30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree 2021

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In this article, we profile 30 great small colleges for a teaching degree in the United States. This list features the most selective small colleges and universities offering teaching and education degrees at the undergraduate level.

Colleges and universities across the nation help prepare education students for challenges they will face while teaching. The 21st century offers a rewarding, yet obstacle-filled, career in public education. Standards and outcomes are at the forefront of all educators, and new technology is helping to shift traditional classroom work online. New teachers must be prepared to handle such challenges in an effective and useful way. Some of the best education programs within the confines of university and college settings are found on small campuses, those with fewer than 3,000 students. These colleges offer diverse programs that prepare students for leadership roles in education.

30 Great Small Colleges For A Teaching Degree

Ranking Methodology

From our original pool of schools (approximately 125 institutions) meeting the criteria listed below, we chose the most selective institutions. Our data points were collected from NCES College Navigator. Our methodology includes the following:

  • Undergraduate enrollment of 3,000 or fewer students
  • Accredited four-year institution that is public or private non-profit
  • Offers a teaching degree such as a Bachelor of Education, with or without certification

Note that many of these institutions are also characterized by the following features:

  • Acceptance rate
  • Frequent appearance in major national rankings, such those done by U.S. News & World Report

Schools are presented in order of acceptance rate, with the most selective school appearing at #1. Data values, including acceptance rate, were taken from NCES College Navigator.

Ranking the 30 Best Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree

#30 – Shaw University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Website

A logo of Shaw University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Ranked and accredited! Shaw University is a top school for teaching degrees.

Teacher certification and three undergraduate majors are available at Shaw University, a private institution and historically Black college. Individuals pursuing an undergraduate teaching degree may major in birth-kindergarten, early child development, or elementary education. Formal admission into each major occurs after the candidate has completed a certain number of courses and obtained the required GPA. While set in an urban area, Shaw is surprisingly small. The student population is 1,291, with 1,174 undergraduates. With a small student population, the student-to-faculty ratio at Shaw is 15 to 1. In addition to being fully accredited, Shaw ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 70th-91st best regional college in the South.

#29 – Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Alva, Oklahoma

Acceptance Rate: 70%

Website

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Plentiful education majors – Northwestern Oklahoma State!

With a student population of 1,970 (1,767 undergraduates), Northwestern Oklahoma State University earns a spot on our list of great small colleges for a teaching degree. The institution’s School of Education offers majors in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education. There are also various routes to certification offered for secondary programs, including agriculture education, English education, health and sports science education, math education, and more. Northwestern Oklahoma ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Their most recent rankings include #95-#124 in best regional universities in the West and #50-#66 in top public schools.

#28 – Williams Baptist University

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Website

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Ranked by U.S. News, Williams Baptist offers reputable teaching degrees.

One of the smallest colleges for a teaching degree on our list is Williams Baptist University. The school offers a student population of 550, with the majority being undergraduates. Small numbers mean a low student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. Through the university’s Department of Education, several undergraduate teaching programs are available. From elementary education (K-6) to secondary social studies education, students may elect to earn their degree in an area of interest designed to meet their career goals. In addition to accreditation and approval by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, WBU ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Rankings include #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges and #87 in top performers on social mobility.

#27 – Livingstone College

Salisbury, North Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Website

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A great place for a teaching degree – Livingstone College.

Livingstone College, a small and private institution, ranks among the best small colleges for a teaching degree. Livingstone offers a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a student population of 1,122 undergraduates. For those seeking degrees in teaching, several education majors are available. Livingstone’s Department of Education, Psychology, and Social Work offers degrees in early elementary education (Birth-K), K-6th, Psychology, Social Work, and Teacher Education Statistics, to name a few. In addition to being fully accredited, Livingstone ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report as the 70th-91st best regional college in the South. Other rankings include #48 in top performers on social mobility and #59-#77 in historically Black colleges and universities.

#26 – Lake Superior State University

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Website

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A 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio – Lake Superior State University is an ideal school for a teaching degree.

Acceptance rate and small student population earns Lake Superior State University a spot on our list of best small colleges for a teaching degree. Founded in 1946 and set in a rural area of Michigan, Lake Superior State boasts small class sizes (student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1) and a robust education program. The School of Education offers degrees in early childhood education, elementary education, and secondary education. Within the elementary education program, several concentrations are available. Concentrations include language arts, language arts and math, and learning disabilities. In addition to Lake Superior and its education programs being fully accredited, the school ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. In fact, rankings include #46 in best regional college in the Midwest and third in top public schools.

#25 – West Liberty University

West Liberty, West Virginia

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Website

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Small and accredited, West Liberty University offers teaching degrees for undergraduates!

The College of Education and Human Performance at West Liberty University offers various teacher education majors. Students are drawn to the teaching programs due to class size and reputation. West Liberty boasts a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a small undergraduate student population of 2,183. The overall student population is just under 2,500. Six teacher education majors are available in which students may earn a bachelor’s degree. These include comprehensive education, elementary education, health and physical education, middle childhood education, preschool special needs education, and secondary education. Minors and endorsements in teaching and education are also available. Also of note are West Liberty’s rankings with U.S. News & World Report. Rankings include #68 in best regional universities in the South and #28 in top public schools.

#24 – Saint Augustine’s University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Website

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A ranked and accredited HBC! Saint Augustine’s, a top spot for a teaching degree.

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers a comfortable rural setting within an urban environment. Saint Augustine’s small student population of 899 undergraduates keep the student-to-faculty ratio low. In fact, College Navigator reports the student-to-faculty ratio as 11:1. The Department of Education offers two licensure programs sanctioned by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Degrees are available in elementary education and health and physical education. In addition to the school being fully accredited, Saint Augustine’s ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 65th best regional college in the South and 58th best historically Black college or university.

#23 – York College

York, Nebraska

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Website

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NCATE-accredited degree programs in teaching! York College.

York College, a rural and private institution, offers NCATE-accredited programs for those seeking teaching degrees and certifications. Education majors include elementary education, physical education, secondary education, special education, and vocal music education. All students enrolled in any of the education programs gain 100 hours of classroom experience. Small class sizes allow faculty to know and mentor their students. In fact, College Navigator reports York’s student-to-faculty ratio as 11:1, one of the smallest on our list. In addition to its accreditation, York College has earned rankings with U.S. News & World Report. These rankings include #45 in best regional colleges in the Midwest and eighth in top performers on social mobility.

#22 – University of Minnesota

Morris, Minnesota

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Website

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A top-ranked school for teaching degrees – University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota Morris provides undergraduate degrees in education, elementary education, and secondary education, with or without licensure. The public institution, founded in 1959, has an undergraduate student population of 1,499. The small student body leads to a small student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. With small class sizes, students become acquainted with their peers and gain access to faculty mentorship. It is the size and reputation that leads to University of Minnesota’s rankings with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. These rankings include #140 in best national liberal arts colleges and seventh in top public schools.

#21 – Claflin University

Orangeburg, South Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Website

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Less than 2,000 undergrads! Claflin University – a small college for a teaching degree.

The small student population and access to education programs are what appeal to those attending Claflin University for a teaching degree. The private institution is fully accredited and ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 9th best regional college in the South. Other rankings include #14 in top performers on social mobility and ninth in historically Black colleges and universities. Less than 2,000 undergraduates call Claflin their home away from home. For those seeking a teaching degree, Claflin offers several bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood education, elementary education, English education, mathematics education, and music education, to name a few.

#20 – LeMoyne-Owen College

Memphis, Tennessee

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Website

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Low student-to-faculty ratio – LeMoyne-Owen is a top school for teaching degree programs.

With a small undergraduate population and low student-to-faculty ratio, LeMoyne-Owen College offers an intimate learning environment for aspiring teachers. There are four bachelor’s degrees offered in teacher education at LeMoyne. These majors include English/language arts, general mathematics, general education, and social studies. Both BA and BS degrees are available. In addition to teacher education majors, minors are also offered. Students have the option of tailoring their degree by minoring in an area of interest. In addition to being fully accredited, LeMoyne-Owen ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. In fact, recent rankings with U.S. News include #17 in best regional universities in the North and seventh in best undergraduate teaching programs.

#19 – Gallaudet University

Washington, District of Columbia

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Website

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Small and accredited! Gallaudet University offers teaching degrees for aspiring educators.

While located in the metro area of Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University is surprisingly small. The school has a student population of just 1,485 students, 1,075 of which are undergraduates. The small setting in a major city offers a unique and comfortable learning environment. Classes are kept extremely small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 6:1. But students also have access to all that Washington, D.C. has to offer. For those seeking teaching degrees, Gallaudet offers six undergraduate majors. These majors include early childhood education, elementary education, and secondary education with emphases in a wide range of concentrations. In addition to Gallaudet’s accreditation, the school has received rankings with U.S. News & World Report.

#18 – University of Maryland

Princess Anne, Maryland

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Website

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Offering a wide range of education degrees – University of Maryland.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore lands a spot on our list of great small colleges for a teaching degree. The school’s Department of Education offers several undergraduate and graduate teaching degrees. For undergraduates, bachelor’s degrees are available in art education and special education, as well as secondary education. In secondary education majors, students may earn concentrations in biology, chemistry, English, family and consumer sciences, social studies, and technology and engineering. An Upper Division Certificate (UDC) in special education is also offered. The University of Maryland in Princess Anne also ranks with U.S. News & World Report among top national universities.

#17 – Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham, Alabama

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Website

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Top-ranked and fully accredited! Birmingham-Southern College offers teaching degrees for aspiring educators.

Birmingham-Southern College is a top-ranked institution that is fully accredited and recognized as being among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. In fact, the school ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 130th best national liberal arts college. Other rankings include #215 in top performers on social mobility. With a small campus size and an equally small student population of 1,209, students seeking an intimate learning environment will enjoy what this liberal arts institution offers. The student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 allows students to gain access to professors and form relationships quickly with peers. For those seeking a teaching degree, majors and certificates in all aspects of education are offered.

#16 – Stillman College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Website

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A small liberal arts college offering teaching degrees – Stillman College!

At Stillman College, a small liberal arts institution located in the heart of Alabama, students have access to a variety of education programs. Some of the available majors for undergraduates seeking teaching degrees include elementary education, English language arts, general science (biology), social studies (history) 6-12, and special education (K-6). Small class sizes allow students to make connections with faculty and peers. In fact, the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. While the ratio is larger than some of the other schools on our list, the total student population is only 861, all of which are undergraduates. In addition to being fully accredited, Stillman ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 171st-221st best national liberal arts college.

#15 – Judson College

Marion, Alabama

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Website

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One of the smallest schools on our list for teaching degrees – Judson College.

Judson College, a private institution founded in 1838, has a total undergraduate population of 250 students. The small student population gives way to one of the smallest student-to-faculty ratios on our list (5:1). For those seeking teaching degrees, Judson offers both elementary education and secondary education programs. Also, individuals who pursue the secondary education degree may choose from an array of content areas to hone their teaching interests. Judson is fully accredited and ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Recent rankings include #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges and #216 in top performers on social mobility.

#14 – Huston-Tillotson University

Austin, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Website

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Ranked with U.S. News! Huston-Tillotson offers teaching degrees in a small college environment.

At Huston-Tillotson University, a small, historically Black institution in Austin, Texas, students may pursue teaching degrees. Undergraduate programs include bachelor’s degrees in education with a concentration in EC-6, special education, or technology applications or a BA/BS in a specific academic major. These majors include English, history, math, or music, and they can be taken with an education minor. Students complete their teaching requirements prior to graduation. Huston-Tillotson University offers a small student population of 1,121 (1,112 undergraduates) and full accreditation. Also, the school ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 26th-33rd best regional college in the West and #59-#77 in historically Black colleges and universities.

#13 – Mayville State University

Mayville, North Dakota

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Website

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Mayville State offers a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, for those who wish to earn a teaching degree.

Mayville State University is a small public institution with an undergraduate population of 1,187, and an overall student population of 1,212. The campus is set in a rural area of North Dakota on 55 acres. The small campus size allows students to easily meet peers and form relationships with faculty. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 13:1. For those seeking teaching degrees, Mayville State offers several early childhood education programs, as well as degrees in special education and teacher education. Popular programs include elementary education and secondary professional education. Adding to its allure, Mayville ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 54th best regional college in the Midwest.

#12 – University of Arkansas

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Website

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A great small college for a teaching degree – University of Arkansas.

With a 50% acceptance rate and small student population of 2,498 (almost all of which are undergraduates), the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff lands a spot on our list of great small colleges for a teaching degree. Small class sizes with an overall student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 allow students to easily connect with professors and peers. For those pursuing a teaching degree, several undergraduate programs are available. The School of Education offers degree programs that lead to licensure in elementary education, English education, middle level (4-8) education, and several other areas of specialty. In fact, the University of Arkansas offers one of the largest teaching degree selections on our list. Also, the school ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a top regional college in the South.

#11 – Central Baptist College

Conway, Arkansas

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Website

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Ranked with U.S. News! Central Baptist College, a top school for a teaching degree.

Central Baptist College is considered a top choice for those seeking a small institution offering education programs. CBC offers a small undergraduate student population of less than 700 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. Education degrees available at Central Baptist include elementary education, health and physical education, middle-level education, and three secondary-level education programs. In secondary education, students may earn concentrations in English and language arts, life science, or social studies. Central Baptist College ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 63rd best regional college in the South and as 24th on the list of top performers on social mobility.

#10 – Bacone College

Muskogee, Oklahoma

Acceptance Rate: 47%

Website

A logo of Bacone College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Bacone College offers an intimate learning environment for those seeking a teaching degree.

Another great small college for a teaching degree is Bacone College, a private institution located in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The small learning environment allows students to form relationships quickly with peers and professors. In fact, Bacone offers an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. As one of the smallest schools on our list with only 275 undergraduate students, Bacone is ideal for those seeking an intimate setting. The Department of Education at Bacone offers three degrees for aspiring teachers. These degrees are early childhood education, elementary education, and family studies education. In addition to being accredited, Bacone ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 26th-33rd best regional college in the West.

#9 – Chicago State University

Chicago, Illinois

Acceptance Rate: 46%

Website

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Ranked and accredited! Chicago State University is a top choice for teaching degrees.

Chicago State University lands a spot on our list of great small colleges for a teaching degree due to its undergraduate population of 2,108 students and its degree offerings. Through its College of Education, Chicago State offers many programs that lead to endorsement and educator licensure in the state of Illinois. Programs are available in various levels of education, as well as information science, higher education, and recreation. Small class sizes make it possible for students to connect with peers and professors. In fact, the student-to-faculty ratio at Chicago State is just 10:1. In addition to the school’s degree offerings and accreditation, Chicago State ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Latest rankings include #119-#156 in best regional universities in the West.

#8 – Coppin State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Acceptance Rate: 40%

Website

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Coppin State is a top choice for future educators, and it offers plentiful teaching degrees.

While located in the heart of Baltimore, Coppin State University maintains a small, intimate learning environment and total undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 2,400 students. In the 1900s, Coppin State was founded as a teacher’s college and has since become recognized as one of the top small colleges to earn a teaching degree in. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredits the school, and the education program offers several teaching and learning undergraduate degrees. The school’s teaching program is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. Also, Coppin State ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a top regional university in the North.

#7 – Florida Memorial University

Miami Gardens, Florida

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Website

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Florida Memorial University offers various teaching degrees at all levels of instruction.

Selectivity and small class sizes make Florida Memorial University a top choice for those seeking a teaching degree. Founded in 1879, Florida Memorial is a private institution with ample education programs for aspiring teachers. The School of Education offers undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs, including bachelor’s degrees in elementary education, secondary education with various concentrations in math and science, and more. Undergraduate students may also elect to minor in education. The student population at Florida Memorial is 1,097. Undergraduate students make up the majority of the student body. In addition to being accredited, Florida Memorial ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 54th best regional college in the South.

#6 – University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma

Chickasha, Oklahoma

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Website

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Ranked and accredited! University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma!

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma is a small, selective liberal arts college that ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges and #13-#23 in top public schools. For students seeking teaching degrees, the school offers several undergraduate education degrees and teacher certifications in areas like art, deaf education, early childhood education, elementary education, English, and vocal music. The education programs are nationally accredited and adhere to an interdisciplinary approach to liberal arts and sciences. A small student population of 800 leads to a student-to-faculty ratio of just 12:1.

#5 – Thomas University

Thomasville, Georgia

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Website

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Small class sizes and plentiful teaching degree offerings – Thomas University!

Thomas University, a rural, private institution founded in 1950, sits among 24 acres of land in Thomasville, Georgia. The school is considered selective, with an acceptance rate of 35%. Small class sizes offer a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1 and allow students to connect with both their peers and professors. Over half of the student population of 1,528 are undergraduates. It is often the size of the school that appeals to those seeking a small college for a teaching degree. Thomas University offers several bachelor’s degree programs in education, including elementary education, middle grades language arts, middle grades mathematics, middle grades science, and secondary education (English and math). Thomas University is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News & World Report.

#4 – Rust College

Holly Springs, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Website

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Rust College is accredited and ranked among top liberal arts colleges!

Rust College is a small institution Holly Springs, Mississippi with a student population of 738, all of whom are undergraduates. The school offers academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees in business education, child care management, elementary education, English education, mathematics education, and social science education. Small class sizes allow students to forge relationships quickly with both their professors and peers. Other benefits of attending Rust College, in addition to the accredited education programs and small student population, include the knowledge that the school is fully accredited and ranked. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks Rust College #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges.

#3 – Mississippi College

Clinton, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Website

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NCATE-accredited teaching degree programs – Mississippi College!

Mississippi College is a fully accredited, private institution located in a suburban setting of Clinton, Mississippi. According to College Navigator, the institution offers an undergraduate enrollment of 2,944. Though one of the larger institutions on our list, its size does not compromise the small student-to-faculty ratio. In fact, a 14:1 ratio allows students to build relationships easily with peers. Education programs at Mississippi College include several undergraduate degrees for those seeking careers as teachers. NCATE-accredited programs lead to undergraduate degrees and initial Mississippi Educator licensure in elementary education, secondary education, and specialized subject area education (K-12). In addition to receiving full accreditation, the institution has earned rankings with U.S. News & World Report. These rankings include #298-#389 in best national universities.

#2 – Alice Lloyd College

Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Website

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Small and accredited! Alice Lloyd College is a top choice for teaching degrees.

Alice Lloyd College is a regionally ranked institution located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. The private institution, founded in 1923, offers a rural setting and small student population of just 575 students (all of which are undergraduates). Those seeking teaching degrees will find a robust education department with average class sizes of just 18 students. Teaching degrees include Bachelor’s of Arts and Science in areas like biological science education, elementary education, English education, middle-school education, and social studies education, to name a few. In addition to the school being accredited, Alice Lloyd ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 26th best regional college in the South and fourth best value school.

#1 – College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, Missouri

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Website

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#1 best choice for great small colleges for a teaching degree – College of the Ozarks!

The Department of Education at the College of the Ozarks recognizes contemporary changes and challenges of education. The education program prepares students to face the challenges in schooling while implementing leadership and research skills conducive to success in teaching. Degrees in elementary education – early childhood concentration, elementary education – general, and middle-school add-ons for education majors are all available at the College of the Ozarks. In addition to the accredited programs, the school ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the fourth best regional college in the Midwest. Other rankings include first in best undergraduate teaching programs and second in best value schools.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of attending a small college for a teaching degree?

When making the decision to attend a college or university, one must consider the size of the institution. While larger research institutions may appeal to some, small colleges with an undergraduate enrollment of less than 3,000 students may appeal to others. Below are a few benefits of attending a small college for a teaching degree.

Small Class Sizes

The first benefit is the most obvious. At a small college, students attend small classes. Student-to-faculty ratios are generally kept small. In fact, a 10:1 or 12:1 ratio is common. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, students find they are able to connect with professors and their peers quickly, and more deeply, in an intimate setting rather than in larger classrooms. Small class environments provide an atmosphere for discussion. Also, students feel that their contribution to discussions matters. Students aren’t just spectators in the crowd.

Professor-led Classes

In larger institutions, it is not uncommon for teaching assistants to lead discussions. But in a small college, especially those with no graduate students, your training and education comes from professors. This means you won’t have to deal with inexperienced TAs teaching your classes or laboratories.

Research Opportunities

At larger institutions, endless undergraduate students wait in line to connect with a professor and partner on a research program. But at smaller colleges, undergraduates are often sought out to help professors conduct experiments, look up sources, and collaborate on research.

What can you do with a teaching degree?

With student enrollment on the rise, creating a demand for all teaching occupations, now is an ideal time to earn a teaching degree. Below are several occupations one can pursue after obtaining a teaching degree.

High-School Teacher

High-school teachers work in schools. They deliver academic lessons and help prepare students with the academic skills needed to enter college and the job market. They prepare lessons, grade papers, and meet with students.

Kindergarten and Elementary-School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary-school teachers educate young students in basic subjects in order to prepare them for the next grade. They create lesson plans, observe student abilities, and work with parents to come up with a plan to help the student achieve academic goals. Hands-on activities for students at this age take creativity and planning by the school teacher.

Middle-School Teacher

Middle-school teachers educate students in the sixth through eighth grades. They work in public and private schools, prepare lessons and grade papers, and communicate with parents about student progress.

Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers are responsible for instructing students in specialized academic subjects beyond the high-school level. Instruction takes place in public and private colleges or universities, professional schools, and community colleges.

Special-Education Teacher

Special-education teachers work with students with various emotional, learning, mental, or physical disabilities. They often work in schools, teaching students from preschool age to high-school age.

What is the job outlook for individuals with a teaching degree?

The job outlook for teachers has remained stable over the last decade. Teachers fill important roles in our society by helping to educate children and prepare them for college and careers. While the goal of teachers remains the same, the role has shifted, as online teaching becomes part of the norm. Below is the job outlook and what to expect over the next 10 years for specific teaching career paths.

Elementary-School Teachers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a favorable job outlook for elementary-school teachers. In fact, the overall employment of this occupation is projected to grow four percent through 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all other occupations. Rising student enrollment should drive the demand for hiring new elementary and kindergarten teachers.

Middle-School Teachers

As with elementary-school teachers, middle-school teachers should see a four-percent growth in employment through 2029. While employment will vary by region, the demand for individuals in this occupation will be driven by an increase in student enrollment.

High-School Teachers

A four-percent growth in employment for high-school teachers is anticipated over the next decade. Student enrollment numbers and the need to replace teachers reaching retirement age will impact the hiring of new educators in this occupation.

Postsecondary Teachers

BLS reports that the overall employment for postsecondary teachers is projected to grow nine percent through 2029, much faster than the growth for other teaching positions. The growth will vary by discipline, but will be primarily driven by student enrollment.

How much money can you earn with a teaching degree?

Pay for teachers is stable for those with a teaching degree, adequate licensing and/or certification, and experience. The expected earnings for particular teaching occupations listed below will give you an idea of what each role pays.

Elementary-School Teachers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual wage for elementary-school teachers (excluding special-education teachers) is $60,940. The lowest 10% earn less than $40,030, while the highest 10% earn over $100,000 per year.

Middle-School Teachers

Similar to the earnings for elementary-school teachers, middle-school teachers see a median annual wage of $60,810, according to BLS. The lowest 10% earn less than $41,000, while the highest 10% earn over $98,000 per year. Most teachers work a traditional 10-month school year, but many times their monthly pay can be extended over a 12-month period.

High-School Teachers

According to BLS, high-school teachers should expect a median annual wage of $62,870. The lowest 10% of individuals working in this occupation earn less than $41,330, while the highest 10% earn more than $102,130.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers are the highest-paid teachers on our list. BLS reports the median annual wage for this occupation as $80,790. The lowest 10% earn less than $41,000, while the highest 10% earn over $180,000 annually.

Is a teaching degree worth it?

Education cutbacks, public-school budget constraints, and industry changes may, on the surface, appear worrisome, but if you have a passion and a heart to tackle challenges and instill your love for learning to future generations, teaching is a degree worth pursuing. Below are several reasons why a teaching degree is worth it.

Flexible Hours and Time

Teachers don’t typically work traditional office hours. They finish their day earlier and have weekends off. They also work 10 months out of the year with time off in the summer, though time may be required to prepare lessons and set up the classroom for the following year. However, the job does offer flexible hours that are especially beneficial to those earning a degree or credentials that require time to study.

Shift to Online Learning

Online education makes it more convenient for teachers. Not only can teachers pursue their own degree online, freeing themselves from traditional classroom work, but a shift to online learning may open up new job opportunities. Learning new technology and becoming an expert in online learning can make you a valuable asset of any education team.

Teaching Salaries on the Rise

While most teachers don’t say that they went into teaching for the money, projected salary increases over the next decade, according to BLS, may draw students to pursue a career as an educator. According to BLS, a four-percent employment growth is expected for most teaching roles over the next 10 years.

BDP Staff
July 2021

Sources:

• Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator
• U.S. News & World Report, Best Colleges Rankings and Lists

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This concludes our ranking of the 30 best small colleges for a teaching degree.

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