When you look into the eyes of an early learner do you often wonder: what is she thinking? How can I reach this developing mind? You probably understand the value of play and the importance of setting up an engaging learner environment, but are ready to step go deeper into your understanding though research and with a clear understanding of how to assess the early learner. We selected these programs because we understand that as a teacher, when you are ready to advance in your field, the options presented must be affordable options. We also understand that today the classroom is a little different than what it once was and are pleased to present not only affordable online programs, but programs that also address the diversity present in the 21st century classroom; focus on strategies and best practice deeply rooted in research the blossoms into a full-fledged philosophy and practice of education that will truly answer that question of how to reach the developing mind of the early learner. If you are ready to advance in the field of early childhood education, we recommend taking a look at our top ten picks for Most Affordable Master’s in Early Childhood Education.
To select these top affordable online programs we examined the following two valuable components:
- Affordable Out-of-State Tuition Rates Weighted for Percentage of National Students Available for In-State Tuition
- Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid
Northwestern College is a private Christian liberal arts college that was founded in 1882. Set in Rural Iowa, there are just over 1,200 students enrolled. Students benefit from a small classroom size and student-to-faculty ratio of just 11:1. According to U.S. News Northwestern College is ranked as the 6th best college in the Midwest. The Princeton Review ranks it as the best in the Midwest. In fact, Northwestern College is regionally accredited- the highest level of accreditation- by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools to offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Though a small institution, students still choose from over 40 majors, 22 clubs, 16 intercollegiate athletic teams, music, and theater. The degree-offerings are well-rounded and include sports management, business administration, and education. Online, Northwestern offers a variety of MEd. programs and endorsements. Most online degrees are designed for completion in 2 years or less and are affordable offering a high percentage of financial aid.
Northwestern College offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for its affordable tuition rates as well as for the fact that 100% of students attending receive financial aid. The program is structured into 8-week courses and if taken two-at-a-time may be completed in just 2 years. This program is TEACH-grant compliant. Check out how to make this already affordable online course even more affordable here. This program requires 33 credit hour for completion and includes within its curriculum course like trends and issues in 21st century education, teaching young children with diverse needs, collaboration and advocacy in the early childhood community and many others. The cost of this program is $305 per credit hour.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $305
2.)National Louis University
National Louis University (NLU) is a private university located in Chicago, Illinois with additional locations in Wisconsin, Florida, and Nowy Sacz, Poland. There are 4,515 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. More than 90 percent of classes contain fewer than 20 students. The Higher Learning Commission accredits NLU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certifications. NLU got it start thanks to social reformer and education pioneer Elizabeth Harrison who opened a training school ans well as a kindergarten to promote early childhood education. Today NLU offers over 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees in a vast array of fields that includes in addition to education, biology, visual and performing arts, business and much more. The online programming is varied and affordable including a bachelor’s in criminology, forensic psychology, health services and more.
National Louis University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Early Childhood Eduation. This program focuses on child develop and areas that affect teaching and students learning, theories of assessment, evaluation, and instruction, methodolgy, and more. In addition to the curriculum, students will engage with 100 hours of pre-clinical experiences in infant/toddler, pre-primary and primary school settings. The curriculum includes cross cultural education, quality child care for infants, teaching and learning in early childhood settings, human development, internship in early childhood education and more. This program requires 45 credit hours for completion and costs $430 per credit hour. We selected this course for its affordable online tuition rate and the fact that 10% of students receive financial aid.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $430
3.)Concordia University-Saint Paul
Concordia University- Saint Paul (CUS) is a private liberal arts university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There are 4,582 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits CUS to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S. News CSU ranks as the 103rd best school in the Midwest, and highly for their online bachelor’s programs, graduate business degrees, and graduate education offerings. CSU has a growing online presence with nearly 50 degree and certification programs that include online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as professional certifications. The adult and continuing education program enrolls just as many non traditional students as traditional students. This may have to do with the wide range and flexible accessible programs offered online including some of the most popular online offerings like a master’s in human resources, master’s in early childhood education.
Concordia University offers a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.T.) with a focus in Early Childhood Education. Courses are 7-weeks in length and offered completely online. We selected this program for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid and for the affordable tuition rates. The curriculum provides students with the opportunity to engage with education research and its applications, effective research writing, curriculum and instruction for early childhood education, observation and assessment, ethics for educators, diverse classroom, methods in early childhood programming and more. The cost for this program is $395 per credit hour and requires 33 credit hours for completion.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $395
4.)The University of Toledo
The University of Toledo is a public research university located in the Scott Park neighborhood of Toledo. There are 20,377 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. The student body is diverse and represents 46 states and 82 nations. According to U.S. News , UT ranks highly for their on-campus business and engineering programming as well as their online bachelor’s programming. There are over 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs offered through their 14 colleges. The Higher Learning Commission- accredits the University of Toledo to offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree programs. G.I Jobs , and Military Times both rank the University of Toledo among the top military friendly schools in the nation. We like the University of Toledo for its affordable programming, quality of education, and vast range of online learning options- everything from accounting to theater.
The University of Toledo offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in early childhood education. We selected this program for its affordable online tuition rate as well as for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid which is 95%. The course requires 36 credit hours for completion and includes course material in psychological foundations, research foundations, social foundations and curriculum foundations. The course is broken into three components: core, early childhood specialization, and culminating activity that may be a thesis or a project. The cost of this program is $335 per credit hour.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $335
5.)Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University is a private for-profit university located Phoenix, Arizona. There are 75,834 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits GCU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. GCU offers a wide range of programs in fields like the humanities, business, education, health care, engineering, and more. Online, Grand Canyon University offers an impressive number of degrees that range from the bachelor’s to doctoral level including a PhD in psychology, nursing practice, and management among several others. We not only value GCU for its fantastic online options but also for their student support services that include academic/career counseling as well as employment services. GCU also accepts dual credit, credit for life experience, and AP credits.
Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M) in Early Childhood Education. This program does lead to initial teacher licensure. We selected this course for its affordable tuition rate and high percentage of students receiving financial aid. Courses are generally 8-weeks in length and include specialization as well as core course material. All student will engage with early literacy development, English language teaching foundations, foundations of early childhood, child guidance management and the environment, advanced methodologies, and K-3 student teaching. This program requires 44 credit hours for completion and costs $515 per credit hour.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $515
Mercer University is the oldest university in Georgia and is located in Macon, Georgia. Recently, U.S. News recognized Mercer University as one of the top universities for undergraduate research and creative projects. Mercer enrolls more than 8,500 students in 12 colleges and schools and has a satellite campus in Atlanta as well as a School of Medicine located in Savannah. Mercer is a private church-affiliated university that harbors respect for religious diversity and is rooted in the liberal arts. Class size is smaller averaging at about 15 students per class. There are no teaching assistants at Mercer University. 90 percent of faculty has doctoral degrees or the highest advanced degree in their field. In addition, Mercer University is considered to have one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States. Mercer offers 6 affordable programs online 2 bachelor’s degrees and 4 master’s degrees.
Mercer University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in early childhood education. We selected this course for its affordable online tuition rate and for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid. This program is broken into two 15 semester hour component parts and includes educational research, contemporary curriculum practice in ECE, diversity: language, cognition, and culture as well as multiple endorsement opportunities. The cost for this program is $590 per credit hour and requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for completion.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $590
7.)Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a public 4-year institution located in Jacksonville, Alabama. There are 8,514 students enrolled with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Jacksonville State University to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs as well as postbaccalaureate and post-master’s certificates. According to U.S. News JSU ranks as the 89th top university in the South and the 34th top public school. JSU offers over 45 undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of fields such as education, business, liberal arts, human services, and the performing arts. Additionally, JSU offers over 20 affordable online course including a master’s degree in early childhood education, sports and fitness administration, business administration, engineering technologies and more.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $382
8.)Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Established in 1857, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is a public university located in rural Edinboro. There are 6,181 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The Middle State Commission on Higher Education accredits Edinboro University to award associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certifications. U.S. News ranks Edinboro University as a top university for their online graduate nursing programming as well as for their online graduate education programs. When it comes to academics, Edinboro offers degree programs in a wide range of fields like Women’s studies, customer service management, journalism, sociology and more. And with over 100 programs available it may come as no surprise that online programming continues to grow. Currently, there are 14 online degrees and professional certifications available.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (EUP) offers an online Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This program does not include teacher certification, though added certification is available. We selected this course for its affordable tuition rate and the high percentage of students who receive financial aid. This high quality affordable program includes in its curriculum research in education, math and science for young children, development of young learners, curriculum and early childhood education, a seminar in exceptionalities and more. This course requires 30 credit hours for completion and costs $483 per credit hour.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $483
9.)University of the Southwest
University of the Southwest is a private Christian university located in Hobbs, New Mexico. There are 1,088 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the University of the Southwest to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. USW offers 22 undergraduate programs, and 11 MBA specializations as well as 9 M.S. Education specializations. All of their graduate programs are fully online. Though a Christian University, the most popular programs of study are in the fields of education, business, and sports fitness. Online programs include a B.S. in Sport and Fitness Administration, bachelor’s in psychology, master’s in early childhood education and more.
University of the Southwest offer an Online Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Early Childhood Education. This program may be completed congruently with a teaching licensure plan. We selected this course for the high percentage of students who receive financial aid as well as the affordable tuition rate. Course material focuses on community collaboration, curriculum development and implementation, methods and materials; assessment of children as well as evaluation. The cost of this program is $599 and requires 30-42 credit hours for completion.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $599
10.)University of West Alabama
The University of West Alabama (UWA) is a public liberal arts institution located in Livingston, Alabama. There are 3,986 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits UWA to award assocaite’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as post-master’s certifications. UWA represents a diverse student body for a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The academic focus is includes liberal arts degrees as well as a number of art and science programs business and education. Their affordable online programming is robust and includes nearly 30 degree opportunities for distance learners!
The University of West Alabama offers a Master of Education (Ed.M) in Early Childhood P-3. This program was selected for its affordable online tuitoin rates and the high percentage of student who receive financial aid. The course is broken into two component parts: 19 credit hours of professional courses and 15 credit hours in teaching field courses. Programs include the following: foundation in education, educational planning, educational statistics, advanced educational psychology, literature for early childhood education, planning programs for early education, and early childhood electives. This program requires 34 credit hours for completion and costs $429 per credit hour.
- Out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $429