Education Degree Programs
Earn an online degree in education
Students interested in teaching careers begin their journey by earning education degrees, and while you can earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees in education online, there is a caveat you should be aware of. Plenty of schools enjoy strong reputations for their online programs in the field of education, but a crucial part of your training to become a teacher involves a practicum that includes field placement. In other words, you can earn your academic credentials online, but your practical training to become a teacher is just not something you can do over the Internet.
Thus, in addition to the usual considerations of cost, class size, student satisfaction rates and instructional quality, you should also carefully assess how each online school you're considering supports your practical training requirements. If you're thinking about training online to become a teacher, it's a good idea to stick with schools in your local area for several reasons. First, they are best able to match you with practical training and practice teaching opportunities. Second, teacher licensing takes place at the state (or province) level, and you're best off completing your practical training in the same region where you plan to start your career.
Top Online Schools for Education Degrees
This list of the top online education colleges is compiled primarily based on academic/theoretical training and instruction. Again, also look carefully at local colleges for education to see if you can find the right fit between flexible degree programs and accessible practical training opportunities.
With that in mind, here are some of the top schools offering online teaching degrees:
- St. John's University. Located in the New York City borough of Queens, St. John's University achieved very high scores in several important evaluation criteria, including student engagement and faculty credentials.
- Auburn University. Alabama's Auburn University also ranked very well in faculty quality and credentials as well as student engagement. It also posted above-average scores in the student services and technology categories.
- South Dakota State University. Based in Brookings, South Dakota, this school posted outstanding scores in the student engagement category, highlighting its focus on collaborative learning.
- Northern Illinois University. Located in Dekalb, Illinois, Northern Illinois University's online teaching programs are taught by highly regarded instructors and foster engaging learning environments while leveraging cutting-edge technologies.
- University of South Carolina. This Columbia, South Carolina-based school posted outstanding overall results in four key categories, including student engagement, technology, admissions selectivity and faculty credentials.
- University of Scranton. Based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton's online teaching degree programs earned top marks for faculty credentials and training. In fact, it outperformed all but two of the top 25 online teaching degree programs in the United States in this category, as compiled by U.S. News and World Report.
- George Washington University. This Washington, DC-based school led the way in the student engagement category, which suggests very high rates of student satisfaction. Many online education insiders consider student satisfaction rates to be the most important indicator of a given program's quality and value.
- University of Nebraska-Kearney. The University of Nebraska-Kearney ranked second in the nation in terms of faculty credentials for its online teaching programs.
- University of Northern Colorado. According to the U.S. News and World Reports, this Greeley, Colorado-based school posted excellent overall results despite not standing out from the field in any one single evaluative category.
- Eastern Kentucky University. This Richmond, Kentucky-based online teaching degree program ranked number one in the country for the quality of its instructors.
As a final word of advice: you should also bear in mind that some jurisdictions require teachers to upgrade their credentials to include a master's degree within five years of becoming a teacher. You will also require a graduate degree in education if you ever plan to move into the upper ranks of school administration, such a vice-principal, principal, or superintendent, or a role with a school board or government education agency.