Understanding the complexities of cognitive, social, physical, and emotional growth is critical to helping children succeed. An online associate in child development is useful for individuals interested in pursuing work within the field of teaching, psychology, and administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of preschool teacher jobs is projected to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024; this is about as fast as the national average over that period. Additionally, jobs for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are expected to grow by about 6%, while jobs for school counselor positions are expected to grow by 8%.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Southwest Virginia Community College

Richlands, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

Southwest Virginia Community College serves four counties in the state. The two-year college provides associate degrees in fields such as business, criminal justice, and education both online and on campus in Richland, Virginia. The online AAS in early childhood development is designed for learners interested in working with young children as as paraprofessionals in schools and other settings.

The 62-credit online child development associate degree can be completed in two years. Asynchronous coursework provides students with the basic skills and knowledge expected of early childhood paraprofessionals. Participants also acquire supervised, practical experience working with young children in early childhood settings.

The curriculum includes general education in subjects such as history, biology, English composition, and children's literature. Learners begin their program with a course that acquaints them with effective study skills and ways to develop effective listening skills, interpersonal relations, and self-discovery. Courses in the major include developmental psychology; child health and nutrition; language arts for young children; and early childhood programs, school, and social change.

Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED, and the Virginia Placement Test.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
Tuition: $154/credit in-state; $331/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: VPT

Contact
Phone: (276) 964-7362
Email: kim.austin@sw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

Florida State College at Jacksonville operates several campuses and centers throughout Duval and Nassau Counties. Each year the school serves about 50,000 students who pursue associate and bachelor's degrees and other credentials across numerous disciplines. FSCJ also ranks among the nation's most affordable four-year public colleges.

The 60-credit associate in science in early childhood management prepares paraprofessionals to work with young children in child development centers and other facilities. Faculty train all students in developmentally appropriate practices that shape children's cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. The curriculum includes general education in subjects such as math, English composition, and psychology.

Participants acquire expertise in early childhood management through courses such as child growth and development, early literacy for young children, observing and recording child behavior, and child and adolescent psychology. Learners also learn to work with special needs students by outlining effective strategies for interaction with families, and highlighting the agencies that provide assistance to this population. Students can use elective credits to examine areas such as educational technology and childcare center management.

Students in this child development associate degree online can transfer to FSCJ's BS in early childhood education or a similar program offered at another state college. Successful completion of the program qualifies learners for Florida Department of Children and Families’ certifications such as the Active Birth through Five Child Care Credential. FSCJ boasts a 95% job placement and student transfer rate to four-year colleges. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Early Childhood Management
Tuition: $219/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 5 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (904) 633-8182
Email: eceinformation@fscj.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

George C Wallace State Community College

Hanceville, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Established in 1966, Wallace State Community College is one of the largest schools in Alabama's community college system. The school enrolls 7,000 students in 50 majors that lead to a variety of degrees and certificates. Wallace State employs the latest technologies with classrooms that use interactive SmartBoards and distance learning options that rely on virtual classrooms.

The 61-63 credit AAS in child development prepares learners for roles as paraprofessionals in family day cares, Head Start, and other programs. The curriculum includes general education requirements in English, math, and general psychology. The child development major provides an introduction to the field of early care and education for young children. Learners also acquire proficiencies in methods and materials used to teach young children, ways to ensure their health and safety, and children’s literature and language development.

Students also learn to foster children's creativity by developing and implementing appropriate programs in the language arts, science, art, and movement. A supervised practical experience culminates the child development associate online program as students participate in a minimum of 90 hours of supervised experience in a program that serves young children. Students develop a final portfolio that outlines their training and experiences during this course.

Wallace State features small classrooms and outstanding job placement rates. Admission requires a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA on all high school and college work, and ACCUPLACER scores for writing, reading, and math.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $258/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 61-63 credits
Program Length: 5 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (256) 352-8383
Email: marcie.hill@wallacestate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

North Central Missouri College

Trenton, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

Founded in 1925, North Central Missouri College is the second oldest public community college in the state. NCMC offers programs across three campuses and online, including associate degrees in majors such as business and technology, nursing, and education.

The 60-credit AAS in early childhood development requires general education in subjects such as language and literacy, American history, and national government. Major coursework includes health, nutrition, and safety; observation and assessment; organization and administration; and preschool literature.

During a capstone course, participants create a portfolio that connects their practice with standards established by the state and those of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This course also prepares graduates for their careers by addressing resume development, interviewing skills, and the soft skills employers want in their hires.

Students supplement child development associate online courses with a supervised practicum that requires a minimum of 150 hours in a Head Start program or classroom setting. During this time, students implement curriculum in coordination with a supervising teacher, and receive real-world expertise in the use of appropriate teaching strategies for preschool children.

Faculty designed the program to accept no dual or transferrable credits, and presume that students do not need to complete developmental studies courses. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED and prerequisite courses as needed.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
Tuition: $159/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: (660) 359-3948
Email: dstaddie@mail.ncmissouri.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Founded in 1870, Ohio State University is one of the nation's top public colleges. The school boasts campuses and research centers throughout the state and online, and students can customize their education with nearly 200 majors, some available completely online.

Aspiring early childhood educators enroll in the 60-credit AA in early childhood development and education, which prepares learners to work with children from birth to age five in childcare and preschool settings. Participants complete the degree completely online as they learn from some of the nation's leading researchers in child development and education. Students also explore the factors that impact child development, including biology, family dynamics, and the community in which they reside.

This early childhood degree plan provides learners a well-rounded liberal arts education in subjects such as English, math, literature, and history. Courses in the major explore topics such as psychological perspectives on education, young children with exceptionalities, child development, and family development. Additionally, students learn to develop age-appropriate curriculum and promote early language and literacy development. The program concludes with a field experience at an accredited school for early childhood education.

The curriculum of the online child development associate degree equips learners to identify normal and abnormal child development, incorporate evidence-based techniques to promote children's development, partner with families to effect good outcomes, and comply with educational regulations and guidelines. Successful completion of the degree leads to Associate Licensure in Pre-Kindergarten Education in Ohio. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Early Childhood Development and Education
Tuition: $493/credit in-state; $1,327/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (614) 292-9261
Email: ehe-ugss@osu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Dakota County Technical College

Rosemount, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

Established in 1970, Dakota County Technical College has prepared thousands of students for in-demand jobs in the region. The Minnesota-based institution enrolls about 2,200 students across 55 associate degrees, including the 60-credit AS in early childhood and youth development.

The program prepares graduates to transfer to a four-year college to obtain a bachelor's degree, but the AS also meets the state's educational requirements for childcare teachers and assistant teachers. The AS requires 30 credits in general education in subjects such as English, history, and interpersonal communication. Core courses introduce areas such as child growth and development, how to guide children's behaviors, observation and assessment, and curriculum planning.

DCTC also requires a course that examines the needs of learners with differing abilities. Participants learn to integrate strategies that support anti-bias in early childhood learning; differentiate between normal and exceptional development; adapt the curriculum to address the needs of children with differing abilities; and work with families and resources in the community to aid this population.

During a practicum, students demonstrate their ability to translate theory into practice under guided supervision; participants design and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences that promote young students' development and learning. Admission to the online child development associate degree requires a high school diploma or GED and the ACCUPLACER.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Early Childhood and Youth Development
Tuition: $184/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (651) 423-8655
Email: online@dctc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

Parkersburg, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

West Virginia University at Parkersburg enrolls nearly 2,500 students from seven counties each year. Many learners pursue an associate degree in order to transfer to senior colleges in the state and elsewhere. WVU Parkersburg's teacher preparation program includes a 60-credit AAS in child development online. The program prepares future educators who can implement age-appropriate activities that foster young children's cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development.

The curriculum of this child development associate degree begins with coursework such as an introduction to early education, family and the child, and curriculum strategies for early childhood education. By the second semester participants examine more advanced subjects like teaching young children with special needs, and observation and assessment strategies. Several courses also require placement in a child development setting, where students participate in a 250-hour supervised, hands-on experience. The program concludes with a semester-long capstone project that incorporates all of the learned concepts.

This online associate in child development gives degree-seekers multiple program options, from certificates in the field to an online BAS in child development. In order to graduate from the AAS in child development in two years, students complete about 15 credits each semester.

The school offers affordable tuition, and students pursuing an early childhood degree may qualify for Pathway Advancement Scholarships. Ohio residents pay in-state tuition. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $211/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (304) 424-8000 x430
Email: ccalver1@wvup.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Central Texas College

Killeen, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 16%

Central Texas College is a community college with global reach. The school operates more than 150 locations near or on military sites, and provides distance learners with a growing catalog of degrees. CTC also maintains articulation agreements with four-year colleges around the country, providing learners with options for seamless transitions into baccalaureate degrees.

The 60-credit AAS in child development provides learners the option of a fully online or blended curriculum. The program combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on experiences so learners can meet the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical developmental needs of young children up to age five. Coursework includes an introduction to educating young children, child guidance, children with special needs, and curriculum resources for early childhood programs.

The remaining three semesters of the online child development associate degree explore topics such as the families, school, and the community; child growth and development; administration of programs for children; and emergent literacy for early childhood. Some child development courses require a lab component.

The program concludes with a 192-hour internship as a childcare provider or assistant with children at centers accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Department of Defense child development centers, or CTC's very own Child Development Center/Lab School.

CTC students pay affordable tuition, and admission requires a high school diploma or GED.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $90/credit in-district; $113/credit in-state; $235/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: TSIA

Contact
Phone: (254) 526-1296
Email: eaglesoncall@ctcd.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Lord Fairfax Community College

Middletown, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

LFCC's online child development associate degree prepares individuals for fulfilling careers caring for and educating young children. The program readies graduates to move on to a bachelor's degree or pursue jobs teaching children in prekindergarten through third grade. The college maintains an articulation agreement with James Madison University to facilitate a seamless transition to a bachelor's degree.

The four-semester child development associate online program includes 65-67 credits, and most full-time students graduate in two years. The core curriculum features courses on health safety, nutrition education, language arts for young children, child psychology, and early childhood programs. Students also participate in two, three-credit observation and participation experiences, during which they learn from practicing early childhood development professionals.

In the final semester, students engage in a seminar that allows them to apply what they learned in their courses to a real-world project. The program uses a cohort model, with learners taking classes in a predetermined order. Individuals interested in the career studies certificate in early childhood education need to complete the first semester only.

Distance learners have access to a digital library, academic advising, and technical assistance. All online learning takes place via Canvas, a respected learning management platform. To apply to LFCC, prospective students submit their high school transcripts or official GED report.

LFCC features four campuses in Middletown, Luray, and Warrenton, Virginia. The college charges tuition on a per-credit basis, with Virginia residents receiving a discounted rate. LFCC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
Tuition: $154/credit in-state; $331/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 65-67 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (540) 868-7105
Email: admissions@lfcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Western Oklahoma State College

Altus, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 25%

Western Oklahoma State College is the oldest two-year college in the state, with programs available at numerous sites throughout Oklahoma and online. WOSC's catalog of associate degrees include the AAS in child development, which prepares learners to help young children in their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development.

The 60-credit degree meets the stands established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This child development associate degree online readies graduates to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, rather than transferring to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree. The degree's limited number of general education credits include history, math, and psychology.

The child development associate degree online's speciality courses examine subjects such as the role of the child development professional, behavior and guidance, planning curriculum for young children, and socialization and support of young children. The degree also examines special populations such as those with special needs and neglected and abused children.

Additionally, students complete a 10 hour field experience course that explores the development of appropriate activities to engage young children's cognitive abilities in the natural, physical, and social sciences. During the last semester, students demonstrate their integration and mastery of techniques and strategies by participating in a practicum at a field site. The AAS also requires 11 credits of support courses that may include six credits of electives fulfilled by a current child development associate credential.

Admission requires a high school diploma or GED.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $420/course
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT, ACT, or COMPASS

Contact
Phone: (580) 477-7926
Email: melissa.smith@wosc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Community College of Allegheny County

Pittsburgh, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 14%

CCAC offers an online AS in early education and child development that prepares students for entry-level positions in schools and childcare centers. The program also provides opportunities for individuals to move into a bachelor's program once they complete their associate degree.

The program takes four semesters and 60-63 credits to complete. Core classes cover subjects like infant and toddler development, preschool development, family systems, and working with children with special needs. Students also learn about language, literacy, and literature in early childhood programming. Additionally, they take part in observation and practicum experiences, learning from and working directly with early childhood professionals in the field.

Thanks to the program's participation in the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center, students can seamlessly move into four-year programs at one of six universities throughout the state. CCAC also holds similar articulation agreements with Grand Canyon University, Robert Morris University, and Westminster College.

Applicants to the online child development associate degree program must provide official high school transcripts or GED scores and take a placement test. They then meet with an academic adviser to register for classes. Transfer students must provide transcripts from previously attended postsecondary institutions.

CCAC's distance learners benefit from counseling services, tutoring, digital library resources, technology assistance, and career development and planning services. Allegheny County residents pay a special discounted tuition rate on a per-credit basis.

Community College of Allegheny County, located in Pittsburgh, is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college also features campuses in Braddock Hills, Monroeville, Oakdale, and Washington, Pennsylvania.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Early Education and Child Development
Tuition: $113/credit in-county; $226/credit in-state; $339/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60-63 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (412) 237-2511
Email: admissions@ccac.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Merced College

Merced, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 25%

Merced, located in California's San Joaquin Valley, delivers an online AA in child development and an AS-T in early childhood education. The school also offers early intervention assistant, families in crisis, infant/toddler care, and school-age care certificate programs. The online child development associate degree program also works well for individuals who aim to enter a four-year program.

Students take classes on subjects like child growth and development; child, family, and community services; teaching in a diverse society; and health, safety, and nutrition for young children. They also take part in an observation experience, allowing them to learn skills and techniques from established professionals in a real-world setting. Of the 60 total credits to earn a child development associate degree online, 24 credits focus specifically on child development topics.

To apply as an incoming freshman, applicants must provide high school transcripts or GED scores and complete a placement questionnaire. New students meet with an enrollment counselor before enrolling in classes.

Merced's distance learners can access resources like a digital library, online tutoring, a math lab, and Study Central, which offers experienced peer guides and faculty who help students remain on track to graduation. The school also provides an Interdisciplinary Literacy Center with one-on-one peer mentoring, faculty tutoring, and computer-directed learning modules to help students build key skills. Additionally, the college delivers career development services, tech support, and a veterans resource center.

Merced College is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Child Development
Tuition: $46/credit in-state; $261/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (209) 386-6636
Email: diana.romero@mccd.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

13

Grayson College

Denison, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 23%

Grayson College students can embark on an online child development associate degree that empowers them to deliver exceptional care and educational experiences to children from birth to age eight. The 60-credit program prepares students for careers serving in childcare centers, preschools, and Head Start, while allowing them to eventually move into a bachelor's degree program.

Eligible applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED, and meet Texas Success Initiative program standards in reading and writing. Applicants may demonstrate competency in these areas through a placement exam or by submitting ACT or SAT scores.

The program's core curriculum includes courses on child guidance, serving children with special needs, wellness for young children, and developing curriculum for early childhood programs. Students also take a class on early childhood literacy, which examines theories and best practices in teaching children language skills using a play-based curriculum. Before graduating from this child development associate online program, students must complete a capstone experience, which includes a final exam.

In addition to the associate degree, Grayson offers certificates on child development administration, child development occupational skills, and child development associate training skills.

The school's student support services include peer mentoring, academic advising, tutoring, career services, a digital library, an IT help desk, and assistance with financial aid and transferring credits. Students may also work with individualized coaches to help them achieve academic success and receive financial and economic literacy guidance.

Grayson College, located in Denison, Texas, is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $85/credit in-district; $123/credit in-state; $169/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or TSI

Contact
Phone: (903) 463-8604
Email: recruiting@grayson.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Bevill State Community College

Jasper, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

Bevill State offers three child development associate and certificate online programs, including an Associate of Applied Science degree and both short- and long-term certificate programs. Students learn key concepts in working with young children, along with CPR, safety, nutrition, and first aid skills.

The 62-credit associate degree program includes 25 credits of child development-specific coursework, covering subjects like children's creative experiences, literature and language development, program planning, health and safety, and infant and toddler education. A three-credit course on families and communities in early care focuses on working with diverse populations and explores how early childhood professionals assist children who come from a variety of backgrounds.

Online child development associate degree students also take part in a supervised practical experience, where they receive at least 90 hours of real-world training in an approved early childhood setting. This experience enables students to observe established professionals as they complete the curriculum.

Distance students may access a variety of resources, including academic tutoring, career development assistance, financial literacy counseling, and financial aid advising. Staff members also help students apply to four-year postsecondary programs.

To apply to Bevill State's child development associate online program, prospective students must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Incoming students also must take a placement exam, which the school may waive if the applicant has already taken the ACT or SAT. New students also meet with an academic adviser before registering for classes.

Bevill State Community College is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school maintains campuses in the Alabama communities of Jasper, Carrollton, Fayette, Hamilton, and Sumiton.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $258/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or ACCUPLACER

Contact
Phone: (800) 648-3271
Email: janina.nobles@bscc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Lewis-Clark State College

Lewiston, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 28%

LCSC's online child development associate degree program provides the skills, knowledge, and training students need to serve as effective professionals in the field. The program emphasizes cognitive, social-emotional, and language development, and the motor-physical and self-help skills of young children. Many students go on to complete a bachelor's degree, while others enter careers as early childhood assistants, parent educators, home-based education providers, and special education teaching aides.

The curriculum within this 62-credit program includes courses like guidance and discipline; children, families, and communities; infant and toddler development; creating a sound learning environment; and health, safety, and nutrition. A cognitive development course helps students understand how to help children build key skills from an early age. Additionally, students complete nine credits through internships, through which they visit early childhood settings and learn from instructors and care providers.

Although students can take classes in an order they see fit, the program recommends a specific plan of study. This plan works well for individuals who wish to move through the program in cohorts made up of their fellow learners.

Distance learners can access many of the same services as their on-campus counterparts. Available resources include counseling, disability services, a writing center, career exploration, and veterans' services.

Incoming freshmen applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED report, and undergo a criminal background check. They also must secure CPR certification and provide proof of current immunizations and a recent physical exam.

Lewis-Clark State College, located in Lewiston, Idaho, is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
Tuition: $3,309/semester
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (208) 792-2210
Email: admissions@lcsc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Murray State College

Tishomingo, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 27%

MSC, located in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, offers a child development associate online program that prepares students to serve as Head Start teachers, childcare leaders, home childcare providers, and paraprofessional assistants.

The distance program's 24 credits of core classes include curriculum planning, child care center administration, creative arts for children, and health, safety, and nutrition. Students may choose from electives in cognitive activities, family and community relations, teaching children with special needs, and language and physical skills development.

Although students may take classes in an order that best suits their needs and schedule, the program does provide a suggested course sequence. Academic advisers help distance learners choose classes and plan out their degree program to ensure they graduate in two years or less. Students complete 63 total credits to secure an online child development associate degree.

To apply to MSC as a freshman, prospective students provide ACT or SAT scores, along with high school transcripts or GED scores. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA at their previous college or university.

MSC's distance learners can access a variety of support services, including academic advising, tutoring, career planning, study skills development, financial literacy, and financial aid assistance. The college also maintains a veterans' service center to assist with GI Bill® benefits and other needs for military members and their families.

Murray State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA or Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Tuition: $4,116/year in-state; $8,708/year out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 63-65 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (580) 387-7000
Email: mfactor@mscok.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

East Central College

Union, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 21%

ECC students can embark on a 61-credit online AAS in early childhood development degree program that emphasizes technology, educational strategies, and best practices in working with children up to eight years old. The program trains students to serve as child development professionals, preparing them for a variety of entry-level jobs or four-year degree studies.

Students take classes on human development, serving children with special needs, preschool curriculum development, and literature for children. They also take part in a three-credit capstone or practicum, completing a final project or spending time learning from real-world early childhood professionals.

The curriculum enables students to transfer credits earned at ECC to nearly all four-year colleges and universities across the United States. Thus, it provides an ideal option for individuals who want to eventually become preschool or elementary school teachers -- or various other careers requiring a bachelor's degree.

Online classes use an asynchronous format, allowing students to have increased flexibility when complete assignments. All digital learning takes place via Moodle, a widely used learning management system.

Distance learners can access a variety of resources to help them on their academic journeys. ECC's services include academic advising, career planning, workforce development, and digital library resources. The school's Learning Center features a writing lab and math tutoring, both available online.

East Central College, located in the eastern Missouri community of Union, is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Eligible applicants to the child development associate online program must possess a high school diploma or GED and take a placement test.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
Tuition: $102/credit in-district; $147/credit in-state; $218/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT

Contact
Phone: (636) 584-6923
Email: mary.huxel@eastcentral.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Point University

West Point, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 27%

Point University's online child development associate degree trains students to deliver interactive instruction and activities to young children in preschool and Head Start settings. The 100% online program focuses on establishing environments that encourage children's emotional, mental, physical, and social development. Graduates typically move on to a bachelor's degree program or entry-level jobs as daycare employees, community workers, preschool staff, or child advocacy professionals.

In addition to general education courses, students explore subjects like principles and methods in teaching, educational psychology, and introduction to academic technologies. Students also engage in a Biblical studies component, which includes classes on the drama of scripture and spiritual formations.

The school's distance courses feature an asynchronous format, with no set login times to view lectures, complete assignments, participate in discussions, and take exams. Most students can complete the program's 60 total credits in two years when attending full time.

All Point University distance learners pay the same tuition on a per-credit basis, no matter where they live. Students also receive access to services like free online tutoring, career services, personal counseling, and study skills development.

Prospective students must submit official high school transcripts and/or any previously attended postsecondary institutions and must complete the FAFSA application before enrolling in classes. More than 90% of the school's students receive some form of financial aid.

Located in West Point, Georgia, Point University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Child Development
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (706) 993-9559
Email: pointonline@point.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Cisco College

Abilene, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 24%

The Cisco College childhood development and early childhood associate degree program features a mix of online and hybrid classes, with in-person components taking place at the school's campus in Abilene, Texas. The four-semester, two-year program encompasses 60 credits, including 42 credits of major-focused coursework.

The AAS degree plan includes courses on child guidance, serving children with special needs, creative arts for early childhood learning, and emergency literacy. Students also learn how to develop basic curricula, encourage wellness for young children, and work with children from diverse backgrounds. The program includes two practicums through which students learn real-world skills and techniques in an actual early childhood setting.

The program's hybrid model means students can take up to three child development associate online courses each semester. The remaining courses consist of evening or weekend classes on campus.

Cisco College offers comprehensive academic support services, including tutors and an early alert academic intervention program that helps students in danger of falling significantly behind in their studies. The school also provides seminars, workshops, and an academic recovery program that provides a clear improvement plan for individuals who need extra help.

Additionally, distance learners benefit from a writing center, a digital library, personal counseling, and academic advising.

First-time students must provide high school transcripts or GED scores along with answers to a residency questionnaire. Transfer applicants must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended.

Cisco College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development and Early Childhood
Tuition: $118/credit in-district; $158/credit in-state; $194/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: TSI

Contact
Phone: (325) 794-4505
Email: debra.slaton@cisco.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

20

Blinn College

Brenham, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 10%

Blinn College District offers programs on five campuses and a virtual college. The school, located in Texas, enrolls about 19,500 students. Blinn transfers more students than any other community college in Texas. The school's diverse selection of online degrees include the AAS in child development, a 60-credit degree program with courses that transfer to any public college in the state.

Students in the AAS train for positions as teachers in early childhood programs and childcare facilities. The degree plan includes a limited number of general education courses covering subjects such as math and the social or behavioral sciences. The major begins with an introduction to the field of educating young children, and advances to child growth and development, curriculum resources, and wellness and the young child.

In the second year, students acquire proficiencies that include observing and assessing young children and accommodating children with special needs. Participants also learn to integrate creative arts, math, and science into the early childhood education curriculum. In the final term, participants apply knowledge in the classroom during a supervised field experience.

Students receive academic support from tutors at the writing center and one-on-one tutoring at the learning center. The school's affordable tuition saves Blinn students about 42% on tuition compared to state colleges. The school also offers a comprehensive suite of financial aid, including scholarships, to help learners afford the online child development associate degree. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED and Texas Success Initiative Assessment as needed.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Child Development Education
Tuition: $54/credit in-district; $111/credit in-state; $271/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous; synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: TSI

Contact
Phone: (979) 209-7298
Email: ajones@blinn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

The specific details of your child development curriculum depend on the program and school that you choose. For example, several schools allow you to choose a concentration, such as special education. However, all of the best online associate childhood development programs emphasize a few common concepts and skillsets. Below, you can find more information about the common curriculum for this degree.

Curriculum for an Online Associate in Child Development

In general, an associate in child development teaches you how to create and implement age-appropriate curriculum to encourage creative, emotional, social, and verbal competence in children. You can also expect to learn the basics of cognitive and language-related development. Below are a few sample courses you can expect to take while earning this degree.

  • Foundations of Child Development: This course prepares students for careers in education. Students learn the basic philosophies and practices in the field of child development. They also cover the cultural, social, and class-related factors that contribute to each child's individual development. The class examines how teachers utilize effective communication and management strategies in the classroom.
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition: Students in this class learn the best practices and theories for keeping children safe and healthy at school, as well as how to respond to children with special health concerns. These skills prepare graduates to work as both teachers and administrators, who are responsible for managing the health and safety policies in childhood education environments.
  • Dynamics of the Family: Many cultural, social, class-related, and ethnic factors contribute to child development. This class prepares students to understand family systems and parenting styles in order be more effective educators who can communicate clearly and compassionately with parents.

How Long Does it Take to get an Online Associate in Child Development?

Several factors affect the length of time it takes to earn your online associate in childhood development. These include your enrollment status (i.e., part-time or full-time) and whether or not you enroll in summer classes. The time it takes to earn this degree also depends on a program's teaching style. For example, programs with cohort learning require students to begin and complete classes at the same time with a group of their peers. This format still relies on online coursework, but students often work together to complete classwork. They are also required to log in to “attend” class at specific times. Alternatively, individually-paced programs allow students to progress through the program at their own pace; these usually feature asynchronously taught classes. If you choose a full-time schedule, you can expect to complete a 60-credit online associate in child development program in about two years.

While searching for online degrees in child development, you will most likely see programs referring to their accreditation status. Accreditation is a process of rigorous evaluation that determines whether or not a university complies with certain academic standards. Two different kinds of accreditation exist: regional and national. Regional accreditation is more widely known and respected, while national accreditation is less widespread and often awarded to career-focused or for-profit schools. You should look for a regionally-accredited online program.

Additionally, online associate in child development programs are sometimes accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The CAEP promotes quality and growth in preschool through 12th grade student learning, while the NAEYC is the primary source of accreditation for early childhood educator programs.

Educational Paths for Child Development Associate Degree Graduates

Earning an online associate in child development can provide access to a multitude of employment opportunities. This degree is also an excellent professional development opportunity for individuals who already work in the fields of childcare or education. While an associate degree provides a valuable education, some individuals go on to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in order to boost their career opportunities. According to PayScale, individuals with a bachelor's degree generally earn $4,000 to $10,000 more each year compared to those with just an associate degree. Below is a list of common degrees that graduates with an associate degree in child development pursue.

  1. Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education: A BS in early childhood education focuses on research, theories, and practices for educators working with children from birth to pre-K. Depending on the school or program, this degree can also prepare graduates to complete their licensure in kindergarten to third grade education.
  2. Bachelor's of Arts in Elementary Education: A BA in elementary education prepares students to earn their licensure in kindergarten through sixth grade education. Most programs require students to complete at least one semester of student teaching at a local school.
  3. Master's of Education in Early Childhood: This degree is designed for educators interested in exploring curriculum and instruction, pedagogy, advocacy, and policy. A master's in early childhood prepares students for careers as administrators, policymakers, and advanced educators.

Career Paths for Child Development Graduates

Most individuals who earn an online associate in childhood development work as teachers, assistants, and paraprofessionals in classroom environments. However, many students also pursue careers in administration, education policy and advocacy, and counseling. In general, successful early childhood teachers and professionals are highly patient, creative, and flexible individuals who are passionate about helping children. Professionals in this field should also have strong communication skills and an awareness of the cultural, social, racial, physical, and emotional factors that affect individual students.

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers typically teach beginning literacy and math, motor skills, and social skills to students between three and five years old. The preschool classroom involves a wide variety of play-related and problem-solving activities and prepares children to enter kindergarten.

Median Annual Salary $28,790
Projected Growth Rate 10%

Childcare Worker

These professionals work in afterschool programs, daycare centers, and private households to care for children's basic needs, oversee play, and help with schoolwork. They may also organize social activities to keep children occupied while their parents work.

Median Annual Salary $21,170
Projected Growth Rate 7%

Special Education Teacher

These teachers work with kindergarten through high school students who have learning, emotional, physical, and/or other kinds of disabilities. Special education teachers often adapt standard lesson plans to better serve children with disabilities.

Median Annual Salary $57,910
Projected Growth Rate 8%

Kindergarten Teacher

Kindergarten teachers work in private and public schools, teaching basic literacy, math, and social skills to prepare children to enter first grade. These educators are communicate with parents about each child's progress.

Median Annual Salary $55,490
Projected Growth Rate 7%

Social Worker

Social workers work in a variety of environments to support individuals with emotional, physical, and financial challenges. An associate degree in child development is helpful for professionals interested in social work focused on aiding families and young children.

Median Annual Salary $46,890
Projected Growth Rate 15%

Associate in Child Development Salary

Your location, employer, and type of degree affect how much you earn in your child development-related career. Additionally, your level of experience influences your salary. The table below shows data for entry-level, mid-career, and late-career employees in five common roles held by graduates with degrees in child development.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees Median Salary for Late-Career Employees
Preschool Teacher $30,193 $29,366 $30,789 $32,505
Childcare Worker $18,644 $17,905 $25,500 $34,124
Special Education Teacher $45,411 $40,685 $45,836 $59,246
Kindergarten Teacher $40,935 $38,119 N/A $60,681
Social Worker $44,807 $40,984 $47,325 $56,861

In order to fully understand your funding opportunities while pursuing an online associate in child development, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Many students rely on scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities to help fund their degree. Additionally, there are specific scholarships available to child development and early education students, such as the Bright Horizons scholarship for individuals interested in pursuing early childhood education. Your university may also offer additional scholarships for child development-related degrees.

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 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 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.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Associate in Child Development Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Hennepin Technical College Brooklyn Park, MN
2 George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville Hanceville, AL
3 West Virginia University at Parkersburg Parkersburg, WV
4 Grayson College Denison, TX
5 Western Oklahoma State College Altus, OK