2019 Best Online Teaching Degree Programs

Whether driven by a desire to work with young people or a need for steady employment and income in today’s challenging job market, earning an online teaching degree can help you achieve your career goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), preschool teachers earn a median annual salary of just under $29,000, elementary teachers earn just below $57,000, middle school teachers earn just under $58,000, high school teachers earn just above $59,000 per year, and college professors earn $76,000 per year. This page highlights online schools for teaching, ranked according to weighted factors including academics, affordability, and online offerings. Discover these top online teaching programs and other vital information for your college search in the sections below.

According to the BLS, preschool teachers earn a median annual salary of just under $29,000, elementary teachers earn just below $57,000, middle school teachers earn just under $58,000, high school teachers earn just above $59,000 per year, and college professors earn $76,000 per year.

The Best Online Teaching Programs in 2019

2019 Best Online Teaching Programs

University of Florida

Students interested in earning an online teaching degree can pursue several options at the University of Florida, including master’s and graduate certificate programs. The university offers programs in specialized fields, such as dyslexia, program evaluation, and teacher leadership, in addition to programs in general fields, like reading, science, and early childhood education. As a school that focuses entirely on graduate education, UF’s college of education provides many opportunities for online students to engage in research projects with faculty members.

UF’s college of education delivers some programs asynchronously without in-person requirements, and other programs through blended learning. In both cases, programs use Canvas to manage and deliver course content. Online students at UF benefit from many of the same resources as on-campus students, including technology support, student organizations, the UF Career Connections Center, and financial aid advising.

University of Central Florida

Based out of Orlando, the University of Central Florida reaches students worldwide as one of the nation’s preeminent distance learning universities. The school offers one online teaching degree: a master’s in educational leadership. The program’s 30-credit curriculum includes coursework in educational finance and administration and culminates in a research project. The program focuses on data-driven research and decision making. Full-time students typically complete the program in two years.

The educational leadership program delivers all coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. Catering to residents of the Sunshine State, UCF provides a lower tuition rate to in-state students. In addition to schools, graduates of the program may work in museums, zoos, and human resources departments.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Located in the quintessential college town of Chapel Hill, UNC styles itself as the Tar Heel State’s flagship university. The university does not offer an entirely online education program, but students can pursue online education degrees at other universities in the UNC System. Additionally, students can complete four education courses online at UNC, including foundational offerings in special education, school counseling, and differentiation.

UNC delivers these four online education courses synchronously and asynchronously through Blackboard Collaborate and Sakai. Blackboard Collaborate creates a synchronous environment in which students and professors interact through video conferencing, shared screens, text, and small group discussions. Online education courses at UNC often include mentoring sessions with faculty members.

University of South Florida

Based in Tampa, the University of South Florida consistently earns a place among the top online schools in the Sunshine State. USF also earns a spot among the best online colleges for teaching thanks to the school’s diverse education programs, which include 10 master’s degrees and nine graduate certificates. Degree and certificate fields include gifted education, adult education, and autism spectrum disorders in addition to standard pre-teaching fields, such as secondary education and reading K-12.

USF provides flexibility to students pursuing an online teaching degree by delivering coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements. Additionally, as many of the university’s programs require students to gain hands-on experience through student teaching or internships, USF typically allows students to complete these experiences at schools or learning centers in their communities.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois earns a spot among the best schools for students seeking an online teaching degree by offering many education-related programs. The college of education offers over 10 areas of study for future educators. These programs focus on equity and inclusion, with programs in diversity and equity, global studies, and ESL.

In most cases, UI delivers coursework asynchronously and does not require students to visit campus. Students committed to teaching in Illinois upon graduation can receive certification in several unique areas through UI’s programs. UI also offers special programs and certifications for future Chicago public school teachers.

University of Washington

Based in the heart of Seattle, the University of Washington operates an extensive group of online professional and continuing education programs. That group includes two education-related degrees: a bachelor’s in early care and education and a master of special education in applied behavior analysis. UW prides itself on hiring teaching professionals as instructors, so professors often work day jobs as early care and special education professionals.

Each program offers multiple start dates throughout the year and delivers all coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements. Students can also complete the program through blended learning by taking courses at UW’s Seattle, Bothell, or Bellevue campuses. The bachelor’s program typically takes two years of full-time study to complete, while the master’s program takes 1-2 years as a part-time student.

Florida International University

Based in the University Park neighborhood of Miami, Florida International University maintained the fifth-largest undergraduate enrollment in the nation as of August 2018. FIU caters to students nationwide through its slate of online programs, which includes a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in special education with an autism endorsement.

Each program strives for accessibility for working professionals — who comprise a significant percentage of each program’s students — by delivering all coursework asynchronously through Canvas. Each program offers multiple start dates throughout the year. The master’s programs require 36 credits and typically take 1-2 years to complete, while the bachelor’s requires 120 credits and usually takes four years of full-time study to finish.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Based in the titular Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota counts itself as the North Star State’s flagship university. The college boasts an extensive distance learning presence, which includes two options for students interested in pursuing an online teaching degree: a master of education administration specialist and a master of education in professional studies learning technologies.

The two programs use different delivery methods. Defined as primarily online, the administration specialist program delivers about 80% of coursework asynchronously and online. Students complete the rest of the coursework through short on-campus intensives. The learning technologies program delivers all coursework online and asynchronously. The administration specialist program requires between 35-50 credits, while the learning technologies program requires approximately 30 credits. The university offers several resources for online learners, including instructional support staff and feasibility assessments.

Florida State University

Based in the state capital of Tallahassee, Florida State University is ideal for distance learners seeking an advanced online teaching degree. The university offers three education-related online graduate programs: a doctorate in educational leadership and master’s degrees in educational psychology and curriculum and instruction.

The doctorate program runs on a cohort model that uses blended learning, as students complete a face-to-face seminar each summer term over the course of three years. Each master’s program requires approximately 33 credits and allows students to finish in two years of part-time study. The education psychology program allows students to choose between a thesis and a nonthesis track. Both master’s programs deliver all coursework asynchronously without in-person requirements, although students may enroll in certain face-to-face courses if they wish.

University of Georgia

Located in the picturesque college town of Athens, the University of Georgia offers diverse options to students seeking an online degree in education. Unlike many schools, UGA’s college of education offers an online bachelor’s degree in education — specifically in special education — in addition to nine specialist and master’s degree options. Degree fields include educational psychology; learning, design, and technology; and middle grades science, workforce, and reading education. UGA also offers endorsements in ESOL, gifted education, and reading education.

The university delivers much of its online coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements to accommodate students with work and family obligations. Some of the school’s programs use a hybrid method that involves some in-person coursework at UGA’s Gwinnett and Griffin campuses.

North Carolina State University

Located in the Tar Heel State’s capital city of Raleigh, North Carolina State University competes with Duke University and the University of North Carolina for supremacy in the Triangle Area. NC State offers nearly 30 education-related distance learning programs. The university primarily offers master’s programs, but also offers doctorates and graduate certificates. Given the breadth of its programs, NC State earns its place among the best places to earn an online teaching degree.

Degree fields offered at NC State include adult and community college education, elementary education, secondary mathematics, middle grades and secondary social studies, and secondary science. In most cases, the programs deliver coursework asynchronously and do not require students to visit campus to complete their degrees.

Purdue University

Located in West Lafayette, Purdue University competes with Indiana University for top billing among public colleges in the Hoosier State. The university’s college of education boasts seven online programs, including master’s degrees and graduate certificates that provide many options to students seeking an online teaching degree. Degrees include educational leadership, learning design and technology, applied behavior analysis, and curriculum and instruction.

Purdue delivers all online coursework asynchronously through Blackboard and does not require students to visit campus. However, students can expedite graduation by completing a summer course on campus in West Lafayette. These courses provide students with a more personalized experience, as most courses maintain a lower student-to-faculty ratio than their online counterparts.

San Diego State University

Located in the eponymous Southern California city of San Diego, SDSU is the oldest university in the area. The school earns a spot among the best schools to offer an online teaching degree thanks to its MA in educational leadership program.

Offered through the school’s college of education studies, which houses most of SDSU’s online and professional/continuing education programs, the MA in educational leadership typically takes 15 months to complete. Program coursework includes seminars in topics such as tech architecture, school improvement leadership, and organizational and systems leadership. Each course includes a focus on technology.

Though SDSU is a state university, the educational leadership program charges out-of-state and in-state students the same tuition. The program uses a cohort model to ensure that students benefit from structure and support.

University of Michigan

Located in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan is among the nation’s best public universities thanks to its strength across numerous disciplines. That strength extends to education, earning U of M a spot among the best online colleges for teaching due in part to its online teaching certificate program. Over the course of four courses and 12 credits, students learn about online teaching and become more proficient online instructors.

Course topics include a survey of educational technology tools, applications of industrial design, an introduction to teaching and learning online, and educating the digital learner. All applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA, making the program a good fit for former undergraduate teaching students who want to advance their career in online learning.

Baptist College of Florida

Located on the Florida-Alabama border in the city of Graceville, BCF primarily focuses on distance learning by offering all of its degrees online. The college delivers each online course asynchronously without on-campus requirements through its proprietary MyBCF learning management system.

BCF offers many bachelor of education online programs. Students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in elementary, secondary English, secondary history, music, and Christian education. Each program requires approximately 120 credits and four years of full-time study to complete. The programs pair educational content with Christian and Baptist values. As a private college, BCF charges out-of-state students and Florida residents the same per-credit tuition.

Clemson University

Clemson University frequently earns nationwide attention for its football teams, which won two national championships in recent years. The school also boasts strong distance learning opportunities, including an online master of education in teaching and learning program.

The program’s curriculum comprises 30 credits, including 18 credits of core courses and 12 credits in a specialization, such as experiential learning for early childhood and instructional coaching. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously through Canvas and eschews in-person requirements. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA during the last degree they completed or a top 50% score on the MAT or GRE.

Johns Hopkins University

Earning nationwide acclaim for its medical school and hospital, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University also excels in distance learning. The college provides students interested in earning an online teaching degree with 13 online education-related graduate programs. Standout programs include a doctor of education and master’s degrees that cater to teachers participating in Teach For America and The New Teacher Program. Distance learners should visit the university’s state authorization page to make sure that Johns Hopkins offers their desired program.

Johns Hopkins delivers these programs through multiple delivery methods. Some of the school’s online programs deliver coursework asynchronously and some programs use live classes and synchronous learning. Other programs use blended learning, with some on-campus requirements.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Styling itself as the Badger State’s main university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison earns a spot among the nation’s best public colleges. UW operates an extensive college of continuing studies, which offers a professional certificate in online education.

The program primarily caters to practicing teachers who want to complete professional development hours, as it awards seven Continuing Education Units to graduates. The program consists of 70 instructional hours. Courses cover topics such as writing objectives for online learning, the basics of online discussions, and the basics of instructional design for online learning.

Courses typically require students to create projects based on their own teaching practice. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously without in-person requirements. Teachers who want to pursue additional continuing education in online learning can complete several other online certificates through UW.

University of Maryland, College Park

Based in College Park just outside of Washington D.C., UMD operates an office of extended studies that offers educational opportunities to working professionals. Students interested in an online teaching degree can pursue a graduate certificate in special education through UMD. The program targets general education teachers seeking to make their classrooms more inclusive.

Practicing teachers can finish the 15-credit curriculum in a year of part-time study. Students complete one course in the spring, two in the summer, and two in the fall. Program course topics include issues and trends in special education, special education classroom management, and inclusive practices. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements.

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

One of the newer members of the University of South Florida System, USFSM established its own campus in the past decade. However, students do not need to visit campus to earn an online teaching degree, as the university offers a master’s program in general education through distance learning. The program includes a concentration in online teaching and learning, which prepares graduates to design and teach online courses.

The program’s curriculum consists of 34 credits and includes coursework in areas such as learning principles, educational research, instructional design for computers, and the development of technology-based instructions. Students must complete a field experience in online learning. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA or a minimum 3.5 graduate GPA. USFSM delivers all online coursework asynchronously.

Michigan State University

Based in East Lansing, Michigan State University competes with the University of Michigan for supremacy in the Great Lakes State. The university provides eight options for students seeking a graduate online teaching degree, including programs in educational psychology, educational technology, teaching and curriculum, and special education. MSU’s college of education awards master’s degrees and graduate certificates.

Catering to working professionals, each program delivers coursework asynchronously without in-person requirements. MSU caps each online course at 25 students, maintaining a low student-to-faculty ratio. Most of MSU’s education programs allow students to focus on one or two concentration areas.

California State University, Fullerton

CSUF enrolls more students than any institution in the California State University System. The school offers six programs to students seeking an online teaching degree.

Program fields include special education, autism, and reading and learning. Cal State Fullerton also offers a credentialing program in a single subject and a teacher induction program. Each program focuses on applying lessons from coursework to the student’s classroom. Most programs take 8-12 months to complete.

Cal State Fullerton delivers online coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements, providing flexibility for working professionals.

University of West Florida

A public research university located on the Panhandle in Pensacola, the University of West Florida offers four options for distance learners pursuing an online teaching degree: a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction/assessment, an education specialist program in curriculum and instruction, and two master’s degrees in educational leadership and instructional design and technology.

Each program prepares graduates for careers in education in the Sunshine State. UWF delivers all coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements. The school prides itself on close student-faculty interaction, ensuring that professors remain accessible in online programs. UWF holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Ohio State University

The Buckeye State’s flagship university, Ohio State, recently expanded its distance learning offerings, which now include two options for students seeking an online teaching degree: an associate in early childhood development and education and a master’s in learning technologies.

Each program delivers all coursework asynchronously without on-campus requirements, providing flexibility for working professionals. The associate program prepares graduates for careers as pre-kindergarten teachers in Ohio, while the master’s program prepares graduates to use technology to support learning in various contexts across the nation. Each program includes a practicum course that allows students to gain hands-on experience in their field.

University of Nebraska Lincoln

The University of Nebraska excels in many disciplines as the Cornhusker State’s flagship university. Nebraska offers several distance learning programs for students seeking an online teaching degree. Education-related online degrees at Nebraska include early childhood education, special education, school leadership, and higher education administration.

Though Nebraska offers several of these programs asynchronously without on-campus requirements, many of the school’s education-related programs use a blended or hybrid learning model. Nebraska’s education administration and school leadership programs run on this model, in addition to the master’s in special education with a focus on visual impairment. Nebraska offers online learners access to several resources, including career counseling, technical support, academic advising, and tutoring.

Why Choose an Online College?

Earning an online education degree can save you time, money, and inconvenience. While tuition for online learning remains comparable to on-campus education, undergraduates avoid expenses required by frequent commuting or on-campus room and board. The variety of learning formats available to eLearning students makes online education ideal for working professionals, parents, and individuals with other obligations. Study part time or full time, as needed. Students might pursue self-paced online teaching courses or a program that requires them to complete courses on a schedule with a cohort of other students. Some schools offer accelerated options that allow students to graduate in as little as 18 months.

For all the flexibility of online learning, aspiring educators should note that student teaching components for an online degree require the same commitment as traditional college programs: 10-20 weeks of full-time, in-classroom experience with the supervision and assistance of a host teacher or clinical supervisor.

How to Choose an Online Teaching Degree

Selecting the right online education program requires significant independent research and thought. Keep reading to review some of the most important considerations.


When evaluating online colleges for teaching majors, prospective students should pay special attention to each institution’s accreditation status. Schools pursue regional or national accreditation to secure independent, third-party evaluations of their academic and professional quality. Regional accreditation remains more prestigious and popular, but national accreditation bodies generally provide rigorous vetting as well.

Regionally accredited schools often do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools; so, consider educational plans before enrolling. Beyond a school’s overarching status, many individual college programs possess additional, industry-specific accreditation. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation offers programmatic accreditation for online teaching degrees.

Unfortunately, not all institutional and programmatic accreditation agencies remain equal. With the rise of online learning comes a rise in so-called diploma mills. These institutions carry dubious accreditation and often remain more interested in earning money than providing quality education. To mitigate this issue, two organizations work to vet accreditation organizations: the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These organizations evaluate and recognize accrediting agencies to offer the public an added level of quality assurance. You can find lists of recognized agencies and accredited schools on both the ED website and CHEA website.

State Licensure

After earning an online bachelor’s in education degree, teachers must earn licensure or certification. Teaching licensure requirements and procedures vary by state, but they generally include successful completion of student teaching, a background check, and a certification exam. Depending on the program, an online teaching degree may fulfill requirements for students planning to pursue licensure in one specific state or multiple states. Students should note that the program might not completely fulfill licensure requirements for any state. Make sure to review your own state’s licensure requirements, checking that your prospective programs fit the bill. Online teacher certification programs can fill in the gap if a bachelor’s program does not lead directly to licensure.

Program Offerings

Students should spend time researching options for their bachelor’s degree in education. Rather than earning a standard education degree, seek programs with specializations if you desire a certain career path, such as early childhood education, elementary education, or special education. Investigate each prospective school’s scholarships and other financial aid offerings to estimate your degree cost. Some online schools offer significant financial assistance or tuition discounts to eligible individuals who identify as a veteran or a minority student. To assess a program’s true value, study a school’s data on program-specific graduation, retention, and licensure exam passing rates.

Types of Online Teaching Degrees

Aspiring education professionals can pursue several different degree levels, from a basic, two-year associate degree to the approximately 10 years required to ultimately earn a doctoral degree. Higher degrees often lead to higher salaries and better employment opportunities. While teachers can earn licensure with a bachelor’s, school administrators typically need a master’s. Explore the sections below to learn more about the cost, requirements, and career outlook of each type of online teaching degree.

Average Salaries for a Teaching Degree by Level
DegreeAverage Salary
Associate Degree in Education$34,000
Bachelor’s Degree in Education$49,000
Master’s Degree in Education$56,000
Doctoral Degree in Education$78,000
Source: PayScale.com

Associate Degree in Teaching

Required application materials for an associate degree include proof of high school graduation or GED equivalent, high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT test scores. To complete an associate degree, students must complete around 60 credits, which traditionally requires two years of full-time study. Accelerated options or part-time enrollment can decrease or increase this completion time, respectively. Students with an associate degree usually cannot gain licensure to teach K-12 classes. Popular alternative occupations for associate degree holders include working as teaching assistants, early childhood (preschool) educators, or daycare workers. Take a deeper look at education associate degrees on this page.

Example Courses

Introduction to EducationThese introductory courses act as an orientation to various state, national, and institutional licensure requirements for educators. Students also explore the historical, social, and ethical foundations of American education.
Reading MethodologyThis associate-level elective introduces students to reading theories and methods, emphasizing emergent literacy, phonics, whole language, and vocabulary growth. Students may need to complete related field experience in a local school.
Classroom ManagementStudents explore and analyze various classroom management theories and techniques in addition to examining how different teaching and assessment strategies can improve student learning and self-regulation.

Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching

To apply for admission to an online bachelor’s in education program, prospective students must submit official transcripts from high school and any previously attended college, ACT or SAT test scores, and, in some cases, recommendation letters or a personal essay. Bachelor’s degrees consist of around 120 credits and typically take four years of full-time study to complete. Education bachelor’s degrees require students to spend approximately one semester completing a student teaching internship. Graduates can typically pursue teacher certification or licensure in their home state that grants them the ability to teach in K-12 classrooms. Explore additional teaching bachelor’s degree information on this page.

Example Courses

Introduction to Special EducationThis vital introductory course prepares all aspiring educators to help identify and support children with categorical and developmental disabilities by developing an in-depth understanding of concepts and strategies.
Instruction and AssessmentThe various elective courses under this umbrella focus on a single subject, such as English, math, social studies, and science. Students examine subject-specific methodologies, instruction methods, and teaching strategies.
Curriculum and Management StrategiesTo better address the needs of their future classrooms, students in a course on teaching strategies participate in the in-depth study of instruction and classroom management techniques, including development, implementation, and evaluation.

Master’s Degree in Teaching

In order to pursue a master’s degree, prospective students must possess a bachelor’s degree and complete an application process requiring submission of GRE scores, official transcripts from all prior college institutions, recommendation letters, and often an essay or resume. Depending on the program, applicants may need teaching licensure.

Credit requirements for master’s degrees range from 30-46 credits and traditionally take two years of full-time study to complete. Programs often require candidates to complete one semester of student teaching or an administration practicum. Educators with master’s degrees qualify for specialized teaching jobs and leadership positions. Learn more about earning a master’s in education on this page.

Example Courses

Learning TheoriesStudents examine the modern learning environment and study the use of behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, and personal learning philosophies in the development of personalized, effective curriculum and instruction.
Strategic Planning in EducationCommonly found in the curriculum of educational leadership degrees, this course reviews vital principles and best practices of the strategic planning process, often through an examination of case studies.
Research FoundationsA foundational research course prepares educators to use research for both academic and professional development reasons. Students explore various research approaches: quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and action.

Doctoral Degree in Teaching

Applying for a doctoral program requires holding a master’s degree and submitting materials including GRE scores, official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions, a resume or CV, a personal statement, and reference letters. Though exact curriculum requirements vary depending on the school, program, and concentration, an online education degree at the doctoral level generally requires about 60 credits to complete, which takes 3-4 years of full-time study.

Rather than participating in an internship or practicum, doctoral candidates must successfully complete extensive research and original writing for a dissertation project. Education professionals who earn a doctoral degree go on to hold administrative roles in K-12 schools or teach college or university courses. Individuals who only plan to teach in classrooms at the K-12 level typically do not need to pursue this degree level.

Example Courses

Conflict ResolutionStudents enhance their leadership abilities through the study of conflict resolution. Course activities involve conceptualizing and practicing interpersonal skills, challenging assumptions about others, and taking other people into account.
Issues and Trends in TeachingThis course focuses on introducing students to current issues and trends in the education field. The course emphasizes developing effective communication networks and problem-solving methods.
Public RelationsThrough research, educational leadership students investigate issues and best practices relating to public relations. This course provides leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop community relationships and support for educational activities.

Teaching Specialties

The education field allows college students to develop skills in a variety of professional specializations, each leading to different career opportunities. Students can pursue some specializations, such as early childhood education or subject-specific teaching, as early as an associate or bachelor’s program. They can pursue others, such as leadership and administration, at the graduate and postgraduate level. Depending on the school, certain specializations serve as standalone programs or concentration tracks.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood educators work with students in pre-kindergarten (3-5 years old), focusing on daily routines and age-appropriate developmental activities for motor, language, and social skills. Public schools, daycare centers, and head-start program facilities employ professionals in this specialization.

Elementary Education

Elementary education acts as a child’s first introduction to formal education. Educators in this specialty work with children in kindergarten through grades K-6, teaching one or more fundamental subjects such as English, math, and social studies, in a classroom throughout the day.


Typically beginning in middle school, all teachers focus on a single subject, working with multiple groups of students throughout the day. Other specialized, subject-based teaching includes physical education, art, and music. Subject-based educators typically need a subject-specific teaching degree.

Special Education

Special education teachers work with students facing a variety of learning, developmental, emotional, or physical disabilities. Daily work includes meeting student needs by adapting lessons, developing individualized education programs, assessing skills, and discussing progress with teachers and parents.

Higher Education

Higher education faculty work in a college or university environment. Job duties vary depending on departmental and institutional requirements, but higher education teachers usually teach classes, develop lessons and assignments, and work closely with students.

Educational Administration

Educational administrators, such as K-12 principals, oversee a school’s administrative operations. Responsibility areas include managing teachers and other staff, overseeing budgets, handling public relations, ensuring compliance with regulations and laws, and providing strong leadership.

Curriculum and Instruction

Professionals in this specialized education field work to research, develop, and implement curriculum changes to increase overall student achievement. Specialists often work directly for a school district, developing curriculum plans and training teachers in new instruction areas.

Job Opportunities With an Online Teaching Degree

Earning an online teaching degree can open the door to a variety of careers in the education field, from assistant teaching positions to leadership roles overseeing an entire school district. Individuals who may thrive in education include strong interpersonal communicators, people who enjoy working with children, and self-disciplined workers who can devote time to their job outside of the workday for grading, developing lesson plans, and pursuing professional development.

Preschool Teacher

These individuals work with children under age five, focusing on basic knowledge and skills such as recognition of colors, shapes, and letters. Preschool teachers also monitor and inform parents of developmental issues. While an associate degree remains sufficient for entry-level employment, a bachelor’s in early childhood education often improves job opportunities.

Minimum Degree Required: Associate Degree
Median Salary: $28,990
Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Kindergarten/Elementary School Teacher

Teachers at the kindergarten and elementary level work with children in grades K-6. Primary duties include teaching multiple fundamental subjects such as math, science, and reading, to prepare for future schooling. Kindergarten and elementary teachers typically teach only one group of students each year. Individuals need a bachelor’s degree and teaching licensure.

Minimum Degree Required: Bachelor’s Degree
Median Salary: $56,900
Projected Growth Rate: 7%

Middle School Teacher

These educators work with students in grades 6-8, building on fundamental knowledge and skills gained in elementary school. Middle school teachers typically teach a single subject. Educators must earn a bachelor’s degree in order to obtain the required teaching licensure for public school employment.

Minimum Degree Required: Bachelor’s Degree
Median Salary: $57,720
Projected Growth Rate: 8%

Special Education Teacher

These professionals work with children at all grade levels who possess learning, mental, emotional, or physical disabilities. Specific duties vary depending on school and student needs, but often involve adapting lessons, assessing skills, and developing individualized programs. Most schools require special education teachers to possess state licensure and at least a bachelor’s degree.

Minimum Degree Required: Bachelor’s Degree
Median Salary: $59,170
Projected Growth Rate: 8%

Instructional Coordinator

Also known as curriculum specialists, instructional coordinators work to evaluate current curriculum effectiveness and recommend changes or improvements. Specialists may work directly for a district or as third-party consultants developing material, training teachers, and coordinating with school leadership. A master’s degree remains the minimum requirement for most entry-level jobs.

Minimum Degree Required: Master’s Degree
Median Salary: $63,750
Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Professional Organizations and Teaching Resources

Professional organizations provide vital political and public advocacy, which remains crucial in the education field. In addition to supporting education as a whole, membership in these organizations often provides professional benefits to individual teachers, including continuing education opportunities, annual conferences and online networking, discount programs, scholarship and grant funding, and practical classroom and lesson resources.

  • Association of American Educators The largest non-union professional organization for teachers in the U.S., AAE promotes nonpartisan field advancement through educational advocacy and collaboration. Members receive resources and benefits including liability insurance and grant opportunities.
  • National Council of Teachers of English In addition to advocating for educators and students at the state and federal levels, NCTE encourages the exchange of ideas, research, and teaching strategies. Members receive exclusive webinars, a quarterly magazine, and online networking opportunities.
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics The world’s largest organization dedicated to mathematics education, NCTM provides teaching guidance and resources and engages in advocacy. Its 60,000 members receive benefits including publications, grant opportunities, and professional development discounts.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers TpT boasts an online marketplace of more than three million free and paid resources. Available for all subjects and grade levels, original educational materials range from worksheets to lesson plans.
  • Annenberg Learner A division of the Annenberg Foundation, this organization strives to advance excellent teaching in the U.S. by developing and distributing online professional development courses, workshops, and other classroom resources.
  • TED-Ed TED’s youth and education initiative celebrates the ideas of teachers and students around the world. Users can access free, original, animated videos about everything from the periodic table to the works of Flannery O’Connor.

Scholarships for Teachers

Scholarships for Teachers

Inspire Our Future Scholarship $500

Who Can Apply: This annual scholarship from Teacher.org supports both undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at an accredited college and majoring in one of nine different education specializations, including early childhood education, educational leadership, or special education. Applicants must possess a 3.5 minimum GPA and write a 500-700 word essay. View Scholarship

Association of Texas Leadership for Education Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Graduating high school seniors with plans to attend an accredited Texas college or university full time may apply. Applicants must live in Texas, possess a minimum 3.5 GPA, prove that they have served their school or community, and provide personal, community, or academic references. All college majors, including education, qualify. View Scholarship

Christa McAuliffe Teacher Incentive Program Varies

Who Can Apply: The Christa McAuliffe Teacher Incentive Program encourages Delaware residents to enroll in undergraduate programs leading to teacher certification, with renewable awards offered up to the full amount of tuition and fees. Applicants may either be current, full-time college students or graduating high school seniors. View Scholarship

Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Scholarships $1,500

Who Can Apply: College students with plans to teach at the elementary or secondary level may submit applications for this pair of academic merit scholarships. All applicants must attend an accredited college or university, be at least age 25, possess a minimum 3.5 GPA, and be a college sophomore or greater. View Scholarship

Kentucky Early Childhood Development Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: Kentucky residents pursuing an associate in early childhood education or a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary early childhood education or a related program may apply. Applicants must enroll in no more than nine credit hours per term and hold at least part-time employment at a participating early childhood facility or state-funded preschool program. View Scholarship

TEACH Grant Varies

Who Can Apply: The federal government offers the TEACH Grant to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate college students pursuing a teaching career at a participating institution. Grant recipients must meet academic performance requirements and sign a commitment agreement to teach in a high-need field for at least four years upon graduation. View Scholarship

Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program Varies

Who Can Apply: Massachusetts residents currently employed as paraprofessionals in a Massachusetts public school without a bachelor’s degree may apply for this grant to offset the cost of pursuing a college education and teacher certification. Applicants must complete a FAFSA application and maintain satisfactory academic performance. View Scholarship

AASA Educational Administration Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: The School Superintendents Association offers annual scholarships to outstanding graduate students pursuing a career as a superintendent. Applicants must boast a recommendation by the chair of their university’s school of education and submit additional materials: work experience details, a three-page response to questions, and two endorsement letters. View Scholarship

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