Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in elementary education degree programs to help students gain insight into childhood psychology, the stages of development, curriculum design, and assessment guidelines.

Key Takeaways

  • Today’s elementary educators perform the extremely important work of shaping the next generation and must possess the right skills for it!
  • On its own, an online bachelor’s in elementary education is a broad discipline. Students, however, can choose a specific field concentration.
  • A teaching license is required to practice as an elementary educator, and a bachelor’s program prepares students for the state exam.
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The online bachelor’s in elementary education degree is for students who plan to become elementary school teachers. In this degree, you will complete the basic coursework in elementary education theories, including classroom diversity and effective teaching practices.

Students also gain knowledge in the specific subject areas you will be teaching. This usually includes areas such as English composition, mathematics, US history, humanities, critical thinking and logic, and health and fitness.

In an online education degree, it’s important to consider firsthand your academic priorities. For instance, if you plan on becoming a special education teacher, attend a school that offers this concentration. If you are on a tight budget, look for schools with lower tuition rates.

If you don’t have the luxury of time to physically go to class, distance learning is your top choice. Today, you have so many options that will meet all your criteria, even for those that may seem physically impossible to reach.

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Degree Career Options

Aside from becoming an elementary school teacher, online bachelor’s degree holders in elementary education can also land jobs as teacher assistants, special education teachers, tutors, and substitute teachers.

  • Elementary School Teacher: Quite different from early childhood education teachers, elementary school teachers teach and handle different subjects like math, science, social studies, history, and more. They help students prepare for state testing and for middle school by creating lesson plans and recognizing every need of each student.
  • Apart from the academic responsibilities, elementary school teachers are also the ones that oversee students during field trips and recess breaks and even discuss a student’s progress with parents. To become an elementary school teacher, you must have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teacher licensure.

  • Preschool Director: These professionals are the ones who offer guidance and generally oversee teachers and their teaching techniques. Preschool directors draft and make school policies, stay in touch with parents about their children, and attend to the budget of their facility. It is also their task to follow state regulations.
  • Preschool directors, by standard, should hold a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. However, there are states that require more credentials, like a master’s degree, or the relevant training needed to run a preschool.

  • Preschool Teacher: Preschool teachers help kids below five years old learn basic concepts like color identification, counting, and letters. They are also responsible for the development of a child’s motor and social skills.
  • These teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (although some states allow an associate degree) to qualify for this position. Preschool teachers also create curricula, make daily activities, and assess kids for signs of special needs.

  • Teacher Assistant: Teacher assistants let students understand their lessons by providing them with interpersonal guidance. They are also the ones that prepare daily classroom activities, oversee students outside the classrooms, and maintain class records.
  • Although you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in education for this position, having one will confirm that you understand elementary students and that you know classroom procedures and you have ideas on relevant learning strategies.

Online Elementary Education Degree: Courses

  • Education Foundation: You explore the political, philosophical, and historical concepts of education, along with the problems and complications in the field of education. You will also learn about intercultural classrooms, ideas about the future of education, and governmental expectations.
  • Science Instruction for Elementary Students: In this course, you will study elementary science, including Earth and physical science. You are also taught how to use research-based strategies when it comes to delivering science lessons. These methods also reflect child development concepts between kindergarten and sixth grade.
  • Children’s Literature: You are introduced to the various genres of children’s stories like picture books, fairy tales, and novels. Learners will study how these interesting stories can impact children, as well as practical ways to love these works when teaching.
  • Classroom Management: This course teaches students research-based methods for running an efficient classroom. You will be taught time management skills as related to teaching, class rules, curricula, and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Elementary Education Degrees

If you have a desire to shape young minds, nurture budding talent, and oversee your own classroom, consider a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

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Students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education will gain insight into childhood psychology, the stages of development, curriculum design, and assessment guidelines. Most elementary education degree programs will also provide preparation for state teacher exams.

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Completing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education takes an average of four years. In most cases, you’ll be able to earn most or all of your 120 credits either in person or through online courses.

It may also be possible to complete your bachelor’s degree at an accelerated pace through certain programs. For those who have already earned an associate degree it may be possible to enter into an accelerated degree completion program in order to earn your bachelor’s degree.

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Learn more about how to major in education.

Best Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Degree Programs
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Ranking The Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Programs

In selecting the online bachelor’s degree in elementary education to recommend, we took into account the coursework of the program. Delivered online by the finest colleges in the country, these online programs cover elementary education as a multifaceted discipline with elements for success that go beyond the elementary classroom.

Elementary educators must be patient, genuinely interested in kids, organized, and excellent communicators.

By obtaining a degree from a top-quality elementary education online program, every future educator can develop these important traits.

What’s an elementary education undergraduate program without the right teachers to impart the lessons? The web-based programs we compiled are taught by the most respected elementary educators whose work and experience in traditional teaching and educational technology of study speak for themselves.

Each reputable college delivering an online elementary education program takes pride in their accreditation status. The programs are also duly accredited, demonstrating high-quality delivery of the coursework.

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Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Degree Programs

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #3

    East Carolina University

    Greenville , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education (K-6)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #4

    Liberty University

    Lynchburg , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    75K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BEd in Elementary Education

    Concentrations

    • Middle Grades English
    • Middle Grades Mathematics
    • Middle Grades Science
    • Middle Grades Social Science
    • Special Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Online Degrees

    BA in Education- Early Childhood United/Elementary Education Apprentice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  5. #6

    Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education ESOL/Reading
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/25

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 70
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #8

    Campbell University

    Buies Creek , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education (K-6)
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #11

    St. Petersburg College

    Clearwater , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    19K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #12

    Bay Path University

    Longmeadow , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/22

    Online Degrees

    BA in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #13

    Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    10K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Elementary Education Grades K-6
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #14

    National University

    La Jolla , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    23K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Elementary Education

    Concentrations

    • Nevada Elementary Licensure
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion time: 4.5-5.5 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #15

    Granite State College

    Concord , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    1K

    Online Degrees

    BA in English Language Arts Teacher Certification

    Concentrations

    • Early Childhood Education And Early Childhood Special Education
    • Elementary Education And General Special Ed
    • General Special Ed
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Math Studies Teacher Certification

    Concentrations

    • Elementary Ed And General Special Ed
    • General Special Ed
    • Mathematics Middle Level
    • Mathematics Middle Level And General Special Ed
    • Mathematics Upper Level
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Social Studies Teacher Certification

    Concentrations

    • Elementary Education And General Special Ed
    • General Special Ed
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  13. #16

    Brenau University

    Gainesville , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    880/18

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education

    Concentrations

    • Middle Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #19

    University of the Cumberlands

    Williamsburg , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Elementary Education

    Concentrations

    • English/Communications
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Social and Behavioral Studies
    • Special Education*
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #21

    University of West Alabama

    Livingston , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Special Education: Collaborative Teacher, K-6/6-12
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
  17. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Elementary Education For Oceania
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  18. #24

    Midway University

    Midway , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. #25

    George Fox University

    Newberg , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Online Degrees

    BS in Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • 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

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.