Top 10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Degrees for 2020

For those wondering how to become a school teacher, a teaching degree is required in most states across the United States. Obtaining a teaching degree is easy and accessible when trying to get your teaching degree online. While an associate’s degree will get you in the classroom as a teacher’s assistant, for those who want to lead in the classroom, an online elementary teaching degree is what you should seek out when looking to get your teaching degree online. 

An online bachelor’s in elementary education allows you to build skills that will be with you in the classroom, and give you an insight as to the best way to teach certain subjects to your students. Bachelor degree in education requirements include being able to teach methods that your students can understand is essential in elementary education. With the potential for the curriculum to change from year to year, the teacher must be prepared and ready to adjust their methods using the skills taught in their classes and from their internship experience. 

Ranking the Best Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Online 

To point prospective teachers to the online bachelor’s completion program for them, Value Colleges editors looked over a multitude of fully online and hybrid online elementary teaching degree programs – exclusively accredited colleges and universities. From our initial list, editors ran each program through the tried and true VC method, averaging scores on affordability, alumni salary, and student reviews, using data from Niche, College Scorecard, and IPEDS. This combination tells students that they’re looking at programs with a real track record for quality and a serious expectation for return on investment

1. Kansas State University

Kansas State University’s Global Campus offers a BS in Elementary Education that can be completed 100% online. KSU’s online elementary teaching degree requires the completion of 120 credit units, and those who graduate are eligible to receive the state of Kansas’ first teaching license; some graduates may be a certified ESL teacher. Additionally, each student must complete a student teaching assignment to graduate. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has accredited Kansas State’s bachelors in elementary education online program.   

Kansas State University was established in 1863. It holds the distinction of being a space grant and land grant institution of higher learning. The school operates with branch campuses in Olathe and Salina. The school’s 650+-acre college-town campus is home to more than 22,000 students studying for a degree offered by nine schools/colleges. Kansas State University was the first public university in the state of Kansas.

Degree: BS in Elementary Education

2. Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University offers a BS in Elementary Education with two areas of academic focus – Early Childhood education or Middle School education. MSU’s bachelors in elementary education online program requires the completion of a student teaching field experience at either an elementary school or middle school.  Mississippi State University elementary education degree candidates must be eligible in their junior and senior years to devote sufficient time completing their student teaching internship. Mississippi State University has received accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). 

Mississippi State University was established in 1878 under the Morrill Land Grant Act. Additionally, Mississippi State University is also a flagship school; sea grant and space grant institution of higher learning as well. The school is situated on 4000+-acres where more than 22,000 students are on a path to earn one of the 175+ degrees offered by twelve schools/colleges. Mississippi State University is home to the Mitchell Memorial Library, which contains more than 70,000 journals, and volumes that exceed 2,000,000.

Degree: BS in Elementary Education

3. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina’s Palmetto College offers a BA in Elementary Education that can be completed entirely online. University of South Carolina’s online elementary teaching degree program has been recognized by Bestcolleges.com among the top baccalaureate level programs in the country. Elementary education degree candidates are required to complete 120 – 126 credit units (depending on the program selected); which can be completed in 2.5 – 3 years. Degree coursework includes Diversity in Learning, Classroom Assessments, Elementary Classroom Management, and Understanding Exceptional Children, to name a few. 

The University of South Carolina was established in 1801 and is the flagship campus of the University of South Carolina System. The University of South Carolina is a public and sea grant university that operates with 7 additional satellite campuses across the state of South Carolina. The school’s Columbia campus is home to more than 34,000 students. US News recognizes the University of South Carolina as an and up and coming institution of higher learning.

Degree: BA in Elementary Education

4. University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a BS in Elementary Education that is available 100% online. The University of Southern Mississippi’s online bachelors in elementary education program is designed for those students who have been teaching assistants and wish to become a licensed elementary educator. Graduates of USM’s elementary education degree program are eligible for licensing in the state of Mississippi for Kindergarten through Sixth grade.       

The University of Southern Mississippi was established in 1910 and operates with two campuses, one in Hattiesburg and the other campus located in Long Beach, MS. The school’s nearly 15,000 students are offered a two-day vacation so that they may participate in the Mardi Gras festivities in and around the school’s campuses. The University of Southern Mississippi operates an extensive program for students looking to study abroad. Each year approximately 200 students live and study in the heart of London, England. 

Degree: BS in Elementary Education

5. LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University’s School of Education offers a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood through Sixth Grade or a concentration for education between the fourth and eighth grade. Coursework includes Young Child Development, Classroom Management, and Foundations in American education and Culture. LETU’s online distance learning platform offers year-round courses that can be taken in an accelerated format and a convenient option for earning your bachelors in elementary education online. Each elementary education bachelor’s degree concentration requires the completion of 120 credit units and a classroom teaching internship.  

LeTourneau University was established in 1946 and remains affiliated with an interdenominational Christian delegation. US News recognizes LeTourneau University as a ‘best value’ institution of higher learning. The school’s urban campus is home to more than 3,000 students studying in Longview, Houston, and Dallas, TX. LeTourneau University was originally created to help veterans to re-enter traditional civilian life. 

Degree: BS in Interdisciplinary Studies – Early Childhood-6th Grade or 4th-8th Grade

6. Drexel University

Drexel University offers a BS in Education that prepares graduates to become licensed teachers between pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, or a special education certification. Drexel’s online elementary teaching degree can be completed in 2.5 to 5 five years, depending on the student’s available time. Additionally, degree candidates are required to complete 190 hours of a student teaching fieldwork experience covering 3 consecutive months. Drexel University’s bachelors in elementary education online program prepares graduates to sit for state licensing exams.  

Drexel University was established in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry. The school’s campus in the heart of the city of Brotherly Love is home to more than 24,000 students. US News considers Drexel University among the most innovative schools in the country. Drexel University is known for its unique cooperative educational experience that offers students an opportunity to gain work experience for a year and one-half while being paid.

Degree: BS in Education

7. University of Louisiana at Monroe

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s School of Education, College of Arts, Education & Sciences offers a BS in Elementary Education that can be completed entirely online. ULM’s online bachelors in elementary education program has received accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Coursework includes pedagogical studies, general studies, classroom instruction, and integrative studies.    

The University of Louisiana at Monroe was established in 1931. It is a member school of the University of Louisiana System. The school operates with state funding and has received accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). US News recognizes the University of Louisiana at Monroe among their best college rankings.

Degree: BS in Elementary Education

8. University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa offers a BA in Elementary Education that can be completed entirely online. UNI’s BA in education program is unique in that students begin studying at a community college and then transfer to UNI to complete their baccalaureate nursing degree. Coursework includes Teaching Methods, Teaching Early Literacy and Classroom Management, among others.

The University of Northern Iowa was established in 1876 as the Iowa State Normal School. The school operates with schools that offer degrees in Education, Business, Behavioral Science, Arts & Sciences and Social Sciences. The University of Northern Iowa’s 8875+-acre campus is home to more than 11,000 students studies from the 90+ degree programs offered. Nearly 90% of UNI’s students are from the state of Iowa. 

Degree: BA in Elementary Education

9. East Carolina University

East Carolina University’s College of Education offers a BS in Elementary Education that can be completed 100% online. ECU’s program is entitled Partnership East. ECU’s BS degree allows students to begin their elementary education studies at a community college in North Carolina, and then transfer to East Carolina University to complete their baccalaureate studies.   

East Carolina University was established in 1907 as a teacher’s college. East Carolina University now holds the distinction of being the 4th largest institution of higher education in the state of North Carolina.  The school’s student enrollment nears 30,000 students across its six campus properties from 14 colleges and professional schools. East Carolina University’s School of Education is the oldest school within the East Carolina University system.

Degree: BS in Elementary Education

10. University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Department of Teacher Education offers a BA in Elementary Education that can be completed entirely online. Coursework for the University of Illinois’ includes Child Development, Educational Psychology, and Curriculum Planning. Degree candidates must complete clinical fieldwork as a student teacher in order to graduate. 

The University of Illinois Springfield was established in 1969 and is currently a member school of the University of Illinois system. The school’s rural campus is located near Lake Springfield and is home to nearly 5,500 students studying for 47 graduate and undergraduate degrees and one doctoral program. The University of Illinois Springfield is a member school of the Council of Liberal Arts institutions of higher learning. US News recognizes the University of Illinois Springfield 

Degree: BA in Elementary Education

Can I Get a Teaching Degree Online?

When searching for how can you get a teachers degree online, you must consider several things such as the accreditation of the program and transfer credit acceptance for those who have already gained some college credit and would like it to transfer to their program. Accreditation refers to the school’s recognition and will determine if it is an accepted program by your state’s Department of Education. This accreditation can be regional or federal, but it is required before any state department will accept and reward new aspiring teachers certification to teach in a classroom. 

Also determine if the program you are seeking, especially for Bachelors, offers the ability for you to gain certification. For example, is there a teaching component with the program? Many of these programs online are making it easier for students to work with their local school district through their program and gain local certification while obtaining your teaching degree online through either an in-state or out-of-state institution. 

Is a Traditional Bachelor’s in Education Better than an Online Program?

When online education was first introduced to the education industry, some state education departments were skeptical and began investigating these programs to determine what they lacked in comparison to a tradition program found at the local universities. What they have found was that the difference is very little, making them acceptable programs. In fact, many school districts and states encourage current teaching assistants and substitute teachers who are interested in their own classroom to take the bachelor’s degree in education online, as it allows them to continue working full-time for the majority of the program. Some employers will even pay for the tuition.

Some students, however, find that they enjoy the traditional programs at their local institutions. For those who believe the classroom would allow them to meet success, then they should seek out an elementary education degree near me. This search will provide a list of both traditional and online programs found within a physical distance that is searched, or even within the state. In a traditional classroom setting, students can expand upon communication with their colleagues, as they are able to interact with them face-to-face, and capture more of the classroom atmosphere that they will be experiencing once they begin to teach. It is also easier for those who are obtaining their teaching degree in a traditional setting to get their certification because their institution is already allied with the local school district for the internship component of their degree requirement. 

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Program?

When reviewing elementary education degree requirements, common courses among all programs, whether traditional or online can be found. These courses include not only the subject matter that you will be teaching but courses around childhood development during their elementary years in additional to childhood psychology (something elementary education and early childhood education have in common). Because an elementary education teacher spends so many hours a day with the same children, they begin to understand and recognize their personalities, building relationships with these children. Properly maintaining these relationships and being aware of personality changes is essential for the person who will be with them for the majority of the day. 

Experiential learning is also another aspect of elementary education degree requirements that these teachers must have before they can be certified to teach their own course. With this learning experience, they are provided access to the most recent technology used in the classroom, as well as resources available in their local school districts for the teachers currently in place. This experience gives students the chance to see different classroom designs and instructions before they take on their classroom and decide which method fits their needs.

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