The Students Before Profits Award was created to promote nonprofit colleges and universities offering online degree programs that put students before profits and education before the bottom line.
For our Online Bachelor’s in Education award winners, we selected online programs from accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities with objectively lower than average tuition cost and have ranked the programs according to their affordability.
A career in education is among the most rewarding available with the opportunity to help children along their development and instill in students a lifelong love of learning. Those who enter the field of education have a passion for the subjects they teach as well as the act of mentorship. Truly great teachers can have an impact on their students that will shape and change the course of their lives forever. An online bachelor’s degree in education is an excellent way to gain the necessary educational credentials to enter this exciting and rewarding career. However, online bachelor’s programs in education are relatively rare, likely because of the extensive field experiences required and the difficulty of coordinating and supervising these experiences at a distance. This ranking should thus prove to be a valuable resource for those seeking a bachelor’s in education through an online learning format.
We have included licensure and non-licensure granting programs. In the case of licensure granting programs, there will be extensive practicum/field experience requirements including a semester or sometimes a year of student teaching required. Most of these distance learning programs will work with students to set up these field experiences within a reasonable distance of their location; however, some programs only work with particular school districts for practicum placements. We have noted this where possible, but in any case, prospective students should verify that field experiences will be available near their location of study before enrolling in any of these programs.
Some of these programs are degree completion programs, meaning a substantial amount of college credit or the completion of an associate’s degree is expected to be earned at a regionally accredited 2 or 4 year institution prior to admission in the program, where the student will then complete the remainder of their bachelor requirements (typically the education program specific requirements). Since such a variety of education degrees is represented in this ranking, prospective students should verify for themselves that the programs they are interested in will indeed fulfill requirements for the jobs they hope to gain upon graduation.
#1. FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY
Enrolling over 15,000 students in programs leading to professional certificates, and degrees at the associate’s bachelor’s master’s, and doctoral levels, Fort Hays is a public University established in 1902 in Hays, Kansas. With about 40% of its student head count being located on its well developed virtual campus, Fort Hays State University is a true world leader in distance education, offering over 50 online degrees specifically designed for adult learners and was among the leaders in most categories of the inaugural U.S. News rankings for online education.
The Virtual College at Fort Hays State University offer bachelor’s degree programs in Business Eduation, Early Childhood Education Unified (with ESOL Minor option), and Elementary Education (with Special Education minor). These are fully online programs of study, requiring between 127 and 148 credit hours depending on the selection of minor options. Each of these programs fulfills licensing requirements in the particular area for the State of Kansas and provides internship and student teaching opportunities in diverse environments.
Accreditation: Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 44%
#2. WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY
Western Governors University is a private nonprofit, online university enrolling over 46,000 students. WGU was established in 1997 and is dedicated to expanding access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time or place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers. Students at WGU work in coordination with faculty mentors online and through frequent phone communication, taking tests online which are proctored via webcam and other online proctoring technologies.
The Teachers College at Western Governors University offers Bachelors of Arts in Education degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education (K-12), Mathematics, (5-9 or 5-12), Science (5-12) with concentrations in Chemistry, Physics, Biological Science, or Geosciences. WGU offers among the only fully online teacher preparation programs for secondary education available. The Programs require 122 credits for completion and consist of curricula that emphasizes competency-based learning and the practical knowledge necessary to prepare teachers to be the best educators they can be. In addition to coursework students will complete a student teaching experience which can be arranged in the student’s home community or up to two hours commute away. This is a full-time teaching experience lasting between 12 and 20 months during which students are not permitted to work.
Accreditation: WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The teacher preparation programs are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 24%
#3. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Considered one of the “Public Ivies” (publicly funded universities providing quality of education comparable to that of private “Ivy League” schools), the University of Washington is a public research university located in Seattle, Washington and enrolls over 49,000 students. UW was founded 1861 and is one of the oldest universities located on the West Coast. The University of Washington educates a diverse student body to become responsible global citizens and future leaders through a challenging learning environment informed by cutting-edge scholarship.
The College of Education at UW offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies. This is the first online-only bachelor’s completion program to be offered by the University of Washington and is designed to prepare individuals to work in child care, preschools, social and mental health services, parent and family support and arts organizations. The degree balances study in academic theory with on the ground, practical training in early childhood education with courses in child development and learning, positive behavior support, learning with digital media in early childhood, and more. The program requires that students transfer into the program with 70 transferable quarter credits (46 semester credits) and then complete the remainder of their bachelor’s requirements online. The program requires 180 quarter credits (120 semester credits) for completion.
Accreditation: The University of Washington is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 82%
#4. SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE, KS
Located in Winfield, Kansas, Southwestern College is a private College affiliated with the United Methodist denomination. Founded in 1885, the college’s focus on service learning has established nationally acclaimed programs in leadership, discipleship, and sustainability. Southwestern is a very small college, but has a surprisingly well developed selection of online programs in Business, Education, and Ministry.
Southwestern College Professional Studies offers Bachelor degree programs in Early Childhood Education as well as Elementary Education. The program in Early Childhood Education is a blended Early Childhood/Special Education license granting program for teachers of children (birth through age 8). The program in Elementary Education is a license granting program for teachers of children (grades K-6). Both programs consist of a curriculum that emphasizes the development of skillful teachers that continually engage in critical reflection and can adept their practices to the needs of their students, and interact with their colleagues in productive collaborative ways. The programs require 124 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Southwestern College is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs in education are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 53%
#5. SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1872, Southern Oregon University is a public liberal arts college located in Ashland, Oregon. The university enrolls over 6,700 students. and consists of three colleges, offering over 100 academic programs of study between them. SOU students have plenty of degree path options and can pursue their educational goals through 36 areas of study in a dynamic range of fields. Internships, mentor relationships, field study, capstone projects, volunteer opportunities, and civic engagement allow our students to apply learning into meaning.
The School of Education at Southern Oregon University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development that is designed to be a degree completion program. Students typically complete their general education requirements (approximately 60 credits) at their local community college or through another online program, then transfer to SOU to complete the degree online. The curriculum consists of courses in: inclusion of children with disabilities in the classroom, at risk children, emotional needs of gifted children, differentiated curriculums, health and nutrition, creativity and learning, and more that are designed to provide the educator with a foundational knowledge in human development of early childhood and tools to support educators in setting up learning environments and experiences in such a way that will meet the needs of all children in their classrooms.
Accreditation: Southern Oregon University is regionally accredited through the Northwestern Association of Colleges and Schools The program in Early Childhood Education is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 37%
#6. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a private evangelical Christian university with 17 colleges and schools, including a law school, medical school, and school of divinity. Enrolling 15,000 students across its campus and additional 100,000 online, Liberty has a strong online education emphasis with many programs offered. Maintaining the vision of the founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University develops Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world.
Liberty University Online offers a Bachelor of Science degree programs in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Special Education. These are non-licensure programs with the option of a 5th year Master of Arts in Teaching licensure option. As a pre-licensure bachelor’s program, the focus is on developing skills and knowledge in areas planning and creating lesson plans and units, and evaluating educational methods and interventions such as differentiated learning and direct instruction, all while exploring educational theories, trends and current practices.
Accreditation: Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs in Education are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 50%
#7. UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Located in Gainesville, the University of Florida is a comprehensive learning institution built on a land-grant foundation. We are The Gator Nation, a diverse community dedicated to excellence in education and research and shaping a better future for Florida, the nation and the world. UF is the oldest public university in the state and enrolls over 49,000 students. There are 16 different colleges set on the main campus. Students can choose from a wide selection of online degrees from the bachelor’s to doctorates. Programs are offered in a variety of disciplines including engineering, agriculture, education, medicine, business, entomology, ecology, gerontology, and much more. UF is dedicated to enabling students to lead and influence the next generation and beyond for economic, cultural and societal benefit.
UFOnline offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Education & Behavior which trains students on effective promotion of healthy lifestyle choices in individual and group settings. The program emphasises diversity and culturally appropriate health education methodologies. The program features a flexible curriculum which allows the student to focus their coursework on interest areas in health education and health promotion in community, clinical or worksite settings, as well as in health studies and gives students the opportunity to take several specialization courses such as Women’s Health Issues, Trends in International Health, and Minority Health Issues. The program requires a minimum of 120 credits for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 87%
#8. VALLEY CITY STATE UNIVERSITY
Valley City State University is a public university and member of the North Dakota University System, enrolling over 1,300 students annually. Established as a Normal School, or Teacher’s College in 1890, VCSU still remains dedicated to producing some of the best educators in the upper midwest with Education and Teaching being among the most popular majors. VCSU is committed to offering exceptional programs in an active, learner-centered community that promotes meaningful scholarship, ethical service, and the skilled use of technology.
Valley City State University offers online programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Education programs for those interested in teaching at the secondary level with concentrations in Business Education, English Language Arts, History, or Technology Education. Courses are delivered online, through the “Interactive Video Network, and through correspondence and require little or no onsite presence. These programs may include learning experiences that require additional authorizations in certain states that VCSU may not currently have. It is up to the student to make sure the program of study will comply with any State requirements in the location he or she resides. The programs require 120 credits minimum for completion of the degree. The professional education sequence of these programs emphasizes cultural diversity in education.
Accreditation: VCSU is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Its Education programs are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 46%
#9. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Florida International University, a public research university based in Miami, Florida, was founded in 1965. True to its name, the school is home to students from all over the world. Despite the high number of enrolled students at Florida International University, students enjoy a low faculty to student ration, which makes it possible for them to receive additional help from instructors. FIU is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution with high research activity. The university enrolls over 50,400 students and offers over 190 programs of study.
Florida International University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. The program focuses on learning and development during early childhood and addresses the development of the whole child including cognitive, language, and social/emotional development as well. In addition, students will study general education theory and practices as well as early education specific theory and practices. 120 credits minimum are required for completion of the degree including 30 credits taken in the area of professional education focusing on foundations, and teaching methods and curriculum.
Accreditation: Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 52%
#10. University of Northern Iowa
The University of Northern Iowa is a public university in Cedar Falls, IA. The school dates back to 1876, when Iowans converted a former orphanage for children affected by the Civil War into a training institute for teachers. Almost a century and a half later, UNI continues to boast the state’s top-ranked education program and maintains a focus on practical, service-based program. Students, who are mostly Iowans, can choose from over 90 undergraduate majors, from gerontology to movement & exercise science to textiles and apparel.
The University of Northern Iowa offers an online degree completion program leading to a Bachelor’s in Education with emphasis in elementary education. Students are expected to possess an Associate’s degree before enrolling. While most classes are completed online, some face-to-face education is still required. Classes cover everything from health and physical education to technology in the classroom, teaching visual and performing arts, early literacy, curriculum building, environment and society, teaching literacy at the middle and secondary levels, schools and American society, classroom management, and much more. The program requires a minimum of 65 credits beyond an Associate’s degree for completion.
Accreditation: Located in Cedar Falls, the University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 68%
#11. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-SUPERIOR
Established as the Superior Normal School for the preparation of teachers in the region in 1893, the University of Wisconsin is a public university enrolling over 2,600 students and offering over 30 different programs of study. UW Superior is committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of people in northwestern Wisconsin and beyond by seeking knowledge and spreading it to all who may benefit.
The online bachelor’s programs at University of Wisconsin-Superior include the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education is a fully online bachelor’s program which includes Teacher Certification. All students enrolled also choose a teaching minor in Early Childhood, Geography, Health Education, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, or Special Education (without certification). Required coursework in this program emphasizes the integration of theoretical foundations of education and practical skills. The program requires 129 credits minimum for completion.
Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin-Superior is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 44%
#12. University of Georgia
The University of Georgia, known by most as UGA, is a flagship university located in Athens, Georgia enrolling a student population of approximately 36,000 students. University of Georgia is a public institution.ranked among the best public universities by multiple national publications. UGA is committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of people in northwestern Wisconsin and beyond by seeking knowledge and spreading it to all who may benefit.
The Bachelor of Science in Special Education degree. This is the only education degree that can be earned fully online from UGA and still require two campus visits during the course of the program, once for orientation and then again for student teaching workshops. This is a two-year bachelor’s completion program including courses that cover teaching literacy in middle school, advanced methods for mild disability, typical and atypical language development, contemporary topics in special education, and characteristics of high incidence disabilities, among others. Practicums are required, but the program as a whole was distinctly designed for those students who require the flexibility of distance education.
Accreditation: UGA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and their College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 84%
#13. GRANITE STATE COLLEGE
One of the four schools in the University System of New Hampshire, Granite State College is a public institution established to offer flexible education options for adults. Established in 1972 in Concord, Granite State College still remains in its initial place of founding, but has expanded to nine other campuses, as well as its online campus. Part of Granite State College’s mission is to provide adults with excellent, entirely online degree programs, to allow adults and working professionals the necessary flexibility to pursue further education. The school offers over fifty different degree programs, many of which can be completed entirely online.
The online bachelor’s programs in Education at Granite State College offer many different options for educators looking to earn a bachelor degree. These include Bachelor of Arts in Education with Teacher Certification with a wide variety of subject-oriented concentrations as well as completion programs for those who have already earned an associate level degree and would like to earn a bachelors with teacher certification. GSC also offers noncertification B.A. programs for those interested in pursuing post-bachelor degrees and certification programs. All programs at Granite State offer concentration options in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, or Social Studies.
Accreditation: Granite State College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 45%
#14. ARAKANSAS TECH UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1909, Arkansas Tech Univversity is a public university located in Russelville, Arkansas. ATU enrolls over 12,000 students and offers a wide range of traditional and innovative programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Arkansas Tech University is dedicated to student success, access, and excellence as a responsive campus community providing opportunities for progressive intellectual development and civic engagement. Many degrees can be completed entirely online, though due to other states’ current regulations, Arkansas Tech University is not providing online instruction to students in several states.
Arkansas Tech University offers an online Bachelor or Science in Early Childhood Education. Approximately 50% of the coursework required for completion of this degree is offered online, while the other 50% may be completed through a partnership with North Arkansas Community College (Harrison) or Ozark Community College (Melbourne), or transferred into the program from any regionally accredited college or university. The program is designed to equip prospective teachers with knowledge of human growth and development, learning theory, and understanding of student needs to plan and implement effective instruction. This is a licensure program and requires a minimum of 124 credits for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Arkansas Tech University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs in education are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 41%
#15. DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
Dakota State University is a public university located in Madison, South Dakota originally founded in 1881 as the first teacher education institution of the Dakota Territory. DSU enrolls just over 3,100 students and is widely considered to be one of the most technologically advanced institutions of higher learning in the midwest. DSU provides learning that integrates technology and innovation to develop graduates ready to contribute to local, national, and global prosperity.
Dakota State University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Education degree program focusing on Elementary Education/Special Education. The program is designed to impart the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to teachers that wish to work with students who are mentally, physically, and/or emotionally challenged in K-8 or K-12 inclusive, resource, and self-contained settings. The program meets requirements to provide certification in elementary education (grades K-8) and special education in either K-8 or K-12 settings. 129 credits minimum are required for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association for Colleges and Schools. Its programs in education are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 49%
#16. SAINT JOSEPHS COLLEGE
Saint Joseph’s College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for men and women of all faiths and ages. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1912, Saint Joseph’s is located in the city of Standish, Maine. Saint Joseph’s College is a liberal arts college that nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and social growth in students of all ages and all faiths within a value-centered environment. Saint Joseph’s Online offers graduate and undergraduate programs to more than 2,500 students which is more than double the student body enrolled on-campus.
Saint Josephs College Online offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Education and Training. The program is a degree completion program meaning it is designed for the student who has previous college credits they would like to apply to the earning of a degree. This program requires 128 credits for completion and is designed for individuals interested in developing skills and knowledge to teach programs at the adult level. In addition to the 45 credits of general education requirements, the core requirements of the program include courses in fundamentals of training, educational psychology, adult learning, human behavior and development, and more. To complete this degree 25% of the coursework must be through Saint Josephs College including the 18 credits of core requirements.
Accreditation: Saint Josephs College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 55%
#17. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri, or Mizzou, was the first public institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi and is currently the largest comprehensive University in the state, enrolling more than 30,000 students in more than 300 degree programs. Founded in 1839, MU is one of the nations finest R1 research institutions and the first public university in the nation to establish a college specifically for the preparation of teachers. Mizzou’s extensive Online college offers 70 online degree options and more than 900 online courses. Approximately 3,000 students earn their degrees via Mizzou Online each year.
The University of Missouri offers a Bachelor of Educational Studies degree, with interdepartmental emphasis, that can be earned fully online without any campus visits. While the core curriculum covers career guidance, human learning, special educational, vocational education for special-needs learners, and occupational analysis, students can choose the focus area that best fits their unique career goals and interests. Options include business management, computer applications, the culinary arts, digital media, and the health sciences. This program is designed for those who want to work with adult learners at community colleges, in workforce development programs, in human resource training departments and in continuing professional education activities.
Accreditation: Located in Columbia, the University of Missouri is a public land-grant research school of over 30,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 68%
#18. CITY UNIVERSITY OF SEATTLE
A private non-profit university located in Seattle, Washington, City University of Seattle, or CityU has 27 campuses around the world and multiple parnerships with other colleges and universities worldwide as well as offering online programs of study. CityU was founded in 1973 and currently enrolls over 7,600 students. CityU is dedicated to serving the working adult and transfer student and to that end offers well developed flexible online programs of study.
City University of Seattle offers an online program of study to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Education: Elementary Education the program can be completed on its own, or with the addition of an emphasis area to work toward dual endorsement. Possible emphasis areas include: mathematics, special education, English language learners, reading, and early childhood education. The program curriculum consists of a core of coursework that provides a well-rounded base of knowledge in primary education with courses in special ed, creative arts, health and fitness, multicultural education, technological integration, classroom management, curriculum modification, and more. The program requires between 120 credits minimum for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: City University of Seattle is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 29%
#19. University of Nebraska—Kearney
The University of Nebraska located in Kearney is a public university consisting of four colleges offering over 170 majors and 20 pre-professional programs. UNK focuses on the undergraduate experience while becoming an international destination for some key graduate and online programs. With a new University of Nebraska Medical Center Health Science Education Complex opening in fall 2015, pre-med and allied health professions majors are finding increased opportunities for education and practical experience.
UNK offers a Bachelor of Education online Early Childhood Inclusive program that is a fully online degree completion program with some supervised school-based experiences and student teaching. The program is designed for those who want to teach ages birth through eight. As it is understood that general education classes will have already been completed by the time of enrollment at UNK, the online curriculum is comprised mostly of professional and major-specific courses. Students will also be required to specialize in one of two areas: either birth through kindergarten or age three to grade three. Across areas of focus students gain field experience, are introduced to the foundations of early childhood education, and they learn how to support children through family and community involvement.
Accreditation: The University of Nebraska at Kearney is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission with special accreditations from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Nebraska Department of Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 61%
#20. WILMINGTON UNIVERSITY
Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit research university founded in 1968. WU is located in Wilmington, Deleware and has affiliated campuses across the state of Deleware and in Maryland and New Jersey. The university enrolls over 19,200 students annually in career-focused degree programs that emphasize in-demand knowledge and skills that employers need, taught by faculty who are practitioners in their career fields. Wilmington University online degree programs combine the same quality, real-world academics of traditional degree programs with a flexible online format.
Wilmington University offers the Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies degree fully online with concentration options in Early Care and Education (Birth-Grade 2), Elementary Education (K-6), and Middle-Level Education (Grades 6-8). The degree does not qualify the recipient for licensure or certification, but students wishing to become certified can transition into a parallel licensure program after submitting a passing Praxis score report to the Department and all courses completed as part of the Ed. Studies program will transfer to the licensure program. The B.S. in Educational Studies will assist students in developing a strong foundation in areas such as learning theory, educational psychology, child development, and education best practices and will prepare the student for work with children and youth in positions that do not require state licensure, or to enter a licensure program at a later date. The program requires 129 credits minimum for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Wilmington University is regionally accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education and its Education programs are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 38%
#21. MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
Classified as a top-tier reserach university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, Mississippi State University is a public, land-grant university founded in 1878 and located in Okitbbeha County, Mississippi. The university currently enrolls over 20,100 students and as a global, diversified research institution, the university provides possibilities for students to put new technologies to work, find new ways to feed the world, plan better ways to boost the nation’s economy, and prepare for the energy needs of tomorrow.
The College of Education at Mississippi State University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with concentrations in either Early Childhood or Middle School Education. The program requires a minimum of 123 credits for completion with no more than 61 community college transfer hours. In addition to the general education requirements the program requires course work in early literacy, exploring diversity through writing, social foundations, and more. The Middle School concentration requires 21 hour endorsements in two academic areas (english, social studies, general science, math, music, foreign language, or physical education), while the early childhood concentration requires five courses in early childhood development and special education.
Accreditation: Mississippi State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs offered through the College of Education are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 61%
#22. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
The University of Massachusetts is a public university system in the state of Massachusetts consisting of four university campuses a satellite center and a medical school. UMass Amherst is one of the major public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts, the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. The university system also includes extensive online educational offerings.
UMass online offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Children’s Learning and Development and Early Care and Education. These degrees require a minimum of 120 credits for completion and are non-certification granting programs and are designed for those interested in working in programs that serve children youth and families. The programs help educators develop the essential knowledge and skills to develop, execute, and administer programming for children, youth, and families. Both degrees allow for a large degree of flexibility in coursework and students are encouraged to tailor the program to meet the needs of his or her unique career goals by the inclusion of courses offered through other academic departments. UMass also offers the opportunity to gain up to 30 credits toward the completion of your degree for pertinent life and work experiences.
Accreditation: UMass is regionally accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and programs in education are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 73%
#23. Regent University
Regent University is a private Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university was founded by Pat Robertson in 1977 as Christian Broadcasting Network University, and changed its name to Regent University in 1990. A satellite campus located in Alexandria, Virginia, was sold in 2008. A comprehensive university offering degree programs from the associate through doctoral level, Regent works to bring a faith perspective into all programs of study. In addition to its traditional programs of study, Regent offers extensive distance education options in dozens of areas of study.
Regent University’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education follows a unique curriculum that both emphasizes a Christian worldview and gives students an understanding of education foundations as well as business operations. Students will discover how to help children from birth through age eight develop their capacities by creating effective lessons plans, implementing proven teaching strategies, and learning how best to assess children’s progress. Students will also learn the basics of business, personnel law, marketing, and management. Regent provides the opportunity to combine a degree with certification in a range of areas, from certification in advancing leadership to certification in law, higher education, teaching English to speakers of other languages, and more.
Accreditation: Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 60%
#24. BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University is a public research university classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution with high research activity. Ball State was founded in 1917 as a Teacher’s College and has grown to become a world class university with a unique approach to education which brings together interdisciplinary, student-driven teams guided by faculty mentors to create high-impact learning experiences. BSU enrolls about 22,000 students and is devoted to providing a student centered, community engaged learning experience accessible by all.
The School for Online and Distance Learning at Ball State University offers a non-licensure Bachelor’s degree completion program in Early Childhood Education. The program is designed for professionals who currently hold an associates degree in early childhood education and are seeking to earn their bachelor’s degree or who have completed a minimum of 45 college credits. The curriculum of this program is designed to impart competencies in building family and community relationships, observation and assessment of young children and families, designing and implementing learning experiences, and creating positive learning environments. The program requires a minimum of 120 credits to graduate.
Accreditation: Ball State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 60%
#25. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA-WILMINGTON
The University of North Carolina-Wilmington is a public university located in Wilmington, North Carolina. Founded in 1947 as a junior college, UNCW has since grown to a comprehensive university offering many programs of study at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to over 14,000 students. UNCW is a member of the 17 campus University of North Carolina System. The university is committed to student engagement, creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression, and responsible citizenship. These values are expressed in the baccalaureate and masters’ programs, as well as doctoral programs in areas of expertise that serve the needs of North Carolina.
The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington is licensure granting program that requires 133 credits for completion of the degree. All coursework can be completed online with exception of the lab experiences which include tutoring a child in mathematics and literacy and extensive field experience in local schools. UNCW only works with with elementary schools within the PDS system, so prospective students will want to make sure that practicum experiences are available close to where they live. The program is designed to equip prospective teachers of elementary aged children (K-6th grade) with the essential knowledge and skills to effectively facilitate learning including: effective communication in standard English, differentiated instruction techniques to adapt teaching to the needs of particular students, establishing a learning environment conducive to learning, evaluation and assessment techniques, implementation of technology in learning processes, and reflective learning and inquiry.
Accreditation: The University of North Carolina-Wilmington is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its programs in education are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 71%
#26. Maranatha Baptist University
A private Christian university located in Watertown, Wisconsin, Maranatha Baptist University is dedicated to its mission of developing leaders in ministry for the local church and the world. Known for their education programs, as well as their theology and ministry degrees Maranatha Baptist University offers 31 majors at the bachelor’s level and 8 associates degrees as well as Master’s degrees in education and ministry. All programs at Maranatha emphasize building key areas of competence in communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, scientific reasoning, cultural and historical understanding, biblical knowledge, biblical worldview, biblical application, and servant leadership. Maranatha is a very small university enrolling under 1,000 students.
Maranatha Baptist University offers a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies online designed for those who want to teach in a Christian school environment. Because there is such a big emphasis on integrating the Christian faith into learning, students at Maranatha take twenty-four credit hours of Biblical studies classes, including those on the Old and New Testament, the Baptist heritage, and Christian life, leadership, and evangelism. The education curriculum is designed to prepare students to lead in the classroom as well as monitor and assess children’s development. Students will take classes on psychological learning, technology for teaching and learning, and theory and method, and you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in one of eight areas: Bible education, business education, elementary education, English, music, mathematics, science, and social studies. This program does not lead to State licensure.
Accreditation: Maranatha Baptist University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
6 Year Graduation Rate: 48%
#27. Bellevue University
Located in Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue University is a private nonprofit university founded in 1966. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Bellevue is committed to serving adult and other non-traditional students by offering a number of online degree programs. Bellevue bases its education model in an accelerated, student-centered, cohort-based format, and they work closely with a student body who is largely older and looking to advance their careers. Bellevue enrolls over 10,300 students.
The online Bachelors of Science in Adult Education is designed to prepare students to lead in classrooms and provide instructional support in a community or technical colleges. It’s also for those who hope to find training or development positions within organizations or in one-on-one vocational guidance settings. Classes in this degree program include adult learning theory, foundations of continuing education, instructional methods and delivery, learning assessment and delivery, electronic methodology, and more. Students graduate able to apply the theories and concepts of adult education to create relevant instructional materials, to assess the effectiveness of course materials and delivery, and to demonstrate a teaching style marked by innovation and critical thinking. A minimum of 127 credits are required for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 17%
#28. UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO
The University of Toledo is a student-centered, public metropolitan research university with 23,000 students. The University was founded in 1872 originally as a vocational or trade school and now comprises 16 colleges offering over 250 programs of study. The University of Toledo is one of 14 state universities in Ohio and it features nationally ranked programs in business, engineering, law, and occupational therapy. The university is committed to providing a learning environment where students obtain a world-class education and become part of a diverse community of leaders committed to improving the human condition in the region and the world.
The College of Education at the University of Toledo offers an online Bachelor’s degree completion program in Early Childhood Education. This completion program requires students to already hold an Associate degree in ECE from an accredited institution. It is an accelerated degree program non-licensure degree. The coursework emphasizes the relationship-based nature of learning, and the necessity of individualized instruction with courses in creating the learning environment, supporting young children with special needs, and more. This online early education degree is designed for preschool, daycare, and early learning educators and administrators. It’s a non-licensure program that will not allow graduates to teach in public schools.
Accreditation: The University of Toledo is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs offered through the College of Education are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 46%
#29. KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1863, Kansas State University is the oldest public university in the state of Kansas. K-State enrolls over 24,500 students and is designated as a public research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The university operates campuses across the state of Kansas as well as maintaining a “Global Campus” for nontraditional learners who require flexibility in their education. The mission of Kansas State University is to foster excellent teaching, research, and service that develop a highly skilled and educated citizenry necessary to advancing the well-being of Kansas, the nation, and the international community.
K-State Online offers a Bachelor completion program in Early Childhood Education. This is a licensure granting program that combines early childhood (birth through kindergarten) and early childhood special education content knowledge and pedagogy in a blended program of study. K-State offers 72 credits of general education and professional teacher education courses fully online toward the completion of the degree. Additionally, the program requires up to 62 credits of coursework be completed at a local community college and transferred to satisfy K-State requirements. 124 credits minimum are required for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs in Education are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 60%
#30. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University is a comprehensive public research university providing the highest standards of excellence in higher education, fostering intellectual and personal development, and stimulating meaningful research and service to humankind. The university is dedicated to student success by preparing learners to be ethical leaders for a diverse and globally competitive workforce. Texas Tech is a research intensive university enrolling over 37,000 students in a full array of programs. In addition, TTU offers a broad distance learning program with many fully online degrees, hybrid options, regional teaching sites, and degrees at all levels, from associates and certification to doctoral programs.
Texas Tech offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Child Care. The program prepares students to work in early childhood settings with young children whose family members are highly mobile. When students complete the program they will be qualified to work in a variety of programs that offer early care and education for children birth – age 8 and particularly those with highly mobile populations such as military installations. The curriculum for this unique early childhood education program explores development in infants, toddlers, and children ages 4–8, as well as health and safety issues, adapting for developmental differences, assessment of young children, technology, administration and supervision, and more. Students will also complete at least three practicum experiences.
Accreditation: Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 59%
#31. REGIS UNIVERSITY
Located in Denver, Regis University is a private, Jesuit university founded in 1877 in New Mexico. Regis aims to develop students as a whole person. Students from all faith backgrounds are bonded together by the common purpose of building a better society and are shaped by Jesuit, Catholic traditions, which emphasize the importance of critical thinking, having a global perspective and standing up for those who do not have a voice. RU enrolls over 11,400 students and is continually recognized as a national leader in quality higher education.
The School of Education at Regis University offers a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education with initial licensure. Coursework for the program is offered both through RU’s online learning environment or in the classroom. The curriculum emphasizes Jesuit ideals (service, striving for excellence, and reflective practice), service learning that integrates theory with practical application, critical thinking and data literacy, and instructional technology. The program requires 128 credits at the minimum for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Regis University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The School of Education is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 58%
#32. University of Arizona
Located in Tucson, the University of Arizona is a public research university and the state’s super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $606 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
The Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education is an online degree completion program preparing students for a career in organizations that provide structured learning and support services for children from infancy to 8 years old. The program is designed as a continuation of the Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (or equivalent) offered at accredited community colleges. It lets students keep building their skills at one of the top-ranked research universities in the nation. This program is not intended to provide teacher certification. Though an online degree, it is only intended for residents of Arizona.
The other online undergraduate degree in education offered is the Bachelor of Science in Literacy, Learning, and Leadership. Students enrolled in this program learn to lead and facilitate learning opportunities outside of traditional learning environments. Graduates will use justice-focused principles to create visionary plans that draw out and build upon the knowledge of learners from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Graduates often find jobs advancing literacy for families and communities, empowering learners from diverse educational environments, and promoting equity and educational access for all learners. You will also prepare to inform educational policy at the national, state and community levels and work in social services, education and outreach.
Accreditation: The University of Arizona is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 64%
#33. Saint Mary of the Woods College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a Catholic, private liberal arts college in Indiana where women and men are empowered to meld intellect and spirituality, direct ambition, attain goals and stretch beyond the imagination. Enrolling over 1,700 students Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College empowers students to think critically, engage in lifelong leadership and effect positive change in a spirit of service and social responsibility. As an early leader in distance education, the College introduced one of the first independent study programs in the nation, the Women’s External Degree Program, in 1973. Today, SMWC continues to offer flexible distance learning programs online in a variety of disciplines.
Saint Mary of the Woods College offers online programs in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education each with dual licensure in Mild Intervention. These programs have been designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge and professional dispositions needed to enter early learning, K-6 classrooms or special education settings with mild intervention needs successfully. A minimum of 120 credits are required for completion of these programs. Classes are offered face-to-face or online, in traditional 16 weeks or accelerated 8 weeks. Some classes are also offered in an alternative or hybrid format.
Accreditation: Located in Indiana, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and their education programs are accredited by the NCATE.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 57%
#34. OTTAWA UNIVERSITY
Ottawa University was founded in 1865 by Baptist missionaries. Its main campus, located in Ottawa, Kansas and known as “The Residential College” or “The College” by faculty and staff, is one of 6 face-to-face campuses. The university enrolls 7,000 students across all of its campuses and online. The University offers a robust curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels which is constantly being updated and enhanced to make the greatest possible impact on the lives of our students.
The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Secondary Education licensure programs at Ottawa University Online are designed to train and equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, social competencies, and methods to be able to effectively design curriculum and engage students in the school environment. The program emphasizes an awareness of cultural diversity and the sociopolitical contexts of education. Elementary Education majors must be able to demonstrate ability in liberal arts areas such as mathematics, science, writing, communication, and the fine arts, while Secondary Education majors choose from content area concentrations including: Accounting, Business Administration, English, History, or Mathematics. Ottawa features a generous transfer policy with up to 80 credits of coursework accepted as transfer into the program. A minimum of 120 credits are required for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Ottawa University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs in education are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 34%
#35. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university with campuses across the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The university is the largest public university in the U.S. by enrollment with over 82,000 students. Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution committed to excellence, access and impact. It is among the top research universities in the U.S. based on research output, innovation, development, research expenditures, number of awarded patents and awarded research grant proposals.
Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies degree program. This is not a teacher certification program. The online program embraces the view that teaching happens not only in schools but in a variety of contexts that includes the workplace, community institutions, civic organizations or businesses. The program provides a strong general foundation in education through online research and discussion of current issues in education, educational psychology, human development and community-based educational opportunities. Students are provided the opportunity to explore learning opportunities within their own community and to develop as leaders and advocates for children, youth or adults.
Accreditation: ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 63%
#36. California Baptist University
California Baptist University is a private, Christian liberal arts school affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. CBU offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and credential programs in Riverside, San Bernardino and online. CBU strives to help students understand and engage their purpose by providing a Christ-centered educational experience that integrates academics with spiritual and social development opportunities. Cal Baptist enrolls nearly 10,000 students between its two campuses and online.
The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies is designed to provide students understanding of young children’s growth and development including cognitive, social, emotional and perceptual-motor development. Students will also become familiar with various assessments and developmentally appropriate learning environments for young children. The online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies degree program will open up other careers beyond teaching and will prepare students to be leaders in those fields: leaders in early intervention, leaders in research, leaders in early childhood advocacy and county offices of education. This is a fully online degree completion program requiring that students have obtained an associate’s degree or 60 credits of general education requirements from an accredited institution prior to enrollment. The program can be adapted to fit individuals career goals by the addition of K-12 teaching credentials or specialist certificates.
Accreditation: Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, California Baptist University is based in Riverside.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 59%
#37. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private Christian university and seminary located in Waxahachie, Texas. and officially endorsed by the Assemblies of God USA. It is the only Assemblies of God university located in Texas. The university offers over 60 programs of study leading to associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in liberal arts, Bible and Church ministry. SAGU exists to equip students spiritually, academically, professionally, and cross-culturally for their God-given careers and callings.
Southwest Assemblies of God University offers a variety of online bachelor’s degrees in education including: a Pre-Professional Bachelor of Arts in Education (without certification), a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, a Bachelor of Arts in English Language Arts and Reading Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies/History Education. These programs are further customizable with areas of concentration ranging from creative writing to literacy, educator assessment, Western history, the fine arts, psychology, and more. SAGU is offering limited time 15% tuition grants to students enrolling in their online bachelor’s programs to reduce the already inexpensive tuition rates.
Accreditation: Southwestern Assemblies of God University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 43%
#38. PACIFIC OAKS COLLEGE
Pacific Oaks College is a nonprofit higher education institution offering bachelor’s and master’s programs in human development, counseling, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialing. The college was founded in 1959 by a group of Quaker families and remains to this day committed to the Quaker values of “inclusion, social justice and the value of every human being.” Grounded in its social justice heritage, Pacific Oaks College prepares students to be culturally intelligent agents of change serving diverse communities in the fields of human development, education, and related family studies. POC enrolls just over 1,000 students.
The online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Pacific Oaks College is a degree completion program designed for students transferring a minimum of 60 credits from a regionally accredited college or university. The program equips educators with the knowledge and skills essential to educating children in early childhood (birth through age 8). The program emphasizes differentiated instruction to maximize each child’s cognitive development and is based on principles of diversity and inclusion. The program requires a minimum of 120 credits for completion and includes options for specializations in Trauma Studies, Dual Credentialing, and Multiple Subject Credentialing. Pacific Oaks allows students to earn credit for “Learning from Experience,” allowing them to accelerate the completion of their degree by applying workplace experience toward undergraduate credit.
Accreditation: Pacific Oaks College is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
6 Year Graduation Rate: Statistics not available
#39. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY
Founded as a teachers’ college in 1923, Stephen F. Austin University is, at its core, a university committed to the preparation of quality educators. Stephen F. Austin State University is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work, and service. The University is one of 4 independent public Universities in the state of Texas. SFA enrolls over 13,000 students and offers some 120 areas of study through six colleges. In addition SFA offers more than 20 online degree programs for students who require flexibility in their studies.
SFA Online offers Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degrees with concentration options in Special Education Teacher Certification, Early Childhood Teacher Certification, and Middle Level Teacher Certification. These are “low-residency” programs meaning most coursework is completed online but do require some on-campus visits to Nacogdoches, Texas. These are bachelor’s completion programs requiring a minimum of 45 transfer credits of general education coursework for admission and 120 credits minimum for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: SFASU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs in Education are nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 43%
#40. University of West Florida
Part of the State University System of Florida, the University of West Florida is a public university located in Pensacola, Florida. Enrolling nearly 13,000 students, UWF is dedicated to providing quality education to its undergraduate and graduate students. As part of this mission, UWF offers over 400 online courses and dozens of online undergraduate and graduate level degrees to make education accessible to those unable to attend through the traditional format.
UWF’s Bachelor of Arts in Exceptional Student Education is a fully online program preparing teachers who are uniquely able to set high learning expectations and address diverse individual learning needs. Upon graduation from this program, students are eligible for a Professional Florida Educator’s Certificate in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) as well as Elementary Education (K-6) with endorsements in both Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The program includes two 100-hour field experiences in K-12 classrooms under the careful supervision of an experienced teacher prior to their capstone experience, Student Teaching.
Accreditation: The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is both an affordable and flexible educational experience. Their teaching program is accredited by the NCATE.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 44%
#41. Appalachian State University
Located in Boone, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian State University is a public institution preparing students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. Enrolling nearly 19,000 students, ASU is the largest member institution of the University of North Carolina System. It offers over 170 undergraduate majors and nearly 50 graduate degree programs as well as a number of degree programs offered completely online.
The Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education at ASU is offered as a hybrid degree program with substantial online coursework to reduce commute time. While this is not a fully online degree program, it is included in this ranking due to its inclusion of online coursework and flexibility of study. Students participate in several internships and student teaching experiences designed to impart practical application experience in addition to the knowledge they build through the curriculum. Students in this program uniquely choose from among three tracks that each incorporate two of three endorsement areas in science, language arts, and social studies, such that graduates are prepared to teach in the middle-grades in two subject areas of their choosing.
Accreditation: Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 73%
#42. University of Alaska—Southeast
The University of Alaska Southeast is a public liberal arts university with campuses in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. UAS is recognized as a destination of choice for students seeking excellent academic programs and engaging learning opportunities that integrate the environment and cultures of Southeast Alaska. UAS enrolls over 3,700 students in degree programs through three schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Career Education, and the School of Education. In addition to its campus based programs, UAS offers e-learning opportunities in a variety of academic and professional disciplines.
Through the online platform UAS offers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education. Both programs are full degree programs in which students can obtain all general education and major-specific coursework online. Both are licensure programs designed to credential teachers in the State of Alaska. The Elementary Education degree is designed to prepare students to become teachers at the kindergarten through eighth-grade levels. Students are required to take professional education courses, capstone seminars, and complete field experiences and student teaching requirements. The Special Education degree is designed to equip Alaska teachers with knowledge and skills to provide for the unique needs of children and youth with disabilities as well as Alaska’s diverse native and non-native communities and Alaska’s remote, rural, and urban communities.
Accreditation: The University of Alaska—Southeast is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 22%
#43. University of the Cumberlands
Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the University of the Cumberlands is a private college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. UC continues to offer promising students of all backgrounds a broad-based liberal arts program enriched with Christian values. Its commitment to a strong academic program is joined with a commitment to a strong work ethic. UC encourages students to think critically and creatively so that they may better prepare themselves for lives of responsible service and leadership. The University of the Cumberlands enrolls over 7,600 students and offers online degree programs at the associate through the doctoral level to support students unable to attend on-campus academic programs of study.
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, offered online, synthesizes the fundamentals of a professional educator role with well-rounded liberal arts curricula. This degree is designed to advance students toward career readiness and is delivered online for convenience. Curriculum covers: literacy, language arts, effective teaching practices, classroom management and behavior, and the psychology of learning and exceptionality, and more. Students will choose from among emphasis areas in traditional subjects with options as well in non-teaching and interdisciplinary studies.
Accreditation: The University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 41%
#44. Northern Arizona University
Headquartered in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University was founded as the Northern Arizona Normal School in 1899. NAU has 36 satellite campuses in the state of Arizona, and its main campus in Flagstaff is surrounded by the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the United States. Offering academic programs, research, public service, and creative endeavors to enrich lives and create opportunities in Arizona and beyond NAU develops solutions to challenges and drive innovation in a supportive, inclusive, and diverse environment.
NAU offers a wide range of online bachelor’s degrees in education including: The Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Education, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood, and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Early Childhood. Some of these programs can be completed entirely online with general education and major requirements all offered through online coursework while others require the possession of an associate’s degree for admission.
Accreditation: Based in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University is a public research school accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 55%
#45. DREXEL UNIVERSITY
Enrolling over 25,500 students between three campuses in Philadelphia, and one in Sacramento, California, Drexel University is private, nonprofit, research university founded in 1891. Drexel University is consistently ranked as having one of the best cooperative education programs in the nation. Named “the Ultimate Internship,” Drexel’s Co-op program grants students a variety of hands on, paid, full-time working experiences before graduation through some 1,600 corporate, governmental, and non-profit partners in 28 states and 25 international locations. DU has offered online courses since 1996 and is recognized as one of the nation’s pioneers in distance learning.
The online Bachelors of Science in Education degree at Drexel University is a degree completion program designed for students with at least 24 previous college credits. The program includes both licensure and non-licensure options and is designed for those intending to work in PK-4th grade elementary educational settings. Students may enroll in this program on a part-time basis only and will take approximately 10 terms or 2 and 1/2 years to complete. The curriculum consists of coursework in typical and atypical child development, early language development, teaching and diversity, inclusionary practices, current research in curriculum and instruction, expressive arts, and more.
Accreditation: Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 70%
#46. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university in Columbia, South Carolina with seven satellite campuses. The University is categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as having “highest research activity,” and has been ranked as an “up-and-coming” university by U.S. News & World Report. USC enrolls over 34,000 students and is dedicated to the education of the state’s citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement.
Offering degree completion programs for those who want to finish their undergraduate experience online and at their own pace, the University of South Carolina provides a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Students must have completed at least forty-five credit hours of classes, prior to enrolling in these programs. The Special Education program will equip graduates to teach children with special needs in grades K–12. Similarly, the elementary education program teaches students how to engage children, facilitate learning, design curriculums, and monitor and interpret student development. The Elementary Education program requires practicums and field experiences in addition to coursework for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: The University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 74%
#47. East Carolina University
Founded as a teacher training school in 1907, East Carolina University is a public research university in Greenville, North Carolina. Enrolling over 29,000 students, it is the third largest university in the State. ECU strives to be a national model for student success, public service and regional transformation through the uses of innovative learning strategies and delivery methods to maximize access. To this end, ECU offers online degree programs in a variety of disciplines for students who due to lifestyle limitations wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend college.
The online Bachelor of Science degrees in Education include programs in Birth Through Kindergarten Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, and Special Education. These are all completion programs requiring the possession of an associate’s degree or approximately 60 credits of coursework prior to admission. It should also be noted that admission to the online program is only open to residents of North Carolina. Coursework covers behaviors and development, curriculum building across disciplines and subjects, language and literacy, administration, diversity, and the foundations of education.
Accreditation: East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 62%
#48. NOTRE DAME COLLEGE
Notre Dame College is a Catholic, liberal arts college established in 1922 and located in South Euclid, Ohio. The college’s population doubled the decade following 2001 after transitioning from being a women’s school to a fully coeducational institution now enrolling over 2,200 students. Notre Dame College’s online programs are taught by the school’s on-campus faculty; all possess terminal degrees and have comprehensive expertise and experience in their respective fields.
Notre Dame College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education with licensure track and options in either Mild to Moderate Intervention Specialist (K-12), or Early Childhood Education (Pre K-3rd Grade). These specialized degrees are designed to prepare educators with practical knowledge and skills that can be immediately implemented in their classrooms. Courses in this program have a synchronous component meaning there is a live class meeting once a week. Both programs are licensure granting and require a professional education coursework in educational psychology, psychology of students with special needs, technology integration, and more. Both programs emphasize the development of reading and literacy skills.
Accreditation: Notre Dame College is regionally accredited by the North Central Associaton of Colleges and Schools. The programs in education are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
6 Year Graduation Rate: 39%
#49. NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
Nova Southeastern University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, research university founded in 1964. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU is the eighth largest private nonprofit research university in the nation enrolling over 21,600 students. Nova Southeastern is dedicated to offering a diverse array of innovative academic programs that complement on-campus educational opportunities and resources with accessible distance learning programs to foster academic excellence, intellectual inquiry, leadership, research, and commitment to community.
Nova Southeastern University offers several online bachelor’s degree options in education. including programs in Child Development, Elementary Education, Exceptional Student Education, Prekindergarten/Primary Education, and Secondary Education with concentrations in Biology, English, Mathematics, and Social Studies. These are fully online degree programs requiring 120 credits minimum for completion.
Accreditation: Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The programs in education are recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 41%
#50. VANGUARD UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Founded in 1920, Vanguard University of Southern California is a private Chrisitian university affiliated with the Assemblies of God enrolling over 2,300 students. The school offers 25 liberal arts and professional studies degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. The mission of Vanguard is to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith, and equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.
The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education program at Vanguard University of Southern California is an accelerated degree taught in an 8-week format. Admission to the program requires a minimum of 57 transferable semester credits and a minimum of 120 credits are required for completion of the degree. The program is designed to guide, mentor, and train highly qualified early childhood educators to serve in private and public early learning centers. Core coursework is designed to provide the educator with knowledge and skills to promote the learning and development of the whole child and includes courses in language and literacy, creative arts, math and science, music and movement, moral character development, promoting well-being, and more.
Accreditation: Vanguard University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 52%