Online bachelor's degree programs in elementary education may require in-person field experiences and an internship, however they are available fully online. The field experiences allow students to gain teaching experience in an elementary classroom, while the internship involves working full-time alongside a licensed teacher. These programs typically prepare students for state-approved licensure or certification, often by graduation. In some states, teachers are required to earn a master's degree following certification.
Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
Students in these programs learn teaching methodologies and classroom management practices that can allow them to successfully run an elementary-level classroom. While many of these online programs are state specific, graduates may be eligible for licensure in their home state. Those who are interested in this degree may also consider online programs in early childhood education or special education.
Program Information and Requirements
These programs take four years to complete and can require between 120 and 130 credit hours of classes. The majority of the program is conducted online, but in-person student teaching internships conducted in elementary school classrooms may be required. Students may also need to complete additional fieldwork prior to their internship.
List of Common Elementary Education Courses
These programs are comprised of both general education and education-specific courses. The education courses are designed to teach content that students will convey as classroom educators. Students can also learn methodologies and educational philosophies that will make them effective teachers.
This kind of class will teach methods for effective elementary classroom management. Often it will include organizational strategies, behavior management tools and instructional planning techniques.
Instruction and Assessment
Students in this class can learn about various forms of assessment, effective versus ineffective assessments and how to tailor assessment to students with differing needs and exceptions. Students can also learn the different forms of instruction and how to teach effectively.
The various facets of literacy, including reading, writing and speaking are common topics in this course. It also covers different approaches to teaching literacy and integrating these facets with each other, as well as into other subject areas.
Career Information for Graduates
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment for elementary school teachers would grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the BLS reported that the average salary for elementary teachers was $54,890.
Continuing Education Information
In order to teach in a public or accredited private elementary school, graduates are generally required to take a licensing exam, as well as submit to fingerprinting and a criminal background check. Teachers may be required to complete continuing education units (CEUs) in order to maintain licensure. These requirements will vary from state to state.
Teachers who wish to further their education have many options. Students can find online master's degree programs that focus on a particular content area, such as reading, or working with a particular type of student, like gifted and talented children. They may also choose to pursue a master's degree in teaching, which can help them enhance their teaching skills and effectiveness in the classroom. There are also online certificate programs that allow teachers to focus on a specific issue like autism education or dropout prevention.
Bachelor's degree programs in elementary education are available fully online. Students may find that they may also need to complete internships in order to graduate.