Many students are electing to take their coursework for an early childhood education degree online. With the availability of affordable, accredited programs, pursuing a variety of degrees related to early childhood education has never been easier. Online formats offer a variety of advantages to students, and are often the right choice for people considering a career in this field.
Depending on the level of degree being pursued, the requirements for an early childhood education degree can vary. For example, an associate's degree program often requires approximately 60 credit hours of study. For the bachelor's degree, that credit hour requirement doubles to 120 hours. In the case of a master's degree, the credit hours can vary from 33-48 credit hours or more, depending on the school and the specific degree focus.
There are some specific courses that all early childhood education students will likely take in the course of their studies. Students will always be required to take educational philosophy and child development courses. Also, classroom management and dynamics classes that are specific to young children are a requirement. Aside from these areas of focus, content is often tailored to the specific degree program or the needs of the student.
Tests and Certifications
While there are rarely any capstone tests required for an early childhood education degree, each state requires certification tests to obtain a professional teaching license. Also, most degree programs that offer initial certification also require a clinical experience, where the student will participate in an actual classroom environment. It is important to assess the quality of the clinical experience and test preparation program when comparing possible schools.
Advantages of Online Formats
There are a number of advantages to online study. First, the financial cost of an online program is often significantly less than a traditional program. Also, coursework is often flexible and can be tailored to fit around a work schedule. Finally, the online course environment offers a richness of discussion that is often absent from a traditional university early childhood education degree program.