Early childhood educators are specialized teachers. They teach children from preschool age to around age eight. By going through an early childhood education program, students learn how to instruct children and develop their social and cognitive skills.
However, earning your degree requires campus visits, various tuition costs, and much more. Many people who wish to earn their master’s degree don’t have the luxury of taking time off to spend a year or two studying in college full-time.
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Thankfully, it’s possible to earn your Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education online. By graduating from an online program, you have the potential to become a certified educator for many learning institutions or childcare facilities. Before we list some of the highest-rated master’s degree programs in the country, let’s take a look at the benefits of earning your degree online.
Benefits of Earning Your Early Childhood Education Master’s Degree Online
Thanks to the growth of technology, it’s possible to receive a quality college education from the comfort of your own home. Many people successfully complete their undergraduate and graduate degree programs without ever having to visit a campus.
While it’s still common to take the more traditional route when it comes to earning your degree, there are several benefits that come with online programs. Below is a list of reasons why many people choose online programs when it comes to earning their degree.
Tuition Costs: One hurdle students must overcome when it comes to college and universities is cost. Some colleges cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. These costs rise for students attending courses out of state. However, online costs are different. For many colleges and universities, students pay the same amount of tuition no matter their location.
In addition to this rate, students also forego campus housing costs, paying for meal plans, as well as other additional payments that must be made when visiting a campus. Outside of this, students also avoid the costs and time commitment that comes with commuting.
Scheduling: When choosing courses in a college program, you must find ones that meet your schedule. If you’re a working adult, odds are you won’t be able to take courses during the afternoon or morning.
Online courses allow you to take courses at your own pace and on your own time. Many courses feature pre-recorded lectures you can listen to on your own time. Not being required to attend courses at a specific time gives you the freedom to take on whatever classes you wish and complete the course material whenever you desire.
Resources: Even without visiting campus, you still have access to the resources the university or college you attend has to offer. These resources include libraries, career counseling centers, and other services. You can discover the specific resources your college or university provides to students through its website.
Earning your degree online gives you several options to study and advance your career while still focusing on your current responsibilities. If you’re considering getting your early childhood education master’s degree, then online is a great way of doing so.
Best Online Schools for Early Childhood Education Master’s Degrees
There are hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the country that offer degree programs in early childhood education. Several of them have master’s degree programs available online.
Not all degree programs are recognized in the same way. For the best advancement of your career, you should earn your degree from an accredited university that is well-established. A master’s degree from a well-known, accredited university gives you more opportunities to work in your chosen field upon graduating.
Below is our list of the best colleges and universities to earn your early childhood education master’s degree online.
George Mason University
George Mason University is the largest public institution in Virginia when it comes to research. The school has several degree options for you to choose from, including its Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in early childhood education.
This hybrid program requires 50 percent of coursework to be completed online with the other half done in-person. Students complete 30 credit hours of coursework. Courses include frameworks for early childhood education, police perspectives in ECE, developmental pathways of diverse learners, and several other courses preparing you for work as an early childhood educator.
Applicants must provide proof of their bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university and show at least a 3.0 GPA. Additional application requirements include a goal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.
Auburn University is known for its online graduate degree programs. Aspiring educators can earn their Class A professional certification by completing Auburn’s master’s program in early childhood education.
Auburn’s online master’s program has two options. Students choose a master of education or master of science degree. It’s important to note that only the master of education program meets the state’s requirements to earn your license as a professional educator.
Both programs take 30 credit hours to complete. Courses for the master of education path involve classes in curriculum and teaching, origins of thought, play and early childhood education. Courses in the master of science path only take nine credits of courses in early childhood with 15 other credits dedicated to electives approved by an advisor.
Admission to the university requires a full graduate application, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. Students must also submit their official transcripts from all universities they’ve previously attended, a statement of intent, and a CV. To apply for the master of education path, applicants must have a valid teaching certificate.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University administers several master’s degrees online, including its Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. The online program covers teaching from preschool to grade five.
Students have the option to study through four-semesters or six-semesters, both of which start in the summer. Students that take the six-semester option are able to graduate from the program within a year. The 30-credit hour program involves courses in language and literacy development, learning theories and assessments, and communication across cultures. Graduates, after earning their degree, work in elementary or preschool education.
To enter the program, students must provide their bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a 2.5 GPA or higher. Applicants must also submit a statement of purpose and have a Georgia certificate or an equivalent for entrance into the program.
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri, commonly referred to as Mizzou, has over 90 online degree options. The university offers an online Master of Education in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum with an early childhood education emphasis.
The course is fully online and requires you to complete 30 credit hours of coursework. Students take courses in assessment in early childhood, advanced early childhood curriculum, and developmental aspects of human learning. Students also have six credits of electives available.
Mizzou’s program emphasizes implementing, evaluating, and designing educational programs for children from birth through the age of eight.
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Admission into Mizzou’s early childhood education program requires proof of a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework, GRE scores, a CV, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.
Brandman University has several online degree programs with year-round enrollment, including an online Master of Arts in Education, Leadership and Early Childhood Education.
The online master’s degree program for early childhood education focuses on developing students’ leadership skills. Courses include human resources and fiscal planning marketing. Students also learn how to develop curriculums and perform program evaluations throughout the 30-credit hour program. Toward the end of the course, students must complete a capstone evaluation.
Only residents in California qualify for the Brandman University program, which can be completed either online or through hybrid classes. Applicants must provide a transcript from all regionally accredited institutions where they earned college credit. Other requirements for the program include certification in California Child development, meeting a minimum 3.0 GPA in your most recent 30 credits, and two letters of recommendation.
Martin Luther College
Martin Luther College is a tight-knit school that has less than 1,000 students. The college offers an online Master of Science in Educational Administration with an early childhood director emphasis.
The course is designed to help students achieve professional advancements in their careers at their own pace. The online courses involved in the degree program include child development, budgeting, early childhood curriculum, legal and ethical aspects of the field, management, and budgeting.
Along with traditional coursework, students gain experience through internships and knowledge through their thesis project.
To successfully apply for the program, you must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from an accredited university. With the degree, you must have a 3.0 GPA or higher to be admitted.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
As the oldest university in Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has served thousands of students. Today, it provides online degrees to those that want to pursue distance learning. One of their online programs is the Master’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in early childhood education.
Students enrolled in the program customize their coursework based on their career goals and interests. The program has two options, which is a master of arts degree or a master of education degree. The master of education program meets the qualifications for students to receive their special education endorsement.
Candidates for the program must submit an online application showing they’ve earned their bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Other requirements for the program include a CV or resume, GRE scores, three references, and a statement of purpose. Potential students may also submit a writing sample.
Ball State University
Ball State University offers multiple online degree options. For aspiring educators, the university has an online Master of Arts in Education program with a focus on early childhood education.
The 30-credit hour program allows students to specialize in various areas and create a program that fits their schedule. Courses include early childhood program leadership, play and creativity in early childhood, infant and toddler education, and early literacy development.
Enrolling in Ball State University’s early childhood education program means filling out a graduate school application. Within the application, candidates must submit proof of their bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.75 GPA or 3.0 GPA during the last 60-credit hours of their program.
California State University–Fullerton
California State University–Fullerton is known for awarding more teaching credentials than any other public institution in California. The university offers an online Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in early childhood education.
This online master’s degree program emphasizes education for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school children. All students are required to complete a project in either a research-based thesis project or curriculum development. Students typically complete the degree within two or three years.
Students must apply to the program by submitting their application with their bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. You must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA throughout the last 60 credit hours of your program. In addition to these requirements, candidates must submit their teaching credentials or proof of equivalent experience.
There is nothing that matches the level of satisfaction that comes with being an educator. Inspiring, teaching, and helping future generations grow into incredible adults is very rewarding.
By earning your Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, you open up several career opportunities to yourself. Those who earn these degrees work as teachers, administrators, and directors of childcare facilities.
Several colleges and universities offer fully online programs where you can complete your coursework from the comfort of your home. However, it should be noted that many of those programs still require you to complete an internship or practicum at a local elementary, preschool, or daycare.
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