30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education from Private Colleges

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In this article, we profile the 30 best online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education degrees from private colleges.

30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education from Private Colleges

Completing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education or early childhood education is the first step toward a teaching career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, kindergarten and elementary school teachers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Online options are available from private, top-ranked schools like Cornell College or Regis University. These schools offer accreditation, a solid academic reputation, and, in some cases, low tuition costs.

Ranking the Best Elementary Education Online Degrees

We reviewed approximately 70 accredited institutions listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES College Navigator). They offer online bachelor’s in elementary education or online early childhood education bachelor’s degrees. From the list of schools, we looked at the national, regional, or program rankings by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. We selected accredited institutions that have received recognition from a major publication and ranked the schools in order of affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 30 best online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education degree programs at private colleges.

#30 – Cornell College

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Mount Vernon, Iowa

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $39,900

Cornell College is a private liberal arts institution that uses a block schedule for the delivery of its classes. includes the online bachelor’s in elementary education degree. The academic calendar at Cornell College consists of eight blocks of 18 days each. This means students are taking one class at a time while earning their bachelor’s degree.

Courses for the bachelor’s in elementary education include:

  • children’s literature
  • education policy and practice
  • exceptional learner
  • historical foundations of education
  • methods of elementary mathematics

Students may also earn endorsements in areas like:

  • K-8 art K-8 English
  • K-8 music

Cornell College is a nationally ranked liberal arts college and best value school according to U.S. News and World Report’s most recent edition of Best Colleges.

#29 – Regis University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Denver, Colorado

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $34,450

Regis University’s online bachelor’s education degree program is a 120-credit hour license degree. It fulfills state standards for specific license and endorsement areas. The program is completely online with classes taught by university professors.

These courses include:

  • cultural competence in education
  • designing instruction for all learners
  • foundations of teaching
  • teaching the exceptional child
  • technology for educators

A PRAXIS examination must be passed before moving on to the student teaching component. Regis is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 23rd best regional university in the West. Its online bachelor’s programs–including elementary education–are ranked #156 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#28 – Vanguard University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Costa Mesa, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,430

The accredited online bachelor’s in early childhood education program at Vanguard University is offered in an accelerated seven-week format. Courses are taught by qualified instructors with educational and professional backgrounds in early childhood education.

Some of the classes include:

  • advanced curriculum design and development in early childhood education
  • language and literacy for young children
  • leadership and advocacy in early childhood education
  • math and science for the young child

A special education emphasis is also available for those interested in this highly specialized field of education. Vanguard is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 60th best regional university in the country.

#27 – California Baptist University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Studies

Riverside, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,372

California Baptist University’s early childhood education online degree program is  for students interested in teaching pre-K or becoming leaders in the fields of education. Classes are delivered online and taught by university professors.

These classes include:

  • assessment of young children
  • cognitive development in infancy and early childhood
  • early childhood curriculum
  • spiritual development of young children
  • STEM integrated with arts

Admission to the online program requires official transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.0. California Baptist is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 37th best regional university in the West. Its online bachelor’s programs rank #8 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#26 – Gardner-Webb University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Undergraduate Tuition: $29,810

Gardner-Webb University’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program prepares individuals to teach students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Upon completing the degree, students fulfill the requirements for a North Carolina Class A teaching license.

Courses are delivered online and include:

  • introduction to integrated curriculum and assessment
  • literacy and the language arts for K-8
  • literacy foundations
  • math content for elementary teachers
  • math methods in 21st century schools
  • science methods in 21st century schools

Gardner-Webb is a private college. U.S. News and World Report ranks it as the 220th best national university in the country. Also, several of the school’s online programs are recognized and ranked with Best Colleges.

#25 – Concordia University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Portland, Oregon

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $29,390

Concordia University’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education is a non-licensure program that consists of 12 courses offered over four semesters. During the fifth and final semester, students participate in an internship. Courses are taught by field experts. Many of them have experience working with children at the preschool and primary age levels.

Some of the required courses include:

  • child safety and protection
  • guiding the young child’s behavior
  • innovative and creative approaches to learning
  • learning environments for young children
  • partnering with families
  • working with infants and toddlers

Concordia is a private, nonprofit, Christian institution that focuses on liberal arts instruction. It is accredited. Also, the school has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#24 – Prescott College

Online Bachelor’s in Education and Teacher Preparation

Prescott, Arizona

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,943

One of the top online education degree programs on our list is Prescott College’s online bachelor’s in education and teacher preparation. This online teaching degree offers 100% online courses and the ability to work in your community gaining teaching experience. Enrolled students must attend a new student orientation in Prescott, Arizona before the start of the program.

All courses are delivered online and include educating for the future:

  • multicultural and environmental issues,
  • foundations of education

Application requirements include:

  • an academic focus essay
  • completed application
  • official transcripts

Prescott is an accredited private college and has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The school is ranked 82nd among the best regional universities in the West.

#23 – Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Online Bachelor’s in Education

Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,932

Saint Mary-of-the-Wood College offers accredited online bachelor’s education degree programs designed to prepare teacher candidates to obtain Indiana initial teaching licensure. Several areas of focus are offered, including:

  • kindergarten through grade 6
  • preschool through grade 3
  • special education

Dual license options are also available in some areas. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Courses may include:

  • assessment in learning
  • growth and development
  • observations in the schools
  • philosophical and ethical foundations of education

The school is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th best regional college in the Midwest. Its online bachelor’s programs have earned top rankings and recognition.

#22 – Asbury University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Wilmore, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,630

Asbury University’s elementary education online degree program offers eight-week classes beginning in January and March. The program is entirely online. It’s designed for working students or persons who want earn a bachelor’s in education online.

Courses are taught by field experts and include:

  • introduction to education
  • language arts methods
  • literary assessment
  • social studies methods
  • technology for education

A total of 124 credit hours are required for the program. Up to 75 credits may be transferred in. Asbury is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 14th best regional university in the South. The online bachelor’s programs have also received recognition.

#21 – LeTourneau University

Online Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies – Early Childhood Education

Longview, Texas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,480

LeTourneau University’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education is an interdisciplinary degree program. It has certificate options in early childhood education and 4th grade through 8th grade. As part of the bachelor’s degree requirements, students are required to complete six credit hours of student teaching. It may be completed in a chosen geographic location. The program operates on an accelerated format that allows students to finish each course in just five weeks.

LeTourneau is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 27th best regional university in the West and 4th best value school.

#20 – Notre Dame College

Online Bachelor’s in Education – Early Childhood Education

Cleveland, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,300

Notre Dame College offers two licensure tracks for their online education bachelor’s degrees:

  • early childhood education online degree
  • mild to moderate intervention specialist

The early childhood education program and license is designed to prepare students for pre K-3 education. Admission requires:

  • a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • official high school transcripts
  • an admissions interview

All courses are taught by full time expert faculty and delivered online. Courses cover a wide range of topics in:

  • education
  • learning
  • teaching technology

The institution is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. It’s accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

#19 – Southwestern College

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Winfield, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $27,250

Southwestern College offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education designed for busy students who want the flexibility of online classes. The program is 100% online with courses taught by the field experts. Required courses include:

  • child and adolescent literature
  • critical issues in health
  • diversity field experience
  • educational technology
  • instructional strategies
  • math in elementary school

To successfully complete the program, students must earn a 2.75 GPA in all major courses and complete a minimum of 124 credit hours. Southwestern College is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 115th best regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online bachelor’s programs are ranked #126 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#18 – Ottawa University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Ottawa, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $27,096

Ottawa University’s elementary education online degree program  prepares students to become educators in the elementary education field. Teaching degrees may be earned in both Kansas and Arizona. All classes are delivered online and taught by industry experts. These classes include:

  • educational psychology
  • elementary language arts and social studies methods
  • elementary primary reading methods and practicum
  • foundations of schools in a diverse society
  • integrating the fine arts
  • the exceptional child
  • the teaching profession

Ottawa is an accredited and ranked private institution founded in 1865. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution as the 47th best regional college in the Midwest.

#17 – Lees-McRae College

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $25,648

Lees-McRae College offers an accredited online bachelor’s in elementary education degree program.  It provides students with the skills needed to be school teachers and educators in the 21st century classroom.

The program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Coursework is completed online, and classes are taught by the same professors who instruct on campus.

These classes include:

  • beginning literacy and social studies strategies
  • educational psychology
  • foundations of American education
  • math and science strategies for elementary school
  • reflective teaching
  • teacher as researcher

Lees-McRae is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 19th best regional college in the South and is one of our top picks for online elementary education schools.

#16 – William Penn University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Oskaloosa, Iowa

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,510

William Penn University offers an elementary education online degree program. It’s for students who want  a career as an elementary education teacher. Classes are delivered online and taught by university instructors with substantial field experience.

Courses include:

  • classroom management
  • elementary fine arts methods
  • human relations for teachers
  • introduction to elementary education
  • language and culture
  • teaching of reading
  • theory of language and linguistics

A practicum and student teaching component is required. It  gives students the opportunity to put what they’ve learned from class into practice. William Penn is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest.

#15 – Bluefield College

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Bluefield, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,380

Bluefield College offers an online bachelor’s in early childhood education degree.It is a non-licensure program designed to prepare students to teach children ages birth to eight years old.

The program is delivered entirely online with occasional optional offerings in a traditional seminar format. Since it is not a licensure program, students are not required to be admitted to the Teacher Evaluation Program or pass Virginia licensing assessments. However, during the last year of the program, students must complete 120 hours of field experience–a mentored internship.

Bluefield College is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional college in the South and best value institution. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #165 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#14 – Sterling College

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Sterling, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,250

Sterling College offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education program with clinical teaching opportunities in your area. Students are not required to visit campus or attend traditional classes. All courses are delivered online and instructed by full time faculty.

These courses include:

  • child and adolescent literature
  • curriculum and methods of teaching elementary
  • elementary art methods
  • methods of teaching elementary science and math
  • reading testing and diagnosis
  • world and regional geography

Sterling College is accredited and ranked. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 56th best regional college in the Midwest. Also, the online bachelor’s programs have earned recognition among the top programs.

#13 – Midway University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Midway, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,350

Midway University offers an elementary education online degree program. It’s for qualified students who want to become elementary school teachers. Through convenient online courses and small class sizes, students become get the teaching skills and knowledge needed to pass the provisional licensure examination. Courses are delivered entirely online and taught by Midway professors and field experts. These courses include:

  • educational evaluation techniques
  • foundations of literacy
  • introduction to elementary education
  • introduction to the teaching profession
  • reading and language arts teaching methods
  • student teaching

Midway is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 69th best regional university in the South.

#12 – University of the Cumberlands

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,000

University of the Cumberlands offers online bachelor’s education degree programs. They include the online bachelor’s in elementary education. This teacher preparation program is 100% online. It allows for field experience and student teaching to be completed in the student’s geographic location. Classes are delivered online and taught by university professors.

These courses include:

  • classroom management and behavior
  • effective teaching practices
  • reading and language arts
  • P-5 teaching of social studies
  • psychology of learning and exceptionality
  • survey of individuals with exceptionalities

Cumberlands is a private university that is ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online bachelor’s degree programs are ranked #103 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#11 – Pacific Oaks College

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Pasadena, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,300

Pacific Oaks College offers an accredited online bachelor’s in early childhood education. It’s designed for students with an associate’s degree or at least 60 transferrable credits from an accredited institution or community college. The program is offered full time or part time. It  takes two to four years to complete, depending on which enrollment option you select. Classes are taught by experts in the field of teaching. They include several specializations and credential options, including:

  • STEAM
  • trauma
  • dual California teaching credential
  • preliminary multiple subject California teaching credential

Pacific Oaks is accredited and recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#10 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,292

Liberty University offers an online bachelor’s in elementary education program. It’s 100% online and NCATE-accredited. This pre-teaching preparation program explores current educational trends in today’s private and public schools. It prepares you also to enter the master’s in teaching program. A total of 120 credit hours must be completed with 30 hours taken through Liberty.

While it’s considered to be a non-licensure program, students have the option of completing a 90 credit hour practicum. Courses include:

  • classroom management for teachers
  • learning theory and portfolio development
  • scholarly writing and APA

Liberty is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. Also, the online bachelor’s programs are ranked #148 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – Kendall College

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $19,828

Kendall College offers two early childhood education online degree programs–with or without Illinois teacher licensure preparation. Both programs offer an online learning platform and rigorous curriculum. It prepares students for careers as early childhood educators. Degree requirements include courses in:

  • child developmen
  • children’s literature
  • children with exceptionalities
  • knowledge and skills building for teachers
  • language acquisition and development
  • survey of American education
  • teaching and learning in a diverse society

Several concentrations are also available so you can tailor your degree toward career goals and interests. These concentrations include:

  • childhood nutrition
  • ESL
  • special education

Kendall is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional college in the Midwest.

#8 – Judson College

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Marion, Alabama

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,376

Judson College’s online bachelor’s in elementary education program is available via distance learning. Most classes are offered in Moodlerooms. This technological tool enables online students to engage with content and activities throughout the course.

The program prepares students to become qualified K-6 teachers. This is done through coursework and  working with and observing licensed classroom teachers. Judson College is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national liberal arts college.  Judson earns a spot on our list as among the most affordable private colleges to earn an online bachelor’s in elementary education degree.

#7 – Wayland Baptist University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

Plainview, Texas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,060

Wayland Baptist University offers an early childhood education online degree program. It’s for non-traditional students who may already be working in the education field. All courses are delivered online. However, face-to-face options are available.

Early childhood course requirements include classes in:

  • administration of programs for young children
  • classroom management
  • foundations of reading
  • math and science for young children
  • partnering with parents
  • principles of caring for preschool children
  • research writing methods

Wayland Baptist is ranked in major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West. Also, several of the school’s online programs have earned recognition in recent editions of Best Colleges. The school and program are accredited.

#6 – National University

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

La Jolla, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,016

National University offers an early childhood education online degree program. It’s for busy and working students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in education. The program includes the competencies and guidelines as established by:

  • the National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • the Child Development Associates National Competency Standards

Classes are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. These classes include:

  • children with special needs
  • early cognition
  • early language and literacy
  • ethical and legal issues
  • observing and assessing
  • play as pedagogy

Three concentrations are also available:

  • early childhood administration
  • infant and toddler
  • teacher education

National University’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked #119 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.

#5 – Brandman University

Online Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies – Multiple Teaching Subjects

Irvine, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,300

Brandman University offers online bachelor’s education degree programs. Included is  the bachelor’s in liberal studies with an emphasis in multiple subjects teaching. The program serves to prepare students to enter  post-baccalaureate education programs or elementary school instructional careers.

To enter the program, students must have 12 or more transferable bachelor’s level credits and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. All courses are delivered online and include:

  • education applications of computers
  • education and society in the 21st century
  • language development and acquisition
  • literature of children and young adults
  • math for elementary school teachers

Brandman is a private institution. It’s recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West. The online bachelor’s programs are ranked #63 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#4 – Ashford University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

San Diego, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,032

Ashford University offers an online bachelor’s in child development. It  prepares students with the ability to work with children. This education degree is completely online and offers courses that run five weeks in length.

Students take one course at a time in:

  • early childhood education
  • education
  • special education
  • psychology
  • sociology

Some of the required courses include:

  • child development
  • cognitive development of infants and young children
  • early childhood curriculum and methods
  • introduction to child development
  • language development in young children
  • understanding behavior and family dynamics

Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, www.wascs enior.org.

#3 – Wilmington University

Online Bachelor’s in Education Studies – Early Childhood Education

New Castle, Delaware

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,670

Wilmington University’s online bachelor’s education degree programs include the BS in Education Studies with a concentration in early childhood education. It’s a 122 credit program. It provides students to work effectively with children and youth in positions that do not require state certification or licensure. Four areas of concentration are offered, including:

  • early childhood education
  • elementary education
  • middle level education
  • skilled and technical sciences

Online courses include:

  • creating environments for learning
  • development and implementation of IEPs
  • learning differences and assessment of exceptional children
  • learner development and early literacy
  • professional issues in early childhood

U.S. News and World Report lists Wilmington’s online bachelor’s programs as among the best in the country.

#2 – Western Governors University

Online Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies – Elementary Education

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,070

Western Governors University offers the NCATE-accredited elementary education online degree program. It’s designed to prepare students for careers that require licensure as elementary education schoolteachers. The program is for:

  • unlicensed teachers
  • paraprofessionals
  • individuals seeking employment as elementary educators

Classes are delivered online and taught by university professors. These courses include:

  • critical thinking and logic
  • cultural studies and diversity
  • fundamentals of educational psychology
  • mathematics for elementary educators
  • survey of United States history

Western Governors is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.

#1 – Central Methodist University

Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education

Fayette, Missouri

Website

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,400

Central Methodist University is the most affordable school on our list to offer an elementary education online degree. The program focuses on teaching methods and the development of young children. Several elementary education concentrations are available. Students may tailor their degree toward areas of interest like:

  • children’s literature
  • creative arts
  • physical education
  • reading and writing

Online courses include:

  • foundations of education
  • methods and materials for teaching content
  • reading and writing with young children
  • reading assessment and instruction
  • teaching reading and writing in school

Central Methodist University is a private institution founded in 1854. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 26th best regional college in the Midwest.

This concludes our list of the 30 best online bachelor’s in elementary education or early childhood education degrees from private colleges and universities.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief