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25 Best Associate Degrees in Teaching 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

Students looking to start their teaching careers with an associate degree will find the 25 best options on this list. Graduates of these schools had starting median salaries ranging from $21,100 to $29,500. Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts comes in first; students in the school's teaching associate degree program had the highest median starting salaries and a median debt of $9,447 after graduation.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Bedford (MA) (and 1 other) Bedford (MA) (and 1 other) $12,170 $9,447 $29,500
#2 #2 The Woodlands (TX) (and 6 others) The Woodlands (TX) (and 6 others) $5,564 $9,250 $26,700
#3 #3 Warwick (RI) Warwick (RI) $12,544 Not Reported $26,500
#4 #4 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $7,124 Not Reported $26,100
#5 #5 Multiple Locations Multiple Locations $10,935 $14,798 $25,700
#6 #6 Fort Worth (TX) Fort Worth (TX) $8,235 $11,484 $25,100
#7 #7 Austin (TX) (and 2 others) Austin (TX) (and 2 others) $13,020 $6,429 $24,600
#8 #8 Winooski (VT) Winooski (VT) $13,398 Not Reported $24,400
#9 #9 Pearl City (HI) Pearl City (HI) $8,345 Not Reported $24,000
#10 #10 Cincinnati (OH) Cincinnati (OH) $8,379 $10,906 $23,900
#11 #11 Cleveland (OH) (and 5 others) Cleveland (OH) (and 5 others) $8,136 $14,293 $23,800
#12 #12 Blackwood (NJ) Blackwood (NJ) $4,440 $6,625 $23,700
#13 #13 Westminster (CO) Westminster (CO) $15,074 Not Reported $23,400
#14 #14 Green Bay (WI) Green Bay (WI) $6,625 $13,868 $23,300
#15 #15 Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $13,896 $11,778 $23,100
#16 #16 Bremerton (WA) (and 2 others) Bremerton (WA) (and 2 others) $4,361 Not Reported $23,000
#17 #17 Dover (DE) (and 2 others) Dover (DE) (and 2 others) $11,808 $6,998 $22,900
#18 #18 Dayton (OH) Dayton (OH) $7,356 $11,951 $22,700
#19 #19 Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other) Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other) $26,994 $12,999 $22,700
#20 (tie) #20 (tie) Sanford (NC) Sanford (NC) $8,698 Not Reported $22,300
#20 (tie) #20 (tie) San Antonio (TX) San Antonio (TX) $14,220 Not Reported $22,300
#22 #22 Haverhill (MA) (and 1 other) Haverhill (MA) (and 1 other) $11,064 $11,000 $22,200
#23 #23 Henderson (NC) (and 3 others) Henderson (NC) (and 3 others) $6,556 Not Reported $21,600
#24 #24 Clyde (NC) Clyde (NC) $8,724 Not Reported $21,400
#25 #25 Appleton (WI) (and 5 others) Appleton (WI) (and 5 others) $6,688 $11,375 $21,300

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for an Associate in Teaching degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Bedford (MA) (and 1 other)
Median Salary $29,500
Median Debt $9,447
Annual Tuition $12,170
Graduation Rate 19%
Student Reviews None (Add review)

Middlesex Community College’s Bedford and Lowell campuses offer an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. MCC has a strong commitment to personal and social responsibility, diversity, and community engagement, and each program’s curriculum strives to integrate these values. Students accepted to the teaching program will receive a background in education theory as well as supervised teaching experience through a mandatory practicum component. Graduates will meet the academic requirements for Lead Teacher certification in Massachusetts and have a strong foundation in student development, observation, and assessment, as well as creating healthy learning environments for children.

Students pursuing this associate degree must complete 60–61 credit hours. Required coursework includes classes such as Classics of Children’s Literature, Developmental Disabilities, and Sociology of the Family. Many courses include a service-learning component where students participate in community-based organizations. Students will also have some room for elective courses. Many graduates choose to continue their studies and pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Visit Middlesex Community College's website.

The Woodlands (TX) (and 6 others)
Median Salary $26,700
Median Debt $9,250
Annual Tuition $5,564
Graduation Rate 12%

An Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) at Lone Star College fulfills the core requirements of a four-year bachelor’s program toward Texas teacher certification. After finishing the associate degree, students can transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree toward teacher certification. Any public Texas college or university will accept Lone Star College credits. Lone Star’s admission process is open enrollment, with a free application. Students with financial need may apply for work-study opportunities. This two-year degree requires 60 credits of coursework and 32 hours of observation, with a mix of foundation courses and electives. Courses include Composition and Rhetoric, College Algebra, United States History, and Public Speaking.

Aspiring teachers in Lone Star’s AAT program are required to complete field experiences. With real-world teaching opportunities in accredited school districts, students will be able to observe professionals and practice their teaching skills. AAT’s seven campuses around Texas offer this degree, providing further flexibility for students.

Visit the Lone Star College System's website.

Median Salary $26,500
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $12,544
Graduation Rate 18%
Student Reviews None (Add review)

The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) in Warwick, Rhode Island, offers an Associate of Arts Degree in Education, with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Child Development (CHLD). Degree holders may pursue career opportunities in childcare facilities, group homes, and community-based organizations. Graduates are prepared for continued study in many of the state’s nearby four-year institutions; Providence, Rhode Island, home to many of them, is just a few miles away.

Students in the CHLD degree track are required to complete 28 general education credits including General Psychology, Children’s Literature, Composition, and several social science or foreign language electives. The complete degree is 61–65 credits. Major requirements include more focused coursework, including Characteristics and Needs of Special Populations, Child Growth and Development Skills, and a field experience seminar. Practical experience is key, and teachers are provided a school or community placement in which to hone their caregiving and teaching skills. Teachers may also work with specific populations, such as special needs students or children with other behavioral issues.

Visit the Community College of Rhode Island's website.

Boston (MA)
Median Salary $26,100
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $7,124
Graduation Rate N/A
Student Reviews None (Add review)

A combination of theory and practical experience creates the foundation for the Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Urban College of Boston (UCB). While the two-year degree prepares students for possible careers in community agencies and institutions, many continue into four-year programs at one of Boston’s many colleges and universities. UCB values individual advising and support for each of its students. Interested students must complete a placement exam and submit a high school transcript or GED. Work-study is available for students with proven financial need. Career planning and support are available for current students and alumni.

The complete program requires 66 credits: 24 in the field of early childhood, 33 in the field of general education, and nine elective hours. The early childhood specific coursework includes classes such as Child Growth and Development, Observing and Recording, and Guidance and Discipline. The concentration coursework also includes professional seminars and an internship component. UCB partners with community organizations including the YMCA, Youth Explorations, and Children’s Services of Roxbury.

Visit Urban College of Boston's website.

Multiple Locations
Median Salary $25,700
Median Debt $14,798
Annual Tuition $10,935
Graduation Rate 31%

Rasmussen College, a for-profit institution, offers an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. This 18-month program blends theory and practice in a predominantly online setting with on-campus options in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. While the program does not lead to teaching licensure, it does prepare graduates for a variety of leadership roles in non-public schools and other educational settings.

The online coursework component is a mix of video modules, case studies, and real-world assessments. Students can select from two specializations: special needs or child development. The special needs track has an emphasis on classroom inclusion best practices. The child development option focuses on infant and child development (up to age eight). Students taking the on-campus option participate in field exploration, which provides in-classroom training. All students will gain experience in diversity and teamwork, educational technology, and improving child literacy and language. Students take 24 courses for a total of 90 credit hours.

Visit Rasmussen College's website.