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The 30 Best Online Masters in Early Childhood Education - Early Childhood Education Degrees
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The 30 Best Online Masters in Early Childhood Education

Much as buildings need a foundation, the early years of a child’s education are foundational for all that is to come. Lifelong developmental trajectories, passions, and self esteem are instilled from a very early age. The developments students go through in their early years are also fascinating in and of themselves. Whether it is the discovery of self and how we differ from others, or learning through the natural environment about the way our world is ordered, these years have been cited by scholars such as Jean Piaget as some of the most important years for learning. They are also very unique, and need accordingly unique instruction for children to get the most out of them. Over the years, our understanding of teaching to meet the needs of these unique learners has grown and has become researched and cataloged into what is now considered “best practice” instruction for children ages 0-8. As an early childhood educator, it is vital to understand best practice and how it is implemented in the 21st-century classroom. The following programs are our top 10 picks for best Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education. They will focus on curriculum development suitable for young learners, research practices, classroom arrangement, advocacy and so much more. We love these programs for their high value, affordable pricing and flexibility, as well as their current up-to-date curricula that will ensure that you stand apart and advance in the field of early childhood education.

Methodology

  • Affordability (1/3): the estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour rate (if out-of-state is applicable).
  • Flexibility (1/3): the number of flexibility-granting components of the program, including different specializations, prior experience credit, accelerated courses, ability to take synchronous or asynchronous coursework, and more.
  • Academic Prestige (1/3): the accreditation status of a university, as well as accolades from other prominant ranking sites and educational organizations.

1. Arizona State University

Arizona State University is a public research university that is a trail blazer when it comes to online education and has five campuses located across the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. U.S. News ranked Arizona State #1 for Most Innovative School (above Stanford and MIT!). Additionally, it ranks 61st for top public schools and 129th in the nation for the best graduate school. A number of both faculty and students are Fulbright scholars. Other accolades include their top accounting programs, international business, high school counselor degree, management degree, undergraduate engineering programs, and many more. We love ASU for it’s internationally recognized Nobel Prize-winning faculty, great value, and endless flexible online opportunities. The online degrees are vast and unique and including fields of study like anthropology, communications, global leadership, social policy, and geography. The Wall Street Journal recognizes ASU for the quality of graduates that emerge from their programming.

Arizona State University offers an online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction appropriate for individuals interested in learning about an appropriate educational approach for infants, and children in grades K-3 . The program is just ten classes, courses are 7.5 weeks long, and the entire degree requires 30 credit hours for completion. Individuals who wish to add a certification are required to fulfill 45 credit hours. Students engage with the material through online coursework, applied practices, and in-person clinical experience. All courses are completed online, but the practicum placement experience is completed in person (close to the student’s home). The core focus of this program is to equip candidates with advanced knowledge in early childhood pedagogy, technology, administration, and advocacy. This program is presented through the widely renowned Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College which recently placed 11 among the best graduate programs for education in the nation, according to U.S. News . The cost for this accelerated world-class education degree is just $565 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $565
  • Flexibility-granting components: Two offerings, with or without certification

2. Concordia University Saint Paul


Concordia University- Saint Paul is a private comprehensive liberal arts university that enrolls 4,380 students. There is a student-faculty ratio of 15:1 and over 80% of professors have the highest level of degree in their field. The regional ranking for Concordia University is 103 according to U.S. News . The Higher Learning Commission accredits Concordia University to offer a wide variety of programs for traditional and non-traditional learners, and at the comprehensive level- you can enroll in everything from an online associate’s degree to an online Ph.D! Ninety-two percent of students are offered jobs upon completion of an online degree program through CSP. The affordable tuition rates contribute heavily to student success rates as well as their high level of academic prestige and diverse welcoming student body. According to G.I. Jobs CSP is registered as a “”Military Friendly” institution.

Concordia University offers a Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood Education. This program is designed for busy professionals who are looking to advance their career. We like the flexibility afforded through this program through which students are able to attend classes on their own schedule. Each class is 7 weeks long and the total credit hour requirement is 33. This is a non-licensure teaching program, meaning the best candidates for this program are employed or involved in areas of education. Alternatively, students may pursue a shorter licensure program for their specific state after the masters program. The aim of this course of study is to teach its students how to research and implement best practices for early childhood education. The curriculum provides the learner with opportunities to not only engage with research but also curriculum development, play theory and applications, language development, ethics and more. The program finishes with a 3-credit-hour research capstone experience. The cost for this program is $395 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $395
  • Flexibility-granting components: Accelerated courses

3. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a public university located in Kennesaw and is part of the University System of Georgia. KSU currently enrolls more than 33,000 students and is fully accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools. Amongst other things, KSU is known for its vast options online, offering 18 degrees: 6 bachelors, 11 masters and one doctorate. The bachelor’s programs available consist of a bachelor of business administration in information security and assurance, a bachelor’s in business administration management, bachelor’s in business administration marketing, Bachelor of Science in nursing, and others. The graduate level programming includes a master of business administration, masters of education in educational leadership, Master of Science in international policy management, a master of education in special education and other. Historically, Kennesaw is known as the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase and was cited by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation’s 10 best towns for families.

Kennesaw State University offers a fully online M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. This program is suitable for individuals who are currently certified early childhood educators and are looking to enhance their specialization with graduate level study. Each course is 8 weeks long and 3-credit hours. The online programs at Kennesaw State are just as rigorous and offered at the same quality as those offered on-campus. Kennesaw State’s highly regarded faculty are the same faculty as those teaching the on-campus program. The online program utilizes a cohort and is designed to coincide with the public school calendar. This program takes 13 months to complete, one of the faster options of those surveyed. In addition to a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education KSU makes the following endorsements available: Reading, ESOL, Gifted, Online Teaching, and Teacher Leadership. The cost of this program is $390 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $383
  • Flexibility-granting components: Number of endorsements

4. Mercer University

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 the 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 programs online 2 bachelor’s degrees and 4 master’s degrees.

Mercer University offers a 30-semester hour M.Ed. in Early Childhood Development. This program is designed for certified educators and focuses on grades K-5. Those enrolled will enrich their teaching practices through advanced knowledge of leadership development, early childhood education, best practices in pedagogy, advocacy for all learners and research. Students also have an opportunity to gain an endorsement in the following areas: Autism, ESOL, Mathematics EcE, Reading or Science ECE. Candidates will learn how to design and implement developmentally appropriate curricula to meet the cognitive needs of all students. The curriculum also includes social, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive development of early learners. This program is 12- 16 months in length and is divided by 16-week semesters.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $590
  • Flexibility-granting components: Accelerated

5. Portland State University

Portland State University is a public research institution founded in 1946 that enrolls over 27,000 students. It was originally established as a post-secondary institution for World War II veterans. Today, Portland State represents a highly-diverse student body. The average classroom size is 27 and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Northwest Commission on College and Universities accredits Portland State to offer bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees and professional certificates. According to U.S. News Portland State is the 9th most innovative school in the nation. One innovative highlight is their “four year degree guarantee” program that is a signed agreement for a four-year graduation time. If that agreement is not met, the remaining tuition is free. Additionally, this adaptable institution supports its students through a commitment to diversity, equality, research experience, community engagement, and sustainability. This is evinced not only through freshman retention but the vast number of programs both on-campus and online that rank highly each year. Other fields ranking highly include, business, criminal justice, and social work.

Portland State University offers a master’s degree in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education and Curriculum and Instruction. This unique program is taught jointly by both the department of Curriculum and Instruction as well as the Special Education Department. We like the flexibility offered through this program. In fact, individuals may select from the following concentrations: Constructivism in Early Childhood Education which is described as a pedagogical approached based on the works of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky and explore the child’s interaction with their learning environment. The other two areas of concentrations are: Infant/ Toddler Mental Health, and Early Childhood Special Education. U.S. News ranks Portland State University’s graduate education programs among the best in the nation. The program cost is $411 per credit hour and requires 45 credit hours for completion.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $411
  • Flexibility-granting components: Number of specialziations

6. Northwestern College


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 flexible and affordable.

Northwestern College offers a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education that may be completed in 2 years or less. This program is designed for professionals who need to juggle both work and school and is compatible with the time table of an employed teacher. Additionally, as this program is approved by the TEACH Grant, first-time teachers who are looking to fill high-need fields in low-income areas may also qualify for a free master’s degree program. The core curriculum includes trends in 21st century education, curriculum and assessment, teaching with technology, research methods and a capstone experiences. The early childhood emphasis allows for an additional 15 credit hours in advanced child development, early literacy and more. The total credit hour requirement for this degree is 33. This is also our most affordable option costing only $305 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $305
  • Flexibility-granting components: N/A

7. Capella University


Capella University is a for-profit institution of higher learning based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The majority of degree offerings are presented online. Capella University offers competency-based education meaning that student may accelerate through programmings based on a competency check list, the curriculum is built by experts directly in the student’s profession and there is high percentage of alumni success. Flexible programming means that online education is offered in two formats: the GuidedPath program and the FlexPath program. Guided requires you to meet set deadlines and mirrors more of an on-campus approach where FlexPath is self-paced and the pace will determine the price. Each path determines different payment options. There are currently over 37,000 student that attend Capella where nearly 80% of the student-body is female and the vast majority are professionals attending part-time. Capella makes it their mission to address the disconnect between academia and real-work experience- suppling career-ready programs to help its graduate make life-changing advancements upon graduate.

Capella University offers a M.S. in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. We like this program for its accelerated courses and high quality comprehensive program. This program requires 46 quarter credits for completion where each quarter is a 3 month period followed by a three-week break. Each course is just 10 weeks in length. The core courses includes foundational material like assessment and instruction, curriculum development, classroom management, and research. Specialization classes include infant and child development, the early childhood learning environment, early childhood literacy and advocacy. This program includes 6 quarter credits of and eduction practicum experience. This accelerated program also has a generous transfer allowance- students may transfer up to 12 classes into this specialization. The cost for this program is $444 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $444
  • Flexibility-granting components: Accelerated courses

8. University of North Dakota


The University of North Dakota is a public space grant university located in Grand Forks. This flagship university enrolls 14,951 students and offers over 225 degree programs. The student body represents all 50 states and over 85 countries across the globe. According to U.S. News the University of North Dakota is the among the 202nd best national universities, 110 top public school and ranks highly for both its business and engineering program. The average classroom size is 24, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits UND to offer over 3,000 courses of study that includes 40 online degree programs and 80 graduate education programs. Research is a central focus and the university has a reputation for its research in aerospace, health sciences, energy, and the environment. Additionally, UND offers the only schools for medicine and law in the state. The Oscher Lifelong Learning Institute at UND offers fantastic student support and programming through their distance learning programs. In fact, UND has been offering distance learning for over a century- starting with classes given by written correspondence.

The University of North Dakota offers a M.S. in Early Childhood Education. This program requires 32 credit hours and will take a minimum of 2 years to complete. The Center For Online Education lists this program as one of the top 5 online master’s degree programs. This is a non-licensing degree program that prepares professional teachers to become experts in the educational needs of learners ages 0-8. All students receive in-state tuition regardless of residency. The program curriculum delves into creating appropriate learning environments for young learners, understanding diversity, curriculum design, assessment, developing community, and addressing the needs of exceptional learners. All students will engage with a teaching practicum in their local community. The cost for this program is $410 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $410
  • Flexibility-granting components: N/A

9. California University of Pennsylvania


California University of Pennsylvania is a public university that was established in 1852. It is located in the rural town of California, Pennsylvania. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits California University of Pennsylvania to offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Currently there are 7,854 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. Through their 14 schools, Cal U offers over 100 undergraduate majors and minors, and 50 graduate degree programs. In addition to a vast range of degree programs Cal U offers access to internship opportunities through their internship center, study abroad programming, and fantastic academic support. The Princeton Review rates Cal U as one the most affordable options for higher education in Pennsylvania. The U.S. News ranks Cal U as a “Best for Veterans” university. In fact, Cal U offers a Military tuition discount program, veteran benefits as well as military tuition assistance and more. The Global Online program at Cal U offers over 75 online degree programs that are affordable and accelerated.

California University of Pennsylvania offers a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. There are three program option: ECE Master’s plus Certificate, ECE Master’s only, and ECE Certificate. We like the flexibility these three tracks have to offer. Graduates have the flexibility to enter into the classroom setting, work in Head Start Program, child care as well as parental and family support settings. The curriculum examines early childhood curriculum and assessment, advanced childhood development as well as methods of research, advanced psychology of learning, and more. This program requires 39 credit hours for completion. The Master’s only requires 30, and the certificate requires 24 credit hours for completion. The cost of the program is $493 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $493
  • Flexibility-granting components: Three program options

10. Grand Canyon University


Grand Canyon University is a for-profit Christian research university that is based in Phoenix, Arizona. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. There are eight colleges that offer academic programming in areas like business, education, nursing and health care, fine arts and production, theology, and doctoral studies. Online, Grand Canyon University offers an impressive number of degrees that range from the bachelor’s to doctoral level including a PhD in psychology among several others. There are also a large number of theology degrees offered completely online. We like Grand Canyon University for its accelerated online programming, and affordable flexible offerings.

Grand Canyon University offers a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. This program is suitable for those seeking licensure as well as those already holding certification. The total degree requirements are 44 credit hours. Students engage in a comprehensive curriculum that includes early literacy development, managing the learning environment, teaching to exceptional learners, functional assessment, as well as student teaching for birth to preschool and K-3. The field experience exposes individuals to a variety of real-life teaching scenarios where students learn to work with students at varying developmental stages. This program takes a minimum of 27 months to complete and the cost is $515 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $515
  • Flexibility-granting components: Accelerated courses

11.)California Baptist University

California Baptist University (CBU) is a private university located in Riverside, California. There are 9,157 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits CBU to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. According to U.S. News, CBU ranks as the 31st best school in the region, 30th for best value school, and 101st for best online graduate education programs. When it comes to military support, CBU is a Yellow Ribbon school. And for all students CBU offers academic and career counseling, employment services, remedial help, and placement for graduates. Students at CBU are well looked after in terms of support and in terms of academic quality and range. Candidates have a wide variety of course material from which to choose ranging from architecture to visual arts. Non traditional students looking to make an advancement in their career online have an impressive 32 fully online degrees from which to select. Some of the most popular programs by enrollment are in the fields of education, health, business and psychology.

California Baptist University (CBU) offers an online Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. We selected this course for its high quality academic prestige, flexible online format, and for the affordable online tuition rate. Over the past decade we have seen a surge in the relevance of early childhood programming. This program provides the necessary course material current to our contemporary understanding of the field and at an affordable price that is flexible for its learners. You will learn through research and through applied theory that examines prenatal development through to age eight. Additionally, you will learn to develop curricula for all types of early learners including young children with exceptionalities. This academic prestige of the program shines through the comprehensive nature of the curriculum including: school, family, and community partnerships, a survey of educational research, early childhood literacy and language development, theories of learning and teaching as well as leadership worldviews and contemporary issues.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $615
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, average completion is 12 months

12.)Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a public institution located in Jacksonville, Alabama. There are 8,514 enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 18:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits JSU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate and post-master’s certificates. U.S. News ranks JSU as the 89th best university in the South, and as the 34th best public school. There are a number of quality student support services including employment, placement for graduates, remedial and academic and career counseling. Candidates may use credit for life experience, transfer AP credits, and utilize dual credits. JSU focuses their academic programming on career-ready degrees for both traditional and nontraditional students. Additionally, JSU offers a robust liberal arts program and a number of degrees in the visual and performing arts. When it comes to online education, JSU offer over 20 fully online degrees and professional certifications in lucrative fields like business, health, and education. The most popular of their online degrees are in the field of education.

Jacksonville State University offers an online Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. We selected this course for the affordable tuition rate, flexible online format, and high level of academic prestige. This online program covers grades Pre-K through to Grade 3. This program requires just 33-37 credit hours for completion and costs just $382 per credit hour. We like this academic curriculum for the current programming that is very relevant for the 21st century early childhood classroom. The curriculum includes individualization for education for young children, materials and methods, behavior and development in early childhood, teaching writing in early childhood education, assessment in early childhood education, enhancing learning, and so much more. If you are looking for an affordable and comprehensive degree that sets you up for success in the 21st century classroom, this is a fantastic option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $382
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, extension available for certification, may choose ECE or elementary education

13.)University of Toledo

University of Toledo is a public research university located in Toledo, Ohio. There are 20,615 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 21:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits UT to award comprehensive degree and certifications programs. Carnegie classifies UT as a doctoral university with higher research activity. U.S. Newsranks their online graduate education and online bachelor’s programs among the best in the nation. The university provides ample support for its students through clubs, organizations, career and academic counseling, on-campus day care for children and more. Academic programming is versatile and works well for traditional and nontraditional students alike. In fact, there are over 300 degrees offered at every level and accommodate students of the Arts, sciences, humanities, and more. Those looking for an online degree will not be disappointed as UT offers over 30 fully online programs in lucrative fields like nursing, healthcare, computer engineering, business, and the full gambit of education-related degrees.

The University of Toledo offers an online Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for the affordable online tuition rate and flexible online format. This degree is broken into three component parts: foundational core, speciality courses in early childhood education, and a culminating activity which the student may select to be either a thesis or a project. This course costs just $335 per credit hour and requires just 36 credit hours for completion. This means that students finish their master’s degree for on average just $12,060. Students will be prepared to teach students grades pre-K to 3rd grade with this comprehensive curriculum that includes valuable courses like reading assessment and diagnosis, Atypical early childhood development, child behavior and development, infant/toddler curriculum, inspirations from reggio emilia, health for early childhood education and much more. For an affordable and exciting degree that equips you with all the tools necessary in the field of early childhood education, this is a fantastic option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $335
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, flexible culminating activity, eligible for LAMP (licensure and master’s program)

14.)Liberty University Online

Liberty University is a private university located in Lynchburg, Virginia and is the largest nonprofit university in the country. There are 75,756 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits LU to award comprehensive degree and professional certification programs. LU offers robust academic programming- with a total of 550 degrees- 366 offered through their residential program and 289 offered online! In addition to the 79 undergraduate degrees, and 175 graduate degrees, LU offers 28 online doctoral programs. According to U.S. News, the following online rank among the best in the nation: online graduate nursing, online graduate business, online graduate MBA, best online bachelor’s degrees, and best online graduate education programs. LU offers the usual student support and enrichment programs like organizations, athletic teams, and clubs and career and academic counseling for its candidates. LU has offered affordable and flexible quality programming since 1971.

Liberty University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M) in Teaching and Learning with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for its flexibility-enhancing options and for the affordable online tuition. This course requires 36 credit hours for completion and costs $565 per credit hour. The curriculum is broken into three components: 15 credit hours of core courses, 12 hours of early childhood education course material, and 9 hours for professional development. These courses include behavior management, leadership and supervision in education, and either a directed practicum capstone or a “current issues in education” capstone experience. All students will learn about advanced child development, current issues in early childhood education, organization and administration of pre-schools, and curriculum and methods for early childhood. The core materials focus on learning theory, exceptionality, foundations in education and elementary curriculum methods. For a quality flexible program that meets your professional scheduling needs, this is a great option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $565
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, 50% of program may be transferred, optional practicum experience, 3-year-old and 4-year-old endorsement available

15.)University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public institution located in Birmingham, Alabama. There are 19,535 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 16:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits UAB to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees including postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certifications. According to U.S. News, UAB ranks as the 159th best university in the nation, 83rd best public school and among the top in the nation for the following online degree offerings: graduate nursing, graduate computer information technology, business, graduate engineering, online bachelor’s, and graduate education programming. With so many highly ranked online degrees, it’s probably no surprise that UAB offers a vast range of programs for both traditional and nontraditional students including some unique offerings in African-American studies, neurobiology,ESL language, environmental health, anthropology and musical theatre. There are nearly 20 online degrees and certifications in fields like business, health, engineering, and education.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a number of degrees for early childhood education including both their Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and their Master of Education in Early childhood Education and Elementary Education. We selected this course for the flexible options available online and for the high quality academic prestige of this program. This course costs $935 per credit hour and requires 31-34 credit hours for completion depending on the students’ prefered track. Though one of our more expensive options, this program makes up for affordability through value of education-the cost of education calculated against the high quality. Expect to learn from some of the best in the field of early childhood education and to have an opportunity to study material that is relevant to your learning needs. All students will have the opportunity to examine the learning needs of exceptional learners, learn to create programs policies and curriculum for ESL learning, diverse learnings, and learners in urban settings. In fact, you pick the classes that will suit your professional needs- further enhancing our flexibility metric. For a high quality degree that is readily tailored to your specific professional needs, both master’s tracks at UAB are a fantastic choice.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $935
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, two degree tracks available

16.)Champlain College

Champlain College is a private university located in Burlington, Vermont. There are 4,778 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 16:1. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits Champlain College to award associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates. U.S. News ranks Champlain as the 91st best school in the North 2nd most innovative school, and 56th for best value schools. When it comes to innovation, Champlain College ranks highly for its innovative approach to curriculum, faculty, campus life and technological achievements. Nearly 20% of students enrolled are involved in disability services- noting a high level of diversity present in the student body. In addition to a diverse student body, Champlain College shines with innovation through its online degree offerings including 65 fully online degrees and professional certifications in fields like business, law, homeland security, health, computer information sciences and education.

Champlain College offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. We selected this course for for the high quality of academic prestige, three flexible online specializations from which to select your electives, and for the affordable tuition rate. Students have the opportunity to select four electives from three areas of specialization: special education, administration, and teaching. This course requires 36 credit hours for completion. All students will engage with the core curriculum which includes: early childhood and play, creative constructive environments, leadership, the child family and community, supporting children with special needs, observation and documentation, and two levels of research. If you are looking for a program that is affordable, quality, and provides ample flexibility to meet you professional needs, look no further, Champlain College has it all!

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $595
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, three specializations from which to acquire elective course material

17.)Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University (GSU) is a public university located in Statesboro Georgia. There are 20,673 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 22:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits GSU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certifications. U.S. News ranks GSU among some of the best institutions for their online degrees. In fact, their online graduate computer information technology program online MBA program, online graduate business program, online bachelor’s, and online graduate education programs all rank within the top 100 in the nation. When it comes to Military Friendly GSU ranks as a Gold standard according to G.I. Jobs and as a best school for military advanced education and transition according to Top Colleges and Universities. Academic excellence shines for both traditional and nontraditional students and includes a wide range of degree offerings- everythign from chemistry to sociology to drama and theater arts. GSU offer 25 degrees and certifications online with some of the most popular online degrees by enrollment in the field of business, education, and health.

Georgia Southern University offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for its flexible online and accelerated format as well as for the affordable online tuition. This course requires 36 credit hours for completion and costs $410 per credit hour. Additionally, this program allows for 9 credit hours of open electives. The degree is broken into 4 component parts: core, specialized content, a culmination course, and open electives. The core curriculum focuses on curriculum development, learning theories, and reasearch. Your specialized content is where you dig deeper into early childhood development across subject material including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and ESOL. All students culminate this degree with a seminar in Prek-5th. Unlike some of our other selections, this course examines not only the early years, but elementary education as well. This is a great option for students who are interested in advancing their career in the early years but want to remain open to elementary education.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $410
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, average completion is 12 months, 9 credit hours of open electives

18.)University of West Alabama

The University of West Alabama (UWA) is located in the remote town of 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 associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as post-master’s certifications. We love the affordable, flexible and quality academic programming as well as the lengths to which UWA travels to ensure their students are supported and successful during their time as students. Student support services include remedial support, distance learning opportunities, on-campus day care services for students with children, placement for completers, and career and academic counseling for all involved. This level of support helps to ensure that both traditional and nontraditional students find success when pursuing their degree. Academic programs are focused on programs in lucrative fields like psychology, engineering, education, biology, and business. There are just as many online programs as there are on-campus and some of the most popular online degree offerings by enrollment include their online bachelor’s finance, all online master’s in education, and their online bachelor’s in psychology.

The University of West Alabama offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education for grades Pre-K through to 3rd grade. We selected this program for the affordable tuition rate and for the flexible and accelerated pacing. This course requires 31 credit hours for completion and costs just $429 per credit hour. This course is broken into 3 component parts: Teaching field courses including 9 electives in early childhood, and professional courses. The curriculum include foundations of education, techniques, research and teaching reading among others. If you are looking for an affordable accelerated degree, the Ed.M from West Alabama is a fantastic option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $429
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, average completion is 12 months, courses are 8-weeks accelerated, 9 credit hours of early childhood education electives.

19.)Biola University

Biola University is a 4-year private institution located in La Mirada, California. There are 6,095 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is just 15:1. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits Biola University to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certificates. U.S. News ranks Biola University as the 159th best school in the nation. Biola University has a strong commitment to diversity among its student body as is evinced through their center for Cross-Cultural Engagement, the Mosaic Cultural Center, and the Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation. Student support services include remedial assistance, academic and career counselling, as well as credit for life experience. Academic programming is strong and also diverse including unique degree offerings in fields like cinematography and film/video production, theology, and journalism. In addition, Biola University provides a number of career-ready degrees for traditional and nontraditional students. There are currently 5 fully online affordable degrees in the field of education.

Biola University offers a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. We selected this course for the high quality academic programming and affordable tuition rates. This program is divided into three components: core coursework, early childhood coursework, and a capstone experience. The core components include among others advanced educational psychology, research, advanced curriculum and instruction, research and cultural and intercultural instruction and more. The early childhood portion of this degree includes a look into childhood development from birth to adolescence, early childhood curriculum, school family and community partnerships in early childhood, classroom management in early childhood settings, observation and assessment of young children, and an early childhood practicum. All students may complete either a research or thesis-based capstone experience. This is a great program for any student who is looking to obtain a comprehensive grasp of early childhood education.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $592
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, flexible capstone experience

20.)National Louis University

National Louis University is a private institution located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1886, NL has been providing quality and affordable private education for over 130 years. Their mission is to “provide a superior and supportive educational experience for students of all ages and backgrounds.” In fact, U.S. News ranks NLU among the top 25 most diverse universities in the nation. There are 4,515 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is just 16:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits NL to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates, and post-master’s certifications. Some of the most outstanding student support services come in the form of teacher certification, ample distance learning opportunities, academic and career counseling, and credit for life experience. This is why NL can provide quality education to all types of learners. In addition to the full range of programming for arts to sciences, NL offers 15 fully online programs in fields like business, early childhood education, curriculum and instruction, forensic psychology and more.

National Louis University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for the affordable tuition rate and for the additional endorsement opportunities provided through this program. Students have the flexibility to include an additional educational license, or earn a birth to grade 3 endorsement. Students have the option to follow the early childhood MAT alternative teacher licensure program, early childhood MAT teacher resident program, or the early childhood MAT traditional program. The traditional route is 45 semester hours in length and very comprehensive. The curriculum includes cross cultural education, child care for infants and toddlers, teaching and learning in early childhood settings in language arts, social studies, art, music and movement, human development and so much more. All students are required to complete a student teaching experience. If you are looking for a comprehensive, affordable and flexible program to prepear you for your career in early childhood education, the course at National Louis is a fantastic option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $430
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, three tracks available

21.)Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public 4-year institution located in Flagstaff, Arizona. There are 30,361 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits NAU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates, and post-master’s certificates. U.S. News ranks NAU online programs as some of the top in the nation. Among their top ranked programs include their online graduate nursing program, online bachelor’s program, and online graduate education programming. G.I. Jobs, Best for Vets and Military Times, all rank NAU as one of the top military friendly schools in the nation. Their online academic offerings are as diverse as the student body they serve and include unique offerings in ethinic studies, microbiology, zoology, speech-language pathology, astronomy, and sculpture just to name a few. It may come as no surprise that NAU offers an extremely robust online program including over 60 degrees and certifications in fields like photography, hospitality, nursing, and early childhood education.

Northern Arizona University offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for its quality academic programming and for the three flexible tracks available. Students may select from one of the following programs: early childhood teacher, early childhood leadership, early childhood national board preparation. All student are required to complete between 12-15 credit hours of core course material and 16-18 credit hours of emphasis requirement courses which will vary depending on your desired track. The core courses include: early childhood curriculum, selected topics in early childhood education, and development of children’s logical concepts. Student then have to option to choose between 3-6 credit hours from the following courses: international education, education sociology, and an introduction to research. If you are looking for a high quality academic program that is flexible to meet your professional needs, the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education at NAU is a fantastic option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $667
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, three concentration tracks

22.)The University of Dayton

The University of Dayton (UD) is a private university located in Dayton, Ohio. There are 10,803 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits UD to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. According to U.S. News University of Dayton ranks as the 124th best school in the nation, 73rd for best value school, 53rd for best online graduate engineering program, and 15th for best online graduate education programming. Students services are comprehensive and include support for traditional and nontraditional students as well as active military and veterans. Carnegie lists UD as a doctoral university with “high research activity.” The academic programming includes a vast array of programs in the arts and sciences as well as online degrees that are career-ready. There are 5 fully online master’s degrees available in management science, educational leadership, reading teacher education, instructional technology, and early childhood education.

The University of Dayton offers a Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy. We selected this online course for its high quality academic programming, and flexible options. This program is a great fit for individuals who are experienced in the field of early childhood and are looking to advocate for best practice early childhood education in their schools and districts, or are looking to learn more and gain a leadership position in the field. The are two options available: early childhood leadership, and the early childhood advocacy option. Those who take the leadership route will examine heavily programming, regulations, curriculum, managing finances and marketing. Those who opt to take the advocacy route will examine early childhood education using a cross-disciplinary approach, through advocacy, and of course through community and parental involvement. This program is not the cheapest among our picks, but in terms of academic quality certainly makes up for this when considering value.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $964
  • Flexibility-granting components: online,research-based or thesis capstone, includes practicum

23.)University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is a public 4-year institution located in Greensboro, North Carolina. There are 19,647 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. UNCG is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate and post-master’s certificates. According to U.S. News, has the 27th best online graduate computer information technology program in the nation, and the 22nd best in their nation for their online graduate education programs. Carnegie classifies UNCG as a doctoral university with high research activity. In fact, UNCG is the number one Catholic university in the nation for sponsored engineering and STEM research. In addition to high quality sciences, UNCG offers a wide array of programs in the humanities, arts, education, business and more. There are nearly 20 fully online degrees and certifications available including a bachelor’s in philosophy, MBA, and a master’s in early childhood education.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Leadership. We selected this program for the high quality of academic offerings and the flexibility offered through the two tracks. The two early childhood education-related tracks are in: early childhood leadership and program administration, and in early childhood leadership and advanced teaching licensure. Students who participate in this track are expected to have a teacher licensure. All students engage with research, theory and practice, and a practicum experience. Expect to study birth to Kindergarten, Inclusive family-centered practices, teaching methods in inclusive early childhood settings, assessment, advanced curriculum development and more. The length of the course will vary depending on the track but expect to fulfill a minimum of 37 credit hours. The cost for this program is $964 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $964
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, two tracks available

24.)Northcentral University

Northcentral University (NCU) is a private 4-year distance learning institution headquartered in San Diego, California. There are 10,916 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 1:1. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits Northcentral University to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as professional certificates. NCU specializes in offering affordable online career-ready degrees for non-traditional learners. NCU is a Military-friendly institution that offers reduced tuition rates for active military and veterans as well as reduced pricing on materials. NCU will accept credit for life experiences Other student support services come in the form of academic and career counseling. When it comes to academics, all programs are offered fully online and are specifically tailored to individuals who are seeking degrees in lucrative fields. The most popular programs by enrollment are in business, education, and psychology. Additionally, NCU offers 5 fully online doctoral degrees.

Northcentral University offers a Master of Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for the affordable online tuition rate, and for the flexible accelerated format. This course requires 30 credit hours for completion and may be completed in as little as 15 months. All student will complete 18 credit hours of core course material and 12 credit hours of specialization. You specialization courses include foundations of early childhood education, growth and development of young children, administration of early childhood programs, children and families in a diverse society, children’s literature, and an early childhood capstone experience. If you are looking for an accelerated, flexible, and highly affordable Master’s in Early Childhood Education this course is perfect.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $445
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, average completion is 15 months

25.) Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSUL) is a public school located in rural Nachitoches, Louisiana- home of the Cane River Scenic Byway. There are 9,819 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 20:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits NSUL to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certificates. There are a wide range of academic programs available from nursing, military science, to new media journalism and communication. U.S. News ranks NSU for its best online graduate nursing programming, and its best online graduate education programs. As you may imagine there are a great array of online degree offerings There are a total of 26 online degrees ranging from associate’s to the doctoral level. Twelve of those online degree options are master’s degrees in nearly all areas of education including: special education, elementary education and teaching, teaching of individuals in early childhood special education and early childhood education and teaching among others. Their doctorate program is in nursing practice.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education. We selected this program for its affordable online tuition rate and flexible online format. Students who complete this program are also eligible for licensure in the state of Louisiana. This course focuses on Pre – grade three. All students will learn about child development, building positive relationships with children families and communities, early childhood / primary learning space design, early childhood/ primary curriculum and standards, literacy, ready, children with exceptionalities, research and a practicum. This program requires 2 semesters of a teaching internship. The cost of this program is $475 per credit hour requires 33 credit hours for completion.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $475
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, leads to licensure, students may select a licensure only track

26.)University of Colorado- Denver

University of Colorado- Denver is a public university located in Denver, Colorado and is the also the location of the Anschutz Medical Campus. There are 23,960 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits UC Denver to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. U.S. News ranks UC Denver as the 207th best school in the nation 113th top public school, 13th for best online graduate criminal justice programs and 47th for best online graduate education programs. UC Denver offers the full gambit of student support services including services for military and civilian students. When it comes to academic offerings, UC Denver is robust- offering everything from architecture to visual and performing arts. There are an impressive 28 fully online degrees available from the bachelor’s to doctoral level including an online PhD in public health, master’s in speech communication and rhetoric, a bachelor’s in sociology, and a master’s in early childhood education.

The University of Colorado- Denver offers aMaster of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Though one of our most expensive courses listed, the academic calibur of the program is extremely high- giving this course a high value score. We also like that ther eare three areas of concentration: administration and leadership, diversity and inclusion, and teaching and learning. This course includes topics on child growth and development, curriculum and program development, family-centered practice, culturally reponsive teaching in multicultural and multilingual settings, measurement and evaluation and much more. This course requires 33 credit hours for completions and costs $1243 per credit hour. If you are looking for a top-notch comprehensive program that affords you the flexibility to hone your degree option according to your needs, this program is a great fit.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1243
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, three tracks

27.)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 including a master’s in mass communication and media studies, online master’s in educational psychology, and an online master’s in early childhood education.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. We selected this course for the affordable tuition rate and quality of online academic programming. This course requires 30 credit hours for completion and costs $483 per credit hour. All student will be required to complete 27 credit hours of required course material and 3 credit hours of elective material. The required course material includes development of young learners, issues and trends in early literacy development, curriculum in early childhood education, math and science for young children, observation, documentation and assessment, partnership with family school and community, play, research and a seminar in exceptionalities. For a comprehensive affordable master’s in early childhood education, this is a great choice.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $483
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, average completion is 12 months

28.)Walden University


Walden University is a private university based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Walden is part of a global network of 80 universities located in 29 different countries and enrolls over 47,000 students world-wide. The student body represents 50 states and over 150 nations. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Walden University to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Walden’s stated mission aims to offer degree programs that “reflect current market trends and promote positive change.” It does so by offering degrees in fields like business management, nursing, information technology, communication and new media, public health and education. There are over 163 degree programs offered in traditional and nontraditional formats. Online learning is flexible and is designed to fit the schedule of the individual. We like Walden for its flexible relevant and career-oriented offerings.​ Some of the most popular programs by enrollment are in the fields of business, health, social services, psychology, and education. In fact, Walden offers 10 online master’s in education including their online master’s in early childhood education.

Walden University offers a Master of Science is Early Childhood Studies. We selected this program for the flexibility-enhancing features that includes a generous transfer allowance and four specializations. The four specializations are in: administration management and leadership, early childhood public policy and advocacy, teaching adults in the early childhood years, and teaching diversity in early childhood education. All tracks require 30 credit hours for completion and cost $720 per credit hour. While specializations courses differe depending on your preferred track, all students will learn about the foundations of early childhood studies, early childhood development, effective programs and practices, issues and trends in the early childhood field, how to build research competencies, perspectives on diversity and equity, and communicating and collaborating in the early childhood field. If you are looking for a comprehensive, flexible and accessible course that meets your specific needs in early childhood education the courses at Walden University are a great pick.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $720
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, transfer up to 15 credit hours, four specializations

29.)Stephen F. Austin State University

Stephen F. Austin State University is a public institution located in Nacagdoches, Texas. There are 12,742 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits SFASU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. U.S. News ranks SFASU as the 73rd best university in the West, and 22nd top public school with the 179th best education school. SFASU supports a diverse student body and is military friendly- welcoming and supporting all branches of the military both veterans and active military. The student support services don’t stop with military personnel and include services for traditional and nontraditional students like placement services for graduates, academic and career counselling, and more. The academic offerings are varied and include degrees in fields like agriculture, music, and philosophy. With such a range of degrees it’s probably no surprise that SFASU offers a number of online degrees. There are 12 degree programs including a master’s in social work, bachelor’s in human development and family studies, and a master’s in early childhood education and teaching.

Stephen F. Austin State University offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. We selected this course for its affordable tuition rate. This program requires 36 credit hours for completion and is $497 per credit hour. The core focus is on curriculum development, leadership, connection with community, early childhood development and more. For a quality affordable degree from one of the top education departments in the US, the Ed.M at Stephen F. Austin State University is a great option.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $497
  • Flexibility-granting components: online

30.)Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University is a public university located in Valdosta, Georgia. There are 11,375 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Valdosta State to offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, education specialists and doctoral degree programs making it one of four comprehensive degree-offering programs in the state of Georgia. Though there are over 11,000 students enrolled at VSU, classroom sizes remain small averaging fewer than 20 participants. Valdosta State is a truly versatile institution offering high quality academic programs as well as renowned arts programming. Students may also participate in unique research opportunities including research studies in the Flordia Keys for undergraduates or students may venture further out by way of any of the myriad of study abroad opportunities. Online, Valdosta State offers over 50 degree programs everything from criminal justice to early childhood education.

Valdosta State University offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. We selected this course for the the affordable tuition and quality academic programming. In this Master of Education program you will learn about the current theories of child development, and learn how to apply that to the education of young children. This program is comprehensive and includes core material on assessment, ethics, and law. This course also focuses on social and emotional learning of young learners as well as physical and multicultural needs of young children. Learn to set up your education environment to maximize the learning experience for your young learners and how to implement effect informal assessment throughout the process. If you are looking for a fully comprehensive affordable online program that uses up-to-date learning theories to meet your young learners needs, the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education is a great place to start.

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  • Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $532
  • Flexibility-granting components: online, relevant for PreK-Grade 5
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