Top Teaching & Education Degree Programs

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Comprehensive resources for aspiring teachers and education professionals

Teachers are the backbone of our society by educating our youth. They help form a strong educational foundation for students as they move out into the world and create their own careers and businesses. Teachers do incredible things in the classroom, but they also work in other capacities, such as those in special education, administration, curriculum planning and more. These individuals work together toward the shared goal of giving every child and young adult the education they deserve. Those who are interested in earning an education or teaching degree can find the information they need regarding programs, financial aid, credentialing and in-depth resources in our guides. Meet the Expert

Dr. Chester Goad

Top 10 BestTeaching & Education Degree Programs

Rank School Location
1 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
2 University of Toledo Toledo, OH
3 Ashland University Ashland, OH
4 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY
5 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
6 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
7 SUNY Buffalo State Buffalo, NY
8 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
9 University of Washington Seattle, WA
10 Long Island University Brookville, NY
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Top Education & Teaching Programs

  • Methodology


    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

    Accredited at the institutional level
    Private nonprofit or public school
    Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

    Schools were then scored on factors such as:

    Cost & Financial Aid
    Number and variety of program offerings
    Student-teacher ratios
    Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    Placement and support services offered
    Academic/Career counseling services
    Employment services
    Loan default rates

    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

All institutions of higher learning recognize the importance of education – that’s why there are so many programs that lead to an education degree. To narrow down the wide range of options, we offer the following rankings, based on things that matter most: tuition, student-teacher ratio, graduation rate, number of programs available, and more.

4 – Year Colleges

  1. Eastern Michigan University
    Location

    Ypsilanti, MI

    Eastern Michigan University's College of Education has been preparing adults to teach at early, secondary and postsecondary levels for decades. The college was founded in 1849. It confers bachelor's, master's and doctorate education degrees. Several degree programs at the university are offered online. Accreditation for the school's education programs is from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Michigan Department of Education has also approved the programs. Students can gain firsthand teaching and counseling experience by participating in the university's school-focused counseling clinics. While working in the clinics, students work with children and adults.

  2. University of Toledo
    Location

    Toledo, OH

    A major outcome of the education programs at the University of Toledo are to give adults the training to get licensed to teach in Ohio. The semester based school awards bachelor's education degrees. Generally, at least 128 semester hours are required for a bachelor's education degree. If students major in education, they need to keep a 2.5 GPA or higher to graduate. Fieldwork or clinical experiences are available. Before they get licensed, students must pass Ohio State Department of Education approved exams like the Praxis. They must also pass National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education exams.

  3. Ashland University
    Location

    Ashland, OH

    The chance to learn from experienced educators is available at Ashland University for adults who major in early childhood, secondary and advanced education degrees. While completing internships, students teach courses in real life to students in small to large classrooms. Types of bachelor's, master's and doctorate education degrees that adults can pursue at Ashland University include a Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies, a Master of Education in Educational Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Education. The bachelor's degrees are available in several specializations like earth science, physical science and chemistry.

  4. Hofstra University
    Location

    Hempstead, NY

    At Hofstra University, education is one of the academic hallmarks. The university has been teaching education courses since 1935, the year that the university was founded. Early childhood and childhood, foreign language education and physical education are types of areas that degrees are awarded in. Teacher education and leadership training programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Internships take place in schools that enroll students in classes ranging from kindergarten to high school. The university's courses are supplemented with clinical experiences, student teaching opportunities, seminars and workshops. Dual degrees and open houses are offered.

  5. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Nova Southeastern University's Abraham S. Fischler College of Education is fully accredited. Up to 20 degrees are awarded through the college. Online and on campus degree options can be chosen. Case studies, seminars, lectures, research work and team based projects are methods that faculty use to teach education majors. Undergraduate and graduate education degrees, all the way up to doctorate degrees, are conferred by the university. Specific concentrations that the degrees are offered in include elementary education, exceptional student education, reading education and early childhood special education. Graduate certificate programs are also taught at the university.

  6. Western Michigan University
    Location

    Kalamazoo, MI

    At Western Michigan University, the first place for education majors to visit is the College of Education and Human Development. Adults can decide if they want to major in teaching specializations like elementary education, elementary professional education, early childhood special education or education and human development. It takes four years to finish an undergraduate degree. The university has one year graduate education certificates and two to three year graduate degree programs. Student employment services, success seminars and an academic resource center are among the tools that education majors can use to deepen their learning and improve their academic performance.

  7. SUNY Buffalo State
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Top academic performers in the SUNY Buffalo State education programs are recognized on the dean's scholars list. Students with bilingual skills can use their second language during field experiences where they teach students living outside the United States. This field experiences is gained by participating in the international outreach initiative. Graduate assistantships require a commitment of about 20 hours a week. Academics available in the School of Education include undergraduate and graduate degrees. Among the education and teaching degrees are a Bachelor of Science in Art Education, a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education and the Master of Science in Adult Education.

  8. Central Michigan University
    Location

    Mount Pleasant, MI

    At Central Michigan University, undergraduate and graduate teaching and education degrees are awarded through the College of Education and Human Services. After enrolling in an education degree, students gain access to educational technologies, internships, guest speakers, lectures and research materials. Educational leadership, special education, elementary education and educational technology are some of the specialties that degrees are available in. Each degree emphasized a particular education or teaching area. The Master of Arts in Education puts an emphasis on real life topics such as training and development, integrated science, math and curriculum and instruction.

  9. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Field learning opportunities and assistantships at both the undergraduate and graduate level are offered to education majors at the University of Washington. Early childhood and family studies and education, learning and society are types of degrees that adults who want to teach can pursue. The bulk of student support comes through the Office of Student Services. It is through the office that students can sign up to participate in research and teaching assistantships, student events and student organizations. Leadership opportunities in local schools are available for graduate education majors. Public policy, elementary school teacher, recreation centers and social services are types of careers that graduates can enter.

  10. Long Island University
    Location

    Brookville, NY

    A broad range of undergraduate and graduate education degrees are awarded at LIU Post. Adolescence education, middle childhood education, special education and teaching English to speakers of other languages are types of degrees awarded through the College of Education, Information and Technology. Depending on their specific major, students can learn how to teach children who have communication challenges or learning disabilities. They can also learn how to educate students who are academically exceptional. International students are accepted. There are dozens of student organizations that education majors can join.

2 – Year Colleges

  1. Northeast Mississippi Community College
    Location

    Booneville, MS

    Northeast Mississippi Community College's associate elementary education degree is a two-year program that offers adults a foundational training that prepares them for a four-year education degree. The school's early childhood education technology degree provides adults with a basic teaching foundation while emphasizing the role that technology plays in early childhood education. Advisors that education majors are assigned help students pick classes that lead to the two-year degree. Classes that advisors help students select also transfer toward a bachelor's education degree. A total of 62 semester hours are needed to graduate. The lowest GPA that students can earn to graduate is a 2.0.

  2. Coahoma Community College
    Location

    Clarksdale, MS

    Core education and teaching classes at Coahoma Community College are offered through the child development program. Completion of the early childhood development technology program and related work experience prepare students to take the Child Development Assistant licensing tests. After passing the exams, students could teach at the preschool and infant-toddler levels. Some early childhood development technology courses may be taken online. Students log into Canvas to get assignments while taking online courses. Broader opportunities to learn from instructors in person takes place at the college's educational outreach facilities which are located throughout five counties in Mississippi.

  3. Eastern Wyoming College
    Location

    Torrington, W

    Eastern Wyoming College accepts high school graduates, international students and transfer students into its two-year education degree programs. An Associate of Arts in Elementary and Secondary Education and an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education are types of education degrees awarded at the college. The child development certificate is a two-semester program. More than 100 instructors teach at the college. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor before registering for classes to increase the likelihood that their classes will transfer into four-year degree programs.

  4. College of Southern Idaho
    Location

    Twin Falls, ID

    Adults who are committed to educating children at the early childhood and secondary levels could get an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education degree from the College of Southern Idaho. Bilingual elementary education, educational assistant, special education, kindergarten through high school and secondary education are other areas that the college awards undergraduate credentials in. Technical certificates are also conferred in the education assistant program. Curriculums in the programs meet core Idaho teaching guidelines. In programs like bilingual elementary education, the first two years of study are completed at the College of Southern Idaho and the last two years of study are completed at Boise State University.

  5. Itawamba Community College
    Location

    Fulton, MS

    Faculty at Itawamba Community College teach courses that lead to two year education degrees. The faculty members use the Mississippi Articulation and Transfer Tool (MATT) to help students build a selection of courses that will transfer toward a four-year education degree. At the end of two years of full-time coursework, adults could be awarded an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education Technology, an Associate of Arts in Education of Deaf or an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education. Each program is taught at the college's Fulton, Mississippi campus.

  6. Prince George's Community College
    Location

    Largo, MD

    Education degrees and certificates at Prince George's Community College are awarded through the Teacher Education Department. Specific areas that degrees are awarded in include early childhood education, chemistry at the secondary education level and secondary education in English. Within one year, education majors could earn a certificate in fields like early childhood education and early childhood special education. For adults with a bachelor's education degree, the school offers courses that fulfill teacher re-certification requirements. There are two paths to apply for one of the credentials. Adults can apply through the Teacher Education Department chairperson. They could also work through an academic advisor.

  7. Santa Fe Community College
    Location

    Santa Fe, NM

    The education program at Santa Fe Community College is geared toward adults who want to teach students aged birth to the third grade. The school's early childhood education associate's degree helps adults to partially fulfill the academic standards required of early childhood teachers working in New Mexico public education system. If adults take the early childhood development certificate program, they can gain an understanding of what is expected during the longer, degree program. Credits earned during the certificate program could also be transferred into the two year degree program. Post graduation, students could work in a daycare, childcare center or elementary school.

  8. Mesa Community College
    Location

    Mesa, AZ

    In addition to awarding two year education degrees, Mesa Community College awards certificates. Working teachers can also take classes that lead to a teacher endorsement at Mesa Community College. Associate degrees that education majors can declare include early childhood education, early care and elementary education. Certificates are available in early care specialist and instructional assistance. There is a child development lab and the Teachers of Language Learners Learning Community on campus to support education majors. Scholarships and a summer internship are also open to education majors.

  9. Rio Salado College
    Location

    Tempe, AZ

    At Rio Salado College, the education programs prepare adults to teach at pre-kindergarten through high school. Associate and bachelor's degrees are awarded at Rio Salado College. Professional development training programs lead to teacher endorsements. Mentor and state certifications can also be gained by taking education courses at the college. Advanced training is delivered through teacher in residence programs which are available in early childhood education. Completion of residential programs fulfills many Arizona teacher certification renewal requirements. A background check and prerequisites are needed to start some classes. In person classes are taught at the Tempe, Arizona campus.

  10. Central New Mexico Community College
    Location

    Albuquerque, NM

    Adults with existing teaching experience as well as freshmen who are embarking on a teaching career can pursue teacher education and early childhood multicultural education degrees and certificates at Central New Mexico Community College. Information sessions for new students are delivered in English and Spanish. After graduating from programs like the early childhood multicultural education program, students may receive a New Mexico Office of Child Development vocational certificate. During the online teaching and learning program, adults learn how to conduct and understand student assessments. Registration for all education programs must be completed by scheduled deadlines.

Teaching & Education Degree Programs Near Me

State
FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MA MD DC

Education & Teaching Resource Center

Interested in becoming a teacher? This is where you do your homework. The following education and teaching guides are designed to help aspiring educators get an informed start on their future career.

Explore Education & Teaching Degree Paths

When someone thinks of a teacher, they likely see a person standing at the front of a crowded classroom, chalk in hand, lecturing about the subject. But that is just one small glimpse into the world of education. From early childhood education to special education to instructional coordinators and principals or superintendents, there are numerous jobs available for those who are ready and willing to put in the work to get there. It all begins with choosing the right degree path, then planning out further study in order to advance up the ladder in one’s chosen field.

The following flowchart can help students see which programs might be right for them, as well as what it will take to get to the degree level and position they hope to obtain.

The special education teacher is a crucial component in ensuring that all students, regardless of disability or other needs, receive the education they deserve. Special education teachers might work with a wide range of students, from those who have mild learning differences to those with physical and mental disabilities across the spectrum. Their work in the classroom is not only about teaching, but about encouragement and acceptance as well. Learn More Hmm…maybe a different career path is for you.

In-Depth: Salary & Job Growth for Teachers

The job opportunities for teachers are growing at a slow and steady pace, with higher demand expected to rural and urban areas. The following charts offer an overview of teacher salaries and job growth across the nation.

During the 2011-2012 school term, 56 percent of public school teachers had a master’s degree or higher. In private schools, 43 percent of teachers had a master’s or higher.

Top 10 Advantages to an Education Degree

Those who pursue a career in education tend to have a passion for learning and strong motivations to improve the lives of their students. Here are some of the biggest reasons why a teaching degree can be an excellent choice for those who fit this description.

  • 01
    Make an impact with students

    Every person who has ever attended school has that one favorite teacher that they will always remember fondly, and some credit their success in life to the lessons taught by that special instructor. Changing lives for the better might be one of the greatest rewards of all.

  •  

    Surveys in the U.S. have ranked teachers just behind military occupations as the most important jobs for contributing to society’s well-being.

  • 02
    Moving up in the world

    The world of teaching offers numerous opportunities for advancement. Many administrators began their careers as teachers and worked their way through a variety of grades before pursuing administrative degrees, eventually earning the promotion to the front office.

  •  
  • 03
    Loan forgiveness opportunities

    With today’s high tuition rates, going to college can be tough. Teachers who want to eliminate student debt can do so through loan forgiveness programs. These programs often require teachers to work for a time in underprivileged areas; in addition to the money savings, these teachers might find that they hone their skills and find a greater calling through working with disadvantaged youth.

  •  
  • 04
    Working in a high-demand profession

    Teachers are in high demand; the only catch is finding where that demand might be. Teachers who are willing to move in order to find the best jobs might find that they have numerous options available to them. A good teacher with an excellent track record will likely be able to find opportunities throughout their career.

  •  
  • 05
    Special grant and scholarship opportunities

    Institutions all across the nation recognize the value of a good teacher; that’s why there are numerous scholarships and grants available to those who want to pursue education degrees but don’t quite have enough financial means to get there.

  •  
  • 06
    Watch dreams come true

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see that uncertain English student become a broadcaster on a nationwide network? How about encouraging that top-notch history student, only to read their best-selling book a decade later? Teachers can foster big dreams, and give students what it takes to make those dreams a reality.

  •  

    Studies of high-poverty schools have found that the primary factor in student motivation and achievement is the school, and more importantly, the teacher.

  • 07
    See the direct results of your labor

    For many teachers, seeing their students develop and learn can happen in a single semester. The look on a child’s face when they figure out how to do a math problem or the smile of delight when a struggling student finally notches their first solid “A” on a test can be exhilarating, for both the student and the teacher.

  •  
  • 08
    Excellent job security

    Once a teacher has been in the workforce for a while and has learned the ropes, they can rest assured that their job is safe. Even if budget cuts come along and their job must be downsized, chances are there will always be another school district looking for great teachers to fill their empty spaces.

  •  
  • 09
    Summer vacations, every year

    Many teachers love the fact of a long, relaxing vacation – usually at least a month, possibly more – that happens right in the height of summer, when they can explore other parts of the world or simply stay at home and catch up on their reading.

  •  
  • 10
    Become a powerful safety net for youth

    Some students face serious life challenges at a tender age. For them, school is a haven where they can learn, grow and dream. In a situation like this, teachers become the disciplinarians, motivators, counselors, and friends that students need in order to break free of the things that are holding them back.

A Closer Look: Teacher Shortages in America

For quite some time, concerns about a nationwide teacher shortage has been getting national news coverage. Some states, such as Arizona and Oklahoma, have seen the shortage reach emergency proportions – to the point where the states simply don’t have enough teachers to run the schools. For instance, some schools have open positions with zero applicants, an indication that graduates from teaching programs are headed for greener pastures in other parts of the nation.

For new teachers, the shortage can mean more job opportunities, but only if the graduate is willing to move for a great job, willing to take positions in urban or rural areas, and okay with working in a subject area that might be different from the one they trained for during college. It also helps to go into the job with eyes wide open: Many teachers have found that those first few years are much more difficult than they imagined, and become disillusioned enough to seek employment outside the profession.

States with High Teacher Shortages

There are a few states that have a much tougher time with teacher shortages than others. Though the reasons for the shortages are varied, most of these states are now reaching a dire situation. Areas with high teacher shortages — in no particular order — include:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma

Keys to Keeping Teachers: Rural vs. Urban Schools

Sometimes the shortage of teachers is worse in one geographic area than in another. For instance, teachers can expect to see better job opportunities in rural and urban areas. Here’s why these locations are seeing a decrease in the number of teachers:

Rural

In most school districts, larger or more affluent schools get the lion’s share of funding, while rural schools tend to struggle to get by from one year to the next. This lack of funding can mean lower pay and less classroom support, including fewer supplies. Many teachers deal with these issues only until they find a better-paying and better-supported position in a neighboring district.

Urban

Teachers in urban areas usually face the same problems as those in rural areas: a lack of supplies and support as well as lower pay. However, they may also face the added issue of ‘difficult’ or ‘rough’ schools. Many inner-city schools face serious problems with crime, truancy and the like, which can make teachers feel as though they do more disciplining than teaching.

The average turnover rate for all teachers in the nation is 17 percent. In urban school districts, the turnover rate rises to 20 percent,
according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Subjects in Need of Teachers

In schools all across the nation, the shortage of teachers for special education is nothing new. But there are other areas that are sorely lacking as well. Teachers who want to hit the ground running upon graduation might look to an education degree with an emphasis on the following subjects, so they are better prepared to jump into schools that need their expertise the most.

Subject Area Shortages in Elementary & Secondary Schools (2014-2015)

2014-2015 Shortages for Elementary/Secondary Schools

The majority of states in the U.S. are in need of teachers for the following subjects

Source: Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing, Department of Education (2016)

From Chalkboard to Keyboard: Online Teaching Degrees

Online learning is an excellent way for aspiring teachers to get the education they need in order to educate others. Since most teaching programs require a certain amount of supervised instruction, online education degree programs tend to be in a hybrid format: Students take most of their courses online, but fulfill their in-person obligations at a local school.

Those who pursue an online education degree program might find that it enhances their understanding and appreciation of technology in the classroom, and might encourage them to create their own online opportunities for students once they have a classroom of their own.

Learn More

Advice from the Field: Expert Interview

Signs of a teacher shortage are everywhere now. What is the implication of the shortage for those who are just graduating and starting their teaching career? 

There are three shortages at play currently in the education profession. First, there’s the shortage of new grads for hard to fill STEM positions. Second, there’s the issue of graduates from universities who aren’t willing to move to where the jobs are.  Often, the issue is supply and demand, but it’s supply and demand relative to certain locations. Finally, there’s a shortage of new teachers who stick it out.  The requirements for teaching positions have become much more rigorous, and it takes someone truly committed to the field to stay. 

Is there a particular subject area, educational level, or job in the education field that is most promising for graduates today?

There’s always a need for teachers who are certified or endorsed in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and math).  There’s a shortage in the areas of foreign language and ESL or ELL (English as a second language or English language learner) endorsed teachers as well.  Special education is a field with great turnover.  The burnout rate for teaching students with disabilities is very high due to additional paperwork, feeling unsupported, or emotionally drained, but for people with the right background and outlook, it can be very rewarding.

Anything else you might like to add about working as a teacher? 

People who are interested in education often have tunnel vision when it comes to what sort of position they might like to fulfill their interest in teaching.  For example, most immediately look toward public education, but there are private or parochial schools, classical or Montessori schools and more.  Additionally, teachers are often considered for jobs with publishers, accrediting agencies, state or government jobs, and various teaching organizations or associations, museums, and more.  I would strongly encourage anyone interested in teaching and learning to consider looking not only for traditional positions but to keep their eyes and ears open outside school settings as well.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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