30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education 2017

In this article, we profile the 30 best online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education at some of the nation’s top-ranked and most affordable institutions for 2017.

Earning a bachelor’s in early childhood education or elementary education is often the first step to a long-term teaching career. Early childhood education programs are for students interested in becoming toddler and preschool teachers, child care center directors, and teaching assistants (grades K-3), while elementary education programs are for those who want to teach elementary school. If either are your goal, earning an accredited bachelor’s degree is essential. Thankfully, online degree options are available from top-ranked and affordable institutions.

Ranking Methodology

We reviewed 102 accredited colleges and universities that offered an online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education according to NCES College Navigator. From this pool of schools, we reviewed rankings received from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. We narrowed the pool to the most affordable schools based on tuition information from College Navigator. We listed the schools in order of affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our 30 best online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education.

#30 – Concordia University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Portland, Oregon

Website

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Concordia’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education degree program is for busy adults.

Undergraduate tuition: $28,510

Concordia University’s early childhood education bachelor’s degree programs are non-licensure and require 12 courses offered over four semesters with an internship serving as the final semester. The program is designed for busy individuals who are interested in working in a preschool or childcare environment. All courses are delivered online and include child safety and protection, children with special needs, guiding the young child’s behavior, learning environments for young children, social studies and young child, and strategies for teaching English language learners. Concordia is a private and accredited institution. In recent years, the school has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#29 – Gardner-Webb University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Website

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Gardner-Webb University’s online bachelor’s in elementary education is a nationally ranked program.

Undergraduate tuition: $28,280

Gardner-Webb University’s School of Education offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education program that focuses on the development of children from ages five to twelve. All classes are taken in an online format and taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. Online classes may include fine arts integration in 21st century schools, literacy and the language arts for K-8, literacy foundations, math content for elementary teachers, and social studies methods for schools. A total of 12 hours of student teaching experience is required during the fourth semester. Gardner-Webb is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 220th best national university with one of the best online bachelor’s programs in the country. Also, for those interested in earning a graduate education degree, the school’s online graduate education programs rank #116 in the nation.

#28 – Midway University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Midway, Kentucky

Website

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Midway University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education.

Undergraduate tuition: $22,250

Midway University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education degree that is designed for working and busy students. The program provides online courses to make it convenient for students to earn their degree without having to spend valuable time in the classroom. Online courses include educational evaluation techniques, integrating culture and diversity into the curriculum, introduction to elementary education, reading and language arts teaching methods, and writing and literacy in the content area. Midway is a regionally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 69th best regional university in the South. Also, the online bachelor’s programs have earned recognition.

#27 – Chaminade University of Honolulu

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

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Chaminade University’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program has a 40-state reciprocity agreement.

Undergraduate tuition: $21,780

For those interested in online degrees in elementary education, Chaminade University of Honolulu offers a bachelor’s degree program with a 40-state reciprocity agreement. This means that students who reside in any of the approved states may receive licensing credential. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on the Honolulu campus. Courses include classroom assessment, educational psychology, elementary language arts methods, integrated curriculum, and managing school environments. A total of 120 credit hours of coursework are required, including satisfaction of the student teaching requirement. Chaminade is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 52nd best regional university in the West.

#26 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

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Licensing options are available in the online elementary education bachelor’s from Liberty University.

Undergraduate tuition: $20,109

Liberty University offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education interdisciplinary studies degree that is considered to be a pre-teacher preparation program designed to show students how to create lesson plans and units. Also, the non-licensure program offers an optional fifth year MAT elementary education licensure route. All classes are delivered online and include classroom management for teachers, educational philosophy for teachers, instructional practices for content teachers, learning theory and portfolio development, and principles of education. Liberty is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #100 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#25 – Grand Canyon University

Online Bachelor’s Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

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Grand Canyon University has an online bachelor’s in elementary education and early childhood education. Both are accredited!

Undergraduate tuition: $17,050

The College of Education at Grand Canyon University offers accredited online degrees in elementary education and early childhood education. Both degree programs are offered online and designed for busy and working students who require flexible class delivery. The BS in elementary education program leads to initial teacher licensure and qualifies students to teach in elementary and middle schools. Courses may include advanced methodologies of structured English immersion, child and early adolescent development and psychology, and research-based methods and strategies of teaching mathematics. Grand Canyon University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#24 – National University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

La Jolla, California

Website

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National University’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program requires field experience.

Undergraduate tuition: $12,744

One of the more affordable online degrees in elementary education is found at National University. The program is offered entirely online and provides elementary licensure for the state of Nevada only. Nineteen courses (Core requisites) in elementary education are required. These classes include cultural diversity, development and learning, fundamentals of education, fundamentals of linguistics, leadership and assessment, special needs students, and survey of multicultural literature. A total of 60 hours of field experience (student teaching) must be completed to satisfy degree requirements. National University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online bachelor’s programs rank #114 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#23 – Union Institute and University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

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Union Institute offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education.

Undergraduate tuition: $12,144

Union Institute and University offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education for individuals interested in teaching in the state of Florida. The program is delivered online and offers both full-time and part-time options. A total of 120 credit hours are required with courses in classroom management, educational assessment, effective instructional practices, integrating educational technology across the curriculum, methods of teaching ESOL, and testing and evaluation of ESOL students. Union Institute has earned rankings from major publications in recent years. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has recognized the school as a top national university.

#22 – Park University

Online Bachelor’s in Education Studies

Parkville, Missouri

Website

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Park University’s online bachelor’s in education studies has an early childhood option.

Undergraduate tuition: $11,470

One of the more affordable online schools for bachelor’s in elementary education degree programs on our list is found at Park University. The program offers four areas of emphasis, including young child (birth through grade 3), youth (grade 1 through grade 6), early childhood education and leadership, and early childhood education teaching young children. The early childhood options cover courses like child growth and development for early childhood and elementary teachers, educational psychology, issues in diversity and world culture, personal and community health, and study of the family. Park University is a regionally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #183 out of 1,200 surveyed programs.

#21 – University of Cincinnati

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

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University of Cincinnati’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education program is designed for working adults.

Undergraduate tuition: $11,000

The online early childhood education bachelor’s degree program at University of Cincinnati is designed for working and busy students who want to complete their degree in a convenient way. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on the Cincinnati campus. Some of the courses include educational psychology, introductory child development, language development in young children, and learning strategies for inclusive classrooms in early childhood. Three focus area options are also available. These areas of specialization allow students to tailor their degree to a particular area of interest. Specializations include administration, infant-toddler, and pre-K focus. The University of Cincinnati’s online bachelor’s programs rank #195 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.

#20 – Ashford University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

San Diego, California

Website

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Ashford’s early childhood education bachelor’s degree is offered entirely online.

Undergraduate tuition: $10,720

The early childhood education bachelor’s online degree from Ashford University offers an infant and toddler care specialization and the option to pursue certification and licensure in selected states. The program is designed for working individuals who want to earn their early childhood education undergraduate degree online. Courses include child development, early childhood curriculum and methods, foundations of movement and motor activities, language development in young children, and survey of exceptional students. Additional courses are required for the infant and toddler care specialization. Ashford University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best regional university in the West.

#19 – Wilmington University

Online Bachelor’s in Education Studies – Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education

New Castle, Delaware

Website

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Wilmington University offers an affordable online bachelor’s in education studies that emphasizes both early childhood education and elementary education.

Undergraduate tuition: $10,430

One of the more affordable online degrees in elementary education or early childhood education is found at Wilmington University. Students earn a bachelor’s in education studies with a concentration in either early childhood education or elementary education (K-6). There are also three certificate options available for online students. These include child advocacy studies, nonprofit management, and training and staff development. Typical courses include creating environments for learning, development and implementation of IEPs, diagnosis and correction of learning differences in reading, and instructional strategies in education. Wilmington is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the 202nd best online bachelor’s programs in the nation.

#18 – University of Toledo

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Toledo, Ohio

Website

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University of Toledo’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education is highly ranked.

Undergraduate tuition: $9,547

University of Toledo’s online early childhood education bachelor’s program offers a non-licensure track that is designed for busy students who hold an associate’s degree in early childhood education from an accredited institution. Online courses are taught by the same university professors who teach on the Toledo campus. Courses include creating effective learning environments, early literacy and language, meeting the needs of young children with disabilities, and supporting ECE science and math. University of Toledo is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #120 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#17 – Ball State University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Muncie, Indiana

Website

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You can minor in special education when pursuing the online bachelor’s in early childhood education at Ball State.

Undergraduate tuition: $9,498

Ball State University offers an online early childhood education bachelor’s degree program that focuses on the education of children from birth to age 5. The program offers a built-in minor for those interested in early childhood special education. All classes are delivered online and include administration of early childhood programs, early childhood curriculum and instruction, early emergent literacy, introduction to students with exceptional needs, leadership and management in child development programs, literature for young children, and theory and practices in early childhood education. Ball State is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #34 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs in the most recent edition of Best Colleges.

#16 – University of West Alabama

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development

Livingston, Alabama

Website

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University of West Alabama’s online bachelor’s in early childhood development is 100% online.

Undergraduate tuition: $8,734

One of the most affordable online schools for bachelor’s in elementary education degree programs is the University of West Alabama. The degree is a non-certification bachelor’s and all classes are delivered via distance education. Online courses include assessment and diagnosis in special education, behavior management in the classroom, developmentally appropriate practice, introduction to childhood education, literature for young children, methods for teaching special education K-6, and the importance of play. The University of Alabama is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school is listed as a best regional university in the South and its online bachelor’s programs rank #172 out of 1,200 similar surveyed programs.

#15 – University of Nebraska

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

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University of Nebraska offers an affordable online bachelor’s in early childhood education.

Undergraduate tuition: $8,367

University of Nebraska is one of the most affordable online schools for a bachelor’s in elementary education. The program, designed for busy individuals, prepares students to work in early childhood settings with young children whose family members are considered mobile (military populations). All classes are delivered online and include assessing young children and their environments to enhance development, diversity in the lives of young children and families, technology and young children, and working with families. University of Nebraska is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 111th best national university in the country and the 51st top public school. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #86 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#14 – Bemidji State University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Bemidji, Minnesota

Website

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Bemidji State University offers an elementary in education bachelor’s degree that can be completed entirely online.

Undergraduate tuition: $8,366

The online bachelor’s in elementary education degree program combines online learning with three required face-to-face sessions per year. Sessions are generally two or three days and occur at a community college campus in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. To satisfy program requirements, all education courses must be taken through Bemidji State University. Courses include creative process foundations, educational psychology, introduction to the foundations of education, language arts, social studies in the elementary school, and the professional teacher. Bemidji is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 115th best regional university in the Midwest. The online bachelor’s programs rank #187 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – University of Wisconsin

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Superior, Wisconsin

Website

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University of Wisconsin offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education that is highly affordable.

Undergraduate tuition: $8,036

The University of Wisconsin offers accredited online degrees in elementary education with several available teaching minors. The degree may be completed primarily online, although some courses require observation or work at nearby schools. Field experience is also a requirement of the program and must be completed in the student’s geographic location. According to the program website, accreditation has been awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. University of Wisconsin is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school #36 for best regional colleges in the Midwest and #2 for top public schools.

#12 – University of Louisiana

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Monroe, Louisiana

Website

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University of Louisiana offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education degree that’s accredited and ranked.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,658

The University of Louisiana is one of our most affordable online schools for bachelor’s in elementary education degree programs. The program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. Curriculum focuses on five components of education, including clinical and field experiences (student teaching), content studies (subject content like language arts and math), general studies, integrative studies, and professional and pedagogical studies (teaching methods). The University of Louisiana is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.

#11 – Mississippi State University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Website

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Mississippi State University’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program mirrors the one taught on-campus.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,502

For those interested in an online bachelor’s in early childhood education or elementary education degree program, plentiful options are available from accredited institutions. In fact, Mississippi State University offers an undergraduate elementary education degree that may be completed entirely online. Classes are taught by university professors, while courses and assignments mirror the on-campus programs. This means that online students earn the same teaching degree as the Mississippi State campus offers. Flexible start dates and summer school options are also available. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, for those interested in graduate education programs, the school’s online graduate ed programs rank #104 out of 1,200 similar programs.

#10 – University of Southern Mississippi

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

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Affordability and accreditation! University of Southern Mississippi’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program is also top-ranked.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,334

Options for online bachelor’s in early childhood education and elementary education degrees are available from some of the nation’s accredited and top-ranked institutions. The University of Southern Mississippi offers an online elementary education bachelor’s degree that is affordable and top-ranked. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school’s online bachelor’s programs #164 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. Some of the courses include curriculum methods for primary and middle grades, early literacy, educational technology applications, foundational studies in early childhood education, and psychology and education of exceptional children.

#9 – University of North Carolina

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Wilmington, North Carolina

Website

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UNC offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,691

The Watson College of Education at University of North Carolina offers an accredited and affordable online bachelor’s in elementary education. Successful completion of the program earns a BA degree in elementary education. The program is specifically designed for active military, families of military personnel, single parents who work full-time, or students with full- and part-time jobs. The school also offers access to master of education programs for those who desire to move into administration or become experts in their field. UNC is a highly ranked institution. In fact, major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report rank it as a top national university. The most recent edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 30th best national university and 12th best value school.

#8 – East Carolina University

Online Bachelor’s in Birth Through Kindergarten

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

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Affordability earns East Carolina University a top spot on our list of online bachelor’s degrees in elementary education.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,580

An alternative to the early childhood undergraduate program or an online bachelor’s in elementary education is the BS in Birth through Kindergarten (BK) from East Carolina University. The program is designed to prepare individuals to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, with and without disabilities. All classes are delivered online and include child development, early experience in birth through kindergarten education, learning environments and teaching methods in early childhood, introduction to diversity, literacy development, and technology in education. East Carolina is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 210th best national university in the country.

#7 – Mayville State University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Mayville, North Dakota

Website

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Mayville State University offers an affordable online bachelor’s in early childhood education.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,380

Mayville State University’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education is both accredited and affordable. The program is designed for busy individuals who need to remain close to home for work and family obligations but still want to earn a four-year education degree. All classes are delivered online and include child and adolescent psychology, diversity and professionalism in ECE, infants and toddlers, language and literacy, movement education, and social and emotional development and guidance in ECE. Four specializations are also available so that students may tailor their degree to personal interests and career goals. Specializations include administration, after school, infant and toddler, and special needs. Mayville is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top public school, and the online bachelor’s programs rank #205 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#6 – Western Governors University

Online Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

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Western Governors University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies that emphasizes early education (K-8).

Undergraduate tuition: $6,070

Western Governors University offers a type of online bachelor’s in elementary education that leads to teacher licensure for grades K through 8. According to the program website, students should plan to spend approximately 15 or more hours per week on their studies. All classes are delivered online and focus on key subject areas like elementary education methods, instructional planning and presentation, preclinical experiences, teacher education diversity, and teacher education foundations. Successful completion of a professional portfolio is also required. In recent years, Western Governors has received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best regional university in the West.

#5 – North Carolina Central University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Durham, North Carolina

Website

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NCCU’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education program is top-ranked and accredited.

Undergraduate tuition: $5,755

For those interested in an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education or BS in early childhood education, North Carolina University offers an online degree pathway. The program is primarily online and offers courses in birth to kindergarten, but some face-to-face classes may be required. Courses may include creative activities, directed teaching in birth through kindergarten, family policy, and program development for preschool and kindergarten. NCCU is a regionally ranked and historically black university. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #72 among the best regional universities in the South. Also, the online bachelor’s and online graduate education programs have received top rankings.

#4 – Central Methodist University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Fayette, Missouri

Website

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Central Methodist University offers an online bachelor’s in child development.

Undergraduate tuition: $5,280

Those interested in an online bachelor’s in early childhood education may find the online bachelor’s in child development from Central Methodist University an option. The accredited degree program is designed for individuals who desire a career in early childhood settings. Two emphasis areas are provided so that students may tailor their degree to suit career goals. These emphasis areas include curriculum development and early childhood. Courses are delivered online and include child development, curriculum methods, infant toddler curriculum, motor learning and motor development, and utilitarian families and community resources. Central Methodist University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 26th best regional college in the Midwest.

#3 – Fayetteville State University

Online Bachelor’s in Birth Through Kindergarten

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Website

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Fayetteville State University’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education focuses on birth through kindergarten.

Undergraduate tuition: $4,885

Fayetteville State University’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education focuses on birth through kindergarten and leads to a non-teaching degree. Two minors are available, including psychology or sociology. All courses are taught by faculty who routinely teach at the Fayetteville campus. Courses include birth to kindergarten curriculum development, current issues and trends in early education, education of exceptional children, foundations of multicultural education, introduction to social work, and teaching the child with special needs. Fayetteville State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 102nd best regional university in the South.

#2 – Fort Hays State University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Hays, Kansas

Website

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Fort Hays State University’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program is top-ranked and affordable.

Undergraduate tuition: $4,654

Affordable options are available for online bachelor’s in early childhood education and elementary education degrees. Fort Hays State University’s Virtual College offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education program that is designed for those seeking licensure in kindergarten through sixth grade. The program offers an immersive teacher residency that helps prepare students for Kansas state licensure. All classes are delivered online and mirror those taught on the Hays campus. Courses include classroom management, diverse learners, elementary art methods, foundations of education, human growth and development, and instructional technology for elementary teachers. Fort Hays State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online bachelor’s programs rank #24 out of approximately 1,200 similar programs.

#1 – Florida State University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Jacksonville, Florida

Website

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Florida State University is our #1 pick for online bachelor’s in early childhood education.

Undergraduate tuition: $2,830

Florida State University is our most affordable institution for offering online bachelor’s in early childhood education degrees. Through the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Education, students may earn a total of 120 credits, taking classes designed to prepare them to become effective pre-kindergarten through grade 3 teachers in public and private schools. The program may be completed entirely online and requires courses like child growth and development, early literacy for young children, introduction to diversity for teachers, program development in early childhood education, and special needs in early childhood education. Florida State is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #92 among the best national universities in the country. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #34 out of 1,200 surveyed programs. Ranking and affordability land FSU the top spot on our list of best online bachelor’s degrees in elementary education or early childhood education.

This concludes our ranking of the 30 best online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education degrees at some of the nation’s top-ranked and most affordable institutions for 2017.

BDP Staff
November 2016