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K12 Education
Degree Programs

K12 Education & Degree Programs

Article Sources
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Accessed October 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh
  • Why Consider Becoming a Teacher? The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Accessed October 2017, http://www.unc.edu/uncbest/teacher.html
  • Academics, Southern Oregon University, Accessed October 2017, http://www.sou.edu/academics/
  • College of Education and Professional Development, Marshall University, Accessed October 2017, http://www.marshall.edu/coepd/
  • Education, University of Montana - Western, Accessed October 2017, https://www.umwestern.edu/academics/education.html
  • Discover SGU, Sinte Gleska University, Accessed October 2017, http://www.sintegleska.edu/discover-sgu.html
  • The Teachers College, Emporia State University, Accessed October 2017, https://www.emporia.edu/teach/
  • Education, Harding University, Accessed October 2017, https://www.harding.edu/academics/colleges-departments/education
  • Education Programs, University of Maine at Farmington, Accessed October 2017, http://www.umf.maine.edu/umf-education-programs/
  • College of Education, University of Missouri, Accessed October 2017, https://education.missouristate.edu/
  • School of Education and Counseling, Wayne State College, Accessed October 2017, https://www.wsc.edu/education
  • The Division of Education and Leadership, Western Oregon University, Accessed October 2017, http://www.wou.edu/teachered/
  • TEACH Grants, Department of Education, Accessed October 2017, https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach
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When it comes to jobs that are personally rewarding, teaching is hard to beat. For many in the field, the profession isn't about money or prestige. Rather, the opportunity to make a profound, positive impact on the next generation is what makes this job attactive. Plus, many people appreciate having the opportunity to work on the same schedule as their kids. Being able to take the summer off is a bonus as well.

Since teachers have such important jobs, it's not surprising there are strict education standards for those hoping to enter the field. Future teachers will need a bachelor's degree and state licensure to get started, but some schools may prefer those with an advanced degree for certain positions.

K-12 education degree programs are offered both on-campuses as well as online. Students should confirm online K-12 education degrees are properly accredited and will include any mandated student or demonstration teaching requirements. Keep reading to learn more about the top schools for K-12 education degrees, career outlook and where to find financial aid.

Best colleges for K-12 education degree programs

According to a methodology that considered the number of education degree options offered, the prominence of a school's program and other factors related to student success, these are the ten best colleges for K-12 education degree programs.

Methodology
1Southern Oregon University+
ADMISSION RATE
95%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$60
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

Southern Oregon University takes the number one spot on the list of top colleges for K-12 education degrees. Based in Ashland, SOU promises to help students succeed at every level. There are 36 areas of study for the school's 6,200 member student body.

The elementary education program at Southern Oregon University is available with or without initial teaching licensure. Incoming freshmen have the option of using the accelerated baccalaureate program that will allow them to graduate with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in three years. A Master of Arts and Master of Science in education are also available at the school.

Among other things, SOU ranks high for the prominence of its education program and the number of student support services it offers.

Additional Info
2Marshall University+
ADMISSION RATE
88%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
5

Named for the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, Marshall University offers both traditional and online degrees for K-12 education. Its College of Education and Professional Development is oldest part of the university and has a long legacy of teacher preparation.

Marshall University offers bachelor's degrees in elementary education and secondary education. There are also seven master's degrees, two education specialist degrees and two Doctor of Education degrees available. Through MUOnline, there are online K-12 education degrees at the graduate level.

The university is an accredited, public institution and has its main campus in Huntington, West Virginia. A second campus is located in South Charleston. It was founded in 1837 and has a student body of more than 13,500.

Additional Info
3The University of Montana - Western+
ADMISSION RATE
Open
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
2

The University of Montana - Western features affordable tuition, a number of student support services and an open admissions policy. Plus, it has one of the more innovative learning systems in the countries. Rather than take multiple classes simultaneously, Montana Western students enroll in one class at a time.

The school's education department is the oldest one in the state. Students can choose from a number of early, elementary and secondary education programs. Plus, there are K-12 education degree programs in art, music and physical education. Within the field of secondary education, students can earn degrees in eight different specialties such as earth science, math and modern history.

UMW is a public institution and was founded in 1893. It has its campus in Dillon.

Additional Info
4Sinte Gleska University+
ADMISSION RATE
Open
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$74
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

You don't have to be a big school to be one of the best colleges for K-12 education degree programs. Sinte Gleska University is a small institution that was designed to meet the needs of the Lakota people. It ranked fourth for, among other things, having the most affordable tuition and the lowest student-faculty ratio of the schools on this list.

SGU offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. There is an associate degree and two bachelor's degrees that focus on elementary education. At the graduate level, students can earn a Master of Education. While SGU has an open admissions policy, enrollment in the teacher education program is not automatic.

Sinte Gleska University has its campus in Mission, South Dakota.

Additional Info
5Emporia State University+
ADMISSION RATE
87%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
27

As one of the public universities in Kansas, Emporia State University offers both traditional and online degrees for K-12 education. The school has one of the more prominent education programs on this list and offers academic advising and career placement services to help its students succeed.

Within The Teachers College at Emporia State, students have a wide variety of degree options. Bachelor's degrees include majors in elementary, middle and secondary education as well as specialty fields such as art and athletic training. There are also graduate degrees and a restricted licensure program for those who are changing careers to become a teacher.

Emporia State University was founded in 1863 as a teachers college. Today, it offers degrees in a variety of fields. Its campus is in Emporia.

Additional Info
6Harding University+
ADMISSION RATE
99%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
15

Harding University makes the list of top colleges for K-12 education because of its record of student success. It has the best graduation rate of the schools on this list, and that may be partly because of the flexible scheduling options the school provides. There are online, night and weekend classes. Plus, students get career counseling and access to placement services when they graduate.

The university's Cannon-Clary College of Education prepares teachers to not only educate others but integrate their faith into their work. Undergraduate degrees include elementary, middle and secondary education as well as programs for specific K-12 subjects such as foreign language, drama and music. There are also numerous graduate degrees available.

Harding is a private, Christian institution. Its main campus is in Searcy, Arkansas.

Additional Info
7University of Maine at Farmington+
ADMISSION RATE
83%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
N/A
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

Known as UMF, the University of Maine at Farmington has the most prominent K-12 education program of the schools on this list. It also has the second best graduation rate and the second lowest student-faculty ratio.

The school is well-known for its education program, and several graduates have gone on to win teaching awards and accolades. Students interested in teaching within the K-12 grades can choose from elementary, secondary/middle, special education and school health education degrees at the undergraduate level. In addition to classroom learning, students participate in a practicum during their second year. Student teaching occurs during senior year. There are also graduate degrees, certificates and an alternate route to special education certification available.

The University of Maine at Farmington enrolls approximately 1,600 students.

Additional Info
8Missouri State University - Springfield+
ADMISSION RATE
86%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$35
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
41

Founded in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School, Missouri State was created with the intention of preparing teachers. Today, as a public university, it has expanded its degree options but continues to be a good choice for future educators.

Missouri State University has four locations, but its main campus is Springfield is the one that makes the list of best colleges for K-12 education degree programs. The school is notable for its graduation rate and for supporting students through services such as academic advising, career placement and flexible scheduling options.

MSU offers undergraduate, graduate and teacher certification programs. In addition to degrees specifically for future elementary and secondary school teachers, there are five K-12 education specialties available. These include family and consumer sciences, foreign language, music education, art education and physical education.

Additional Info
9Wayne State College+
ADMISSION RATE
Open
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
N/A
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
6

Like some other schools on this list, Wayne State College was founded as a teachers college. It began as the Nebraska Normal College in 1891. While you can study more than education at Wayne State today, it continues to be a popular choice for educators. According to the school, one in ten Nebraska teachers holds at least one degree from their institution.

There are no shortage of education degree options at Wayne State. The school offers its students a choice of 14 field endorsements, 14 subject endorsements and 10 supplemental endorsements. While some of these are in K-12 subjects, others are intended for a specific grade level such as elementary or high school. Graduate students can select from Education Specialist or a Master of Science degrees.

WSC is a public institution with a campus in Wayne.

Additional Info
10Western Oregon University+
ADMISSION RATE
88%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$60
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
5

Western Oregon University rounds out the list of top schools for K-12 education degrees. WOU says every student matters and backs up that statement by providing a number of support services. What's more, at 14-1, the school has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios among the institutions ranked here.

Education is one of the most popular majors at Western Oregon University. The school's Division of Education and Leadership offers several degree choices that are suitable for new teachers earning their first degree, career changers and existing teachers who want to further their education.

WOU is a public institution and was founded in 1856. Its campus is in Monmouth.

Additional Info

K-12 Education Degree programs and common career paths

While teaching is the logical career outcome for graduates with a K-12 education degree, there are several different options within the field. However, they all begin by having a bachelor's degree and obtaining licensure from the state in which you want to teach.

Bachelor's degree programs in K-12 education
K-12 education degrees are often focused on a specific subject such as music, art or foreign language. Those who want to teach at a specific grade level may prefer to earn a more general degree in elementary, middle or secondary education. However, the outcome for all degree programs should be the same. Graduates should be knowledgeable in the subject matter, have the skills to direct and control a classroom and meet the requirements for state licensure. Then, they can go to work in one of the following capacities.
Elementary Teacher
Depending on the state and school, elementary teachers often teach up to grade five. Classroom teachers remain with the same set of students all day and instruct on a variety of subjects. Other teachers at this level may specialize in a specific subject such as art or music.
Junior High Teacher
Almost always known as middle school teachers, these professionals generally teach grades 6-8. Like elementary teachers, they may teach multiple subjects or in some schools, specialize in specific areas. Depending on the state, junior high teachers may have to major in a content area such as math or science.
High School Teacher
At the secondary level, teachers almost always need to major in a content area. They then teach in that one subject and typically have different students for each period of the day.

Financial aid and scholarships for K-12 Education majors

Given the great value of qualified teachers, many states offer special financial assistance to those enrolled in K-12 education degree programs. These include grants and scholarships as well as loan forgiveness programs. The federal TEACH Grant is also available for those who agree to teach a high-need subject in a low-income area after they graduate. What's more, there are private scholarships and institutional financial aid available to future teachers.

Dian Hendrick Memorial Teachers Scholarship
Applicant must be a graduating senior from Camden Fairview High School who will pursue a teaching degree. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$3,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

March 1

 

 

Graduate Scholarship
Applicant must be a new graduate student who has been accepted into one of the eligible academic programs and will enroll in at least six credits. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$0

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

 

 

Hazel and Bill Gayle Memorial Scholarship
Applicant must be a graduating high school senior in Bee, Refugio, or San Patricio Country with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicant must plan to major in K-12 education and enroll in a minimum of 12 semester hours of Coastal Bend College. More

AWARD AMOUNT

$0

APPLICATION DEADLINE

March 1

 

 

Professional Organizations

The NEA is the largest professional employee organization in the country and has three million members involved in public education at every level.
Founded in 1876, MTNA works to promote music studies and the interests of music teachers.
The NAEA has been the leading professional organization for visual arts educators since 1947.
This professional organization is focused on the promotion of foreign language learning at all levels.
Article Sources
Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.

Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.

  1. In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  3. Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  4. Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
    • Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
  5. Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  6. Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
    • Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
    • Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
    • Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
    • Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
  7. Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  8. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
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Harding University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
915 E. Market Ave.
City
Searcy
State
AR
Zip Code
72143
Website
www.harding.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
490-620
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
480-620
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
22-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Distant
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,450
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
99%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$17,805
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
16
Number of Online Programs Offered
15
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
19%
Emporia State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1 Kellogg Circle
City
Emporia
State
KS
Zip Code
66801
Website
www.emporia.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
19-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
3,864
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
87%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$5,936
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
18
Number of Online Programs Offered
27
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
43%
University of Maine at Farmington
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
224 Main St.
City
Farmington
State
ME
Zip Code
04938
Website
www.umf.maine.edu
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,795
UnderGraduate Application Fee
N/A
Admission Rate
83%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,217
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
14
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
3%
Missouri State University-Springfield
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
901 S National
City
Springfield
State
MO
Zip Code
65897
Website
www.missouristate.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
478-613
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
468-613
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
21-26
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
18,980
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$35
Admission Rate
86%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,060
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
21
Number of Online Programs Offered
41
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
29%
The University of Montana-Western
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
710 S Atlantic
City
Dillon
State
MT
Zip Code
59725
Website
www.umwestern.edu
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,403
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
Open
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$4,835
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
17
Number of Online Programs Offered
2
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
22%
Wayne State College
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1111 Main St
City
Wayne
State
NE
Zip Code
68787
Website
https://www.wsc.edu/
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Distant
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,913
UnderGraduate Application Fee
N/A
Admission Rate
Open
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$6,042
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
18
Number of Online Programs Offered
6
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
31%
Southern Oregon University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1250 Siskiyou Blvd
City
Ashland
State
OR
Zip Code
97520
Website
www.sou.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
460-580
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
440-560
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
19-26
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
5,421
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$60
Admission Rate
95%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,145
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
23
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
22%
Western Oregon University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
345 North Monmouth Ave
City
Monmouth
State
OR
Zip Code
97361
Website
www.wou.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
420-540
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
420-530
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
410-510
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
17-22
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Fringe
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,808
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$60
Admission Rate
88%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,369
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
14
Number of Online Programs Offered
5
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
31%
Sinte Gleska University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
E. Highway 18, 101 Antelope Lake Circle
City
Mission
State
SD
Zip Code
57555
Website
www.sintegleska.edu
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Rural: Remote
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
535
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$74
Admission Rate
Open
Offers On-Campus Housing
No
In-State Tution & Fees
$3,154
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
12
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
N/A
Marshall University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1 John Marshall Dr
City
Huntington
State
WV
Zip Code
25755
Website
www.marshall.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
440-490
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
430-480
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
20-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
9,518
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
88%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$6,814
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
19
Number of Online Programs Offered
5
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
26%
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