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Online Colleges for Teacher Aide

Teachers may be front and center in the classroom, but they don’t have to work alone. Teacher aides, sometimes called paraprofessionals, instructional aides, or teaching assistants, can help to ensure that all students in a classroom have access to the instruction or support they need. According to the National Education Association (NEA), most teacher aides work in kindergarten and elementary classrooms to supervise students, perform administrative tasks or provide personal assistance to children with special needs. Teachers count on these assistants to maximize learning in the classroom, and online teacher aide degree programs offer a convenient way to prepare for entry into this satisfying career.

Best Online Colleges for Teacher Aide

It can be difficult to wade through all of the online colleges for teacher aides and find the one that's best for you. That's why we compiled this list of the five best online colleges for teacher aides. We accessed information from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and generated a rating system that identified these top online schools for teacher aides, teaching assistants and paraprofessionals. (Detailed information about our methodology is available at the bottom of the page.)

Please note that all five schools on this list have an open admissions policy, meaning they accept anyone with a high school diploma or a GED certificate who applies for entry.

1

Dakota College at Bottineau

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,384
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
22
Accredited
School Type
2-year

This two-year public college founded in 1906 offers two online degree options for undergraduate students seeking an Associate of Applied Science degree in the paraprofessional educator field: a preschool option focused on education and a family childcare option integrated with business management. For students interested in a quicker course of study, a paraprofessional educator certificate is available.

DCB earned our No. 1 spot based on its prominence ranking, which was No. 1 overall. This metric determined how many degrees and certificates the school awarded in the field in 2014-15 compared to other degrees and certificates it awarded. Additionally, the school is fairly affordable, ranking third out of 14 for its in-state tuition.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

105 Simrall Boulevard
Bottineau, ND 58318-1198
Go to School Website 
GO
2

Clovis Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,008
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
20
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Our No. 2 school focuses on programs in early childhood education with opportunities that include a certificate of achievement in early childhood education, available online, and an Associate of Arts degree in early childhood education, offered on-campus. The online certificate program covers early childhood education components, such as child growth, health, safety, and nutrition, and can be completed online in as few as two semesters.

Part of the reason Clovis Community College ranked so high on our list was its tuition affordability. In fact, Clovis had the lowest in-state tuition of all 14 schools ranked in our analysis. Almost as impressive was Clovis' graduation rate, which was the highest of all five schools on this list and second-highest out of the total 14.

Accreditation:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Location:

417 Schepps Boulevard
Clovis, NM 88101-8381
Go to School Website 
GO
3

Gateway Community and Technical College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,528
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
30
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Ranking as our No. 3 school is Gateway Community and Technical College, one of 16 schools comprising Wisconsin's Technical College System. This two-year school offers an online Associate of Applied Science degree in foundations of teacher education that provides:

  • A focus on reading and language arts, behavior management, and child and adolescent development
  • A program that meets federal guidelines to qualify as a paraprofessional

This school ranked No. 3 overall due to its second place prominence rating, out of 14, and a No. 4 rating for lowest in-state tuition. Of all the schools rated for teacher aide programs, Gateway Community and Technical College additionally earned the No. 5 spot for graduation rate.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

500 Technology Way
Florence, KY 41042
Go to School Website 
GO
4

Genesee Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,900
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
13
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Our No. 4 school is part of the State University of New York System, and draws in students from more than 20 countries. This two-year school's offerings for paraprofessionals include a teaching assistant certificate and an Associate of Arts degree with a teaching assistant focus. Keeping the interests of distance education students in mind, Genesee Community College's certificate program is available 100 percent online, while its associate degree includes approximately 50 percent online classes.

One of Genesee Community College's highlight rankings was its No. 3 prominence rating, meaning that the school awarded an impressive number of certificates and degrees in the teaching assistant category.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

One College Road
Batavia, NY 14020
Go to School Website 
GO
5

Northland Community and Technical College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,950
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
13
Accredited
School Type
2-year

This two-year school ranked fifth on our list of 14 schools rated for teacher aide programs. Northland Community and Technical College offers an online Associate of Science degree in early childhood and paraprofessional education that covers components like imaginative learning, integrative play and art appreciation.

Northland Community and Technical College earned fifth place in our rankings thanks to its No. 3 graduation rate in 2014. It also took fifth place for prominence rating, reflecting the number of degrees awarded at the school in this field compared with other areas of study.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

1101 Highway One East
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
Go to School Website 
GO

Teacher Aide Career Outlook

Employment in many different areas of education is predicted by the BLS to continue growing from 2014 to 2024. Teaching aide is one of these areas expected to keep growing; if you are considering a job in this expanding field, one of the following careers might be worth looking into.

Teacher Assistants
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$27,120
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
374,500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
6.4
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Some college, no degree

Teacher assistants perform an array of important tasks meant to reinforce lessons and lighten their lead teacher's load. Generally speaking, a teacher will introduce new material and concepts, and then the teacher assistant will work with the students individually or in small groups to reinforce the information.

Also known as "paraeducators," these professionals typically offer students individual attention when their teacher cannot, while also providing much-needed supervision in and out of the classroom. Many teacher assistants also help with record-keeping and the preparation of classroom materials, although duties depend heavily on the individual position. While most teacher assistants operate under the guidance of a teacher, some of the work may be performed independently.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teacher assistant careers typically begin with at least two years of college coursework. Some schools or school systems may require a two-year associate's degree.

Adult Basic Education Teachers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$55,140
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
20,100
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7.1
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree

Adult basic education teachers teach adult students basic skills such as reading, writing, and math. Since many of their students tend to be immigrants, most adult basic education teachers also help students learn to speak and write in English. Beyond lessons, adult basic education teachers also follow up with students, monitor their progress and help them develop study skills required for school and work. Though the description may sound simple, it is no exaggeration to say that these instructors can turn a person's life around, and open doors for them that would have otherwise have been permanently closed.

Most adult basic education teacher instructor careers begin with a bachelor's degree in education or a related field, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers may also show preference to candidates with previous teaching experience.

Sources and Methodologies

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor's) in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on five criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

Sources:

  1. About Us, Genesee Community College, Accessed March 2017, http://www.genesee.edu/portals/about/
  2. Accreditation, Clovis Community College, Accessed March 2017, http://www.cloviscollege.edu/index.aspx?page=915
  3. Discover Gateway Technical College, Gateway Community and Technical College, Accessed March 2017, https://www.gtc.edu/discover-gateway
  4. Early Childhood & Paraprofessional, Northland Community and Technical College, Access March 2017, http://www.northlandcollege.edu/programs/early_childhood_and_education/program_detail.php?program_code=120
  5. Early Childhood Education, Clovis Community College, Accessed March 2017, http://www.clovis.edu/earlychildhood/index.aspx
  6. Foundations of Teacher Education, Gateway Community and Technical College, Accessed March 2017, https://www.gtc.edu/programs/associate-degrees/foundations-teacher-education
  7. Paraprofessional Educator, Associate of Applied Science, Dakota College at Bottineau, Accessed March 2017, http://www.dakotacollege.edu/academics/programs/paraprofessional-educator/
  8. Teaching Assistant, Genessee Community College, Accessed March 2017, http://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/Teaching/TeacherAsst/
  9. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm (visited April 17, 2017)
  10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Teacher Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm (visited April 17, 2017)
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Sources and Methodologies