Education Bachelor’s Degree

A minimum of four years is typically required to complete a bachelor’s degree in education program. Some students entering with transferable credits or pursuing summer classes may be able to complete the program in less time.

At some schools the programs may be intense enough to make many students spend five years completing the major.

A bachelor’s degree in education usually requires a liberal arts foundation. In addition to education courses, candidates become well-rounded professionals through courses in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and mathematics disciplines. Each college or university establishes there own standards and options for the general coursework that is part of the liberal arts program.

A bachelor of arts (BA) degree is most common with education and features a strong liberal arts base. Some schools offer a bachelor of science (BS) degree in education. A BS program is supposed to be more career-oriented with less general required classes. Since there are no set national standards for what determines BA or BS coursework, the difference is sometimes ambiguous.

One of the first courses education majors will take is an Introduction to Teaching course. A field service requirement is usually involved in addition to an overview of a teacher’s responsibilities. Students may develop sample lesson plans and assessments. They will also learn the basics of educational theory. This introduction class is often intended to expose candidates to the teaching field to ensure they are interested in becoming a teacher.

Additional teaching courses cover topics like educational psychology and human growth and development. There are also several classes related to effective teaching methods. A foundation in special education is usually the center of another course.

Other courses will relate to the content the teacher is preparing to teach. For example, an elementary teacher will take courses in math and reading teaching methods.

Secondary teachers will take a variety of classes in the field they are preparing to teach like English or science.

Field service is a cornerstone of education courses at the bachelor’s level. States specify how many hours of classroom experience are needed for certification and the given university or college incorporates these requirements into their coursework. Potential teachers are exposed to a variety of school settings. If possible, a range between rural, urban, high-needs, and affluent school settings is arranged. At first, education students will begin with observation periods that increasingly become hands-on and culminate in the student teaching experience.

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