What are the most affordable brick-and-mortar and online early childhood education schools?
Public schools are going to be more affordable than private schools, and some early childhood education online schools are often inexpensive as well. As a rule, community colleges are cheaper than 4-year schools, but many community colleges do not offer advanced degrees. With a little research, you can find an affordable school for early childhood education that fits your needs.
Boise State Universityoffers 1 of the most affordable on-campus programs for early childhood education. According to U.S. News & World Report, Boise State costs less than $6,000 per year for in-state students. If you are out-of-state, it will cost you more, but still below $16,000 per year.
Alabama State University in Montgomery can offer you a masters, bachelors or an education specialist degree at a very reasonable price. U.S. News & World Report lists yearly tuition at approximately $7,200 if you are in-state.
University of West Georgia is 1 of the few accredited online schools for early childhood education, and it is also very inexpensive. The approximate tuition comes in at about $5,000 per year. If you are seeking a bachelors, you should consider the University of West Georgia because it is both affordable and it is also among the top early childhood education schools online.
How can I connect with other on-campus or online students who are also studying at my school for early childhood education?
You can connect with other students in several ways, especially if you attend a traditional campus. For example, at Sierra College, which is 1 of the best schools for early childhood education in northern California, you can participate in the early childhood education club. The club can keep you up to date with current practices in education.
You can also participate in national clubs and conferences regardless of which college or university you attend. The National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators hosts yearly conferences you can attend.
You can also join the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)as they offer student membership. Some colleges have a NAEYC branch on campus, but you can join even if you attend an online school.
You may find it difficult to make connections if you attend an early childhood education school online, but there are several ways you can find other students in your field. Many early childhood education online schools have websites and online tools, which allow you to be part of an online community.
Capella University offers their online early childhood education students excellent resources to stay connected to the campus and other online students. You can post on message boards, contribute to blogs and post on their Facebook page.
What resources should my brick-and-mortar or online school offer me when I am studying early childhood education?
Schools should offer you various resources to help you succeed while you are studying for your early childhood education degree or certificate. Traditional and online schools will offer financial aid, scholarships and student advising.
Brick-and-mortar schools can offer you much more student support than online colleges. You can receive academic support, disability accommodations, counseling and medical assistance. Also, brick-and-mortar schools with early education programs often have children’s books and videos, so you can make lesson plans. At traditional schools, you also have access to computer labs and printers, usually at no extra cost.
Traditional colleges normally provide different forms of tutoring or academic counseling in a wide array of subjects. You will find that the majority of colleges have a writing center, so you can receive support for essays, cover letters and research papers. Colleges with tutoring centers usually have walk-in appointments available for immediate assistance. Many university and college tutoring services traditionally host workshops that focus on specific topics. Most colleges even offer online tutoring for off-campus students.
If you are working towards an early childhood education degree online, you will still have some resources available. You will have technical support to help you with any online issues, and you will have access to most texts or documents in electronic form. Many online schools will send textbooks and workbooks to your home, so you do not have to go out and buy them separately.
Are there any nonprofit online early education schools or programs that I could look into?
At Park Universityin Parkville, Montana, you can complete your bachelors with a concentration in early childhood education. Park University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Park University is a brick-and-mortar school that was founded 134 years ago, but its online early childhood education programs are some of the most innovative and comprehensive.
Western Governors University (WGU) is among the top early childhood education schools online. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities as well as the Distance Education and Training Council. At WGU, you can earn a bachelors degree in early childhood education online and you will know that most potential employers will consider your education valid. Western Governors University has also been highly praised by U.S. News & World Report.
University of North Dakota is an excellent place for you to study if you want to pursue a masters in early childhood education. The school has accreditation from The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and The Higher Learning Commission. The University of North Dakota ranked eleventh in 2012 for the top nonprofit colleges and universities.
What are the top brick-and-mortar and online colleges and universities for early childhood education?
The best early childhood education colleges will offer courses in a classroom environment as well as opportunities for internships to give you the experience you need to enter the field. The top programs will only be offered by accredited colleges for early childhood education. You need to keep in mind that several colleges and online universities lack accreditation, so it is important that you look for a program that is accredited.
One of the most prestigious programs in early childhood education is offered by Vanderbilt University, which is a private facility located in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s early childhood education program takes a minimum of 4 years to complete. It even includes the option for a semester or a full year abroad at University of Cambridge’s Homerton College. U.S. News and World Report ranked Vanderbilt as the best education program offered in the United States in 2011.
The second ranked school in 2011 was University of Texas at Austin, which is a public university. UT, Austin was also ranked twenty-fifth overall by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance in 2010 because of the college’s affordability and financial aid packages.
Early childhood education online colleges are becoming more recognized despite the lack of hands on interaction, guidance and internships. Walden University ranks 3.1 out of 5 and is considered 1 of the best colleges for early childhood education.
What extracurricular activities should I pursue when I am studying early childhood education in college?
While you are attending an early childhood education university, there are a number of extracurricular activities available for you in almost every college community. Most of the top early childhood education universities participate in professional organizations, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). You can also join campus clubs like the Student Government Association (SGA). Both the NAEYC and SGA offer the opportunity for you to become an ambassador to gain leadership skills.
If you enroll in a 4-year program, you might want to consider other opportunities, like becoming a resident assistant or resident director. These positions usually offer some sort of tuition discount, especially if you are an out of state student.
If you want to experience more diversity while you attend college for early childhood education, you can pursue extracurricular activities in music, art or foreign language. Adding a variety of experience to your resume can only help you land a better after graduation.
Attending an online college will not offer you many, if any, of the same extracurricular activities that are offered at traditional institutions. However, if you are trying to obtain your online associates or online early childhood education bachelors degree, you can boost your educational background within your own community by helping out in schools and other child based organizations.
What volunteer opportunities will I have at my brick-and-mortar or online early childhood education university?
Most volunteer opportunities will be available to you in the community, whether you are looking at early childhood education online colleges or brick-and-mortar colleges. Almost all public institutions, such as daycares, libraries, hospitals and nursing homes frequently welcome volunteers.
Volunteering at a daycare center will likely require a background check as well as a tuberculosis (TB) test. Do not be alarmed as this is standard at most public facilities. If you can get your foot in the door at a daycare center or preschool as a volunteer, you will have a good chance to get a solid recommendation or even employment after you graduate.
Many libraries offer volunteer opportunities, especially during the summer time. Volunteering at a library entails reading stories to groups of small children, creating art projects related to children’s literature and monitoring children on appropriate websites.
Early childhood education college students might also find it beneficial to work with people in a nursing home or retirement center. If you are an online student, your classes will likely lack personal interaction, so this is a good way to get out and work with others. Many residents at both types of facilities often have their grandchildren visit. As a volunteer, you could help coordinate age appropriate activities in which both the grandchild and grandparent could enjoy together.
Is there any open courseware available for online early childhood education courses?
A good place to start is The Open University, which offers numerous top online early childhood education classes. You can try the Parent and Toddlers: Teaching and Learning at Home course if you are interested in strategies to strengthen a toddler’s way of thinking.
Another in depth early childhood education online course through The Open University is called Playing, Learning and the Brain. This course will allow you to understand the connection between learning activities and brain development in young children. It takes approximately 15 hours to complete.
University of Massachusetts Online can provide you with several early childhood education online courses as well as an excellent open course on Core Competencies. This course consists of 8 modules that you can complete at your own pace. Each module contains slideshows and supplemental readings.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a concentrated course on Infant and Early Childhood Cognition. This is 1 of the best online courses for early childhood education students because it provides you with a heavy reading list that covers theoretical perspectives in childhood development.
Utah State University allows you to explore the Power of Positive Parenting with a series of 27 lessons. Topics include tantrums, tattling and toilet training and each lesson contains either an audio or video clip you can choose from.
What blogs or other online resources might be useful in my early childhood education courses?
Deborah Stewart’s blog, Teach Preschool: Promoting Excellence in Early Childhood Education, is a great place for you to get ideas for lesson plans and see a step by step guide of each activity with photos.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) provides a diverse list of theme related content for early childhood education teachers. Themes include nursery rhymes, cultures, recycling and transportation and each theme provides you with book lists, videos, handouts and other resources.
If you are taking any online early childhood education courses, it is often difficult to keep up with the most current topics within the field. An excellent source to help keep you informed is John Funk’s blog, Topics in Early Childhood Education. Mr. Funk writes on contemporary topics like early childhood writing.
The U.S. Department of Education has a large amount of archived information that pertains to early childhood education. Particularly, you can find information on government initiated programs in early childhood education as well as detailed ways that each program promotes or benefits young children.
One website you might find helpful is Read with Me: Books to Read with Your Child. This online resource lists dozens of age appropriate books for preschool children and can help you relate to what young children have an interest in.
What magazines or journals can I read while I study in my offline or online early childhood education classes?
Dozens of magazines and journals are available, whether you are taking accredited online classes for early childhood education or attending traditional early childhood classes. Teaching Young Children is published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The articles focus on teaching ideas, education standards and current practices in education.
The Association for Childhood Education International publishes an academic journal called Childhood Education. The primary focus is often related to childhood development in the preschool classroom and it can certainly offer you additional knowledge that you can apply to your coursework.
Early Childhood Today is an informal magazine for early childhood educators that is published by Scholastic. It is currently in the process of transitioning to an online only format and you can easily use the articles to supplement early childhood education online classes, as most of them relate directly to classroom management and behavioral theory.
The Education Center publishes a resourceful magazine for early childhood educators called The Mail Box. The magazine will provide you with seasonal lesson plans and projects that you can use in your own classroom 1 day.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children also publishes Young Child. This journal provides professional development sections for people looking to enhance their early childhood education jobs.