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Zach Smith




Associate of Arts
The Associate of Arts Degree in Elementary Education or Secondary Education has fully online coursework with opportunities to engage with students in a classroom in your geographic area. Obtaining your AA degree can be the first step in completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
students talking after graduation
  • Start dates are flexible with new classes beginning every eight weeks
  • Fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Transfer your AA into NNU’s accelerated or traditional on-campus Bachelor Degree programs

About Elementary or Secondary Education

Through NNU Online, you now have the opportunity to earn your two-year associate’s degree in Elementary or Secondary Education completely online. If you are interested in becoming a teacher, obtaining your AA degree can be a first step in completing the process. Many Idaho school districts recommend that their paraprofessionals have an AA degree.

All classes for the AA will be completed online in either an 8-week or 5-week format. Students entering the program with no existing credits can complete the degree in two years; students with existing credits may complete the program sooner. You must complete a minimum of 63 semester credits to meet the degree requirements, and 32 of those credits must be taken at NNU. Complete degree requirements and class descriptions can be found online in the NNU Catalog.

degree details

Associate of Arts

Offered Online

$425 per credit, $150 per semester technology fee

Additional Information


After completing your AA in Elementary Education or Secondary Education through NNU Online, you can transfer into NNU’s accelerated or traditional on-campus Bachelor of Arts degree programs in education.

The Accelerated Certification in Education Program (ACE) offers a BA in Elementary Education, which meets the Idaho requirements for Teacher Certification in All Subjects ( in grades K-8) and includes one Middle School content (5-9) endorsement. This program is also fully online to accommodate the schedules of students with other responsibilities during the day. Through this program, you can complete your degree and earn your teaching certificate in as few as 16 months.

The traditional on-campus program offers several different areas of study, including Elementary Education and Secondary Education, which are not available online. Classes are taken on-campus during the day in a traditional college environment. The time required to complete your degree will depend on the program-specific requirements.

Notice to Out-of-State Students

Since this bachelor’s degree in elementary education leads to professional licensure, prospective students should review important information about NNU’s participation in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and Professional Licensure. Individual states often have different expectations for professional licensure, so it is in a prospective student’s best interest to investigate whether NNU’s degree program will help them achieve licensure in their home state.


CAEP Accredited Provider

Northwest Nazarene University’s College of Education meets the requirements for accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).


Colleges of Distinction

Northwest Nazarene University received the 2023-2024 Colleges of Distinction Award in Education.

Education Internship

career paths

Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area occupational employment and wage estimates for the Boise area are sourced from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

Meet Our Faculty

The professors are awesome. They are all open to conversation to any kind of question I ever had. Every single professor was open to discuss. That’s incredible for me because where I am from people are not like that. I have a really good relationship with all of them here and they are always open to talk with me. They give me a ton of advice.

Nikola Pruvlj

AA Elementary or Secondary Education