Working in early childhood education is one of those career paths that can turn into a rewarding professional and life-changing experience. The best part is that each year presents new faces of students you can help teach, shape, and mold their formative years in positive ways. If you love working with children and want have the drive to work in this ever-eventful field, the first step is finding the right degree programs in early childhood education.
As you know, most learners these days are juggling careers while trying to move forward in their education. Campus programs have always been heavily skewed towards high school graduates and gap year students, but all of that has changed with the heavy influence online learning plays in degree completion across the nation.
During your search for the right program, we urge you to request information about online programs whether you have considered this option or not. What you’ll find is that most all accredited state colleges with long histories of providing quality education now offer many degree options for online and distance learners.
Continue reading about what it’s like to take an online program in relation to early childhood education. Then take the next step by contacting multiple schools that offer programs that match your career aspirations.
The great thing about learning early childhood education online is that you can find a wide variety of programs and unique courses related to many aspects of the field. You can find programs that focus on helping students with special needs, trauma and abuse, as well as programs that can train you to work with exceptional children who are learning at a rate beyond their years. Learning to juggle the many challenges and gifts your students have is one of the core components of being successful in the field. With the quality of distance programs available, you can be prepared for these roles, as well as your state’s licensure and required examinations.
The most common online degree programs are simply called Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate in Early Education. You can find versions of this all-encompassing program in online formats. This type of degree program will give you a broad foundation in working with all types of students. The higher degree level you choose will determine the concentrations and specializations you can attach to your core courses.
There are other types of online degrees in early childhood education that are more specialized and focused than the broader program just described. Common online specialization include: preschool, infant/toddler, English as a second language, and educational administration. Many online program options can also help you earn your Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. When you compare programs be sure to ask if the program you are discussing is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). This agency can help you be sure that your online program meets the requirements that are expected from campus based programs.
Because online degrees seek to give students the same quality of education as their campus counterparts, student can expect to take the same courses. There may be modifications to the end of the program where internships and field work are generally required. However, if you choose an online program close to home, you can connect with local schools your college has relationships with to gain experience and potentially transition to the workplace.
Courses should include psychology based topics that help you understand child development, everyday assessment and monitoring of behavior and social interaction, as well as courses that focus on curriculum and student performance assessment.
When you graduate with a bachelors degree in early childhood education, you can start pursuing teacher roles at pre-K and elementary schools. This applies to state-funded schools if you meet the other additional licensure requirements. Of course, if you earn your masters, specialist, or doctorate level degree, you can qualify for positions at the executive level, such as instructional coordinator and others. However, even students who earn their associate’s can start working in daycare facilities to get their initial experience while continuing their education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elementary school teachers can expect to earn a median wage of $54,550 per year, with a growth that meets the national average of 6%. Those who teach special education can expect to earn a little bit higher of a salary, with the median pay being $56,800 per year, also according to the BLS.
Grand Canyon University stands out as a top choice for online degree seekers in early childhood education. The main reason is the numerous options you have for degree tracks in education, including an early childhood degree, which focuses on the time of birth through the 3rd grade year of school.
This program can teach you instructional and curriculum development strategies, as well as advanced assessment and behavior modification techniques for students who have different challenges and socioeconomic backgrounds. Courses also cover family dynamics that can help you better relate to the parents of the students you teach, since they are such a big influence in their development and behavior at this age.
This program is recognized by the Higher Learning Commission and offers students a wide variety of financial aid opportunities, since cost is always on the list of factors students use to determine the right program. Graduates of this online program also work in two student teaching positions to gain valuable first-hand experience in the field. With their additional top-ranked education degree programs offered online, you have a unique opportunity at Grand Canyon State to create a degree track that fits your specific career goals.
If you’re ready to learn more about how you can receive a quality online degree in early childhood, start comparing the options for students in your state today.