What You Should Know About This Degree
Early childhood education traditionally covers birth through about age 8. The key difference among early childhood educators are the ages they focus on. Preschool teachers focus on teaching basic skills such as identifying colors, numbers, letters, and shapes, while kindergarten and elementary school teachers focus more on math, reading, and writing. Elementary school teachers often also need a bachelor’s degree.
Look for online associate in early childhood education programs that are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or the NAEYC to ensure that you’re enrolling in a reputable program.
The job outlook is about average for those going into elementary programs, with preschool jobs projected to grow at a slightly lower-than-average rate.
If you’re interested in a job in early childhood education and want to work in the public schools, you will need a state teaching license or ECE certificate.
Here are some questions to ask when researching online associate in early childhood education programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Most associate degree programs require a high school diploma or equivalency. Students often must complete some general education college courses in areas like math, English, and science. You might also need to maintain a certain GPA and be able to pass a criminal and character background check.
- How long does it take to complete this online degree? Associate degree programs are typically offered at community colleges and include 60 college credit hours. Students generally complete these requirements in two years by taking 15 to 18 credit hours per semester.
Once you’ve decided on a program and the courses you’re interested in pursuing, you should contact the admissions department at the school you want to attend and find out what their process and requirements are.
Also, research your financing options. Make sure to note what scholarships, financial aid, and tuition reimbursements you might qualify for and what the deadlines are for each.