Bachelors in Education Programs

Bachelors in Education programs encompass programs that prepare students for initial teacher licensure as well as offer other alternatives for those interested in an ...

education degree without necessarily wanting to teach in classrooms. While state licensure for teachers in the United States varies, a Bachelors in education is considered necessary for state certification exams.[i]

Bachelors in Education: Basics

If you are interested in a teaching career, whether as an educator, administrator, researcher or curriculum designer typically requires a Bachelors in Education Degree. Commonly a 4-year undergraduate degree, prospective applicants need to have obtained a high school diploma or GED. Other requirements may depend on the college and the programs; if you have an (accredited) associate degree in education, usually you are able to transfer your credits and complete your bachelor degree in education in less time. Keep in mind that in addition to your coursework, there may be a capstone project and supervised students teaching.

DID YOU KNOW?

75% of 1st grade teachers hold a Bachelor’s degree, 19% a Master’s degree.[ii]

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Why Earn a Bachelors in Education Degree?

Generally speaking, elementary school teachers hold a Bachelor’s in elementary education degree[iii] while high school teachers are usually required to have majored in a specific subject area (history, science, math)[iv]. Special education teachers often earn their bachelor’s degree in special education[v]. Teachers who intend to work primarily with young (preschool) children often earn their bachelor’s degree in early childhood education[vi].Most Bachelors in Education degree programs include the courses that are required for state teacher certification, however this is definitely something to verify before you get started.

What Does It Mean to Major in Education?

Earning Bachelor in Education degree may mean different things to different students. You may have in mind working with a specific population (children, middle school, high school, autistic students) or aspire to teach a specific subject – whether this is computer science or art. Furthermore, some students are interested in Bachelor degree in education in order to ultimately work in school administration or in curriculum and instruction or other education-related careers. To help you search for the right Bachelors in Education program, you can refine your search by choosing from the subject selection menu:

  • Bachelor in Curriculum & instruction: focus on curriculum design, instructional theory, collecting and analyzing data[vii]
  • Bachelor in Early Childhood Education: focus on child development, strategies to teach young children, observe and document children’s progress[viii]
  • Bachelor in Special & Gifted Education: focus on how to work with children with different disabilities or learning abilities[ix]

Types of Bachelor Degrees in Education

There are several different Bachelor degrees in Education, and these often fall into “teacher education programs”. Some education schools offer combination (concurrent) degrees such as the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education (B.S./B.Ed.) or Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (B.A./B.Ed.) which may take 5 years to complete. Other degrees include the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education. However, the Bachelor ofof Education (B.Ed.) is a degree offered to students who are interested in a teaching career.

Potential Bachelor of Education Curriculum

All states require that teachers in public schools possess a bachelor degree and are licensed or certified[x], but requirements for general education courses may be state-defined and could include courses in science, sociology and developmental psychology. Core educational courses generally focus on pedagogical theories, research and assessment. Other coursework for a Bachelors in Education degree program may include topics such as[xi]:

  • Introduction to education (history, objectives, theory)
  • Pedagogy
  • Educational psychology
  • Human development
  • Educational policy and leadership
  • Lesson planning
  • Teaching methods
  • Literacy
  • Curriculum design
  • Student assessment
  • Educational technology

Campus or Online?

Some education schools offer both campus and online Bachelors in Education degrees, but this often depends on the subject matter. Whether to pick one format over the other depends on your unique needs. Some working professionals prefer distance-learning for the convenience of being able to access one’s courses 24/7 as long as they have an Internet connection. Other students look forward to the college campus experience – meeting people, professors, joining activities. In some cases, you will find universities with hybrid education degrees. These are blended online programs with the flexibility of some online courses coupled with low residency on-campus coursework. Whatever you choose, refine your search by ‘campus’, ‘online’ or ‘hybrid’.

Accreditation

Choosing an accredited school for your Bachelors in Education degree is important, and especially so if you plan on a graduate degree in education. The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize 6 regional agencies of accreditation. You can also check whether your prospective school incorporated the standards set by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards[xii].

Continued Education

Teachers are often required to maintain their license through annual professional development classes. Additionally, teachers often pursue graduate-level education degree. If your end-goal is to work as a principal, a librarian or an instructional coordinator, a Master’s degree in Education is often required.[xiii] Furthermore, in terms of teaching, some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification.[xiv] Postsecondary teachers commonly earn a Ph.D.in Education.[xv]

Take the Next Step

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of students enrolling in kindergarten and elementary schools is expected to rise[xvi] as is the demand for skilled instructional coordinators[xvii]. A Bachelors in Education is both your stepping stone to a potential career in education as well as a platform to continue your studies into the future. Start reviewing sponsored listings such as BA/Early Childhood Education-Infant and Toddler Care, or BS Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies. Make sure to request more program details from the prospective colleges to be able to make an informed choice about your edicaiton degree!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm |[ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2021.00 |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm |[v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm |[vii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm |[viii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm |[ix] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm |[x] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm |[xi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Education |[xii] nbpts.org/national-board-standards |[xiii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm |[xiv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm |[xv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm[xvi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm |[xvii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm
 

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