Best Online Early Childhood Education Programs

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Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleBachelor'sin Early Childhood Education2017
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Early childhood education (ECE) programs cover the educational theories, methods, and tools used to teach children from preschool through second grade. ECE also covers strategies parents can use to evaluate and educate their infants and toddlers. In addition to classroom teachers, many ECE graduates become paraeducators and classroom assistants, special education specialists, childcare center employees, and child psychologists.

A bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum educational requirement for most ECE professionals, including preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers. ECE bachelor’s programs equip students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to lead lessons, games, and other activities for young learners. Most programs also feature required practicum components, which allow students to receive supervised training from established teachers in actual classrooms.

Today, many students are choosing to earn their bachelor’s in early childhood education online. Web-based programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as classroom-based options, and the flexible schedule is particularly convenient for students with jobs, childcare responsibilities, or any other commitments that make attending classes on campus difficult. Read on to learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to in this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

ECE bachelor’s programs teach students how to educate young children. Students are taught how to incorporate games, songs, art projects, and other engaging activities into their lesson plans. They also study procedures for evaluating young children in different academic arenas, and how to work with children who have learning disabilities or behavioral issues. Other areas of focus include state and federal laws governing public education, strategies for holding parent-teacher conferences, and ways to integrate disabled and gifted children into the classroom dynamic.

WILL AN ONLINE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Most online ECE bachelor’s programs follow an asynchronous (self-paced) schedule, which allows students to access course lectures and materials, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. The latest in educational technology also allows them to study away from home using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For additional convenience, distance learners can usually coordinate practicum courses at schools and other training sites near their residence.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEGREE?

Many ECE bachelor’s program graduates pursue careers as kindergarten or elementary school teachers; however, public school teachers at all grade levels must be certified or licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Public school licensure requirements vary by state, although the criteria may include successful completion of a state-issued licensing exam, a set number of classroom-based training hours, undergraduate grade point average, or specialization in specific academic subjects. A background check is usually also required. ECE roles that may not carry licensure requirements include private school teachers, childcare center personnel, and paraeducators.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is a very personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online ECE programs in the United States. If you want to pursue an ECE degree, and you value the opportunity to study online, read on to learn more about the top online early childhood education programs in the country.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Florida International University 71.96 3/5 49% Miami, FL

Florida International University’s early childhood education degree online is intended for students who aspire to careers in childcare, preschools, and early childhood education. This BS in early childhood education is a non-licensing degree that emphasizes learning and growth in children from birth to age five. The College of Education, which is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, has developed a curriculum that examines early childhood growth through the lens of family and community studies. Students explore the influence that young children’s familial and cultural environments have on their cognitive, social, and emotional growth; the development of literacy skills is given emphasis within this context. Classes in educational theory and its practical application cover instruction in developmental milestones through age eight, play and the development of social competence, emergent literacy, and educational psychology. Graduates of this early childhood education degree online gain classroom management skills, including the assessment of intellectual, emotional, and personality issues. They are also prepared to meet the needs of gifted, ESOL, disabled, and special needs students. Students learn subject-specific skills in teaching art, math, and science to children.

Students can complete all online early childhood education bachelor's degree coursework online, however, distance learners are required to complete two field experiences. The university makes efforts to assign placements at a location convenient to each student. Distance learners have access to student success coaching, tutoring, advising, and career services. FIU offers an honors college and an additional leadership certification program to its distance learners. Flexible start dates allow students to begin their program during any semester. Tuition does not increase for out-of-state students.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education and Human Development
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: Early Childhood Development
Accrediting body: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
Tuition: $212 per credit (in-state), $329 per credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma and completion of university core requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Select classes will require students to coordinate field placement within a school.

Program Length
Program options: N/A
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling admission until May 1 (fall admission), rolling admission until December 1 (spring admission)
GPA: Minimum 2.5 in lower-division coursework
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (305) 348-2768
Department email: coeadvis@fiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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2 Fort Hays State University 68.48 3/5 41% Hays, KS

Fort Hays State's licensure-track BS in early childhood unified degree is designed for aspiring special educators, teachers, administrators, and coordinators at the district level. Graduates of this early childhood education online degree are prepared to work with children from birth to age eight in regular or special-needs classrooms. The curriculum examines the developmental timeline of children, including cognitive, social, and emotional growth. The program examines the educational needs of diverse learners and exceptional children, including the classroom management techniques, behavior strategies, technology applications, and necessary assessment skills. The teaching of language and math skills to this student population is emphasized.

Students are required to earn at least 127 credits to graduate. This includes 55 credits of general education, 20 credits of professional studies, 40 credits of major courses, and 12 credits of student teaching.

FHSU delivers all online early childhood education bachelor's degree coursework online. This early childhood education degree online requires on-site clinical immersion hours, practica, and student teaching experiences. The student is responsible for working with the university to arrange for placements at an accredited facility. Graduates are qualified for licensure in Kansas; students residing in other states should research applicable state-based requirements and certification exams. Distance learners have access to services, including academic assistance like free online tutoring and library services, career resources, software downloads, and tech tutorials. FHSU also offers dedicated scholarship funds to education majors who commit to teaching in underserved areas of Kansas.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Teacher Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Unified Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Higher Learning Commission and National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
Tuition: $207 per credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous or asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma and the program’s foundations of education, human growth and development, and intro to instructional technology courses
Credit requirements: 127 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students must complete a 12-credit student teaching experience and an internship

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: Four years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: N/A
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative high school GPA
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (785) 628-4204
Department email: http://www.fhsu.edu/teachereducation/contact-us/
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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3 University of Cincinnati 67.17 4/5 62% Cincinnati, OH

University of Cincinnati's early childhood education degree online bachelor's degree is ideal for any student who aspires to a career focused on children from birth through age five. Students may customize their studies to meet PreK, infant/toddler, or administrative career goals. Graduates of the birth-5 track are eligible for Ohio PreK licensure, which is transferable in most states. Students who complete this program are qualified for work in head start programs, preschools, childcare centers, and public schools.

Accredited by the Council of Accreditation for Educator Preparation, the curriculum examines the cognitive and social growth of children, addressing the factors that promote development. Learning theory and educational psychology courses are augmented by practical skills training in classroom management, assessment and evaluation, and environmental design. Other courses are devoted to emerging language and literacy, social skills and play, and family partnerships. Classes in leadership in early childhood education, collaborative teaching, and teaching the special-needs student round out the curriculum. Online coursework is supplemented by on-site fieldwork; the required internship and student teaching placements may be conducted at the student’s place of employment, as long as the student does not receive compensation for those hours. The online early childhood education degree’s supervision model requires an on-site mentor and videotape review of practical field experiences.

The program is ideal for adults already in the field who seek career mobility. Transfer credits from a qualifying higher education institution may be applied toward degree requirements; it is unlikely that prior student teaching will transfer. All university faculty have experience as early childhood teachers or directors and are able to incorporate real-world applicability into lessons.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
Program Name: Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: Pre-Kindergarten, Infant-Toddler, Administration
Accrediting body: The Higher Learning Commission, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and Ohio Department of Education
Tuition: $11,000 per year (in-state), $26,334 per year (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Associate degree in early childhood education
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students will complete student teaching and internship experiences.

Program Length
Program options: Full-time and part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: February 1 (Fall admission), November 1 (Spring admission), March 1 (Summer admission)
GPA: Minimum 2.5 cumulative associate degree GPA
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: Work experience is not required but is recommended

Contact
Department phone: (513) 556-2336
Department email: eclc@uc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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4 University of Nebraska at Kearney 63.70 3/5 56% Kearney, NE

At the University of Nebraska-Kearney, working adults can further their careers with an early childhood education bachelors degree online. Designed for currently employed preschool teachers, head start staff, and teaching assistants, the BA in education-early childhood inclusive program leads to Nebraska teaching certification with an early childhood endorsement. Students in other states may be eligible for licensure transfer, depending on state requirements. Graduates of the degree completion program are eligible for licensure to teach birth through age 5 in special education settings, or birth through age 8 in regular education environments. Students must transfer in general education requirements through an accredited college.

The core curriculum begins with an exploration of typical and atypical growth and development in children, as well as the training in the assessment techniques used to identify developmental issues. The remainder of the core builds on these fundamentals, covering the principles of early literacy, math, and science education in regular and special-education classrooms. Special topics of study include music and movement in early childhood classrooms and nutrition and health concerns in young children. The curriculum concludes with specialized courses that follow student's age-specific licensure tracks.

While classwork can be completed through distance learning, field experiences must be conducted on-site at an approved facility. The degree requires three short practica and a semester of full-time teaching. The majority of field placements are arranged within UNK’s partner network of participating schools, although this is not a strict requirement. Online students must attend a campus-based workshop at UNK prior to beginning student teaching. Student teachers are expected to attend a teaching seminar on campus during their student teaching semester. UNK offers low tuition rates to Nebraska residents.


Program Overview
Department: The College of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Education in Early Childhood Inclusion
Available concentrations: Birth to Kindergarten, Age Three to Grade Three
Accrediting body: The Higher Learning Commission and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Tuition: $240 per credit (in-state), $364 per credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Students are expected to complete their core requirements at a community college.
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: A field experience in a school setting and a student-teaching experience is required.

Program Length
Program options: N/A
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Students should submit their applications at least four weeks before the beginning of the term.
GPA: Minimum 2.75 GPA for all university core requirements
Standardized tests: PRAXIS core exam
Work experience: The program is designed to serve the needs of students who currently hold positions as teachers, teacher assistants, or HeadStart program staff.

Contact
Department phone: (308) 865-8526
Department email: admissions@unk.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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5 Granite State College 59.57 3/5 50% Concord, NH

The Granite State online early childhood education bachelor’s degree is designed for professionals already working or volunteering in qualifying facilities in New Hampshire. The majority of applicants transfer previously earned credits from an accredited community college or university program; educators may complete the entire program at Granite State. This dual certification degree leads to state licensure to teach birth through age eight in regular public school classrooms, as well as special education for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Licensure is generally transferable to other states, though the responsibility for meeting other state's requirements lies with the student. Graduates qualify for the New Hampshire Child Development Bureau’s Department of Health and Human Services credential.

The core curriculum delivers instruction in early childhood development and educational theory. These fundamentals are augmented by courses that emphasize the practical knowledge and skills required of early childhood teachers, particularly special educators. Topics of study include special education law, exceptionalities in very young children, the dynamic role of special education teachers, curriculum and instruction, IEPs and transition plans, and behavioral intervention. Subject-specific classes address math, science, and literacy teaching strategies.

This early childhood education degree online’s field component requires one semester of full-time student teaching. The field experience includes collaboration with professional teacher mentors and hands-on teaching and learning. Granite State offers the second-lowest tuition rates in New England for in- and out-of-state students. Admission is rolling, and distance learners may begin their studies at any time during the year.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: Early Childhood Special Education
Accrediting body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Tuition: $300 per credit (in-state), $345 per credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Student teaching and mentoring requirement.

Program Length
Program options: N/A
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 3.0 GPA required for students transferring from associate programs.
Standardized tests: N/A
Work experience: The program is designed for professionals with experience in New Hampshire’s educational settings.

Contact
Department phone: (855) 472-4255
Department email: https://www.granite.edu/contact/have-a-question/
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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6 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College 59.13 3/5 62% Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

The CAEP-accredited baccalaureate degree in early childhood education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods prepares students for an initial teaching license in Indiana for preschool to grade three classrooms. It also offers a concentration in mild intervention strategies for children with exceptionalities. After students meet all liberal arts general education requirements, they explore the principles of developmental growth, learning theory, and educational psychology. Course topics include teaching strategies for language arts, math, science, music, and social studies. The curriculum also delivers instruction on best practices in special education law, behavioral development, mild disabilities, and other relevant issues.

This online early childhood education bachelor's degree emphasizes hands-on learning, requiring five practica and two student-teaching experiences. Students in the mild intervention track explore assessment and intervention through additional courses and practica tailored to the exceptional student population. Distance learners are expected to appear on campus to arrange for practical experiences; the university does not accept field placements at any student’s place of employment.

The program has year-round start dates and accelerated eight-week courses. Students may earn prior credit towards their degree requirements by transferring credits, testing out of a course, or through prior learning assessments. Courses are delivered through the D2L Brightspace platform. Distance learners also have access to The Learning Resource Center, which offers online tutoring, library services, financial aid resources, and more. A variety of scholarship programs are available for military personnel and their spouses. Graduates of this online degree for early childhood education program who plan to teach in Illinois automatically qualify for licensure; students in other states should research individual state requirements for certification transfer.


Program Overview
Department: Education Department
Program Name: Baccalaureate degree in education
Available concentrations: Preschool to Grade Three/Mild Intervention
Accrediting body: The Higher Learning Commission and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
Tuition: $496 per credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Field and supervised teaching experiences in early childhood, kindergarten, or elementary educational settings.

Program Length
Program options: N/A
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Year round

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: N/A
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (812) 535-5159
Department email: education@smwc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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7 National University 57.50 4/5 40% La Jolla, CA

National's BA in early childhood education program meets requirements for the Child Development Associates National Licensing program and the child development permits in the state of California. Students learn how to individualize their teaching strategy to meet all student's learning needs through appropriate curricula and pedagogical strategies. Accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, this early childhood education degree online allows students to customize their studies with concentrations in early childhood administration, infant and toddler, or teacher education.

This early childhood education online degree program’s core curriculum covers a broad range of evidence-based early childhood learning practices and theory, with courses covering play as learning, early cognition, and behavioral strategies. Students complete their classwork through pursuit of a concentration, guided study, or study of crisis and trauma. Within the early childhood administration track, students explore leadership, planning, human resources, and financial planning. The infant and toddler track delves into the finer points of educating and caring for very young children. The teacher preparation track delivers practical skills training, covering subjects like emerging literacy, educational technology, and exceptionalities.

All courses can be completed through asynchronous online study, but an on-site field experience is required in order to complete the program. Distance learners are expected to arrange for this student teaching placement in an approved educational facility. Online students are offered support services, including career services, online tutoring, an online writing center, an online bookstore, and a digital library. National is a transfer-friendly school and will work with incoming students to transfer credits earned at an accredited educational facilities.


Program Overview
Department: Sanford College of Education, Department of Teacher Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: Early Childhood Administration, Infant and Toddler, Teacher Education
Accrediting body: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
Tuition: $362 per quarter unit (100-400 level courses), $416 per quarter unit (500 level courses)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma
Credit requirements: 180 quarter units
Field education requirements: A required field experience that helps students progress to a professional goal.

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: N/A
Program start dates: Year round

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
Standardized tests: The ACCUPLACER mathematics and English evaluations are required for applicants without college level math or English credits.
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (858) 642-8330
Department email: landerso@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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8 Concordia University-Portland 56.41 4/5 45% Portland, OR

The Concordia family of private Lutheran universities is known for providing quality teacher programs. The Portland campus offers an early childhood education degree online that is designed for working professionals who already hold an associate degree. This non-licensure degree completion program leads to a BS in early childhood education and qualification to work with children from birth through age five. The curriculum, five semesters in length, builds on the foundation of an associate degree in early childhood education studies.

After general education prerequisites are met, including Concordia’s required spiritual formations courses, students may begin the program. The online early childhood education degree has a 78-hour curriculum. Students examine the fundamentals of early childhood growth and development in the educational setting, including partnering with families, effective teaching strategies, and developing optimum learning environments. In upper-level classes, students focus on subject-specific teaching and practical classroom skills, topics include observation, assessment, and documentation; innovative approaches to learning; and strategies in emerging math, science, and literacy.

All online early childhood education bachelor's degree coursework can be completed through asynchronous distance learning, but a required internship must be completed on-site. Full-time students complete coursework over four semesters and conduct student teaching in the fifth semester. Concordia tries to place student teachers in eligible facilities of their choice. Online students are assigned to a cohort, which encourages networking opportunities and a peer support network. Concordia’s flexible enrollment policy allows students to begin an early childhood education online degree cohort year round. Distance learners who are high academic achievers are eligible to join Concordia’s chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi international educators honor society.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Tuition: $470 per credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: The program is designed to build off of work experience or an early childhood associate degree.
Credit requirements: 124 credit hours
Field education requirements: During the final semester students complete an internship.

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: Five semesters
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Enrollment begins January 21 and is open until full
GPA: N/A
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: The program is suited for applicants who already have work experience in early childhood education.

Contact
Department phone: (503) 280-8539
Department email: coe@cu-portland.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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9 Southwestern College 55.98 4/5 51% Winfield, KS

Southwestern College's BA in early childhood education degree is ideal for aspiring early childhood educators who are interested in teaching children with exceptionalities. Graduates are eligible for Kansas licensure to teach children from birth to age eight in typical and special education classrooms. Licensure may be transferable to other states; non-resident distance learners are responsible for following up with individual state certification requirements. This online bachelors degree in early childhood education is designed for students who have already completed at least six college credits at another accredited school. Some students are awarded credit for prior life experience.

The curriculum delivers a background in educational psychology, learning theory, developmental milestones, and instructional technology. Age-specific courses explore the practical application of this knowledge in the classroom and focus on individual subject areas, assessment, community and family partnerships, and English as a second language. Language and literacy development is emphasized at Southwest; four courses and a K-6 field experience focus exclusively on reading skills. Professional training focuses on the needs of regular and special education students. This online degree for early childhood education program culminates in a semester of student teaching at the K-3 level.

All online early childhood education bachelor's degree coursework can be completed through asynchronous online study. Three required field experience components must be conducted in person; local students may meet these requirements at the university’s campus-based preschool. Other students may choose to work with one of Southwest’s special education partner programs or arrange to work at an approved facility that's more convenient. Because Southwestern is a private school, it does not charge out-of-state tuition to students living outside of Kansas. Discounted tuition is offered to military service personnel and their family members.


Program Overview
Department: Southwestern College of Professional Studies
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Higher Learning Commission, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Kansas Department of Education
Tuition: $455 per credit

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Six post-high school college credits
Credit requirements: 124 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students must complete practicum teaching experiences at two grade levels

Program Length
Program options: Students take one course per six week term.
Program length: Over 2 years
Program start dates: August 14 (Fall 1), September 25 (Fall 2), November 6 (Fall 3), January 9 (Spring 1), February 20 (Spring 2), April 3 (Spring 3), May 15 (Summer 1), July 3 (Summer 2)

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: N/A
GPA: Minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (888) 684-5335
Department email: N/A
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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10 Mount Vernon Nazarene University 55.65 3/5 54% Mount Vernon, OH

The online early childhood education degree from Mount Vernon prepares students for careers teaching students from preschool through fifth grade. Designed for adults currently working in education, this part-time, online, degree completion program leads to Ohio PreK-3 licensure with a grade 4/5 endorsement. Participants take one class at a time. Average program completion time varies based on individual transfer status, but most students can complete this accelerated program in 27 months, including 510 hours of student teaching.

The curriculum is taught through a Christian lens, incorporating biblical values and ethics. Core classes explore the fundamentals of early childhood development, pedagogical strategies, cultural and community dynamics in education, and the inclusion of students with special learning needs. Teaching method training includes subject-specific approaches to math, science, social studies, fine arts, and reading. Students are prepared for professional careers with training in practical skills like assessment and documentation, curriculum design, and classroom management. Online courses are augmented by field experiences; practica in early childhood education, urban/diverse early childhood education, and grades 4/5 generalist classrooms are capped by a semester-long student teaching placement.

Mount Vernon is transfer-friendly and accepts prior education credits from accredited schools. In some cases, credits may be granted for prior learning experiences like professional or military training. The university’s education department faculty have professional early childhood experience and bring real-world knowledge to the classroom. Students in this online early childhood education bachelor's degree progress through the curriculum in cohorts, which allows for optimum networking and support opportunities. Mount Vernon offers locked-in tuition rates for students who stay continuously enrolled and discounts for military families.


Program Overview
Department: The Graduate and Professional Studies Department
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Higher Learning Commission
Tuition: $265 per credit (1000 and 2000 level courses), $398 per credit (3000 and 4000 level courses)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma
Credit requirements: 116 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students will be required to complete about 500 hours of clinical and field experiences.

Program Length
Program options: Part-time; one class per month.
Program length: 27 months
Program start dates: N/A

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: N/A
GPA: Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in college coursework
Standardized tests: ACT
Work experience: The program is designed for working adults.

Contact
Department phone: (800) 839-2355
Department email: http://mvnu.edu/contact.asp
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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11 California Baptist University 55.54 4/5 59% Riverside, CA

Offered through the Division of Online and Professional Studies, the bachelor's of arts in early childhood studies from CBU prepares graduates to work with children from birth to age eight, including students with special learning needs. The 48-unit major focuses on the development of a child's cognitive, social, emotional, and perceptual skills during the critical early years of learning.

CBU offers more than 40 majors and concentrations to choose from, including 20 bachelor's programs. The school's early childhood education online program emphasizes the attuned skills that are needed to teach in a multicultural classroom. The curriculum is rooted in Christian values and includes courses like spiritual development of young children and foundations of Christian thought. Students must also enroll in courses that cover topics such as STEM integration with the arts, learning environments for young children, and the exceptional child. Graduates are encouraged to become self-reflective leaders and decision-makers in the workplace. The program prepares students for careers in research, childhood advocacy, and early intervention. Accelerated courses start every eight weeks are are offered over three semesters each year. As a result, students typically earn their degree in just 16 months.

All distance learners have access to both a personal enrollment counselor and a student service advisor, who will help students achieve their academic goals. Non-traditional students also have access to an online academic support center, which offers 24/7 Smarthinking tutoring, as well as career services and guidance on financial aid. The school offers a generous transfer-credits policy, accepting up to 100 credits from another institution. Transfer students can earn up to 70 credits from community college courses and up to 30 from exams. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered. CBU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Tuition: $615 per credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: 24 transferable credits or a high school diploma
Credit requirements: 88-91 credit hours
Field education requirements: N/A

Program Length
Program options: Full-time and part-time
Program length: 16 months
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (951) 343-4313
Department email: jarmentrout@calbaptist.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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12 Wilmington University 52.39 3/5 34% New Castle, DE

Located in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University is a liberal arts institution that offers an undergraduate program that blends general education, fine arts, social and behavioral science, and major coursework. Approximately 41% of the school's 13,000 enrolled students use the online learning platform.

The school's 122-credit BS in education studies offers four tracks: ECE, elementary education, middle level education, and skilled and technical sciences. The early childhood education specialization does not include licensure or certification, although this may be pursued separately. The curriculum for this online early childhood education degree includes an early care education internship, as well as the completion of an E-folio, prerequisite for all education courses. In the E-folio, students learn how to use various technology applications to enhance the WilmU learning experience. There is also a required online orientation course that helps ensure that students are prepared for distance learning. Students must also complete all College of Education coursework with a minimum grade of "C-" in order to graduate.

All online courses at WilmU are offered asynchronously and can be accessed through Blackboard. Students are expected to participate in the program three to five times each week, but when they do so is up to each individual learner. There are also no on-campus meetings required for this early childhood education online degree. Distance learners have access to the same support services as on-campus students, including career and financial aid, library membership, tutoring, and online workshops. All incoming freshman and first-semester transfer students are required to submit official transcripts for review and meet with an academic advisor. They must also take a skills assessment test. This program is nationally-recognized by the CAEP and is transferable across state lines.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education Studies
Available concentrations: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education (K-6), Middle Level Education (6-8), Skilled and Technical Sciences
Accrediting body: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Tuition: $363 per credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma, E-folio, and Instructional Technology courses
Credit requirements: 122 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students must complete an early care education internship that includes 45 full teaching days.

Program Length
Program options: N/A
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: N/A
Standardized tests: SAT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (877) 967-5464
Department email: http://www.wilmu.edu/uicform.aspx
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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13 Fresno Pacific University 52.28 3/5 59% Fresno, CA

Fresno Pacific University is a Christian institution that was founded in 1944 by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren. Today, the school serves more than 3,500 students each year, 1,500 of whom are enrolled in distance learning programs. The online early childhood education bachelor's degree is a 39-credit program that equips graduates with the skills needed to educate and care for children from birth through age eight, including those with developmental and learning exceptionalities. Courses are structured in accelerated six-week formats and cover topics such as child's play and learning theory, biblical perspectives for educators, and human diversity and relations. There are also required electives, although these may be waived with qualifying prior learning or military experience, or by passing exams. Students can earn up to 30 credits through learning portfolios.

The curriculum for this early childhood education degree online is designed around the California Preschool Learning Foundations, a set of standards published by the California State Department of Education and CAEP. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in public or private schools, as well as other early childhood educational centers. They may also pursue further certification in elementary, special education, or counseling programs. Students typically earn their degree in just 18 months by enrolling in 12 credits per academic term. To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and enroll in three consecutive semesters. Students are assigned to small cohorts of 12 to 24 other adults, and classes are held online one night a week. Transfer students must also attend one in-person event on-campus in Fresno after admission where they meet with peers and faculty.


Program Overview
Department: Degree Completion Online Programs
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
Tuition: $465 per credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: 60 transferable baccalaureate-level credits
Credit requirements: 39 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students are required to complete a three-credit child observation practicum.

Program Length
Program options: Part-time
Program length: 18 months
Program start dates: Fall (August), Spring (February)

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
Standardized tests: N/A
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (559) 453-3690
Department email: https://www.fresno.edu/ask-about-program?enrollment_area
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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14 Mayville State University 50.22 3/5 39% Mayville, ND

Established in 1889 as a teachers college, MSU specializes in offering high-quality education programs. In fact, the school only began offering non-teaching degrees in 1961. Today, the school serves more than 1,100 students each year. MSU's BSEd in early childhood education is one of the school's 10 bachelor's degrees and is designed to meet the needs of nontraditional adult learners who work full-time. Graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to work in educational and care settings with children from birth through age eight. Upon graduation from this CAEP-accredited program, students are also prepared to apply for teaching certification up to the third grade.

The 135-credit program is based licensing requirements in the state of North Dakota. The early childhood education bachelor's degree online program at MSU is part of the National Association of Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate agreement and is transferrable across state lines. Students must complete 36 credits of general education requirements, either online or through a qualifying local community college, before applying to the early childhood program. Although most classes can be completed online, students are required to complete intensive, hands-on coursework on campus during their second summer session. This six-week block was developed out of the school's experiential model and helps students master their skills in teaching pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and primary grades.

Admission deadlines are rolling at MSU, and prospective students work directly with the school's office of extended learning as they go through the application process. The office will also assist students acclimate to the online learning environment by offering tutorials on how to access classes and designated proctors for exams. MSU state authorization to provide online courses in the state of Florida is currently pending. Mayville State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Department: Division of Teacher Education and Psychology
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Tuition: $285 per credit

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: N/A
Credit requirements: 135 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students are required to complete a one-credit field experience in an early education context.

Program Length
Program options: Full-time and part-time
Program length: N/A
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative high school GPA
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: Applicants should be currently employed in an early education position.

Contact
Department phone: (800) 437-4104
Department email: AskUs@MayvilleState.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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15 Chaminade University of Honolulu 49.57 3/5 36% Honolulu, HI

Chaminade University of Honolulu is the sole Catholic university in Hawaii and is one of only three Marianist institutions of higher education in the country. The school was established in 1955 and offers curricula that reflect its Christian foundation. Today, Chaminade offers 23 undergraduate and seven graduate programs, including an online childhood education degree. The 120-credit BS in early childhood education program from Chaminade prepares students to become educators who work with children ages two-and-a-half to six years in private schools and other educational settings. Chaminade also offers an optional program with a Montessori credential. All coursework is aligned with NAEYC standards.

Students enroll in a broad range of courses that cover topics like content and teaching methods, educational technology, and leadership applications. They must also complete field experiences and a senior seminar. Courses are offered in an accelerated 10-week format during four terms throughout the year. This program is one of 10 bachelor's degrees at Chaminade that falls under the Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) program, which is designed specifically for working professionals and adult learners. Online PACE degrees are ideal for those who work full-time or are not local to Oahu. The average class size at Chaminade is 19 students, with only 20% of the school's enrollment hailing from the mainland U.S.

Chaminade offers its faculty membership in the Online Learning Consortium, an international and professional organization for online educators offering research-based teaching methods and workshops to help optimize online learning experiences. Distance learners have access to several student support services, including free Smarthinking tutoring, library databases, career preparation, and academic advising. Since 1967, Chaminade has provided military personnel, both active-duty or retired, with exclusive educational opportunities via classes at bases in Oahu and online. The school also offers a special tuition rate for all military students. Chaminade is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Department: Professional and Continuing Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, and the American Montessori Council
Tuition: $450 per credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: N/A

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school transcript or 24 college credits. Students must also complete an Introduction to Chaminade Early Childhood Education course.
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students will complete fieldwork experience totaling 100 hours in an early childhood educational role.

Program Length
Program options: Courses are offered in a 10-week accelerated format.
Program length: N/A
Program start dates: Winter (January), Spring (April), Summer (July), Fall (October)

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: May 1 (Fall admission) and December 1 (Spring admission)
GPA: Minimum 2.5 cumulative high school GPA
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (808) 735-4755
Department email: online@chaminade.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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16 Vanguard University of Southern California 48.37 4/5 54% Costa Mesa, CA

Vanguard University offers a 124-credit online BA in early childhood education degree through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. VU's early childhood education degree online program is designed around requirements for Head Start, state preschools, the Association of Christian Schools International, and CDA Credential. The program prepares graduates to work in private educational settings and family care centers. The program is accredited by the NAEYC and meets the State of California education requirements for Title 22 and Title V community care centers.

The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, including child growth and development, guiding the young child's behavior, and the exceptional child and the inclusive classroom. Students must complete a seven-week early childhood education practicum as a part of their degree. Courses are offered in an accelerated, seven-week format and were designed with working professionals in mind. Students already employed at an early childhood center may use their current workplace to complete fieldwork, but all students enrolled in the online degree for early childhood education are responsible for arranging their own practicum experience and finding a lead teacher to serve as mentor.

Students can begin enrolling in upper-division coursework after first earning 57 credits. This early childhood education online degree can be completed in just 22 months. VU offers small cohort sizes, which allows all students to receive individualized attention from instructors. Online courses are offered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. VU recommends that students expect to spend 15-20 hours each week on coursework throughout the program. Distance learners have access to online support services including writing consultations, learning disability services, and counseling. Students who are members of ACSI are eligible to receive a 10% tuition discount. VU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Department: Graduate and Professional Studies
Program Name: Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Association for the Education of Young Children
Tuition: $355 per credit (lower division courses), $510 per credit (upper division courses)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: High school diploma
Credit requirements: 124 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students will be required to complete two practicum experiences.

Program Length
Program options: Part-time; courses are taught in a seven-week accelerated format.
Program length: N/A
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: December 1 (fall early action admission), January 15 (fall priority admission), March 2 (regular decision admission), August 1 (rolling admission), December 1 (spring admission)
GPA: N/A
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (714) 668-6130
Department email: gpsadmissions@vanguard.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

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17 Florida State College at Jacksonville 48.04 2/5 35% Jacksonville, FL

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers an online BS in early childhood education that builds upon the school's associate degree program, both of which are offered through the School of Liberal Arts, Communication, and Education. Graduates from the school's early childhood education degree online program are qualified to teach in grades PK-3. They are also prepared to earn the Florida Department of Education Professional Educator Certificate, an ESOL endorsement, and the Department of Children and Families Staff Credentials, all of which can open doors to careers in a variety of public and private educational settings.

This 120-credit program requires students to develop a professional portfolio, pass three Florida teacher-certification exams, and participate in a semester-long internship. For this practicum, students are assigned a mentor and take on real-world study at an accredited primary school. The curriculum is broken down into 21 credits in general education, 63 credits in associate degree coursework, and 36 credits in the ECE concentration. Nine credits are reserved for the following required courses: introductory courses on education, diversity for teachers, and educational technology. Finally, students must enroll in upper-division courses on topics like cognitive experiences for young children and teaching English language learners.

Online courses and remote testing services are accessible via Blackboard. FSCJ allows students to earn credits from past experiences through prior learning assessments. Common examples of qualifying past experiences include industry certifications and certain postsecondary adult vocational programs. The school also offers various proficiency exams that help determine a student's knowledge in certain topics, which can lead to course exemptions and ultimately reduce the amount of time it takes to earn their degree. Applications for this online early childhood education bachelor's degree are accepted year-round. All online students at FSCJ pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. However, active-duty military personnel and veterans qualify for a special discounted tuition rate.


Program Overview
Department: School of Liberal Arts, Communication, and Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Tuition: $1,399 per term (in-state), $4,792 per term (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: FSC’s Associate of Science in Early Childhood Management, or an Associate of Arts degree followed by FSC’s introduction to education, introduction to diversity for teachers, and introduction to educational technology courses.
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students will complete 150 hours of fieldwork.

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: June 1 (Fall admission), October 1 (Spring admission), February 1 (Spring admission)
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative associate degree GPA
Standardized tests: Florida Teacher Certification Examination-General Knowledge Test
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (904) 646-2300
Department email: admissions@fscj.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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18 University of Toledo 43.26 3/5 46% Toledo, OH

The University of Toledo offers a 64-credit ECE major that can be completed in two years of full-time study. The program is offered through the Judith Herb College of Education and is accredited through the CAEP. The bachelor's of education in early childhood education prepares graduates for careers in teaching or administration, or to continue their studies in a master's or doctorate degree.

This online early childhood education bachelor's degree combines theory and research-based practice and is taught by professionals who are active in local, state, and national schools and education agencies. The program is offered in an accelerated format and does not lead to licensure. The curriculum includes coursework on a variety of topics, including creating effective learning environments, early literacy, language, and social studies, supporting ECE science and math, and meeting the needs of young children with disabilities. Students enroll in 16 credits per semester, with nine credits of online coursework and seven credits dedicated to fieldwork. The ECE curriculum emphasizes developing educational leaders who form learning relationships with students and partnerships with students' families and community resources. The program's guiding principles include recognizing that learning is individualized and that curricula should be delivered in a way that meets every child's needs during the critical early years of their education.

ECE candidates are assigned both a success coach and an academic advisor during admissions and have access to a wide variety of student resources, including online tutoring, the library database, and a dedicated IT help desk. Students can chat online with admissions coordinators and receive personal evaluations to help simplify the transfer process. This program is only available to students who reside in participating NC-SARA states. Applicants must have an associate degree and be employed with a minimum of 20 hours per week to be considered.


Program Overview
Department: The Judith Herb College of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Tuition: $335 per credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Associate degree in early childhood education or child development
Credit requirements: 64 credit hours
Field education requirements: Each semester will include approximately seven hours of fieldwork

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: Two years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: July 1st
GPA: Minimum 2.7 cumulative associate degree GPA
Standardized tests: N/A
Work experience: Applicants must be employed at least 20 hours per week at an early childhood education facility.

Contact
Department phone: (855) 327-5695
Department email: onlineadmissions@utoledo.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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19 Lewis-Clark State College 40.00 3/5 26% Lewiston, ID

Founded in 1893, LCSC offers 90 degree and certificate programs and more than 370 online courses. The school is home to just under 4,000 students, representing 25 states and 34 nations. LCSC offers nine distance learning programs, including the 120-credit BS in early childhood development.

Offered through the Business Technology and Service division, this early childhood education degree online program emphasizes the physical, mental, social, and emotional development of children in the early years of their lives through age five. This program integrates hands-on fieldwork with online coursework, with students spending an average of eight to 10 hours at an approved practicum site each week. This approach allows graduates to leave LCSC with a good amount of real-world experience, which can help them easily find employment.

LCSC's online bachelor's degree in early childhood education teaches students how to learn and practice techniques in observing young children in the classroom, then integrate these assessments into their weekly lesson plan. They also learn how to set up a learning environment that is appropriate for a diverse group of students. As part of the curriculum, students will create and teach a singular lesson plan each week under the supervision of an assigned mentor. Lesson plans are submitted through Blackboard, and students are expected to read and evaluate lesson plans submitted by other students as part of their coursework requirements.

Distance learners have access to Read & Write literacy software for English language learners, as well as online library services and Blackboard technical support. Applicants who are over the age of 21 and who do not have current ACT or SAT scores must take LCSC placements exams for math and English.


Program Overview
Department: Business Technology and Service Division
Program Name: Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
Available concentrations: N/A
Accrediting body: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Tuition: $6,120 per year (in-state), $17,620 per year (out-of-state), $9,652 per year (Asotin County resident)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: N/A
Credit requirements: 120 credit hours
Field education requirements: Students will spend 8-10 hours at a practicum site each week.

Program Length
Program options: N/A
Program length: More than 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: August 8 (Fall admission), January 8 (Spring admission)
GPA: N/A
Standardized tests: SAT, ACT
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (208) 792-2466
Department email: bts@lcsc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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20 Pacific Oaks College 38.26 3/5 40% Pasadena, CA

In 1964, Pacific Oaks became one of the first schools in the nation to participate in the Head Start training program. Today, the school offers a BA in early childhood education degree with unique specializations like trauma studies and STEAM, which integrates art and design with engineering and math programs.

Students pursuing their early childhood education degree online may also choose to pursue coursework for a multiple-subject credential, which qualifies students to work with students in both general and special education settings. Graduates leave Pacific Oaks ready to design and teach in engaging and developmentally-appropriate learning spaces for children from birth through age eight. Students learn how to choose, create, and implement curriculum and teaching methodologies that are inclusive and adaptive to a diverse group of learners. The program allows students to transfer up to 60 credits from a regionally accredited program towards their degree. Students may also be eligible to earn credit from prior learning experiences. Pacific Oaks encourages transfer students to apply for an evaluation, which can allow them to earn up to 24 credits from past workplace experience.

The program can be completed in just two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study. Classes are typically offered in seven-week sessions and are accessible through Canvas. Distance learners have access to a wide variety of student support services, including the online library, the Pacific Oaks bookstore, and ComPsych Student Assistance. Applicants must hold an associate’s degree or higher in the areas of child development or ECE. They must also have studied in a non-vocation area of study and earned a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered. Pacific Oaks is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is authorized to offer online programs in Alaska, California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Utah.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Available concentrations: Trauma, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math)
Accrediting body: The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and Universities Commission and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Tuition: $808 per credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: An associate degree or 60 transferable college credits.
Credit requirements: 60 credit hours
Field education requirements: N/A

Program Length
Program options: Full-time and part-time
Program length: Two to four years
Program start dates: Fall 1 and 2, Spring 1 and 2, Summer 1 and 2

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
Standardized tests: N/A
Work experience: N/A

Contact
Department phone: (800) 201-2296
Department email: admissions@pacificoaks.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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An early childhood education degree online program allows you to gain the education and training you need to be successful in this engaging field. There are many programs available, and most allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree partially or completely online. Below is some general information on what these programs typically involve.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Birth to Grade 2 This concentration prepares students to teach and nurture young children, from birth to second grade. Students learn how to provide a strong foundation for children during their formative years, promoting problem-solving and critical-thinking skills at a young age. K-2 teacher, preschool teacher, childcare director, child and family social worker, guidance counselor
Youth Development Students focusing on this concentration learn the skills, theories, and techniques necessary for success working with young children and their families. Key areas of study include child advocacy, administration, and youth-focused program planning and implementation Social worker, guidance counselor, recreation worker, social service manager
Special Education This concentration allows students to learn how to best fit the needs of young children with special needs. The concentration focuses on the variability of how children develop and how early childhood educators can best serve the diverse needs of young students Special education teacher, early intervention specialist

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Depending on the online early childhood education bachelor’s degree you choose, there may be different courses required as you complete the program. However, there are a few common courses that can be found in most early childhood education programs online. The following is a sample of courses you might expect to take:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood: This course provides a baseline for future coursework in early childhood education. Topics explored include historical and current best practices, the evolution of teaching methods, and the theories that drive the work of professionals in the field.
  • Child Growth and Development: Students explore the different factors that affect young people’s physical and mental development, including health, nutrition, and level of activity. Students may also discover how a child’s family and community relationships impact their development.
  • Children, Families, and Cultures: This course focuses on diversity and how families and communities of different backgrounds view early childhood education and related issues. Students explore best practices in early childhood education as they relate to multiculturalism and diversity.
  • Early Childhood Educational Psychology: Through this early childhood education degree online course, students will learn about theories of teaching, learning, and motivation, and how they affect children’s mental, emotional, physical, and socio-cultural development.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION?

Most online early childhood education bachelor’s degree programs can be completed in four years or fewer. Whether students attend full time or part time and when certain courses are available affect program length. Programs may differ in terms of how students move through their required coursework. Some feature a cohort learning model, which places individuals in groups with other students who all move through the program together. Other online bachelor’s in early childhood education programs allow students to take courses at their own pace.

Although different early childhood education online degree programs have varying requirements, most involve students successfully completing about 120 credit hours of general education and major-focused courses. Students may also need to complete a practicum, in which they work alongside a professional in a real-world classroom setting.

When researching the top online colleges for early childhood education, one important consideration is the accreditation status of the program or institution. Schools should be either regionally or nationally accredited by an independent agency. Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious and comprehensive. Nationally accredited colleges may offer lower tuition rates. It’s advisable to avoid programs that have not been accredited at either a regional or national level.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides accreditation specifically for online schools for early childhood education. NAEYC collaborates with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation to ensure the efficacy of bachelor’s and master’s programs through a comprehensive peer review program. It maintains accreditation status on 256 different institutions in 37 states and two U.S. territories.

Overseeing the activities of the various accrediting agencies across the country are the U.S. Department of Education and the nonprofit Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The Department of Education maintains stringent standards for all federally recognized accreditors, while CHEA includes more than 3,000 college and universities throughout the United States. The organization currently oversees roughly 60 recognized accrediting agencies. To find out if an early childhood education degree online program is accredited through a reputable agency, click here.

Job Placement

ECE graduates enjoy more favorable job placement rates than students who earn degrees in other fields. A recent survey by the National Center of Education Statistics looked at the employment outcomes for 25-29-year-old college graduates in various professional fields. Using data from this survey, the following table compares the unemployment rates of education degree-holders against the rates for college graduates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in other common fields of study.

Undergraduate Degree Field Unemployment Rate for 25- to 29-Year-Old Degree Recipients
Average for All Major Fields of Study 4.8%
Elementary Education 2.9%
General Education 3.3%
Education (Other) 3.3%
General Business 4.1%
General Engineering 4.4%
Communications/Communication Technologies 4.8%
Marketing/Marketing Research 5.0%
History 5.8%
Psychology 5.8%
Criminal Justice/Fire Protection 6.2%

Source:’Employment Outcomes of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients’ by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

As the data table indicates, the unemployment rates for all three education-related majors were 1.9% to 1.5% lower than the national average. And due to the steady demand for qualified educators in public and private schools across the country, employment experts predict that unemployment rates will remain steady for ECE graduates and other professional teachers in the years to come.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in ECE earn, on average, $30,700 as entry-level employees and $37,500 after 10 years on the job. Comparatively, those who complete their education with an associate degree in ECE earn $23,200 as entry-level employees and $28,900 after 10 years. This amounts to a wage premium of roughly 29% to 32% for ECE bachelor’s-holders. Keep in mind that your salary expectations for specific positions should vary based on a number of factors, including a position’s specific job title, location, and your experience.

The following table looks at career growth rates for five of the most common ECE professions.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Early Childhood Educator (ECE) $26,000 $30,000 $34,000 $39,000
Kindergarten Teacher $34,735 $40,046 $43,191 $47,505
Preschool Teacher $26,670 $29,076 $29,417 $30,215
Special Education Teacher (Preschool, Kindergarten or Elementary) $39,973 $43,926 $49,929 $54,788
Preschool Director $35,512 $36,663 $39,410 $40,844

Source: PayScale

Of the five occupations listed on the table, special education teachers at the preschool, kindergarten, and elementary levels saw the highest career growth, a salary increase of 37.1% between the entry-level and late-career stages. Kindergarten teachers followed closely behind with a salary growth rate of 36.8%, and ECE educators saw their earnings rise by 33.3% after 20 years on the job. Salary growth was slower for preschool personnel; preschool teachers saw their salaries grow by 13.3% over 20 years, while preschool director salaries rose 15.0% over that same time period.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in ECE are qualified for dozens of jobs ― including positions at public elementary schools if they have also completed their state-specific licensure requirements. Below, we covered four of the most common careers for ECE graduates.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: Teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school levels focus on building core skills and knowledge in subjects like reading and writing, mathematics, science, and music. All 50 states require kindergarten and elementary teachers at public schools to obtain a teaching license or certification, and a background check is usually mandated as well.

Special Education Teachers: Special education teachers teach and support students with physical or cognitive disabilities, as well as behavioral disorders. At most public schools, special education teachers lead independent classrooms where students can receive individualized attention. Special education teachers at public schools must obtain a teaching license in all 50 states.

Preschool Teachers: Preschool teachers instruct children ages five and under. Since preschool is designed to prepare students for kindergarten, these teachers lead lessons involving core subjects like phonics, listening comprehension, and basic math.

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors: These directors oversee teachers and other personnel who work at pre-kindergarten childcare facilities. These facilities are usually located in either public buildings or private residences. In many states, public and private childcare center directors must become certified and receive comprehensive CPR and first aid training.

Profession Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $54,550 6% (+87,800 jobs)
Preschool Teachers $28,570 7% (+29,600 jobs)
Special Education Teachers $56,800 6% (+28,100 jobs)
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors $45,670 7% (+4,200 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education go on to pursue a master’s degree in this field. For more information about opportunities for grad students, please visit our Guide to Online Early Childhood Education Master’s Programs.

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning as much as you can about early childhood education is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for ECE educators. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children: The NAEYC offers a range of supportive services for professionals who teach and assist children from birth through age eight. Member benefits include discounted books and other resources, complimentary magazine and newsletter subscriptions, and access to ‘Members Only’ areas of the organization’s website.
  • National Child Care Association: The NCCA is an advocacy-driven organization that fights for classroom equality, safe learning environments, and educational funding. The website features a resource library, discussion forums, and links to webinars and continuing education opportunities.
  • Association for Early Learning Leaders: Founded in 1984, the AELL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to childcare center directors and administrators across the the globe. The website offers a job board, online training and webinar programs, continuing education courses, and other professional development opportunities.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Best Online Early Childhood Education Programs of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
3 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
4 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
5 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
6 Vanguard University of Southern California Costa Mesa, CA
7 Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, AR
8 National University La Jolla, CA
9 Notre Dame College Cleveland, OH
10 Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston, ID
11 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
12 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
13 Mayvill State University Mayville, ND
14 Granite State College Concord, NH