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Online Elementary Education Degree

Learn what it takes to give children in elementary school settings—Kindergarten through 5th grade—a brighter start with an online bachelor’s in elementary education degree from University of the Cumberlands.

This online elementary education degree was designed with working adults like you in mind. With the exception of field/clinical hours and student teaching, it will give you the courses you need to earn your online elementary education degree on your schedule. Through this combination of professional education and liberal arts courses, our K-5 elementary education program will prepare you for success with a well-rounded body of knowledge and competencies.


What is an Online Elementary Education Degree?

An elementary education degree offers the knowledgebase and training you need to pursue a career as a teacher for younger age groups, specifically elementary students. This online major offers the education you need to pursue teaching jobs in middle school settings or as a special education teacher. 

To teach in Kentucky, aspiring educators should start by earning a qualifying undergraduate degree—one from a program approved by the Education Professional Standards Board of Kentucky. The right online bachelor’s degree program will cover coursework that can help future teachers earn an Elementary School Teacher credential. It should cover subjects typically taught in elementary grades such as math, English, science, social studies, arts, and more. From there, future elementary education teachers will need to submit an application for certification, provide transcripts, pass assessments, and pay fees. For states other than Kentucky, it’s important check with the relevant regulatory offices regarding licensure, student teaching and other requirements.

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What Careers Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Elementary Education?

Depending on the specific academic areas of emphasis you pursue, you will be equipped with the skills you need to manage the elementary classroom, prepare age-relevant lessons and promote effective learning for younger students. You’ll learn what it takes to become a kindergarten or elementary teacher, a position that offered an average salary in 2021 of $61,350 annually. Or use the special education emphasis to pursue job opportunities as a special education teacher for any age group. The average salary for special education teachers in 2021 came in at $61,820. 

Your elementary education major can open up other career opportunities, as well. Use your elementary education degree to pursue jobs: 

  • Teaching students in your certification area and level (elementary)
  • Working with special education programs
  • Tutoring at-risk students
  • Serving in children’s or youth ministry
  • Representing textbook or learning institutions
  • Training employees in large companies
  • Working as an educational consultant
  • Teaching on military bases or in international schools

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Is it Worth it to Get an Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education?

Odds are, you’re pursuing a career in education because you want to make a difference. You understand the joy that comes from helping others learn. You live for the lightbulb moments. 

At University of the Cumberlands, we get it. We live for those moments, too. We understand that you major in education for the priceless fulfillment of developing a love of learning in others. And through this elementary education degree program, we’re here to help you build the essential knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to succeed as an educator in a public or private school. 

We make an investment in you, and through you, in the lives of generations to come. We provide online course delivery, high-quality instruction, an accessible support system, the flexibility to advance at a pace that accommodates your life, and a vibrant learning community. Your educational investment today can pay off in the long run with teaching opportunities, student success and a more fulfilling educational career path for you. So, yes, this elementary education degree is definitely “worth it.”

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

At University of the Cumberlands, we understand that your passion for teaching might be more specific to an individual emphasis. That’s why our online elementary education degree offers four different elementary education teaching concentrations to choose from: 

Interdisciplinary Studies Concentration
This interdisciplinary concentration, for the online elementary education degree, is designed for those who wish to enter the teaching field and contribute to stronger schools with a more broad educational understanding. Throughout this Interdisciplinary program, you will take courses specifically related to the sciences, English, social studies, and mathematics, among others.  Choose University of the Cumberlands if you’re interested in earning your elementary education teacher certification.

English/Communications Concentration
Our online elementary education degree concentration in English and Communications is designed for those who aspire to impact the lives of students in schools and the communities they live in. Throughout this English/Communications program, you will take courses specifically related to literature, writing, and communications, among others. If you dream of being an elementary teacher, consider University of the Cumberlands to help you earn elementary education teaching certification.

Social and Behavioral Studies Concentration
Our Social and Behavioral Studies concentration was developed for individuals who want to pass along their passion for social and behavioral studies to their students. Throughout this Social and Behavioral Studies program, you will take courses specifically related to American History, World Civilizations, and government, among others. If you dream of being an elementary social studies teacher, consider University of the Cumberlands to help you earn online elementary education degree certification.

Special Education Concentration
The online elementary education degree concentration in special education is intended for students who desire to make a permanent impression on their students’ lives. Throughout this special education certification program, you will take courses which include Special Education Early Childhood, Special Education Instructional Programs (P-12), Special Education Methods and Materials (Mild Disabilities & Emotional Disabilities) P-12, Special Education Programs for Adolescents with Mild Disabilities (5-12), among other course topics. Choosing the special education emphasis offers dual certification in elementary education (P-5) and special education (P-12). If you dream of being an elementary teacher, consider University of the Cumberlands to help you earn your special education certification.

As part of University of the Cumberlands’ Bachelor's in Elementary Education online degree requirements, each student must complete at least 120 semester hours, including those within the major and the coursework required to fulfill the degree requirements within:

  • General Education
  • P-5 Professional Education Courses
  • Elective Courses related to an Academic Emphasis Area

Click here for Course Details

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to this University of the Cumberlands online program students must complete the following:

  • Apply online
  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be submitted directly to University of the Cumberlands from the issuing institution and must be sealed or unopened.
  • If you have 0-11 hours of college credit, an official high school transcript must be submitted showing a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. GED students must provide official scores from the General Education Development Test (GED). Click here for the GED to GPA calculator.
  • If you have 12+ hours of college credit, you must submit an official college transcript with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. High school transcripts are not required if you have obtained 12+ hours of college credit.
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 95
  • Please Note: The requirements above are specific for admittance into the University only. Admittance into University of the Cumberlands Teacher Education Program will require additional items. For a detailed list of these requirements, please see here: University of the Cumberlands Teacher Education Requirements

All admissions materials should be submitted to:

University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions

649 S. 10th Street
Williamsburg, KY 40769

Phone 606.539.4372
Toll Free 800.343.1609

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Pathways for KCTCS Students

University of the Cumberlands and Somerset KCTCS have entered into an agreement for Elementary Education students. This agreement provides for a seamless pathway for students completing the Associate of Applied Science degree in Educator Preparation at Somerset KCTCS to move towards completion of the Bachelor of Science degree in Education through the School of Education at University of the Cumberlands.

Under this pathway, students who have completed an Associate’s degree in Educator Preparation at KCTCS can transfer up to 80 hours of course credit to University of the Cumberlands.

The general requirement for graduation from University of the Cumberlands with the Bachelor of Science in Education is the completion of at least 120 semester hours including:

  • General education – 37 hours
  • Education major – 72 hours + emphasis area(s)
    • Some of these hours are completed at the Community College level

Specific degree requirements are accessible in the academic catalog.

The academic advisor assigned to the student at the time of their admission to the Education Online Program will work with the student to develop a planned program that lists the courses completed/transferred and a list of courses to be completed.   As a part of this process, the academic advisor will also develop the planned program to ensure that a minimum of 30 semester hours numbered 300 or above are identified.  An approved copy of the planned program is forwarded to the student.

All of the courses needed to complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Education are offered in an online format to accommodate the needs of today’s working adult.

KCTCS students interested in additional information regarding transferring coursework to University of the Cumberlands should visit our Transfer Student page to learn more and request a review of their transcripts. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below. 

KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.

CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level.  CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.  UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077

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Click here to view a list of the education faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone:  606.539.4372
Toll-Free:  855.791.7201


Visit Us In Person

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769