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Top College in Washington, DC, for Teacher Education Courses

Washington, D.C., has several schools with programs in teaching and early childhood education. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

There are about a dozen schools in the Washington, D.C., area offering courses in teaching and early childhood education. Schooling options run the gamut from larger public and private universities to smaller, niche-market colleges. The top three schools, based upon their U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) rankings and education program offerings, are as follows:

  • Winner: George Washington University focuses on graduate-level education and produces the highest number of graduates of the three universities profiled here. The university as a whole is highly ranked nationally, as are its graduate and online graduate education programs.
  • Runner Up #1: American University is also well ranked both for education and as a top national university. American University offers bachelor's through doctoral degree options, and its students have a very high pass rate on the teacher certification exams.
  • Runner Up #2: Howard University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as post-graduate certificates in education. Howard University is ranked highly among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and its graduate education program is also nationally ranked.

School Comparison Chart

Category George Washington University American University Howard University
Rankings (2013) Graduate education school ranked #44 nationally*
Online graduate education program named 7th best in the nation*
Graduate education school ranked #88 nationwide*
Ranked #77 among national universities*
Graduate education school ranked 111th nationally*
Ranked #120 among national universities*
Ranked 2nd among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country*
Location Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $24,147 (graduate)** $39,499 (undergraduate)
$25,612 (graduate)**
$22,683 (undergraduate)
$30,323 (graduate)**
Education Degrees and Certificates Offered Master's and doctoral degrees; postgraduate certificate Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; undergraduate and postgraduate certificates Bachelor's and master's degrees; postgraduate certificate
Education Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 528** 203** 50**
Most Popular Education Program (2011-2012) Master's Degree in Special Education and Teaching (67 awarded)** Master's Degree in Secondary Education and Teaching (85 awarded)** Master's Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching (14 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 81%** 77%** 63%**
Noteworthy First school in the country to offer a master's degree in transition special education Special education majors gain teaching experience at The Lab School, a local school for students with learning disabilities Introduced a new bachelor's degree in elementary education in 2012

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: George Washington University

  • Early childhood special education program approved by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children
  • 94% of freshmen returned to the university for a second year in 2011, according to NCES
  • George Washington University is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

George Washington University has a number of graduate teacher training programs, including a master's degree program in early childhood education. The early childhood special education program prepares students to teach young children with or without disabilities. Other available master's degree programs include bilingual special education, elementary education, secondary education, and secondary special education. The master's degree in secondary education allows students to complete teacher training classes first so that the teaching certificate can be obtained before the degree is completed. The master's degree in bilingual special education and certificate in bilingual special education are both offered online. There are graduate certificates available for teaching literacy, bilingual education, and teaching students with disabilities. Doctoral students can earn degrees in special education and curriculum and instruction.

Runner-Up #1: American University

  • According to USNWR, AU was ranked 63rd among national universities by high school counselors in 2012
  • School of education has over 107 faculty members, according to USNWR
  • 97% of education program graduates who took the teacher certification exam in 2011-2012 passed it, according to USNWR

American University (AU) is a private school with undergraduate and graduate teacher education classes. AU offers bachelor's degree programs designed to prepare students to obtain a teaching license for the elementary and secondary levels. Secondary education students must major in a content area and in secondary education. Undergraduates can also minor in special education. The graduate certificate in teaching is for those who already have a bachelor's degree; this program prepares candidates to earn a license in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, or ESL. The master's degree program in teaching prepares students to earn a teaching license in early childhood education, elementary education or ESL, in addition to the degree. Other master's degrees include bilingual education, special education and curriculum and instruction. There are also graduate certificates available in bilingual education and curriculum and instruction.

Runner-Up #2: Howard University

  • Early childhood education, elementary education, and special education programs are each nationally accredited by specialized agencies
  • 93% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
  • Howard University is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education

Howard University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare teachers to become licensed. The only teacher-preparation bachelor's degree program is in elementary education. Undergraduates who want to become licensed to teach secondary education can minor in secondary education while majoring in certain approved content areas. Master's degrees can be completed in early childhood, elementary, secondary, or special education. The early childhood, elementary, and secondary education programs prepare students for initial state certification. The master's programs in early childhood education and secondary education also prepare those who are already licensed to earn advanced certifications.


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