Associates in English Education Degrees & Schools Guide

Associates Degree in English Education Career Options & Salary

Overview of an Associates in English Education


Are you considering a career in education? If you enjoy working with children or adolescents to build upon academic fundamentals and prepare them for further instruction, earning an associate degree in education may be a good career choice for you. It is important to realize, however, that every state requires public educators to be licensed. An associate degree alone will not satisfy the certification requirements necessary to teach in the United States. For this reason, you will be unable to find associate degree programs that focus solely on English education.

While it is impossible to become an English teacher with this degree type, graduates can apply for other positions within the school system or pursue an undergraduate degree in teaching with licensure afterward. The program you select will greatly depend on your ultimate career goals.

Education Degrees & Career Paths


Education professionals at every level are usually expected to have successfully completed at least two years of higher education. In most cases, this means earning an associate degree in education, but some schools will accept the first two years of an undergraduate degree. An associate degree will provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for non-teaching, entry-level employment opportunities. There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with this degree type that you should be aware of.

PROS

There are many reasons to pursue an associate degree in education. One significant advantage is that an associate degree costs substantially less than a bachelor’s degree. According to the College Board’s Trends in Higher Education Series in 2017-2018, the average in-state tuition at traditional four-year institutions for a single year was $9,970. Associate degree students, on the other hand, paid only an average of $3,570 per year.

Associate degrees also take less time to complete than other higher education alternatives. While exact graduation time frames vary based on enrollment status (full-time or part-time), most students can earn an associate degree in as little as two years. Conversely, undergraduate degrees typically require four years or more to complete.

This also means individuals with bachelor degrees must wait longer to join the workforce. Graduates with an associate degree in education, however, can begin applying for jobs after only two years. The advantage here lies in the ability to start paying off school loans earlier, as well as bringing in a regular income. While these professionals may not earn the same salary as someone with an undergraduate degree, they do still earn more than individuals without an advanced degree.

Finally, the credits earned from an accredited associate degree program can be transferred. All completed coursework can count toward bachelor’s degree requirements in the future.

CONS

There are many advantages of pursing an associate degree in education, but there are drawbacks as well. Most importantly, graduates will not meet the minimum requirements to become licensed to teach in any state. All licensed educators must have, at minimum, an undergraduate degree. Individuals with an associate degree can apply for teaching assistant and teacher’s aide positions, but they will not be employable as teachers. In some states, graduates cannot even work as preschool teachers or substitute teachers. In addition to employment opportunities being limited, professionals in these positions often make significantly less than full licensed teachers do.

Certificate vs. Associates


Many disciplines offer certificate programs in addition to degrees. These are designed to take less time to complete, often requiring a little as a year. This is possible because certificate programs exclude general education coursework from the curriculum, whereas associate degree programs include it.

Unfortunately, there are not many certificate programs like this in the education field. Some certificate programs in education are available, but only in select states. There are also graduate certificate programs available to individuals with an undergraduate degree and professional experience. These programs are meant to help students specialize in a particular sub-field, not gain entry-level employment.

What English Education Associate Degrees are Available?


Specific associate degrees in education titles vary, but most colleges and universities offer an Associate of Science (AS) and/or an Associate of Arts (AA) degree option. You may also find Associate of Applied Science and/or Associate of Applied Arts degrees. Common specializations include early childhood education, paraprofessional education, elementary education, and secondary education. These options either prepare graduates for non-teaching employment or further education. You may also consider enrolling in an English associate degree program. This would decrease the number of English-related classes you need to take as a bachelor’s degree student in the future.

  • Associate of Science (AS) in Education
    An AS is usually best for students interested in entering the field as soon as possible. Coursework focuses primarily on critical content, necessary for a successful career as a non-teaching school employee.
  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Education
    An AA usually appeals to individuals interested in continuing their education after graduation. Coursework typically includes both general education and education-specific classes. Completing a two-year AA in education degree program is often considered equivalent to completing the first two years of an undergraduate degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
    AAS degrees are designed for individuals who plan to seek employment immediately after graduation. They tend to be much more technical in nature than AA and AS degrees, with fewer general courses. Some institutions may offer an Associate of Applied Arts degree in education, but these programs are not common.

Admission Requirements


Associate degree candidates must complete various institutional requirements before they can enroll in a program.

While these standards vary, they often include the following:

  • A high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Minimum overall academic grade point average
  • Transcripts from any post-secondary education, if applicable

SAT and/or ACT scores are often required for bachelor degree candidates, but this is rarely the case for community colleges. Candidates may, however, need to submit additional paperwork, pay application fees, and arrange financial aid.

There are also several admission requirements that must be met before enrolling in a bachelor degree program. If you intend to become an English teacher, you should become familiar with these before the completion of your associate degree in education. You should also be prepared to provide a complete transcript of classes taken.

How long does it take to earn an English Education Associates Degree?


In most cases, full-time associate degree students can expect to graduate within two years. Those who take classes on a part-time basis, however, will likely need more time. While exact time frames will vary, part-time students may require between one to three additional years to complete the graduation requirements. Conversely, students with advanced placement credits may be able to graduate sooner. Earning an associate degree in education will not lead directly to a career as an English teacher. Further education and certification will be necessary. This should be taken into consideration when calculating the total amount of time needed to prepare for various levels of employment in this field.

Potential Careers in English Education with an Associates


Individuals who graduate with an associate degree in education will have several employment opportunities available. While they will be unable to teach most grades professionally, they could work as a preschool teacher, teacher assistant, or childcare worker.

  • Preschool Teacher:
    Preschool teachers work with children who are too young for school, usually between ages three and five. They frequently engage these students in activities that are educational, but not too challenging. The primary goal for these professionals is to better prepare children for success in kindergarten.
    According to PayScale, the average yearly salary for a preschool teacher is $31,200.
  • Teacher Assistant:
    Teacher assistants supervise, tutor, and/or mentor students, individually or in small groups. They are often responsible for planning instruction, as well as maintaining paperwork pertaining to student grades and progress. These professionals also enforce school policies and rules when necessary.
    According to PayScale, the average yearly salary for a teacher assistant is $23,900.
  • Childcare Worker:
    Childcare workers are responsible for providing a safe and orderly environment for young children. They must ensure all physical, emotional, and social needs are effectively met, while also maintaining appropriate documentation. These professionals also contribute to facility planning and administration tasks including, but not limited to, interacting with parents and other child care workers.
    According to PayScale, the average yearly salary for a childcare worker is $29,700.

Options to Advance


In most cases, the only way to advance in the education field is to earn an undergraduate degree. Graduates will be able to apply for a teaching license and can then seek more advanced employment. Because every state requires teachers to have a license, there are very few advancement opportunities available until this certification is earned.

Best Associate of Science in English Education Programs


  • College of Marin
    Kentfield, California

    The College of Marin offers an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education degree. The program is designed to help prepare students to work in children’s centers, extended daycare programs, preschools, infant-toddler programs, and nurseries. Students can choose to transfer credits earned to a four-year institution after graduation.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AS in Early Childhood Education
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College
    Coos Bay, Oregon

    Southwestern Oregon Community College offers an Associate of Science in Elementary Education, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Childhood Education and Family Studies. These programs are designed with two tracks, one for students seeking immediate employment and another for students planning to enroll in a four-year undergraduate program after graduation. The school also offers several certificate programs in education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AAS in Childhood Education and Family Studies
    • AS Elementary Education
  • Northwest College
    Powell, Wyoming

    Northwest College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees in both Childhood Education and Elementary Education. These programs include a curriculum that covers most freshmen and sophomore courses necessary to earn an undergraduate degree in education. Students can choose between transfer and non-transfer tracks.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AA in Early Childhood Education
    • AS in Early Childhood Education
    • AA in Elementary Education
    • AS in Elementary Education
  • Sacramento City College
    Sacramento, California

    Sacramento City College offers a wide variety of Associate of Arts degrees relate to education. Some programs are specifically designed to prepare students to transfer to an undergraduate institution, while others prepare students for employment after graduation. The school also offers several certificate programs in education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AA in Child Development with ECE Emphasis
    • AA in Early Childhood Education
    • AA in Early Childhood Education Administration
    • AA in Early Childhood Education Teacher
    • AA in Elementary Teacher Education
    • AA in Child and Adolescent Development
  • North Central Missouri College
    Trenton, Missouri

    North Central Missouri College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Childhood Development. This program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in childcare centers, private preschools, and Head Start programs. It is also available to complete online to those who do not live in the area.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AAS in Childhood Development

Traditional Schools Offering an AS in English Education


There are many institutions that offer distance learning associate degrees in education and English. Students enrolled in these programs have the option to take classes online from anywhere in the world.

  • Liberty University
    Lynchburg, Virginia

    Liberty University offers online Associate of Arts degrees in both Education and Early Childhood Education. These programs provide students with a passion for helping children succeed and preparing children for long-term academic success. Both also provide insight into the foundational principals of education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AA in Education
    • AA in Early Childhood Education
  • Clovis Community College
    Clovis, New Mexico

    Clovis Community College offers an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. The program addresses early childhood education competency and can be completed in five semesters. It fulfills part of the New Mexico Department of Education licensure requirements in early education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AA in Early Childhood Education
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    The University of Alaska offers an online Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in which they will work directly with children, either as a caretaker or educator. Coursework focuses on holistic child development and provides the skills necessary to work effectively with young children.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AA in Early Childhood Education
  • Hutchinson Community College
    Hutchinson, Kansas

    Hutchinson Community College offers a wide variety of Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees in education. These programs are designed to provide students with the first two years of a baccalaureate degree. They are all available online and are intended to prepare graduates for future success in an education career.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AS in Education (Elementary)
    • AA in Education (Music)
    • AA in Education (Physical Education and Coaching)
    • AS in Education (Physical Education and Coaching)
    • AS Education (Secondary)
    • AA Education (Secondary Business)
    • AA Education (Secondary English)
    • AA Education (Secondary History)
    • AA Education (Secondary Journalism)
    • AS Education (Secondary Math)
    • AA Education (Secondary Modern Language)
    • AS Education (Secondary Science)
    • AA Education (Secondary Speech Communication
    • AA Education (Secondary Theater/Drama)
  • South Texas College
    McAllen, Texas

    South Texas College offers an online Associate of Applied Science degree in Child Development/Early Childhood, as well as a few online Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees. These programs are designed to introduce students to child development and the teaching profession. Students can choose between elementary, middle school, and high school tracks.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AAS in Child Development/Early Childhood
    • AA in Teaching
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