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Best 12 Associate in Education in 2021

March 28, 2021 | Staff Writers

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If you like working and instructing children an Associate in Education may be a perfect path for you to follow.  An Associate in Education can help set students up to work with young children in a Head Start program, or give students the necessary tools to go on to a traditional four-year college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education. 

What is an Associate in Education?

An Associate in Education is generally a two-year degree that gives students the foundation needed to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education. The two-year degree can follow a strict education path or be directed toward Early Childhood Education, which prepares students to work as a pre-school teacher or an instructor at a Head Start program. An Associate in Education examines the ways children learn and aims to establish better tools and techniques to help students improve their education and the educational system in the future.  

What Are the Benefits?

Earning an Associate in Education can help set students up for success. Graduating students may have the opportunity to enter the workforce working in early childhood education careers. Students will be able to work with Head Start programs or teach pre-school. Other students may opt to transfer their credits and knowledge to a traditional four-year college to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Many Associate in Education programs are designed to help pave the way for a smooth transition into a traditional four-year college. Several schools even have agreements in place with sister universities to make a seamless transition.

What is the Outlook and Salary?

The two-year Associate degree in Education can help students enter the workforce directly working as a pre-school teacher or managing a Head Start Program or School-Age program in the community. Students who possess an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education can see stable job growth with about 100 new jobs available every year. Students can expect to earn about $29,000 per year. If students choose to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education to teach at a high school, students can expect to earn about $61,000 per year.

Choosing which school to attend is a big decision that can impact the rest of your life. When looking for a school to earn an Associate in Education, you have plenty of options. Sorting through the available schools can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, our team is here to help. We have put together a list of the top 12 schools to earn an Associate in Education. By sorting through our list, you will find the school that best aligns with your current needs and goals for a future career working in education.  

The Best 12 Associate in Education Degrees

1. Southern Arkansas University Tech — Camden, Arkansas (22 Points)

The Associate in Education degree offered at Southern Arkansas University Tech is designed to help students learn the fundamentals needed to become K-12 teachers eventually. This degree is a two-year program intended to give students the necessary foundation to go on to a traditional four-year degree. The two-year degree covers the basic information to become a teacher so that students can transfer their credits to a traditional college. 

This degree gives students exposure to several classes ranging from Middle School Math and Science to Elementary level Social Studies and History. This degree option is perfect for students who are already working full-time as well. There is an entirely online format for this degree that allows students to earn their education with a flexible schedule.

  • Tuition: $267 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Immunization Records, High School Degree, Official High School Transcripts, Placement Test Results

2. Navarro College — Corsicana, Texas (19 Points)

Earning an Associate in Education from Navarro College will help set students for a successful career in education. This program is intended to teach students the basic skills necessary to continue their studies at a traditional four-year college. The degree is a comprehensive education degree that features courses in teaching methods, instruction, and the basics for reading, writing, math, and social sciences.

This degree can easily be transferred to a traditional four-year college where students will have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s in Education. Navarro College makes it particularly easy for students to enter a Bachelor’s degree program at Texas State University, Texas Women’s University, Sam Houston State University, and more. Many graduates from this program work as a writer, education administrator, high school teacher, or special education teacher.   

  • Tuition: $259 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree, Official High School Transcripts, Proof of Residency (If Applicable), State Approved Placement Test Scores

3. Richmond Community College — Hamlet, North Carolina (18 Points)

The Associate in Education degree offered by Richmond Community College focuses on Early Childhood Education. This degree is a two-year program that gives students the chance to explore education for early childhood development. This program is mostly geared toward teaching children from birth to eight years of age. The program focuses on the way children learn through physical and emotional needs, including social interaction and communication. This degree also focuses on developing communication skills between the teacher and families so that techniques, tools, and education can be taught in a home environment.

Many students graduating with an Associate in Education can work immediately at Head Start programs or in a pre-school. Other students choose to transfer the credits earned in this degree to a traditional four-year college where students can earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education.  

  • Tuition: $360 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Proof of Residency

4. Granite State College — Concord, New Hampshire (16 Points)

The Associate in Education from Granite State College focuses explicitly on the education necessary for young children. This early education degree is geared toward helping young children learn foundational competencies in language, mathematics, and creative arts. Further, students will understand how to assist in early childhood education administration to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

Students who graduate from this program will have the ability to work with children from birth to age eight. Graduating students can enter the workforce immediately or will be able to transfer their education and credits to a traditional four-year college to be able to earn a Bachelor’s degree in education.

  • Tuition: $375 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official Transcripts

5. Lehigh Carbon Community College — Lehigh County, Pennsylvanian (13 Points)

The Associate in Education from Lehigh Carbon Community College focuses on early childhood education for students younger than nine. This program is a two-year degree designed to help students understand and learn how a child learns and develops. Upon graduation, students may continue to a traditional four-year college or enter the workforce working as a pre-school teacher, Head Start educator, or school-age program instructor.

Students will gain an understanding of how a child grows and develops. Graduates will be able to identify what makes a thriving learning environment for children and will be able to help children, families, and communities band together to help students learn better. To transfer to a traditional four-year college, students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA or better. 

  • Tuition: $465 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts, Placement Exam

5. Hagerstown Community College — Hagerstown, Maryland (13 Points)

The Associate in Education degree offered from Hagerstown Community College is intended for students who want to complete the two-year degree and then transfer to a traditional four-year college to earn a Bachelor’s degree. This degree is specifically for people who wish to attend a four-year college outside of Maryland. The Education program will give students the necessary foundation classes to make a seamless transition into a four-year degree program.

Apart from the general education classes required for graduation, students will take core education classes in mathematics, social sciences, behavioral sciences, and English. Further, students will have the opportunity to take between 15 and 17 elective credits to focus on particular interest areas. 

  • Tuition: $343 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts, Placement Exam

5. Lone Star College System — Houston, Texas (13 Points)

Lone Star College offers a two-year Associate in Education to help pave the way for students to go on to earn a Bachelor’s degree. This program is designed to help students with the foundation needed to understand and integrate into a traditional four-year college. Successful graduates will be able to work seamlessly into a Bachelor’s degree program and enter the teaching workforce following graduation.

This degree couples theoretical study with hands-on experience in education. Students will be immersed in live and working classrooms for observation and practice. All students will be observed and helped by professional teachers and professors through real-time classroom experience and exposure. 

  • Tuition: $231 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Official High School Transcripts, Immunization Records, Placement Exam

8. Arizona Western College — Yuma, Arizona (12 Points)

Arizona Western College has a strong Education department that offers students several opportunities to further their educational careers. There are two Associate in Education degrees available to students. One degree focuses on Elementary Education while the other focuses on Secondary Education. Both degrees are intended to teach students the basic skills needed to transition to a four-year college.

The college also offers several education certificates. These certificates can be added to an Associate in Education degree or added to supplement an already working student. Arizona Western College also offers CDA certification, which is perfect for people renewing their existing certificate.  

  • Tuition: $407 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Transcripts, Top 10% of Class for High School, Minimum ACT/SAT Test Scores

9. Houston Community College — Houston, Texas (11 Points)

This two-year degree offered from Houston Community College is designed to help students make an easy transition into a four-year college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education or Teaching. This degree will cover the basic foundations needed to understand how students and young children learn and develop. Students will gain a basic understanding of the practices and techniques commonly used in the classroom.

Further, this degree examines the current issues surrounding education in the classroom today. Students are encouraged to evaluate current educational programs and offer innovative and creative solutions to revamp and redesign courses to provide a better learning environment for children.  

  • Tuition: $322 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts

10. Indiana Wesleyan College — Marion, Indiana (7 Points)

Indiana Wesleyan College offers an Associate in Education focusing on Early Childhood Education. This degree focuses on the way young children learn. Students will understand young children’s physical and emotional needs and learn how environment, family, and community can contribute to a thriving learning environment.  

This faith-based college encourages students to lead with a moral mindset and offers ethical solutions to help children succeed. The program is offered entirely online, making it accessible to students working a full-time job or juggling an already hectic schedule.  

  • Tuition: $1,137 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Transcripts, Students Must Abide By Community Guidelines, Minimum GPA of 2.6

10. Community College of Philadelphia — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (7 Points)

The Community College of Philadelphia has several options for students who wish to earn an Associate in Education. This degree has several offerings ranging from Early Childhood Education to Secondary Education. This program allows students to narrow their studies and focus on the specific age group they intend to teach and instruct.

All the two-year degree options are designed to set students up to successfully transfer to a four-year college to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to stay enrolled in the program. 

  • Tuition: $579 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Transcripts, Official SAT or ACT Test Scores

12. Northampton Community College — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (5 Points)

The Associate in Education offered from Northampton Community College focuses on Early Childhood Education. Students will focus their studies on children up to the age of nine. The program is designed to help students develop curriculums to help students learn and be set up for ongoing growth and success. 

This two-year program is designed to give students a solid footing to transfer to a traditional four-year college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Education. This program couples online theoretical learning and classroom study with hands-on learning in a live classroom observing children.

  • Tuition: $602 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED

Methodology

To create our list of the best schools to earn an Associate in Education degree, we have utilized a scoring system. Schools are awarded points based on two different metrics. The first metric that is used is the cost of tuition on a per-credit basis. If schools listed their tuition as a yearly expense, the total cost is divided in half, assuming two semesters. This cost is then further divided by 12, assuming 12 credits per semester. In all cases, the out-of-state tuition cost was used. Schools that have the lowest tuition cost per credit were awarded the most amount of points. 

The second metric we used to award points to our best schools to earn an Associate in Education was the overall enrollment size. Schools that had a smaller enrollment size were awarded the most amount of points. This process is because it was assumed that a smaller enrollment size would give students a better student-to-teacher ratio. The school with the lowest enrollment received the most amount of points. The total points awarded for the tuition metric and enrollment metric were then added together, giving a total final score. The school with the most amount of points was awarded the top ranking on our list of the best schools to earn an Associate in Education.

If your school has been featured on our list, we would love to hear from you. We understand that programs are continually changing, and we want to keep our students as up-to-date as possible. If you notice information is not correct or out of date, let us know, and we will be happy to update our website. Students have many tough decisions ahead of them, so choosing a school should be as simple as possible. Our list of the best schools to earn an Associate in Education will help make your decision easier, allowing you to find a school that aligns with your current needs and future goals. 

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