Online Associate Degree Programs in Education Resource

An associate’s degree in education provides the skills and knowledge needed to enter the education field and is a good first step towards a career in teaching. Those who earn an associate degree in education from an accredited school may qualify for paraeducator positions such as teaching assistant, teacher’s aide, or in some states, preschool teacher or substitute teacher. You must also earn a bachelor’s degree in education to be certified as a full teacher. An associate degree program in education typically focuses on a specific area of teaching, such as early childhood education.

Reasons for Earning an Associate Degree in Education

An associate’s degree in education can be a good starting point for someone who is interested in teaching but doesn’t yet want to commit to a four-year degree. It can also be a way to explore whether becoming a teacher is right for you. Earning an associate degree can be less expensive than earning a bachelor’s degree due to the reduced course load, and many course credits can typically be transferred to a bachelor’s program later. This provides students with the option to switch their area of focus, continue to a traditional four-year degree program, or seek employment as a paraeducator.

Career Opportunities for Individuals With an AA in Education

teacher assistantThere are several education jobs available to those who possess an associate’s degree in education, such as teacher assistant, teaching aide, substitute teacher, school library technician, or childcare specialist. Since federal law requires that teacher aides in Title I schools have college training, two-year associate degree programs in education may be a good option for those seeking an education career.

Associate in Education Degree Requirements and Coursework

Admission to an associate’s degree program typically requires a high school diploma or GED. A minimum grade point average may be required to graduate from the program. Some schools may require acceptable scores on college admissions exams like the ACT or SAT.

Courses in an associate degree program that specializes in education typically involve a combination of core liberal arts and science classes and introductory courses on education topics. Some degree programs also include an internship component where students can apply what they learn in a classroom setting.

Examples of courses in an associate degree program include:

  • Introduction to Child Development
  • Intro to Early Childhood Education
  • Intro to Elementary Education
  • Child Psychology
  • Basics of Curriculum
  • Basics of Assessment
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Supervised Field Experience

Online Associate Degree in Education

Online associate’s degrees in education often provide the student greater flexibility than comparable on-campus programs. An online education degree can be completed on a student’s own timeline, which can be helpful for those who are working full-time or have other commitments. For those who are interested in how to become a teacher, it is important to note that with few exceptions, a bachelor’s degree in education is expected for K-12 teachers in both private and public schools.

Teaching and Education Programs

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Frequently Asked Questions about Earning an Associate Degree in Education

Question: Can I become a teacher with only an associate degree?

Answer: All states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to obtain a teaching license or certification. However, with an associate’s degree you can become a paraeducator, such as a teacher assistant, educational aide, or childcare specialist.

Question: What are the skills required to be a teacher?

Answer: Teachers need a variety of skills, many of which are taught in teacher preparation programs. Teachers must be able to communicate effectively and to work well with a variety of types of people. Teachers need to be calm and patient and good at working collaboratively. Teachers also must have good presentation skills and basic technology skills.

Question: How do I get a teaching degree online?

Answer: There are several schools that offer online education degrees. A quick search online will turn up many options. Once you have a few options, contact the schools to find out how to apply, tuition costs, and other important information. Choose a school, apply for admission, and work towards your education degree.

Question: How do I become a teacher without a teaching degree?

Answer: There are several alternative pathways to become a teacher if you already have a bachelor’s degree. Some are available at the state level, such as the New York City Teaching Fellows, while others are national like Teach for America. Most of these programs require that participants have a college degree, but it does not need to be in education.