Undergraduate Education Degree Programs

Undergraduate Education Degree programs offer students the choice to take a teacher licensure or non-licensure degree depending on future career goals. Whether you aspire to ...

be an educator or are interested in education from the standpoint of workplace training and curriculum development, acquiring the know-how and skill-sets is your first step. Find out how an associate degree or a bachelor degree in education might prepare you for a variety of potential careers in education.

Education degree programs

Undergraduate Education Degree: Basics

If you are looking for an Undergraduate Education Degree, you can choose between a 2-year associate and 4-year bachelors in education. Many undergraduate education programs require some type of fieldwork or student teaching in addition to coursework. Prospective applicants need a high school diploma, GED or associate’s degree. Other requirements depend on the college and specific program.

FUN FACT:

68% of Special Education Teachers have a Bachelor’s degree, 19% a Post-Baccalaureate certificate, and 9% a Master’s degree.[i]

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Types of Undergraduate Education Degree Programs

Undergraduate Education Degree Programs either help students to prepare for initial (state) licensure as educators, or prepare students for education-related careers such as instructional design without the teacher licensure component. It will be helpful for you to browse the type of education degree not only be level (associate, bachelor) but also by the kind of program you are interested in. Use the hyperlinks in our subject selection navigation to find:

  • Undergraduate Education Degree in Curriculum & Instruction 
  • Undergraduate Education Degree in Early Childhood Education Degree 
  • Undergraduate Education Degree in Special & Gifted Education Degree 

Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Degree Programs

If you are wondering how many years of college is required to ‘be a teacher’, you should familiarize yourself with your state law; most states require public schools to have obtained a bachelor degree in education before they can sit for mandatory state licensure examsii. if this is the route you want to take, you will want to look into an undergraduate teacher preparation degree program. Teacher preparation programs prepare students for potential careers in elementary, secondary and special education. Some students also choose to focus on early childhood education.

Types of Undergraduate Education Degrees

Undergraduate Education Degree programs include Associate degree programs and Bachelor Degree Programs in the afore-mentioned categories as well as certificates in education. To figure out which is right for you, consider whether you are more interested in direct in-classroom teaching, whether you want to work with a specific population, or whether you prefer a more behind-the scenes career in research, consulting, administration, or in developing and coordinating instructional material. From there, do a little homework to find out what education current professionals in your field have, or speaking with a guidance counselor.

Associate in Education Degrees | AA, AS, AAS

Associate degrees in Education are offered as Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) and Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) in Education. Both the Associate of Arts (A.A.) and the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Education are designed to prepare students to transfer to either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education. Both these degrees are academic in that they have a greater focus on general education and liberal arts, with the A.S. emphasizing math, science, and a more technical rather than general focus. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) is an occupational degree in that it is designed to equip students with specific skills for a particular career path. Teacher assistants, childcare workers, library technicians, and pre-school teachers in Head Start Programs are required to have at least an Associate’s degreeiii.

Bachelor in Education Degrees | BA, BS

Earning your Bachelor in Education Degree is an important step to initiating a teaching career. While state licensing varies, a Bachelor’s degree is usually required alongside with a teacher preparation program and supervised teaching before one can sit for the certification exams and earn a teaching licenseiv. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Education degree or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education degree. Some students choose the B.A. so they can minor in an endorsed subject – a subject you are highly qualified to teach.

Campus or Online Degree?

Since teaching is, for the most part, human centered, you may have a campus program in mind, so that you can learn from your professors in real-time, interact with your classmates, and participate in campus activities and events. Plus, if you are on the path to teaching yourself, your teachers will need to supervise you, and this cannot be done remotely. On the other hand, some of any curriculum involves coursework, and online undergraduate education degrees bring your courses to you via web portal. This makes it convenient, especially for working students, to advance their education without leaving their job. Study wherever you have Internet access. To bridge these formats, some education schools offer what is called a hybrid degree. Some coursework is accessible through distance learning, and in addition, some on campus intensives or courses are offered in the subjects that are not computer-friendly. Whatever your preference, search by ‘campus’, ‘online’ or ‘hybrid’ Undergraduate Education Degree to refine your results.

Accreditation

If your intention is to earn an Associate’s degree and then transfer to an accredited four-year college, you should make sure the community college or education school is regionally accredited. Most accredited four-year colleges will only accept transfer credits from schools that are regionally accredited. Likewise, if you plan to attend an accredited graduate school, they may only accept your degree if it was earned at an accredited undergraduate college.

Continued Education

Some students may choose to enter a Master’s in Education program prior to beginning their teaching career; some states actually require all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.v Master's degrees in Education are divided into the categories of Master of Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Art in Teaching (M.A.T.). These degree programs differ in that a Master of Education is specifically for individuals who are already certified to teach, while The Master of Art in Teaching is a step toward certification and licensure. The latter attracts students who may have a Bachelor’s degree but not in education. From there, students interested in administrative leadership positions, advanced research, or teaching at the postsecondary level go on to earn a Doctorate degree in Education.vi

Take the Next Step

Whether you aspire to teach a particular subject such as history, or teach to a specific population, such as autistic and special needs children, an undergraduate degree in Education may be the first step towards attaining your goals. Start browsing through our directory of sponsored listings to find associate or bachelor degrees in the educational field that draws you. Make sure to request more details from prospective schools so that you can make an informed choice!


sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2054.00 |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm#tab-8 |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm[v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm[vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-8 |

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