With no less than seventeen schools offering at least one online degree in education across the state, California houses some of the greatest online learning opportunities for early childhood education in the western half of the United States. And due to the ever-increasing size of the education infrastructure in almost every state, earning a degree from a top-tier California university goes a long way toward establishing one’s credentials as a leader in the industry, and specifically the foundational field of early childhood education.
Requirements for Teaching Licensure
California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) issues two teaching licenses: the Elementary Teaching Credential, which is for multiple subjects, and the Secondary Teaching Credential, which is for single subjects. The Elementary Teaching Credential is the license that most early childhood education degree-seekers will want. You can look here for a detailed explanation of each step.
Online Education Program Admission Requirements
Admission requirements for online degree programs depend on the degree sought. Students applying for an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education must have at least a high school diploma, GED, or 60 transferable credit hours from an accredited community college, preferably with an emphasis in education, in order qualify for admission to a qualified 4-year university. Students applying for an online master’s degree in early childhood education must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with a major in education or a related field in order to qualify for admission to a qualified graduate program. The state’s doctoral programs generally have the same requirements for admission as those for master’s degrees, albeit with the added requirement of a master’s degree to qualify. Most graduate programs in early childhood education require the GRE.
For Common Educator Roles in California
- Preschool Teacher: $48,410
- Elementary School Teacher: $90,470
- Middle School Teacher: $93,000
- Professor of Education: $101,630
- School Principal: $134,520
- Special Education Teacher: $81,580
- High School Teacher: $92,960
- School Psychologist: $106,890
The 5 Best Online Education Degree
Providers in California
California has a total of 17 education degree-granting institutions that provide online education degrees. These range from community colleges offering associates in early childhood development or human services, to nationally ranked universities that offer a wide spread of masters level and education endorsement-level programming. While future students may want to go to the “best” online institution in their state for education degrees, they should take some to double check what exact degrees are offered by their institution of choice at the directory of all online education degrees at the bottom of the page. To select the following top five universities, we’ve looked at two factors: the number of fully online education degrees offered by an institution, and an “academic prestige” score. The academic prestige score takes into account metrics such as average amount of financial need received, average class sizes, admissions standards, and the percentage of faculty holding terminal degrees in their field. Also note that the tuition numbers below are just indicators of relatively how expensive or affordable a college is. The tuition numbers below, specifically, are the in-state (where applicable) undergraduate yearlong tuition rates for education degrees. Many universities, however, have similar tuition rates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The University of Southern California (USC) has been a trailblazer since its establishment in 1880. As the oldest non-profit research university in California, USC has set the standard for academic distinction. USC proudly hosts the Rossier School of Education, a powerhouse that stands among the largest and highest-ranking schools of education nationwide. USC takes pride in being the state’s largest and most prestigious institution of higher learning, consistently securing a spot among the Top 30 universities in the nation.
USC offers six online degree programs. Beyond the traditional master’s programs in teaching, USC offers specialized programs catering to diverse interests, including:
- Enrollment Management and Policy
- Learning Design and Technology
- School Counseling
For those aspiring to make a difference as second-language teachers, the MAT in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is your ticket to gainful employment in California’s high-demand market. If your passion lies in administration, set your sights on the MEd in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs for a fulfilling career trajectory.
Join a community of forward-thinkers and achievers at USC, where innovation meets tradition. As you embark on your educational journey, choose a university that not only pioneers research but also shapes the future of education.
Biola is a renowned institution that has been shaping minds since its founding in 1908. What sets Biola apart is its commitment to a balanced and moderate theological approach to Christian education. Here, you won’t just gain knowledge; you’ll experience an education that integrates faith into every aspect of learning.
What’s truly unique about Biola is its online education offerings. In response to the evolving needs of students, a growing number of Biola students are now earning their degree online. This flexibility is a game-changer for those with busy schedules and a thirst for knowledge.
If you’re passionate about education and seeking a Christ-centered graduate program, Biola University’s online degrees in education are worth a second look. These programs go beyond traditional teaching degrees. Early childhood educators can elevate their expertise with an MA in P-12 Multilingual, Multicultural Education. This specialized program offers four distinct concentration areas:
- Bilingual Authorization (Spanish)
- Bilingualism and Biliteracy for Young Learners
- Language Acquisition: Assessment and Learning
- Personalized Concentration
For those aiming for leadership roles in early childhood education, the MS in Curriculum, Instruction, & Publication at Biola is a great option. Dive into relevant topics such as grant writing and current issues in education, preparing yourself for a future where you can make a real impact.
At Biola University, we understand the demands of a busy life, which is why our programs are designed with your flexibility in mind. Biola is a great choice for an online education.
Azusa Pacific University has had a reputation for Christian liberal arts excellence since its establishment in 1899. Nestled in the scenic Los Angeles suburb of Azusa, the university offers more than just a degree—it provides an immersive experience in forward-thinking Christian education.
What sets Azusa Pacific University apart is not only its breathtaking scenery but also its recognition as a community committed to academic excellence and spiritual growth.
For those seeking the perfect balance of faith and education, online degrees in education are a great choice. Beyond traditional master’s degrees, Azusa Pacific University offers specialized programs catering to diverse interests such as Physical Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Students can take their educational journey to the next level by pursuing a doctoral degree in either higher education or higher education leadership.
In a world where flexibility is key, Azusa Pacific University stands out. A growing number of students are experiencing the convenience of online classes, earning degrees that align with their ambitions without sacrificing their busy lives.
Hope International University was founded in 1928 as a private Christian university. They offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to both online and on-campus students. Over 94% of undergrads receive some type of financial award from Hope, reducing the amount they need to pay out of pocket. About one quarter of the undergraduate student population are exclusively online learners. Almost 70% of graduate students are completing their degree online.
Students interested in earning a degree in early childhood education should check out the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies/Teacher Preparation. With five concentration areas (including ECE), students gain the specialized skills needed to succeed in the classroom. Online courses are five or eight weeks long, allowing students to design a plan that fits around their schedule.
Hope also offers graduate degree programs in education. While not specific to the area of ECE, they do offer a Master of Education that emphases areas like:
- Contemporary Issues in Education
- Curriculum Development and Instructional Design
- Educational Administration
With generous financial aid awards and a flexible online schedule, Hope is a great choice for students who want an online education without breaking the bank.
National University is a private, nonprofit institution that has been shaping futures since its establishment in 1971. Located in San Diego, California, right on the southern border, National University serves over 18,000 online and on-campus learners.
National University believes in “Whole Human Education.” In fact, they’ve made this innovative approach the foundation for student success. NU provides students with services that go beyond traditional support including:
- 1:1 assistance navigating the financial aid process
- Career mentoring
- Free virtual mental health counseling
- A web-based student networking platform
For educators looking to take their careers to the next level, National University offers 36 online degrees in education, spanning from bachelor’s to doctoral levels. Early childhood educators, in particular, can choose from options like:
- BA in Early Childhood Education
- Master’s of Early Childhood Education
- EdS in Early Childhood Education
But that’s not all—NU goes beyond the traditional. Specialized degrees, such as EdS in Social-Emotional Learning and EdS in Educational Leadership, are designed to meet the unique needs of educators striving for excellence.
National University understands the demands of adult learners. Their short, four-week classes and monthly start dates are tailored to fit your lifestyle. You’ll be learning from experienced educators who not only know their subjects but also understand the challenges of the field.
Directory of Online Education Degree
Providers in California
|La Mirada, CA
|Online Ed Degrees: 6
|Pacific Oaks College
|Online Ed Degrees: 8
|Concordia University Irvine
|Online Ed Degrees: 6
|La Sierra University
|Online Ed Degrees: 3
|Shasta Bible College and Graduate School
|Online Ed Degrees: 5
|California State University-East Bay
|Online Ed Degrees: 1
|San Diego State University
|San Diego, CA
|Online Ed Degrees: 3
|California State University San Marcos
|San Marcos, CA
|Online Ed Degrees: 2
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology California
|San Diego, CA
|Online Ed Degrees: 1