California is home to one of the largest education systems in the world, supporting over 6 million students, 13,000 schools, and almost 300,000 teachers. As a national leader in the spheres of public and private education, one that has struggled to meet mounting demand for qualified educators, the Golden State is a popular destination for teachers looking to make a real difference in young people’s lives, but especially second-language learners, who comprise approximately 30% of the state’s K-12 student population.
With no less than twenty 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, or the license that most early childhood education degree-seekers will want, requires at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; the successful completion of an approved California teacher preparation program; as well as passing scores on the CSET and RICA exams. The Elementary Teaching Credential also requires the successful completion of a reading instruction course, a two-semester course on the U.S. Constitution, and a course on the foundations of technology for general and specialized skills in education. Previous teaching experience is taken into account for teacher preparation. Teachers who have taught at private schools for at least six years are exempted from the requirement of completing a teacher preparation program. All accredited California schools that offer degrees in early childhood education also offer some form of teacher preparation for both the Elementary Teaching Credential and the Secondary Teaching Credential.
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 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: $32,658
- Elementary School Teacher: $60,091
- Public School Teacher: $58,513
- Professor of Education: $97,621
- School Principal: $108,048
- Special Education Teacher: $56,541
- Math or Science Teacher: $60,618
- ESL Teacher: 67,750$
- School Psychologist: $72,539
The 5 Best Online Education Degree
Providers in California
California has a total of 21 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.
Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is the oldest non-profit research university in California. Located in Los Angeles, USC is home to one one of the largest and topmost ranking schools of education in the nation, the Rossier School of Education, which places consistently among the Top 20 such schools in the nation and supports online programs for all of its degrees. As the state’s largest, most prestigious institution of higher learning, and one that consistently ranks among the Top 25 in the nation, the University of Southern California enrolls greater than 42,000 students, the vast majority of which are graduate and professional students.
The University of Southern California’s 8 online degree programs in education offer some of the best graduate degree programs in early childhood education in the United States. In addition to the more traditional master’s programs in Teaching, Special Education, and Teacher Leadership, USC’s M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology is especially suited to students who want to start or advance careers in educational program design and online learning, which can lead to careers as Education Coordinators and Directors in Museums, Science Centers, Aquariums and After-School Centers. The M.A.T. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is sure to go a long way toward securing gainful employment as one of California’s high-demand second-language teachers. And of course, the education program’s two doctoral programs will undoubtedly increase both the job prospects and earning potential of early childhood educators who want to become leaders of their profession.
Founded in 1908 as the Bible Institue Of Los Angeles, Biola University is a private, Evangelical Christian university located outside of downtown Los Angeles. Biola is particularly well-known for its moderate theological approach to Christian education, as well as for its education degrees, which rank consistently among the most popular degrees for undergraduates at Biola. Biola is one of only two Christian Universities to rank among the top 200 National Universities in the United States. A growing portion of Biola students attend online classes and earn online degrees.
Biola University’s 10 online degrees in education offer some of the best Christ-centered graduate programs in early childhood education the United States. In addition to the traditional master’s degrees in Teaching and Education, which include emphases in Special Education and Early Childhood Education, Biola’s M.S. in Curriculum, Instruction, & Publication offers an excellent path to pursue more administrative leadership roles in the early childhood education arena that may involve applying for much-needed grants and funding packages for young teachers and students. The M.A. or M.Ed. in Personalized Education also offers a unique opportunity for students who might like to customize their degree while teaching either full- or part-time. All of these options, and their attendant flexibilities, make Biola University a perfect fit for busy working Californians who are looking to add another line to their educational résumés.
Founded in 1899, Azusa Pacific University is a Christian liberal arts college located in the Los Angeles suburb of Azusa. It is particularly well-known for its forward-thinking Christian curriculum and breathtaking scenery on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Azusa Pacific University is also one of only two Christian Universities to rank among the top 200 National Universities in the United States, and a growing portion of Azusa Pacific University students attend online classes and earn online degrees.
Azusa Pacific University’s 8 online degrees in education offer some of the best Christ-centered graduate programs in early childhood education the United States. In addition to the traditional master’s degrees in Education, which include emphases in Special Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Azusa Pacific University’s unique Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Educational Leadership offer an excellent path to pursue more instructional leadership roles in the early childhood education arena that may involve teaching technology or becoming certified as a school administrator. The M.A. in School Librarianship and M.S. in Physical Education also offer unique opportunities to prepare to teach and coach in an early childhood setting. All of these options, their Christian influence, and their attendant flexibilities, make Azusa Pacific University a perfect fit for busy working California Christians who are looking to add another line to their educational résumés.
Established in 1919, the University of California, Los Angeles is one of the most selective public research universities in California. Located in Los Angeles, UCLA is home to one one of the largest and topmost ranking schools of education in the nation, the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, which places consistently among the Top 20 such schools in the nation supporting online programs and degrees. As the state’s second most prestigious public institution of higher learning, and one that consistently ranks among the Top 25 in the nation, the University of California, Los Angeles enrolls greater than 44,000 students, over 25% of which are graduate students.
The University of California, Los Angeles’s 7 online degree programs in education offer some of the best graduate degree programs in early childhood education in the United States, as well as one of the best undergraduate programs in the same. That Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Studies for Learning and Developments will undoubtedly increase the job prospects of early childhood educators who want to become leaders in the field of Family Studies. In addition to the more traditional master’s programs in Education, UCLA’s M.Ed. in Special Education, Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood is especially suited to students who want to start careers as teachers of children with special needs, which might lead to taking on leadership roles in special school districts and other early childhood care centers. And of course, the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction for Digital Literacy is sure to go a long way toward securing gainful employment as a leader in one of California’s specialty schools for technology.
Founded in 1971, National University is a private, nonprofit university located in La Jolla, California on the state’s southern border. NU’s four professional schools and two colleges are known for their concentrated course formats that permit online, distance, and adult learners the flexibility to enroll in courses that work best with their own busy schedules. National University maintains one of the largest graduate student institutions in the United States, and its Sanford College of Education program is well-known for holding teacher contracts with nearly 650 California school districts, as well as it Harmony and Institute of Philanthropy programs.
National University’s 16 online degrees related to business range from the associate’s level to the master’s level, and they include but are not limited to an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education for Nevada or California Licensure, as well as a Master of Science in Instructional Leadership and Master of Arts in Teaching. In addition to these more traditional options, National University also offers highly specialized degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential, an ideal program for prospective teachers who are looking to knock out their requirements for licensure in one fell swoop. At less than $416 per credit hour for in-state graduate and undergraduate students, these degree programs are a best value.
Directory of Online Education Degree
Providers in California
|California State University Fullerton||Fullerton, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 4|
|Pacific Oaks College||Pasadena, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 4|
|Touro University California||Vallejo, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 4|
|Concordia University Irvine||Irvine, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 3|
|La Sierra University||Riverside, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 3|
|Shasta Bible College and Graduate School||Redding, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 3|
|California State University-East Bay||Hayward, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 3|
|San Diego State University||San Diego, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 2|
|California State University Northridge||Northridge, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 1|
|California State University – Chanel Islands||Camarillo, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 1|
|California State University Sacremento||Sacremento, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 1|
|California State University San Marcos||San Marcos, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 1|
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology At Irvine and Westwood||Irvine, CA||Online Ed Degrees: 1|