Best Online Associate in Education

Find top-ranked online associate degree in education programs to help prepare students on how to manage a classroom and develop lesson plans while also exploring benchmarks of childhood psychology.

Best Online Associate in Education

Frequently Asked Questions About Education Degrees

Becoming an educator is a rewarding and engaging way to build a career. As educational programs shift to offer more online courses, students can take advantage of the personalized options available to tailor their degree to meet their specific career goals and timelines.

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An average associate degree program takes 60 credit hours and two years to complete, but this timeline can be accelerated through summer classes or online courses.

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The associate degree program teaches students how to manage a classroom and develop lesson plans while also exploring benchmarks of childhood psychology.

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An associate degree in education allows graduates to take on exciting positions such as substitute teacher, daycare worker, teaching assistant, or nanny. The associate’s degree is also a great stepping stone for those wishing to pursue a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification.

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Learn more about how to major in education.

Best Online Associate in Education Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online education associate degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

25 Best Online Associate in Education Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Liberty University

    #1070 institution's historical influence
    #116 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    75K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Lynchburg, VA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Education (Non-Licensure)
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 1.5 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 1.5 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Empire State College

    #1650 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    7K

    Saratoga Springs, NY

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Educational Studies
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Educational Studies
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Brenau University

    #3773 institution's historical influence
    #489 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/20

    Gainesville, GA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Point University

    #3772 institution's historical influence
    #169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/18

    West Point, GA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Education

    Concentrations

    • Child Development
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Blinn College

    #2835 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    9%

    Student body

    15K

    Brenham, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Campbellsville University

    #4039 institution's historical influence
    #459 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    8K

    Campbellsville, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Education
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    College of Southern Nevada

    #3464 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    21K

    Las Vegas, NV

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Special Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Community College of Denver

    #3321 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    5K

    Denver, CO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    University of the Cumberlands

    #3511 institution's historical influence
    #580 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    Williamsburg, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Health and Fitness
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Information Science and Technology
    • Education
    • Media Studies
    • Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Christian Studies
    • STEM
    • Healthcare
    • Required Credits: 24
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Monroe Community College

    #3745 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    9K

    Rochester, NY

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Adolescence Education

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Early Childhood Education

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Childhood Education

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Front Range Community College

    #5287 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    11K

    Westminster, CO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #12

    Northwest Nazarene University

    #4008 institution's historical influence
    #1168 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/23

    Nampa, ID

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Secondary Education
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Washtenaw Community College

    #5818 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    8K

    Ann Arbor, MI

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Secondary Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Toccoa Falls College

    #5358 institution's historical influence
    #590 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/19

    Toccoa Falls, GA

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    Online Degrees

    Pre Plan in Education

    Concentrations

    • Pre-Elementary Education
    • Pre-Middle Grades Education
    • Pre-Secondary Education - English
    • Pre-Secondary Education - History
    • Pre-Secondary Education - Science
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion time: 16 months
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    Pima Community College

    #4580 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    14K

    Tucson, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate in Arts

    Concentrations

    • Early Childhood Studies
    • English
    • History
    • Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Administration of Justice
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Communication
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Elementary Education
    • English
    • Ethnic
    • Gender and Transborder Studies
    • Fashion Design
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Social Services
    • Sociology
    • Translation and Interpretation Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    North Greenville University

    #5810 institution's historical influence
    #194 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/23

    Tigerville, SC

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Elementary Educational Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    Bluegrass Community and Technical College

    #6597 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    7K

    Lexington, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Education: Educator Preparation
    • Required Credits: 61-62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    Tyler Junior College

    #4197 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    7K

    Tyler, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Education

    Concentrations

    • EC-12 Special Education
    • EC-6/4-8 Grade Levels
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    LeTourneau University

    #3960 institution's historical influence
    #202 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/25

    Longview, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. #20

    Rowan College at Burlington County

    #7431 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    5K

    Mount Laurel, NJ

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    Community College of Aurora

    #7137 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    Aurora, CO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Elementary Education Transfer
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    Coastline Community College

    #7371 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    5K

    Fountain Valley, CA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Educational Studies

    Concentrations

    • Liberal Studies (for Teaching)
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Educational Studies

    Concentrations

    • Child and Adolescent Development
    • Elementary Teacher Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • Physical Education and Health
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    Brookdale Community College

    #3626 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    8K

    Lincroft, NJ

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    Volunteer State Community College

    #5537 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    6K

    Gallatin, TN

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Secondary Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Social Science and Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    College of Southern Idaho

    #6070 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    Twin Falls, ID

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students