Eastern Kentucky University is now offering an online bachelor of science in elementary education, beginning in August 2023. The online program creates a new pathway for students to receive their education while addressing the ongoing teacher shortage.
“Dire teacher shortages in Kentucky and beyond are causing a surge in demand for educators who can positively impact student learning. Offering this flexible pathway to teacher certification is another way EKU is working to increase the number of high-quality teachers in our region,” said Dr. Elizabeth Smith, incoming dean of EKU’s College of Education and Applied Human Sciences. “EKU offers premier teacher education programs, and we are thrilled to provide wider access to our elementary education program through an online option.”
The new elementary education program offered through EKU Online gives students an opportunity to earn the same respected degree that has been offered on EKU’s campus for more than 100 years. Students who need a convenient option as working professionals will be able to take the same courses from the same faculty as students on campus but with the flexibility of online learning.
Students will enroll in accelerated 8-week courses and complete all coursework online with no campus visits required. Personalized support is available to every online student from the moment they inquire until the day they graduate and beyond.
EKU’s clinical office will work with each student to arrange student teaching experiences required by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). In order to appropriately manage the required classroom observation hours, enrollment is limited to Kentucky and the surrounding states of Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Virginia.
EKU’s online elementary education bachelor’s degree will benefit those who have earned an associate degree or some college credit and are ready to advance as certified elementary school teachers. Students will be prepared to teach through an education that blends academic and professional preparation through relevant course topics such as engineering in the classroom context and emerging instructional technologies.
“Recent data from the Kentucky Department of Education shows there are large numbers of teaching positions left unfilled each academic year,” said Dr. Nicola Mason, professor and chair of EKU’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership. “This is a field that positively impacts the lives of individuals and communities. An online degree provides access to those who want to obtain teacher certification and can’t take advantage of our on-campus programs.”
EKU is committed to addressing the teacher shortage throughout the Commonwealth. Innovative solutions like the new online elementary education bachelor’s degree program and Option 9 alternative route to certification help working professionals achieve their degrees and secure or advance employment in a high-demand field.