Affordable Early Childhood Degrees

Scroll down to see the most affordable early childhood degrees in 2016, as well as info on the different types of early childhood degrees and early childhood program accreditation.

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Early childhood education (also known as ECE) involves teaching and caring for children from birth-8 years. Along with a love of the job, early childhood educators have an instinctive connection with young minds. They’re creative, patient and sensitive, fun communicators and innovative curriculum developers. They may collaborate with other educators to create course plans and activities; they often work in teams to teach lessons.

So how do you start? The answer depends on what kind of early childhood educator you’d like to be. To help you through the maze, we’ve divided our guide into sections. First, we cover the basics – job descriptions, education and professional certification requirements. Second, we take a close look at what each ECE degree entails. Then we explain exactly how accreditation, state licensure and the CDA credential may apply to your situation.

Early Childhood Jobs & Requirements

Daycare/Childcare (Infants & Toddlers)

Job Description

Daycare workers take care of infants and toddlers. They play with them, keep them fed, stimulate their minds and see to it that they stay healthy and happy. Daycare is not a formal learning environment like preschool. Some daycare centers are in public buildings; others are in homes. After working with infants and toddlers or raising your own children, you may also decide to run a daycare center.

Degree Requirements

A high school diploma or ECE certificate is usually required for entry-level daycare jobs. If you’re interested in leadership positions, an associate’s degree in ECE is helpful, and is the minimum requirement for most administrative positions.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

There may be no teaching certification requirements for private daycare or licensed family childcare homes. However:

  • Licensed daycare centers require the CDA or 12 credits in early childhood education
  • Department of Social Services (DSS) daycare centers require the CDA and 12 credits or an associate’s degree in ECE and 12 credits
  • NAEYC-accredited programs require the CDA or enrollment in an ECE degree program or a degree in ECE plus experience and relevant training

CPR and first aid certification may also be needed.

Note: Learn more about wages and job outlook on the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook: Childcare Workers.

Private & Public Preschools (Ages 2-5)

Job Description

Unlike the relatively loosey-goosey structure of daycare, preschool is a child’s first formal learning environment. Preschool teachers are deeply invested in a child’s growth, including the development of all-important social, physical and cognitive skills. They stimulate a child’s imagination at the same time as they introduce them to ideas like letters and numbers.

Government doesn’t mandate preschool, so it’s currently not subject to as many rules and regulations as elementary schools. A lot of preschools – except for the Head Start Program, state programs and similar public efforts – are privately run and financed through tuition and donations.

Degree Requirements

For publicly funded preschools, a certificate in ECE or an associate’s degree in ECE is the typical minimum. A bachelor’s degree in ECE may be preferred, and is often required to become a preschool director. There are no mandatory requirements for private preschools, although a high school diploma is often expected.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

Licensure requirements will vary from state to state and school to school. For example, in Texas, almost all preschools are subject to state standards for childcare. Broadly speaking:

  • Public preschool programs require teachers to be licensed by the state in early childhood education.
  • A private preschool (e.g. church-run) may have no licensure requirements. However, the CDA and a number of state licenses can prepare you for teaching children from birth to age 5.

CPR and first aid certification may also be needed.

Note: Learn more about wages and job outlook on the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook: Preschool Teachers.

Montessori (Ages 2-8)

Job Description

Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the Montessori method of learning takes a student-centered, “self-motivated” approach to education. It focuses on fostering a child’s creativity, independence and curiosity. Instead of leading discussions, teachers help each student explore different academic areas and personal interests.

Montessori classrooms are a blend of children ages 2-8. Older students learn how to teach and socialize with younger peers; younger students learn new skills from their older compatriots.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor’s degree, preferably in child development or early childhood education.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

There is no state licensure requirement. However, teachers must complete the Montessori teacher education program.

Head Start (Infant-Age 5)

Job Description

Head Start is a federal program that was founded to help low-income children ages 5 and under. Head Start educators are deeply involved in the overall growth of their students. In addition to teaching key skills in literacy, language and socialization, they support each child through his/her unique educational journey.

Degree Requirements

For Head Start teachers, an associate’s degree is acceptable if you have preschool teaching experience. Otherwise, you will need to hold a bachelor’s in early childhood education.

A bachelor’s degree outside of early childhood education is permitted if you have:

  1. Been admitted to Teach for America (TFA) program
  2. Completed preschool education training at the TFA summer institute
  3. Passed the Praxis II exam (or similar)

Head Start assistants must currently have a CDA credential, or be enrolled in a CDA program and complete it within 2 years. Alternatively, an assistant can hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in any field and be enrolled in an early childhood degree program.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

CDA with a preschool endorsement for a center-based setting or a state-awarded credential for preschool teachers that exceeds CDA requirements.

Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)

Job Description

Kindergarten is the practice ground for elementary school. Teachers are there to help kids transition into a more structured environment. Although creativity and play are still an important part of the curriculum, kindergarten incorporates more academics into the day than preschool (e.g. basic mathematics, spelling and writing).

Degree Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in ECE to become a lead teacher. Associate’s degree in ECE to work as a teacher assistant.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

In most states, kindergarten is part of the public education system. Therefore, kindergarten teachers must obtain a state teaching license to work in public schools.

Note: Learn more about wages and job outlook on the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers.

Public Elementary School (Ages 6-8)

Job Description

Working with students of all abilities, elementary school teachers start to reinforce the foundations laid in preschool and kindergarten. They help children advance their skills in mathematics, science, language and social studies, and encourage them to become confident in their abilities. To exert influence on the curriculum or school policy, some teachers choose to become part of the administration.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor’s degree.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

State teaching license.

Note: Learn more about wages and job outlook on the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers.

Private Elementary School (Ages 6-8)

Job Description

In contrast to public schools, private elementary schools create their own set of rules and curricula. Teachers often have more autonomy in the classroom and the resources to create unique learning experiences. To earn a job, you will need to show potential employers you have a solid education, a passion for teaching and experience working with children.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor’s degree.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

A state teaching license may or may not be required. Please check with the individual job description.

Note: Learn more about wages and job outlook on the BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers.

Higher-Level Jobs

Job Description

This is our catchall category for jobs that require more education and experience. These can include titles like curriculum specialist, early childhood development researcher, professor of early childhood education and school administrator. Most early childhood educators decide to pursue these positions after they spend a few years gaining professional experience in the field.

Degree Requirements

Master’s in ECE or Elementary Education at minimum. To teach at the university level, a doctorate is usually required.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

Please check individual job descriptions to determine requirements. For example, schools may ask you to earn a specialized state license in your area (e.g. school administration, special education, etc.) if you are interested in a public school position.

Types of Early Childhood Degrees

Certificate in Early Childhood Education

Summary

A certificate in ECE is a 1-year “starter” qualification for early childhood educators. Courses tackle important subjects like child growth and development, as well as practical methods for fostering physical, emotional and social skills. Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED.

Career Options

Some students earn a certificate to qualify for entry-level jobs in a daycare facility, after school center, summer camp or a similar setting. They may work as tutors, private nannies or aides for children with special needs. Others use it as a step towards an associate’s degree or a CDA credential. If you’re interested in the last two options, make sure your course credits will be transferable.

Note: For more information on graduate certificates in education, see our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

Summary

An associate’s degree in ECE is a 2-year undergraduate program focusing on both the theory and practical aspects of early childhood education. In addition to child growth and development, courses may cover teaching topics such as curriculum and literacy development. Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED.

  • Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) in ECE A common choice for those interested in a bachelor’s degree down the track.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in ECE: A common choice for those interested in going straight into the workforce.

Career Options

An associate’s degree can qualify you for lead positions (e.g. director) in daycare or preschool, and for working as a teacher assistant in public schools. On the other hand, public elementary schools expect you to have a bachelor’s degree to become a licensed teacher. If you’re using the associate’s degree as a step towards a bachelor’s degree, make sure your course credits will be transferable.

Note: Looking at an associate’s degree in elementary education? See our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

Summary

A bachelor’s degree in ECE is a 4-year undergraduate program that comprehensively covers early childhood education. Courses may include child development, classroom management, special needs and methods of assessment/evaluation. Most bachelor’s programs include a good deal of field experience – in other words, student teaching in classrooms or early childhood settings.

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early Childhood Education: Often incorporates college-level humanities courses.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education: Often incorporates college-level math and science courses.

Career Options

You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree for childcare or preschool positions, but it becomes important if you wish to teach older children. Public kindergarten and elementary schools require teachers to have an accredited bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license. Head Start and Montessori programs often prefer it. A bachelor’s degree also sets you up for further education (i.e. a master’s) and positions of responsibility (e.g. school administration) down the line.

Note: Interested in a bachelor’s degree in elementary education? See our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

Summary

A master’s degree in ECE is a 2-3 year graduate program that builds on educational foundations laid in the bachelor’s degree. Accelerated programs only take 12-18 months to complete.

In most programs, you will take high-level college courses in early childhood education and complete a research project on an ECE topic (e.g. curriculum and instruction, educational administration, child development, early learning, etc.). You may also be expected to participate in field experiences or practicums (e.g. supervised teaching).

Once you start looking, you’ll find a raft of choices for your master’s degree, including the MAT, MEd, MA or MS. We go into much greater depth about these options in our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Career Options

This degree is a common choice for teachers who wish to climb the career ladder, increase their salary and/or work in supervisory positions such as administration.

Doctoral Degree in Early Childhood Education

Summary

A doctorate in education is a 4-7 year program focused on advanced research and practice, and the highest educational qualification you can achieve. Unless you decide to tackle a combined master’s/PhD program, you must hold a master’s degree.

We take a close look at all your degree options (e.g. PhD vs. EdD) in our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Career Options

You may wish to pursue a doctorate if you’re interested in top leadership/administrative positions, policy work, teaching early childhood education at a university or research.

Alternative Teacher Certification Program

Alternative teacher certification programs are intended for graduates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education and are interested in initial teacher licensure.

For more information on these programs, please see our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Add-On Certificate/Endorsement Program

Add-on certificate/endorsement programs are targeted towards licensed teachers who wish to teach in a new field (e.g. TESOL, special education, etc.), subject area (e.g. science) or grade level and have this skill endorsed on their teaching license.

For a detailed look at these programs, please see our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Important Accreditations

Regional Accreditation

When you’re weighing up schools, we strongly recommend you attend a college or university with regional accreditation. This is a “seal of approval” granted to non-profit and public institutions by one of six regional accrediting bodies (e.g. New England Association of Schools and Colleges).

You can learn more about the difference between national accreditation, regional accreditation and diploma mills in Accreditation: Understanding the Difference Between Real Schools and Diploma Mills.

Benefits of Regional Accreditation

Although a nationally accredited program may not be “bad,” there’s a reason why we advise against it. A degree with regional accreditation is usually required to:

  • Qualify for teacher licensure (when state departments of education talk about “accredited schools,” this is what they mean!)
  • Transfer credits (many regionally accredited institutions will not accept course credits from nationally accredited schools)
  • Apply for student loans, scholarship, tuition reimbursement and funding opportunities
  • Be accepted to regionally accredited graduate schools

Regional accreditation is only granted to the school, not to individual departments or degree programs. If you’re interested in the quality of the early education program, you can also see whether it has CAEP/NCATE/TEAC accreditation.

CAEP (NCATE + TEAC)

Interested in becoming an elementary school teacher? Keep an eye out for these acronyms. In 2013, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) merged into one organization for accrediting teacher education programs. It is called the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). All programs currently accredited by NCATE and TEAC will eventually be accredited by CAEP. In the meantime, you can look for NCATE or TEAC on the university’s website.

Is NCATE or TEAC Accreditation Necessary?

No. Nevertheless, it shows that an education program has met a variety of quality standards. Considering a program that isn’t accredited by NCATE or TEAC? Just make sure it has high graduate placement numbers and a solid reputation within the teaching field.

NAEYC

Although this accreditation doesn’t relate to the quality of a university, it’s an important one to know about. In 1985, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) decided to create an accrediting system that would assess the quality of early childhood programs (e.g. preschool, childcare centers, etc.). Programs pursuing initial accreditation must complete a four-step accreditation process and meet 10 program standards.

One of those standards is excellent teaching. That means educators at an NAEYC-accredited childcare program must hold the CDA or be enrolled in an ECE degree program or hold an ECE degree plus experience and relevant training. It’s something to consider if you’re looking at jobs in your area.

Find an NAEYC-accredited program.

Licensure & Certification

State Licensure

To teach in a public school, you must obtain a teaching license issued by your state education agency, department or board of education. Irritatingly, the terms “teacher certification” and “teacher licensure” are used interchangeably in the field of teaching. They mean the same thing.

A state teaching license is not required for private preschool or pre-K institutions.

Find your State Department of Education.

Early Childhood License Types

Early childhood educators usually pursue the state license/certificate that allows them to teach K-Grade 3 or Elementary Grade 2-Grade 6. Some states (e.g. Arizona) offer licenses in areas like “Early Childhood Education: Birth through Age 8 or Grade 3.” Others (e.g. Oregon) offer endorsements such as Early Childhood Intervention, Basic Early Intervention Special Education I, etc. You will have to look at your individual state to learn all the options, but we have a link for that!

Early Childhood License Options Listed by State.

How to Earn Your Initial Teaching License

Each state has its own unique requirements for the initial teaching license. Most states expect you to:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Pass a state-administered exam (e.g. Praxis)
  • Complete a state-approved supervised teaching training program and be recommended by the program for licensing
  • Participate in periodic testing and continuing education (CE) courses to maintain your license

Some universities incorporate teacher training into their degree programs, but not all do. So it’s important to check that your program will meet state licensing criteria.

Note: For a comprehensive look at teaching licenses, including explanations of endorsements and advanced licenses, see our article on K-12 Education Degrees.

Voluntary Certification

In addition to a teaching license, which is required to teach in public schools, you might wish to seek voluntary certification from independent organizations like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Board certification can set you up for leadership opportunities, pay raises and more.

NBPTS offers general certification in early childhood education and a variety of subject-specific ECE certifications (e.g. music, art, reading, ESL, etc.).

Voluntary Certification vs. Licensure

Voluntary certifications like NBPTS won’t help you become a certified/licensed teacher. It’s confusing because the terms “teacher certification” and “teacher licensure” are used interchangeably.

The important thing to remember is that your state department of education or agency is the only body that can approve you as a certified teacher and grant you an official license to teach in public schools.

Childhood Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential is an entry-level ECE credential issued by the Council for Professional Recognition (CPR). The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) considers a minimum of 12 credits of coursework in child development, ECE, or early childhood special education as the equivalent of a CDA.

How to Earn the CDA Credential

The credential is offered for a variety of childcare settings:

  1. Preschool
  2. Infant/Toddler
  3. Family Child Care
  4. Home Visitor

To earn the CDA credential, you must submit proof of 120 hours of formal ECE professional education (many schools offer CDA preparation certificates/programs), 480 hours of professional experience in the appropriate age group, a professional portfolio and family questionnaires.

Once your application has been reviewed, a CDA professional development specialist will conduct a verification visit. He/she will observe you in the classroom, conduct an oral interview and review your supporting documentation. You will also be required to take the CDA exam. If you pass these hurdles, you will be granted a credential.

Montessori Teacher Education

To teach at a Montessori school, you must complete a special teacher education program (TEP) affiliated by the American Montessori Society. TEPs fall into 2 categories:

  • Independent/freestanding programs – these may give students the opportunity to earn credits for a bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • College/university programs – some schools may offer a master’s degree in Montessori education

All programs, no matter where they are located, include an academic component and a practicum. For teachers, the practicum consists of a year-long internship guided by a supervising teacher and an outside Montessori consultant.

School Rankings

1

New Jersey City University

The Department of Early Childhood Education at New Jersey City University offers an undergraduate major in early childhood education with the option to earn P-3 teacher certification, dual teacher certification in grades P-3 and P-6, and dual teacher certification in grades P-3 and teacher of students with disabilities. The Department also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in early childhood education and early childhood/special education. All undergraduate education majors are required to complete four core courses. Depending on the certification desired, early childhood education majors are also required to complete 38 to 44 early childhood education credits. The M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education is a 33-credit program that prepares students to teach children in grades P-3 and includes an early childhood practicum and internship.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

CAG Score 97.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,136 Students

2

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The School of Education at UNC Chapel Hill offers a combined degree BA/MAT (Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Teaching) that replaces its former undergraduate programs in Child Development and Family Studies, Elementary Education, and Middle Grades Education. The BA/MAT program allows students to complete their undergraduate and master degrees in five years. Graduates of this program can be licensed in Elementary Education (K-5). The School of Education also offers a Master of Education for Experienced Teachers (MEDX) program. This is a part-time, field-based program. Students who already hold active SP I or SP II licenses are eligible for advanced licensure in their specialty areas under this program. One of the licensure areas is Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support (B-K).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 97.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

29,135 Students

3

CUNY Queens College

Through its Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Queens College offers an undergraduate major in elementary education that prepares students to teach grades 1-6. The elementary education major must be taken as a co-major and students in the program are required to complete a major in a liberal arts or science program as well. The Department also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education, which is a 45 credit program that prepares pre-licensure students to receive the New York State Initial Certificate in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2). A Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in Early Childhood Education is also available for students who have already attained their teaching certification.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 97.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

19,310 Students

4

University of Minnesota-Duluth

The Department of Education at UMD's College of Education and Human Service Professions has a Unified Early Childhood (UECH) Studies program that leads to a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) degree. This is an interdisciplinary program for students who wish to be eligible for Minnesota licensure in early childhood education (birth through Grade 3) and early childhood special education. UECH students can apply for a number of scholarships including the Carole J. Olsson Levens Scholarship (full-time juniors or seniors), the Elva C. Moore Scholarship, and the Leilla L. McIntire Scholarship. Programs in UMD's Department of Education are accredited by CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, formerly NCATE).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,093 Students

5

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The Institute of Child Development is part of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood: Foundations program that trains students to work with developing young children without requiring a teaching license. The Institute offers another program for students who wish to earn a teaching license - the Master of Education (M.Ed.)/initial licensure program. This is a professional teacher preparation program that follows the Standards of Effective Practice for Teachers (SEPT). Graduates of this program are recommended for state licensure in Minnesota to teach early childhood education (Birth-3rd grade). Students receive field training in local urban and suburban public schools, as well as in the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School located at the university.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

51,147 Students

6

Texas Woman's University

The Department of Family Sciences at Texas Woman's University offers a Bachelor of Science in Child Development with Tracks, a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies EC-6 ESL Generalist, a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies EC-6 Generalist, a Master of Science in Child Development, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, and a Ph.D. in Early Child Development and Education. The child development/early childhood education program gives students the preparation to teach, work in the early childhood intervention field, work in private and public agencies focused on families and children, etc. The child development/early childhood education program has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,071 Students

7

Wayne State College

Students admitted to the School of Education and Counseling at Wayne State College can choose to pursue either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early Childhood Education. Graduates of both programs are qualified to teach infants and children up to Grade 3. Education majors can apply for several scholarship programs, including the following: Alice Korth and Gale Bathke Annual Education Scholarship, Dennis and Marcia Hult Elementary Education Scholarship, and the Dr. Myrle and K. Leone Hemenway Education Endowed Scholarship.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,470 Students

8

University of Florida

UF's College of Education offers a Unified Early Childhood Education - ProTeach program that lets students earn their BA and MA degrees in five years. This is a teacher certification program and graduates are eligible for the following: Preschool (birth to age 4) Certificate, Pre-kindergarten/Primary (3 years to grade3) Certificate, the Pre-kindergarten Disability Endorsement, and the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Endorsement. Students on their fifth year of study under this program can apply for scholarship through Project Prepare, which awards up to $13,750. Two graduate programs have an Early Childhood Emphasis - Master of Education (M. Ed.), which is a non-thesis master's degree, and Master of Arts (MA), which requires a thesis for completion.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

49,459 Students

9

Buffalo State SUNY

Buffalo State SUNY's Department of Elementary Education and Reading offers a BS in Early Childhood and Childhood Education (birth-grade 6) and a BS in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2). An MS in Education in Childhood and Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction is also available, as is an MS in Education in Childhood and Early Childhood Education with initial teacher certification. The BS in Early Childhood Education includes observation, tutoring and teaching experiences in a variety of settings. Early childhood education majors must also complete 30 credits in one of the following academic concentrations: American studies, English, foreign language, mathematics, science or social studies. Scholarships available through the Department of Elementary Education and reading include the Circle of Excellence Award and the Norma Sutter Award.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,083 Students

10

CUNY Hunter College

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at Hunter College prepares students for New York State certification to teach young children (birth to grade 2). To earn their degree, students will complete 36 credits and meet requirements for fieldwork and student teaching, which will be arranged in a variety of early childhood education settings around the state. The Early Childhood Education program is designed as a second major; students must select a primary major from a liberal arts or science subject area. To enter the ECE program, students must first apply to and be accepted by the School of Education, then submit a writing sample and be interviewed before they declare an Early Childhood Education major.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,112 Students

11

CUNY Brooklyn College

The School of Education at Brooklyn College grants Bachelor of Arts degrees in Early Childhood Education Teacher (Birth-Grade 2) and in Special Education for the same age group. Graduate students seeking a Master of Science in Education: Early Childhood Education Teacher have three options. One option is for teachers who already have initial licensure in Early Childhood Education and enables them to receive New York State professional licensure. A second option allows a teacher with initial licensure in Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) or Special Subjects (all grades) to earn professional licensure in Early Childhood Education. The third option is for students without teacher licensure and allows them to earn both initial and professional certification in Early Childhood Education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

17,390 Students

12

CUNY City College

City College of New York has bachelor's and master's programs leading to degrees in early childhood education (ECE), including teacher licensure programs. The undergraduate program is offered by the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education, which accepts CCNY students into the ECE program after they take prerequisite courses and pass a test and interview. Completion of the program leads to a Bachelor of Science in ECE and eligibility for New York State Teacher Certification (birth-age 8). Graduate programs are open to certified teachers and those seeking to become teachers. Depending upon their background and goals, students can earn initial certification, professional certification, or earn a Master of Science in Education without certification.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,579 Students

13

Appalachian State University

Students interested in studying early childhood education through Appalachian State University's Reich College of Education can enroll in the Elementary Education program or the Birth to Kindergarten program. Through the Elementary Education Department, students can earn a BS in Elementary Education, which prepares them to teach kindergarten through grade 6, or an MA in Elementary Education. The BS in Birth to Kindergarten is offered through the Department of Family and Child Studies and includes teacher licensure, preparing students to teach children in infant, toddler and preschool settings. ASU's College of Education reserves certain scholarships for education majors, including those specializing in early childhood education. Education majors are eligible for the Junior/Senior Scholarships in Teacher Education ($500 to $4,000) and the full-tuition James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

18,026 Students

14

Iowa State University

Iowa State University's School of Education offers an undergraduate major in early childhood education that is offered in collaboration with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. The early childhood education curriculum prepares students to work with children from birth to grade 3 by teaching them how to guide and manage groups of young children, provide assessment and programming for children ages three through six, and adapt programming in inclusive settings. Students who earn the degree are eligible to receive the teaching endorsement for pre-kindergarten through grade 3, including special education and Pre-K through K early childhood special education. Scholarships available to early childhood education students include the full-tuition Branstad Scholarship and the Elizabeth Sisson Wych Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

34,435 Students

15

Dominican University

Dominican University's Department of Education provides students the opportunity to complete a BA in Early Childhood Education or a combined BA/MS in Early Childhood Education. The BA curriculum is comprised of three elements: general education competency, professional and pedagogical studies, and clinical and field experience. Students in the Early Childhood Education program earn a BA degree and are also eligible for a Type 04 early childhood teaching certificate. In the ECE program, students learn about child growth and development; the history and philosophy of early childhood education; child, family and community relations; and methods of teaching reading to young children. The combined BA/MS in Early Childhood Education allows students to take two graduate level courses their senior year.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,498 Students

16

Brigham Young University-Idaho

The Department of Teacher Education at Brigham Young University-Idaho offers a program in early childhood education/early childhood special education that prepares students to work with all children from birth through age eight, including those with special needs. After completing the program, students will be ready to earn the Blended Early Childhood Education/ Early Childhood Special Education Idaho Teaching License, which enables them to teach K-3 general or special education classes. BYUI's Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education program also requires that students complete five supervised teaching experiences, including the following: an early field experience; infants and toddlers in home and/or center-based settings; preschoolers in private or public preschools; kindergarteners in public schools; and first through third grade children in public schools.

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,624 Students

17

Texas A & M University-Commerce

For students who wish to become teachers up to grade 6, Texas A&M University Commerce offers a bachelor's degree in early childhood - 6th grade with certification as Special Education, Bilingual, or Generalist. Texas A&M University Commerce also offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education. Graduates of this program are certified by the State of Texas to teach pre-kindergarten through fourth grade in a public school classroom. Students enrolled in the early childhood certification program will need the official 191 Generalist EC-6 Preparation Manual in preparation for the TexEs exam, which is available on the Texas A&M Commerce website.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,111 Students

18

Presbyterian College

For students who wish to become pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers, Presbyterian College offers a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. The PC Teacher Education Program is approved by the South Carolina State Department of Education, and it is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The PC education program is well respected as 82% of PC education graduates are employed as teachers upon graduating. While 50% of teachers in the country leave the profession after three years, 95% of PC educators remain in the profession after three years.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,460 Students

19

Saint Cloud State University

Through its Department of Family Studies, Saint Cloud State University offers a BS in Early Childhood Education, an MS in Early Childhood Special Education and a graduate teacher licensure program in early childhood special education. The BS in Early Childhood Education curriculum incorporates the 79 credit hours of coursework required for the Minnesota Early Childhood Teaching License, including two semesters of student teaching. The MS in Early Childhood Special Education prepares students for employment in home-visiting programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities or as teachers in childcare and preschool programs for children with disabilities. Several scholarships are available to students enrolled in the Department of Family Studies, including the $1,000 Olga Satre Hart Scholarship for Education Students and the $500 Fati Zarghami Scholarship for CFS Student Teaching.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

16,076 Students

20

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education). This degree is offered for Early Childhood-6 Generalist, Early Childhood-6 Bilingual Generalist, Early Childhood-6 ESL Generalist, Early Childhood-6 Generalist (including EC-12 Special Education), Grades 4-8 English Language Arts with ESL, Grades 4-8 Mathematics with ESL, Grades 4-8 Science with ESL, and Grades 4-8 Social Studies with ESL. UNT also offers a Master of Science in Early Childhood Studies. All Teacher Education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,486 Students

21

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

The Childhood Education Program at SUNY Plattsburgh offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Childhood Education program that prepares students for teaching in an elementary classroom (grades 1-6). The program meets the degree requirement to obtain initial teacher certification in New York. There is also a Master of Science for Teachers (M.S.T.) in Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) available. MST classes are scheduled in the evenings, allowing working professionals and part-time students to complete the degree course requirements with minimal disruption to their work commitments. Full-time graduate students can apply for assistantships which cover the cost of in-state tuition and offer a stipend. Assistantships may be renewed for up to two years after the initial appointment.

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

5,968 Students

22

CUNY Lehman College

Lehman College's School of Education offers graduate and undergraduate programs for people who want to teach young children. The undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education leads to initial teacher certification (birth through grade 2) in New York State. Undergrads can also integrate bilingual education into their degree. Graduate students can earn a Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education, a program that requires 36 to 42 credits. A bilingual extension is also available with the master's degree, resulting in a total of 42 to 48 credits needed for the degree. The master's programs are open to career changers as well as to teachers who are already certified to teach in a different age range.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,398 Students

23

Marshall University

The College of Education and Professional Development offers a bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in early childhood education. These programs will prepare students for successful teaching careers. Students will complete hours in a classroom setting and have the opportunity to work alongside teachers. Education students are eligible for scholarships such the Jo Ashworth Memorial Scholarship, the Sandra Lynn Bennett Memorial Scholarship, the Ada L. Bias Endowed Scholarship for Teacher Education, the William J. Bischoff Scholarship, the Charles C. Byrd Scholarship Fund, the Colin A. Campbell Memorial Scholarship, and the J. Clarke & P. Cremeans COEPD Scholarship, among others.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

13,381 Students

24

Holy Family University

Holy Family University offers a bachelor's degree in education with early childhood PK-4 certification. This enables students with the qualifications needed to teach up to the 4th grade. They also offer a Master's degree in Education with Early Elementary Education, which qualifies students to teach the same grade levels. Some of the highlights of the undergraduate program include the assessment of young children, foundations of early childhood, and integration of child-centered curriculum. Each year of study in the program has a field experience component where students will be observing and working with teachers in nearby school districts. Many students who pursue the Master's degree program are already teachers looking for additional certification though many are non-teachers looking to change careers.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,658 Students

25

Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University's Department of Professional Education offers a B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education with the option for certification in early childhood education and early childhood special education, as well as an M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. Elementary education B.S.Ed. students who want to specialize their studies in early childhood education can complete a 30 to 31-credit early childhood education minor that certifies them to teach children from birth to grade 3. B.S.Ed. students who are already minoring in early childhood education can specialize their studies even further by taking an additional six to nine credits of coursework in early childhood special education. The M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education is a 32-credit program that also offers a six-credit specialization in early childhood special education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,720 Students

26

California State University-Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton offers a Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) program for students who are interested in early care and education, elementary education, and in youth-oriented social service fields. Students accepted to the CHAD program can choose from the following options: early childhood development, elementary school settings, adolescent/youth development, and family and community contexts. The coursework for the program follows the professional standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and meets the education requirements of the California Child Development Permit Matrix. Students who have overcome difficult circumstances in pursuit of their degree are nominated for the Kimberly Perkins Award for Dedication to Academic Excellence. This scholarship awards a $1,500 stipend.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

38,128 Students

27

California State University-Stanislaus

The Bachelor of Arts in Child Development program at Stanislaus has an early childhood professional track that prepares students for careers as curriculum specialists, program evaluators, or teachers and administrators of child development programs. Three other tracks (middle childhood, services, and general) are also available. Coursework covers topics such as child abuse and neglect, early cognitive development, professional issues in child development, and early social and emotional development. There is also a fast track program for students who already have their Associate of Arts in Child Development or Early Childhood Education degree. Liberal Studies students as well as those pursuing the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree have the option of selecting child development as their area of concentration.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

9,045 Students

28

Saint Vincent College

Saint Vincent College offers a bachelor's degree in education with certification for early childhood (PreK-4). The Department of Education at Saint Vincent has close ties with the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media, which provides students with unique opportunities for outreach, resources, and research. The school also partners with the Barbara Thompson Early Literacy Center, which provides students with hands-on learning experiences that will be of great value in their studies. The program also has a mandatory 14 weeks of student teaching and evaluation that will prepare students to become fully certified teachers. Students who graduate with this degree will be fully qualified to teach PreK through 4th grade.

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,829 Students

29

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The University of North Carolina - Greensboro offers a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with a Concentration in Early Care and Education that can be completed on campus or entirely online as well as an M.Ed. in Birth through Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development, which is offered online. The Department of Human Development and Family Studies has over 400 undergraduate majors and 50 graduate students. The HDFS department offers assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships specifically for HDFS students. Tuition waivers, while in limited supply, may be available for some students.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

18,647 Students

30

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

UNC Charlotte's College of Education offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Child and Family Development program that prepares graduates for the Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator's License in Birth-Kindergarten (B-K) education. The college also offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Child and Family Studies: Early Education degree. Students who already hold SP1 Professional Educator's License in Birth-Kindergarten (B-K) education at the time of graduation from the M.Ed. program will qualify for the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) license. Additionally, UNC Charlotte's College of Education offers a Graduate Certificate in Teaching with a Child and Family Development emphasis.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

27,238 Students

31

SUNY College at Oneonta

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,101 Students

32

SUNY at Fredonia

Students interested in teaching young children can earn certification to teach children up to age 8 in the Early Childhood Education program offered by SUNY Fredonia. Undergrads can also earn dual certification in Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2) and Childhood Education (Grades 1-6). Fredonia's teacher training emphasizes real-world experience from the freshman year. Students must perform four field experiences, spending four hours a week for eight weeks working as instructional assistants in a classroom for each required field experience. Fredonia offers an exchange program with a school in the United Kingdom and also offers student teacher placements in Australia. Graduate students who are certified to teach early childhood education can earn a master's degree in early childhood special education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

5,215 Students

33

Winona State University

The Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Winona State University offers a bachelor's degree in elementary education with an early childhood emphasis. The early childhood education program prepares students to work with children from birth to age six through 18 credits of required courses, 21 credits of license requirements, 35 credits of methods courses and a 31-credit professional education sequence. Courses required for licensure cover subjects such as children's literature, educational technology, elementary health education and the sociology of families. Students are also required to complete a 12-credit student teaching experience. Students who complete the program are eligible for early childhood education and elementary education licensure.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,684 Students

34

Towson University

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Early Childhood Education at Towson University leads to a Maryland State Certification to teach children from birth through Grade 3. The college offers Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Education (M. Ed.) degrees, as well as an Early Childhood Education Certificate of Advanced Study. Graduates of the MAT program are eligible for initial teacher certification within the General Education Track of Early Childhood. The M.Ed. program is aligned with the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation in Advanced Programs. However, this program is not designed to lead to initial certification in Early Childhood Education. Students who wish to be eligible for this certification should pursue the M.Ed. Plus Certification option.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

22,285 Students

35

University of South Florida-Main Campus

The College of Education at the University of South Florida is accredited by CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, formerly NCATE). There is a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood program available. Graduates of this program are eligible for licensure in Early Childhood Education Pre-Kindergarten/Primary (age 3 - Grade 3). The college also offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood program with a focus on social justice and advocacy. This program is designed for practicing teachers and is not an initial teaching certification program. There is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program offered that allows students to choose an early childhood emphasis.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

41,938 Students

36

California State University-Fresno

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education (MA-ECE) degree offered at Fresno State is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It is the only program in California with this accreditation. All required classes for MA-ECE program are offered in the evenings and cover topics such as curriculum and assessment, concept development, diversity and inclusion, advanced educational psychology, and trends and issues in early childhood education. Fresno State also offers an Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential Program for students who have a current California elementary credential. Academically qualified education majors are considered for a number of scholarships (with variable amounts), such as the Dr. Robert Monke Scholarship and Kremen School of Education Alumni Chapter Scholarship.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,179 Students

37

Arkansas Tech University

The Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree offered by ATU's College of Education is an online program approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. ECE courses meet the academic requirements necessary for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. ATU has a partnership with North Arkansas Community College (Harrison) and with Ozarka Community College (Melbourne) that allows students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree. About 50 percent of the courses required for this degree is available online. Students take classes in basic child growth and development, nutrition, and curriculum for early childhood education. The college arranges for internship opportunities as part of the teacher preparation program.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,002 Students

38

Texas A & M University-Kingsville

The Department of Teacher and Bilingual Education at Texas A&M University-Kingsville offers an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies, which leads to teacher certification for EC-12 educators. Those that focus on early childhood education are generalist (grades EC-6), bilingual generalist-Spanish (grades EC-6), technology applications (grades ec-12), and special education (grades ec-12). They also offer a Master's degree in early childhood education. The mission of the College of Education and Human Performance is to utilize research-based teaching methods, technology, outcome-based performance assessments, and appropriate field-based experiences to maximize learning.

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

13,246 Students

39

Francis Marion University

The School of Education at Francis Marion University offers a bachelor's degree in early childhood education (PK-3), and everyone who completes the program is eligible to teach in South Carolina. The program is accredited from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is presently transitioning to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Students in the early childhood education program will take courses such as Foundations of Planning & Assessment, Using Technology Effectively, Teaching Reading in the Primary School, Methods of Instruction for Developmental Language Arts, Early Childhood Social Studies-Science, and Methods and Materials for Early Childhood Education.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,944 Students

40

Minnesota State University-Mankato

The College of Education at Minnesota State University-Mankato offers a kindergarten licensure endorsement and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Special Education. The M.S. in Early Childhood Special Education is a 35-credit program that includes three special education core courses and three research core courses, including a capstone project. Students are required to complete six additional classes to earn their early childhood special education licensure/certificate in subjects like teaching and assessing infants and young children with developmental needs, collaborating with families and professionals, and current issues and trends in the field. Core major requirements also include a student teaching experience. Additionally, students who are looking to attain initial teaching licensure can use the 16 required licensure credits toward the M.S. degree.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,387 Students

41

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

At the current time, there are five early childhood programs offered by the College of Education at UIUC. The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education prepares graduates for teaching careers in preschool, kindergarten, and the early primary grades. The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers a Master of Education (EdM) program for childhood education. In addition to earning their EdM degree, graduates qualify for early childhood teaching licensure. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in child development is available from the Department of Educational Psychology. Students interested in special education can apply for admission to either the EdM or Master of Science (MS) program in infancy & early childhood special education offered by the Department of Special Education.

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

45,140 Students

42

University of Georgia

The Department of Educational Theory and Practice at UGA's College of Education offers a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) program with Early Childhood Education as a major field of study. Students have the opportunity to study abroad through the department's partnership with the Consortium of Overseas Student Teaching Program. The department offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, with an early childhood education focus. This program is designed for non-certified candidates seeking initial teacher certification to teach in pre-kindergarten through Grade 5. There is also a Master in Education (MEd) program available, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Educational Theory and Practice, with an Early Childhood Education Emphasis.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

35,197 Students

43

California State University-Northridge

The Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development degree at CSU Northridge offers options in applied development science and in early childhood development. Community college students who have completed the Lower Division Transfer Plan in Early Childhood Education will find the early childhood development option to be an ideal pathway to a BA degree. The curriculum includes coursework in health and society, principles of human behavior, development and learning in early childhood, and behavioral assessment and positive behavioral support. The department has an honors program and offers a minor in the field as well. Early childhood development majors can apply for a number of scholarships, including the Dr. Carol S. Kelly Endowment Scholarship ($1,000) and the CADV Alumni Chapter Scholarship ($500).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

40,131 Students

44

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University's Department of Teaching and Learning offers several options for students studying early childhood education. Students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in early childhood education teacher preparation, a post-baccalaureate endorsement program in early childhood education, a fifth year Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education, a Pre-K through grade 3 initial licensure program, a Master of Science in Education with an early childhood education research focus and a PhD in Education with a concentration in early childhood education. Students who complete the BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in early childhood education must complete a master's or post-baccalaureate endorsement program to receive teaching licensure.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

24,932 Students

45

Lander University

Lander University's Department of Teacher Education offers a BS in Early Childhood Education and a BS in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori emphasis. The BS in Early Childhood Education prepares students to teach children in Pre-K through grade 3 and requires coursework in specialized content and professional education, as well as a series of field experiences that includes clinical practice or student teaching. Students in the program study specialized teaching methods specific to the needs of young children and receive training in content preparation. The Montessori specialization requires 18 additional credit hours of Montessori methods courses. Early childhood education students are eligible for several scholarships, including the Student Education Association (SEA) Scholarship and the Mary Taylor Waters Scholarship.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,787 Students

46

State University of New York at New Paltz

SUNY New Paltz offers a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Childhood Education that prepares students to work with children from birth through grade 6. To complete the program, students must complete 24 to 27 credits in liberal arts and education prerequisites and 27 credits in education methods classes, including three field experiences. After completing all that coursework, students spend a semester student teaching at the primary and elementary level. Students in the teacher preparation program must also complete an academic concentration or major that meets the requirements for teacher certification in New York, such as math, Spanish, biology, history, or English.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

7,692 Students

47

SUNY College at Cortland

The School of Education at SUNY Cortland is the largest comprehensive teacher education program in New York. The school offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Early Childhood and Childhood Education (Birth - Grade 6). There is also a Master of Science in Teaching (MST) in Childhood Education (1-6) program. Students spend more than 100 hours in the field and are given opportunities to explore a variety of educational environments prior to becoming student teachers. SUNY Cortland's School of Education is accredited by CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, formerly NCATE).

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,958 Students

48

University of Massachusetts-Boston

The College of Education and Human Development at the University of Massachusetts-Boston offers undergraduate and graduate programs for those interested in teaching infants and toddlers or children in Pre-K through grade 2. These programs include a Bachelor of Arts in Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings and a Master of Education in Early Childhood. The B.A. program offers concentrations in early intervention, infant/toddler care and education, preschool education and care, administration and supervision, youth and community outreach, as well as early childhood licensure. The M.Ed. program is available in both licensure and non-licensure tracks of study. The initial licensure track is a 37-credit program that prepares students to teach children in grades Pre-K through 2. The licensure track is a 36-credit program designed for students who already have experience teaching children from infancy to age 5.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

16,756 Students

49

University of Northern Iowa

The College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa offers a Bachelor of Arts in Education (B.A. ED.) program with a major in Early Childhood Education. This major leads to licensure for teaching children from birth to Grade 3. On the graduate level, the college offers a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.T.) program with Early Childhood Education as the main focus of study. Students admitted to this program can choose the thesis or non-thesis track. The Regents Center for Early Development Education is a resource that is available to all early childhood education students where they can get valuable hands-on experience.

CAG Score 95.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,928 Students

50

San Diego State University

The College of Education at San Diego State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Child Development degree. Certificate programs are also available in family life education and in early care and education. On the graduate level, the university offers a Master of Science degree in child development, as well as a post-graduate, one-year Early Childhood Socio-Emotional and Behavior Regulation Intervention Specialist (EC-SEBRIS) certificate program. Graduate students have the option of adding a concentration in Early Childhood Mental Health to their MA program. This MA concentration qualifies graduates to pursue clinical licensure under the Board of Behavior Sciences - License Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Child development students can apply for the Mary M. Donaldson Scholarship Fund, which covers tuition, fees, and books.

Accreditation: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

CAG Score 95.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

33,483 Students

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