better understand how social injustices—poverty, under-resourced schools, environmental issues, and immigration—can affect student success. Some of the classes that define this degree include theories for acquiring and learning languages, introduction to nutrition and health, understanding the culturally diverse child, global and historical awareness, plus a number of credits covering the general education requirements.

Perhaps obvious, this degree is not for those looking to teach within the public education system, as it does not lead to teacher certification, but it is for those interested in graduate education or for those who want to work outside of traditional classrooms, such as in nonprofits, government organizations, or in business or recreational settings. Arizona State ranks at the top of our list because its Teachers College is recognized as the fastest rising top-tier college of education in the country, it’s well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and over 90 percent of graduates are employed.

ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

2

University of Northern Iowa

College Choice Score: 99.5

Credit Hour Cost: $302

Program Website

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa offers an online undergraduate degree in teaching specifically designed for those interested in elementary education. Students are expected to have their general education classes completed before enrolling, making this a degree completion program. And some face-to-face education is still required, so be sure you can logistically and financially make campus visits a reality. But, if that’s no problem for you then we highly recommend this affordable program from Northern Iowa.

Classes cover everything from health and physical education to technology in the classroom, teaching visual and performing arts, early literacy, curriculum building, environment and society, teaching literacy at the middle and secondary levels, schools and American society, classroom management, and so much more. And as an online student you will work closely with both a program coordinator to craft your educational experience and schedule and then with a faculty advisor who will work with you one-on-one throughout the program.

Located in Cedar Falls, the University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

3

Regis University

College Choice Score: 99.25

Credit Hour Cost: $395

Program Website

Regis University

You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Regis University that includes initial licensure. If you’re interested in teaching among grades K–6 and want to earn your degree fully online, this program could be a great fit for you. Without any prior college-level education required, this program includes all 120 credits necessary for acquiring the bachelors, and it guarantees leadership development in its students.

One thing to note about Regis is that it is a Roman Catholic school that incorporates a faith-based perspective in its curriculum. Additionally, the curriculum is marked by four distinct areas of emphasis: Jesuit ideals, such as serving others and reflective practice; the integration of theory with practical application; developing teachers who are critical thinkers and data literate; and the implementation of technology in the classroom. At Regis you will develop oral communication skills, gain a broad educational base across the humanities and sciences, and you will be fully prepared to lead in the classroom and ready children for successful educational careers.

Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and their teachers education program is nationally approved through the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

4

Fort Hays State University

College Choice Score: 96.75

Credit Hour Cost: $207

Program Website

Fort Hays University

At Fort Hays State University, online education undergraduates have the option of choosing among three areas of study: early education unified, elementary education, and elementary education with a special education minor. Whichever way you specialize, at Fort Hays you will be introduced to a general education core, a professional education curriculum, pedagogical theory, and clinical experience. And though all of these programs can be completed fully online, you will also have many opportunities for internship or student teaching experience, which will help you in your job hunt.

The BS in Early Childhood Unified readies its students for careers in many early childhood leadership roles, including teaching (from pre-school to third grade), but also administration, or coordination. The BS in Elementary Education qualifies you to teach any grade between Kindergarten and sixth grade, and the Special Education minor, which can be paired with any teaching program at Fort Hays, specifically prepares you to work with students (in any grade) who have developmental disabilities.

Fort Hays State is accredited, as a whole, by the Higher Learning Commission, while its teaching programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teaching Education (NCATE).

5

Appalachian State University

College Choice Score: 96.25

Credit Hour Cost: $650

Program Website

Appalacian State

Through Appalachian State University’s (ASU) distance education platform you can earn an online Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, or Special Education. Whether you’re looking to study full-time or incorporate your education with work and other life responsibilities, Appalachian State University makes it possible to earn your degree between two-and-a-half or three-and-a-half years.

Appalachian State emphasizes the importance of leadership throughout its different teaching curriculums. And ASU students can expect to participate in a few internship and student teaching opportunities, which will provide them with practical application experience in addition to the foundational theory base they are provided with through the curriculum. Moreover, ASU comes with an affordable price tag for those who live in North Carolina ($160 a credit hour), but is a bit more spendy for out-of-state students. However, on average ASU graduates bring home annual salaries of over 47k in their early careers, which lands ASU in the ninetieth percentile (on this ranking) for return on investment.

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

6

University of Georgia

College Choice Score: 94.75

Credit Hour Cost: $312

Program Website

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia (UGA) is a flagship institution ranked among the best public universities by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Forbes, ARWU, and Washington Monthly. For those reasons alone UGA is a fantastic option for earning your degree. But they are also affordable, a sound return on investment, and known for their high quality online programs (ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News), including their Bachelor of Science in Special Education degree. This is the only education degree that can be earned fully online from UGA and they still require two campus visits during the course of the program, once for orientation and then again for student teaching workshops.

This two-year program (you’re expected to have completed all your general education core classes before enrolling) includes courses that cover teaching literacy in middle school, advanced methods for mild disability, typical and atypical language development, contemporary topics in special education, and characteristics of high incidence disabilities, among others. Practicums are required, but the program as a whole was distinctly designed for those students who require the flexibility of distance education.

UGA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and their College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

7

University of Nebraska–Kearney

College Choice Score: 94.5

Credit Hour Cost: $364

Program Website

University of Nebraska at Kearney

The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) holds two notable rankings: it is ranked among the top ten best public universities in its region by U.S. News & World Report and its eCampus is consistently recognized as among the best online universities in the country. Offered through the latter, UNK has an online Early Childhood Inclusive program (Bachelor of Arts in Education) that is fully online with some supervised school-based experiences and student teaching. For those who want to teach students ages birth to eight, this degree completion program can help you attain your vocational goals.

As it is understood that your general education classes will have already been completed by the time you enroll at UNK, the online curriculum is comprised mostly of professional and major specific courses. You will also be required to specialize in one of two areas: either birth through kindergarten or age three to grade three. Across areas of focus students gain field experience, are introduced to the foundations of early childhood education, and they learn how to support children through family and community involvement.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission with special accreditations from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Nebraska Department of Education.

8

California Baptist University

College Choice Score: 94.25

Credit Hour Cost: $547

Program Website

California_Baptist_University

California Baptist University (Cal Baptist) is a private, Christian liberal arts school affiliated and run by the Southern Baptist Convention. If you’re specifically looking for a university that incorporates a conservative, faith-based perspective in its curriculum, then Cal Baptist could be a solid fit for you. And they are known for their many strong online programs, including their Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies.

This program gives students insights into children’s growth and development in many areas, including cognitive, social, emotional, and perceptual-motor development, and it prepares its graduates to become leaders in early intervention, research, advocacy, and in the classroom. This fully online degree can be earned in as few as sixteen months, as this is a completion program, and it can be adapted to an array of career fields, including teaching K–12. In addition to learning the fundamentals of childhood development, you will also understand the global as well as Christian contexts of development. Likewise, Cal Baptist ensures you graduate feeling confident in your critical thinking and analysis skills and in your ability to make effective decisions and lead others.

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, California Baptist University is based in Riverside.

9

University of North Carolina–Wilmington

College Choice Score: 94.25

Credit Hour Cost: $619

Program Website

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

The University of North Carolina–Wilmington (UNCW) may not have a huge distance education program, but the few degrees they do offer online, including the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, are some of the best in the country. Offered through the Watson College of Education, the BA in Elementary Education program is the only online education program at UNCW but it fully prepares students for rewarding careers as elementary school teachers and it paves the way for advanced education in teaching and administration, for those so interested.

The features of this online program at UNCW that differentiate it from other online programs include opportunities for international study experience, field experiences pocked throughout the program, and the option to specialize in one of nine areas: behavioral studies, English as a second language, early childhood, fine arts, international studies, language arts, math and technology, science and health, and social studies. UNCW has also sought to ensure its online students have easy access to advising, tutoring, and general assistance, and thus the elementary education faculty are experts in online teaching and education.

UNC Wilmington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a mid-sized school of approximately 15k undergraduates.

10

Valley City State University

College Choice Score: 92.5

Credit Hour Cost: $220

Program Website

Valley City State University

Valley City State University (VCSU) offers a number of degrees and certificates that can be earned fully online, including the unique Technology Teacher Education program. For those who are interested in finding work in the high-demand field of STEM education, this program provides high quality training in public school technology teaching.

As a VCSU online student studying technology education, you will engage in coursework that covers the full spectrum of today’s technologies through a curriculum that meets the high standards set by the International Technology Education Association. Some classes you can anticipate taking include 3D modeling and design, safety and management, engineering the future, intelligent machines, curriculum design, and research and assessment in technology education, among others. Moreover, you will participate in capstone courses and in lab activities that can be done at home or on a campus near you. At VCSU you will also have the opportunity to participate in in-service training experiences.

Valley City State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its education programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

11

Florida International University

College Choice Score: 90.5

Credit Hour Cost: $329

Program Website

Florida International University

At Florida International University (FIU) you will take classes on the cultural and social foundations of education, educational psychology, the methods of teaching elementary art, special needs of children and their families, and so much more. Perhaps obvious, FIU’s online program in early childhood education encompasses a spectrum of issues, topics, and theories related to teaching in the elementary classroom. The curriculum explicitly blends professional education courses with course blocks on teaching methods, early childhood education proper, early development, family and community studies, and literacy development.

Florida International University is not only a great school but its online and distance education programs are known for providing students across the country (and all over the world) with a highly ranked educational experience. This is because online students have many of the same opportunities as “traditional” on-campus students, such as participating in the Honors College or the Academy of Leaders development certification program. Similarly, online FIU students work closely with success coaches, academic coaches, and tutors for a successful academic experience.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Florida International University is known for its research activity and strong rankings recognized by Forbes, Washington Monthly, and U.S. News & World Report.

12

University of Wisconsin–Superior

College Choice Score: 90.5

Credit Hour Cost: $305

Program Website

university-of-wisconsin-superior

Part of the renowned University of Wisconsin system, the Superior branch brings its students all the resources and services of the greater universities but in a smaller and more intimate setting. And for those who want access to the community but have to study from a distance, UW Superior offers a BA/BS in Teacher Education online program for those looking to go into elementary teaching. This is a full undergraduate program, meaning you are not expected to have completed any courses before enrolling. You will take both your general education core classes as well as major courses to complete the degree. You should, therefore, allocate four years to finish the program.

As a UW Superior student studying elementary education you will also be required to include a minor in your program. There are many to choose from and they span from language arts to geography, German, Spanish, field science, and special education, among others. You will also be privileged enough to participate in a teaching education program that has a reputation among district, regional, state, and even national school systems.

UW Superior is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. They are a relatively small university with approximately 3k undergraduate students.

13

Western Governors University

College Choice Score: 89.5

Credit Hour Cost: $192

Program Website

Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) offers eight online bachelor degrees in a range of educational sectors (each of which provides licensure) plus another four post-baccalaureate teacher preparation programs. The undergraduate programs include BAs in Interdisciplinary Studies (K–8), Special Education (K–12), Mathematics (5–9 or 5–12), Science (5–9), Chemistry (5–12), Physics (5–12), Biological Science (5–12), and Geoscience (5–12). The post-bacc programs cover mathematics, science, elementary education, and the social sciences.

Whichever program is the best fit for you, at WGU you will take part in the innovative, competency-based learning model; that is, all WGU students proceed through their degree by demonstrating they have acquired certain knowledge, skill, or ability. You will also take classes at your own pace and whenever is most convenient for you. An assigned mentor will help guide you through the program, assisting you with your schedule, connecting you with online study groups and communities, and generally ensuring you succeed as a WGU student.

Western Governors University is a private and nonprofit university accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools. All of the nearly 80,000 WGU students are online in one of the four colleges: business, information technology, education, and the health professions. Known not only for its innovative teaching model, WGU’s tuition rates are among the most competitive in the country.

14

University of Massachusetts–Amherst

College Choice Score: 88.25

Credit Hour Cost: $390

Program Website

Massachusetts Amherst

Boasting some of the highest rankings from Forbes, Reuters, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and more, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst has a reputation for providing top-notch education across many disciplines and research areas. They also have a sizeable online learning platform that brings accessible and affordable degrees to students across the nation. This includes two BA programs in education, one in children’s learning and development and another in early care and education. The former prepares students to work with children, youth, and families either in an educational setting or in advocacy, administration, nonprofit, or programming. The latter, which provides scholarship funds to select students, is strictly for those who want to become teachers.

Both degrees provide credit (even up to one hundred hours) for prior learning and/or vocational experience, so you can get a leg up on graduation day. And though this isn’t technically a degree completion program, you must have earned twelve college credits already before enrolling. The two programs, though different in course work and outcome, allow you to design your own program of study without ever having to come to campus.

The University of Massachusetts–Amherst is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

15

Southern Oregon University

College Choice Score: 88

Credit Hour Cost: $476

Program Website

Southern_Oregon_University

Southern Oregon University (SOU) offers an online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development degree completion program that was designed with working professional in mind. Graduates from the program have gone on to work with young children and their families as preschool teachers, Head Start program teachers, administrators, family advocates, early interventionists, and educational assistants. Many have also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching, as SOU has several programs in place, including a fully online Master in Education degree.

Since you are expected to have finished your prerequisites and general education courses before enrolling at SOU, the curriculum comprising this BA in Early Childhood Development program emphasizes advanced study. You’ll take classes on working with children who have disabilities, children who are at risk, inclusive classrooms, atypical child development, health and safety, bullying and intervention, and more. Capstone practicums, portfolios, and seminars are also required.

Southern Oregon University is located in Ashland, Oregon and is a public liberal arts college. SOU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools.

16

University of Arizona

College Choice Score: 87.5

Credit Hour Cost: $490

Program Website

University of Arizona

Designed to be a continuation of an Associate degree program, the University of Arizona offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education degree that equips students to work in structured learning and support services for children aged birth to eight. This is not really a program for those seeking licensure but for those who want to work in curriculum development, social work, pre-school teaching, after-school teaching, and teaching assistance. You’ll take classes on such wide-ranging topics as childhood creative arts and physical education, early childhood language and literacy, and teaching exceptional children. So though it doesn’t lead to licensure, this degree prepares you for many educational career opportunities.

The University of Arizona offers one other undergraduate degree in education: a Bachelor of Science in Literacy, Learning, and Leadership. Students enrolled in this program look at the kinds of policies that promote equality and access to education for those most often marginalized. Classes explore the impact of state, national, and community policies, as well as the methods of advancing literacy, empowering learners from diverse educational environments, and fostering equity for the underserved.

The University of Arizona is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

17

Ball State University

College Choice Score: 86.75

Credit Hour Cost: $492

Program Website

Ball State University

The online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree from Ball State University trains it students in several areas of professional development. Foremost, students learn how to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging environments for children. But they also learn the complex systems of family and communities, how to observe and document a child’s development and learning, and the ethics imperative to early childhood education, including becoming an informed advocate.

As a Ball State online student you’ll take a number of unique courses, such as literature for young children, early emergent literacy, and the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of education. The breadth of experience you’ll gain at Ball State qualifies you for innumerable career options. You can become a pre-K teacher, a Head Start specialist, a curriculum specialist, a para-educator, or an early childhood administrator or director. This degree will also prepare you to earn an advanced degree or certification.

Ball State University, located Muncie, Indiana, offers nearly 200 areas of study to its nearly 20,000 undergraduates. A public, research institution, it is well ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

18

Arkansas Tech University

College Choice Score: 86

Credit Hour Cost: $438

Program Website

Arkansas Technical University

For those interested in teaching children in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree from Arkansas Tech University can be mostly earned online, though some on-campus visits are required. Offered through the College of Education, this program seeks to foster successful and innovative professionals who will commit themselves to diverse, evolving communities of learners. A notably hands-on learning experience, students at Arkansas Tech are required to participate in internships and teacher preparation programs.

As an Arkansas Tech student you can study online at your own pace; there are no posted class times and coursework can be completed and submitted when it’s most convenient for you. However, there are due dates for assignments and exams. You will work closely with your teachers as well as with academic advisors, tutors, and career counselors.

With a relatively small campus of around 10k undergraduate students, Arkansas Tech University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and located in Russellville. They offer many online degrees (bachelors, masters, and specialist) and certifications through their eTech distance education program.

19

St. Mary-of-the-Woods College

College Choice Score: 85.25

Credit Hour Cost: $496

Program Website

St Mary-of-the-Woods

Do you want to earn an online degree but also receive a liberal arts education? St. Mary-of-the-Woods College offers several online degrees delivered through their liberal arts curriculum in a flexible, affordable format. You’ll also have access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities as well as alternative ways to earn course credit, such as previous training experience, standardized testing, and already acquired certification. St. Mary-of-the-Woods has gone to great lengths to ensure their online students feel that they are part of a community, so students have access to a wide network of support, from professors, advisors, and administration.

There are nine online education degrees at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, through which you can simultaneously earn a bachelor degree and licensure: art education (preschool through 12), English education (grades 5–12), kindergarten through grade 6, kindergarten through grade 6 with mild intervention, life sciences education (grades 5–12), math education (5–12), preschool through grade 3, social studies education (5–12), and special education.

Located in Indiana, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and their education programs are accredited by the NCATE.

20

Dakota State University

College Choice Score: 83.5

Credit Hour Cost: $333

Program Website

Dakota State University

Dakota State University (DSU) offers an online bachelors degree in special education at the elementary level. This program prepares students to create K–12 classrooms for all abilities, including those who have autism, behavior, cognitive, and/or learning disabilities. As a DSU student you will learn more than teaching across abilities, though; you will learn how to track students’ progress, modify your curriculum, promote challenges, and encourage milestones. Field experience and practicums will add to your DSU experience, as you are required to complete a year-long residency in a public school of your choosing.

This program can be completed online and is a full bachelors degree. No prior classes or credits are necessary to enroll. Once accepted you can anticipate a traditional academic experience, one that will take approximately four years to finish. You will take a number of humanities, science, and social science classes in addition to your major and specialization classes. You will also graduate with official teaching certification and licensure that qualifies you to teach children with developmental disabilities in grades K–12.

Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

21

Regent University

College Choice Score: 83.25

Credit Hour Cost: $395

Program Website

Regent_University_Library

A Christian university that brings its faith perspective into the classroom, Regent University has a huge distance education program. They have dozens of education degrees, at all undergraduate and advanced levels and in dozens of areas, including an online BS in Early Childhood Education. Unique to this curriculum, in addition to its Christian foundation and worldview, is that it gives students a comprehensive understanding of education as well as business operations.

As an online Regent student you will discover how to help children (birth through age 8) thrive by creating effective lessons plans, implementing proven teaching strategies, and learning how best to assess children’s progress. You will also learn the basics of business, personnel law, marketing, and management. Regent provides the opportunity to combine a degree with certification (also online) in a range of areas, from certification in advancing leadership to certification in law, higher education, teaching English to speakers of other languages, and much more.

Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Their online learning platform is well-regarded by many, and was recently counted among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

22

Mississippi State University

College Choice Score: 81.5

Credit Hour Cost: $319

Program Website

mississippi-state-university-copy

Though Mississippi State University (MSU) offers less online degrees then some of the other schools on our list, they take good care of their online and distance education students. For example, they first provide prospective students with an assessment quiz that determines whether online learning through MSU will be a good fit. They then provide accepted students with scholarships, access to online tutoring and writing guidance, and proctoring help, making distance education at MSU flexible, community oriented, and still hands-on, as education students are required to complete field work.

The online BS in Elementary Education at MSU comes with the option of adding one of two concentrations, in either Early Childhood Education or Middle School Studies. As this is a full online bachelors degree you will take all your gen ed courses as well as major classes that cover child development, curriculum building, working with parents, and more. You will then participate in a year of student teaching. By graduation you will be licensed to teach in the state of Mississippi. If you’re looking to teach outside of Mississippi, you can apply this degree to your own Department of Education to find out how to fulfill your state’s requirements.

Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and their education programs are accredited by NCATE. MSU is a high research university well-ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly.

23

Texas Tech University

College Choice Score: 80.25

Credit Hour Cost: $440

Program Website

Texas Tech University

Like some of the other colleges and universities on our ranking, Texas Tech University has a broad distance learning program with many fully online degrees, hybrid options, regional teaching sites, and degrees at all levels, from associates and certification to doctoral programs. Among their bachelor degrees, Texas Tech offers a Bachelor of Science in Early Child Care. This program is one of only a few of its kind: it prepares students to work with young children whose family members are highly mobile (for example, military families).

The curriculum for this unique early childhood education program explores development in infants, toddlers, and children ages 4–8, as well as healthy and safety issues, adapting for developmental differences, assessment of young children, technology, administration and supervision, and more. You will also complete at least three practicums, each of which corresponds to your placement in the program. Online coursework is asynchronous, so you can fit classes and homework into your own schedule while also working closely with instructors and peers through interactive, online learning. Upon graduation you will be fully equipped to work in many areas of early childhood care and education, such as Head Start programs, after-school programs, childcare centers, and more.

Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

24

Drexel University

College Choice Score: 80

Credit Hour Cost: $479

Program Website

Drexel University

You can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Education from Drexel University that prepares you for pre-kindergarten through fourth grade elementary or special education teaching. This program takes only a little over two years to complete, so it’s necessary you have already attained your general education credits, and it is only available on a part-time basis. Up to 90 credit hours can be transferred to fulfill Drexel’s liberal arts requirements.

Some classes you can anticipate taking as an online Drexel education student include literacy and content skill development, special education foundations, the history and philosophy of education, typical and atypical development, pedagogy, diversity and today’s teacher, creating a positive classroom climate, teaching in urban contexts, and multimedia in instructional design, among others. You will also have to take a full year of student teaching experience, but upon graduation you will be fully certified to teach in Pennsylvania or transfer your educational credit to your own state’s requirements.

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Drexel University is a private, research university with multiple campuses in Philadelphia and nationally and globally ranked by ARWU, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, QS World University Rankings, and Times Higher Education.

25

Vanguard University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 78.25

Credit Hour Cost: $1,066

Program Website

Vanguard_University_of_Southern_California

Perhaps modest in its quantity of online offerings, Vanguard University of Southern California offers one of the best online education programs in the nation. Their Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education is proffered through an accelerated, accessible format that blends traditional education with Christian learning. With a curriculum designed to meet the formal training requirements put forward by Head Start, State Preschools, the Association of Christian Schools International, and the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), this degree from Vanguard will give you manifold opportunities upon graduation.

Vanguard will teach you how to promote child development and learning, how to build relationships with families and communities, how to observe and assess young children, how to maintain exhaustive documentation of those assessments, how to use developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and their families, how to build a meaningful curriculum, and how to become a successful professional. The course work emphasizes Christian values and, in some cases, requires you take classes on Christian Scripture and/or education—just something to keep in mind as you peruse options.

Ranked among the best universities for its region, Vanguard University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

26

University of Missouri

College Choice Score: 78

Credit Hour Cost: $355

Program Website

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri (Mizzou) is a great option for earning your undergrad degree in education. They offer a Bachelor of Educational Studies degree, with interdepartmental emphasis, that can be earned fully online without any campus visits. While the core curriculum covers career guidance, human learning, special educational, vocational education for special-needs learners, and occupational analysis, you can choose the focus area that best fits with your career goals and passions. Options include business management, computer applications, the culinary arts, digital media, and the health sciences.

There are many compelling reasons to choose Mizzou: they offer a 10 percent reduction on tuition for community college graduates, veterans, and military service members (and their dependents); you can choose to either enroll in the semester-based or self-paced format; they take a number of transfer credits so you can graduate earlier; and the College of Education offers a variety of scholarships, making this affordable degree even more economical incentivizing.

Located in Columbia, the University of Missouri is a public land-grant research school of over 30,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

27

Kansas State University

College Choice Score: 77.25

Credit Hour Cost: $424

Program Website

Kansas_State_University

You can earn a bachelors degree in either Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education at Kansas State University’s Global Campus. Both are online, the former offered through the College of Human Ecology and the latter through the College of Education. For those most interested in elementary education, this Bachelor of Science degree adheres closely to its mission to “prepare educators to be knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision-makers for a diverse and changing world.”

Like several other programs, this is also a degree completion program that requires students have already completed, at minimum, forty-four hours of general education coursework. Once enrolled online students will experience the same curriculum delivered by the same faculty as the on-campus students. You will take classes on educational psychology, core teaching skills, language methods, literacy, classroom management, and teaching across several subjects and disciplines. After completing a practicum you will then graduate from KSU as a licensed K–6 teacher.

Kansas State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; their College of Education is accredited by the NCATE and the Kansas State Department of Education. KSU is located in Manhattan, Kansas and enrolls nearly 25k undergraduate and graduate students.

28

University of South Carolina

College Choice Score: 77.25

Credit Hour Cost: $824

Program Website

University of South Carolina

Offering degree completion programs for those who want to finish their undergraduate experience online and at their own pace, the University of South Carolina provides two options for those who want to go into education: a BA in Special Education or a BA in Elementary Education.

The special education online degree first requires students to have completed at least forty-five credit hours of classes, but then allows them to enroll in this fully online degree. Students can supplement the standard curriculum with one of four certifications, in multicategorical special education, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or emotional disabilities. Upon graduation, students will be fully equipped to teach children with special needs in grades K–12. Similarly, the elementary education program teaches students how to engage children, facilitate learning, design curriculums, and monitor and interpret student development. This program takes a bit longer to complete (three years) and requires practicums and field experience.

The flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System, the University of South Carolina is a large school with nearly 400 different programs of study. It is well ranked by ARWU, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

29

University of Toledo

College Choice Score: 76.75

Credit Hour Cost: $335

Program Website

University of Toledo

As an online University of Toledo (UT) student you will work directly with success coaches and academic advisors and have access to cutting-edge technology such as eTutoring and the eLibrary. Toledo online students also have the opportunity to receive scholarship funding for past credits, making this affordable degree even more affordable. The Bachelors in Early Childhood Education online degree is a fast-tracked completion program (that doesn’t lead to licensure) that will advance your career in teaching, administration, or leadership.

The UT curriculum is a blend of theory, research, and practical methodology that introduces students to that which makes children thrive both as individuals and as part of larger communities and families. Classes fully cover how to create effective learning environments, supporting STEM subjects, early literacy and language development, and how to meet the needs of young children with disabilities. Graduates from UT have consistently found work within schools, school systems, learning agencies, and nonprofit organizations; many have also gone on to earn advanced degrees in education.

Located in the Northeastern region of Ohio, the University of Toledo is a four-year, public institution and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

30

University of Cincinnati

College Choice Score: 74

Credit Hour Cost: $1,098

Program Website

University of Cincinnati

Are you most interested in gaining a thorough understanding of early childhood theory (ages birth through five) and its application in an educational setting? The University of Cincinnati offers an online BS in Early Childhood Education degree that is well-ranked, accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and that puts you on the track toward licensure. Graduates from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Education have found successful careers in preschools, Head Start programs, child-care centers, public schools, and more.

This is a full degree program that can be earned nearly completely online (though you are not required to visit campus you will have to complete at least one fieldwork assignment). The faculty and curriculum is the same for distance learners as it is for those on-campus, meaning you can still have a mostly traditional college experience. And you’ll learn directly from those with decades of experience as preschool, infant, and toddler teachers. Finally, you can personally design your curriculum experience by taking on a specialization in either pre-K, infants and toddlers, or in administration.

A large, public research university with many nationally ranked departments—including nursing, education, pediatrics, pharmacy, environmental science, medicine, criminal justice, and neurology, among others—the University of Cincinnati is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

31

Ottawa University

College Choice Score: 73

Credit Hour Cost: $499

Program Website

Ottowa University

Unlike a majority of the schools on our list, Ottawa University actually offers an online BA in Secondary Education, as well as a BA in Elementary Education. So for those who want to teach in high schools, this program will give you hands-on experience as well as the knowledge and skills to identify and adapt to the unique needs, challenges, and learning styles of students ages 14 through 18. Content areas include business, English, history, mathematics, biology, and speech and theatre.

Similarly, the elementary education program combines field work with online course work so you can wholly develop your professional abilities, teaching methodologies, and communication strategies. And you will hone your critical-thinking skills to cultivate an awareness of cultural diversity, social influences, and the political contexts of education. This is a full degree program, so you will take all your general education courses in addition to your major courses. The clinical requirement consists of twelve hours of student teaching and research.

Ottawa University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. They are one of the smallest schools on our list with under 1k undergraduate students currently enrolled.

32

Granite State College

College Choice Score: 72.5

Credit Hour Cost: $300

Program Website

Granite State

Granite State College (GSC) is part of the University System of New Hampshire and boasts a broad online learning platform. By delivering accessible and affordable education to adult learners, whether those students are in school for the first time or returning, Granite State has been recognized, and earned national ranking, for its affordability, academic standing, and reputable online programs.

Not only can you earn a fully online, four-year BS in Early Childhood Education from Granite State, but GSC offers an online completion program in early childhood development as well as online teacher certification options in early childhood education, English language arts, math studies, and the social sciences. Thus, there are many ways to start, continue, and/or complete your degree in education through the distance learning program at Granite State. And regardless of the route you take you can be assured that you will learn the skills and knowledge to promote child development in a range of settings and with diverse, ever-changing classrooms.

Granite State is comprised of nine campus locations—its main campus is located in Concord, New Hampshire—and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

33

Liberty University

College Choice Score: 72.25

Credit Hour Cost: $390

Program Website

Liberty University

In addition to their conservative, Christian values, Liberty University is also known for having one of the biggest and most reputable online education programs in the nation. Included among their many offerings are the BS in Elementary Education (Interdisciplinary Studies), the BS in Early Childhood Education (Interdisciplinary Studies), and the BS in Special Education (Interdisciplinary Studies). The first two programs (all three are fully online) prepares students for potential career opportunities as Christian school teachers, preschool teachers, school administrators, or to work in educational ministries while the special education degree equips students to be tutors, teachers, or paraprofessionals.

At Liberty you can work through your online degree at your own pace and at an affordable rate. These are comprehensive degrees, so you don’t need any prior credits under your belt to apply, and they specifically ready students to serve in educational, missional, or theological (or a confluence of) fields. In fact, graduates have found work in both public and private schools as well as innumerable other educational areas. Many have also gone on to earn advanced degrees in education, administration, or ministry.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and it is based in Lynchburg, Virginia.

34

City University of Seattle

College Choice Score: 72

Credit Hour Cost: $340

Program Website

City University of Seattle

City University of Seattle (CityU) offers a full Bachelor of Arts in Education degree that combines field experience with theory and methodology to prepare students for successful teaching careers. For those who already have some professional experience, CityU allows them to accelerate their degree process by transferring that experience into actual course credit. Unique to the CityU program is that it delivers its content through a regional cohort model. Meaning, students engage in online lectures and learning experiences but are required to attend class for projects and discussions. However, this doesn’t mean you need to live in or near Seattle; in-class sessions are held at a campus near you.

This BA in Education degree can be completed on its own or paired with one of the following emphases: elementary education, middle level mathematics, special education, English language learners, reading, or early childhood education. However you specialize, you will graduate having satisfied the requirements to become a certified teacher. You will be able to find work in either public or private schools or in administration, care centers, education centers, and more.

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, City University of Seattle is comprised of three schools: the School of Management, its renowned Albright School of Education, and its Arts and Sciences College.

35

Eastern Oregon University

College Choice Score: 71.5

Credit Hour Cost: $210

Program Website

eastern oregon university

Eastern Oregon University (EOU) proffers dozens of online undergraduate degrees, including its completion degree in Early Childhood Education. This two-year program is technically non-licensure but students can choose to obtain their teacher licensure upon graduation. Training students to work with children ages birth to eight, this program covers all angles on supporting, educating, and advocating for young children.

In addition to taking classes such as family collaboration in early childhood, positive behavior guidance, learning environments, assessment and observation, and technology in the classroom, EOU education students are required to take on a minor as well. There are over a dozen online minors to choose from, which range from English speakers of other languages (ESOL) to business, health studies, physical education, Spanish, public policy, psychology, and more. With an affordable tuition rate, Eastern Oregon University is a great option for online study. They also boast a high rate of employment post degree. For example, graduates have secured jobs as teachers, program directors, administrators, non-profit advocates, educational coordinators, and policy makers, among other roles.

Located in La Grande, Eastern Oregon University is small school of under 5k undergraduates. It is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

36

Wilmington University

College Choice Score: 70.5

Credit Hour Cost: $354

Program Website

Wilmington-University

Wilmington University is an affordable, non-profit institution comprised of many schools, including technical, liberal arts, science, and business colleges. Not only are there a breadth of programs and degree options, but many of the faculty are renowned for their research contributions to both academia and their respective industries. Wilmington has a lot to offer future teachers, no matter where your interests are allocated. They have full, online undergraduate degrees in early childhood education, elementary education (K–6), middle level education (grades 6–8), and skilled and technical sciences.

Though all the education studies programs carry their own emphasis and prepare students in distinct and discrete ways, each program is comprehensive, so you don’t need any college credit before enrolling, and each paves the way for you to become fully certified and licensed. Whether you’re most intrigued by learning theory, working directly with students, educational psychology, development of the child, or education best practices, Wilmington will cultivate and grow these interests, readying you for a long career in the classroom, boardroom, or leading an educational organization or center.

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

37

East Carolina University

College Choice Score: 70.25

Credit Hour Cost: $861

Program Website

East Carolina University

Faculty, prospective students, and graduating students have had a hand in the curricular design at East Carolina University, which means the online BS degrees in education offer both a structured learning experience and one that fits perfectly with the needs and interests of its current students. There are five distinct bachelor of science education programs at ECU: birth through kindergarten education, family and consumer sciences education, elementary education, middle grades education, and special education.

It’s important to note that these are completion programs. Most online students only apply once they have attained at least two years of education at another school. However, these programs will get you completely ready for the classroom. Coursework covers behaviors and development, curriculum building across disciplines and subjects, language and literacy, administration, diversity, and the foundations of education. Whether you want to work in the classroom or in early intervention programming, placement centers, family services, or administration, East Carolina University can help you get there.

Based in Greenville, East Carolina University is a large, public university and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

38

Southwestern College

College Choice Score: 69.5

Credit Hour Cost: $455

Program Website

southwestern-college

A private school located in Wichita, Kansas, Southwestern College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and maintains a level of theology in all its coursework and departments. It’s a small school with around 2k undergraduates, but their online learning platform brings students from around the country. There are two education programs at the undergraduate level that can be completed online: one in early childhood education and the other in elementary education. Though neither program are completion degree programs, both require that you have at least six post-high school college credits.

Southwestern has gone to great lengths to ensure their students graduate as leaders committed to community and individual growth. After completing the foundational, general core course load, as an online education student at Southwestern you will then take pre-professional education classes that introduce you to the fundamentals of motor development, teaching children with disabilities, assessment strategies, literacy development, language and linguistics, and technology in the classroom. You will then take a number of teacher education specialization courses, exploratory education classes, and capstone student teaching seminars.

Southwestern College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

39

Northern Arizona University

College Choice Score: 69

Credit Hour Cost: $770

Program Website

Northern Arizona University

The Extended Campus at Northern Arizona University (NAU) is home to more than 8,000 students who are enrolled in one of the nearly hundred online degree options. Education students are especially lucky, as NAU offers dozens of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, and specialist training. Among the online education degrees you can earn at NAU, there’s the BS in Career and Technical Education, the BS in Elementary Education, the BS in Special and Elementary Education, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Early Childhood.

Each of these are comprehensive degree programs that allow anywhere from sixty-four to ninety allowable transfer credits. And though all of these programs can be completed fully online, some are blended, meaning you can take some courses on campus and the rest online. At Northern Arizona University you will gain all the tools, methods, and knowledge you need to help guide you into the vast world of education, child development, and literacy. With both online and blended options and the opportunity to add additional certification or a minor to your degree, you can be assured that you will graduate with everything you need for a dynamic, successful career in teaching.

Based in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University is a public research school accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

40

University of West Florida

College Choice Score: 66.75

Credit Hour Cost: $648

Program Website

University of West Florida

Part of the State University System of Florida, the University of West Florida holds a number of high rankings; it has been listed as one of “America’s Top Colleges” for many years by Forbes and is called one of the “Best Southeastern Colleges” by The Princeton Review. UWF also offers over 400 online courses and dozens of online undergraduate and graduate level degrees, including a BA in Exceptional Student Education.

Through this fully online program students learn how to teach diverse individuals and communities by adapting to different learning needs. You will learn how to create research-support instruction for students across disability levels through theory-based course work and through two 100-hour field experiences. Upon graduation from the University of West Florida you will be able to find work as a public or private school teacher in grades kindergarten through twelve, as an instructional materials developer, a supplement education services provider, or an instructional teacher of grades kindergarten through twelve.

The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is both an affordable and flexible educational experience. Their teaching program is accredited by the NCATE.

41

Grand Canyon University

College Choice Score: 61.5

Credit Hour Cost: $440

Program Website

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University (GCU) has proffered online degrees for many years now (over a decade), so their expertise in distance education is clear and demonstrable by their leading faculty members, their online tools and services, and the degree variety students have to choose from. In fact, for those eager to study education, either classroom instruction or administration, Grand Canyon University has nearly a dozen fully online programs. Three of these are BAs in Secondary Education for those who want to teach English, history, or business; two are BSs in Elementary Education, one with specialization in special education; and the rest vary from educational studies to Christian education, mathematics, and more.

It’s important to note that Grand Canyon University is a Christian college with a biblically rooted mission and vision. This reflects in their curriculum, their emphasis on community and community values, and their stress on service. Though once a Baptist school, they are now inter-denominational and open to students of all belief traditions. So this is something to anticipate as a student. Other expectations you should have of GCU include an excellent online experience. They pair you with tutors and connect you with library resources whenever you need them, and you can study at your own pace and convenience.

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They are a for-profit institution based in Phoenix, Arizona.

42

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

College Choice Score: 61

Credit Hour Cost: $575

Program Website

Southwestern Assemblies of God

You can choose among four options for earning a Bachelor of Science in Education online at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU): a BA in Elementary Education, a BA in English Language Arts and Reading (at the middle and secondary level), a BA in Social Studies/History (at the middle and secondary level), and a BA in Education without certification. Each of these programs comes with areas of concentrations that range from creative writing to literacy, educator assessment, Western history, the fine arts, psychology, and more. This means that at SAGU you have the opportunity to really tailor your curriculum and studies to match your goals, passions, and interests.

Online learning at SAGU is marked by flexibility, as the degree is 100 percent online and access to classes is 24/7, and affordability. Not only is tuition inexpensive, but for a limited time SAGU is offering a 15 percent tuition grant for those who enroll in an online bachelors program. Finally, for those who have prior academic and/or professional experience, SAGU offers course credit to accelerate your degree and save you money.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SAGU is a private school located in Waxahachie, Texas.

43

Notre Dame College

College Choice Score: 60.75

Credit Hour Cost: $460

Program Website

Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College presents future teachers with two options for online learning: the mild to moderate intervention specialist (K–12) licensure or the early childhood education (pre K–3) licensure. Both are offered through Notre Dame College’s online Bachelor of Arts in Education program. While both are comprehensive degree programs that don’t require prior college credit, the former prepares students to become special education teachers who meet the social, developmental, and cognitive needs of their students. The latter gives students the skills needed to teach in grades pre-K through third.

Notre Dame College has a reputation for helping graduates of all ages and backgrounds find rewarding careers as child care workers, preschool teachers, principals, school administrators, elementary and secondary educators, and special education instructors. This is because their online classroom is staffed by experienced faculty who introduce innovative pedagogy and collaborate closely with students on current topics in the field of education.

Notre Dame College is a small, liberal arts school affiliated with the Catholic Church and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Their teaching programs are accredited by the NCATE.

44

Hope International University

College Choice Score: 59.75

Credit Hour Cost: $1,395

Program Website

Hope_International_University

Also a private, Christian school, Hope International University’s College of Education offers an online degree in Liberal Studies: Teacher Preparation. This is a unique program specially suited for those who want a broad liberal arts education that creates a sturdy foundation in several disciplines while also teaching leadership and communication within the classroom. Like several of the other schools that arrive farther on down this ranking, Hope International University provides a Christian education that integrates knowledge and skills with a faith perspective.

Once you’ve completed your general ed core at Hope International you then take approximately fifty to sixty credits in your major. For the Liberal Studies Teacher program, this includes classes on literacy development, the child and community, designing physical environments, curriculum planning, observing and assessing students, education research, and then a bundle of courses covering history, math, the social sciences, biology and earth science, and English. Graduates from Hope have gone on to earn advanced degrees and find work as teachers and educators in a number of areas.

Hope International University is located in Fullerton, California and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

45

Ashford University

College Choice Score: 58.25

Credit Hour Cost: $452

Program Website

Ashford-University-1

With over sixty degree programs, five to six week course lengths, and the possibility of transferring up to ninety credits, Ashford University is an incredibly flexible and convenient choice for online study. Their College of Education similarly offers many choices in online degrees. One can earn a BA in Child Development, a BA in Early Childhood Education, a BA in Early Childhood Education Administration, a BA in Education Studies, a BA in English Language Learner Studies, a BA in Instructional Design (one of only a few), or a BA in Library Science and Media.

Since there are not many online degrees in pedagogical design, we’ll focus on that one here. This program combines learning theory with instructional design technique. You will master the art of curriculum making by taking classes that discuss education on a global level, that explore the intersection of technology and learning, that foster passion for cultivating your own, unique approach to developing, delivering, and assessing instructional and training interventions. This is a perfect degree for those who see themselves in K–12 but also in the higher education, government, military, corporate, or nonprofit sectors.

Based in San Diego, Ashford University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

46

Bellevue University

College Choice Score: 58.25

Credit Hour Cost: $410

Program Website

Bellevue University

Bellevue University—based in Bellevue, Nebraska—offers a number of online degree programs and has for many years. They base their education model in an accelerated, student-centered, cohort-based format, and they work closely with a student body who is largely older and looking to advance their careers. Bellevue online students benefit from a strong cohort community and from the mentoring relationships with the faculty. This is a highly flexible and affordable option for obtaining your undergraduate degree. Bellevue also provides the only online Bachelors of Science in Adult Education degree on our list.

This distinctive program prepares students to lead in classrooms and provide instructional support in community or technical colleges. It’s also for those who hope to find training or development positions within organizations or in one-on-one vocational guidance settings. Classes in this degree program include adult learning theory, foundations of continuing education, instructional methods and delivery, learning assessment and delivery, electronic methodology, and more. Students graduate able to apply the theories and concepts of adult education to create relevant instructional materials, to assess the effectiveness of course materials and delivery, and to demonstrate a teaching style marked by innovation and critical thinking.

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

47

University of the Cumberlands

College Choice Score: 57.75

Credit Hour Cost: $720

Program Website

University of the Cumberlands

Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the University of the Cumberlands is a private college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Their School of Education offers a number of online degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This program, which provides a blend of liberal arts and professional education, gives students the skills, knowledge, and competencies to find work in private or public education.

The University of the Cumberlands curriculum covers literacy, language arts, effective teaching practices, classroom management and behavior, and the psychology of learning and exceptionality, plus several courses covering the standard subjects of math, the sciences, English, and social studies. Unique to this program, however, is that you will also take classes on school art, children’s literature, health education in the school and community, race and diversity, and school music. This means you are guaranteed a comprehensive educational experience that fully prepares you to meet the diverse needs of students today. Cumberlands also offers a number of online advanced degrees, certifications, and specializations in education, so you have the option of continuing your education in addition to entering the work force.

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

48

Maranatha Baptist University

College Choice Score: 47.25

Credit Hour Cost: $404

Program Website

Maranatha Baptist University

Known for their education program, as well as their theological curriculum, Maranatha Baptist University may not offer a huge quantity of online programs, but they can be trusted for high quality in what they do have. They offer a BS in Educational Studies for non-traditional students who want to study online and then teach in a Christian school environment. Because there is such a big emphasis on integrating the Christian faith into learning, students at Maranatha take twenty-four credit hours of Biblical studies classes, including those on the Old and New Testament, the Baptist heritage, and Christian life, leadership, and evangelism.

Your education core at Maranatha will prepare you to lead in the classroom as well as monitor and assess children’s development. You will take classes on psychological learning, technology for teaching and learning, and theory and method, and you’ll will have the opportunity to specialize in one of eight areas: Bible education, business education, elementary education, English, music, mathematics, science, and social studies. One thing to note about the Maranatha program is that while it does pave the way for graduates to pursue alternative certification through their own state, certification by Christian School agencies, graduate school, or alternative education careers, it does not lead to formal licensure.

Accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission, Maranatha Baptist University is based in Watertown, Wisconsin.

49

Northcentral University

College Choice Score: 46

Credit Hour Cost: $445

Program Website

Northcentral University

You can earn an online Bachelor of Education degree through Northcentral University that can be paired with one of three areas of specialization: special education, elementary education, or secondary education. This is a completion degree that requires you enter the program with at least ninety credits available for transfer. You will then take thirty credits through Northcentral’s educational department to achieve your bachelors degree within twenty months.

In addition to its affordability and flexibility, there are many other reasons to consider completing your undergraduate experience online through Northcentral University. Foremost, they offer a one-to-one learning model, so you will work directly with your faculty advisors in a close and collaborative environment. You’ll experience individualized attention from professors who have years of experience, both professionally and academically. And graduates from NCU’s education programs have secured successful careers in a diverse range of fields, from middle school single-subject teaching to working children with special needs.

A virtual, for-profit institution, Northcentral University offers degrees at all levels. They are accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

50

University of Alaska–Southeast

College Choice Score: 42.75

Credit Hour Cost: $715

Program Website

University of Alaska Southeast

The University of Alaska Southeast is known for its education programs across degree levels. And through their online and distance education platform, they offer a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education. Both are comprehensive degree programs that allow you to take all your general education coursework online. And both are designed to see you succeed first as a UA–Southeast student then as a teacher in the classroom, the learning center, or the child care facility.

The Elementary Education BA works within a liberal arts and interdisciplinary format to prepare students to become teachers at the kindergarten through eighth grade levels. You will be required to take professional education courses, capstone seminars, and complete field experiences and student teaching requirements. The special education program is more specifically designed for those who want to teach within the state of Alaska. Not only because of licensure requirements, but because the curriculum focuses on the unique needs of children and youth with disabilities as well as Alaska’s diverse native and non-native communities and Alaska’s remote, rural, and urban communities. Though perhaps niche, this program is renowned and one of a kind.

Part of the University of Alaska System, this branch is based in Juneau and is a public university accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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