In the modern world, there are endless options for education, whether in person or from a distance, regardless of ones discipline. With all of the options, it helps to have a guide to put everything into perspective and to understand the programs. This is especially important when it comes to those who are looking to teach future generations. Teachers, no matter what they teach, need to be up to date on their techniques and information. They must also connect with their audience. This becomes increasingly difficult when the prospective teacher is seeking online or distance education. As a teacher, the person will be responsible for educating future generations and therefore they need to have the most preparation and gain some experience before leading their own class.
To help prospective teachers in their journey from a distance, we've compiled a list of the best online bachelors programs for teaching degrees. In order to come up with this list, we examined several important areas, such as academic rigor, preparation for real teaching scenarios, flexibility of enrollment, price and payment/financial aid options and the quality of the faculty and staff. There was also a focus on the more unique offerings, with the opportunity to take the alternate route to certification, or concentrations in fields related to education that are harder to find.
To determine academic rigor, we are looking at the pass rates for certification tests, such as the Praxis, and also how quickly graduates became employed in their field after earning that certification. For preparation of real teaching scenarios, we are looking for opportunities for the student to complete student teaching or a related internship local to them. In order to measure the quality of faculty and staff at the college, we are looking for the availability of the staff to answer questions as soon as possible, their knowledge of the programs and the faculty response time to assignments and student questions.
Without further ado, here are 15 of the Best Online Teaching Degrees at the Bachelors level:
This program is perfect for both students who are seeking a college education for the first time and for those who are in one field but are seeking a change. With several different Bachelors degrees, such as degree completion to teacher certification, early childhood education or alternative methods to teaching certification, there is something from a distance for every person. The application requires a GPA of 3.0 to ensure that applicants are aware of the rigor that awaits them. They also offer guides on studying for the Praxis and other certification necessities.
There may be restrictions on the programming, but the tuition rate and transfer credit policy is hard to argue with. The program is 120 credits, 30 of which must be earned at Granite State College. Tuition starts at $293 per credit hour.
Though their offerings are smaller in comparison to others on this list the University of Nebraska at Kearney offers two teaching programs for early education. They are Early Childhood Inclusive and Early Childhood and Family Advocacy. In both, there are 120 credit hours to complete to graduation, with 48 credit hours coming from general studies, 13 credit hours coming from unrestricted electives and 60 credit hours in the major. Support is easily accessible, even from the moment of inquiry. There is support from the department chair to the designated staff member who is there to answer your questions. The tuition rate is approximately $397 per credit hour.
This online degree program is specially geared toward those seeking a career in early childhood education, whether in an administrative or a teaching role. The program is 120 credits in total, with 72 coming from general education and professional teacher education courses. This has one of the lower credit requirements and a bit of an imbalance between general education courses, but a huge advantage to this school is the ability to transfer in up to 62 credits of coursework completed at a local school.
Flexibility in payment is welcomed, and this program was one of the more comprehensive ones examined. There are varying options between financial aid and sponsored billing for military, veterans or other third parties. Tuition is about $494 per credit hour.
12. Prescott College
Though they do require what they refer to as a "limited residency", Prescott does offer a comprehensive online program that allows for a solid education and a 12 week student teaching experience. Focuses of programs range from Early Education, Elementary Education and Secondary Education with a concentration in Special Education available, as well. Programs are structured to the individual, with customization between distance learning and hybrid (partially online, partially in the classroom) to make the program as successful as possible. Unlike some schools, Prescott also offers scholarships and payment plans for students, along with accepting financial aid. $578 per credit hour.
In the Education and Human Development department of George Washington University, students can earn specialized certificates, graduate degrees and also an Education Specialist degree. Certifications are available in Educational Technology, Instructional Design, Leadership and other related fields. Though not strictly Bachelors degree options, these programs allow for both distance and on campus learning, whether you choose completely online, completely on campus or a hybrid, and the preference can be adjusted from term to term based on your needs. Financial aid and other tuition aid is available. The cost varies depending on the status of the student, whether attending full time or part time but is about $619 per credit hour.
Concordia has been offering education since 1905 and they pride themselves on the rigor of courses, regardless if they are on campus or online. Learners are motivated and challenge one another to introduce new ideas and to strengthen each other. In the Early Childhood Education program, Concordia students are trained to work with children who are newborns through age five. They help them with basic operational skills and prepare them for formal education that will begin when then enter kindergarten. At the end of the degree, the final component is an internship to gain that real world experience while still having the support of the institution if questions or issues arise. The program is 124 credits in total, with 45 coming from general education courses. Tuition is $450 per credit hour.
Since 1912, this liberal arts college in Maine has offered education degrees on campus and has been providing distance learning for 40 years. Saint Joseph's offers rolling admissions and a generous transfer of up to 95 credits from other programs at the bachelors level. The program is 128 credits in total and it can all be completed online. There are no residency requirements, but Saint Joseph's also offers summer courses on campus or in a hybrid setting to expedite the completion of a degree.
Their bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Adult Education and Training gives students a background in education and allows the student to fast track to a Master's program by replacing up to four classes at the undergraduate level with graduate courses. There are also programs to alternative certification. Tuition is $331 per credit hour.
Arizona State University has one of the larger, more well known programs in the united states for all areas. In education, you are expected to reach out of your comfort zone to gain a new perspective of the world and to find ways of sharing that with others. Examples of courses include Exploration of Education, The Full Life Cycle and Theories for Acquiring and Learning Languages. The program is designed to be a first step in continuing education in the teaching field, as it will equip the student to move on to a masters level. 120 credits are required to completion of the degree, and 90 of those can be transferred in. Tuition is $530 per credit hour.
At the Bachelors level, Fort Hays State University offers options such as Elementary Education, Early Childhood Unified (for preparation as an administrator, coordinator teacher and special education training) and Elementary with a minor in Special Education. Each option is 127 credits, with 55 credits in general education, 40 credits in the major, 20 credits in professional studies and 12 credits of student teaching. Their website helps you in advance to know what you qualify for, with areas such as financial aid and an online assessment to determine which type of program is right for you. They also have tuition calculators, which indicate the cost per credit hour online is about $480.
When you arrive on Grand Canyon's website, you'll immediately see that they have perfected the process of answering your questions and getting you to complete your goals. They are the definition of flexibility, with education formats as a traditional student, nighttime and weekend student or online student. Grand Canyon makes the process convenient for students by requesting transcripts on their behalf, then evaluating them and determining a graduation date based on that information. Courses are four credits each, with a total of 120 to complete the program, and 80 of those are in the major.
Throughout the program, there are Practicums, which allow the student to gain real experience in a teaching setting, so they will leave their program feeling prepared to teach. Tuition is approximately $470 per credit hour.
Though there is only one education degree through Walden at the Bachelors level, it covers a lot of material. The Child Development program allows students to connect with children of all ages, from birth through the teen years and to reach them in an education setting.
The content of courses is up to date with the latest trends and teaching techniques, allowing the student to incorporate their learning in a meaningful way in their own classroom settings. The further specify the program to meet your needs, Walden offers seven concentrations, such as in Psychology, Administration and Management and Infant/Toddler to help you to gain knowledge in a specific topic as it relates to child development. This program, like another on this list later on, operates in quarter hours, so the total required credits for this program is 181. You are able to transfer in up to 135 credits, as well. Tuition is $325 per quarter hour.
The University of Massachusetts consists of five separate campuses, as well as their online program, which has been around for fifteen years. The education department consists of over twenty programs specialized to the needs of students and their specialized fields. An undergraduate student could go into the Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in Children's Learning and Development, Early Care and Education or Advocacy and Social Justice studies. For the next level, there are also leadership programs related to the education field. If you are looking to transfer in previous credits, the University of Massachusetts allows up to an astounding 100 credits from previous education, prior learning and work and life experience. Tuition is $385 per credit hour.
Western Governor's University has a specific teachers college designed to meet the needs of prospective students. At the Bachelors level, there are eight separate programs for specialties in teaching math, science, special education or an overview of teaching grades kindergarten through eighth grade. In each program, the course work is flexible to meet the needs of a non-traditional student, while still supporting them with outreach from faculty and staff alike.
Western Governor's University also has a unique method of cost as compared to all of the other schools on this list. Rather than paying credit by credit, the tuition functions as a flat rate for every term of $2,890. This allows you, the student, to complete as many courses in six months (their term length) as you want for $2,890. If you're a savvy student with strong organizational skills, this could be a very cost-effective option.
Liberty University is well known in the field of online education and is for a good reason. For 45 years overall and 31 years in distance education, Liberty has offered education that are flexible and affordable. For teaching, students have degree options such as a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education or in Special Education. Courses are consistently 8 weeks with some at 16 weeks and they offer curriculum that will ensure increased work performance and the ability to move forward in your career. In order to excel, Liberty also provides free access to a tutor whenever they are needed, as well as a student support team and a private Facebook group of peers for support. Tuition starts at $390 per credit hour, making it cost-effective and competitive with the rates of other top online educators.
The oldest school overall from this list has one of the newer distance education programs. Founded in 1891, Drexel has been offering online education for two decades and offers more than 140 online degree and certificate programs. These programs aren't any different from the campus programs, because the curriculum is reviewed using the same process as with the traditional program. The faculty is also just as accomplished and qualified to teach online as they would be in person. For an online program, Drexel offers a Bachelor of Science in Education which is geared toward prospective teachers seeking to educate in the pre-kindergarten through fourth grade age range.
To achieve an in-person experience, a student teaching component is included. This student teaching requires twelve consecutive weeks of full-day teaching in the classroom. In addition, you as the student would be required to complete 190 hours of in-school pre-student teaching activities, ensuring rigor and experience is completed. This program is also unique because there are 180 credits to completion, but those are quarter credits, so they are equivalent to 1.5 normal credits. Students can also transfer in up to 90 quarter credits (equivalent to 60 regular credits). For new online students, the tuition rate is $479 per credit hour.