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Online Education & Teaching Degrees: The Best Programs for 2018

Updated on: 05/04/2018

Teachers have a vital job: to help mold future generations of society. With such an important task, it’s understandable that teachers must meet stringent certification or licensing requirements. One of the first steps to meeting these requirements is getting a teaching degree. Luckily, there are a variety of academic paths available to future teachers, including online degrees. In this guide, readers will gain a broad understanding of how to complete an online teaching degree and the overall process for becoming a teacher.

The 50 Best Online Education and Teaching Degrees in 2018

All else being equal, it’s nice to attend the best online school and get the highest quality and most prestigious teaching degree. But there are other factors prospective students must consider when choosing the best school for them. For instance, if finances are a concern, prospective teachers may look for the school with the lowest cost of attendance. For a student who wants the best access to professors, a school with a small faculty-to-student ratio may be a factor to focus on. Our ranking system looks at these and many other important factors students should consider when choosing a school. All ranked schools are great for future teachers as they are affordable, have accredited teacher preparation programs and offer a variety of opportunities for specialization.

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Methodology
  • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution

  • At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)

  • At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)

Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:

  • Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates

  • Count and breadth of online programs available

  • Student-teacher ratio

  • 6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)

  • % of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college

  • Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college

  • Availability of academic/career counseling services

  • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates

  • 3-year loan default rate

  • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

  • *PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree.

Our college rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.

  • Most recent “Final Release” data available as of October 2017

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH 99.75 $15,845 2 100% 13:160%no yes yes

Founded through the Church of the Nazarenes in 1968, Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a Christian college that reflects more than 40 different denominations today. In addition to growing religious diversity, MVNU has broadened its non-traditional program offerings. MVNU currently provides more than 14 online degree programs, plus the opportunity to study part-time at an off-campus location.

For future educators, the BA in early childhood education program is offered fully online and was created to serve the needs of adult students. The program consists of 51 credits, including a 10-credit student teaching practicum that prepares graduates for licensure in Ohio as a pre-K to fifth grade educator. Before enrolling in the program, students must have completed several prerequisite courses including public speaking and writing, as well as classes in education, such as language and literacy, foundations of education and TESOL. Even though the program is offered online, MVNU’s BA in early childhood education is designed to give students plenty of firsthand classroom experiences. The program incorporates 600 hours of education experience spent in the field to build confidence and know-how in the classroom. For graduate students ready to take their career in education to the next level, MVNU provides four online master of arts in education programs with specializations in teaching and learning, intervention specialist and professional education. These programs can be completed in 16 to 24 months and most require completion of a hands-on practicum.

To help online students stay on track, MVNU enlists academic advisors to assist with scheduling conflicts, financial aid concerns and other issues that may arise. Online students also have access to a lower tuition rate than traditional students at MVNU, as they are not taking advantage of on-campus facilities. To help afford college tuition, students at MVNU can apply for federal and state financial aid, or for one of the university’s scholarship opportunities.

2 Salem College Winston Salem, NC 99.25 $24,990 1 98% 11:164%yes yes yes

One of the oldest universities in the nation, Salem College has been providing higher education since 1772. Founded for the purpose of educating women, Salem is the country’s oldest operating women’s college; however, today men are welcomed to enroll in the school’s adult and graduate programs. Salem specializes in education and teacher licensing programs, providing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field, and one fully online program.

Salem’s master of education in school counseling degree can be completed online within 36 months. The program is organized into a cohort with a new class of students beginning their studies each fall semester. While classes are taken online, students must be on campus for two occasions for weekend seminars, and as part of the program curriculum, students also participate in an internship. Applying a research-based approach to education, the MEd in school counseling program preps students for careers as counselors with solid judgement and management skills. Graduates of the program go on to take the Praxis II exam in professional school counseling to receive licensure in the state of North Carolina. Students looking for employment in other states are encouraged to check that state’s licensing requirements. To apply to the program, students need a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or a minimum 2.7 GPA for students with graduate work experience. As the program begins each fall, the university gives preference to early applicants, typically those who have applied before the end of June. In addition to the online graduate program in school counseling, Salem offers several campus-based graduate and undergraduate education degrees, as well as “add-on” licensing programs designed to increase an educator’s repertoire.

Student resources at Salem include tutoring, academic and career advising, exam preparation practice, study abroad opportunities and library access. Salem also offers a wealth of support online and in-person to find financial aid options for students. Several opportunities are available to help students cut the cost of college, including a tuition exchange program, merit-based scholarships, federal aid and pell grants.

3 Judson College Marion, AL 99.09 $15,204 5 98% 9:141%yes yes yes

Aspiring teachers in Alabama can earn an online bachelor's degree in education from Judson College. For more than 170 years, Judson College has existed with the dual identity of being a Christian college and also the only women’s college in Alabama. Judson offers more than 20 degree programs, including six online programs provided through the school’s distance learning department. Judson’s online education degrees help prepare graduates to teach within Alabama and can be earned in elementary education, secondary English/language arts or secondary social studies. While classes are taken online throughout the program, students undergo student teaching assignments and clinical observations at an Alabama school district. Education students are advised to complete all prerequisites and general education classes before enrollment in upper level classes.

Judson touts a 11-1 student-to-teacher ratio, and that level of intimacy is maintained for distance learning students through personal communication with instructors and a student mentorship program. To help new students navigate their online education program, Judson pairs students with experienced class mentors. Classes are held via Moodlerooms, a digital classroom space that allows students to access course content, interact with peers and instructors and study from a convenient location. Online courses follow the same schedule as on campus classes and are offered three semesters per year. During the May–June “short term”, classes are offered tuition-free, and students are only responsible for costs such as technology and room and board fees. To further help students pay for college, approximately 95 percent of Judson students receive financial aid. At Judson, out-of-state students pay the same rate as residents.

4 University of Vermont Burlington, VT 98.27 $14,184 1 90% 15:176%no yes yes

Through its College of Education and Social Services, The University of Vermont offers several opportunities for education professionals. Examples of available undergraduate degrees for aspiring teachers and educators include early childhood education, elementary education and music education. Through the school’s continuing and distance education department, UVM provides three licensing and specialization programs for bachelor’s degree holders and pre-graduate students. The educational technology online sequence is a six-course program for educators from all backgrounds who want to increase their tech knowledge and implement new technologies in their classroom. The courses are offered fully online and can be applied towards a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at UVM. The program is suited for licensed teachers from any state; however, only Vermont teachers can apply the sequence program towards an endorsement as a technology integration specialist.

Students with a love of art and passion for education can combine the two in UVM’s art education program. In this 120-credit BS program, students will complete courses from UVM’s College of Education and Social Services as well as the College of Arts and Sciences. Most courses include a fieldwork component and the degree will culminate in a 12-credit student teaching practicum at a local public school as well as a 3-credit licensure portfolio seminar. After completing the degree, graduates will have earned their teacher license in art for grades Pre-K through 12.

5 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 98.27 $6,423 1 43% 14:190%no yes yes

As one of the oldest public universities in the country, the University of North Carolina has been granting degrees and licenses to students since the late eighteenth century. UNC has evolved into an expansive university of nearly 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students, enrolled in degree programs through both on campus and distance learning opportunities. More than 600 students per year take a teacher education program offered through UNC’s School of Education. Future and current educators have a range of degree programs to choose from, with elementary to secondary teacher programs offered at the undergraduate to doctorate level, plus short-term licensing options for post-baccalaureates.

For those just starting their careers, UNC has three bachelor’s degree programs that lead to teacher certification in North Carolina. The baccalaureate education in science and teaching (UNC-BEST) program provides BA or BS degrees with imbedded teacher certification for science- and mathematics-related majors. This program is available to students in the geological sciences, physics and astronomy, mathematics, biology and chemistry majors. UNC-BEST is a joint effort between the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences that leads to a secondary teacher license in North Carolina. Music students can also complete their bachelor’s of music degree, while simultaneously earning a teaching license for K–12 education. The undergraduate programs are offered as traditional, on-campus degrees.

Students planning to earn an advanced degree in education can enroll in UNC’s accelerated BA to MA in teaching program. This program saves students time by allowing qualified candidates to earn both their bachelor's and master’s degree in five years. Students completing their bachelor's degree at another university can still enroll in the program, but the most popular option is “early affiliation” which opens graduate courses up to current UNC undergrads. This program can be completed in elementary or secondary education and preps students for licensing. As part of course curriculum, students undergo an internship that lasts two full semesters.

6 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 97.90 $9,826 3 55% 24:167%yes yes yes

At The University of Alabama, distance education programs are delivered through Bama by Distance in several formats including online, weekend, blended and telephone conferencing. The university has more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs that are offered in non-traditional settings, with 26 programs provided in the field of education. For undergraduates, the BS in human environmental sciences, early childhood education degree readies students for developmental work with infants to children eight years of age. Students learn about the educative process in young children and develop programs to be used in preschools. This 120-credit degree is offered online with a mandatory six-credit internship lasting one semester. Students are expected to secure their own internship at a preschool accredited by the National Associate for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). General education and core curriculum classes can also be completed online, or transferred from another institution. Although the University of Alabama accepts up to 60 transfer credits from a community college, 30 credits must be earned through UA. Students enrolled in this online degree can apply for a grant specific to early childhood education that is worth the cost of a three-credit course.

Graduate students interested in an online degree in education from UA have several programs to choose from, including master of arts degrees in elementary, secondary and special education and education specialist degrees. On average, graduate programs require 30–33 credits for completion, with specific requirements varying by program. The University of Alabama’s programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the university is a member of the NC-SARA agreement.

7 Newman University Wichita, KS 97.70 $23,700 4 98% 14:150%yes yes yes

Founded as a Catholic school in 1933, Newman University gives graduate students flexible opportunities to earn their master of science in education. The MS in education degree has four available concentrations: curriculum and instruction, reading specialist emphasis; curriculum and instruction, ESOL (English as a second or other language) emphasis; building leadership; and organization leadership. All four tracks follow Newman’s eight-week class structure for distance education programs. These courses are administered through a combination of online, video streaming and face-to-face instruction and cannot be completed 100 percent online. To earn the MSEd, students must complete 33 credit hours, which can typically be finished in 18 months. Classes begin during the spring, summer or fall semester once enough students have joined the program to form a cohort. Taking students’ work schedules into account, courses that require any on campus or synchronized participation are held in the evening.

To enroll in the reading specialist and ESOL curriculum and instruction concentrations, students must have a bachelor's degree in education and be licensed educators. The building leadership concentration also requires current teacher licensing and an undergraduate degree, while the organizational leadership concentration accepts students who do not have a teaching license and have a bachelor's degree in any field. All four are also offered as 15-credit licensure programs for teachers looking to add credentials to their license. Newman’s MSEd and graduate licensure students have scored a 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis exam for the reading specialist and district leadership programs, 99.9 percent in the building leadership program and a 94 percent pass rate for the ESOL program.

Several grant and scholarship opportunities are in place at Newman and are tailored to help future educators pay for college. Students who meet the criteria, or are willing to work within predetermined guidelines, can apply for financial aid opportunities such as the TEACH grant, Leon McNeill Grant or Kansas Teacher Service scholarship.

8 University of Missouri-St Louis Saint Louis, MO 97.69 $9,474 2 84% 17:146%no yes yes

The University of Missouri-St. Louis provides aspiring teachers with an innovative fast-track to the classroom. Known as Teach in 12, this program is offered mostly online, with clinical and practicum hours completed on-site in an elementary, middle or high school. It’s designed for students who have a bachelor's degree and who have passed their Missouri Content Assessment, but are not yet licensed teachers. The program enables students to simultaneously earn a graduate degree and preliminary educator certification in the state of Missouri within 12 months. To accomplish this, students take classes online while completing their on-site coursework. Two practicums are required at UMSL “studio schools” where students work alongside faculty in all phases of the teaching process. The first practicum is a two day per week commitment, while the second practicum requires four days per week. In addition, students also gain experience working with the community in a 20-hour clinical at a local agency. Graduates of the Teach in 12 program earn a master’s in education degree in elementary, secondary or special education.

Graduate students can also earn their master’s of education degree in community education through UMSL Now, the university’s distance learning department. While this program is not accelerated, it is offered 100 percent online. The MEd in community education prepares graduates for advanced employment in organizations such as museums, parks, research agencies and other civic centers. The program requires a minimum of 33 credits and culminates with a six-credit capstone project in public education. UMSL Now also provides four blended master’s of education programs in educational psychology, elementary, secondary, and adult and higher education. These four programs prepare graduates for work and licensure in Missouri.

9 Mississippi College Clinton, MS 97.64 $14,670 3 98% 15:153%no yes yes

For more than 180 years Mississippi College has been providing higher education to southerners through the moral compass of Baptist beliefs, making it the oldest functioning post-secondary institution in the state. In modern times, Mississippi College is able to educate students beyond state and country boundaries through the school’s online degrees. The university has over 30 undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as certificates, provided entirely online; however, of the online degrees offered, the only degrees related to education are at the master’s degree level.

Current teachers searching for the chance to advance in their field can enroll in an online master’s of education degree. Four concentrations are available -- special education, elementary education, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership. All four tracks are 100 percent online in an accelerated structure. Classes last only seven weeks with five potential start dates each year. Program duration varies based on student’s availability; however, the educational leadership program can be finished in 12 months, while the other programs require only 10 months for completion. For licensed Mississippi educators, completing one of MC’s online MEd programs increases the teacher’s license class from A to AA. Additionally, graduates of the special education and leadership programs can earn endorsements on their license in their respective fields. Mississippi College also provides online degrees for education specialists and art teachers. MC’s education graduates boast a nearly perfect 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis II exam and are known for receiving glowing reviews from post-graduation employers.

Mississippi College’s online accelerated graduate programs are more affordable than its traditional degree programs since students are only charged a per credit hour fee and not an inclusive tuition price. This makes MC’s online MEd programs a budget and time-friendly option. Financial aid, such as scholarships, grants and loans are also available for eligible students.

10 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS 97.53 $7,140 1 74% 19:161%yes yes yes

Mississippi State University is the only college in Mississippi where undergraduate students can earn their bachelor’s degree in elementary education right from home. Offered through the school’s center for distance education, the BS in elementary education program allows students to take classes on their schedule, with the same qualified instructors as on-campus courses. Concentrations are available in either middle school or early childhood education. To adequately prepare future educators for their career in the classroom, the program requires students complete a teaching practicum during their junior and senior years. Students start the practicum spending up to six hours a week teaching and observing in an elementary classroom and reach full-time by the end of their senior year. Students won’t have to travel far to complete their teaching practicum -- MSU encourages and helps students find available schools located in their city (except for Georgia residents who are ineligible for internship placement in their home state through MSU). MSU is a member of the NC-SARA coalition to offer online education in other states; however, the BS in elementary education program meets the requirements for a teaching license in Mississippi so outside residents should be aware of the licensing regulations in their state.

Students can enroll in the program during the spring and fall semesters and distance education students benefit from a standard tuition price offered to residents hailing from any state. Financial aid is available to qualifying students and includes federal aid, athletic and leadership scholarships, as well as state grants. Through MSU’s college of education, scholarships and special aid programs are available for teachers and educators who meet predetermined guidelines. To help online students accomplish their education goals, MSU provides digital resources such library access, writing tutoring and an IT help desk. MSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

11 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS 97.48 $23,750 4 96% 8:153%yes yes yes

The University of Saint Mary gives traditional and busy adult students the opportunity to complete a degree in education from the school’s main and Overland Park campuses. Saint Mary has three undergraduate degree programs in education as well as a minor in coaching. The elementary education and child development education bachelor of arts programs are offered at both campuses. The Overland Park campus houses graduate studies and continuing education programs, with many classes held in the evenings for working students. The child development education program is designed as a completion program for those who have already earned 60 college credits—the equivalent of an associate degree—and want to finish a bachelor's degree. The program requires 128 credits for completion and students complete courses across the spectrum in early childhood education.

USM’s bachelor's in elementary education program strictly follows Kansas state legislature for teacher education and licensing of K–6 education. The program develops students’ leadership and critical thinking skills to help them become self-reliant educators in the classroom. A major component of coursework is the student’s clinical assignment at a Kansas elementary school. During the student teaching experience, students create a portfolio known as the Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio that is assessed after completion. For three years running, all USM student portfolios have passed the evaluation process. The next step to becoming a licensed elementary teacher is taking the Praxis examination, for which USM graduates have a 100 percent pass rate record.

Students who want to teach grades 6–12 can combine a minor in secondary education with another degree program, such as history or English, to then teach that subject to high schoolers. Students can also major in the subjects of biology, chemistry, theater or mathematics and earn their secondary teacher license. These students still complete a student teaching practicum at a Kansas secondary school and maintain a portfolio. Successful graduates of the program go on to take examinations including the Praxis II test. Secondary education graduates at USM currently have a 95 percent pass rate on this examination. All of USM’s teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

12 University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL 97.32 $9,158 1 74% 16:148%no yes yes

University of Alabama in Huntsville is a premier research university offering bachelor of education degrees on campus for elementary and secondary teachers and affordable master’s degrees online for teachers ready to dive deeper into their role as education professionals. The online UAH master’s of education degree program requires 33 credit hours for completion and has five concentration areas available: ESOL—English as second or other language, elementary, reading education, autism spectrum disorders, and secondary education. All students enrolled in the program complete 12 hours of core classes before choosing and studying a specialization. Each specialization requires 18 credits in six courses to complete after which students top off their graduate studies with a three-credit capstone project. While most of the required courses in the MEd program are 100 percent online, a few classes are hybridized and demand students’ attendance on campus for brief instruction. Students can start their program with a new cohort group in either the summer or fall semester and can finish their degree within 18 months. Typically, students take up to nine credit hours during the fall and spring semesters and six credits in the summer. For added flexibility, students can choose to focus on one course at a time during the spring and fall, with accelerated five-week courses.

While requirements for enrollment vary slightly for each concentration, all applicants to the online MEd program should hold a bachelor's degree and current Alabama class B teacher certification. Applicants must also be in good academic standing with favorable GRE or MAT scores and a minimum 3.0 GPA. This program enables graduates to upgrade their Alabama teaching license to class A within their fields. Students in this program are also eligible to apply for several scholarships only offered to students in teacher education programs. UA Huntsville’s education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

13 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS 97.30 $6,980 11 76% 17:145%no yes yes

Established in the early twentieth century as a college for teachers, the University of Southern Mississippi continues to provide educators with innovative and accredited programs. Keeping up with the digital environment, Southern Miss provides online teacher education programs at the undergraduate and graduate level in elementary and special education, as well as education administration. The teacher assistant program, or TAP, is a specially designed online bachelor's degree program for those who are currently employed in schools as teaching assistants. The program provides teaching assistants with the tools necessary to become Mississippi certified teachers and the chance to expand their employment options. Two TAP tracks are available, earning graduates a bachelor of science degree in elementary education or special education. Courses are offered online with the exception of the student teaching end of program capstone project and the special education major’s on campus lab requirement. Many teaching assistants are able to complete their internship directly at the school where they are employed; however, that decision is ultimately determined by the school district.

To be accepted into the elementary or special education TAP program, students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA, average SAT or Praxis scores, have a TK20 —electronic teaching portfolio—account, and maintain employment as a teaching assistant throughout their bachelor's program. Upon graduation, elementary education majors are ready for teacher licensing with a reading endorsement (other endorsements require additional coursework) and special education majors are ready for their license in the field valid for K–12 classrooms.

Teachers who are ready for graduate studies can complete their master’s of education degree 100 percent online at Southern Miss in either special education, educational administration and supervision, or curriculum and instruction for elementary education. All online students pay in-state tuition rates. With nine credits, graduate students are considered full-time and can then take up to 13 credits per semester at no added cost. Similarly, undergraduates are considered full-time at 12 credits per semester and can take up to 18 credits at the same annual tuition price.

14 Arizona State University-West Glendale, AZ 97.30 $9,138 1 82% 12:155%no yes yes

One of ASU’s six campuses, Arizona State University West offers students a wide range of online and traditional education programs. For traditional students, ASU West offers a unique program that allows students to gain experience in different fields of education before committing to a singular subject major. The education exploratory program is not in itself a degree program; rather it helps future teachers decide which subject and age range they prefer to teach. While taking different classes and exploring all the options available, students earn credits that contribute towards the BA in education. After completing 30 credits in the education exploratory program, students are expected to pick which BAE concentration they want to pursue.

ASU West provides traditional, campus-based bachelor's degrees in elementary education (grades K–8), secondary education (6–12) and special education. Students interested in pursuing secondary education have 14 programs of study available, plus two dual major degrees. Through these programs, students can earn a degree that allows them to teach foreign languages, geography, physics, political science, biology, English and other subjects in a middle or high school classroom. All of ASU West’s teacher education programs follow the same criteria so that graduates earn a valid Arizona teaching license. This criteria includes hands-on experience in classrooms throughout the state. During the junior and senior year, students begin their field work, spending one day per week in an active classroom. After acquiring sufficient field hours, students then put their knowledge to the test during their last year as a student teacher. Elementary education majors participate in the iTeachAZ program, an innovative concept that enables students to remain teaching in a live classroom for the entire senior year of the bachelor's program.

15 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, MO 97.27 $4,288 3 94% 20:148%no yes yes

Northwest Missouri State University has a well respected undergraduate education degree program offered on campus as well as the Horace Mann Lab school for kindergarten through sixth grade and the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center laboratory school for early childhood. Although there are no online undergraduate degrees in education, for experienced teachers with education degrees, Northwest Missouri State University provides the chance to earn a master’s of science in education completely online. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the online MSEd degree offered at NMSU has three concentration options: educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, or special education. Each degree path requires 30 credit hours for completion, comprised of 15 core credits and 15 credits specific to the student’s concentration. Through the university’s accelerated online format, the MSEd degree can be earned in 12 months. Classes are taken in seven-week periods, and students are able to begin the program on other dates besides the university’s traditional spring, summer and fall terms. The MSEd program has five total start dates in the academic year, spaced two to three months apart. Students need to submit their application to the program only three weeks prior to their desired start date.

To be considered for admission into the program, students must show a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75, and some leeway is given to applicants with a lower undergraduate GPA who achieve a 3.0 in six hours of graduate courses at NMSU. In addition, applicants must have one of the following credentials: current state-authorized teaching license, two years of classroom teaching experience with a certification, a master’s degree in any field, national board certification, completion of a national teaching assessment, or a successful score in analytical writing on the GRE or other exam.

All students in the program pay the same tuition price, even students living outside of Missouri. Students also only pay the cost per credit hour for each courses they take, making the MSEd online an affordable path to higher education. Northwest Missouri State University partners with other states and universities around the country through the NC-SARA agreements to supply online education to residents in other states.

16 Jackson State University Jackson, MS 97.21 $6,602 8 54% 18:139%no yes yes

At Jackson State University, the school’s undergraduate teacher, graduate teacher and education programs rank among the top five degrees for popularity on campus. The school’s college of education and human development has programs that fit all niches in education, from early childhood and special education, to counseling and secondary education with subject specializations. Through JSU Online, both undergraduate and graduate students can earn their education degrees right from home and at a budget-friendly tuition price. The bachelor of science in child care and family education program is the only online undergraduate degree. The program requires 122 credits for completion and it is not a teacher certification program; instead, it preps students for work as preschool instructors, aids and as early childcare administrators. While the courses are primarily offered in an online format, the BS in childcare and family education program does require experiential learning in a field setting.

Current and aspiring educators prepared to take the next step in their professional career can earn a master’s degree online in elementary/secondary education, early childhood education, education administration, special education, reading or mathematics teaching. JSU’s online master of arts in teaching degree adheres to guidelines defined by the Mississippi Department of Education as an “alternative route” program to teacher certification. The program allows graduate students from any academic background who are not certified educators, to earn their Mississippi teaching license through online courses and a year-long teaching internship. Students receive a wage throughout the internship and are guided by a mentor. Some graduate programs, such as the MS in mathematics teaching with a biology concentration, are offered as fast-track programs with courses lasting eight weeks for seven terms. In addition, JSU provides teachers with advanced education and four education specialist programs available for online study. To enroll in an education specialist program, students must already hold a master’s degree and a class AA education license. These programs require 36 to 42 credit hours for completion as well as a thesis project.

17 Valley City State University Valley City, ND 97.20 $5,027 6 98% 11:146%no yes yes

Undergraduate students looking for flexible online learning opportunities in the field of education can enroll in one of five programs from Valley City State University. The university provides education undergraduates choices in degree programs from business, career and technical, history, English and technology education. The history education program is tailored for graduates to work as school history teachers, but is applicable to many other professions in areas of culture and history. Although classes are provided online, students in the program are placed into school districts for observation and for a student teaching internship, the pinnacle of the undergraduate program. Similarly, graduates of the technology education program are equipped for teaching technology in schools to children of various ages and are required to complete field-based experience work. All required classes in the technology education program are offered online and students can complete assignments right from home, or may choose to attend a campus lab facility. Majors in the career and technical and business education programs are trained to educate secondary students within their field and post-secondary students in the career and technical program.

All of Valley City State University’s teacher certification programs abide by North Dakota state regulations and are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Although geared towards North Dakota standards, VCSU’s teacher education programs fit the criteria for certification in many states, however residents of other states should check the requirements for teacher licensing in their home state. Valley City State University is authorized to provide online degree programs in all states, and can only supply 100 percent online programs to residents of California and Massachusetts.

18 Murray State University Murray, KY 97.08 $6,360 2 72% 15:153%yes yes yes

Murray State University offers degree programs for beginning a career in teaching with bachelor degrees on campus in elementary education, health and physical education, career and technical education, interdisciplinary early childhood education, middle school education, secondary education, and special education. Full-time working adults can continue with their master’s degree in education and teaching through accelerated online course offerings. The master of arts in postsecondary education administration, PSE, degree is a fully online program that is available to both students experienced in the field and to novices planning for a new future in education administration. This degree program can be completed through a variety of options, from traditional on campus to blended classes to 100 percent online courses, and students may choose to be enrolled as full or part-time students. Through MSU’s available accelerated course format, students can complete one course at a time, each lasting eight weeks in duration. Through the fast-track route, students can finish their degree in two years, however this accelerated option is only open to those who are currently employed in postsecondary education administration. As well, PSE employed students have the opportunity to gain academic credit for their experience working in the field. All students in the program complete an internship at either a two or four-year college and receive mentorship advice from the college’s faculty. MSU works with students to find internship placements that fit their personal goals or geographic location. Graduates of the program have held internships in nine different states and have found employment opportunities in seven states.

In addition to the MA in PSE program, MSU provides an online MA in TESOL. The online option is designed as a part-time program with only one to two courses offered each term. This degree program generally takes 24 to 36 months to complete and does not require any attendance on campus. Upon completion of the program, graduates can find employment as English as a second language, ESL, instructors or supervisors. MSU also has several teaching endorsement programs available fully online for certified Kentucky teachers in ESL, technology and gifted education.

19 Freed-Hardeman University Henderson, TN 97.00 $20,468 1 100% 13:152%yes yes yes

Since 1870, Freed-Hardeman University has been arming teachers with the skills and nuances necessary to lead in the classroom. FHU’s teacher preparation programs range from the pre-K to secondary level with multiple specializations available in fields such as history, theater, business education, Spanish, biology and kinesiology. For more than 35 years, the university’s education programs have continually been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and endorsed by the Tennessee State Board of Education. Before being admitted into a teacher education program, applicants must have a minimum 2.75 GPA in lower level coursework studies and achieve an acceptable score on the Praxis Core Tests. Applicants must also develop a portfolio for review by the university and be able to pass a background check. These same standards must be met in order to apply for a student teaching internship during the senior year of studies. The programs provided through FHU’s main campus are offered as face-to-face instruction, with teaching internships held in-state.

At Freed-Hardeman University’s Dickson campus, students can earn a BS in elementary education through continuing and distance education. To start the program, students must already hold an associate degree or have earned at least 60 college credits. The classes in this program are offered in online and hybrid formats and to complement busy life schedules, many courses are fit into eight-week accelerated periods. Students in this program must be accepted into the same student teaching practicum during their final year in the program as students in the fully on campus programs.

All students admitted to one of FHU’s education programs are considered as candidates for the department’s available scholarships. Moreover, the university does not charge additional tuition fees for resources such as technology, registration or tutoring. Dickson students are eligible for tuition discounts based on a their GPA rankings.

20 Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH 96.99 $9,168 2 79% 19:183%no yes yes

Ohio State University, the largest institution for post-secondary education in Ohio, extends its academic reach to a worldwide student body with 100 percent online degree programs. Within the domain of education, OSU has three fully online degree programs available at the associate and master’s degree levels. The associate of arts in early childhood development and education degree at OSU is an educator certification program that puts students in a real early childhood center for experience-based learning. The program is composed of 60 credit hours and the online classes follow OSU’s traditional on campus schedule. Graduates of the program are authorized to develop programs, instruct and facilitate education for children from birth to five years of age as outlined by the state of Ohio. Applicants simply need a high school diploma or equivalency to enroll in this program.

At the graduate level in education, students can earn a master of learning technologies or master of arts in art education degree, totally online. The learning technologies degree is a 30-credit program that culminates with a clinical experience facilitated by a professional mentor in the field. The program prepares students for employment as online and technology instructors in schools, military agencies, businesses and other settings. The art education degree is also a 30-credit program, with six non-thesis credits that lead to the production of a final portfolio of work. As an online program, the art education degree is unique in that many study abroad opportunities are available in locations such as Jamaica, Brazil and Chile. Both programs demand completion of a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Ohio State’s online teaching programs ultimately serve the requirements for certification within the state and outside residents must check the criteria for licensure in their own state before beginning a program. The university is authorized to provide online education to most states and details on specific program requirements can be found by checking here.

21 Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, AZ 96.99 $9,454 1 83% 23:159%no yes yes

Arizona State University is making a splash with affordable, 100 percent online degree programs in education. Through ASU Online, the university has more than 150 programs that can be completed from anywhere in the world, with more than 10 programs offered in education. Many of ASU’s online degrees follow a 7 ½ week class rotation schedule, giving new students six potential start dates each year. This flexibility lets students start and finish their program as it fits with their lifestyle. All online students pay the same tuition price, no matter where they reside and financial aid, grants and scholarship opportunities can help lessen the costs of education. For instance, Starbucks employees can have their tuition costs reimbursed at ASU through the company’s college achievement plan and veteran and active military members are eligible for special financial aid programs.

ASU’s bachelor of arts in education and educational studies degree is a fully online program that equips grads for diverse employment opportunities. The program doesn’t prepare graduates for teacher licensing. Instead, it prepares students for roles in education in unconventional settings such as business, non-profit agencies and academic institutions. The BA in education and educational studies consists of 40 classes and can be finished as one of ASU’s fast track programs.

Graduate students have more diverse degree options, in fields such as English as as a second language, educational technology and educational leadership. Students with bachelor's degrees in any field and a minimum 3.0 GPA fit the basic admission requirements for many of the online master’s of education programs. Four MEd in curriculum and instruction programs are offered with concentrations in applied behavior analysis, autism disorders, gifted education and early childhood education. These programs require 30-36 credit hours and operate on the same 7 ½ week class schedule as the college’s undergraduate online programs.

22 Graceland University-Lamoni Lamoni, IA 96.93 $24,570 3 100% 16:147%yes yes yes

Affiliated with the the Community of Christ church, Graceland University maintains a Christian outlook, yet students of all faiths are welcomed. A small liberal arts college, Graceland is able to offer non-traditional students opportunities to earn more than 10 online degrees, averaging 800 students enrolled in distance education each year. There are only on campus options for undergraduate degrees in education at both the residence campus in Lamoni, Iowa and the commuting campus in Independence, Missouri; however, graduate students interested in studying education online have several majors available within the school’s master of education degree. The MEd programs operate as a cohort in which students pass through classes together over two years. Students can choose to focus their studies in special education, instructional leadership, literacy, curriculum and instruction or differentiated instruction. Each concentration option requires 30 credits for completion and incorporates online and video instruction. The differentiated instruction track specifically features video lectures and program organization from a renowned researcher in the field. The courses for the MEd degree are all online and there are multiple chances to begin the program each year.

To be accepted into Graceland’s MEd program, students must come from a background in education. Students must have an active teaching license to apply, as well as a bachelor's degree in education with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. In addition, applicants should currently be employed as educators in a school or other facility before beginning the MEd degree.

Graceland’s tuition rates for online graduate students are set at one cost for all states and are competitive; however, due to costs inferred by offering online education in other states, Graceland does not accept applicants from Maryland. To benefit school districts and other groups of colleagues, Graceland offers discounted tuition rates to those who enroll in the graduate program together. A group of three people earn a five percent discount, five people see a seven percent discount and a group of 10 earns a 10 percent discount on each student’s tuition cost.

23 North Greenville University Tigerville, SC 96.92 $15,510 5 98% 14:155%yes yes yes

Adult students who are 22 years of age or older are welcome to enroll in North Greenville University's online undergraduate degree programs. NGU has six degrees available online, including a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Before enrolling students must have earned a high school diploma or GED. For applicants with prior experience working in early childhood education, college credit for life experiences may be available at NGU’s discretion. Classes within the program are delivered either online or in hybrid format and students can pair the program with a minor in criminal justice, psychology, Christian ministries, or business administration. As a Christian college, NGU provides education through the viewpoint and beliefs of Christianity, and many faculty members in the elementary education program incorporate religious aspects into their teaching methods. The desired outcome is a program based in functional education methods with Christian attitudes.

To earn their degree online in elementary education, students complete several action-based learning experiences in schools. Some courses require that students tutor young learners, observe current teachers and practice appropriate education assessments. For students who are able, NGU offers practicum placements in elementary classrooms for credit, in which students act as teaching assistants and receive mentoring from a licensed teacher. Graduates of the program develop a teaching website to showcase their lesson plans and many find employment as teachers in schools, Christian programs and international settings.

Keeping the busy schedule of working adults in mind, NGU’s online classes are conducted in shorter, eight-week periods. Classes are taught by the same professors as on campus classes and tuition rates for online learners is cost-effective. In order to further help cut the price of rising education, NGU has financial aid assistance available as well as grants specific to online students. The South Carolina Tuition Grant is offered to qualifying full-time students enrolled in an online program during the spring and fall semesters.

24 Carson-Newman University Jefferson City, TN 96.91 $23,300 5 99% 13:150%no yes yes

Carson-Newman University offers a strong undergraduate foundation for future teachers. Although the bachelor’s degrees in education are only available on campus, the master of education degree offered at Carson-Newman University is a flexible distance learning program that can be achieved in several different disciplines.

The program is hybridized with the beginning core classes requiring a once per week face-to-face class while all other classes are offered online. The in-person classes are held from 4:45 to 8:45 p.m. and can be taken at one of 13 locations across the state of Tennessee. All of the required courses in the MEd degree last eight weeks, allowing the program to flow at a faster pace than a traditional master’s degree program. Students can typically earn their degree within 18 months. Carson-Newman offers six specialization tracks within the MEd program in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, and curriculum and instruction with concentrations in coaching, reading, special education, and English as a second language.

Students begin their program as part of a cohort at one of CNU’s learning facilities and complete one course every eight weeks throughout the university’s traditional spring and fall semesters. Courses offered in the summer session are 100 percent online and students can take up to four courses during this term. Following this pattern, students usually attend classes for only five semesters. To be accepted into the program, applicants should be licensed and experienced teachers ready to open their employment prospects in different fields. The educational leadership and reading specialist programs are more rigorous, requiring at least three years of experience as a teacher. These programs are designed to lead to licensing in the state of Tennessee as a reading specialist and school administrator, while other programs result in endorsements.

To help educators with their college costs, CNU provides financial aid information and assistance to access grants and scholarships such as the TEACH Grant and teacher loan forgiveness programs. Both programs grant monetary awards teachers who agree to work in high needs and low-income school districts for multiple years. CNU’s online MEd degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

25 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS 96.89 $5,540 1 78% 14:139%no yes yes

The Mississippi University for Women has the distinction of being the first public women’s college in the nation, opening its doors in 1884. Known as “The W”, the university began accepting male students in the mid-twentieth century, though the student population is still predominantly female. The W serves nearly 2,500 students each year through a wide range of traditional and online undergraduate and graduate programs. The school’s top programs include nursing, business, public health education and elementary education.

The bachelor of science in elementary education degree is an on campus teacher certification program following Mississippi’s standards for educators. The program is for those planning to teach in schools from kindergarten to eighth grade and has concentrations in English, social studies, science or math. The program progressively builds upon previously lessons, leading to a teaching internship at a Mississippi school during the student’s final semester. Throughout the program, students complete core classes that prepare them for the Praxis exam upon graduation. After passing the exam, student then apply for their teaching license.

Students at The W who aspire to teach secondary students or to teach a specific subject such as theater, Spanish or biology can complete an on campus program that leads to certification in that field. These students first major in the subject they want to teach and choose for the teacher certification program to be embedded in the degree. Through this path, students can earn a K–12 teaching certification in Spanish, theater, music and physical education. Students can also earn a 7–12 grade certification in history, mathematics, biology, physical science or English. Providing even more value within its teacher education programs, the W has “add-on” endorsements that students can complete concurrent with their degree or after graduation. Eight endorsements are offered in fields such as special needs education, literacy, computer science and child development. Depending on the endorsement selected, a student will complete 12 to 21 additional credits.

26 Texas A & M University-Texarkana Texarkana, TX 96.89 $4,569 1 94% 9:1N/Ayes yes yes

Texas A&M University Texarkana's undergraduate teacher preparation program,TPP, demands quality that starts with standards for admittance. To be admitted, students must apply during the junior year with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8. By the time of application, students should be enrolled in an upper level education course, and have completed several prerequisite courses, including subject-specific education classes earning a grade “C” or higher. Texas A&M Texarkana’s TPP adheres to a five-point system to developing high-quality educators, with admission requirements acting as one pillar. The program rounds out its educational standards through coursework, field experiences, certification testing and portfolio development.

Students in the undergraduate TPP program can choose to focus their studies in multiple areas, with certifications available in early childhood to sixth grade, middle and high school, and concentrations in subjects such as language, science, history and mathematics. Courses in the TPP are offered both online and on campus , however field work must be completed at a university selected site in Texas. Starting in the junior year, students travel to actual schools to observe classrooms and teaching strategies. Students then spend the entirety of their senior year in the classroom, working beside a veteran teacher. This rich experience is double the amount of student teaching time required in many other education programs. Throughout the teaching experience and traditional coursework, students develop an electronic portfolio that must be submitted for assessment. Upon completion of all TPP requirements, graduates are ready to take the TExES exam to become certified teachers within the state of Texas. In the last few consecutive years, graduates from Texas A&M Texarkana’s TPP have seen a 100 percent employment rate. In addition, many graduates remain in their new teaching position for at least five years, a high standard within the region.

27 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL 96.84 $9,265 1 89% 14:143%yes yes yes

Future elementary and secondary teachers who need the ease and flexibility of online classes can enroll in an undergraduate teacher preparation program from The University of Illinois Springfield. Currently the university’s online education programs are offered in elementary education for grades one to six, and there are seven programs for secondary education, grades nine to 12. The secondary teacher programs are offered in English, biology, chemistry, history, mathematics, political science and sociology. In order to become a high school teacher in one of the aforementioned fields, students must major in their desired teaching subject and minor in secondary education. All eight programs are designed to lead to teacher certification in the state of Illinois.

To be accepted and remain in one of UIS’s teacher education program, TEP, students must remain in good academic standing with a minimum 2.75 GPA and a 3.0 for all education courses. Throughout the program courses can be completed online, yet to earn a teacher certification, students are required to participate and complete field experience. First, students complete 30 to 40 hours of pre-clinical work in schools chosen by the University of Illinois Springfield. During this preliminary fieldwork, students observe and interact with students and teachers in the multiple classrooms. As a program requirement, TEP students must spend time in either a low-income or multicultural class. This experience prepares students for their clinical, or student teaching assignment, which takes place during the final semester. Before beginning a student teaching placement, students have to apply and prove they are ready for the challenge. Placements are decided by the university and are located within the state of Illinois.

Once students have successfully completed all coursework and state mandated exams for teacher certification, they are recommended as teacher candidates to the Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board to receive licensing. All of the TEP degree programs offered at UIS are accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education.

28 Cairn University-Langhorne Langhorne, PA 96.82 $23,035 2 100% 13:168%yes yes yes

Cairn University, a Christian-based college, offers undergraduate education degrees with majors in elementary/early childhood education, secondary English education, secondary mathematics education, secondary social studies education, music education, health and physical education on campus only in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. For students who are ready to move up to a master’s program, Cairn provides the opportunity for students to earn their master’s degree in the field of education fully online. Currently the university has four master of science programs offered in special education (two concentrations available), educational leadership and general education. Each program requires 39 to 49 credits and a two to three year commitment for completion. Online courses are offered in either a seven or 14-week time period and some specializations, such as the special education and educational leadership programs, require field experience at a school chosen by Cairn University. To enroll, students must meet CU’s graduate admission standards and have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The MS in special education with applied behavior analysis emphasis meets the standard requirements to earn certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and meets most requirements for a behavior specialist license in Pennsylvania. Similarly, students in the special education with instruction emphasis can test for certification as a special educator in the state of Pennsylvania upon successful completion of the program.

As a university with Christian values, Cairn’s online master’s programs incorporate Biblical teachings into the fabric of education. The programs prepare students for employment in public schools as well as Christian schools, and a tuition break is offered to students who are actively employed at a Christian school. These individuals can receive a 50 percent discount when earning their MS in education at Cairn. The degree programs provided by Cairn University are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and also the Association for Biblical Higher Education. In addition, Cairn is a member of the NC-SARA accord, an inter-state agreement allowing online education to flow past state borders. Students residing outside of Pennsylvania should check their home state’s department of education to find out more about teacher education requirements.

29 University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, VA 96.81 $10,484 3 27% 15:193%no yes yes

Active and aspiring teachers have a wide diversity of subject specializations and certifications offered at all levels of post-secondary education at the University of Virginia. The university’s Curry School of Education has three undergraduate degrees, more than 20 concentration areas and programs offered online at the master and doctorate levels. At UV, students can become the teacher they want to be, with study areas available in foreign language, math, reading, ESL, special education, gifted education and more. Undergraduates can choose from four majors that all incorporate in-classroom experiential learning. The Bachelor/Master of Teaching degree is a fast-track five year program in which students complete two degrees and earn their Virginia teaching license. To date, graduates of this program have experienced a 100 percent hire rate.

The undergraduate teacher education programs at UV are centered as campus-based programs, however individual online courses are available in most programs. Graduate students working full-time have several online program options available through the Curry School Online. Graduates who meet the minimum prerequisites for enrollment can earn their master of education degree through online and hybrid formats in reading education, curriculum and instruction or administration and supervision. The curriculum and instruction major is a 100 percent online program that can be finished in one year as a full-time student or at a longer pace as a part-time student. The MEd in reading can also be completed fully online, however to meet Virginia state endorsement requirements, face-to-face classes are required. Students enrolled in an online degree program are offered the same affordable tuition rate for residents of all states. Additionally, all students who are employed in K–12 education while earning their degree are eligible for a special tuition discount.

30 University of Maine Orono, ME 96.78 $8,370 5 86% 16:156%no yes yes

The University of Maine has a variety of teacher education degrees and certificates provided through the college of education and human development and also through UMaine Online, the school’s distance learning department. Undergraduate students interested in early childhood to secondary education, as well as sports training and kinesiology, have five degrees available as traditional on campus programs. These programs are designed to lead to teacher certification in Maine and include internships and real life experiences in the field. To prep teachers before stepping in front of the classroom, UM has an innovative lab space called TeachLivE, in which students teach lessons and interact with computer simulated students. The lab allows education students to experience different behavior issues that may arise in a classroom in a zero-risk situation. The University of Maine’s teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Maine Department of Education.

At the graduate level, students are able to earn their master of education or master of arts in teaching degree 100 percent online and through a blended format depending on the chosen program. A MEd can be earned in literacy, elementary and secondary education, instructional technology, and special education (several concentrations available). The instructional technology, elementary and secondary education, and special education programs are provided 100 percent online, while the other majors require some face-to-face instruction. After successful completion of all coursework, graduates of many of the online programs are eligible for additional endorsements and certifications on a Maine-issued teaching license. Applicants to the online graduate programs are continually accepted throughout the year.

The University of Maine does not provided the same tuition rate for out-of-state residents, and depending on the program, out-of-state students could be charged a tuition price that is triple the in-state rate. However, those non-residents admitted to a 100 percent online program receive a greatly discounted tuition. Maine residents in online programs can benefit from very affordable per credit hour prices.

31 Wayland Baptist University Plainview, TX 96.65 $11,880 12 91% 10:133%yes yes yes

Wayland Baptist University, based in Plainview, Texas, was created with the goal of building an education based on Christian principles. These values are reflected not just in the core classes that students will take, but also in the available degree options. For example, students that are studying toward a degree in teaching or education will have the option to focus their studies on Christian faith. Of the online degrees offered, the only degree related to education is the Master of Education. The Master of Education is meant to give teachers and educators a step up from their competition, teaching them leadership qualities and giving them valuable experience.

There are five specializations offered with this master’s degree: educational administration, higher education administration, instructional leadership, instructional technology and special education. Each of these specializations is meant to help teachers go down a specific career path, whether it is teaching students or serving in education through an administrative role. No matter which specialization students choose, the master’s degree can be completed in just 18 months.

Besides the master’s degree in education, there are two education certificates offered online: a post-graduate principal certificate and a superintendent certificate. The post-graduate principal certificate is meant for those who already have a master’s degree but also want to get certified to become a principal in a Texas public school. The superintendent certificate can be completed in just one year, and it gives students everything they need to know to become superintendents. For those that can study on campus and are looking for undergraduate education, Wayland Baptist offers a variety of education degrees. The majority of their education degrees are for elementary education, with a minor in children’s ministry as an additional option. WBU also offers multiple religious education degrees with specializations in the different areas of ministry.

32 Webster University Saint Louis, MO 96.65 $24,500 5 95% 13:159%yes yes yes

One of the goals of Webster University is to prepare students to be citizens of the world—a perfect foundation for future educators who might not only pursue a career in Missouri, or even the US. To make sure that students can get a better knowledge of globalization, Webster offers specific courses on the subject, some of which play directly into earning a degree or certificate in education.

Another way Webster works for the global community is by offering a robust online education program. There are two undergraduate degrees, nine graduate degrees and 10 graduate certificate programs all offered entirely online. Many students would likely be interested in the two undergraduate degrees: a bachelor’s in educational studies or a bachelor’s in general studies. The bachelor’s in educational studies doesn’t lead to K–12 certification, but it does prepare the student for a career as an educator. The curriculum touches on subjects, ranging from philosophy to psychology, all in an effort to give the student a well-rounded education. The bachelor’s in general studies also does not lead to certification, but it does prepare students to continue their education toward a master’s degree in education. Both of these degrees are full programs with no prior college education required.

If students want to specialize their education to become teachers in a specific field, the best way to go about that is with one of the graduate degrees offered at Webster. These degree options range from special education to teaching English as a second language. Besides these options, the graduate certificate programs allow teachers to specialize even further, helping them begin their desired career. All of the online programs and certificates at Webster are fully accredited by multiple organizations, and degrees can be completed in a hybrid of online and in person if students prefer to blend the two.

33 Siena Heights University Adrian, MI 96.54 $22,100 1 100% 12:143%yes yes yes

Siena Heights University is a Michigan based college with a Catholic Dominican history. Since its foundation nearly 100 years ago, Siena Heights has grown across the state and opened more campuses—including one of the best online campuses in Michigan. While some students choose SHU for an online degree completion program, many students enroll in SHU for one of the graduate degrees.

For those interested in education, the master’s in higher education leadership is likely the best option. This is a unique program that prepares students to be educators at the postsecondary level. The curriculum for the master’s in higher education leadership is designed to be well-rounded, with courses ranging from higher education law to leadership theory. These will give students and current educators the fundamentals they need to succeed at the highest level of teaching. Like many master’s degrees, this program is designed to be a stepping stone for students to build off their previous education and experience. This program takes a total of 36 credit hours to complete, and many students are able to complete this degree in less than two years. However, students can study at their own pace, and Siena Heights offers a course structure specifically geared toward current educators who are working during the day.

While the master’s in higher education is the only fully online program offered through Siena Heights, there are plenty of other programs related to education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate degree options include elementary integrated science, secondary education and education as a whole. Students who want to teach in Michigan can also earn their elementary teacher certification at Siena Heights. Master’s degree options at Siena Heights allow students to build off their previous education, specializing in areas like early childhood education, special education and a specialization in K–12 reading.

34 Colorado Christian University Lakewood, CO 96.53 $20,435 1 98% 15:136%yes yes yes

Students that want to become future educators have plenty of options to choose from at Colorado Christian University. CCU is a school with a Christian foundation where students can include faith-based instruction with their education. Other students choose to bolster their education with specific minors, or by choosing a specialized major. For adult learners, CCU has a large online school where degrees can be completed entirely online.

There are three main undergraduate education programs offered entirely online through CCU: early childhood education, elementary education and special education. All three of these programs are available either with or without licensure. If students are studying toward licensure in any of these fields, they will be required to have experience student teaching in Colorado and will earn licensure in the state. Also, the programs with licensure tend to have more specific course requirements. For example, the bachelor’s in elementary education with licensure requires more credits in the elementary education core while the non-licensure major allows students to take more elective courses. After earning a bachelor’s degree in education, many online CCU students go on to earn certificates or licensure, all of which can be completed entirely online.

For students that want to continue their education or specialize in a teaching field, CCU also offers master’s degree programs online. Popular options for future and current teachers include a master’s in curriculum and instruction, which can include an emphasis, or a master’s in educational leadership. Their education can be further bolstered with a graduate certificate. For example, a teacher may choose to earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on Biblical studies while earning a certificate in online teaching and learning. Financial aid is available to online students, and many students that do study online get some form of financial aid to help support their education.

35 Gallaudet University Washington, DC 96.52 $14,498 2 88% 6:148%yes yes yes

For any student looking to become a teacher in a specialized field, Gallaudet University features one of the most unique education programs in the nation. Gallaudet supports the deaf community in many ways, whether it be through their Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Center or through their various degree programs.

Most students that study toward an education degree at Gallaudet would choose from one of three specializations. Three of the degree fields—early childhood, elementary and secondary education—are degrees that correspond with a specific level of teaching in mind. No matter which option you pick, the degree earned is a bachelor’s in general education with a specialization in whichever field, as well as a teaching licensure. Also offered by Gallaudet is a five-year bachelor’s and master’s program. By the end of this program, students will have a bachelor’s degree in education, a specialization, teaching licensure and a master’s degree in deaf communication.

The most popular online degree program is the master’s in advanced studies, a degree that focuses specifically on deaf education. Designed for teachers that already have state licensure in deaf education, this master’s degree is meant to give teachers a deeper knowledge of teaching deaf and hard of hearing students. While studying online, students can also choose one of two specializations: educating students with disabilities or ASL and English bilingual early childhood education.

The other two master’s degree programs—a master’s in sign language education and a master’s in school counseling— are offered as 15-month summer/online hybrid programs, meaning students will be required to take some of the courses online. This usually breaks up into 3–4 semesters on campus and then 4 semesters online. While all of these degree programs are accredited, none of them lead directly to certification—something for teachers to keep in mind before applying.

36 Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK 96.48 $21,990 1 99% 14:147%yes yes yes

Students that want to become teachers in a specific field may find that a degree that combines their desired field and education is the best option. Southern Nazarene University offers plenty of different specialized degrees in education, each with a specific career in mind. Of the bachelor’s degrees offered by SNU’s school of education, many students will tend to focus on either early childhood education or elementary education. Both of these degree programs teach students using state-of-the-art technology, and they can lead to a wide variety of careers, ranging from teaching preschool to elementary levels.

Students that want to end up teaching at the secondary level have plenty of options. Fields that offer degrees specific to education are math, music, instrumental or vocal, physical education and social studies. Each of these degrees combines a degree in both education and their specific field, giving students in-depth knowledge of both. Also, all programs are accredited by different groups, on top of SNU’s normal accreditation. For example, the bachelor’s in mathematics education is accredited by the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics. This major, like the other education majors, leads to certification and employment in the field. Students can expect to complete any of these degree options in four years.

While the bachelor’s degree programs at SNU are designed to give students all they need to begin their career as educators, there is also one master’s degree option available. The master’s in educational leadership program is a weekly night class that gives students the education they need to move from being a teacher or counselor to a principal or superintendent. This program lasts 62 weeks, and because it is a weekly night course, students partake in this program while continuing their career as an educator. Based on the cost of the program and financial aid made available, this master’s program can come with little or no cost.

37 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL 96.40 $7,510 5 72% 18:153%yes yes yes

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a variety of teaching and education degrees available at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The majority of these degrees also lead to certification, and some can be completed entirely online or through a hybrid of both online and on campus courses. However, most undergraduate students should prepare to study on campus if they want to become certified upon earning their degree.

Students planning to earn an undergraduate degree in education can study in the field of arts, health, counseling, early childhood education, elementary education, leadership, language, English, kinesiology, special education and secondary education. While these degrees can be completed with general studies, students can also focus in on a specialization in one of these fields. For example, a student studying toward a degree in special education can major in an area like collaborative teaching, or early childhood special education.

On top of their normal degrees and certification, UAB offers what they call UABTeach, a program that allows students earning a degree in a math or science field to study toward a degree in that field while earning a teaching certification. As an example, students can earn a degree in biology or chemistry and still earn their secondary school certification. This can be completed in the normal four years it takes to earn a degree, and the teaching certification is included at no extra cost.

For students that want to continue their education, UAB offers master’s degree programs that can also lead to certification. Some of the master’s programs can be completed entirely online, although many are available through a hybrid of both online and on campus courses. These degrees lead to certification that might not be available to students who only have a bachelor’s degree. This opens doors for a teacher’s career, particularly if they want to specialize or move into a role as an administrator.

38 Harding University Searcy, AR 96.37 $16,560 12 96% 16:162%no yes yes

Approved and accredited by both the Arkansas Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, Harding University’s College of Education offers plenty of different undergraduate and graduate degrees. By combining the courses for the student’s chosen field with certification, Harding prepares students to begin their career as an educator after earning whatever degree they pursue.

Education programs at Harding are broken down into five categories: birth–kindergarten, elementary education, middle level education, secondary education and general K–12 education. Some of these categories are further divided into different degree programs, allowing students to specialize. For example, elementary education has only one degree option while middle level education has six different programs.

The program structure for secondary level is slightly different from the other categories. While students are studying to become certified teachers, they do so while majoring in their specialization. Students who want to teach high school biology would earn a degree in biology, but with the intention of earning a teaching certificate upon graduation. This doesn’t add any extra time or costs for the student. Graduate programs are also structured differently since some of the programs lead to a master’s degree and certification while others simply lead to certification in specialized fields.

The education program at Harding also offers a few unique opportunities. First, all students are required to take an internship related to their desired field of teaching. These internships are offered through Harding, so students should have little difficulty finding one to match their studies. Second, Harding has a study abroad program in Scotland specifically for education students. The goal of this program is to have future teachers gain a global perspective while also learning skills they’ll need in the classroom. This is a summer program, so students can study abroad and still complete their degree in the usual four-year period.

39 University of Toledo Toledo, OH 96.33 $8,052 4 89% 20:146%yes yes yes

The University of Toledo, located in Toledo, Ohio, offers education programs for students at all levels. Most students that study at Toledo are likely to enroll in one of their bachelor’s degree programs, the majority of which are only offered on campus . These programs range in scope and length, which is something students should examine before applying.

One of the popular degree options at Toledo, a bachelor’s in middle childhood education, is unique in that it is a five-year program that only leads to a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be completed in as little as 4 ½ years, however, and it can be combined with another degree to help the student specialize in a specific field. The reason for the length of the program is that students are required to work with local schools to gain real-world experience. Also available is the camp adventure program where Toledo education students travel to US military bases to work with the children living there.

One program of interest in the college of education is the bachelor’s in early childhood education, available with a fast-track option. This is the only bachelor’s degree program at Toledo offered entirely online, but a prerequisite of an associate’s degree or equivalent core classes is required. If students meet those standards, then the bachelor’s in early childhood education can be completed in as little as four semesters, studying full-time without summer courses. Students should note that this is a non-licensure major, and they will need to earn their certification if they want to teach at this level.

Besides the bachelor’s in early childhood education, Toledo offers three master’s degrees online, as well as a variety of certificates, such as the virtual educator certificate which is designed for teachers who want to become online or virtual teachers.

40 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC 96.32 $150 1 41% 13:169%no yes yes

One of the top public colleges in the South, The Citadel Military College applies military culture to education, producing some of the top graduates in their respective fields. The Citadel calls students their Corps of Cadets, and they strive to educate the whole person, creating future leaders.

Students that want to become future educators have several choices. If students already have some college experience coming into the Citadel, they may want to study toward a bachelor’s in social studies education. This is a degree completion program that is only offered in the evening, allowing students to continue working while also studying toward their bachelor’s degree. Upon earning their degree, students are eligible to apply for teacher certification to work at the middle and secondary levels of education.

If students want to continue their education, there are a variety of graduate level courses offered at the Citadel. Graduate students can take many different paths for their education, and each offers specialization to help them further their career or shift into a new field entirely. Those that want to teach would be most interested in a master’s in teaching. This degree choice has three areas of concentration that students can choose: secondary education, middle grades and physical education.

There are also master’s degree options available in education and specialist education, both of which have their own concentrations. The master’s of education leads to administrative and counseling roles while the specialist in education degree leads to a position as a superintendent or school psychologist. All of these programs have different credit requirements, so the amount of time they take to complete can range from 1–3 years, depending on how quickly the student is willing to earn their degree. It is worth noting that all education programs—including degree completion—are only offered on campus, with no online options available.

41 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ 96.28 $8,072 13 64% 18:149%no yes yes

With over 3,000 students currently enrolled, Northern Arizona University has one of the largest education programs. On top of that, they also offer more degrees in education than many other schools, particularly at the undergraduate level.

The undergraduate programs offered at NAU are best designed for students who want to teach at the elementary or early childhood education level while earning all the certification they need. Degree options include early childhood education, elementary education and special/elementary education. The special/elementary education program is one of the more specialized options at NAU. To earn a bachelor’s in special/elementary education, students need to earn 120 credit hours while gaining experience through internships and supervised teaching. The end result of the program is a degree with dual certification for both elementary education and special education. This dual certification is excellent for opening doors to careers immediately after graduation. On top of the bachelor’s degrees offered, NAU also offers four minor options and three extra certificate options. Secondary education bachelor’s degrees are also available, but these are completed outside of the college of education and in their respective college. For example, a secondary education Spanish major would study in the college of arts and letters while earning a teaching certification.

NAU also has one of the most robust graduate programs for education students. There are well over a dozen different graduate degrees offered in education at both the master’s and doctoral level. There are also various graduate certificates offered to help bolster the student’s education. The most unique option at the graduate level is the education specialist degree. This degree choice is best for students who want to become school psychologists. None of these options are available online, so students that apply will need to be willing to relocate to Flagstaff, Arizona to earn their degree.

42 Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell, SD 96.27 $23,550 4 98% 13:144%yes yes yes

Located in Mitchell, South Dakota, Dakota Wesleyan University is one of the top institutions for higher education in the state. The student body at DWU is small, but that is done intentionally to keep class sizes and the student to teacher ratio low. The goal is to give each student more individual attention, helping them become better learners and leaders in their communities. Students that study toward a degree in education at DWU don’t just become leaders in their community—they are immersed as part of the curriculum. For example, the bachelor’s degree in elementary education requires students to spend a minimum of 300 hours in a classroom, gaining experience working with local children. While not all bachelor’s degree programs require the same amount of experience, education students should expect to spend time gaining valuable teaching experience.

Other bachelor’s degree options at DWU include special education, music education and history education. These degrees combine courses related to the field and education courses, preparing students to begin a professional career in South Dakota. The same local integration is applied to these different programs; students earning a degree in music education are required to join and perform in a local choir or ensemble, and students earning a degree in history education are required to take courses related to the history of South Dakota. The goal of these programs is to prepare students to become teachers in the state—however, many graduates go on to become teachers and educators in different areas.

Aside from the bachelor’s degrees in education, there is only one degree option for educators: a master’s in education. This degree is completed in 15 months and is entirely online, allowing students to study from anywhere. The master’s in education is designed specifically for students that want to eventually teach at the college level or become a part of a college administration.

43 Brescia University Owensboro, KY 96.25 $19,500 1 96% 13:130%no yes yes

Founded on Catholic values, Brescia University is one of the top liberal arts schools in Kentucky. By placing a strong emphasis on ethics and service, Brescia has also become one of the top destinations for students that want to become teachers and educators.

The school of education at Brescia is well-rounded, giving students the opportunity to study to become teachers at any level. Undergraduate degrees are offered with the option of specialized certification. Not only are all programs approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, but graduating students also perform incredibly well on licensure exams with the majority of bachelor’s degree students going on to pass their licensure exam. Bachelor’s degrees in education at Brescia are broken into two categories: bachelor of arts and bachelor of science. Aside from the degree options available in each field, there are no large differences. Students earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, middle school education or interdisciplinary early childhood education will earn their certification through the degree program; however, undergraduate degrees in education are not available online, so students will have to be willing to study on campus to earn their degree.

Aside from their bachelor’s degree programs, Brescia also offers a master’s in teacher leadership. This is a 35-semester-hour program that must be completed within a six-year period; however, if students study full-time they can complete this program in under two years. The goal of the program is to give teachers extra tools, allowing them to take a step up in their career. This is an excellent program option for teachers that are planning on teaching in a private school, anywhere in the K–12 spectrum. Students can also earn an endorsement as a lead teacher, something that is only available to graduate level students.

44 Iowa State University Ames, IA 96.24 $6,648 5 74% 19:168%no yes yes

Iowa State University has three main undergraduate program options for education: early childhood, elementary and secondary. Each option leads to licensure in the respective level. All three options are designed to give students the all-around knowledge and experience they need upon graduation to start their career as a teacher. To further separate graduates from the competition, Iowa State offers two special concentrations that can be added: learning technologies or special education.

Along with the general education degrees, Iowa State also offers a variety of master’s degree programs, each of which is meant to give teachers extra experience in a specific field. For example, students may want to earn a master’s degree in mathematics education if they want to become math teachers at the secondary level. Most of the programs also include licensure if the student needs it. There are also degree options to prepare students to teach in an institution of higher education, such as a college or university. These degrees allow for concentration as well, allowing students to gain more knowledge and specialization in their desired field.

Of the many online programs offered at Iowa State, there are only a few that would interest educators. The first is the master’s in curriculum and instructional technology. This nationally acclaimed program is designed specifically for current full-time teachers that want to advance their career. The program is typically finished in three years, although students can easily complete the degree sooner than that if they want because only one online course per semester is required to graduate on time. Another benefit to this program is that in-state tuition is offered to everyone regardless of where they live. The second online program that might interest educators is the online literacy coaching certificate, a three-semester program that also aids current educators to move forward with their career.

45 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus Magnolia, AR 96.20 $6,300 10 82% 17:130%no yes yes

Southern Arkansas University is located in the rural area of Magnolia, Arkansas. This location offers students unique opportunities for niche jobs. In the college of education, one possible program is a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education. Students in this major can take advantage of SAU’s farm, getting hands-on experience with agriculture while also completing their core education courses. The end result is a bachelor’s degree that fulfills the requirements for taking the Arkansas teacher licensure.

Aside from agricultural education, there seven undergraduate education programs at SAU’s College of Education, all of which lead to teacher licensure. It’s worth noting that not all of these degrees are strictly geared toward education. For example, students that want to become math teachers at the secondary level will be majoring in math while earning an education minor to fulfill the requirements they need to begin teaching immediately after graduating. It’s also important to note that the undergraduate education programs must be completed in-person. There are also 12 graduate level options available, all designed for current teachers and educators that want to further their career.

Southern Arkansas also offers online programs for students that want to bolster their education with a master’s degree or certificate. Online master’s degree options include educational administration, college counseling and special education. There are also a variety of master’s in education degrees that offer specializations. All of these degrees can be completed entirely online, and they often include a teaching certificate as well as an endorsement. However, students should still confirm whether the program they’re considering does offer certification. Most programs can be completed in a two year period. A non-degree principal licensure is also available online for current educators who want to move into a principal role.

46 Fontbonne University Saint Louis, MO 96.05 $22,770 3 93% 11:137%yes yes yes

With a student body of just 2,000, Fontbonne University is certainly one of the smaller colleges in the nation. However, it’s location in St. Louis, Missouri gives students the chance to immerse themselves in various internships, gaining unique professional experience. This is useful for students that want to pursue education while also earning teacher certification. Fontbonne University offers nine different undergraduate education programs, most of which are only available on campus. While studying toward a degree in education, students will be required to work in an actual classroom setting to gain valuable real-world experience.

The highlight of Fontbonne University’s education program is the bachelor’s degree in special education—paraprofessional pathways program. This undergraduate program is available entirely online, and the course structure is meant to be flexible, allowing students to continue working while they earn their degree. Through this program, students will take two 16-week courses during each semester and two 8-week courses during the summer. What makes this online program unique is that it not only leads to a bachelor’s degree, but also teacher certification. The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Along with the undergraduate programs, Fontbonne also offers graduate degrees and certifications. Many of the graduate level education programs can be completed in a hybrid format, meaning students will study both in-person and online. All the graduate programs at Fontbonne are meant to build upon previous professional knowledge and experience to help students advance through their career.

47 King University Bristol, TN 96.05 $24,316 1 86% 16:152%yes yes yes

If students want to gain valuable experience teaching while having a high chance of earning a job right out of college, King University may be the right place. Aspiring teachers must first be admitted into the teacher education program. After that, there are many options.

For undergraduate students, education degrees can be earned in the elementary level, secondary level or K–12 level. Each level is broken down into specific endorsements that students can pursue. Along with these endorsements, students have the option to add on a second endorsement of English as a second language. All programs require students to spend at least 100 hours of practical observation, giving them critical hands-on experience. While many students do study full-time over four years, night and weekend classes are also available for education students. Also, there are some specific programs that can be completed faster than others. For example, the elementary education major with K–5 licensure can be completed in as little as 20 months. This is done by combining both on-campus and online courses, or by taking night courses. Toward the end of the program, students will be required to complete a 15-week teaching placement. The end result is Tennessee licensure, meaning students can then begin their careers.

The only online education-related degree offered at King University is the master’s in instructional leadership. This 16-month degree program is designed to be flexible, allowing students to continue working while pursuing the degree. Graduates are prepared for administrative roles. This program is designed specifically for current teachers that have at least three years of experience.

48 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX 96.05 $4,029 3 88% 20:127%no yes yes

Not all students become teachers in a traditional way. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin recognizes this, and as a result have created multiple paths for aspiring teachers and educators. The first is through their traditional certification to teach. This is an undergraduate certification that is added on with a bachelor’s degree earned at UTPB. While studying toward their major and minor in their field students may also complete the required coursework to become a teacher. For example, a student that wants to teach math at the secondary level would earn a math degree while completing their teacher certification. With proper planning and staying on course, students should be able to complete their degree and certification in the traditional four years.

For students that have earned a degree but don't have licensure, UTPB’s post-baccalaureate accelerated teacher certification is the quickest way to become a teacher. The program is offered entirely online, and students pay a flat rate regardless of where they live. However, students will be required to participate in an in-person internship. While completing their 15 credit hours required for the program, students will also get a fully paid one-year teaching internship. For those that want to complete the program faster, there is also a 14-week teaching option, but this is unpaid. The credit hours earned during this internship can also be applied to a graduate degree in education. This program is accredited at the state and national level.

There are a few graduate programs offered entirely online as well. Students can study toward a master’s in educational leadership, special education or special education with a specialization in autism. All of these online programs are affordable and entirely online, and they can be completed in as little as one year. These programs are designed for current teachers, so students can earn their master’s degree while continuing to work.

49 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY 96.04 $2,712 1 66% 14:154%yes yes yes

The University of Wyoming breaks their college of education into two schools: the school of teacher education and the school of counseling, leadership, advocacy and design. Depending on what type of role students are looking to get as a teacher or educator, students will end up in one or the other.

The school of teacher education has three main undergraduate programs: early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education. Early childhood is broken down further into three different endorsements, allowing students to specialize further, and secondary education has different undergraduate programs available. Because secondary education often requires teachers to have specialized experience and knowledge in their field, these programs are important for students that want a specific role as a teacher. For example, a student who wants to teach social studies would end up earning a degree in social studies education. Early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education all lead to teacher certification in Wyoming.

From here, students will choose from a variety of graduate level degrees. The entire school of counseling, leadership, advocacy and design is graduate level, and the degrees are meant to help teachers and educators move into administrative roles. Graduates of these programs often go on to become school psychologists or principals. For students that want to continue their education but cannot commute to class, a variety of online master’s degrees are available. Many of these degrees are focused on getting students into administrative roles or giving them certification in a specific field. Teachers that want to be involved in special education would likely be interested in online education since the University of Wyoming requires students to first have a bachelor’s degree in any K–12 field. There are also about a dozen education certificates available to post-baccalaureate and graduate level students.

50 University of Mobile Mobile, AL 96.03 $18,720 2 97% 13:149%no yes yes

One of the top schools in Alabama, the University of Mobile plans their curriculum with Christian values in mind. This means not only teaching the subject matter, but also developing the spiritual side of every student while helping them to find their calling. For students that want to become teachers but aren’t sure which area interests them most, the University of Mobile has some options.

The school of education at the University of Mobile places an emphasis on early childhood and elementary education. All undergraduate degree programs offered are either in one or both of those levels, or in a specialized version. One of the popular degree options is their bachelor’s degree in collaborative special education. This program leads to certification to teach special education in the K–6 levels. Another popular option is the early childhood and elementary education dual major program. This four-year program requires more core work than most degrees, but the end result is a degree that serves educators at two levels, while also opening the door to certification. For non-traditional students, there is an early childhood or elementary education adult program, available to students who are currently working a full-time job.

Secondary education is also possible at the University of Mobile, but in a less-traditional form. Secondary education is pursued in the form of a certificate that is earned in conjunction with a non-education bachelor’s degree. These certificates can be earned with biology, history, English, math, music and health, as well as a dual certification for physical education. Students that do earn this certification are able to complete all their education in four years. There are also graduate level degrees offered both on campus and online for students that want to continue their education. This is best for teachers that want to shift into an administrative role at a school, or for teachers that want additional certification.

2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Eastern Wyoming College Torrington, WY 99.22 $1,992 3 87% 18:1N/Ano yes yes
2 East Mississippi Community College Scooba, MS 97.60 $2,200 4 66% 13:1N/Ayes yes yes
3 Western Texas College Snyder, TX 97.55 $1,950 2 48% 16:1N/Ayes yes yes
4 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS 96.68 $2,432 2 65% 15:1N/Ayes yes yes
5 Otero Junior College La Junta, CO 96.61 $3,747 3 87% 17:1N/Ano no yes
6 Colorado Northwestern Community College Rangely, CO 96.37 $3,394 5 57% 12:1N/Ayes no yes
7 Snead State Community College Boaz, AL 96.06 $3,390 3 55% 23:1N/Ayes yes yes
8 Arizona Western College Yuma, AZ 95.58 $1,824 5 16% 21:1N/Ano yes yes
9 College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, ID 95.54 $3,760 9 45% 19:1N/Ano yes yes
10 Roane State Community College Harriman, TN 95.38 $3,528 1 6% 16:1N/Ayes yes yes
11 Casper College Casper, WY 95.35 $1,992 1 46% 13:1N/Ano yes yes
12 Highland Community College Highland, KS 95.32 $2,112 1 62% 20:1N/Ayes yes yes
13 Western Oklahoma State College Altus, OK 95.30 $1,977 3 69% 17:1N/Ayes no yes
14 Barton County Community College Great Bend, KS 94.94 $1,984 2 55% 23:1N/Ayes yes yes
15 Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK 94.82 $2,103 3 41% 18:1N/Ayes yes yes
16 Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City, KS 94.77 $2,190 1 21% 13:1N/Ayes yes yes
17 Gadsden State Community College Gadsden, AL 94.64 $2,712 1 25% 18:1N/Ayes yes yes
18 Yavapai College Prescott, AZ 94.55 $1,896 1 17% 23:1N/Ayes no yes
19 Taft College Taft, CA 94.46 $1,380 3 80% 28:1N/Ano yes yes
20 Mid-Plains Community College North Platte, NE 94.35 $2,370 3 68% 9:1N/Ano no yes
21 Lake Region State College Devils Lake, ND 94.33 $3,197 2 60% 13:1N/Ayes yes yes
22 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston, MS 94.33 $2,300 5 43% 21:1N/Ayes yes yes
23 Southwest Virginia Community College Richlands, VA 94.32 $3,060 3 54% 22:1N/Ayes yes yes
24 Dawson Community College Glendive, MT 94.31 $3,226 1 77% 11:1N/Ayes no yes
25 Arkansas Northeastern College Blytheville, AR 94.25 $2,016 1 30% 13:1N/Ayes yes yes
26 Bevill State Community College Jasper, AL 93.88 $3,390 3 31% 16:1N/Ayes yes yes
27 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, MS 93.66 $2,550 3 28% 25:1N/Ayes yes yes
28 Lassen Community College Susanville, CA 93.65 $1,104 1 49% 21:1N/Ano yes yes
29 Allen County Community College Iola, KS 93.38 $1,824 5 72% 16:1N/Ano no yes
30 Carl Albert State College Poteau, OK 93.30 $2,073 3 34% 24:1N/Ayes yes yes
31 Eastern Oklahoma State College Wilburton, OK 93.19 $2,682 1 42% 19:1N/Ayes yes yes
32 Tyler Junior College Tyler, TX 93.10 $2,310 2 20% 20:1N/Ano yes yes
33 Jefferson State Community College Birmingham, AL 93.08 $3,390 2 15% 20:1N/Ayes yes yes
34 Grayson College Denison, TX 93.08 $2,088 2 29% 21:1N/Ayes yes yes
35 Rose State College Midwest City, OK 93.04 $2,595 3 32% 18:1N/Ano yes yes
36 Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead, MS 92.95 $2,490 1 54% 18:1N/Ano yes yes
37 Odessa College Odessa, TX 92.92 $3,240 10 22% 19:1N/Ano yes yes
38 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE 92.89 $2,475 3 34% 17:1N/Ayes yes yes
39 Pamlico Community College Grantsboro, NC 92.84 $2,304 2 21% 9:1N/Ayes yes yes
40 Southwestern Oregon Community College Coos Bay, OR 92.64 $3,915 4 47% 15:1N/Ayes yes yes
41 Arkansas State University-Mountain Home Mountain Home, AR 92.59 $2,136 1 21% 17:1N/Ayes yes yes
42 Central Arizona College Coolidge, AZ 92.58 $2,400 2 20% 16:1N/Ano no yes
43 Laramie County Community College Cheyenne, WY 92.49 $1,992 1 43% 14:1N/Ano no yes
44 Estrella Mountain Community College Avondale, AZ 92.39 $2,016 1 22% 22:1N/Ayes yes yes
45 West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah, KY 92.35 $3,528 2 N/A 18:1N/Ano yes yes
46 Trinity Valley Community College Athens, TX 92.34 $960 3 31% 24:1N/Ano yes yes
47 Nebraska Indian Community College Macy, NE 92.26 $4,080 1 77% 6:1N/Ayes no yes
48 Holmes Community College Goodman, MS 92.18 $2,000 6 38% 18:1N/Ano yes yes
49 Kilgore College Kilgore, TX 92.12 $2,376 1 22% 20:1N/Ayes yes yes
50 South Arkansas Community College El Dorado, AR 92.12 $2,184 3 5% 13:1N/Ayes yes yes

How much do teachers make?

The profession isn’t known for making teachers wealthy, but individuals can expect reasonable incomes, especially when obtaining graduate degrees and teaching students at secondary school and beyond. Besides a teacher’s terminal degree, the amount of experience plays a major role in determining how much a teacher makes. For a broad overview of what individuals can expect from teaching at different grades with varying levels of experience, check out the following chart.

Occupation Median Annual Salary: Entry-level Median Annual Salary: Mid-level Median Annual Salary: Late-career
Elementary Ed $39,374 $44,223 $56,372
Middle school teacher $40,551 $45,070 $59,689
High school/secondary ed $41,355 $47,880 $60,505
Professor/post-secondary $59,007 $68,751 $98,638

Source: Payscale

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programs to Become a Teacher

What Online Degree Do I Need to Become a Teacher?

Most teaching positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, although a few teachers, especially at the preschool level, may be able to get meet eligibility requirements with just an associate degree. A bachelor’s degree is also the common minimum requirement for those looking to teach at a career or technical school. However, they must have sufficient practical experience to supplement the bachelor’s degree.

A master’s degree is common for teachers at the upper grade levels or those who want to specialize in counseling or administrative roles. And for those who want to teach at the university level, a doctorate degree is generally needed, although a master’s degree is often acceptable at the community or junior college level.

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What Are the Steps to Earn an Online Education Degree?

Getting an online teaching degree is probably the single most significant step in becoming a teacher, but it’s hardly the only one. There are many other steps necessary to choose the right school and program to best achieve your professional and academic goals.

But in addition to following these steps, students should ensure they have the internal qualities that can help them succeed in teaching, including interpersonal skills, communication skills and patience. With these traits, as well as careful attention to the following steps, an individual can look forward to a promising future in education.

  1. Any career in teaching will require a postsecondary degree, which in turn requires a high school diploma or GED. Time to complete: Four years.

  2. Depending on where you want to teach, only an associate degree may be necessary. However, most likely a bachelor’s or master’s degree will be needed. Time to complete: Varies.

  3. To become a certified or licensed teacher, students must complete an accredited teacher preparation program. Time to complete: Varies.

  4. To enroll in many degree programs, taking the SAT, ACT and/or Praxis exams will be needed. At the graduated level, students may also need to take the GRE. Time to complete: Three or more months.

  5. Students should except to provide any of the following: all high school and postsecondary academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, submission of test scores/results, a personal statement, resume and an interview. Time to complete: Three to six months.

  6. The level of background checks will vary among states, but can include submission of fingerprints. Schools will require background checks if it’s also a necessary element of certification or licensing (it often is). Time to complete: Three or more months.

  7. Students interested in receiving financial aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is necessary when applying for the vast majority of government and school-based financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans and work study. Time to complete: Three or more months.

  8. Keep in mind that there are sometimes state-specific class requirements. Students must consult with their academic advisors to make sure they take the necessary coursework for the state they intend to become licensed in. Time to complete: One to four years.

  9. While sometimes required before admission, most students will take this during their junior or senior years, before beginning supervised teaching. Time to complete: Varies.

  10. Often lasting a semester, students must complete a student teaching experience under the supervision of faculty members. Time to complete: Three or more months.

  11. The precise certification process will depend on the credential sought and the state the student seeks it in. Time to complete: A few weeks to a few months.

  12. The vast majority of states will require students to pass multiple exams before becoming licensed. These exams will cover general teaching knowledge in major academic subject areas as well as the class subject the student intends to teach. Time to complete: Up to a few months.

  13. Even before graduating, students should be engaged in the job hunt and networking as much as possible. Time to complete: Varies.

  14. Depending on the state, the student may be given a temporary certification and may need to renew it to a permanent one. Time to complete: Varies.

  15. This is one of the most advanced and prestigious certifications a teacher can receive. It is not required to become a teacher, but can make it easier to become certified in other states and advance your teaching career. Time to complete: Three or more years (minimum three years of teaching or school counselor experience required for eligibility).

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Programs to Become a Teacher

How Do I Find the Top Accredited Online Education Program?

There are numerous online teaching programs available, which is great in that it provides a wide range of choices for students to consider. But the disadvantage is that it makes finding the best program more difficult. To choose the best online education program, a prospective student should take several factors into consideration.

One factor to think about is how a course is presented. Online programs have a wide range of course delivery options, such as synchronous and asynchronous leaning. Depending on the need for flexibility, asynchronous learning may be an absolute necessity, as it allows students to take classes anytime, anywhere.

Also evaluate the specializations offered. Teaching degrees can include a wide range of areas, such as early childhood, special education, mathematics, English, academic leadership, research methods and health and fitness. Assuming a student doesn’t have a set area they want to focus on, it might be best to choose a school with the greatest selection of concentrations available. The following search tool will help students with that goal.

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Are There Scholarships and Grants for Teachers?

Given the need for teachers, many organizations have stepped up to offer scholarships and grants specifically for those who will educate the future members of society. As a result, teaching related scholarships and grants provide some of the biggest opportunities for students looking for gift-based financial aid options.

Scholarships do not need to be repaid and are primarily awarded based on an applicant’s merits. As a result, students who apply for scholarships can expect to provide copies of academic transcripts, essays and evidence of an interest or desire to teach. Here’s a small sampling of scholarships available for teachers.

Like scholarships, grants do not need to be paid back. But unlike scholarships, the primary basis for awarding grants is financial need, not academic merit (although that is often a factor). So when applying for a grant, providing evidence of financial need, such as a completed FAFSA, is necessary.

  • TEACH Grant

    The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant is for students who will teach in a high-need subject and low-income areas of the country.

  • Teacher.org

    A website devoted to the teaching profession that includes a list of grants and scholarships for teachers.

Even with the high numbers of scholarships and grants available, students often find themselves struggling to pay for school and make a living after graduation. To help alleviate this burden, loan forgiveness options are available that will reduce or eliminate student loans under certain conditions, such as teaching in an underserved area.

  • Teach.org

    Includes a wealth of information, including scholarships, housing assistance and loan forgiveness.

  • Federal Student Aid – How to Replay Your Loans

    Several federal programs allow students who become teachers or teach in a public service position to have their school loans forgiven.

Remember, accreditation is critical for obtaining an education. When it comes to teaching, it’s extremely difficult – if not impossible – to obtain the necessary licensure or certification without going through an accredited program. Additionally, almost all financial aid awards will require students to enroll in an accredited school or program to receive the financial help.