Hero Image 2020 Best Colleges For A Bachelor’s In Teaching Degree

2020 Best Colleges For A Bachelor’s In Teaching Degree

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Best Bachelor’s in Teaching

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What Are the Goals of a Bachelor’s Program in Teaching?

Earning a bachelor’s degree in teaching prepares students to obtain a K-12 teaching license. An education degree typically requires 120 credits, which most full-time students complete in four years. Curricula often include student teaching, a practicum, or an internship, during which students observe and assist a licensed educator in a classroom setting. Earning a bachelor’s in teaching can be ideal for individuals who enjoy working with children and explaining complicated concepts in easily digestible ways.

A degree in education often leads to a career as a K-12 educator. However, graduates can also pursue roles as guidance counselors, admissions counselors, instructional coordinators, librarians, and childcare directors. Some positions require additional education or experience.

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Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Bachelor’s programs in the field also prepare learners to pursue graduate studies in education-related areas. Many educational administration positions require at least a master’s degree. Doctorate-holders can become university professors, who often teach future educators and conduct research on learning and education.

FAQ

WHAT KIND OF DEGREE DO YOU NEED TO BE A TEACHER?Teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree and a state-issued license or certification. Teachers should also have an educational background in the subject area they intend to teach.
HOW CAN YOU SPECIALIZE A TEACHING DEGREE?Learners can pursue various types of teaching degrees, several of which focus on a specialized population. Students may specialize in an area such as early childhood education or elementary education.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE FOR TEACHING?Most bachelor’s programs in teaching require 120 credits and take four years to complete. Students with AP credits or transferable college credits may be able to graduate sooner.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TEACHING LICENSE AND A TEACHING CERTIFICATE?Educators must hold a state-issued teaching license to teach in public schools. Individuals receive teaching certificates from educational institutions after the completion of an academic program.

Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s in Teaching Degree for 2020

Accreditation for Teaching Programs

Accreditation serves as quality assurance for educational programming. The two main types of accreditation in the United States are regional accreditation and national accreditation. Regional accreditation requires institutions to meet more rigorous standards than national accreditation, which typically applies to vocational or professional programs. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in teaching should only consider accredited schools and programs.

Accrediting agencies evaluate schools and programs based on set criteria. In addition to institutional accreditation, learners can look for field-specific accreditation of individual programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation accredits teaching and education programs and provides a searchable database of nationally recognized programs.

2020 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s in Teaching Degree

The list below includes the top 10 bachelor’s in teaching programs in the United States, with information about each program’s curriculum, concentration options, tuition costs, and admission requirements. Prospective teaching students can use this ranking to select a program that fits their academic and career goals.

Teacher Education Programs Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we focused on four-year, public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer multiple bachelor’s degrees in teaching. To be eligible for consideration on this ranking, each school had to be actively conferring degrees to students in each of its teacher education programs (at least five per program in the past year). Because of our focus on affordability, we also limited consideration to schools with an average annual net price below $30,000. Lastly, we created a minimum threshold for quality by only researching colleges with retention and graduation rates greater than 50% and admission rates below 85%.

Ranking Factors

Once we had our initial list of contenders, we ranked all the eligible programs in six categories:

  • Teaching Program Popularity: How many students earned their bachelor’s degree in teaching last year, and what did that represent as a percentage of the total graduating class? (Weighted 30%)
  • Breadth/Activity of Teaching Degree Programs: How many total teacher education programs does the school offer, and what is the average number of students who graduated from each program last year? (Weighted 10%)
  • Acceptance Rate: What percentage of applicants does the school admit each year? (Weighted 10%)
  • Graduation Rate: What percentage of undergraduates earn their degree within 150% of the expected timeframe? (Weighted 15%)
  • Retention Rate: What percentage of freshmen return to the school for their sophomore year? (Weighted 15%)
  • Net Price: What is the average annual cost of attending the school after adding together the price of tuition, fees, and room/board then subtracting the average financial aid package awarded to undergrads? (Weighted 20%)

Next, we crunched the numbers, scaled the scores so that the top program earned the maximum possible points, and assigned each school a total point value out of 100. Scroll down to see our results: a ranking of the 50 best, most affordable colleges for teaching degrees in the U.S.

50 Best Colleges for Teaching Degrees

  1. Purdue University-Main Campus
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Among the top public colleges in Indiana, Purdue offers 17 bachelor's in teaching programs. Students can select from several majors offered through the College of Education as well as related degrees through other colleges. All programs lead to teaching licensure in Indiana.

    Purdue's College of Education offers majors in elementary education, social studies education, and special education, including an accelerated pathway in mild intervention P-12 that takes just three years to complete. Candidates can also select from several specialized teaching degrees, such as agricultural education, visual arts education, and Earth/space science education.

    Students with a bachelor's degree in another subject can undergo Purdue's transcript evaluation and credential assessment, which determines which requirements learners need to obtain teaching licensure.

  2. Heritage University
    Location

    Toppenish, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A small private college located in Toppenish, Washington, Heritage ranks among the best colleges for teaching in the state. The school offers two bachelor's in education programs: a bachelor's in elementary STEM education offered through HU Innovate and a bachelor's in early childhood studies.

    The bachelor's in elementary education with a STEM emphasis includes an English language learners endorsement. Classes occur in the evenings on campus or online, making the program ideal for working students. The program spans four semesters, with the final semester dedicated to student teaching.

    The early childhood studies program prepares students to work with young children in a variety of educational settings. Students can choose between on-campus and online classes. The program does not lead to teaching licensure.

  3. University of Washington-Seattle Campus
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Seattle, UW's bachelor's in education, communities, and organizations explores education as it relates to areas like healthcare, business, youth development, and public policy reform. The program trains students to use education principles and practices to help communities and community organizations achieve their goals.

    The 67-credit curriculum comprises three main sections: a 25-credit core, a 15-credit capstone/internship, and 25 credits of electives. The program core covers topics including educational equity and diversity, human development, and community-based research practices. In addition to coursework, students can use electives to partake in volunteer, service learning, and study abroad opportunities.

    During the capstone/internship requirement, students spend 15 hours per week working with community organizations in fields such as youth development, advocacy, and community development.

  4. Berea College
    Location

    Berea, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private liberal arts college based in Kentucky, Berea provides each student with a generous Tuition Promise Scholarship that covers all tuition expenses for undergraduate education. The school offers a bachelor of arts in education studies with certification options in elementary education, middle grades mathematics, and middle grades sciences.

    Students can also pursue secondary education teacher certification in subjects including biology, chemistry, English, math, and social studies. Additionally, the school offers certifications in P-12 vocal and instrumental music and P-12 physical education and health. All certification candidates must complete an extensive student teaching experience during the program's final semester.

    All program tracks emphasize key competencies, including the implementation of developmentally appropriate learning experiences, continuous professional improvement, and ethical behavior.

  5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    U of I offers one of the state's top bachelor's in teaching programs. The school's bachelor of science in elementary education prepares students to teach grades 1-6, meeting all requirements for licensure in Illinois.

    The 70-credit program includes general education theory courses and content area courses. Theory courses cover topics such as identity and difference in education, educational psychology, and language varieties/cultures and learning. Content courses cover topics in social studies, math, science, and reading.

    Students also complete multiple field experiences, including a four-credit observation course during the first and second year of the program. Later in the program, students complete a 12-credit student teaching experience, which meets state licensure requirements.

  6. University of California-Irvine
    Location

    Irvine, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Ranked among the best colleges for teaching in California, UCI offers a bachelor of arts in education sciences that explores the role of education inside and outside of the classroom. The program centers on five core concepts: social structures and stratification, human development, learning, policymaking in education, and schools as organizations.

    Degree candidates complete at least one course focusing on each of the five core concepts, along with four foundational education courses and five upper-division education electives. Students must also complete at least 40 hours of fieldwork or research in an educational setting.

    UCI also hosts the CalTeach program, which focuses on K-12 STEM education. The program allows students to complete their bachelor's degree and earn a California teaching credential in four years of full-time study.

  7. University of Michigan-Dearborn
    Location

    Dearborn, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located about 12 miles from downtown Detroit, UM-Dearborn offers a bachelor of arts in educational studies that explores education outside of classroom teaching. The program emphasizes educational systems and student development, learning, and assessment, preparing graduates for positions with organizations that work with K-12 students in and out of schools.

    The curriculum focuses on three key areas: learners and learning, pedagogy, and educational systems. The 39-credit major includes courses such as constructivist education, cognitive/memory development in children, multiculturalism in schools and society, and teaching English as a second language.

    All candidates also complete a three-credit capstone course that requires them to identify, research, and describe a major education-related issue through a research paper.

  8. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Among Michigan's best colleges for teaching, MSU offers a bachelor of arts in education that emphasizes elementary education and prepares students to teach subject areas in grades 6-8.

    Candidates choose from four majors: integrated science, language arts, mathematics, and social studies. Regardless of their major, all students complete a foundational planned program that includes courses in all major subjects as well as arts and kinesiology.

    MSU partners with a variety of educational institutions, allowing students to complete internships and student teaching experiences in classroom settings around Lansing, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. The school also maintains connections to several schools in the Chicago area.

  9. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A major public research college based in Stillwater, OSU offers a bachelor of science in elementary education that features several opportunities for experiential learning and student teaching. Education majors can also choose from several related minors, including coaching science, creativity studies, learning and motivation, pre-counseling, and special education.

    Students build hands-on experience through work with OSU's Reading and Mathematics Center, tutoring and devising learning plans for K-8 students. OSU also allows students to teach abroad during an optional 15-week international internship in Costa Rica or Mexico.

    OSU participates in the Excellence in Collaborative and Experiential Learning (ExCEL) Program, which enables education majors to gain professional experience through work with the Stillwater Public Schools system. Pairing students with expert teachers, ExCEL participants spend three full days each week student teaching in Stillwater classrooms.

  10. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Home to one of North Carolina's top teaching degrees, NCSU offers a bachelor of science in elementary education that emphasizes STEM education. The program prepares graduates for initial teaching licensure for grades K-6. Starting junior year, the program uses a cohort format that encourages student collaboration.

    Candidates complete courses covering major topics in literacy foundations, social studies, engineering, diversity, and special education. The program also includes a 27-credit STEM specialization that features courses like calculus for elementary teachers, design thinking, and conceptual physics for elementary teachers.

    Education majors begin field placements during their sophomore year. During senior year, all students participate in a year-long teaching placement that builds professional experience and applies program learning to real-life education practice.

  11. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Boca Raton, FAU also hosts satellite campuses throughout Florida. The school offers two teaching degrees: a bachelor's in exceptional student education and a bachelor's in early care and education.

    The exceptional student education program trains teachers to instruct students with learning and behavioral challenges. The curriculum prepares graduates for Florida teaching certification in exceptional student education, which includes an endorsement in teaching English as a second language. The program is available at FAU's main campus in Boca Raton as well as its Davie and Jupiter campuses.

    The early care and education degree trains teachers to work with students from birth to age five, typically in fields such as childcare and children's services. While the curriculum does not fulfill Florida teaching certification requirements, graduates can pursue alternative teacher certification. The early care and education program is available at FAU's Boca Raton and Davie campuses.

  12. University of Maryland-College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Maryland's flagship public research college, UMD ranks among the best colleges for teaching in the state. The school's bachelor of science in elementary education prepares teachers to instruct diverse groups of students, assess student learning, and work with families and communities to ensure optimal learning outcomes.

    Candidates complete 120-122 credits, including major courses like principals and methods of teaching in elementary schools, fine arts integration in elementary classrooms, and culturally responsive language and literacy. The fourth year of the program includes a year-long internship that builds experience in an approved educational environment.

    Applicants need at least 45 completed credits of undergraduate coursework with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants must also demonstrate work experience with elementary age children and submit a statement of intent and three letters of recommendation.

  13. Washington State University
    Location

    Pullman, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A major public college based in eastern Washington, WSU offers a bachelor of arts in education that leads to teaching certification with an endorsement in elementary (K-8) education. Students can also pursue three additional endorsements in English language learning, middle-level mathematics, and special education.

    Candidates complete 75-93 major credits depending on their endorsements. Students typically begin the program in the summer, completing introductory courses such as learning and development and teaching in inclusive classrooms.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and a qualifying score on either the WEST-B exam, SAT, or ACT. Applicants also need at least 80 hours of supervised experience working with K-12 students.

  14. Ohio Northern University
    Location

    Ada, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    ONU's bachelor's in teaching emphasizes experiential learning, preparing students to teach at all levels in K-12 schools. This program boasts a 100% pass rate on content licensure exams among graduates, and 100% of recent education majors report obtaining full-time teaching jobs within six months of graduating.

    ONU offers a variety of content area majors, including mathematics, social studies, art education, career tech, and engineering education. The program fulfills the educational requirements for adolescent/young adult (7-12) and multi-age (PK-12) teaching licensure.

    All candidates spend at least one full semester teaching under the supervision of an experienced educator. Candidates seeking multi-age licensure teach two different grade levels. The student teaching experience applies education theory to professional practice, encompassing lesson planning, classroom management, and parent meetings.

  15. Vanderbilt University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the South's most prestigious private colleges, Nashville-based Vanderbilt offers a bachelor of science in education with majors in early childhood education, elementary education, and secondary education. The program combines liberal arts and professional education with an emphasis on experiential learning.

    Graduates can pursue early childhood (PK-4), elementary (K-6), or secondary education (7-12) licensure. Secondary education candidates can also choose a content area endorsement in areas like English, math, biology, history, and political science. Regardless of their program track, all students must choose a relevant minor to meet licensure requirements.

    Candidates complete field experiences throughout the course of the program, observing and participating in classrooms under close teacher supervision. Vanderbilt also hosts a variety of study abroad opportunities that allow students to explore global perspectives on education.

  16. Southern Nazarene University
    Location

    Bethany, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Christian liberal arts college located just outside of Oklahoma City, SNU offers a bachelor's in elementary education that emphasizes fieldwork and the integration of technology. Degree candidates benefit from strong faculty relationships, receiving individualized mentorships from professors who advise students throughout the course of their education.

    The program focuses on experiential education, which begins with a freshman year practicum. Students also instruct two Junior Achievement units in two different urban schools. Additionally, the school's tutoring program for elementary-age students provides learners with curriculum and classroom training.

    SNU also partners with School for Children, Oklahoma's only accredited private laboratory school. This unique relationship enables education students to observe experienced teachers in a variety of classroom settings, with multiple fieldwork opportunities available throughout the program.

  17. Hamline University
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the best colleges for teaching in the Midwest, HU offers a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in liberal arts program with a co-major in education. Students major in a liberal arts field of their choice while completing an education curriculum that prepares them for Minnesota teaching licensure.

    All candidates complete a comprehensive program core that explores major education issues, theories, and practices before deciding between an elementary (K-6) or secondary (5-12) emphasis. Prior to student teaching, all candidates must complete at least 100 hours of classroom field experience.

    HU's relationship with Hancock Elementary School provides students with mentoring, tutoring, and student teaching opportunities. Candidates can also complete student teaching requirements abroad through the school's Overseas Student Teaching program.

  18. University of Oregon
    Location

    Eugene, OR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of Oregon's major public colleges, UO offers a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in educational foundations, both of which explore the social, political, and cultural functions of teaching and learning. Students enter the program during their junior year, typically completing the major curriculum in two years.

    The programs cover five thematic areas: learning, teaching, and assessment; curriculum theory; equal opportunity; literacy; and technology. Bachelor of arts candidates must complete at least two years of courses in a world language, while bachelor of science candidates complete three elementary mathematics courses.

    The bachelor's in teaching programs commonly serve as pre-professional programs, preparing students to enter master's in teaching programs or other relevant graduate programs. For candidates interested in moving directly into teaching, the school offers a certificate in education foundations: secondary, which prepares graduates for middle and high school teaching positions. The certificate curriculum runs parallel to the educational foundations program.

  19. Brown University
    Location

    Providence, RI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An Ivy League college based in Providence, Brown hosts one of the country's top bachelor's in teaching programs. Undergraduates can pursue an education studies concentration that explores issues of opportunity and social equity in educational settings.

    Candidates complete 10 education courses, including three core courses, three electives, and three courses in a specialization. Students can pursue specializations in areas like education policy analysis, child development, and education for social justice. Students can also complete up to three courses outside of the education department.

    All education majors complete an experiential component that ties classroom learning to real-life education experience. While the experience may take the form of student teaching, Brown gives students the freedom to work in a variety of education-related environments, such as community service organizations and education agencies.

  20. Barry University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Ranked among the best colleges for teaching in Florida, Miami-based Barry offers a bachelor of science in education with tracks in early childhood, elementary, and special education. Students can also earn endorsements in reading and teaching English to speakers of other languages. The program prepares graduates for Florida teaching licensure.

    The curriculum centers on four core themes: social justice, professional development, critical thinking and problem-solving, and social/political/community contexts. Along with general education and track-specific courses, candidates can choose a content minor in math, science, social science, or literature.

    Barry's location in Miami-Dade county, one of the country's largest school districts, offers many experiential learning opportunities. All students complete multiple field experiences, observing skilled teachers in diverse classroom environments. During their senior year, candidates complete a year-long student teaching internship under a certified Florida teacher.

  21. University of Washington-Bothell Campus
    Location

    Bothell, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located about 20 miles northeast of downtown Seattle, UW Bothell hosts a bachelor of arts in education studies with an elementary education option. Offering concentrations in teaching English to speakers of other languages and special education, the program also prepares graduates for Washington teacher certification.

    Candidates complete 180 quarter credits, including 20 educational studies credits; 26 foundation credits; and 54 credits dedicated to teaching methods, student teaching, and additional endorsements.

    For students with a bachelor's degree in an area other than teaching, UW Bothell offers alternative teacher certification pathways for elementary education and secondary education. These post-baccalaureate certification programs prepare candidates for Washington teacher certification with the fewest courses possible, typically taking just one year to complete.

  22. Delaware State University
    Location

    Dover, DE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Integrating the latest theories in child development, learning, and assessment strategies, DSU's bachelor of science in elementary education (K-6) emphasizes multicultural/multiethnic classrooms and literacy. This Dover-based public school ranks among the best colleges for teaching in Delaware.

    The curriculum builds skills and knowledge in academic instruction, classroom management, lesson planning, and literacy development. Candidates complete 121 credits, including courses like behavioral analysis and modification, diagnostic assessment and IEP development, and instructional technology. Students also study specific content areas, including language arts, social studies, and physical sciences.

    All students complete several experiential learning components, starting with a 20-hour early field experience during their sophomore year. The program concludes with a year-long student teaching experience.

  23. Avila University
    Location

    Kansas City, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private, Catholic college based in Kansas City, Missouri, AU hosts a variety of bachelor's in teaching programs available in both general education and specialized content areas. The school offers several benefits for education majors, including tuition protection, an internship or research guarantee, and a travel reward worth up to $1,000.

    Students can choose from several education tracks, with two general options available: elementary education (grades 1-6) and middle school education (grades 5-9). Content-specific tracks include art education, physical education, business education, and chemistry education. AU also offers a minor in secondary education (grades 9-12).

    Graduates qualify for Missouri teacher certification, and many graduates also apply for Kansas teacher certification to increase their professional marketability.

  24. Colby College
    Location

    Waterville, ME

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Colby offers a bachelor's in educational studies from its campus in Waterville, Maine. Emphasizing theoretical foundations, professional practice, and education research, the program also highlights the role of social justice in education, including the impact of societal norms and institutional power.

    The education major comprises 10 courses, including four core education courses, four education electives, and two approved courses from other academic departments. All candidates also complete at least one education practicum or internship.

    Candidates seeking Maine teacher certification can complete a professional certification minor during the program. The certification minor prepares graduates to obtain secondary school teaching licensure (grades 7-12) in English, social studies, physical science, life science, or mathematics. Candidates can also obtain K-12 licensure for world languages, including Spanish, French, and German.

  25. University of Missouri-Columbia
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Offering more than a dozen bachelor's in teaching programs, Mizzou ranks among the top colleges for teachers in Missouri. The school trains teachers at all levels of K-12 instruction, with both generalized and content-specific tracks available. All of Mizzou's teaching degrees lead to Missouri state teaching licensure.

    Candidates can choose from general teaching tracks, including early childhood education, elementary education, and special education. Mizzou also offers middle grades (5-9) content area specializations in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. High school level (9-12) content specializations include biology, Earth science, physics, language arts, and agricultural education.

    Education majors can take advantage of Mizzou's Teach Abroad program, which explores cross-cultural educational perspectives through student teaching internships overseas. Students often travel to countries such as India, Italy, Rwanda, Thailand, and Uganda. Teach abroad experiences typically last 4-6 weeks.

  26. Colgate University
    Location

    Hamilton, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A top liberal arts college based in Hamilton, New York, Colgate offers a bachelor's in educational studies that examines the intersection of knowledge, power, and identity in educational and cultural contexts.

    Students complete nine education courses, including American schools and introduction to research methods in education. Students must also complete one course to fulfill Colgate's pedagogy and praxis designation, with options including democracy and education, psychological perspectives in education, and the teaching of reading. Students select remaining courses in consultation with an advisor.

    Students can pursue childhood or secondary teacher certification as part of the undergraduate curriculum. Childhood certification prepares graduates to teach grades 1-6, while the secondary teacher certification prepares graduates to teach subjects including English, history, chemistry, biology, and physics.

  27. Westminster College
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Salt Lake City, Westminster is a private liberal arts college that offers one of the top teaching degrees in Utah. The school's bachelor of arts in educational studies trains students to pursue education careers in areas such as public policy and education research. All students work one-on-one with a faculty advisor who helps them design a degree plan aligned with their interests and goals.

    The education major comprises 56 credits, including seven foundation credits, 37 elective credits, and a 12-credit thesis or project. The foundation section covers key topics in either K-12 or adult education. Electives allow students to explore specialized topics of interest, such as outdoor education, teaching English as a second language, and educational administration.

    All candidates complete a four-credit senior thesis or project along with eight credits of supplementary research courses. Students can also fulfill the requirement with a professional internship.

  28. Oregon State University
    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of Oregon's major public colleges, OSU offers a bachelor of arts/bachelor of science in education program that enables candidates to earn two degrees concurrently: one in education and one in their chosen content area. The program uses a cohort model, which fosters a supportive learning community of pre-service teachers.

    Candidates complete a general education track in elementary (K-8) or secondary (6-12) education. Both pathways include courses such as alternative assessment and supporting different environments. Students also take classes in a content area such as language arts, social studies, math, sciences, or health.

    All students complete a four-week practicum, a part-time student teaching experience, and a full-time student teaching experience. The full-time experience occurs as part of OSU's e-campus, enabling students to complete other coursework online while concentrating on teaching.

  29. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the Midwest's best colleges for teaching, UWM offers a bachelor of science in elementary education that prepares teachers to instruct grades 1-8. Students can choose from content concentrations in English, math, science, social studies, and ESL. Offering flexibility for working students, the program features evening courses and full-time and part-time enrollment options.

    Candidates complete 12 credits of elementary education courses, including cultural foundations of education, introduction to learning and development, and art and visual learning in elementary school. The degree also includes courses in art, English, humanities mathematics, and natural sciences. The program leads to a Wisconsin state teaching endorsement for grades 1-8.

    Full-time students can complete the degree in eight semesters plus one summer session. For candidates interested in pursuing advanced education, the program also seamlessly segues into UWM's master of science in curriculum and instruction. The school's Career Planning and Resource Center offers assistance with finding work after graduation.

  30. University of Arkansas
    Location

    Fayetteville, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A flagship public college based in Fayetteville, UA hosts one of Arkansas' most respected teaching degrees. The school's bachelor of science in educational studies integrates educational theories, research, and professional practice, preparing students for a variety of education careers both inside and outside of the classroom.

    The 120-credit program includes 45 credits of educational base courses and nine credits of experiential courses. The experiential component includes three sections: a formal classroom internship, an informal based or outdoor education internship, and a final internship/capstone.

    While UA's education degree does not lead directly to Arkansas teaching licensure, the program prepares graduates to work in a variety of educational settings, such as nonprofit organizations, community agencies, and private sector businesses. Candidates who wish to pursue classroom teaching can complete additional training through UA that prepares candidates for state licensure.

  31. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Nebraska-based BU offers a unique bachelor of science in adult education that trains students to instruct adult learners in environments such as technical and vocational colleges, community-based education centers, and business training and development programs. The program offers on-campus and online enrollment options to accomodate students of all types.

    The curriculum comprises 40 major credits, covering topics such as adult learning theory, electronic instructional methods and delivery, learning styles fundamentals, and instructional design strategies. All BU students must also complete the nine-credit Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which highlights American values, traditions, and civics.

    Many students enter the program as juniors, having completed lower-division credits at another institution such as a community college. However, students can also complete lower-division credits at BU. Transfer students must submit undergraduate transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students must complete at least 30 credits at BU to graduate.

  32. Colorado Mountain College
    Location

    Glenwood Springs, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public college based in Glenwood Springs, CMC offers an innovative bachelor of arts in education that emphasizes hands-on classroom training and culturally and linguistically diverse education. CMC boasts some of the lowest tuition rates in the state, with notably reduced in-district rates for students who live in the community.

    Learners complete student teaching experiences during all four years of the program, building foundational classroom skills alongside theoretical knowledge. Candidates work in elementary classrooms with experienced teachers, learning strategies to instruct diverse students from various backgrounds.

    CMC emphasizes cultural and linguistically diverse education, training teachers to meet the educational and social needs of students who may speak a native language other than English or be unfamiliar with many classroom instruction methods. Graduates receive recommendations for a cultural and linguistic diversity endorsement.

  33. Florida Gulf Coast University
    Location

    Fort Meyers, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Fort Myers, FGCU offers one of the top teaching degrees in Florida. The school's bachelor of arts in elementary education trains graduates to teach in K-6 schools, leading to Florida teaching certification and endorsements in reading and teaching English to speakers of other languages.

    Students complete 54 major credits, covering key topics such as child growth and development, math content and processes, secondary language acquisition, and literacy content and processes. Candidates also complete one education elective, choosing from options like play development and assessment, cognitive exploration for young children, and children's literature.

    All candidates must also complete an integrated field experience and an internship in elementary education. Both experiences integrate academic theory with professional practice, enabling students to develop their teaching skills in classrooms throughout FGCU's five-county service area.

  34. Central Washington University
    Location

    Ellensburg, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Offered through CWU's Department of Education, Development, Teaching and Learning, the bachelor's in elementary education concentrates on K-8 education, highlighting the needs of diverse learners and concepts of whole child development. The program prepares graduates to obtain a Washington teaching certificate with initial endorsement in elementary education.

    CWU's teaching degree focuses on classroom management, instruction, and assessment strategies. The program also emphasizes experiential learning, requiring seven quarters of student teaching experiences.

    The education department offers seven endorsements that pair with the elementary education curriculum, including bilingual education, highly capable learners (gifted education), middle level humanities, special education, and teaching English as a second language.

  35. Lindenwood University
    Location

    Saint Charles, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the best colleges for teaching in Missouri, Linedenwood's education program focuses on the intersection of teaching philosophies and instructional methods. Based in St. Charles, this private liberal arts college offers a bachelor of arts in elementary education that leads to a Missouri state teaching certificate, qualifying graduates to teach grades 1-6.

    The education degree comprises 65-67 general elementary education credits, 21 content area credits, and 26-27 credits of additional coursework. Course topics include elementary reading methods, psychology of teaching and learning, and education of the exceptional child. All candidates also complete a 12-credit student teaching experience.

    Lindenwood allows students to complete three courses each semester with only one weekly campus visit required. This condensed format allows candidates to expedite graduation and enter the workforce quickly.

  36. University of Idaho
    Location

    Moscow, ID

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students have pursued teacher training at the University of Idaho since 1920. Today, the U of I maintains those roots by offering bachelor's in teaching programs in agricultural education, elementary education, music education, and physical education in addition to secondary education and career and technical education. Each requiring 128 credits, these programs allow learners to choose between several 30-credit and 45-credit teaching majors and 20-credit teaching minors. Most programs require internships.

    Applicants need a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or a GED for admission. Transfer students may receive credit for previous coursework completed with a 2.0 GPA. Graduates may qualify for professional teaching licensure.

    The U of I's teaching degree is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

  37. Viterbo University
    Location

    La Crosse, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1890, Viterbo University began as a teacher training school. That tradition continues today, as Viterbo offers bachelor's in teaching programs in elementary and middle school education, secondary education, and pre-kindergarten through adolescence. Within each of these programs, learners can choose from a variety of majors, which allows them to specialize their teacher training. Each of these 120-credit Viterbo programs requires a 100-hour internship.

    Applicants need a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or the GED equivalent. They must also submit ACT or SAT scores. For admission into the teaching program, applicants need 40 undergraduate credits with a 3.0 GPA and 20 field experience hours.

    Viterbo's teaching degrees are accredited by the Council of Accreditation for Educator Preparation.

  38. Mount Saint Joseph University
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Since its founding in 1920, Mount St. Joseph University has trained community-oriented leaders. Central to that mission, the education department at MSJ allows learners to pursue a bachelor's in teaching in early childhood education, educational studies, middle childhood education, secondary education, and special education. Upon graduation, learners may qualify for teaching licensure.

    Credit requirements vary by program, but most majors require approximately 53 core credits, plus a minimum of 44 specialization credits. Students can customize their training to ensure they meet required licensure requirements. For admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED, along with ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants receive credit on a case-by-case basis. Most of MSJ's teaching degrees include an internship to build practical experience.

  39. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1912, the University of Colorado Denver now serves more than 14,000 students. CU Denver has offered teacher training since 1973. Aspiring teachers can pursue three bachelor's in teaching degrees at CU Denver: special education, education and human development, and human development and family relations. Each program requires 120-126 credits.

    Learners may qualify for licenses and endorsements after graduation, and CU Denver also offers non-licensure paths. In addition to customized training, learners can choose internships that help carve a professional path. For program admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED, plus ACT or SAT scores. Some specializations may feature additional prerequisites for admission. Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer, and students can complete their degree in four years.

  40. McKendree University
    Location

    Lebanon, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1828, McKendree University is the oldest college in Illinois. MCK students can pursue a bachelor's in teaching in elementary education, middle school education, secondary education, and K-12 education in addition to special education and educational studies. Many programs lead to licensure, but the school also offers non-licensure pathways. MCK also offers professional endorsements in special education, reading, and middle school teaching.

    For general admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED. They also need to submit ACT or SAT scores. For admission into the teacher education programs, applicants typically need a 2.75 GPA in all general education courses. Transfer applicants may receive additional credit for previous teacher training.

  41. University of Tulsa
    Location

    Tulsa, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1894, the University of Tulsa enrolls nearly 4,500 students and offers more than 60 undergraduate programs. Learners can earn a bachelor's in teaching at TU in education, deaf education, and elementary education. Learners can also earn a BA or a BS in education. In addition to general education credits, students complete 31 credits of professional education courses and 40 credits in their area of expertise.

    TU's programs typically start in the fall, and classes run throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Students pursuing K-12 certification may need to complete additional prerequisites prior to graduation. For admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED, along with ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants may qualify for transfer credits for previous teacher training.

    TU's teaching degrees are accredited by the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability.

  42. Elmhurst College
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Teacher training at Elmhurst College began in 1871, more than 50 years before the school even took on its current name. Now, students at EC can pursue a bachelor's in teaching in four areas: educating young children, elementary teacher education, secondary education, and special education. Upon graduation, students may qualify for professional endorsement or to sit for a licensure exam.

    EC's teacher programs begin in the fall and run through the fall and spring. Each program features three components: integrated curriculum courses, professional courses, and specializations courses. Learners also complete a 100-hour internship. For admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED.

  43. Grand Valley State University
    Location

    Allendale, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1958, Grand Valley State University now enrolls more than 24,000 students across more than 300 programs. GVSU's students can complete bachelor's in teaching programs in elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Each program varies in requirements, but most require students to complete general education components and a 39-credit major.

    Classes run throughout the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Most programs include an internship. For admission, applicants typically need to have already completed most of their general education credits with a minimum 2.7 GPA.

    GVSU's teaching degrees are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

  44. MidAmerica Nazarene University
    Location

    Olathe, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    MidAmerica Nazarene University offers more than 35 undergraduate programs, including an accelerated BA in elementary education. In addition to general education requirements, MNU's teaching program includes courses in special education, core concepts in health, and classroom management. Students also complete a practicum and an internship.

    MNU's education programs require 63-66 credits. Most students complete the bachelor's in teaching in 18 months, taking flexible online classes for the first 12 months. For admission, applicants need an associate degree or at least 60 undergraduate credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

    The teaching degree is accredited by the Kansas State Board of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

  45. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
    Location

    Green Bay, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Offering 48 majors and enrolling more than 8,000 students, the University of Wisconsin Green Bay was founded in 1965. At UW-Green Bay, learners can pursue a bachelor's in teaching in early childhood, early childhood through middle childhood, middle childhood through early adolescence, early adolescence through adolescence, and early childhood through adolescence.

    Students can start in the fall and spring, and courses typically run full-time throughout those semesters. Some classes, however, may run during the evening and in the summer. Most programs include an internship or practicum. For general admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED. They must also submit ACT or SAT scores. For program admission, applicants need at least 28 completed undergraduate credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

  46. The University of Texas at El Paso
    Location

    El Paso, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established in 1914, the University of Texas at El Paso is the second-oldest school in the University of Texas System. UTEP offers more than 70 programs for undergraduates, including several programs for aspiring teachers. Students can earn a bachelor's in teaching in applied learning and development and secondary education. Each of these programs features multiple licensure focus areas, which enable students to create teaching specializations. Graduates may qualify to sit for a teaching licensure exam.

    To complete the degree, students need to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, plus a 2.5 GPA in teaching courses and a 2.75 GPA in professional education courses. All UTEP applicants need a high school diploma or a GED, along with ACT or SAT scores. For program admission, prospective students need to complete 60 undergraduate credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in core courses and a 2.75 GPA in education preparation courses.

  47. Southwest Minnesota State University
    Location

    Marshall, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1963, Southwest Minnesota State University offers students bachelor's in teaching programs in early childhood education, special education, elementary education, and secondary education in addition to K-12 education, and educational studies. SMSU also offers an optional endorsement in pre-primary education and grades 5-8, along with non-licensure minors and certifications.

    Programs at SMSU begin in the fall and run through the fall, spring, and summer sessions. Each program includes a practicum or internship. For admission, applicants need a high school diploma or a GED, plus ACT or SAT scores. Some programs require applicants to complete the junior portion of a bachelor's degree prior to entry.

    SMSU's teaching programs are approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.

  48. Salem State University
    Location

    Salem, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Salem State University began as a teacher training facility in 1854. Salem State stays true to its roots by offering bachelor's in teaching programs in educational studies and early education and care. The university also offers combined bachelor's and master's programs in early childhood, elementary, middle/high school, and physical education. Some programs may lead to licensure after graduation, but students may need to complete additional training to qualify.

    During Salem State's 120-credit teaching degrees, learners complete courses in core competencies, general education, electives, and the major. Both majors include courses in planning and evaluation training. Both programs also include a practicum. Applicants need a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or the GED equivalent. Prospective students who do not meet this threshold may submit ACT or SAT scores.

    Salem State's teaching degrees are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

  49. Jacksonville University
    Location

    Jacksonville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    JU offers bachelor's in teaching programs in education instruction and secondary education. JU also offers a combined bachelor's and master's program in elementary education, plus several non-degree certification programs. Programs begin in the fall, and courses run in the fall and spring. Learners typically complete their degrees in four years.

    Both of JU's 120-credit teaching degrees include core courses, electives, and major courses, along with a practicum or field experience. Applicants need a high school diploma or a GED. Applicants may submit ACT or SAT scores if they wish.

    JU's teaching degrees are approved by the Florida Department of Education.

  50. Mount Mary University
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mount Mary University has prepared women for careers as teachers since 1913. Today, MMU offers a bachelor's in teaching with several pathways, including early childhood through middle childhood, middle childhood through early adolescence, and early adolescence through adolescence. In the adolescence pathway, learners also choose a content area specialization from nine subjects.

    Many of MMU's teaching programs include an internship or practicum during the final semester. All applicants need a high school diploma or a GED. For admission into an education program, applicants need at least 40 undergraduate credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5. After learners complete their degrees, they may qualify to sit for licensure exams.

    MMU's teaching degrees are approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Career and Salary Outlook for Teaching Graduates

An educator’s earning potential depends on factors including geographic location, experience, and job title. Overall, K-12 teachers benefit from a stable income and projected job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachersearned a median annual salary of $61,660 in 2019, and the BLS projects high school teaching positions to increase 4% from 2018 to 2028. The BLS reports that kindergarten and elementary teachers earned a median annual salary of $59,420 in 2019 and middle school teachers earned a median salary of $59,660.

The BLS projects a 3% job growth for both elementary and middle school teachers from 2018 to 2028. Salary potential often corresponds with the area’s cost of living. According to data from the BLS, teachers in New York, California, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and Connecticut earn the highest annual mean salaries.

Additionally, teachers at private schools often earn higher salaries than educators at public schools. Experience also impacts earning potential. According to PayScale data, entry-level teachers with less than one year of experience earn an average annual salary of $44,151, while educators with 10-19 years of experience earn an average salary of $53,587 per year. Individuals with a bachelor’s in teaching can also pursue roles outside of K-12 education. Graduates may work in childcare facilities or as curriculum specialists or private tutors.

BOTTOM 10%MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARYTOP 10%
Less than $39,020$59,670More than $97,900

Source: BLS

BOTTOM 10%MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARYTOP 10%
Less than $40,540$61,660More than $99,660

Source: BLS

Certifications and Licensure for Teachers

Public school teachers must hold licensure and may need a teaching certification. Licensure and certification requirements vary by state. However, most states require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree in education or a related discipline, have completed a certain number of student teaching hours, and have passed a licensing exam such as the Praxis. Educators in some specialities need a master’s degree.

Many states maintain reciprocity agreements, which allow licensed teachers to easily obtain credentials in another participating state. However, some transfer agreements only offer a provisional license and require teachers to obtain licensure in the new state within a set time period.

In addition to earning licensure, teachers can obtain certification to teach a certain subject or work with a specific population. Common certifications include early childhood, elementary, middle grades, and special education. The requirements for obtaining these credentials also vary by state but may overlap with licensing requirements.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CERTIFICATION

An early childhood education certification qualifies teachers to work with young children from birth through third grade. Professionals often teach in childcare centers and public schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATION

A special education certification prepares teachers to work with children who have special needs or disabilities. The educators typically teach students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

MIDDLE GRADES CERTIFICATION

A middle grades certification qualifies teachers to work with students from grades five through nine. Generalists and teachers who specialize in a subject can pursue this certification.

Courses in Teaching Programs

A bachelor’s degree in teaching typically requires 120 credits and takes four years to complete. Learners develop the skills necessary to design courses, teach specific subjects, work with a particular population, and assess and evaluate students. Curricula often include student teaching experiences or opportunities to work as a teaching assistant. During experiential components, learners gain practical teaching skills while assisting a licensed educator.

Each program features unique courses, concentrations, and practicum or student teaching requirements. Prospective students should select a program that aligns with their career aspirations. For instance, learners who want to work with students who have disabilities can consider programs with a concentration in special education. Below are a few courses common to many bachelor’s programs in teaching.

Classroom Management

This course teaches students how to manage classrooms effectively. Students learn about student behavior, classroom preparation, and disciplinary procedures and models. Learners explore theories and best practices behind establishing classroom expectations and fostering productive learning environments.

Assessment of Children

This introductory course explores assessment strategies used to evaluate and improve student learning, particularly in young children. Coursework covers assessment practices, developmental screenings, and standardized tests. Learners may also prepare to assess students with special needs and those from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Literacy Instruction

This class provides an overview of basic instructional techniques, language acquisition and development, learning theory, and approaches to literacy instruction. Students explore topics including language acquisition in the classroom, vocabulary development, writing development, and classroom management for literacy instruction. Learners also prepare to teach reading, language, and culture in the classroom.

Science Curriculum

This course helps students develop teaching and classroom leadership skills. Coursework covers the latest research, theories, and practices in science instruction. Students develop an understanding of barriers to learning and prepare to address such barriers. Students learn how to promote scientific reasoning and motivate students to learn the subject matter.

Teaching English as a Second Language

This course provides an overview of teaching English as a second language (ESL). Learners study the basic principles of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. This course includes a historical survey of the ESL teaching discipline, and students explore instructional materials and strategies for encouraging language learning among ESL students. Students gain an understanding of theories related to language learning and acquisition and prepare to apply those theories in classroom settings.

Specializations in Teaching

Education students often specialize in teaching a specific student population or subject matter. Prospective teachers can begin to specialize as early as their bachelor’s studies. Some institutions offer separate education majors, each focused on a specific area. Common specializations for teaching students include elementary education, biology education, special education, English education, and social studies education. Other schools allow learners to minor in a teaching subject or student population. In addition to coursework, students pursuing a specialization must typically complete student teaching in their focus area.

Learners in teaching bachelor’s programs often choose from specializations including early childhood education, middle school core subjects, language arts education, mathematics education, and bicultural-bilingual studies.

Scholarships for Teaching Students

Many organizations offer scholarships for students pursuing a bachelor’s in teaching. Some scholarships are reserved for learners who are part of certain populations, such as minority students or first-generation college students. Other scholarships are based on financial need or academic merit. Below are a few scholarships available to learners pursuing a teaching degree.BRIGHT FUTURES SCHOLARSHIPWho Can Apply: This scholarship supports students enrolled part time or full time in an early childhood education program. Applicants must be attending an accredited U.S. institution and must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and experience working with children age six or younger.
Amount: $200-$500
GATES MILLENNIUM SCHOLARS PROGRAMWho Can Apply: African American, Indian American, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in any discipline.
Amount: $12,785
FUTURE JOURNALISM TEACHER SCHOLARSHIPSWho Can Apply: These scholarships support education students who intend to teach scholastic journalism. Candidates must be either an undergraduate junior or senior or a master’s student in a teaching program that prepares them to teach at the secondary level.
Amount: $1,000
EDWARD G. AND HELEN A. BORGEN ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY TEACHER SCHOLARSHIPSWho Can Apply: Candidates must be at least 25 years old and must be at least a college sophomore. Applicants must be studying to teach at the elementary or secondary level and must have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Amount: $1,500
MINORITY TEACHERS OF ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIPSWho Can Apply: Candidates must be minority students and residents of Illinois. Learners must be enrolled in or accepted to a program that prepares students to teach preschool, elementary, or secondary school in Illinois.
Amount: Up to $5,000 per year

Financial Aid for Teaching Students

Teaching students can apply for funding options including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Students should complete the FAFSA form to determine which types of federal aid they are eligible to receive. Teaching students may qualify for subsidized or unsubsidized loans. For subsidized loans, the Education Department pays interest on the loan while students are enrolled at least part time. Unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest immediately, with students bearing the entire responsibility for paying interest.

Teaching students can also apply for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant. The TEACH grant awards up to $4,000 per year to students who plan to teach in a high-need subject or a low-income area. Candidates must be enrolled in a TEACH-eligible program, and recipients must maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA throughout their studies.

Tuition

Tuition costs and structures vary by institution. Many schools charge higher tuition rates for out-of-state students. For example, Purdue University charges out-of-state learners nearly triple the rate that in-state students pay for the same number of credits. Tuition for international students can be even more costly. Some states maintain agreements that allow residents to pay discounted tuition rates at schools in participating states. Additionally, some online programs charge the same flat tuition rate for all students, regardless of residency.

Residency requirements vary by school and state. However, to qualify for in-state status, students must typically have lived in the state for at least one year prior to enrollment or registration.

Learn More…

How Can I Specialize a Teaching Degree?
Five Non-Teaching Jobs in Secondary Ed
Affordable Master’s K-12 Teaching Online Degree Programs

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