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40 Best Online Colleges for Teaching (Bachelor’s) for 2021

40 Best Online Colleges for Teaching (Bachelor's)
College Values Online - Top Degree Programs-01

Online colleges for teaching are not uncommon. In fact, education programs are one of the most popular options that schools offer through online learning. Most of these online teaching degree programs consist of 100% online classes and a select number of face-to-face practicum requirements. One of the convenient aspects of such a structure is acquiring all of the theoretical information you need in a virtual format without sacrificing important hands-on experience. In this ranking, our editors rank the 40 best colleges for teaching online.

Rating and Ranking the Top Teaching Colleges Online

To develop this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of the 80 best online bachelor’s degree-granting schools with a teaching degree, according to U.S. News & World Report. We then applied a max tuition filter of $30,000, ensuring that only affordable options appeared in our ranking list. Finally, our site-wide online undergraduate degree methodology was applied. In the case of a tie, the editors ranked the more affordable school higher.

Types of Online Education Degrees Featured in this Ranking:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early Childhood Development
  • Online BA in Early Childhood Education
  • Online BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Online BA in Special Education
  • Online BA in Exceptional Student Education
  • Online BA in Social Science
  • Online BA in English
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Studies
  • Online BS in Education: Early Childhood Education
  • Online BS in Early Childhood Development
  • Online BS in Elementary Education
  • Online BS in Special Education
  • Online BS in Child Care and Family Education
  • Online BS in Child Development and Family Studies
  • Online BS in Middle Grades Education
  • Online BS in Career and Technical Education
  • Online BS in Adult and Career Education
  • Online BS in Educational Studies and Community Leadership
  • Online BS in Exceptional Student Education: Learning & Language
  • Online BS in Organizational Leadership and Learning: Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Early Childhood
  • Online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies: Early Childhood
  • Online Bachelor’s in Community Engagement & Education (CEED)
  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in History Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in English Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Technology Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Educational Studies

#40—Midway University

Midway, Kentucky

Website

Points: 4

Midway University

Among the country’s best colleges online for a teaching degree, Midway University offers a versatile bachelor’s degree in education featuring seven different concentration options:

  • Elementary Education (P-5)
  • Middle School English
  • Middle School Math (5-9)
  • Middle School Science (5-9)
  • Middle School Social Studies (5-9)
  • Secondary English (8-12)
  • Secondary Math (8-12)

In addition to these online teaching certification degrees, the school also offers a bachelor’s in education studies and an endorsement in Learning and Behavior Disorders. Midway University is institutionally accredited to award the online education degree by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,850

#39—Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Points: 5

Liberty University

As one of our picks for top online colleges for teaching, Liberty University offers three online education degrees:

  • Online BS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online BS in Elementary Education
  • Online BS in Special Education

Depending on the online teaching degree selected, students will take classes such as:

  • Wellness in the Early Childhood Setting
  • Psychology of Childhood
  • Classroom Management for Teachers
  • Intervention for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

These accelerated courses are eight weeks in length, and students can earn their degree within just three and a half years. Liberty University is accredited to award online teaching bachelor degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The programs themselves are separately accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,587

#38—Union Institute and University

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

Points: 5

Union Institute & University

Among the best online colleges for teaching in terms of completion time, Union Institute and University offers a Bachelor of Science in Child & Adolescent Development that can be completed in just one year. The program features accelerated 8-week courses and is offered on a part-time and full-time basis. Core courses required for the degree include:

  • Transforming Learning Standards into Achievement
  • The Art and Science of Assessing Children and Families
  • The Integration of Developmental Domains, Theory, and Practice
  • Constructing Reciprocal Relationships with Family and the Community

Elective classes are also available and include:

  • Cognitive Development of the Child and Adolescent
  • Learning Through Play
  • Language Development of the Child
  • Sensory Development: Challenges & Opportunities in the Classroom

Union Institute and University has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award online teaching bachelor degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,686

#37—Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Points: 6

Regent University

Students looking for top online colleges for teaching should consider the two different degree offerings from Regent University:

  • Online BS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online BS in Professional Studies: Teacher Education

Depending on their chosen major, students enrolled in these online education degrees may take classes like:

  • Child and Adolescent Growth and Development
  • Students With Disabilities
  • Business and Professional Writing
  • Survey of Leadership

Both programs require 120 credit hours of coursework and are offered entirely online. Regent University holds its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the best colleges online for a teaching degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $18,720

#36—National University

La Jolla, California

Website

Points: 6

National University

A fully online college for teaching, National University offers several options for students interested in earning an education degree online. These programs include:

  • Online BA in Early Childhood Development
  • Online BA in Early Childhood Education
  • Online BA in English (Teacher Licensure)
  • Online BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Teacher Licensure)
  • Online BA in Social Science (Teacher Licensure)

These programs are offered through the school’s distinguished Sanford College of Education and can be completed entirely online. Accelerated four-week classes enable students to earn their degrees in less time than a traditional program. National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Its online teaching bachelor’s degrees are separately accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,480

#35—University of Michigan – Flint

Flint, Michigan

Website

Points: 6

University of Michigan

One of the top online colleges for teaching, the University of Michigan-Flint offers a non-licensure Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Studies. The comprehensive 128 credit-hour curriculum features core courses such as:

  • Play and Learning in Early Childhood Education
  • Constructivist Teaching with Young Children
  • Child Guidance and Classroom Management
  • Assessment in Early Childhood and Elementary Education

Options for elective classes are numerous and include:

  • Music in Early Childhood
  • Using Technology in the Global Community
  • Creative Learning Experiences
  • Public Health and the Engaged Citizen

UM-Flint is accredited to award online teaching degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,744

#34—Park University

Parkville, Missouri

Website

Points: 6

Park University - Top 40 Online Colleges for Teaching

Park University has been recognized as one of the best online colleges for teaching, thanks to its online BS in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education (Teaching Young Children). Coursework for the program can be completed entirely online, but some field experiences may require in-person, off-site attendance. Courses required for the major include:

  • Family, School, and Community Collaboration
  • Teaching Development of Language and Literacy in Early Childhood
  • Development and Learning Through Play
  • Professionalism and Program Management in Early Childhood Education

The program also features an optional concentration in Leadership, which requires additional classes like:

  • Human Resources in Early Childhood Programs
  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Financial Aspects of Early Childhood Programs

The Higher Learning Commission has authorized Park University to offer accredited online teaching degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,929

#33—University of West Alabama

Livingston, Alabama

Website

Points: 6

University of West Alabama

The University of West Alabama offers three distinct online education degrees, making it one of the top online colleges for teaching. These options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Development
  • Online BS in Elementary Education: K-6/P-3
  • Online BS in Special Education: Collaborative Teacher: K-6/6-12

Two of these programs are licensure options. Depending on the degree plan they choose, enrolled students will take course titles such as:

  • Effective Classroom Management and Organization
  • Measurement and Assessment
  • Technology and Education
  • Literature for Young Children

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of West Alabama to confer these online education degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,990

#32—South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota

Website

Points: 6

South Dakota State University - Top 40 Online Colleges for Teaching

Students looking for a top online college for teaching at the early childhood level will find a quality program from South Dakota State University. The school’s Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Education and Care offering is made available through a partnership with the university and the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA). Major requirements for the program include:

  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition of Young Children
  • Child Guidance and Classroom Environments
  • Technology and Young Children
  • Administration and Supervision in Early Childhood Settings

All courses for the program are available entirely online. The Higher Learning Commission fully accredits SDSU. Its online education degree is programmatically accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,200

#31—University of Louisiana – Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Website

Points: 6

University of Louisiana- Monroe

The University of Louisiana – Monroe’s online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program has helped to establish it as one of the nation’s top online colleges for teaching. The comprehensive 120-credit hour curriculum for the program is a mix of general education and major-specific classes, including:

  • Classroom, Behavior, and Instructional Management
  • Mathematics Methods for the Classroom
  • Assessment Principles and Practice for All Learners
  • Balanced Literacy: Primary Grades

A student teaching experience is also required in addition to online coursework. ULM is fully accredited to award online teaching degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online education program holds separate accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,070

#30—University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

Points: 6

University of Southern Mississippi

As one of the best online colleges for teaching in the United States, the University of Southern Florida offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education program designed specifically for working teacher’s assistants. The curriculum for this degree completion program includes core course titles such as:

  • Computer Applications in Education
  • Foundational Studies in Early Childhood Education
  • Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children
  • Introduction to Literacy: an Integrated Language Arts Approach

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited the University of Southern Mississippi to offer this online teaching certification program. The program itself is separately accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,896

#29—Jackson State University

Jackson, Mississippi

Website

Points: 6

Jackson State University

As one of the best colleges online for a teaching degree in the Southeast and beyond, Jackson State University offers a unique BS in Child Care and Family Education. Offered through the university’s College of Education & Human Development and the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, this fully online, non-licensure degree plan features major course titles such as:

  • Innovations, Problems & Issues in Child Care
  • Family Dynamics and Interpersonal Issues
  • Materials and Methods of Elementary and Early Childhood Education
  • Music for Children

Successful completion of the online education degree depends on the fulfillment of 122 credit hours of distance education coursework. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Jackson State University to offer education programs online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,445

#28—Minot State University

Minot, North Dakota

Website

Points: 6

Minot State University

Another of the best online colleges for teaching in the country, Minot State University, offers a fully online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education. Offered through the university’s College of Education and Health Sciences and the Department of Teacher Education and Kinesiology, this non-licensure program takes a full four years to complete and features course titles such as:

  • Managing the Learning Environment
  • Technology in Teaching
  • Teaching Diverse Learners
  • Introduction to Exceptional Children
  • Leadership and Supervision in Early Childhood Education

A practicum is also required for program completion. Minot State University is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to offer education programs online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,896

#27—Appalachian State University

Boone, North Carolina

Website

Points: 6

Appalachian State University - Cheap Online Colleges- Top 40 Online Colleges for Teaching

Students on the hunt for the best online colleges for teaching will want to consider Appalachian State University and its two distinct online education programs:

  • Online BS in Middle Grades Education
  • Online BS in Career and Technical Education

Regardless of which teaching degree online they choose, students will take core professional education courses such as:

  • Creating Inclusive Learning Communities
  • Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age
  • Psychology Applied to Teaching
  • Policies and Practices in Educational Assessment

Multiple concentration and program customization options are also available. In addition to these fully online teaching bachelor degrees, Appalachian State also offers a hybrid option in Elementary Education. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the university to award these credentials. The school has been rated one of the best colleges and universities in the country for an online bachelor’s degree program by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,410

#26—Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Website

Points: 6

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is one of our top online colleges for teaching in terms of affordability. The school offers three distinct online education degrees:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education: Early Childhood Unified
  • Online BS in Elementary Education
  • Online BS in Elementary Education: Special Education

Core courses common to these various programs include:

  • Introduction to Instructional Technology
  • Educating Exceptional Students
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Classroom Management

An internship and student teaching experience are also required before graduation. Fort Hays State holds institutional accreditation to award these teaching degree online programs from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the best in the country for an online bachelor’s degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,430

#25—University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

Website

Points: 7

University of Louisville

One of our top online colleges for teaching, the University of Louisville, offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Learning with a track in Early Childhood Education through its College of Education and Human Development. The 120-credit hour curriculum for the program is made up of core course titles such as:

  • Instructional Strategies and Group Facilitation Technique
  • Prior Learning Assessment
  • Supporting Organizational Change

Students pursuing an online teaching degree in early childhood education must take additional specialization classes, including:

  • Guidance of Young Children
  • Inquiry Into Early Childhood Education and Child Development
  • Emergent Curriculum
  • Administration and Consultation in Early Childhood

Students may elect to complete the requirements for this program on a part-time or full-time basis. The University of Louisville holds the necessary accreditation to award this online teaching degree by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been ranked among the 50 best schools for an undergraduate degree online by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,162

#24—Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, Arizona

Website

Points: 7

Northern Arizona University

Students looking for the best colleges for teaching online may consider one of the three distinct online education degrees from Northern Arizona University:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Early Childhood
  • Online BS in Education: Career and Technical Education
  • Online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies: Early Childhood

Depending on which of these programs they choose, students will enroll in classes such as:

  • Communication Development in Children
  • Educational Psychology for Educators
  • Foundations of Child Development
  • Methods of Career and Technical Education

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northern Arizona University to offer these education programs online. The school has been ranked among the top 75 colleges and universities for online bachelor’s degree programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,896

#23—University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

Website

Points: 7

University of Toledo

One of the top online colleges for teaching in terms of potential return-on-investment, the University of Toledo offers an accelerated online bachelor’s in early childhood education program. This four-semester program includes course titles such as:

  • Early Literacy, Language, and Social Studies
  • Creating Effective Learning Environments
  • Meeting the Needs of Young Children with Disabilities
  • Supporting Early Childhood Education Science and Mathematics

Coursework can be completed entirely online. The fast-track program is intended for students who already hold an associate’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Toledo to offer education programs online. U.S. News & World Report has praised the school for its top online bachelor’s degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,082

#22—University of South Carolina – Aiken

Aiken, South Carolina

Website

Points: 7

University of South Carolina

One of the best online colleges for teaching, the University of South Carolina- Aiken offers a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education degree completion program designed to be finished in just two and a half years.  The core curriculum for the program features course titles such as:

  • Introduction to Learning Disabilities
  • Foundations in Reading in Elementary and Special Education
  • Methods and Materials for Teaching People with Learning Disabilities
  • Behavior Intervention and Management

Students may also take additional coursework to earn add-on certificates in the following areas:

  • Emotional Disabilities
  • Multicategorical Special Education
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities

USC-Aiken is institutionally accredited to award online education degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s programs among some of the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,760

#21—Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Points: 7

Indiana State University

For prospective educators interested in adult and career education, Indiana State University is one of the best online colleges for a teaching degree. This Bachelor of Science (BS) in Adult and Career Education (ACE) program is a fully online degree completion option. The curriculum for the program is delivered via accelerated 8-week classes, including:

  • Adult Learners in Higher Education and Training
  • Digital Communication Tools
  • Introduction to Adult and Career Education
  • Dimensions of Leadership

Following a prescribed schedule of courses, students can finish their teaching degree online in just two years. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Indiana State University to award this education degree online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,466

#20—University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Website

Points: 7

University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is among the top online colleges for teaching in the Midwest. As such, the school offers a unique online Bachelor’s in Community Engagement & Education (CEED) program that can be completed entirely online. Offered through the university’s School of Education and the Department of Educational Policy & Community Studies, the program is comprised of required courses such as:

  • Cultural Foundations of Education
  • Research Techniques for Community Organizers and Community Educators
  • Students Placed at Risk (Causes)
  • Communities and Neighborhoods in America

For students interested in blended learning experiences, a hybrid track is also available. UW-Milwaukee is accredited to confer this teaching degree online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,254

#19—Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Website

Points: 7

Troy University

Troy University is one of the best online colleges for teaching in the occupational education space. Designed for students who already have an associate’s degree, this degree completion program is comprised of academic core courses such as:

  • Assessing Adult Learners
  • History and Development of the Workforce
  • Educational Psychology in Adult Learning
  • Professional Education Communication

This online education degree program is available entirely online and through the school’s Phenix City campus. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Troy University to award this online teaching degree. U.S News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 75 colleges and universities nationwide for an online bachelor’s credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,908

#18—Purdue University – Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Website

Points: 7

Purdue University

One of the country’s best online colleges for a teaching degree, Purdue University- Fort Wayne offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from its College of Professional Studies. The program features two concentration tracks:

  • Birth – Age 5
  • Preschool – Grade 3

Once enrolled, students are required to fulfill an early childhood education core comprised of course titles such as:

  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Language Arts for Early Childhood
  • Growth and Development in Early Childhood
  • Administration of Early Childhood Programs

A practicum and/or student teaching experience is also required before graduation. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Purdue University- Fort Wayne to award this teaching degree online. The program itself is separately accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,730

#17—North Carolina Central University

Durham, North Carolina

Website

Points: 7

North Carolina Central University

As one of the best teaching colleges online, North Carolina Central University offers two different online education degrees:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education (B-K)
  • Online BS in Elementary Education (Flexible Learning Path- Second Degree)

Depending on the degree path they choose, students will enroll in classes such as:

  • Diversity, Pedagogy, and Social Change
  • Inclusive Teaching of Students with Special Needs
  • Principles of Teaching Reading
  • Healthful Living in Elementary Schools

You can complete all courses for these programs entirely online, but a field experience may be required. NCCU is institutionally accredited to award online teaching degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,629

#16—University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Website

Points: 7

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida is one of the nation’s best online colleges for teaching, offering two bachelor’s degrees in education that can be completed via distance learning:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Career and Technical Education
  • Online BS in Exceptional Student Education: Learning & Language

Both programs are 120-credit hour options offered through UCF’s College of Community Innovation and Education. The BS in Career and Technical Education also features an optional track in Workforce Training and Development. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the school to award online teaching bachelor degrees. It’s been ranked among the top 15 universities for an undergraduate distance education credential by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,368

#15—University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Website

Points: 7

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is one of the best online colleges for teaching, particularly for prospective special education teachers. Its online education degree plan is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) option in Exceptional Student Education that prepares graduates to work with K-12 populations. The comprehensive curriculum for the program requires a minimum of 132 credit hours and includes classes like:

  • Curriculum for Teaching Students with Exceptionalities
  • Survey of Normal and Abnormal Language and Speech Development
  • Methods in Inclusion and Collaboration
  • Elementary and Special Education Integrated Arts

In addition to online coursework, a student teaching or internship experience is also required toward the program’s culmination. UWF is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer this online teaching certification program. U.S. News & World Report has recognized it as a top online undergraduate degree option.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,360

#14—Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Points: 7

Western Carolina University

One of the most affordable online teaching colleges in the nation, Western Carolina University offers a bachelor’s degree completion plan in education from its College of Education and Allied Professions. The program features two tracks:

  • Professional Education
  • Early Childhood

Core courses required for the degree include:

  • Foundations of Child Study
  • Environments for Young Children
  • Adaptations and Modifications for Young Children with Disabilities
  • Promoting Social-Emotional Competence

An internship or action research project is also required in addition to online classes. Thanks to authorization from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Western Carolina University can offer accredited online teaching degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,285

#13—Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Website

Points: 8

Ball State University

Ball State University holds a place in our ranking of top online colleges for teaching, thanks to its fully online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. The program features a minor in Early Childhood Special Education and is comprised of core course titles such as:

  • Planning for the Elementary and Early Childhood Classroom
  • Health and Well Being in Early Childhood Programs
  • Promoting Prosocial Behavior in Young Children: Guidance and Cultural Factors
  • Creative Experiences for Young Children

The curriculum for the program was designed to accommodate standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Ball State University to provide education programs online. It’s been ranked among the top 40 online bachelor’s programs in the nation with a major in education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,144

#12—Eastern Oregon University

La Grande, Oregon

Website

Points: 8

Eastern Oregon University

Students looking for a top online college for teaching at the early childhood education level will find a high-quality accelerated offering from Eastern Oregon University. This program is available completely online and can be completed within just two years of study. Course titles associated with the curriculum for the program include:

  • Play and Learning Environments in Early Childhood
  • Child Development: Conception Through Age 8
  • Early Childhood Foundations
  • Assessment and Observation in Early Childhood

A practicum experience is also required for program completion. Eastern Oregon University is institutionally accredited to award online education degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It has been highly ranked for its online bachelor’s degree programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,405

#11—West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

Points: 8

West Virginia University

West Virginia State University makes our list of best colleges for teaching online with its online Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies. The program is offered through the university’s College of Education and Human Services Department of Counseling and Learning Sciences and features an optional track leading to Pre-K teacher certification. Courses comprising the curriculum for the major include:

  • Development in Early and Middle Childhood
  • Family Interaction and Communication
  • Infant Development
  • Families Across the Lifespan

All coursework is asynchronous in nature and can be completed fully online. WVU holds the necessary institutional accreditation to award online teaching certification and credentials from The Higher Learning Commission. The online education degree program itself is separately accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,976

#10—Valley City State University

Valley City, North Dakota

Website

Points: 8

Valley City State University

Valley City State University is one of the best online colleges for teaching nationwide, in part because of the large number of online education programs available. These degree plans include:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Career and Technical Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in English Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in History Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Technology Education

These programs feature a blend of synchronous and asynchronous course delivery formats. VCSU is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer these education programs online. The programs themselves are separately accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,942

#9—Granite State College

Concord, New Hampshire

Website

Points: 8

Granite State College

As one of the nation’s leading online colleges for teaching, Granite State College offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education with both certification and non-certification tracks. The certification track also includes a concentration in Special Education.  Required major courses for the degree include:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching Language Arts and Literature
  • Assessment of Children in Early Childhood and Special Education
  • Child Development

Granite State College is fully accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award online teaching certification programs. The school has been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report for its online bachelor’s degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,791

#8—Mayville State University

Mayville, North Dakota

Website

Points: 8

Mayville State University

As one of the most comprehensive online colleges for teaching, Mayville State University offers several degree options for undergraduate education students:

  • Online BS in Education: English Education
  • Online BS in Education: Mathematics Education
  • Online BS in Education: Physical Education
  • Online BS in Education: Special Education
  • Online BA in Early Childhood Education

Depending on the exact online education program they choose, students will enroll in classes like:

  • Foundations of Special Education
  • History and Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Young Adult Literature and Media
  • Social and Emotional Development & Guidance in Early Childhood Education

These programs are offered entirely online, and fast-track options are available. Mayville State University is institutionally accredited to award online teaching bachelor degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,381

#7—Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Website

Points: 8

Florida International University

Florida International University has established itself as one of the best online colleges for teaching, especially in the areas of early childhood and special education. Its two distinct online education degrees include:

  • Online BS in Exceptional Student Education
  • Online BS in Early Childhood Education

Both programs are offered through the school’s highly respected College of Arts, Sciences, and Education and require 120 credit hours of online coursework. In addition, each program includes foundational educational classes, including:

  • Cultural/Social Foundations of Education
  • Classroom Management
  • Educational Psychology

This is in addition to specialization courses in the chosen major. It is important to note that neither of these options are online teacher certification programs, but they may prepare students to sit for licensing exams upon graduation. FIU is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been ranked highly among online undergraduate programs in teaching by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565

#6—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Website

Points: 8

University of Florida

Among the top online colleges for teaching, the University of Florida offers two distinct online education programs for undergraduates:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Education Sciences
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Education

The BA option is a versatile program that features several concentration options such as:

  • General Studies
  • Education Technology
  • Educational Psychology and Research
  • Disabilities in Society
  • Schools, Society, and Policy

The BS option prepares graduates for teaching roles in health education and includes course titles like:

  • Personal and Family Health
  • Trends in International Health
  • Health Education Professional Development
  • Women’s Health Issues

It is important to note that these are not online teaching certification programs. The University of Florida is institutionally accredited to award the online education degree by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UF among the top 5 schools in the nation for an undergraduate degree in education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,381

#5—St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg, Florida

Website

Points: 8

St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College makes our list of top online colleges for teaching in part because of its affordable tuition rates. Students interested in online education programs will find three such programs here:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education
  • Online BS in Exceptional Student Education
  • Online BS in Educational Studies and Community Leadership

Depending on the degree option they choose, students will enroll in classes such as:

  • Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment in Education (K-12)
  • Classroom Management and Communication (K-12)
  • Student Development and Learning Principles (K-12)
  • Education and Public Policy in the United States

Both the Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education majors are considered teacher certification programs and prepare students for state licensing. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited SPC to award these online education degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,682

#4—Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Points: 9

Texas Tech University

One of the best colleges online for a teaching degree in terms of return-on-investment, Texas Tech University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education featuring multiple concentration options such as:

  • Secondary English
  • Secondary Math
  • Elementary Certification
  • Middle-Level Social Studies
  • Middle- Level Science

Sample course titles comprising the curricula for these programs include:

  • Trends and Issues in Educational Policy and Practice
  • Foundations in Reading for English Language Learners
  • Middle-Level Curriculum and Philosophy
  • Schools, Society, and Diversity

An in-person clinical teaching experience is also required in addition to online coursework. Texas Tech is institutionally accredited to confer this teaching degree online by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,600

#3—Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Points: 9

Old Dominion University

Nationally recognized as one of the top online colleges for teaching, Old Dominion University offers a BS in Elementary Education degree completion program through its Darden College of Education & Professional Studies and the Department of Teaching & Learning. Major courses required for the degree include:

  • The Arts in Early Childhood & Elementary Education
  • Classroom Management & Practice (PreK-6)
  • Integrating Instruction Across the Curriculum
  • Seminar in Teacher Education

A teacher candidate internship is also required for successful program completion. ODU is fully accredited to offer online teaching degree programs by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 in the country for an online bachelor’s credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,800

#2—Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Points: 10

Kansas State University

As one of the nation’s most comprehensive online colleges for teaching, Kansas State University offers three different online education programs:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Educational Studies

Depending on the specific program they pursue, K-State online students will enroll in courses such as:

  • Exceptional Development in Early Childhood
  • Schooling and Popular Culture
  • Teaching as a Career
  • Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning

The coursework for each of these programs can be completed fully online, though a field experience may be required. The Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education programs are licensure options, meaning students may apply for their initial teaching licenses upon graduation. Kansas State University is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It’s been ranked among the 50 best online teaching colleges nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,466

#1—University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Website

Points: 11

University of Georgia

Students seeking a teaching degree online in the area of special education may consider the University of Georgia’s Bachelor of Science in Special Education program. Offered through the university’s Mary Frances Early College of Education, this two-year accelerated option prepares students for state certification in this in-demand subfield. Courses required for the program include:

  • Assistive and Learning Technology
  • Advanced Instructional Methods for Students with Disabilities
  • Contemporary Issues in Special Education
  • Assessment and Intervention for Struggling Writers

A dual pathway to a master’s in special education degree is also available. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Georgia to award this online education degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 10 schools in the nation for an online undergraduate credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,080

About Online Colleges for Teaching

Students with a desire to transform themselves into teachers have more options today than ever before. Thanks to distance learning technology, an increasing number of colleges and universities nationwide have been able to offer their accredited online teaching degree programs via a convenient online format that allows students to learn when and where it’s most comfortable for them. In many cases, the online delivery method makes these programs accessible to students who may have been unable to earn an education degree otherwise because of the inability to commute to campus or make the time commitment necessary to attend classes traditionally.

Types of Online Education Programs

Any teaching degree online will be more accessible for busy and working adults than a traditional in-person program. That doesn’t mean they’re all the same, though. In fact, each program is unique, and differences among online teaching degree programs can have a real impact on how you learn and whether or not the program is flexible enough for your schedule. Below, we’ll discuss various types of online education programs and underscore their unique features.

Online Teaching Certification Programs Versus Non-Licensure Programs

As you consider the best online colleges for teaching, it’s important to keep in mind that some of these programs are better options than others for students looking for initial teacher certification. If you’re new to the field of education and you have dreams of teaching in your own classroom upon graduation, then a program that leads directly to licensure is best. Not all programs are certification programs, so check the school’s website and confirm with an admissions counselor or other school representative prior to enrollment.

Fully Online Teaching Bachelor Degrees Versus Hybrid Teaching Programs

Another thing to consider when perusing options for a teaching degree online is that many of these programs require some in-person attendance. This is particularly important to look out for as many schools tout their online education degrees as fully online options when in reality, they require orientations, practicums, and/or internships that must be completed face-to-face. These types of programs are technically hybrid programs, but they may not be advertised as such.

Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Teaching Colleges Online

As you’re researching your options for accredited online teaching degree programs, you’ll likely come across the terms “asynchronous” and “synchronous” in program descriptions. Don’t let your eyes glaze over when you see these technical monikers; the terms describe critical elements of the program that you’ll want to be aware of. While asynchronous teaching degree online programs will be the most convenient option because of their self-paced nature, synchronous programs provide structure for the distance learning student who requires a little more nudging to complete assignments. Consider your scheduling needs and learning style when choosing between the two content delivery formats.

Online Teaching Degree Completion Programs Versus Full Online Education Degree Programs

Among the types of teaching degrees, online programs available are both full online education degree programs and online teaching degree completion programs. While full programs are designed for students with no college credits under their belts, degree completion plans are ideal for students who already hold an associate’s degree in education or a related field. These latter programs take into account a student’s prior learning and experience and enable them to dive right in to more advanced education courses. Online education degree completion programs typically take about half the time to complete compared to the completion time for fully online teaching bachelor degrees.

Online Teaching Bachelor Degrees: Admissions

Before fully committing to the idea of earning a teaching degree online, you’ll want to make sure you can get into one of these programs. The good news is that as long as you have a high school diploma, there’s a decent chance you’ll find a school that will accept you into their online education degree program. Still, admissions criteria will vary from one college or university to the next. Some standard requirements include:

  • Minimum GPA (e.g., 2.75-3.0)
  • College Admissions Exam Scores (e.g., SAT or ACT)
  • Writing Samples
  • Personal Statement or Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation

Online Education Programs: Curriculum

Like admissions criteria for teaching colleges online, the curricula for their online education degree programs can vary significantly depending on the specific college or university you plan to attend. Another thing to consider is that there are many levels and sub-fields of education, so course requirements will depend on these specialty areas. Even so, most online teaching bachelor degrees will cover similar foundational topics in education in what’s referred to as their “major” or “core” classes. Our editors have listed some examples of these foundational courses below for your reference.

Sample Core/Major Education Courses

  • Effective Practices: Planning, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Introduction to Teaching and Learning
  • Education of Students with Exceptionalities
  • Technology and Education
  • Learners and the Diversity of Learning
  • Child and Early Adolescent Development and Psychology
  • Teaching the Writing Process

Popular Concentrations for Online Teaching Bachelor Degrees

Early Childhood Education

An online teaching degree program in Early Childhood Education prepares educators to teach the youngest of children, usually birth through age eight. These educators may work as teachers in a preschool or elementary school setting, or they may take on administrative roles as childcare program directors, for instance. Course titles comprising the curriculum for a program of this kind may include:

  • Health and Motor Development
  • Instructional Strategies for Early Childhood Education
  • Developmentally-Effective Learning Environments
  • Child Guidance and Management in Early Childhood Education

Elementary Education

Prospective teachers with a desire for teaching grade school children may elect a program or concentration in Elementary Education. Courses required for such a program will be similar to those required for an online teaching degree at the early childhood level but will target slightly older children. Sample course titles are listed below:

  • Literacy K-6: Instruction and Assessment
  • Elementary Methods: Mathematics
  • Children’s Literature
  • Writing & Composing in the Digital Age

Middle Grades Education

An online teaching degree program with an emphasis in Middle Grades Education qualifies teachers to instruct and manage classrooms of middle schoolers. Though the definition of “middle grades” can vary from state to state, generally, these trained teachers are eligible to teach grades four through eight. Classes comprising the coursework for such a program could include:

  • Nature and Curriculum Needs of the Middle Grades Learner
  • Foundations of Middle Level Schools & Their Students
  • Teaching Reading and Writing in Middle/Secondary Schools
  • Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity

Secondary Education

Online education programs and concentrations in Secondary Education train teachers to instruct high school students in various content areas. Typically, these programs combine foundational coursework in professional education with advanced classes in a specific content area such as English, Mathematics, or History, for instance. Sample course titles may include:

  • Content Specific Pedagogy for Secondary Education
  • Adolescent Literature
  • Improving Learning with Technology in High School Classrooms
  • Adolescence in the Learning Community

Special Education

Some of the best online colleges for a teaching degree offer emphases and specializations in Special Education. These programs prepare teachers for the significant task of instructing students with intellectual and physical disabilities and exceptional learners, and those with special needs. Coursework for such an online education degree might include:

  • Instructional Strategies and Technologies for Elementary Learners with Mild to Moderate Exceptionalities
  • Contemporary Issues in Special Education
  • Assistive and Learning Technology
  • Characteristics of Learners with Disabilities

Career and Technical Education

Teaching degree online programs with tracks in Career and Technical Education prepares teachers to provide vocational instruction and workforce education. These programs are usually designed for students interested in teaching at the high school level or specializing in adult education. Sample coursework for these types of online education degrees may include:

  • Teaching Culturally Diverse Learners
  • Technology, Teaching, and Learning
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Philosophy, Operation, and Management
  • Principles and Practices in Technology/Career Education

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Colleges for Teaching

Below, our editors address some of the most frequently asked questions about online teaching bachelor degrees. When reading this information, keep in mind that it is intended only to provide general guidance. The answers provided do not reflect on any specific online colleges for teaching or education degree programs.

Q: What is the best online college for teaching degree?

A: Without knowing your specific needs and career goals, it’s impossible to pin down the best online education program for you as an individual. We recommend evaluating programs in terms of your scheduling and budget needs and your professional interests as a prospective educator.

Q: Can I get a teaching degree completely online?

A: Yes. Some online teaching degree programs are available 100% online, while others require some in-person attendance for orientation, workshops, and/or student teaching experiences.

Q: How long does it take to complete an online teaching degree program?

A: It depends. Though the standard completion time for online teaching bachelor degree programs is four years, degree completion times take about half that time. Furthermore, accelerated and part-time tracks are sometimes available, which can shorten or lengthen your degree plan.

Q: How much does a teaching degree online cost?

A: Tuition expenses can vary considerably depending on which online colleges for teaching are in question. In our research for this ranking, we discovered online education programs for as little as $2,600 per year and as much as $47,000 annually.

Career Questions for Accredited Online Teaching Degree Programs

Q: Are there online colleges for teaching certification?

A: Yes. Some of the education programs online are designed for students seeking initial teacher certification. Proceed with caution, though, as others are non-licensure options.

Q: How much will I earn with an education degree online?

A: Your salary will depend on your precise role as well as where you work. Still, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), kindergarten and elementary school teachers make an annual salary of just over $60,000 while high school teachers make slightly more per year (i.e., $62,870).

Q: Are jobs for teachers in demand?

A: Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for teachers are growing about as fast as average.

Q: What professional organizations can I join with an online teaching degree?

A: Online education degree students and graduates can join a number of different professional organizations and associations in the field. Some examples include:

  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
  • Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)

Sources:

CVO Staff

Related:

This concludes our ranking of the top 40 values for online colleges for teaching degree programs.

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