30 Best Colleges for Teaching Degrees 2022

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Interested in becoming a teacher? Want to know where to find the best small colleges for teaching? This guide gives you information on finding the best colleges for education majors. It also clears up any questions you might have about pay and job growth.

Educators help inspire new generations of learners. This makes the teaching profession one of the most valuable and rewarding careers. If you’re starting your educational research on good teaching colleges, you may feel overwhelmed.

What kind of degree should you choose? Are there small colleges with good education programs? Should you attend a large university or a small school for your teacher education? We provide answers to these questions and more in our guide on the best colleges for teaching.

Ranking Methodology for Best Colleges for Teaching Degrees

For this ranking, we found about 125 colleges that met the following criteria for teacher education:

  • Accredited
  • Teacher education offered with or without certification
  • Undergraduate enrollment of 3,000 or fewer students

We verified the above information with NCES College Navigator. We then chose the 30 most selective schools and listed them in order of acceptance rate. The most selective school ranks #1 on our list.

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

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

30 Great 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 teachers college for school of education.

Shaw University is a private and historically Black College that offers teaching degrees. You can major in one of three education areas, such as:

  • Birth-kindergarten
  • Early childhood development
  • Educational administration
  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Special education
  • Teacher education

In these undergraduate majors, you gain skills in human development and educational leadership. You also get teaching practice when you complete your student teaching.

The school has a small student population of 1,291 (1,174 undergrads). Because of this, you get one-on-one instruction from your professors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15 to 1, making it also easy to get to know your peers. But since the college sits in an urban area, you can take advantage of working or volunteering in the many schools.

Shaw ranks with U.S. News as the 70th-91st best regional college in the South. It is also an accredited school for teacher education.

#29 – Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Alva, Oklahoma

Acceptance Rate: 70%

Website

A logo of Northwestern Oklahoma State University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Plentiful higher education majors – Northwestern Oklahoma State!

Northwestern Oklahoma State University is one of the top colleges for education majors. The school offers majors in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education.

You can also get certified in a secondary program. Some of these teacher preparation programs include:

  • Agriculture education
  • English education
  • Health and sports science education
  • Math education

The small student population of 1,970 (1,767 undergrads) helps you get to know your professors. You also get adequate face-time with your peers, as you work in small groups and complete projects.

The school ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Recent rankings include #95-#124 in best regional schools in the West and #50-#66 in top public schools.

#28 – Williams Baptist University

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Website

A logo of Williams Baptist University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Ranked by U.S. News, Williams Baptist offers a teacher education in special education and more.

Williams Baptist University is one of the smallest schools to earn a teaching degree. It has a student population of 550. Most of these students are undergrads.

As a small college, it has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. You have access to several teacher education degrees and teacher preparation programs. These include elementary teacher education (K-6) and secondary social studies education. These programs prepare you to become a teacher. They are also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This means employers will value your degree and see you as a strong candidate.

The school also ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Rankings include:

  • #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges
  • #87 in top performers on social mobility

#27 – Livingstone College

Salisbury, North Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Website

A logo of Livingstone College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
A great place for a teacher education – Livingstone College.

Livingstone College is a small school known as a good college for teaching degrees. It has a small student population of 1,122 undergraduate students and low student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.

Aspiring teachers find several degrees available. Education program majors can earn a bachelor’s degree in:

  • Elementary teacher education (Birth-K, early childhood)
  • K-6th teacher education
  • Educational psychology in teacher education
  • Social work in teacher education
  • Teacher education statistics

The school is an accredited HBC. It ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 70th-91st best regional college in the South. It also ranks #48 in top performers on social mobility and #59-#77 in historically Black colleges.

#26 – Lake Superior State University

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Website

A logo of Lake Superior State University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
A 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio – Lake Superior State University is an ideal school for a teacher education.

Lake Superior State University is a great small school for a teaching degree. It has a low student population and student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The small ratio keeps education courses intimate. It also helps education students form relationships with peers and professors.

The accredited education program offers degrees in:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary and childhood education
  • Secondary education

Besides teacher education degrees, you can also earn a concentration in three different areas. These include language arts, language arts and math, and learning disabilities. Concentrations allow you to get a deeper understanding of an education program area. You can also explore different interests in human development or educational leadership that prepare you for graduate school.

The school ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 3rd top public school. It also ranks #46 in best regional colleges in the Midwest.

Other Michigan area schools include:

  • Michigan State University

#25 – West Liberty University

West Liberty, West Virginia

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Website

A logo of West Liberty University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Small and accredited, West Liberty University offers teacher education for undergraduate students!

West Liberty University is one of the best colleges for teaching. It is a small school with under 2,500 students. But its size doesn’t limit its teacher education options.

There are six teacher education majors. Education students may earn bachelor’s degrees in each of these areas, including:

  • Comprehensive teacher education
  • Elementary school education
  • Health and physical education
  • Middle childhood education
  • Preschool special education needs
  • Secondary education

You can also pick up a minor and endorsements in teaching and education. The number of teacher education paths draw students to the school. Once enrolled, students pursuing degrees can enjoy small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio.

The school also ranks #68 in best regional universities in the South with U.S. News and World Report. Other rankings include #28 in top public education schools.

#24 – Saint Augustine’s University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Website

A logo of Saint Augustine's University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
A ranked and accredited HBC! Saint Augustine’s, a top spot for a teacher education.

Saint Augustine’s University is one of the best colleges for education major programs. The school sits in a rural setting within a larger city. A small student population of 899 undergrads keep the student-to-faculty ratio 11:1.

Its accredited teacher preparation programs include:

  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Health and physical education

You can receive licensure through a teacher preparation program and graduate ready to teach. You can also graduate with teacher preparation and experience thanks to access to area schools.

SAU ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 65th best regional college in the South. It is also the 58th best HBCU in the country.

#23 – York College

York, Nebraska

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Website

A logo of York College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
NCATE-accredited online education programs in teaching! York College.

York College is among the top education major colleges. It has NCATE-accredited teacher preparation programs and small class sizes.

Its education majors are for those seeking teaching degrees and certifications. Some education majors include:

  • Elementary school education
  • Physical education
  • Secondary education
  • Special education
  • Vocal music education

You learn how to manage a classroom and create engaging curriculum and instruction. You also get 100 hours of classroom experience, so you’re ready for work after you graduate. You can also earn a master’s degree in a graduate school of education.

The school has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. The small classes allow faculty to get to know their fellow education students.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Rankings include #45 in best regional colleges in the Midwest and #8 in top performers on social mobility.

#22 – University of Minnesota

Morris, Minnesota

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Website

A logo of University of Minnesota for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
A top-ranked college of education for teacher education – University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota Morris is one of the best education major colleges. You can get degrees in different areas of education with or without licensure.

Some of the undergraduate degree programs include:

  • Education
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education

The school also provides an intimate learning experience and student teaching program. With an undergraduate student population of 1,499, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The small class sizes let you meet your peers and form relationships. You also get to know your instructors through mentorship.

The college ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. It ranks #7 in top public schools and #140 in best national liberal arts colleges.

#21 – Claflin University

Orangeburg, South Carolina

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Website

A logo of Claflin University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Less than 2,000 undergrads! Claflin University – a small college for exceptional student education.

Claflin University is a great school for a teaching degree. It has a small student population and several education programs.

You can earn a bachelor’s degree in education in:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • English education
  • Mathematics education
  • Music education

These teacher education programs prepare you for work in the classroom. You learn how to create engaging lesson plans and assess student learning. You also learn about curriculum and instruction.

The school ranks #9 in best regional colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report. It also ranks #14 in top performers on social mobility and #9 in HBCs. It is one of the best teaching colleges on our list in areas like special education and educational administration.

#20 – LeMoyne-Owen College

Memphis, Tennessee

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Website

A logo of LeMoyne-Owen College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Low student-to-faculty ratio – LeMoyne-Owen is a top school for teacher education programs.

LeMoyne-Owen College is a small college with a best undergraduate education program. It has four BA and BS degree in education options.

The teacher preparation programs include majors in:

  • English/language arts
  • General education
  • General mathematics
  • Social studies

It also offers minors to help you tailor your degree in an area of interest. In these programs, you get small classes that you for work as a teacher. You learn about teaching program theories. You also learn how to put theories to work in the classroom.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Rankings include #17 in best regional schools in the North and #7 in best undergraduate teacher education programs.

A small undergraduate population and low student-to-faculty ratio offers an intimate learning environment for aspiring teachers.

#19 – Gallaudet University

Washington, District of Columbia

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Website

A logo of Gallaudet University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Accredited with Colleges and Schools Commission. Gallaudet University offers teaching degrees for aspiring educators.

Gallaudet University is a small school for aspiring teachers. While located in Washington, D.C., the school maintains a small student population. There are 1,075 undergrads.

With small class sizes and a 6:1 student to faculty ratio, you get to know your peers. You also get to know your professors through one-on-one mentoring. But you have access to all that the DC area offers.

There are six undergraduate teaching majors. Some of these majors include:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
  • Special education
  • Teacher education

You can also earn a concentration by focusing on an area of interest. Concentrations allow you to meet a particular career goal. You can also dive deeper into an area of teaching that interests you through your student teaching requirement. And if you want, you can go on to a graduate school of education program.

#18 – University of Maryland

Princess Anne, Maryland

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Website

A logo of University of Maryland for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Offering a wide range of education degrees – University of Maryland.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore is a top education school for a teaching degree. It offers several undergraduate and graduate teaching programs.

You can earn three bachelor’s degrees. These are in art education, secondary teacher education, and special education. You can also earn concentrations in:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Instructional technology and engineering
  • Social studies

Interested in special education? You can earn an Upper Division Certificate (UDC). You can also complete your student teaching in an interest area, such as educational technology or another teacher preparation program.

The accredited college ranks among top national schools by U.S. News & World Report for graduate degrees.

#17 – Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham, Alabama

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Website

A logo of Birmingham Southern College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Top-ranked and fully accredited! Birmingham-Southern College offers teacher education through its College of Education.

Birmingham-Southern College is a great school for a teaching degree. It offers a small student population of 1,209 students and several teaching programs.

The small campus lends to small class sizes. Students get an intimate learning environment with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. You also get to enjoy one-on-one time with peers and professors both in and out of class.

Teaching majors and certificates prepare you for a career as an educator. You learn how to manage a classroom and assess learning. You also study theory, then put it into practice through a teaching experience. You can also explore educational administration.

The accredited school ranks #130 in best national liberal arts college with U.S. News & World Report. It also ranks #215 in top performers on social mobility.

#16 – Stillman College

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Website

A logo of Stillman College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
A small liberal arts college offering teacher education – Stillman College!

Stillman College is a small liberal arts school that offers undergraduate teaching degrees. These programs prepare you for becoming a teacher.

You can major in:

  • Elementary education
  • English language arts
  • General science or biology
  • Social studies (history)
  • Special education (K-6)

Small class sizes allow students to make connections with faculty and peers.

Small class sizes allow students to make connections with faculty and peers. In fact, the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. Though it has a larger ratio than other education schools, its student population is 861 undergrads.

The school ranks ranks with U.S. News & World Report as a top national liberal arts college in teacher education. It is also accredited as a teacher preparation program.

#15 – Judson College

Marion, Alabama

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Website

A logo of Judson College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
One of the smallest schools on our list for teacher education – Judson College.

Judson College is a small school that offers teaching degrees. It offers Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Secondary Education degree programs.

These programs prepare you for a career as a teacher. Typical curriculum and instruction covers:

  • Child development
  • Contemporary issues in education
  • Educational leadership
  • Education theories
  • Special education

If you pursue a secondary teacher education degree, you can also choose a concentration. This allows you to hone your teaching interests or explore a new one.

With an undergraduate population of 250 students, you can enjoy small class sizes. The student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1, making it one of the lowest on our list.

The accredited college also ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Its ranking include:

  • #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges
  • #216 in top performers on social mobility

#14 – Huston-Tillotson University

Austin, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Website

A logo of Huston-Tillotson University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Ranked with U.S. News! Huston-Tillotson offers teacher education through its small College of Education.

Huston-Tillotson University is a small HBCU that offers teaching programs for budding teachers. You can earn bachelor’s degrees in education with various concentrations.

Concentrations let you focus on an area of interest. These focus areas include:

  • EC-6
  • Educational leadership
  • Higher education
  • Instructional technology applications
  • Special education

You can also earn a BA/BS degree in a specific academic major. These majors might include English, history, math, or music.

All teacher education programs prepare you through class work and a teaching experience in human development. You conduct your teaching experience during your last year of college.

The school ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 26th-33rd best regional college in the West. It also ranks #59-#77 in historically Black colleges and universities.

#13 – Mayville State University

Mayville, North Dakota

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Website

A logo of Mayville State University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Mayville State offers a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio for those who wish to get a teacher education.

Mayville State University is one of the best colleges for education majors. It is also a small school with 1,187 undergraduate students.

The small size lends to a low student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. It also makes it easy for students to connect with their peers and faculty.

The school has an early childhood education program. You can also earn degrees in special education and teacher education.

Popular teacher education programs include:

  • Elementary education
  • Higher education
  • Secondary professional education
  • Special education

MSU ranks with U.S. News & World Report as the 54th best regional college in the Midwest. It is also accredited.

#12 – University of Arkansas

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Website

A logo of University of Arkansas for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
A great small college for a teacher education – University of Arkansas.

 

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a small school with degrees for budding teachers. It offers programs that lead to both degrees and licensure in several areas of education.

Students can complete licensure requirements in:

  • Elementary education
  • English education
  • Middle level (4-8) education

These teacher preparation programs help you become knowledgeable in education. They also help you get experience with student teaching. The teaching program also offers practicums where you clock teaching hours. This means that when you graduate, you feel prepared for the job.

The school has one of the largest degree selections on our list. It also 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

A logo of Central Baptist College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Ranked with U.S. News! Central Baptist College, a top school for teacher education.

Central Baptist College is one of the best colleges for education major programs. It is also a small school with less than 700 students.

But despite the size, it has many teaching degrees to offer. You can earn a degree in:

  • Elementary education
  • Health and physical education
  • Middle-level education

You can also earn degrees in three secondary-level education programs. These programs have concentrations in English, life science, or social studies.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. It ranks #63 in best regional colleges in the South and #24 in 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 teacher education.

Bacone College is a great small college for a teaching degree. The School of Education offers small class sizes and an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. With only 275 undergrads, it’s easy to connect with your peers and professors.

Though the college is small, it offers several degrees for aspiring teachers. You can earn degrees in:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Family studies education

In these programs, you take classes that prepare you for a career in teaching. You learn how to manage a classroom and put theories into practice. You also complete a teaching experience before you graduate.

The teacher education school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Its current ranking includes #26-#33 in best regional colleges in the West.

#9 – Chicago State University

Chicago, Illinois

Acceptance Rate: 46%

Website

A logo of Chicago State University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Ranked and accredited! Chicago State University is a top choice for teacher education.

Chicago State University is a small college that offers several teaching degrees. It has 2,108 undergraduate students. It also offers small class sizes.

Several degree in education programs lead to endorsement and educator licensure in the state of Illinois. Some of the popular teaching programs include:

  • Elementary education
  • Higher education
  • Recreation education

All programs offer small classes. This makes it possible for students to connect with peers and professors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.

CSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News & World Report. Its latest rankings include #119-#156 in best regional universities in the West.

#8 – Coppin State University

Baltimore, Maryland

Acceptance Rate: 40%

Website

A logo of Coppin State University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Coppin State is a top choice for future educators, and it offers plentiful teaching degrees.

Coppin State University sits in the heart of Baltimore. But despite its location, it has an intimate learning environment of 2,400 students. It also has one of the top teaching programs among small education schools.

Its NCATE-accredited programs offer several teaching and learning undergraduate degrees. You can earn bachelor’s degrees in:

  • Early childhood
  • Elementary education
  • Special education

The Maryland State Department of Education has approved these programs. They serve as readiness for those who want to land a teaching job right out of school.

The teacher education school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. These rankings include #131-#171 in top regional schools in the North.

#7 – Florida Memorial University

Miami Gardens, Florida

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Website

A logo of Florida Memorial University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Florida Memorial University’s College of Education offers a degree program in teaching.

Florida Memorial University is a great school for teaching degrees. It offers undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs.

You can earn bachelor’s degrees in:

  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education

If you choose a secondary education program major, you can earn concentrations in math or science. You can also earn a minor in education.

The school offers small class sizes due to its student population of 1,097 students. Small classes let you get to know your fellow peers and connect with your instructors.

U.S. News & World Report ranks FMU #54 in best regional colleges 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 and selective liberal arts college. It offers programs for students seeking teaching degrees.

You can earn undergraduate education degrees and teacher certifications. Some of the certifications include:

  • Art
  • Deaf education
  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • English
  • Vocal music

Classes are small due to the student population of 800. There is also a low student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the school #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges. It also ranks #13-#23 in top public schools.

#5 – Thomas University

Thomasville, Georgia

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Website

A logo of Thomas University for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Small class sizes and plentiful teaching degree offerings – Thomas University!

Thomas University is a good college for teaching. It offers small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.

It is the size of the school that appeals to students seeking a teaching degree. About half of the 1,528 students attending TU are undergrads. These students have access to several education bachelor’s degrees, including:

  • Elementary education
  • Middle grades education
  • Middle grades language arts
  • Middle grades mathematics
  • Middle grades science
  • Secondary education

In secondary education, you can focus your studies on a particular area. These programs prepare you to teach high school subjects in math, science, or English. You graduate prepared for a new teaching role.

#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 school with a student population of 738 undergraduates. It offers bachelor’s degrees in several education areas.

You can earn a degree in:

  • Child care management
  • Elementary education
  • English education
  • Mathematics education
  • Social science education

In these programs, you learn how to teach and motivate students. You also learn how education has changed through the years. Because classes are small, students connect with both professors and peers.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the school #171-#221 in best national liberal arts colleges.

#3 – Mississippi College

Clinton, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Website

A logo of Mississippi College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
NCATE-accredited teaching degree programs – Mississippi College!

Mississippi College is an accredited school that offers undergraduate teaching degrees. You can earn bachelor’s degrees in several popular areas of education. You can also earn licensure in:

  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
  • Specialized subject area education (K-12)
These NCATE-accredited programs help prepare you for a long career as a teacher. You learn how to teach and create curriculum and instruction.
 
Small classes help you network and form relationships. They also allow for mentorship by professors due to the 14:1 student-faculty ratio. 
 
Though a small college, it ranks with with U.S. News & World Report. Current rankings include #298-#389 in best national universities.

#2 – Alice Lloyd College

Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Website

A logo of Alice Lloyd College for our ranking of 30 Great Small Colleges for a Teaching Degree
Small and accredited! Alice Lloyd College is a top choice for teaching degrees.

Alice Lloyd College is a small college with a large education department. It offers teaching degrees, such as the Bachelor of Arts and Science.

You can earn degrees in different areas of education, such as:

  • Biological science education
  • Elementary education
  • English education
  • Middle-school education
  • Social studies education

Due to the school’s small student population of 575 undergrads, the average class size is 18 students. In a small class, you get one-on-one training from your professor. You also get to work in teams where you can form relationships with your peers.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Its current rankings include #26 in best regional colleges in the South and #4 in best value schools.

#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 program – College of the Ozarks!

College of the Ozarks is a top school for budding teachers. It offers degree programs through its School of Education in several areas of education, while keeping a small campus.

You can earn degrees in:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • General education
  • Middle school education

These programs prepare you with the skills you need to work as a teacher. You learn how to motivate learners and put theories to practice. You also learn how to create engaging curriculum and instruction for early childhood through adult education.

The accredited school ranks with U.S. News & World Report. Its rankings include #4 in best regional college in the Midwest and #2 in best value schools. It also ranks #1 in best undergraduate teaching programs.

Other schools for teaching:

  • Michigan State University

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

When you make the decision to attend a college or university, you have to consider the size. Because schools come in all shapes and sizes. Larger educational research institutions have a lot to offer. But so do small colleges. Below you will find the 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 12:1 ratio is average.

With a small student-to-faculty ratio, you can connect with your professors and peers. Your classroom setting is intimate. It is different than a large scale lecture hall.

Small classes set an atmosphere for discussion. Students feel that their contribution to discussions matters. You aren’t a spectator in the crowd, but an active participant.

Professor-led Classes

In larger colleges, it is not uncommon for teaching assistants to lead discussions. But in a small college with no graduate programs or graduate students, you learn from your professors. You won’t have to deal with inexperienced TAs leading your labs or education courses.

Research Opportunities

At larger schools, you wait in line for research opportunities. It’s hard to connect with your professors except for graduate students. But at smaller colleges, undergraduates can land coveted research positions. You don’t need to be graduate students.

You can find opportunities helping your professors:

  • Conduct experiments in educational psychology
  • Look up sources in human development and educational administration

You can also collaborate on research with experts in your chosen field. This looks great on your resumé.

What can you do with a teaching degree?

With student enrollment on the rise, now is a great time to earn a teaching degree. But what do you do after your teacher education? Below are several occupations you can choose after getting a teaching degree.

High-School Teacher

High-school teachers work in public and private schools. They prepare students with the skills needed to go to college or enter a job market. They prepare lessons, grade papers, and meet with students. They also create curriculum and instruction plans.

Top schools for teacher education:

  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California

Kindergarten and Elementary-School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary-school teachers educate young students. They teach basic subjects that prepare for the next grade. These teachers:

  • Create lesson plans
  • Make curriculum and instructions plans
  • Observe student abilities

They also work with parents to come up with a plan to help a student achieve academic goals. To help students at this age learn, a teacher must plan and create engaging lessons. Hands-on activities are a must.

Top schools for Curriculum and Instruction:

  • Boston College
  • University of California
  • Vanderbilt University

Middle School Instructor

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

Most focus on one subject. They teach that subject to a diverse student body. Some have a bilingual education that prepares students to teach a diverse student population with bilingual education needs.

Top schools for teacher education (middle school):

  • Boston College
  • Harvard University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of California
  • Vanderbilt University

Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in specialized academic subjects beyond high school. Instruction takes place in public and private colleges or universities. It also takes place at:

  • Career and technical education schools
  • Community colleges
  • Higher education programs
  • Professional schools
  • Technical or trade schools

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. Special education teachers major in educational psychology. They also study human development and special education.

As graduate students, they work with secondary education students with special education needs. They complete graduate school ready to work in many different teacher education areas.

Schools for students pursuing educational administration, educational technology, and curriculum and instruction programs:

  • Michigan State University

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

Teachers fill important roles in our society. They educate children and prepare them for college and careers. While the goal of teachers has remained the same for decades, the role has shifted. Online teaching is now the norm.

But with changes and shifts, job growth remains stable. If you’re thinking about a teaching career, it’s important to know what the job outlook is.

Elementary-School Teachers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a good job outlook for elementary-school teachers. Over the next 10 years, you should see a 4% job growth.

What causes job growth for this occupation? Rising student enrollment should drive demand. Because of this, there is a need for elementary and kindergarten teachers.

Middle-School Teachers

Teachers in this field will see a 4% job growth over the next 10 years. But location impacts demand. Some areas will see an increase in student enrollment, while others won’t. Region will drive hiring needs.

High-School Teachers

High-school teachers should also see a 4% growth in employment over the next decade. Student enrollment numbers drive demand. The need to replace teachers who retire also impacts the need for new educators.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers should see the greatest job growth. A 9% job growth should occur by 2029. But growth will vary by discipline. Student enrollment will play a big factor in hiring.

How much money can you earn with a teaching degree?

With a teaching degree, earnings for teachers are stable. But with adequate licensing and/or certification and experience, pay is even more stable. Below you can find out what teachers make.

Elementary-School Teachers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports elementary-school teachers make $60,940/year. The lowest 10% earn less than $40,030/year. But the highest 10% earn over $100,000/year.

Middle-School Teachers

These teachers earn similar wages as elementary-school teachers. They see average earnings of $60,810/year. The lowest 10% earn less than $41,000/year, while the highest 10% earn over $98,000/year. Most teachers work a traditional 10-month school year. But they can extend their monthly pay over a 12-month period.

High-School Teachers

High-school teachers earn $62,870/year, on average. The lowest 10% of individuals working in this occupation earn less than $41,330/year. But the highest 10% earn more than $102,130/year.

Postsecondary Teachers

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

Top schools for educational leadership programs:

  • Harvard University
  • Michigan State University
  • Vanderbilt University

Is a teacher education degree worth it?

Education cutbacks. Public-school budget constraints. Industry changes. On the surface, these challenges appear worrisome. But with a passion to teach, you can overcome challenges and do what you love. Here are several reasons why a degree is worth it.

Flexible Hours and Time

Teachers don’t work traditional office hours. They finish their day early and have weekends off. They also work 10 months out of the year with time off in the summer.

But they spend some of their time off preparing lessons and setting up the classroom for the next year. The job does offer flexible hours that allow you many benefits. You can go back to school or get other teaching credentials.

Shift to Online Learning

Online education makes it more convenient for teachers. Not only can teachers pursue their own online degree, but also show that they’re experts in this type of learning.

The shift to online learning can also open up new job opportunities. If you go back to school and pick up an online degree, you can show your employer that you have experience. You can become a valuable asset to any education team.

Teaching Salaries on the Rise

Most teachers don’t go into teaching for the money. But projected salary increases over the next decade have students considering the field. Pay increases mean more students will pursue a teaching job.

Also, due to financial aid changes, many students can complete their degree debt free. But you have to apply early for financial aid awards.

BDP Staff
May 2022

Sources:

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

Related:

Other schools for teaching degrees:

  • Boston College (Graduate School of Education) – master’s degree and graduate certificate programs
  • Columbia University (School of Education)  – best education schools for graduate school and doctoral degrees
  • Harvard University (School of Education) – bachelor’s degree and graduate programs (master’s degree)
  • Michigan State University (School of Education) – bachelor’s degree and graduate programs (master’s degree)
  • North Carolina State University (School of Education) – bachelor’s degree and graduate programs (master’s degree)
  • Stanford University (School of Education) – bachelor’s degree and graduate education programs
  • University College Station (School of Education) – bachelor’s degree and graduate education programs (graduate certificate programs)
  • University of California (School of Education) – undergraduate and graduate degrees (graduate certificate programs)
  • Vanderbilt University (College of Education) – undergraduate degree through doctoral degrees

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

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief