Accreditation is regional, national, and programmatic in nature, with 15 accrediting agencies currently recognized by the Department of Education to conduct regional and national accreditation. Specialized accrediting organizations handle subject- and program-based review in areas such as community and social services, healthcare, law, and counseling. Choosing an accredited program of study is important because students receive a level of assurance their institution provides an education that is of value. It also important because it ensures the following:
Midway University, founded in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, was one of the nation's first schools to serve disadvantaged or orphaned women. Today, the coeducational Midway offers its 1,005 students over 30 academic majors in many of the region's top-demand fields of business, teacher education, nursing/healthcare, and equine studies. For distance education, Midway is among the best online colleges in the region. Students can earn their associate degree online, one of more than 20 baccalaureate degrees, or a 100-percent-online MBA, M.Ed., or MSN graduate degree. Online options for a bachelor's degree in education include more than 12 areas of specialization. Midway's Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program may grant course credits for online students based on their work experience or career preparation outside the classroom.
Online certificates in education are available in a variety of focuses, from teacher certification to school leadership or educational policy. These programs typically take a year or less to complete and are comprised of 6 to 10 courses. Applicants need an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree, depending on the focus and level of the certificate. Some programs also require previous experience working with children or teaching, as well as a clear criminal background check.
Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
University of the People has been widely successful, garnering partnerships with NYU, Yale, UC Berkeley, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and more. The university is approved by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education and is fully accredited by the United States Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
The 24 schools on this list offer the best online bachelor's degrees in education. Top-ranked Kansas State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education for an annual tuition of $13,964. Education alumni of the school earn a median salary of $81,100, making it a great choice for prospective students. Fort Hays State University, ranked 12th, has the lowest tuition on the list: an affordable rate of $6,997 per year for the Bachelor of Science in Education - Early Childhood Unified program.
Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in today's classrooms. Everyone from kindergarten through graduate school is enjoying the benefits of computers, presentational technology, and new programs in the classroom. Some of the best teachers in today's classes are skilled at incorporating new forms of technology to enhance student learning, whether it be computer programs, tablets, or podcasts. Technology has become so important in today's classrooms that there are entire degree programs dedicated to creating new ways of including technology in one's teaching style. Both current and aspiring teachers can benefit from learning about instructional technology in a formalized degree setting.
Johns Hopkins University is a well-known elite research university, but it’s not well-known that several degree programs may be completed without attending the school’s Baltimore, Md., campus. In addition, JHU offers dozens of classes online that can supplement traditional in-person courses as part of a degree program. The breadth of options available to online learners is just one aspect of what makes Johns Hopkins one of the best options for online college. Some of its courses and credits are even free and available for all students regardless of enrollment. The JHU admissions office is willing to work with any incoming transfer student to find any applicable areas for transfer credit to be utilized.