Top 20 Colleges for Education Majors

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April 6th, 2009 in Rankings

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At College Crunch we’ve evaluated a number of education programs around the United States and come up with our list of the top 20. When considering which colleges and universities had the best departments for an education degree, our single goal was to establish the places where students would be best prepared for their career in education. For that reason we considered more than academic prestige. We also took into account criteria like job placement and opportunities for teaching experience.

While there are many great education programs at colleges all around the country, here are our choices for the 20 top colleges for education majors:

1. Michigan State University

Michigan State University’s College of Education ranking as the top program in the nation could probably be attributed to the corroborative efforts between the University and the local school districts. Michigan State University develops their curriculum based on research, experience and information provided by teachers and parents. Techniques developed by the school for teaching students are tested at professional development schools instituted by the University. The purpose of these centers is to test various teaching methods and practices so that the curriculum provides the most current, effective, and innovative teaching systems possible.

The University offers a number of undergraduate teaching programs which includes elementary, secondary, special and kinesiology education. The courses offered provide students with the knowledge needed to become effective teachers. Students can select a specialization from 20 education majors and a minor from the 30 offered. The school requires prospective teachers to complete the teaching certification followed by a one year internship program. Graduates have the option of pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate program at the University also.

2. Pennsylvania State University

Penn State’s College of Education endeavors to produce teachers of excellence and integrity. The various programs of the University’s College of Education are consistently ranked among the top in the nation. The school boasts consistently high success rates on the teacher certification exams. Additionally the school reports college of education alumni have continued on to become senators, congressman, and members of the US Presidents cabinet.

Education majors at the University of Pennsylvania have the opportunity to select a specialized major from a wide range of options. Students can choose from education and public policy, elementary and kindergarten, rehabilitation and human services, secondary education, special education, workforce education and development, and world languages. Within these majors are a range of additional specializations from which students can choose. The curriculum for the majority of the majors includes a teacher preparation program. Students also have the option of pursuing a graduate degree at the University.

3. Ohio University

Ohio University’s education program has a long history of excellence. The program began more than one hundred years ago and boasts among its accomplishments the launch of the states first kindergarten program. The College of Education places significant emphasis on researching and solving social issues affecting educational achievement in our country and across the globe. The school offers educational services to several other countries. The school strives to prepare dedicated leaders in the field of education.

The College of Education in Ohio University offers programs under three distinct departments. Students are afforded the option of selecting between Counseling and Higher Education, Educational Studies and teacher Education. Each curriculum includes a number of specializations students can study as a more focused discipline. Students are required to complete a student teaching experience. Ohio University also has a counselor education program in which students can obtain a Ph.D.

4. Stanford University

Stanford University’s School of Education embraces a broader meaning of education than traditionally considered. The forums contemplated under this school include home, community, religious, business and even cultural education. Education as a major is considered in the context of development, cognitive, physical, interpersonal, emotional as well as many other areas. The mediums discussed as a means for obtaining and conveying information include traditional methods such as books, journals, and discussion. However it is not limited to these traditional means, instead including television, movies, computer technology, and magazines.

The faculty members in Stanford University’s School of education are active in the education community. Many faculty members serve as advisors and participate in various education forums. Stanford has its own charter school providing education from pre kindergarten through 12th grade in a community where it is most needed. Stanford’s commitment to service and research in the field of education has facilitated advancements in methods, policy, and problem solving globally. The curriculum is designed so that students can tailor their courses to correspond with specific interests and career goals. The University’s masters and doctoral programs are unparalleled.

5. University of Virginia

The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia seeks to discover new and creative ways to teach, to learn, and to educate. The University trains future educators with the understanding that education is a dynamic and evolving field, requiring flexibility and invention. The research performed at the University is intended to lead to new resolutions to key issues which will effect positive change throughout the nation and across the nation. The school offers students opportunities to contribute to the efforts of the University and gain valuable hands on experience through various projects and community engagement programs.

The Curry School at the University of Virginia offers a wide range of majors in the education field. Undergraduate students can choose from three departments within the school. The human services curriculum prepares students for careers in human development and clinical service. Students who pursue the department of curriculum, instruction and special education are provided the necessary skills to enter the teaching field, to become teacher educators, or to become education researchers. And the curriculum for leadership, foundations, and policy is intended for students moving towards positions in administration and policy.

6. Indiana University

Indiana University’s School of Education offers a wide range of opportunities and resources to prospective educators at the various possible stages. From entering undergraduates without previous college to individuals with bachelor degrees seeking a career change to education graduates pursuing post graduate degrees, Indiana University has the necessary programs to help students reach their education and career goals. The curriculum is designed to allow students to tailor the program to suit their individual needs.

Indiana University offers a number of degree programs. Students can choose from undergraduate or graduate degrees, certificate programs, or a combination. A prospective student possessing a bachelor degree can elect to pursue a master’s degree while obtaining a teaching license or to just obtain the license. Licensing programs are available for specializations in gifted and talented, counseling, school administrator, and psychologist. Options are also available for license renewal or to add content to an existing license.

7. Columbia University

Columbia University’s Teachers college is a renowned graduate school which has a reputation for excellence. The University has forged this reputation through groundbreaking research, academic integrity, and the perseverance of their faculty members and alumni in finding solutions and implementing procedures to revolutionize the various fields of education. Even the most miniscule or seemingly irrelevant behaviors are evaluated to determine the impact of such acts on educational success. The University’s dedication to social commitments across the globe has provided opportunities and quality education to persons across all socio economic boundaries.

The departments at Columbia University’s Teachers college are diverse. Departments from which students can choose to study include arts & humanities, biobehavioral sciences, counseling & clinical psychology, curriculum & teaching, health & behavior studies, human development, international & transcultural studies, mathematics science & technology or organization & leadership. Additional areas of specialization are also offered with concentrations in various areas of education. Columbia University’s curriculum offers a comprehensive program which encompasses a multitude of areas of study.

8. University of Michigan Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s School of Education is focused on improving the quality of education. Recognizing the flaws in the current educational system, the University is dedicated to advancing the quality of education provided. The skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in todays and future economies are more complicated and accelerated than ever before. The University endeavors to educate the leaders of tomorrow with the skills necessary to discover and effect change.

The University offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students can choose from an undergraduate elementary or secondary teacher certification. Students can enroll in this program at the start of the junior year. The curriculum includes required participation in a teaching position in an actual classroom. Masters with certification is also offered in both elementary and secondary education. Aspiring library, music, and physical education teachers can receive certification from the University also. A substantial number of specialized education programs are also offered under both masters and doctorate programs.

9. Ohio State University

Ohio University’s College of Education and Human Ecology maintains a comprehensive educational outlook which examines issues from small classroom curriculum to social issues impacting education across the globe. The college offers six departments of education; consumer sciences, educational policy & leadership, human development and family science, human nutrition, physical activity & educational services and teaching & learning. Each discipline offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Licensing options are also available under certain programs.

10. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development is concerned with the ways in which people learn and effective methods of teaching. The University includes national research centers in which students and faculty study the development of educational methods and policy as well as various conditions and the effect on learning. The University collaborates with various organizations on the local, state, and national levels on a multitude of research projects.

The Peabody College of education has five academic departments which offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students have the opportunity to select from human and organizational development, leadership policy and organizations, psychology and human development, special education, and teaching and learning. The curriculum is challenging. Students are expected to participate in a fifteen week student teaching course, choose a second major, and work closely with the faculty. Professional education programs are also offered.

11. University of California Berkeley

University of California at Berkeley’s education programs are primarily offered at the graduate level. The University does offer on the undergraduate level a minor in education and in interdiciplinary studies in early childhood. The three main areas of study in the education program are cognition and development, language and literacy society culture, and policy, organization, measurement, and evaluation. Each of the three areas of study offer from 5 to 7 major courses of study.

In addition to the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs offered, the University of California also provides professional programs. Students can earn credentials in any of the main areas of study and the various disciplines. The University also provides leadership courses to teach and stregnthen core skills essential to success. The courses are offered on evenings and weekends to accommodate the working professionals who take them.

12. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

The University of Illinois’s College of Education offers flexible learning opportunities, limitless resources, and innovative programs. The University boasts eleven nobel prize winners and exceptional doctorate programs. Three undergraduate degree programs are offered at the University; early childhood education, elementary education, and special education. The school also offers a minor in secondary school teaching. The curriculum includes preparation for the state teacher certification exams. The graduate programs include a master of education, arts or sciences; a doctorate of education or philosophy; and a certificate of advanced study program.

13. Harvard University

Harvard University views education as the cornerstone of society. Education is the force which propels forward people, technology, knowledge, and achievement. Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education endeavors to be the drive behind that force. The University explores, through research and theory, the multitude of issues impacting education from the fundamental to the complex. Harvard explores areas not traditionally studied in education with the intent of creating and implementing new policy and identifying issues which are a detriment to learning and circumstances which promote it. The University assists with the development of policy and new teaching methodology.

The Harvard University Graduate School of Education faculty and alumni are among the premier professionals in the education fields. Many of the graduate students attending Harvard are or were professionals already serving in the field of education. The degree programs offered at the University include masters, doctoral, and professional programs. Prospective students can select from one of the thirteen master’s programs and six doctoral disciplines. The degree programs offered include arts in education, education policy and management, higher education, human development and psychology, international education policy, language and literacy, learning and teaching, mind, brain, and education, risk and prevention, and school leadership among others.

14. University of Georgia

University of Georgia’s College of Education is one of the oldest institutions, chartered 100 years ago in 1908. The college is involved in pioneering research and education projects which affect teaching on a national and international level. The nine departments in the college of education offer 16 undergraduate degree programs and over 34 graduate programs. The departments include communication sciences and special education, counseling and human development services, educational psychology and instructional technology, elementary and social studies education, kinesiology, language and literacy education, lifelong education, administration and policy, mathematics and science education, and workforce education, leadership and social foundations.

The diverse opportunities offered at the University of Georgia prepare future and current educators to effectively serve in the field. Students are encouraged to participate in any of the numerous research projects at the University. The research and curriculum includes the entire range of human development from infancy through advanced ages. The comprehensive examination provides an in depth understanding of human development. All organizations providing various forms of education from local to organizational to community outreach are included in the University’s curriculum so that all manner of education are examined and students are afforded a comprehensive understanding of the multitude of educational disciplines.

15. University of California Los Angeles

UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Informational Studies primarily offers graduate programs. Undergraduate students have the option of selecting a minor in education studies. The minor provides a basic foundation on educational practices and concentrates on the various influences on education and the obstacles and adversity faced by educators. The graduate degree programs cover the range of educational disciplines and offer opportunities to obtain masters or doctorate degrees.

The degree programs offered in graduate studies include: information studies, urban schooling, student affairs, educational leadership, higher education and organizational change, principal leadership, psychological studies, social research methodology, advanced quantitative methods in education research, social sciences and comparative education, teacher education, and learning sciences.

16. University of Washington

The University of Washington’s College of Education is primarily concerned with ensuring people in all communities receive an equal opportunity for quality education. The schools dedication to social responsibility in education has led to partnerships in the community. These partnerships afford students of the college opportunities to acquire hands on training and experience while participating in a rewarding experience. The college boasts premier research centers where students are encouraged to participate in research projects which could shape the future of education.

The curriculum at the college of education within the University of Washington places an emphasis on understanding the challenges which face children, families, schools and communities that ultimately affect education. The undergraduate programs of study offered are early childhood and family studies as a major or a minor in education, learning, and society. Both provide a basic understanding of the elemental to the advanced aspects of the education disciplines necessary to enter and succeed as a professional in the field. The college also offers programs in curriculum and instruction, leadership and policy studies, educational psychology, teacher and special education, and cross disciplinary studies.

17. University of Maryland

The College of education at the University of Maryland in College Park offers six educational departments: curriculum and instruction, special education, measurement, statistics and evaluation; human development; and policy and leadership. Three of the departments offer bachelor degrees and teacher certification. Graduate programs and professional development programs are offered in many of the departments. The University also has developed a partnership with many of the local school districts providing professional development programs geared towards the districts needs. In addition to local school districts, the University also offers outreach programs to professionals in surrounding states.

18. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota’s College of education and Human Development is a leader in the study of multiculturalism and diversity in education. The college is devoted to advancing research, teaching, and the development of methods to enhance learning. The school is a haven of diversity hosting students from across the globe and offering access to the resources and facilities of the University to professionals and scholars from around the world. The University of Minnesota is a champion for social, gender, and economic equality in education.

The degree programs offered at the University of Minnesota are a reflection of the values honored by the school. The majors offered include business and marketing education; early childhood education foundations; elementary education foundations; family social science; human resource development; kinesiology; and youth studies. Internships, student teaching opportunities, and research projects offered to education majors provide valuable experience and learning opportunities. The school also offers a unique program known as DirecTrack to Teaching which provides focused education training and teaches the skills required to obtain licensure in the education field.

19. University of Southern California

The Rossier School of education at the University of Southern California is recognized for its outstanding work and focus on urban education. The University is focused on developing education professionals who will be leaders in promoting change and motivating them to pursue solutions to urban education issues and needs. By educating emerging professionals on the challenges faced teaching in the complex urban environments the University will produce alumni prepared and trained to meet any challenge with compassion and strength regardless of whether the community is urban, suburban or rural.

The programs offered at the Rossier School are at the graduate level. Students can pursue masters or doctorate degrees, or obtain teaching credentials. The programs offered include Master of Arts in teaching; master of education postsecondary administration and student affairs; master of science in teaching English to speakers of other languages or teaching English as a foreign language; education, school counseling; education, educational psychology/instructional technology; and doctorates in education and philosophy in urban education policy. The school offers online degree options also.

20. George Washington University

George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development is dedicated to producing leaders in the education profession. Based on the advancing diversity of the population, the University is seeking to evoke change in the education system to meet the evolving needs of our society. The school is an active proponent of change and is encouraging a restructuring of the schools and the curriculums. The University offers a substantial range of masters, doctoral, and professional programs and the flexibility of distance learning. Certificate programs, leadership programs and teacher prep and special education programs are also offered.

  • 1

    Mandie States

    February 2nd, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    what about edinboro university ot PA??

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