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Teaching Degree: Top Ranked Teacher Education Program - Santa Ana, CA

The Santa Ana area has around ten schools with programs in teacher education. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

While there are about 10 schools in the Santa Ana area offering teacher education degrees, the following three schools have programs that were ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. They also have relatively high graduation rates. All three schools offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, in addition to a variety of post-baccalaureate programs. Students who complete a program approved by the state's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) can become certified to teach in California after passing a series of basic skills and subject matter assessment exams.

  • Winner: The graduate education program at the University of California - Irvine was considered to be among the top 40 in the nation. It offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.
  • Runner-Up #1: Chapman University was ranked as one of the top ten regional universities in the West, and its graduate education program also made the list of national rankings. It offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.
  • Runner-Up #2: California State University - Fullerton's online graduate education program was ranked in the top 25 in the country for 2013. It also offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of California - Irvine Chapman University California State University, Fullerton
Rankings Graduate program in education ranked 37th nationally*
Ranked 12th among public national universities*
Graduate education program ranked 170th nationally*
Ranked the 6th best regional university in the West*
Online graduate education program ranked 24th in the country*
Ranked the 5th best regional university in the West*
Location Irvine, CA (7.3 miles from Santa Ana) Orange, CA (2.4 miles from Santa Ana) Fullerton, CA (9.5 miles from Santa Ana)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $13,122 (undergraduate, in-state)
$36,000 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$12,962 (graduate, in-state)
$28,064 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$42,084 (undergraduate)
$22,752 (graduate)**
$6,195 (undergraduate, in-state)
$17,853 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$7,461 (graduate, in-state)
$17,007 (graduate, out-of-state)**
Education Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees
Education Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 165** 99** 792**
Most Popular Education Program in 2011-2012 Master's Degree in Teacher Education (139 awarded)** Bachelor's Degree in Education (19 awarded)** Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching (383 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 85%** 72%** 50%**

Sources: *2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: University of California - Irvine

  • Acceptance rate for education master's degree program was almost 90% in 2012, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Almost 94% of freshmen returned to the university for a second year in 2011, according to U.S. News & World Report

UC - Irvine's Cal Teach program prepares undergraduates to obtain secondary education credentials while pursuing their bachelor's degrees in math, biology, or one of the physical sciences. Curriculum for these programs includes seminars in math and science pedagogy in addition to supervised field experiences. Extensive fieldwork is also part of the education master's degree programs that prepare students to teach such subjects as English, Spanish, music, math, or chemistry. All of these programs are CTC-approved. UC - Irvine also offers three doctoral degree options for current teachers who want to focus on such areas as educational policy or literacy.

Runner-Up #1: Chapman University

  • 47 of 48 education program graduates passed the teacher certification exam in 2011-2012, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council
  • University classes had a student-faculty ratio of 14:1 in 2012, according to U.S. News & World Report

Chapman University offers several scholarship opportunities for students enrolling in both undergraduate and graduate education programs. Students who wish to obtain a master's degree along with their teaching credentials can choose from three CTC-approved program options, all of which require around 50 units of coursework and field experience. There's a multiple subject credentialing program for students who plan to teach elementary school and a single subject option for future secondary school teachers. The third option is a special education master's program that prepares graduates to teach students with various types of disabilities in a variety of school settings. A shorter course of study is available through the school's credential-only program, which has also been approved by the CTC. Students earning Chapman's bachelor's degree in integrated educational studies will need to complete one of these graduate-level programs before they can qualify for certification.

Runner-Up #2: California State University, Fullerton

  • Cal State Fullerton has the only teacher education programs in Orange County that are approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Offers preparatory courses for voluntary certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a professional association for teachers

Undergraduates at Cal State Fullerton have the option of enrolling in one of the school's CTC-approved credentialing programs while earning their bachelor's degrees. Those who plan to get a multiple subject credential are advised to major in an area such as math, social science, or language arts, while single subject credential candidates should major in the subject they plan to teach. Cal State Fullerton is also known for its online master's degree programs designed for teachers who want to update their skills. Areas of focus include curriculum and instruction, instructional technology, and reading education for secondary school students. There are also campus-based master's degree programs in areas like special and elementary education as well as doctoral degrees offered to teachers who plan to take on leadership roles in K-12 settings or at the community college level.


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