Online Elementary Education Degree Programs

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What is an Online Elementary Education Degree Program?

In an online elementary education degree program, you will learn how to teach early grades. Depending on the district, you may find these grades range. You could see the range from kindergarten, to grades 4 through 7. As a prospective teacher, you will learn the foundation of classroom management and instruction. Also, you will learn to teach subjects such as math and reading. And, you will gain an understanding of children’s diverse learning needs.

You will have to student teach in an elementary education degree program. As such, you will engage in supervised field work in an elementary classroom. So, some parts of your program will be in person. You could still complete most of your courses online. If you are passionate about helping the next generation learn and thrive, this path is perfect for you!

Types of Elementary Education Degree Programs

In a standard elementary education degree program, you may cover the theory and practice of teaching. You could look at everything from education psychology, to new technology that makes learning fun. As such, you could study practical teaching strategies to help you manage a classroom.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Education

B.A. in Elementary Ed (grades K through 6)

M.A. in Teaching, Elementary Ed

In this program, you will cover the basics of teaching children. You won’t get your teacher license initially. However, it could be a step for you to pursue further education in the field. Or, you could pursue other paths that call for your knowledge of teaching.Build a foundation in teaching. Cover topics such as learning theories and influences in education. You may also cover types of learners. You will also learn and practice your teaching skills.This path is good for you if you already hold a B.A. in a field other than teaching. You will cover content knowledge. You may also learn the instructional skills you need in order to pursue your education career path.
Courses include:

  • Principles of Education
  • Psychology of Childhood
  • Classroom Management for Teachers
Courses include:

  • Mathematics in the Elementary Classroom
  • Teaching Assessment
  • Reading Across the Curriculum
Courses include:

  • Foundation Perspectives of Education
  • Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners

Undergraduate Programs in Elementary Education

In order to teach in public schools as a  kindergarten or elementary school teacher, you must earn at least a B.A. in Elementary Ed. This may vary if you work in a private school, however, a B.A. is standard.

An elementary education B.A. program often takes a ground up approach. Firstly, you will explore the basics of teaching. You will start with its history, then you will study modern issues in the field. One key area you will learn about, is classroom management. Learning goals would also include being able to create a positive, structured environment where students will thrive. Also, you will explore how to motivate and engage students. As well as how to guide students as they learn.

You will find instructional planning and teaching methods are the heart of the curriculum. You may explore tools and techniques for teaching each subject, from language arts to social studies. Also, you will learn to present information so a young audience can understand it. You may learn to help students build on what they learn, and you will discover how you can intervene when students are struggling.

As a teacher, some states ask you to major in a content area you prefer, such as math or science. You could also choose a to specialize in a subject such as special ed, or English as a second language (ESL).

Don’t forget about student teaching. This is an important rite of passage for you. It gives you a chance to practice skill areas such as classroom management and teaches you how to present information effectively. Don’t worry, your mentor teacher will help you to learn the ropes!

Graduate Programs in Elementary Education

In some states, in order for you to become a teacher, you need to earn a Master’s degree (M.A.). Usually, this comes after you earn your teaching certification and pursue your first teaching job.

At the M.A. level, you may build on your knowledge of elementary teaching and classroom management. Or, you could  study a new area of teaching that you choose. For example, you could focus on reading. If you are interested in curriculum and instruction, you could choose that. Or, you could choose another subject.

You may even consider an education leadership path.

In some cases, as a prospective educator, you may pursue an M.A. in elementary education after earning your B.A. in another field. If you change your career path to education, you will first need to earn your teaching licensure. You will find that some M.A. programs are made for students with that goal. In such programs, you will study the foundations of teaching. Graduate programs aimed at experienced educators likely won’t cover this for you.

Whether you have teaching experience or not, classroom practice is often part of your M.A. program. If you are pursuing licensure, this may take the form of you student teaching. In other cases, you could participate in a practicum or internship.

What Do Elementary Education Online Degree Courses Look Like?

If you pursue an elementary education program, you will take courses that cover teaching theory. You may also take courses that cover the practice of teaching. In addition, you may explore teaching strategies in different curricular areas. You will see these areas can vary, from science to reading. In addition, you may study subjects like professional ethics. As well as cover how you can work with students of different backgrounds. You could learn, for example, how to teach your students who have learning differences.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: These three areas of the teacher’s role unite to create an effective classroom. You’ll learn how to design a curriculum that meets your district’s standards. You’ll find out how to plan instructional strategies. And, you will look at methods for assessing student learning.

Psychology for Educators: You will learn how students learn, think, and develop is essential for teachers. This course covers concepts in psychology that help educators reach their students. You’ll learn how to apply these theories to your teaching strategies. And, you’ll discover how to work with diverse learners.

Teaching Mathematics: This course covers the concepts and strategies you need to teach math to elementary learners. You will gain a better understanding of how math lessons build on one another, helping students see the whole picture. You’ll study areas like numeration, geometry, and logic. And, you’ll create and practice teaching models.

Teaching Diverse Populations: This course focuses on delivering equal access to education. You will study the many ways diversity can enrich your classroom – from the linguistic to the cultural. You’ll learn how to be culturally responsive and mindful of your own biases. And, you’ll learn instructional techniques for meeting diverse learning needs.

How Long Does It Take You to Earn a Degree in Elementary Education Degree Online?

If you choose to earn a B.A. in Elementary Ed, it could take you about four years. An M.A. can take you 16 to 24 months. However, these times may vary for you. They are based on whether you study part time or you study full time.

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Elementary Education Degree Program Examples

School# of Credits RequiredMinimum Months to Complete
Liberty University3618
Walden University3012
American University3320

How Much Does an Elementary Education Degree Program Cost?

You will find, according to DataUSA, that the median in state public, four year school is $6,601. Do you know what the median out of state tuition at private and for profit schools was? The answer is $28,345. Below, you can compare tuition for a few Elementary Education bachelor degree programs:

School# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
Saint Leo University120$370$44,400
Walden University181 (quarter credits)$325 (non field); $200 (field)$53,200
Grand Canyon University120$440$52,800

Top Schools That Offer Elementary Education Degree Programs

You will find the DataUSA lists 1,228 institutions with Elementary Education and Teaching programs. From those schools, you can see students were awarded 39,745 degrees in 2017 (the most recent data). You will see the most common degree awarded in this field was a B.A.

School2017 Degrees awarded2019/20 Tuition (out of state unless *)
Western Governors University1007$6,670*
Grand Canyon University642$17,800*
Liberty University536$22,747*
University of Phoenix Arizona473$9,552*
University of Central Florida434$22,467
Northern Arizona University347$26,516
Illinois State University303$26,356
University of Northern Iowa281$21,222
Kansas State University220$26,316
University of Florida213$28,659

Choosing Your Accredited Elementary Education Degree Program

You can see that every state has different requirements for you to pursue your teaching path, and earn your teacher certification. You should check with your state to see your educational requirements. For instance, in PA, you must graduate from a teacher education program that is approved by the DOE.

You may wish to look for an accredited elementary education degree program. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) will accredit your program. This credential is meant to help you. It is there to make sure your teacher education program meets the field’s quality standards. The CAEP accredits programs at the following levels:

  • B.A.
  • M.A.
  • PhD.
  • Post Baccalaureate
  • Other programs that may lead to your certification, licensure, or endorsement.

Top Salaries for Elementary School Teachers by State

In the table below, you can see the states with the highest average salaries for teachers. You will often need a B.A. for this career path.

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
New York80,930$80,540
California157,240$77,990
Connecticut17,860$77,900
Alaska3,190$77,030
District of Columbia2,890$76,950

What Can You Do with an Elementary Education Degree?

You will see that according to the most current data, there are over 5 million education graduates in the workforce. You will learn that this includes graduates of Elementary Education programs. Did you know that this field is expanding?

You can see a one year growth rate of 1.25%.

Did you know that elementary education falls into the category of education, training, and library occupations? As you can see, these roles are projected to grow 5% from 2018 to 2028? That is as fast as average. You can expect roles for you as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher to grow by about 3% in the same time frame. You might not know it, but growth in this field is tied to two big factors. What do you think they are? You may have guessed it: student enrollment and government budgets.

As you can imagine, more students create the need for more teachers like you. As such, your state and local budgets determine how many educators can be hired. Another thing you must consider? Your location. As you can tell, urban and rural areas may have a greater need for teachers.

Can you see yourself in this field? You might not believe it, but education still remains a more popular career area for females today. They make up over 90% of graduates in this major. Another fact you can consider is the average age of an education graduate in the workforce. What do you think it is? It is 46.2 years old.

Jobs You Can Pursue with an Elementary Education Degree

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

If you become a Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher, you will educate your young students in subjects like math, science, and reading. You will develop lesson plans and assess student progress. Also, you may teach students how to interact with others. Or, you will create classroom rules for behavior. As such, you may share information on your students’ progress with parents and guardians.

Median Salary: $57,980 per year
Job Growth Through 2028: 3%
Typical Entry Level Education: B.A.

Substitute Teacher

If you choose to be a Substitute Teacher, you would instruct students when their regular teacher is not there. You may work in a public or private school. Your duties may vary depending on your grade level. Your work could also depend on the class you teach.

Median Salary: $28,270
Job Growth Through 2028: N/A
Typical Entry Level Education: Varies by your state

Career and Technical Education Teacher

If you choose to work as a  Career and Technical Education Teacher, you would instruct students in technical subjects. You could cover things like auto repair, cosmetology, and culinary arts. You would plan lessons to help students develop career and technical skills. Also, you may teach students to use tools and equipment. As such, you would need to cover key rules and safety procedures. In addition, you may show them hands on tasks related to the field you teach. This could mean you show them how to install brakes on a car. Or, you could teach them how to take a patient’s blood pressure.

Median Salary: $56,750 per year
Job Growth Through 2028: -1%
Typical Entry Level Education: B.A.

© Education Connection 2020. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.