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Overview of Associate Degree Program in Elementary Education

Majors Overview April 17, 2013

Education is a massive category that will always need new workers despite varying job growth rates for elementary school teachers. Individuals who are interested in teaching students in elementary schools, but lack the resources to pursue an undergraduate degree should consider an associate degree instead. A majority of colleges and universities offer associate degree program in education, which allow students to concentrate on the elementary school level.

Elementary Education Associate Degree Program

An associate degree program in elementary education are usually referred to by schools that offer it as an associate’s degree in teaching with a stress on K-6 or elementary education. A majority of associate’s degree programs in education allow students to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Academic courses cover education trends and policy, instructional concepts and techniques, theories of child development, and theories of learning. Practicum courses give students the opportunity to participate in and observe the activities of an elementary school classroom on a daily basis. Typically, an aspiring teacher can earn their associate degree in education within two years.

Education Requirements

Minimum requirements to enroll in an associate degree program in education are a general educational development (GED) certificate or high school diploma. Some colleges and universities may prefer applicants who have completed college prep courses in social science, foreign language, English, and mathematics.

Program Course Topics

Liberal arts courses in humanities, social science, natural sciences, and history are usually required in an associate degree program. Elementary education core courses and courses addressing closely related subject matter might include:

•Education technology
•Education psychology
•Fundamentals of math education
•Fundamentals of reading education
•Introduction to elementary education
•Education fundamentals
•Child growth and development

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Individuals who complete an associate degree program in elementary education can seek jobs as teaching assistants; main employers include private and public elementary schools. From 2008 to 2018, teacher assistants’ employment outlook was projected to grow by ten percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). Teacher assistants earned an annual average salary of $22,820, as of May 2009.

Information on Continuing Education

Individuals who hold an associate degree and want to become an elementary school teacher will need to pass a state licensing examination, complete a set number of hours in class as a student teacher, and earn a bachelor degree in education. It is common for students to participate in a bachelor degree transfer program in this subject area.

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