The number of elementary school teachers working in the United States soared to approximately 1.5 million in the year 2019, with the number expected to continue increasing for the next several years according to several sources. Elementary educators have roles that are important in the education of children and important to the lives of students.
What Can I Do with an Elementary Education Degree?
Earning an elementary education degree is the first step towards becoming an elementary school teacher. Elementary school teachers instruct younger children in basic subjects taught in the elementary school setting, which may include grades kindergarten through 5th grade, although some elementary schools also include grades 6 through 8 in their individual school or school system.
There are a variety of responsibilities that teachers have after earning their degree, including:
- Create the lesson plans to teach subjects such as language arts, math and reading
- Instruct the students in the class or in smaller groups as required
- Teach elementary school students how to interact with other students
- Administer quizzes and tests and prepare students for standardized state tests
- Grade assignments and tests
- Develop and implement and classroom rules
There are other responsibilities of an elementary school teacher, including observing students to assess their strengths or weaknesses, and working with students individually if extra help is needed or if the child has specific challenges. Some individuals that consider earning an elementary education degree may wonder if teaching in the classroom is all that a teacher does when they become an educator. That is only a part of the life, and career growth of an elementary educator.
What are the Requirements to Become an Elementary School Teacher?
Every state requires that teachers working in the public school system have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or become certified in the specific grade levels where they plan to teach. The degree must be from a properly accredited college or university. Some educators earn their degree online, and some expand their opportunities in elementary education by earning a master’s in education degree.
Elementary school teachers that earn a bachelor’s degree in education often have a rewarding career. The average wages for teachers vary by state, as demonstrated by the 1969-2019 table from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
|1||St. Petersburg College||Petersburg, Florida|
|2||Nevada State College||Henderson, Nevada|
|3||University of Central Florida||Orlando, Florida|
|4||University of the Cumberlands||Williamsburg, Kentucky|
|5||Arkansas State University||Jonesboro, Arkansas|
Choosing an Elementary Education Degree
These schools are all fully accredited to offer elementary education programs. It is up to the student to make sure that any license earned as part of their degree is valid in the state where they plan to teach in the elementary school setting. We included programs on-campus that are the bachelor of elementary education. Elementary education degree online programs are also included in our listing of the best elementary education schools and programs.
St. Petersburg College
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program at St. Petersburg College provides graduates with an endorsement for ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Reading in addition to the preparation to teach children in K-6 grades. In addition to the classroom courses, students receive extensive experience in the public school system, and a culminating internship that is supervised by veteran educators. The college also extracurricular professional development experiences at no cost to students in the fully online elementary education program.
Nevada State College
Nevada State College offers the Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, and challenges students to “Be the difference in a student’s life.” Program highlights include research-based teaching methods, the latest innovative teaching techniques, and engaging classes at a college that believes in molding students to become effective educators from day one on the job.
University of Central Florida
Students that pursue the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at the University of Central Florida have a few concentrations, including the Elementary Education K-6 certification track. This track is primarily for future educators that want to find employment with formal K-6 schools that requires certification.
This program is a state-approved, initial teacher preparation program
University of the Cumberlands
The University of Cumberlands offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary for individuals with a passion for becoming a teacher in an elementary education setting. The degree focuses on the pre-kindergarten through fifth grades, and provides students with the foundation in concepts, effective teaching practices, the skills, values and knowledge to excel as an elementary teacher.
Arkansas State University
The Arkansas State University Elementary Education Bachelor of Science in Education provides students with the solid foundation that is needed to teach children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade in a variety of settings. Students learn in the classroom and through several field experiences. The program produces graduates with knowledge of best practices, child development and applied skills.
Students have the opportunity to simultaneously earn an endorsement for early childhood education to teach three and four-year-old students
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Georgia State University
The Atlanta campus of Georgia State University offers two concentrations in its Elementary Education, B.S.Ed. degree program for graduates to prepare to work with children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Choose the Early Childhood Education Pre-kindergarten through 5th Grade certification with an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement, or the Early Childhood Education, Pre-kindergarten through 5th Grade and Early Childhood Special Education, Pre-kindergarten through 5th Grade dual certification.
Students receive instruction in all disciplines taught in elementary classrooms and participate in field experiences.
Utah Valley University
The Utah Valley University Elementary Education program provides students the opportunity to select a minor in autism studies, giving students additional skills beyond the degree requirements for completion. Students participate in the practice-based program by going outside the classroom and engaging in hands on experiences working with children in the classroom setting. Graduates receive a baccalaureate degree and a Level I Utah Professional Teaching License.
Indiana University suggests that prospective students enroll at the school and “make a difference in countless lives,” upon earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the university. The program focuses on preparing educators that will teach grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Students that complete core courses and meet all requirements to advance to pre-professional and professional-level coursework learn the knowledge and skills to become a transformative elementary school teacher.
Wright State University
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education P-5 program at Wright State University also leads to licensure. Students participate in integrated coursework, field experiences and a year-long student teaching assignment. Coursework is included in the program so that students develop the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for teaching at the early childhood and elementary education level.
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas believes that it is crucial for students enrolled in its Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education program to supplement their classroom learning with hands-on learning in the field in order to excel in their studies. Students participate in multiple field experiences. The dual programming also prepares graduates to pursue a Kansas initial teaching license.
Old Dominion University
The Old Dominion University Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program is offered both in the traditional campus setting and online. The program prepares future educators with the knowledge, skills, abilities and values to become pre-service teachers and to make a meaningful impact on learning in the elementary-level classrooms of tomorrow. The primary focus is on the diverse needs of children in grades K-6, and includes influence on the performance of students and ethical aspects of teaching in elementary education. The program prepares graduates to meet licensing requirements.
Members of the military receive a generous tuition discount
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Students that choose to enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and complete all requirements will be eligible for the Alabama “Class B” professional teaching certificate in elementary education, Grades K-6. Students have a variety of opportunities while pursuing their degree, including research opportunities, the opportunity to participate in service learning, and the opportunity for field experiences.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is not just another school offering education programs. The school reports that six of the last nine Alabama Teachers of the Year are alumni of the school.
William Carey University
The William Carey University Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree program prepares students to graduate with K-6 licensure. Students complete 44 credit hours of liberal arts core courses before advancing to other university requirements and the elementary education courses.
Students have the opportunity to take additional coursework to complete endorsements, such as the mild and moderate disabilities K-12 endorsement, or the reading K-12 endorsement.
University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi has been educating elementary and special education teachers for more than 100 years. The university boasts that school districts across the State of Mississippi compete to hire their graduates, particularly graduates of the Elementary Education/Special Education Dual Degree Program.
Students in the program learn from engaging faculty, and from hands on experiences, scuh as the field-based practicums.
Weber State University
Weber State University offers some unique benefits to its bachelor’s degree in elementary education program that likely appeals to some students that want to have enhanced career opportunities as an educator. Students pursuing their elementary education degree at the university have the opportunity to earn an endorsement in a dual language immersion, in elementary education mathematics, or in English as a second language. Another additional benefit is that students have the opportunity to double major in elementary education and early childhood education, which allows graduates the flexibility to teach students from pre-K through the sixth grade. Students that choose this option will receive two licenses.
Students learn how to plan their classroom curriculum, use technology in the classroom, and demonstrate mastery in the specific subject matter.
The Mercer University Bachelor of Science in Education program with a major in Elementary/Special Education was designed for students that wish to be certified to teach elementary school children in grades PreK to 5th grade. Students that successfully complete all course requirements and assessments are eligible for ‘Level 4 induction’ certification.
Become a transformational educator as you learn to understand various curriculum models, learn best practices, and learn to integrate technology into the curriculum, while completing all program requirements.
University of South Carolina
The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program at the University of South Carolina is designed for individuals that look at teaching as a calling, and that have a passion to teach and meet the needs of children. Students first study core courses and engage in a variety of learning experiences, including coursework in reading assessment, literacy instruction, integrated curriculum, and classroom management. Other experiences include attending conferences, educational forums and experiences in multiple school environments including rural, urban, and suburban schools.
Northern Arizona University
Future teachers that pursue an Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science degree at Northern Arizona University learn best practices and gain the pedagogical knowledge and tools to stimulate learning in the classroom, and to demonstrate professional disposition required to teach in the elementary educational setting. Graduates also learn to address learner diversity and to build interpersonal relationships.
North Carolina State University
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree at North Carolina State University is unique among elementary education degrees because it focuses primarily on STEM. The rigorous approach of this program provides students with a sound literacy foundation, and core courses that integrates STEM subjects into other areas of the curriculum. Students participate in field experiences and students teaching, spending a large amount of time in the classroom.
New England College
New England College urges prospective students to ‘Answer your calling at New England College.’ The college offers the Education, K-8 Elementary Teacher Certification, B.A. degree. This bachelor’s degree in elementary education allows students to select one of four concentrations, with supervisor approval. The concentrations include English, mathematics, science, or social studies.
Future teachers learn through classroom study, learning research-based practices, hands-on experiences and collaboration with peers and practicing education professionals. Some students continue their education and earn a master’s degree at New England College.
We researched and ranked the top elementary education degree programs by selecting accredited programs, and then assigning a weighted score for the cost of tuition and the number of credit hours in the program. Please note that the tuition rate listed is for one credit hour of study and does not include other costs such as fees.
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