Degree Overview

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Prep Program Elementary Education (K-8) - Leads to Teacher Licensure

Have a bachelor’s degree and looking to become a teacher? The online post-baccalaureate licensure program is the fastest way to earn your elementary teaching license. You’ll become a highly qualified elementary school teacher prepared to bring your unique experience to the classroom.

WGU is the first exclusively online university to receive NCATE accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure, a testament to the fact that WGU graduates have the knowledge and skills to be effective in helping all students learn.

Who the Program is For:

  • Individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a liberal arts field,who want to become a certified elementary school teacher
  • Unlicensed teachers, substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others with bachelor’s degrees who feel the call to teach
  • Individuals who can typically spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies.

To be considered eligible for enrollment in this program, you must meet the appropriate content requirements (PDF). Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to determine whether you have the sufficient background for entry into this program.

This program will be flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Demonstration teaching and the cohort seminar are offered twice each year, in the fall and spring. Click here to learn how your program works.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

This online degree program requires the completion of coursework to ensure you have the essential skills and knowledge you need to become a licensed teacher, as well as practice teaching in an actual classroom and the completion of a professional portfolio.

Key Subject Areas

These Courses Add to Your Credentials

  • Foundations of Teaching

  • Instructional Planning and Presentation

  • Mathematics Content

  • Elementary Education Methods

  • Preclinical Experiences

  • Demonstration Teaching (includes practice teaching)

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, much of your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around. You will need to plan to complete your demonstration teaching and the cohort seminar in the spring or in the fall. They are offered twice each year. Also, be aware that demonstration teaching and preclinical experiences may not be waived and prior experience may not be used to satisfy these requirements as you must demonstrate competency in the classroom in order to complete your WGU degree program. 


How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The standard time it takes to complete the online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program in Elementary Education (K-8) at WGU is 2-2.5 years.

A personal evaluation of your transcripts from prior colleges is required prior to admission. While you cannot transfer credits directly towards completion of this program, your transcripts will be used to determine whether you have the necessary liberal arts academic content background for enrollment.

WGU’s competency-based method, which allows you to advance through your courses using the skills and knowledge you already have, may allow you to finish your degree in even less time.

The online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program, Elementary Education (K-8) requires a total of 37 competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour. Each course typically equals three or four CUs.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Education (K-8) Online Teacher Preparation Program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

"Whether you're looking for a career change with your bachelor's degree or continuing your education with a master's degree, WGU's Teacher College is a quality choice." Mrs. Karen Pence, First Lady of Indiana

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

Western Governors University was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU's online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.

  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.

  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.

  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.

  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students.WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. In fact, we haven’t increased tuition since 2008. And because we charge tuition at a flat rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.

You Pay for Time—Not Credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.

  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.

  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.

  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Cost of Earning a Degree

You’ll pay the same low tuition each 6-month term, regardless of how many courses you complete. If you accelerate your degree program, you’ll pay less for your degree.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, you'll be expected to complete 8 competency units (credit hours) per term – each course generally represents three or four competency units. Because we allow you to complete extra courses at no extra cost, you may be able to increase the value of your program by dedicating extra time to your studies.

WGU's online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay. A comparable degree at a traditional university can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. A typical two-year post-baccalaureate degree program at WGU is less than $13,000.

Teacher education programs may include additional fees, including ones for take home labs, demonstration teaching, and/or the educational leadership practicum.

  • $2,890: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $1,000: One-Time Demonstration Teaching Fee
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $65: One-Time Application Fee

Learn more about tuition and fees.

WGU Is Half The Cost

WGU’s Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program in Elementary Education (K-8) is about half the cost of a comparable program at another online university.

Tuition Comparison: Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Prep Program Elementary Education (K-8) degree

WGU Drexel Online
$2,890 per six month term.
If it takes two years = $11,560
PreK-4: 42 credit hours x $843 per credit = $35,406

*Note: This chart is for illustration only and reflects the tuition information made public by other institutions and WGU’s standard tuition of $2,890 per term as of February 1, 2015. Tuition for the MBA and nursing programs is higher at $3,250 per term. Actual rates will vary depending on the number of terms needed to complete the program. Check the website for the most current tuition information.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU's financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Same Accreditation as State Universities and Private Colleges

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

WGU was the first exclusively online university to receive accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU has Teachers College graduates working in all 50 states, and has been recognized by the White House as an example of what works in postsecondary education.

The NCATE accrediting team extensively reviewed the entire WGU Teachers College curriculum to ensure that “candidates have the knowledge and skills to be effective in helping all students learn.” This involved intensive interviews with students, faculty, graduates, school district personnel, and education experts, as well as a review of WGU student performance on national performance exams.

An online teaching degree from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:


of employers said WGU grads exceed expectations.


of employers rated WGU graduates’ job performance as good as or better than the job performance of graduates from other institutions.


of employers consider WGU graduates prepared for their jobs.


of employers rate the "soft skills" of WGU grads as equal to or better than graduates from other institutions.

Note: 2014 Survey of 300 Employers by Harris Poll

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our National Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye,
WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour.

WGU sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master the subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the easy steps to getting started.

To be admitted into this Teachers College program, you need to submit an official transcript verifying receipt of a baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) from a regionally accredited institution.

See More about Teachers College Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

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Question and Answer

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

How does WGU keep its tuition so low?

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our main concern. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, and other non-academic programs. 

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.


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