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Associate Degree in Elementary Education: Program Overview

Many institutions offer associate's degree programs with a focus in elementary education. In most cases, this type of degree is set up to facilitate transfer into a bachelor's degree program.

Essential Information

A 2-year associate's degree program in elementary education includes core courses and a practicum to give students the opportunity to observe and participate in the activities of an elementary school classroom on a daily basis. In some schools, the associate's degree in elementary education is referred to as an associate's degree in teaching with an emphasis in elementary or K-6 education. Online courses and programs are available.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. Some schools prefer applicants who have already completed college prep courses in mathematics, English, a foreign language and social science.


Associate's Degree in Elementary Education

Liberal arts courses in history, the natural sciences, social science and humanities are often among the requirements in an associate's degree program. Students also take classes in education trends and theories of child development. Additional courses can include the following:

  • Theories of learning
  • Instructional techniques and concepts
  • Education fundamentals
  • Elementary education introduction
  • Math education fundamentals
  • Education technology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

People who earn an associate's degree in elementary education are qualified to become teacher assistants. The vast majority work in public and private elementary schools. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of teacher assistants was projected to increase 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, teacher assistants earned a mean salary of $26,550 per year.

Continuing Education Information

Associate's degree holders who want to become elementary teachers need to earn a bachelor's degree in education, complete a set number of hours in class as a student teacher, and pass a state licensing exam. Bachelor's degree transfer programs are very common in this subject area.

Associate's degree programs related to elementary education include liberal arts and core courses in subjects like instructional methods and education technology. Practicums are also part of the curricula, which are designed to prepare graduates for teacher assistant careers or related bachelor's degree programs.

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