Inspire Tomorrow’s Leaders

Education is how we pass knowledge on to the next generation. It is the primary driver of discovery, through which all advancements are made possible. Education professionals are pioneers of change. Their influence transcends not only their local communities, but also their lifespans.

When you embark on a career in education, you join the ranks that include such thought leaders as Hippocrates, Albert Einstein, and the innovators of tomorrow. Explore online degree programs and certificates designed to help you fulfill your potential.

 

Top Education Degrees

All Related Education Programs

Bring Out the Best in Today’s Learners

To educate is to instill wisdom and encourage growth in others. A degree in education can help you develop the specialized knowledge and skills needed to fuel the success of our country’s most promising minds.

In the teaching profession, you have the rare opportunity to help guide our future leaders. Your career path will bring you face-to-face with the creatives, trailblazers, and problem-solvers who will drive America forward. Whether you choose to pursue a role in early childhood education, K-12 schools, or higher learning, you will be making a commitment to helping others excel.

 

What Can You Do With an Education Degree?

A degree in education can prepare you to pursue a number of rewarding career paths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following education degree programs and positions may correspond:

Position

Education Degree Program to Consider

Elementary school teacherMaster of Education in Teaching
High school teacherMaster of Education in Teaching
Instructional coordinatorMaster of Education in Educational Leadership
Middle school teacherMaster of Education in Teaching
Post-secondary education administratorMaster of Education in Higher Education Administration
Preschool and/or childcare center directorBachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies
Preschool teacher (non-licensed)Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education
School principalMaster of Education in Educational Leadership
Special education teacherMaster of Education in Teaching (Special Education concentration)
Teacher assistantAssociate of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education

Important note: The programs listed above offered by American Military University do not award professional licensure and do not qualify you to apply for a teaching licensure. In addition, individual states often require additional hands-on training, internships, or site visits not provided by our University. Students are encouraged to become familiar with all licensure/certification requirements in the state in which they plan to seek possible employment.

veteran educator

Veterans Are Finding New Purpose Inside America’s Classrooms

Education-related professions may be a natural fit for service-minded individuals. Students learn perseverance and integrity best from those who lead by example. Veterans who share a goal to serve as a positive influence for their communities often pursue careers in the education field. In fact, data from a recent Census Bureau survey shows 111,000 military veterans were employed as PreK-12 teachers in 2021 alone. Teaching can offer a fulfilling path for you to continue your service, as well.

How to Become a Kindergarten or Elementary Education Teacher

Requirements to become a licensed classroom teacher vary from state to state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, as well as a state-issued certification or license, to teach in a public school. 

Still, it is worth noting that some states require public school teachers to “major in a content area, such as mathematics,” as the BLS explains. There are also teacher education programs available for individuals who hold bachelor’s degrees in other subjects and are interested in pursuing teaching careers. Again, specific requirements vary by state, and in some cases private school teachers do not need to meet the same standards as their public school counterparts, per the BLS.

 

How to Become a Middle School or High School Teacher

The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that all states require every middle school and high school teacher to have at least a bachelor’s degree. The BLS also explains that middle school teachers may have degrees in elementary education in some states. Similarly, high school teachers may have degrees in education. Still, many states require both middle school and high school teachers to hold bachelor’s degrees in a specific content area, such as mathematics or history. 

Both must also complete teacher education programs, which usually include instruction on presenting information to classes that consist of students with varying abilities. Teacher education programs also generally include student-teaching programs, through which prospective educators gain hands-on teaching experience. Some states also require middle school and high school teachers to earn master’s degrees after receiving certification. 

Like kindergarten and elementary school teachers, however, middle and high school teachers employed by private schools do not always need to meet state requirements, per the BLS.

Important note: The degrees offered by American Military University do not award professional licensure and do not qualify you to apply for a teaching licensure. In addition, individual states often require additional hands-on training, internships, or site visits not provided by our University. Students are encouraged to become familiar with all licensure/certification requirements in the state in which they plan to seek possible employment.

education student

Choose From Flexible, Online Education Degrees and Certificates

Online education degree programs and certificates provide a well-rounded learning experience with the flexibility of learning wherever you can connect to the internet. 

At American Military University (AMU), for example, courses begin monthly and employ asynchronous learning, which means you can log in to access your classes each week at whichever time works best for you. AMU students may pursue their associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees from anywhere in the world. As a result, you will have the chance to engage in thought-provoking discussions with classmates and faculty who bring unique, real-world perspective to the virtual classroom.

Undergraduate Education Degrees

As an undergraduate student, you may wish to broaden your knowledge of child development, family dynamics, and the fundamentals of pre-K teaching. Degrees and certificates offered by AMU do not award licensure, however, they may serve as a helpful introduction to early childhood education.

Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education

Early childhood education focuses on children’s developmental and learning needs from birth to age five. A child’s early education sets the tone for academic achievement well beyond those formative years. As the National Education Association (NEA) states: 

Children in early childhood ed programs are:

  • Less likely to repeat a grade
  • Less likely to be identified as having special needs
  • More prepared academically for later grades
  • More likely to graduate from high school
  • Higher earners in the workforce

When you pursue this associate degree, you will discuss everything from developmental milestones to appropriate teaching methods for children with special needs. You will also consider how children’s home lives can influence their learning progress. Your coursework will help to familiarize you with the nuances of various parenting styles and family structures. You will learn how to build and maintain professional relationships with all different types of families.

This associate degree program does not award licensure, however, it may prepare you for a role in preschool education or as a teacher assistant, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests. You may also build upon what you’ve learned in the Early Childhood Care and Education program by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. 

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies

There is an undeniable link between family life, childhood development, and academic performance. “Research indicates that children whose parents are actively involved in their education are more likely to succeed academically and view school positively,” according to the International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR).

The information covered in this type of bachelor’s degree adds invaluable guidance for engaging with children and their families. The Human Development and Family Studies major provides a deep dive on family dynamics and how interactions with others affect the way children learn and mature. You will examine the correlation between family life and children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development throughout early childhood and into adolescence.

Upon completion of this bachelor’s degree program, you will have a solid grasp of the roles family members play in children’s lives and what a functional family looks like. AMU’s program does not award professional licensure or qualify you to apply for teaching licensure. With sufficient early childhood education experience, however, you may qualify for a role as a preschool or childcare center director post-graduation, the BLS reports. Alternatively, you may choose to follow up your studies with the following credentials:

Undergraduate Education Certificates

Certificate programs offer you an opportunity to specialize in a subject area, completing a fewer number of courses than a full degree program.

Child Life Undergraduate Certificate

Traumatic events, like the loss of a loved one or a terminal diagnosis, plague children and families every day. A certified child life specialist is trained to help guide children and parents through the emotional pain and uncertainty that accompany trauma, grief, and loss. 

This seven-course, online program is suited for learners who have already earned bachelor’s degrees and are interested in pursuing the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential. Coursework sharpens your understanding of how painful experiences impact child development and family dynamics. You will learn how to provide effective coping mechanisms to people who may be facing difficulties such as illness, injury, disability, death, and other traumas.

Family Studies Undergraduate Certificate

The structure, dynamics, and behavior of the nuclear family have a profound influence on a child. Serving in education-related professions calls for in-depth knowledge of the various types of family units that make up the U.S. today.

This six-course, online program equips you with an understanding of the broad spectrum of family relationships. You will have the opportunity to explore everything from parenting styles to family law and issues specific to military families. As you progress through your studies, you will acquire real-world skills essential for working with children, teens, and families.

Infant and Toddler Care Undergraduate Certificate

Young families lean on daycare providers and preschool teachers to help them demystify early childhood education and each pivotal milestone. From birth to age 5, children develop a myriad of cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and communication skills. Support and encouragement from childcare providers, classroom teachers, and family members are fundamental in fostering growth during this critical period.

This six-course, online program underscores the key moments throughout early childhood and emphasizes appropriate learning activities for each stage of infancy and toddlerhood. You will discuss the importance of observing children’s behavior and how to conduct an assessment informed by established developmental patterns. 

Your coursework will also introduce you to the leading theories and practical approaches for teaching children with special needs. Some course content may also count towards the 120 clock hours required as part of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

Important note: The certificates offered by American Military University do not award professional licensure and do not qualify you to apply for a teaching licensure. In addition, individual states often require additional hands-on training, internships, or site visits not provided by our University. Students are encouraged to become familiar with all licensure/certification requirements in the state in which they plan to seek possible employment.

 

Master’s-Level Education Degrees & Certificates 

Pursuing an advanced degree in education could be a practical choice for learners who have already begun their teaching careers. In fact, some states require or strongly encourage elementary school teachers and high school educators to have master’s degrees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

As a graduate-level student at AMU, you may choose from several types of education degrees and certificates, all of which are offered online.

Note: The following teaching degree and certificate programs at AMU do not award professional licensure, nor do they qualify you to apply for teaching licensure. You should become familiar with the licensure or certification requirements in the state where you wish to be employed. Some programs may have specific admission requirements.

Master of Education in Teaching (MEd)

Today’s classroom teachers share an immense duty: Now, more than ever, our country turns to educators to inspire collaborative problem-solving—and unity. From elementary education through high school, students and their families can all achieve more together with the support and leadership of teachers.

This master’s degree teaching program is designed for currently licensed classroom teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of instructional approaches. As a student, you will discuss how research and technology come together to advance modern education. You will also explore classroom management strategies and consider how to create an inclusive environment for diverse student populations. 

This online education degree program includes a variety of concentration areas from which you may choose to focus your studies. Some areas of focus you may wish to consider include:

  • Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Teachers
  • Elementary Reading
  • Instructional Leadership
  • English Language Learners
  • Special Education
  • Online Learning
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • STEAM (STEM + the Arts)

Master of Education in Educational Leadership (MEd)

The role of a leader is to create order, establish structure, and provide guidance. A school leader must often be a swift and strategic decision-maker; to lead requires an understanding of how to set ego aside to serve the greater good. 

Teachers and faculty, parents, students, and families all rely on school leaders every day to act with their best interests in mind—and to continue raising the bar. “When the bar is raised in education, all our nation's students will build the skills to succeed inside and outside of school,” states the U.S. Department of Education. This type of master’s degree is designed to transform licensed teachers into nimble leaders, ready to rise to the challenge.

Learners enrolled in this master’s program step into the shoes of today’s school administrator. As an Educational Leadership student, you will learn how schools function, not only as institutions for learning, but also as organizations. Your coursework will show you how school principals and administrators manage personnel, navigate legal and ethical issues, and help give back to their communities. You will reflect on definitive leadership qualities as you discover tactics for effectively leading diverse populations.

AMU’s Educational Leadership degree does not award professional licensure, nor does it qualify you to apply for administrative licensure. You should become familiar with the licensure or certification requirements in the state where you wish to be employed.

Master of Education in Higher Education Administration (MEd)

For students around the U.S., post-secondary education represents new opportunities. Every year, millions of learners graduate from colleges and universities, while millions more enroll to pursue their academic goals. From students working towards associate degrees to professionals in doctoral programs, every attendee at an educational institution depends on school administrators.

In this degree program, you will develop the leadership skills necessary to help foster student success within an institution of higher learning. You will examine the organizational structures of colleges and universities and uncover the value of an institution’s mission. Your coursework will encourage you to investigate how school policies honor diversity and contribute to each student’s learning experience. 

Master of Education in Online Teaching (MEd)

Online learning is revolutionizing education. In fact, more than 30 states and Washington, D.C., now offer free, online public school options for grades K-12. In addition, many private schools and charter schools provide virtual learning for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. These online programs help today’s young learners access a wealth of enriching course materials and study resources.

Of course, remote learning brings with it many nuances. In this degree program, licensed teachers will not only embrace, but also innovate a student-centered approach to online classroom instruction. 

As an Online Teaching student who already holds K-12 teaching licensure, you will contemplate unique opportunities to enhance learning in the virtual classroom. Your courses will focus on evidence-based practices for personalization in education. You will also expand your knowledge of legal and ethical issues pertaining to the online school environment.

Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education (MEd)

Students enrolling in college depend on competent leaders. From the admissions process to orientation and each semester that comprises a student’s academic journey, student affairs professionals play a major role in each learner’s experience.

Student Affairs in Higher Education majors dissect the multi-layered responsibilities of campus leadership. In this master’s degree program, you will develop the management and organizational skills that make colleges and universities successful. You will also become acquainted with the laws and regulations that govern both traditional brick-and-mortar schools and online institutions. 

As you learn how to think like a leader, you will assess practices employed throughout higher education to welcome culturally diverse students and faculty members. 

K-12 Online Learning Graduate Certificate

The online learning environment represents more than a mere alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. Integrating technology into K-12 instruction makes it possible for teachers and students to rethink the limits of our education system.

This six-course, online program provides you with the knowledge to identify educational applications for new and emerging technologies. You will examine a broad scope of digital tools and evaluate their potential to enhance online, face-to-face, and hybrid instructional settings. Your courses will also address prominent legal and ethical concerns related to online learning and the use of technology for education. The program does not lead to state certification or licensure.

K-12 Reading and Differentiated Instruction Graduate Certificate

Literacy lays the groundwork for every child’s academic success. Learning to read means gaining the power to navigate a world of opportunities, both within and beyond the classroom. Yet, the complexities of the English language pose numerous challenges to those teaching—and learning—how to read.

This six-course, online program is intended for licensed practicing teachers seeking advanced knowledge and skills in literacy instruction. As you progress through your coursework, you will deepen your understanding of various models of language arts education and how to assess students’ reading abilities. You will also examine techniques for personalizing classroom instruction and teaching reading to classes with academically and culturally diverse learners.

K-12 Virtual School Administration Graduate Certificate

As technology continues to revamp the educational landscape, administrative practices and procedures are similarly redefined. The virtual nature of online school environments dictates a specialized approach to educational leadership.

This six-course, online program is suitable for education professionals who have already earned their master’s degrees and are interested in learning about how to lead a virtual school. Coursework introduces you to the core responsibilities of academic administration, including financial management, fundraising, conflict resolution, and current legal and ethical guidelines for online schools.

AMU’s certificate does not award professional licensure, nor does it qualify you to apply for administrative licensure. You should become familiar with the licensure or certification requirements in the state where you wish to be employed.

American Military University Offers Quality, Online Education

No Matter Where You’re Stationed

AMU is the #1 provider of higher education to the U.S. military and has been named the top choice nationwide for veterans using their GI Bill® benefit.* Our institution was founded by retired Marine Corps officer, James P. Etter, in 1991. For more than three decades, AMU has provided career-relevant education in a military-friendly, online format. However, while our roots are in the military, our student ranks include non-military/civilian learners.

*Based on FY 2019 Department of Defense tuition assistance data, as reported by Military Times, 2020, and Veterans Administration student enrollment data as of March 23, 2023.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official website: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Join a Community of Learners Who Share Your Drive to Serve Others
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Frequently Asked Questions

Different education degrees prepare students for different career paths. Ultimately, the best degree will depend on your prior academic achievements and your specific professional goals.

If you are just starting out in your education career, you should consider the type of teaching environment you are seeking. Do you want to teach the youngest learners, older children, adolescents, or possibly adults?

The associate of arts in Early Childhood Care and Education provides an entry-level introduction to child development and prekindergarten education. On the other hand, the bachelor of arts in Human Development and Family Studies dives a bit deeper into these subjects and the role of family dynamics on children’s education. Neither of these degree programs prepare students for licensure, however, you may qualify for roles in preschool education or as a teacher assistant upon graduation, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests.

There are also teacher education programs designed as an entrance pathway leading to professional teaching licensure for those who hold a bachelor’s degree and are looking for a career switch. Since these licensure requirements vary by state, it is best to check with your state’s department of education to learn about certification.

There are many types of education degrees. At the undergraduate level, you may pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, for example. At the master’s level, an education degree is called a Master of Education, and some universities offer degree specializations. Finally, a doctoral degree in education can take the form of either an EdD (doctor of education) or a PhD (doctor of philosophy) in education.

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