Affordable K-12 Education Degrees

Scroll down to see the most affordable K-12 education degrees, as well as info on the different types of education degrees and education program accreditation.

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Interested in becoming a teacher? We salute you. Educators are responsible for inspiring future generations of learners, making teaching one of the most valuable professions in our society. From early childhood, K-12 and adult education to school counseling, administration and special needs, your affordable degree in education will give you the chance to make a real difference in our country.

If you’re just beginning your research into education programs, you may feel confused. What kind of degree should I choose? Can I become a teacher if I don’t have a bachelor’s degree in education? What do I need to know about licensure? What do endorsement and reciprocity mean? We clear up all these confusions (and more) in our guide to affordable education degrees.

School Selections

University of California-Irvine

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences degree can complete up to two specializations from the following areas of study: early childhood learning and development, children's learning and development, after school learning and development, digital media and learning, English language learning, and research and evaluation. There is also a MAT degree available (Master of Arts in Teaching). This is a 14-month program that leads to an MA degree and a single- or multiple-subject teacher credential. The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Education program with specializations in learning, cognition, and development, educational policy and social context, and language, literacy, and technology. Students admitted to the PhD program receive up to five years of financial support from the university.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

30,836 Students

University of Minnesota-Duluth

The College of Education and Human Service Professions at UMD is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The college offers an Integrated Elementary and Special Education Teacher Program (IESE) that is the only undergraduate Integrated Elementary Special Education teacher preparation program in Minnesota. The college has a Secondary Education Program, a Special Education Post-baccalaureate, Minor and Endorsement program, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) program and an Educational Doctorate (Ed.D.) program with a major in Teaching and Learning. There is a Master of Education Tribal Cohort (M.Ed.) and a Tribal Special Education Licensure Cohort offered through the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Language Revitalization for individuals working in schools and institutions serving American Indian people.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

10,878 Students

Texas A & M University-College Station

The College of Education and Human Development at Texas A & M University College Station has four departments: Educational Administration and Human Resources, Educational Psychology, Health & Kinesiology, and Teaching, Learning and Culture. These departments offer 20 undergraduate, 28 master's and 22 doctoral degrees. In addition, the college has seven undergraduate certification programs: Bilingual Education, EC-6 Generalist, Middle Grades 4-8 Language Arts/Social Studies, Middle Grades 4-8 Math/Science, Physical Education Teacher Certification, School Health, and Special Education. There are seven post-bachelor's certification programs: Accelerate Online Secondary Teacher Certification Program, Graduate Certificate Program, Master Reading Teacher Certification, Principal Certification, Reading Specialist Certification, and Superintendent Certification. The school is the largest producer of teachers in high-need fields such as math/science, and bilingual education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

63,813 Students

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC came in at #31 on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 rankings of the best schools for education. It offers five undergraduate majors, five graduate degrees, five doctorates and several licensure add-ons. Undergrads can seize on over a dozen School of Education scholarships, including the McIntosh Award, worth $2,000 to incoming seniors with financial need and strong academic records, and the Kennedy Scholarship, worth $6,000 to disadvantaged aspiring teachers. As the state's flagship school, UNC participates in the Forgivable Education Loans for Service program, which gives residents with decent GPAs loans that are forgiven after they become teachers in the state. Bachelor's and master's degree-seekers qualify for up to $20,000, while doctoral candidates can borrow up to $56,000.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

29,084 Students

University of California-Los Angeles

UCLA offers a minor in education studies as well as several graduate degree programs. Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs are available in the following areas: higher education and organizational change, human development and psychology, social research and methodology, and social sciences and comparative education. A PhD in Urban Schooling is also available. Students can pursue the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree concurrently with a preliminary administrative credential or with a preliminary teaching credential. There is also an M.Ed. program in student affairs, as well as a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership degree. Upper division students in the Education Studies minor program who plan to teach math or science after graduation can apply for the El-Erian Scholarship.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

41,908 Students

University of Illinois at Chicago

The BA in Urban Education: Elementary Education at UIC is designed to lead toward licensure, whereas the BA in Human Development and Learning is more applicable for careers outside the classroom. Students with financial need can apply for the $5 for 4 Scholarship, Promise Fund Scholarship or Make an Impact Scholarship, all worth up to $2,500. Students pursuing one of the nine MEds or a doctorate should know that the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program covers their academic costs in return for a teaching commitment. Also, through Project SEEEC (Science Education for Excellence and Equity in Chicago), applicants to the PhD in Math and Science Education program can cover their tuition and fees while netting a $10,000 annual stipend.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

29,048 Students

Vassar College

Vassar's Department of Education runs an Educational Studies major and minor plus teacher prep programs leading to a BA. Alternatively, students can pair a major in another discipline with a New York State certification in Adolescent Education or Childhood Education. In exchange for advocacy work, the Graduate Fellowship in Education gives funds to students nearing the end of their certification requirements. Throughout college, many participate in the Vassar College Urban Education Initiative, which places over 100 collegians each semester as tutors to K-12 students across local school districts. Some are selected as Urban Education Fellows and spend much of January working in public school classrooms in New York City or Boston (with expenses covered and field work credit given).

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

2,435 Students

University of California-Riverside

The Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside runs programs leading to an MEd, an MA, and a PhD, not to mention teaching credentials. Students enrolled in any advanced program can apply for education loans and teaching and research assistantships. Aspiring teachers have the most scholarship opportunities. For instance, the Leonard Family Foundation gives out three $5,000 scholarships to MEd students eying science or math careers. PhD students have the inside track on fellowships - they'll need a 3.5 GPA and a 308 on the GRE to be considered. To prepare for any of the graduate programs, undergrads can major in Education, Society, and Human Development. They'll be going to a university where 60 percent of students pay no fees.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

21,385 Students

University of California-San Diego

The Education Studies program at UC San Diego leads to a single subject (secondary level) or multiple subjects (elementary level) credential. Students who are interested in pursuing a teaching career after earning their baccalaureate degree must take professional courses in education, a practice teaching program or an internship, and an additional full year of college-level work. The following programs are available on the graduate level: Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees in multiple and in single subject credential; Master of Arts in American Sign Language-English Bilingual Education; Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees in teaching and learning and in educational leadership; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree. Qualified students can apply for the M.Ed./MA-ASL Fellowship, which covers the cost of tuition.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

32,906 Students

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development offers a number of degree programs in teacher education. Some of these programs are: Adult Education (M.Ed., Professional Licensure), Culture and Teaching (Ph.D.), Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.), and Learning Technologies (M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.). The college also has several certificate programs in various fields including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Career and Technical Education, Dual Language and Immersion Education, etc. The college has been granted approval by the Minnesota Board of Teaching (MNBOT) through June 30, 2020. The college's Professional Education Unit is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) until 2019, which is good for both the initial teacher preparation programs as well as the advanced educator preparation programs.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

50,678 Students

Buffalo State SUNY

Buffalo State offers many programs for students interested in a teaching career. Undergraduates can earn degrees in Childhood Education, Early Childhood and Childhood Education Combined, Exceptional Education and Childhood Education, and Middle School extensions in teaching English, math, social studies, French, Spanish, and Italian. Master's programs are offered in Childhood and Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction, and Literacy Specialist. The college also offers a master's program that allows students who did not study education at the undergraduate level to earn a master's and teaching credentials in Childhood and Early Childhood Education. Buffalo State's accelerated 4+1 pathway allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a master's in special education for that development level.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

10,330 Students

SUNY College at Oswego

The School of Education at SUNY Oswego offers undergraduate teacher preparation programs and also offers advanced training to certified teachers. Undergrads can train to teach at the childhood education level (grades 1-6) or adolescence level (grades 7-12). In either case, they choose a subject area to concentrate in and take classes in education and teaching methods. They also get experience teaching in a classroom setting. Undergrads can also train in vocational education, technology education, or teaching English to speakers of other languages. Graduate students who want to enter the teaching profession can earn certification with the Master of Science for Teachers or Master of Arts in Teaching programs. Master of Science in Education programs lead to professional teacher certification.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

7,937 Students

University of California-Berkeley

The Graduate School of Education at the University of California Berkeley focuses on preparing the next generation of educators through its BE3 program, an 18-month program that results in both a master's degree and a teaching credential. About 60 percent of students in this program receive some financial support, including a range of fellowships. Master's students who have parenting responsibilities are eligible for a need-based Parent Grant to help cover tuition or living costs. Travel grants are available for education students who are traveling to make a presentation. The School of Education also offers leadership preparation through the Principal Leadership Institute and has a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Education is the most popular minor on the Berkeley campus.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

38,189 Students

University of California-Davis

The Master of Arts in Education program at UC Davis has two tracks - MA general track and the Credential/MA track. The Credential/MA track combines the Teacher Credential with the MA program and is designed for students who have yet to earn their initial teaching credential. The university offers both Multiple and Single Subject teaching credentials and a Bilingual Authorization in Spanish. Single Subject Credentials are available in agriculture, English, math, science, and social science. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education and Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership programs are also available. The PhD in Education program has the following emphasis areas: language, literacy, & culture, learning & mind sciences, mathematics education, school organization & educational policy, and science and agriculture education.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

35,186 Students

Westfield State University

Education is the largest department at Westfield, with six undergraduate majors or concentrations and 19 graduate degrees. Elementary education, special education, physical education - you name it and Westfield likely has an accredited program and path to licensure. Plus, seemingly every bachelor's or master's degree outside the department offers the opportunity to tack on teaching licensure, from biology to art. The school's Center for Teacher Education and Research coordinates this. It partners with districts throughout the state, taking in teachers for trainings and dispatching its own learners for student teaching. High achievers can join the Kappa Delta Pi honor society or the Student Education Association of Massachusetts, which promotes education initiatives. Additionally, there's actually money in teaching! Half a dozen awards are reserved for Education majors, including the Urban Education/Fuller Scholarship and the Meadon Memorial Scholarship for Elementary Education majors.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

6,496 Students

SUNY College at Oneonta

SUNY Oneonta offers teacher training and advanced education at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergrads can specialize in early childhood, childhood, or adolescent education. Adolescent ed students can specialize in content areas including science, foreign language, or social studies. At the graduate level, Oneonta offers Master of Science in Education programs for certified teachers and Master of Science in Teaching programs for career-changers seeking initial certification. The MST programs are in special education and are on campus. The MSEd programs include educational technology and literacy, both offered online, and special education and school counselor, offered on campus. Undergrads who want to teach science may be eligible for the Noyce Scholars program, which provides about $20,000.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

6,119 Students

Appalachian State University

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ASU's Reich College of Education offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program as well as a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education. Students pursuing a BS in Middle Grades Education are required to take two concentrations among Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. ASU was the first university in North Carolina to offer specialized degrees for middle grade teachers. The Professional School Counseling program (K-12) of the Department of Human Development & Psychological Counseling meets state licensure requirements for counselors who want to work in elementary, middle, and secondary schools. This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

17,932 Students

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The College of Education at University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers education degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Undergraduate degree options include the College's Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and the Education Exploratory Track, which allows students to explore careers in early childhood, English as a second language, elementary, special education or secondary education. Graduate degree programs in education include a Master of Education, an Education Specialist degree and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. The Master of Education is available in many concentration areas, including bilingual, English as a second language and multicultural education; child study and early education; elementary teacher education; learning, media and technology; reading and writing; and secondary teacher education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

29,269 Students

Saint Cloud State University

The School of Education at St. Cloud State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Department of Child and Family Studies offers a Bachelor of Science in Early Education program that leads to a Minnesota Teaching Licensure for birth through third-grade classrooms. The department also has a Master of Science in Early Childhood Special Education and a Master of Science in Family Studies. The Department of Teacher Development offers licensure programs for Elementary Education and Secondary Education and in other areas such as Chinese as a Second Language, Developmental Disabilities, Earth Science, etc. The department also offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-6 program and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

16,096 Students

Michigan Technological University

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences at Michigan Technological University offers a teacher education program that allows students to earn initial secondary teaching certification in ten content areas: biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and space science, economics, English, integrated science, mathematics, physics and social studies. Students admitted into the teacher education program are required to complete a major in their chosen content area, as well as meet teacher education requirements. Teacher education requirements include required courses in educational psychology, literacy, instructional technology, teaching methods and a 12-credit student teaching experience.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

7,218 Students

Wayne State College

The School of Education and Counseling at Wayne State College has four areas of undergraduate concentrations (Elementary Education, Middle Grades 4-9, Secondary Education 7-12 and Special Education). In addition, there are supplemental endorsements in English as a Second Language, Coaching, and Information Technology. The school offers a Master of Science in Education (MSE) in the following areas: Counseling, Curriculum & Instruction - Instructional Leadership, School Administration, and Exercise Science. The MSE in School Administration can be pursued online. The school also offers an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program for professionals seeking a School Superintendent position. Wayne State College's School of Education and Counseling is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

3,431 Students

California State University-Long Beach

Students who complete the four-year Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) offered at the College of Education at CSULB graduate with both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. The university also offers multiple subject, single subject, special education, and urban dual credential programs. Master of Arts in Education programs are available in several fields including curriculum and instruction, early childhood, dual language development, and math education. There is also an Education Specialist degree (EdS) in school psychology and a doctorate program in educational leadership (Ed.D). The L. Christine Langemo Scholarship ($2,000-$4,000) supports graduate students in the early childhood education program, while the Consuelo Nieto Memorial Scholarship ($2,500-$3,000) supports first-generation undergraduate students in a teacher credential program.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

37,446 Students

McDaniel College

McDaniel College offers several graduate programs in education, as well as an undergraduate minor in education. Graduate programs include an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, an M.S. in Elementary Education, an M.S. in Secondary Education, an M.S. in TESOL and an M.S. in Special Education. The M.S. in Elementary Education requires 31 to 33 credits of coursework and does not lead to initial teaching certification. Similarly, the M.S. in Secondary Education is a 36-credit program designed for already certified teachers. The College does, however, offer the Better Educators for Students of Tomorrow (BEST) program, a master's program combined with initial teaching certification. The undergraduate minor in education leads to elementary teaching certification (grades 1-6), secondary teaching certification (grades 7-12) or PreK-12 certification in the subjects of art, music, French, German, Spanish or physical education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

3,003 Students

Winona State University

Winona State University's College of Education offers undergraduate teaching degrees in business education (5-12), elementary early childhood (birth-grade 6), elementary education (K-6), elementary education (K-6), elementary education (K-6), physical education (K-12) and special education (K-12). Interdisciplinary teacher education programs are offered through the College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Sciences and College of Science and Engineering in majors like art education (K-12), Spanish (K-12), health education (5-12), mathematics (5-12) and biology-life science (9-12). A graduate program called the Teacher Preparation Collaborative is also available to bachelor's degree holding students looking to attain licensure. WSU offers several scholarships specifically for teachers, including the Teachers from Diverse Backgrounds Scholarship ($1,000 per semester) and over 60 foundation scholarships.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

8,490 Students

SUNY at Albany

SUNY University at Albany began as a teacher's school in 1844, and it continues to train teachers today. At the undergraduate level, students can minor in educational studies to prepare for a career as a classroom teacher or school counselor. At the graduate level, the School of Education offers programs in educational practice and theory, literacy teaching and learning, school psychology, special education, and educational leadership. The School of Education administers dozens of specialized scholarships each year, including the Malcolm Blum Endowment for a student seeking initial or professional certification in teaching and the Alice Clark Long Scholarship for a graduate student who plans to teach.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

17,178 Students

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University offers teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergrads can earn certification to teach secondary school English, foreign languages, math, science (biology, chemistry, earth science or physics), or social studies. The college also offers teacher training in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages that leads to certification for preschool- grade12. To become certified to teach, undergraduates major in the subject they wish to teach, take required education classes, and gain field experience. Graduate students who did not study education at the baccalaureate level can become certified teachers through the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Stony Brook also offers post-master's certification programs in educational leadership and several advanced graduate certificate programs in education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Castleton University

Castleton University has been training teachers since it was founded just after the Revolutionary War, and some students just have to walk across the street to the village school when they are student teaching. Undergrads can gain licensure in elementary education, secondary education, or as a special education teacher. Students seeking elementary licensure work with both a liberal arts adviser and an education adviser to devise an appropriate multidisciplinary major. Students seeking secondary licensure major in the subject they plan to teach and take education classes. Graduate degree options include special education, educational leadership, and initial teacher licensure. Education majors are eligible for nearly 20 different scholarships granted by the university.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

2,246 Students

Iowa State University

ISU's School of Education has an Educator Preparation Program that prepares its students for licensure by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). This is a shared program that includes the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Human Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students admitted to the program can earn Bachelor of Science degrees in Early Childhood Education as well as in Elementary Education. K-12 education teacher licensure areas include music and physical education. There are several secondary education teacher licensure areas including biology, earth sciences, health education, mathematics, and others. The following graduate programs are available. Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), and Doctor pf Philosophy (Ph.D.).

  • Advanced Placement Credit

35,714 Students

Ferris State University

Ferris State University's School of Education offers associate degrees in early childhood education, pre-teaching elementary and pre-teaching secondary. Bachelor's degrees are also available in 14 education-related fields, including elementary education, early childhood education, social studies secondary education, history education and mathematics education. Additionally, graduate degrees are available in career and technical education, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership. The School's Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education requires 47 credits of professional education courses, including coursework in human growth and development, teaching reading, teaching language arts and social studies, teaching math and science, and teaching students with special needs. The program also requires the completion of at least 570 hours of field experience in a K-8 classroom, including a 12-credit student teaching internship.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

14,715 Students

University of Florida

The College of Education at the University of Florida offers a dual Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master of Education with specializations in elementary education or special education. The college also offers a Florida teaching minor, a mathematics teaching minor and a science teaching minor. The curriculum for the dual Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master of Education program includes professional methods courses, clinical experiences and a fifth year specialization in elementary or special education. Students in this program can choose from two certification tracks during their fifth year of study: a dual certification track for certifications in elementary and exceptional student education with an ESOL endorsement or a single certification track for certification in elementary endorsements in ESOL and reading.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

50,645 Students

Alfred University

The College of Professional Studies at Alfred University offers an undergraduate major in early childhood/childhood education, undergraduate minors in middle childhood/adolescence education and art education, and a Master of Science in Education degree in literacy. The early childhood/childhood education major requires 45 credits of major coursework, and students are also required to complete 30 credits in an academic concentration area such as psychology, history, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, mathematics, foreign language or English. The M.S.Ed. in Literacy requires the completion of 30 credits in subjects like diagnostic techniques in literacy, children's literature, and teaching special needs children in an inclusive classroom. M.S.Ed. students are also required to complete a six-credit literacy seminar/field experience and a three-credit master's research project.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

2,286 Students

SUNY at Binghamton

The Graduate School of Education at SUNY Binghamton has Pre-Service Programs that lead to initial certification in Childhood & Early Childhood Education - Birth to Grade 6 (M.S. in Education) and Adolescence Education - Grades 7-12 (M.A. in Teaching). The school also has In-Service Programs for certified teachers: Adolescence Education - Grades 7-12, Literacy Education, and Special Education. All of these are M.S. in Education degrees. GSE offers a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Educational Leadership. This program is accredited by the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Clifford D. Clark Graduate Fellowship Program for Diversity supports GSE students who come from underrepresented groups. The scholarship includes an academic stipend, full tuition, health insurance and research and travel benefits.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

16,913 Students

Michigan State University

The Teacher Preparation Program at MSU's College of Education is a five-year program that includes a year-long post-graduate internship. This program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). The college offers an extensive graduate program that includes degrees such as an M.A. and an Ed.D. in K-12 Educational Administration, an Ed.D. in Mathematics Education, and several others. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked MSU's graduate study program in both elementary and secondary education the No. 1 in the country for 21 consecutive years. The Frank M. and Ernestine D. Simmons Endowed Scholarship in Education provides support for COE students at the junior, senior or post B.A. level. Preference is given to students from under-represented groups with unmet financial needs.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

50,538 Students

CUNY Queens College

The Division of Education at Queens College offers teacher training programs at all levels. These include 11 undergraduate programs leading to initial teacher certification in New York. Undergrads can earn teaching credentials in childhood education (grades 1-6) or prepare to teach a specific subject - like English or social studies - in secondary school. There are also programs that prepare students to teach art, music, or physical education to all grade levels. Queens College also has post-baccalaureate and master's programs leading to initial teacher certification and 17 graduate programs that lead to advanced or professional teacher certification. Scholarships and awards available to education majors include the Rachel Weddington Education Award ($1,000) and the Doris Davis Social Studies Scholarship Award.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

19,520 Students

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The School of Education at UNC - Greensboro offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (with the option for a dual major in Special Education), Middle Grades Education, Professions in Deafness, and Special Education. Also, Master's degrees and doctoral degrees are available in counseling; school administration; educational leadership; educational research, measurement, and evaluation; library and information studies; special education; as well as curriculum and instruction. UNC - Greensboro is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students in the School of Education who have a GPA of at least 3.0 may qualify for an SOE scholarship, and graduate students may qualify for graduate assistantships.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

19,393 Students

University of Nebraska at Omaha

The Teacher Education Program at University of Nebraska Omaha offers bachelor's degrees in elementary education, middle grades education, secondary education and library science. Elementary education majors receive endorsement to teach in K-6 classrooms and are required to choose an emphasis in one of six areas: ESL, inclusive practices, literacy/ESL, school library, STEM or world languages. Middle grades majors receive endorsement to teach in grades 4-9 and must choose two content coursework areas. Master's degrees are available in elementary education, secondary education and literacy and are designed for students who are already practicing teachers. The College of Education offers numerous scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students, including the Assets in Education Scholarship for undergraduate students majoring in elementary, secondary or special education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

15,526 Students

Brigham Young University-Idaho

Through its Department of Teacher Education, Brigham Young University-Idaho offers undergraduate degrees in early childhood education/early childhood special education (ECE/ECSE) and elementary education. Students interested in becoming secondary education teachers must choose a major through the department associated with their chosen teaching subject. For example, students who want to teach biology in secondary schools would major in biology education through the Department of Biology. The core education curriculum, however, is still provided by the Department of Teacher Education for secondary education students.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

43,803 Students

Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University's Department of Professional Education offers bachelor's degrees in elementary education, middle school education and special education. Graduate degrees are available in education, early childhood education, education leadership, elementary education, elementary mathematics, English language learners, higher education leadership, middle school education, reading, special education and teacher leadership. The B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education can be completed in a concentration subject area, such as language arts, math, psychology, science, social science, multicultural studies, special education-cross-categorical, physical education or early childhood education. Students in the program are required to complete 68 to 71 credits of major coursework, which leads to certification to teach grades 1 through 6. Program requirements also include 12 credits of directed student teaching in an elementary classroom.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

6,593 Students

CUNY City College

The School of Education at City College of New York offers bachelor's and master's degrees in early childhood education, childhood education, and secondary education (art, English, math, music, science, social studies, and Spanish). It also offers master's degrees in special education, teaching English to speakers of other languages, bilingual education, educational theater, and literacy. CCNY education programs meet the certification requirements set by the State of New York for classroom teachers. Many classes require students to perform fieldwork, with requirements ranging from eight to 45 hours of fieldwork. Undergraduates must also complete 300 hours of student teaching; the requirement for graduate programs varies. The School of Education offers many named scholarships, such as the Daniel Howard Daniels Scholarship ($1,250).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

15,778 Students

CUNY Hunter College

The School of Education at Hunter College provides teacher training programs for undergraduates and offers more than 40 specialized master's programs for teachers, administrators and counselors. Undergraduates must first be accepted to Hunter College and then must apply for a teaching program by filling out an online application and passing a writing test and interview. Undergraduate degrees leading to initial teacher certification are available in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, Adolescent Education, Dance Education, and Music Education. Graduate programs include advanced certificates and master's degrees in Bilingual rducation, Special Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Teaching Students with Visual Impairments. The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

22,918 Students

Texas Woman's University

Texas Women's University offers bachelor's degrees in education for generalists teachers who wish to teach all subjects from Kindergarten up through 8th grade; bachelor's degrees for teachers who want to specialize in math, science, English, etc.; bachelor's degrees for teachers who want to receive dual certification (special education, bilingual, etc.); a Master of Arts in Teaching; and graduate degrees and certifications for teachers who want to enhance their careers in special education, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, reading, school counseling, and education administration. The education programs at TWU provide students with academic knowledge and understanding as well as hands-on, real-world experience where they will be working alongside other educators.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

15,286 Students

CUNY Brooklyn College

The School of Education at Brooklyn College is one of the largest education schools in New York, granting degrees accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas including early childhood education, art education, childhood education, bilingual education, special education, and secondary education. Students in the secondary education program can be certified to teach biology, chemistry, earth science, English, French, Italian, math, music, physics, social studies, or Spanish. The college also offers graduate programs in school counseling, school psychology and educational leadership. Departmental scholarships include the Geraldine Resnick Charner Memorial Award (amount varies), given annually to two students seeking an advanced degree in special education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

17,410 Students

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

The Teacher Education program at SUNY Plattsburgh includes a bachelor's degree in childhood (elementary) education, combined bachelor's/master's programs in adolescence education (grades 7-12) and childhood and special education (grades 1-6) and five separate master's programs. The BS in Childhood Education allows students to choose a concentration in the areas of art, biology, chemistry, earth science, English, French, mathematics, music, social studies and Spanish. Graduate options in elementary education include a Master of Science for Teachers in Childhood Education (grades 1-6) and a Master of Science in Education in the concentrations of teaching and learning, literacy education and special education. SUNY Plattsburgh's Teacher Education Unit makes several scholarships available to undergraduate and graduate students, including 25 graduate assistantships and five graduate diversity fellowships.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

  • Advanced Placement Credit

5,718 Students

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education), a Master of Education in Counseling, a Master of Education in Higher Education, a Master of Education in Teaching, a Master of Science in Early Childhood Studies, and a Ph.D. in Special Education. Many of these degree programs are available online, which makes them more convenient for a number of students. All Teacher Education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness, and the Early Childhood Education Program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • Advanced Placement Credit

37,299 Students

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

The College of Education and Integrative Studies offers initial credential programs for elementary (multiple subject), secondary (single subject), and special education teachers. Advanced credential programs are also available, including administrative services credentials for school leaders (principals, teacher leader, and district office personnel). There is also a Master of Arts (MA) degree in education offered. Students accepted to the MA program can choose from the following areas of emphasis: curriculum & instruction, curriculum & instruction - design-based learning, educational multimedia, special education, and educational leadership. A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is available as well. The Partners in Education (PIE) scholarships support teacher candidates who are completing their clinical practice. PIE scholarships award 6 to 15 $5,000 scholarships each year.

  • Advanced Placement Credit

23,717 Students

Types of Teaching & Education Degrees

Associate’s Degree in Education

An associate’s degree in education is a 2-year undergraduate program that explores the fundamentals of teaching. Most students obtain this as the initial step towards a bachelor’s degree or as a qualification for teacher assistant jobs. However, you must have an accredited bachelor’s degree in order to become a licensed teacher.

Degree Options

  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Education: Incorporates humanities courses into the curriculum. A good choice for students interested in eventually earning a BA in Education and teaching humanities (e.g. English, history, foreign language, etc.)
  • Associate of Science (AS) in Education: Incorporates more mathematics and science courses than the AA. A good choice for students interested in eventually earning a BS in Education and teaching science and math.


In addition to general education courses, a strong associate’s degree will ground you in educational theory and practice. For example, the curriculum may include classes on human development, literacy and learning and teaching theory.

Career Opportunities

Without a teaching license, your choices are fairly limited in the public system. You do have the option to become a teacher assistant, and help preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers. As a teacher assistant, you can supervise play time, manage students and escort children to classes. But you will not be able to teach in a public school.

Note: To ensure your course credits will be transferable to a bachelor’s degree, it’s advisable to earn your AA or AS from a regionally accredited school.
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Bachelor’s Degree in Education

A bachelor’s degree in education is a 4-year undergraduate program and the minimum requirement to teach public school as a licensed teacher. If you’re interested in teaching, you have 2 options:

  1. Earn an accredited bachelor’s degree in education and specialize in a subject area (e.g. math, special education, etc.)
  2. Obtain a bachelor’s degree in your chosen subject area and complete a state-approved teacher training program.

We cover the first option below. Graduates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to teach often go down the route of Alternative Teacher Certification.

Degree Options

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Elementary Education: Incorporates humanities courses. This education degree is designed for students interested in teaching K-5.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education: Incorporates more science and math courses than the BA. This education degree is also designed for students interested in teaching K-5.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Secondary Education: Targeted towards candidates who wish to teach humanities subjects (e.g. English, history, foreign language, etc.) to middle and high school students.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Secondary Education: Targeted towards candidates who wish to teach math and science to middle and high school students.

Sample Concentrations

If you’re not interested in elementary or secondary school education, you will also find bachelor’s degrees that allow you to specialize in fields such as:


No matter which degree you choose, most curricula will include general education requirements (e.g. science, psychology, etc.) and core teaching/educational courses. This “core” may cover topics such as instructional strategies, human development, teaching and assessment methods, instructional technology, special education, learning theories and curriculum development.

Throughout your degree, you will be expected to participate in both group projects and individual assignments. To prepare you for your career, you will also be required to complete practical fieldwork (i.e. teacher training) under a licensed teacher.

Career Opportunities

A bachelor’s degree is the first step towards earning a teacher license. With your license in hand, you have a variety of options. You may wish to teach at:

  • Public schools
  • Montessori schools
  • Charter schools for gifted or special needs children
  • Vocational and occupation programs

You may not need a license to teach at private or charter schools. A bachelor’s or master’s degree from a respected school and teaching experience can sometimes be enough.

Wondering how to improve your chances of finding a job after graduation? Seek out opportunities to volunteer in educational situations (e.g. camp counseling, sport coaching, tutoring, teaching English abroad, etc.) and hone your skills (e.g. foreign language, musical instrument, etc.). Schools love anything that will add extra value to your teaching. Throughout the 4 years, fit in as much practical work as you can.

Master’s Degree in Education

A master’s degree in education is a 2-3 year graduate program that builds on educational foundations laid in the bachelor’s degree. Accelerated programs will only take 12-18 months to complete. Some schools offer programs where you can earn your master’s and complete licensure requirements at the same time. If you already have a bachelor’s in another subject (e.g. science) and are interested in licensure, you may also wish to investigate Alternative Teacher Certification Programs.

Many students choose to pursue a master’s in order to earn more money, focus on a specialization, qualify for school leadership positions and expand their career options.

Two important things to note:

  • It’s not necessary to hold a master’s degree in order to become a teacher (a bachelor’s degree will do), but some schools may require you earn it after you’ve completed a certain amount of years of teaching.
  • A master’s degree is often a prerequisite for specialized/advanced teacher licensure (e.g. administration, school counseling, etc.).

Degree Options

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT): A practical teaching degree for candidates thinking about initial teacher licensure or looking to earn a specific endorsement (e.g. advanced track MAT program for math). If you’re interested in the MAT, look for accredited programs that are recognized by your state department of education.
  • Master of Education (MEd): A practitioner’s degree intended for teachers who already possess initial licensure and wish to advance to leadership roles (e.g. principalship, superintendency) or positions that require specialization (e.g. school counseling, curriculum and instruction, instruction technology, etc.).
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Education: A research-based degree that can be used as preparation for a doctorate or as a foundation for research work. Students are generally required to complete a master’s thesis.
  • Master of Science (MS) in Education: Similar to the MA, but with more of a focus on science areas.

Sample Concentrations

Since the MAT is focused on teacher licensure, you may not have the opportunity to specialize too deeply. However, the MEd will have a huge range of concentrations, including:


To get you up to speed for licensure, MAT courses will focus on pedagogical theory and implementation, hands-on practical classroom skills and specific subjects.

To help you prepare for leadership positions, MEd courses may cover more advanced areas such as policy, classroom management, teaching and learning theory, educational leadership and more. Colleges of Education often divide the MEd into 3 major categories:

  • Curriculum & Instruction: Intended for teachers interested in educational theory and climbing the career ladder. Coursework may focus on topics such as curriculum design and evaluation, teacher leadership and human development.
  • Counselor Education: Intended for those interested in becoming a guidance counselor or mental health professional in a school. (One caveat: mental health roles often have their own set of licensing requirements.)
  • Educational Administration: Intended for budding principals and higher level administrators. Coursework will examine topics such as faculty leadership, community, educational law and so forth.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a master’s degree have a huge range of options. They may wish to apply for leadership positions both within the school (e.g. head of department, school counselor, principal, etc.) and without (e.g. superintendent). They might consider becoming curriculum developers, educational consultants, corporate adult educators or administrators within a college or university. However, be warned that competition is usually quite stiff for these roles. So incorporate as much practical experience as you can into your degree.

Non-Licensure Graduate Certificate in Education

A graduate certificate in education is a short, non-degree program (~6 months to 1 year) that focuses on specific skills in education. Similar to a “minor” in the bachelor’s program, a graduate certificate is cheaper and faster than a master’s program and has the potential to enhance your résumé and improve your job opportunities. Some students use them to build up course credits for a master’s degree.

However, a non-licensure graduate certificate is not the same as an add-on certificate/endorsement program. Keep an eye on the academic catalog. Good schools will clearly state which certificates lead to endorsement or advanced licensure and which do not.

Also, graduate certificates by themselves do not qualify you to become a certified/licensed teacher. To obtain your teacher’s license, you should consider earning an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree, or participating in an alternative teacher certification program.

Sample Concentrations

We’ve listed some of the most popular concentrations, but there are many, many more.

  • Educational leadership
  • Instructional design & technology
  • Literacy and reading specialist
  • Special education
  • International education


Since most certificates are specialized, coursework will depend on your area of interest.

Add-On Certificate/Endorsement Program

Add-on certificates and endorsement programs are designed for licensed teachers who wish to teach in a new field (e.g. TESOL, special education, etc.), subject area (e.g. science) or grade level (e.g. elementary school after teaching high school) and have this skill endorsed on their teaching license. These programs are not the same as non-licensure graduate certificates.

Many universities now offer add-on certificates and endorsement programs. But before you sign on the dotted line, check the fine print. To earn an endorsement on your teaching license, your program must be approved by your state.


To prepare you for licensure exams, the curriculum may combine traditional courses with fieldwork and classroom practicums. The coursework itself will depend on your area of concentration. For example, a subject area endorsement program could look at topics such as teaching and learning methods, educational theory and curriculum design and evaluation.

Test-Only Option

Here’s the good news. Depending on your state, you may not need to go through an approved program to earn an endorsement on your teaching license. You may only need to pass a subject exam (e.g. a science teacher wishing to teach math).

However, for specialized areas (e.g. administration, school counseling, special education), most state departments of education will insist that you complete an approved university or college program.

Educational Specialist Degree

Designed for working professionals, the Education Specialist (EdS) is a degree that takes 1-2 years to complete. Candidates must usually hold a master’s degree and have teaching experience in order to apply.

The EdS falls somewhere between a master’s and a doctoral degree in length and effort. You may wish to earn it as a step towards pursuing an EdD or PhD, to advance your career and/or qualify for a pay raise. Some EdS graduates use the degree to provide professional training and development or design educational programs for teachers and the private sector.

Sample Concentrations

  • Early education
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
  • Higher education
  • School counseling
  • Educational leadership
  • School psychology
  • Superintendent training
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Instructional technology


The curriculum will typically cover educational theory, policy, practice and advanced research methods. For example, your core courses may include teaching and learning theory, curriculum instruction and design, leadership and educational psychology.

Career Opportunities

Sample jobs for EdS graduates include:

  • Leadership role in a public school (e.g superintendent, principal)
  • District curriculum director
  • Assessment director
  • Educational specialist/administrator in the government sector
  • Teacher at a junior college
  • Curriculum specialist/developer
  • School psychologist (learn more about school psychology degrees)
  • School administrator and policy developer
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Doctoral Degree in Education

A doctoral degree in education is a 4-7 year program focused on advanced research and practice. It is the highest educational qualification students can achieve. Unless they are enrolled in a combined master’s/PhD program, candidates must hold a master’s degree.

You may wish to pursue a doctorate if you’re interested in top leadership positions, policy work, teaching at the university level or deep-level research.

Degree Options

  • Doctor of Education (EdD): A practitioner’s degree focused on the practical application of existing research. Candidates may be expected to create a substantial research project in order to graduate.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education: A theory-based degree focused on original research. Candidates are generally expected to present their findings in a dissertation.

Sample Concentrations

  • Early childhood education
  • Adult education
  • Higher education
  • Educational psychology
  • Special education
  • Information technology
  • Curriculum research
  • Leadership, administration and educational policy


A doctoral degree is usually split into 3 parts:

  1. First year/s: Hard-core educational courses (e.g. advanced research and learning theory, educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, educational philosophy) and written exams
  2. Middle year/s: Advanced seminars designed to help you choose a topic for dissertation and design your research
  3. Final years: Independent research and PhD dissertation or EdD project

Career Opportunities

Your career options will often depend on your choice of degree.

For example, an EdD graduate might wish to become a:

  • School superintendent
  • Curriculum director
  • Educational policy maker
  • Researcher
  • Director of educational programs in the private sector

A PhD graduate may be more interested in work as a:

  • University professor
  • Teacher educator
  • Educational theorist
  • Educational specialist

Alternative Teacher Certification Programs

Alternative teacher certification programs (a.k.a. Transition to Teaching Programs) were created to address the U.S. shortage of teachers. They are designed for graduates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education and are interested in initial teacher licensure.

You’ll find a lot of these programs focused on high-need areas (e.g. math, science, rural and urban school districts, etc.). There are also alternative teacher certification programs that lead to a master’s degree. Just make sure they meet your state licensing criteria.


Coursework usually includes the fundamentals of any good education degree (e.g. education theory and hands-on practice) but focuses heavily on practicums and educational mentoring from experienced teachers.

Teach for America

Teach for America is not an alternative teacher certification program as such. However, some TFA programs will arrange with local colleges and universities so you can take courses required to gain a teaching license or earn a master’s degree. As always, we recommend you check with your state department of education – you may have to enroll in a 3rd party alternative certification program to become a teacher.

Helpful Organizations

Important Accreditations

Regional Accreditation

If you wish to become a teacher, we strongly recommend you attend a college or university with regional accreditation. This is a “seal of approval” granted to non-profit and public institutions by one of six regional accrediting bodies (e.g. New England Association of Schools and Colleges).

You can learn more about the difference between national accreditation, regional accreditation and diploma mills in Accreditation: Understanding the Difference Between Real Schools and Diploma Mills.

Benefits of Regional Accreditation

Although a nationally-accredited degree may be cheaper, it’s going to cost you down the line. That’s because a degree with regional accreditation is usually required to:

  • Qualify for teacher licensure (when state departments of education talk about “accredited schools”, this is what they mean!)
  • Transfer credits (many regionally-accredited institutions will not accept course credits from nationally-accredited schools)
  • Apply for student loans, scholarship, tuition reimbursement and funding opportunities
  • Be accepted to regionally-accredited graduate schools

Regional accreditation is only granted to the school – it doesn’t focus on individual subjects or degrees. If you’re interested in the quality of the education program, you can also see whether it has CAEP/NCATE/TEAC accreditation.


In 2013, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) merged into one organization for accrediting teacher education programs. It is called the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Eventually all programs currently accredited by NCATE and TEAC will be accredited by CAEP when they come up for accreditation renewal. In the meantime, you can look for NCATE or TEAC on the university’s website.

Is Program Accreditation Necessary?

No. However, NCATE or TEAC accreditation does show that an education program meets a series of quality standards. If you’re thinking about an unaccredited program, make sure it has high graduate placement numbers and a solid reputation within the teaching field.

Licensure & Certification

How to Get a State Teaching License

To become a licensed teacher, you must obtain a teaching license issued by your state education agency, department or board of education. Confusingly, the terms “teacher certification” and “teacher licensure” are used interchangeably in the field of teaching. They mean the same thing.

Find your State Department of Education.

Initial Teaching License

Each state has its own particular requirements for the initial teaching license. For the most part, you will be expected to:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Pass a state-administered exam (e.g. Praxis)
  • Complete a state-approved supervised teaching training program and be recommended by the program for licensing
  • Participate in periodic testing and continuing education (CE) courses to maintain your license

Advanced Licenses

Many states have a graduated licensing structure. This allows you to advance your license (e.g. apprentice to professional) after you’ve gained a certain amount of years of experience.

States also have separate requirements for specialized licenses such as:

  • School administration (e.g. an accredited graduate degree plus work experience)
  • Trade and industry (e.g. specific work experience plus a GED)
  • School personnel (e.g. a school counselor license might require a master’s degree in school counseling)


In order to specialize in a new grade level (e.g. teaching elementary school after secondary school), subject (e.g. teaching English as well as math) or area of interest (e.g. school counseling, library media, special education, etc.), some teachers choose to complete an endorsement. This is an additional descriptor that is added to the license. You may able to earn an endorsement during the course of your degree or afterwards by completing an add-on endorsement program.


Many states have reciprocity agreements with other departments of education. This allows teachers to move freely between states. For example, if you’re certified to teach in X state, you could also teach in Y state without having to go through a separate licensure/certification process.

Alternatives to the Bachelor’s Degree in Education

It is possible to become a teacher if you don’t hold a bachelor’s degree in education, but you should check with individual states for precise requirements. Many students in this situation go through Alternative Teacher Certification Programs or earn a master’s degree specifically focused on teacher licensure (e.g. MAT).

Voluntary Certification

After earning your teaching license, which is mandatory to teach in public schools, you might wish to seek voluntary certification from independent organizations like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). NBTPS offers board certification to teachers, school counselors and school media specialists. These demonstrate that educators have advanced knowledge, skills and practices.

Voluntary Certification vs. Licensure

Voluntary certifications may burnish your résumé, but they won’t help you become a certified/licensed teacher. It’s confusing because the terms “teacher certification” and “teacher licensure” are used interchangeably by many people.

Just remember that your state department of education or agency is the only body that can approve you as a certified teacher and grant you an official license to teach.

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Helpful Resources

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