Best Online Early Childhood Education Degree

Prescott College Online offers three early childhood educator certification pathways:

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree with Certification
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certification
  • Masters of Education Degree with optional Certification

 And a choice of Three Academic Tracks:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Dual Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education

Prescott’s creatively blended Early Childhood/Early Special Education program offers our Limited Residency teacher candidates a sequence of creative courses which provides a scaffold for building the 21st-century early childhood educator’s knowledge and repertoire of professional skills and informed practices for teaching in inclusive classrooms.   

Our Early Education program has three unique dimensions:

  • A core focus on developing inclusive and differentiated teaching skills for all early educators of young children from Birth through age 8.
  • A strong emphasis on a cross-disciplinary and highly integrated approach to inquiry-based and inclusive learning experiences (STREAMS) in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math, along with early social studies and reading.

A deep commitment to promoting inclusive nature and place-based experiential learning for all young children

Each course in the Early Education program requires up to ten hours of documented Field Experience with relevant classroom and program observation assignments.  Weekly Discussion Forums in each course bring course topics to life for our online students and allow for collaborative learning and sharing of ideas and experience among the cohort of students in the course.  As a small college, Prescott offers flexibility and highly individualized advising for teacher candidates who are balancing job, family, and education commitments.

Prescott College Limited-Residency students must also complete additional Prescott College core courses, residency, and graduation requirements as prescribed for their specific pathway program. In order to qualify for the Institutional Recommendation from Prescott College that leads to an Arizona Provisional Teacher Certification in Early Childhood and/or Early Childhood Special Education, all candidates must earn a specified number of certification course and student teaching credits, and pass any AZ state required tests and provide fingerprint clearance. Prescott College offers students the opportunity to earn the Arizona Teaching Intern Certificate. The Arizona Teaching Intern Certificate enables individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher to teach full-time while completing the requirements for an Arizona provisional teaching certificate. Link to https://online.prescott.edu/online-teacher-certification/arizona-teaching-intern-certificate. Prescott’s Early Education program is affiliated with the Prescott College Center for Nature and Place-based Early Childhood Education and Summer Institute.  LINK to http://www.prescott.edu/academics/certifications/early-childhood-educat…

In order to qualify for the Institutional Recommendation from Prescott College that leads to an Arizona Provisional Teacher Certification in Early Childhood and/or Early Childhood Special Education, all candidates must earn a specified number of certification course and student teaching credits, and pass any AZ state required tests and provide fingerprint clearance. 

Prescott’s ECE and ECSE programs are designed to cover all Areas of Study required by the Arizona Department of Education through a coherent sequence of courses. This innovative sequence of courses provides a scaffold for building the early childhood educator’s knowledge and repertoire of professional skills and informed practices and focuses on inclusive and differentiated teaching that enhances and integrates STEAM and Nature and Place-based learning. Each course also requires up to ten hours of documented Field Experience with classroom observation assignments. Discussion Forums in each course bring topics to life for our candidates and allow for collaborative learning and sharing of ideas and experience. 

Sample Courses

Course Code Course Credits
EDU47802/MAED57802 Foundations of Early Childhood and Early Special Education 3
EDU47870/MAED57870 Orientation to Exceptional Education; policy and process 2
EDU47877/MAED57877 Early Experience and the Shaping of Brain Architecture 2
EDU47004/MAED57004 Structured English Immersion Complete (SEI endorsement) 3
EDU47807/MAED57807 Early Language and Literacy Development 3
EDU47804/MAED57804 The Whole Child 4
EDU47810/MAED 57810 The Child in Context 3
EDU47818/MAED57818 Effective Assessment and Data Literacy 2
EDU47820/MAED57820 Positive Guidance and Inclusive Classroom Management 4
EDU47840/MAED57840 Early Art, Music, and Movement 2
EDU47845/MAED57845 Early Math and Science 1 2
EDU47850/MAED57850 Early Math and Science 2 2
EDU47855/MAED57855 Early Social Studies and Sense of Place 2
EDU47860/MAED57860 Pedagogy of Nature and Place-based Early Childhood Education and Ecological Literacy 4
EDU47877/MAED57877 (ECSE specific) Evaluation, Intervention, and Differentiated Teaching Strategies for Children w. Learning, Behavioral, and Emotional Challenges 3
EDU 47876/MAED57876 (ECSE specific) Evaluation, Intervention, and Differentiated Teaching Strategies for Gifted, Twice Exceptional, and Learners on the Autism Spectrum 3
EDU27010 U.S. Constitution 1
EDU27020 Arizona History 1
EDU47898/MAED 57898 Student Teaching Practicum 1: Birth-Pre-K 4
EDU47899/MAED57899 Student Teaching Practicum 2: Kindegarten-3rd Grade 4

Application Requirements

  • Autobiographical essay
  • Completed Application
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation
  • Official transcripts

Career Outcomes

  • Early Childhood Educator

Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to submit lesson plans that have clear objectives include assessment of how students will master stated objectives, incorporate higher order thinking skills, and are aligned to state and/or national standards
  • Skilled in presenting strategies to address the needs of diverse learners (English language learners, special needs and gifted students, students with varying readiness skills and interest levels)
  • Ability to articulate lesson objectives to be shared with students and demonstrate that a check for understanding has been prepared and implemented at the completion of the lesson
  • Knowledge of incorporating valid and reliable assessment tools (including the use of rubrics) and evaluation procedures, incorporating formal and informal assessments within the classroom setting
  • Demonstrate the creation of a positive and productive environment, incorporating strategies that will ensure classroom effectiveness and that reinforce an atmosphere of respect for differences and commonalities within the classroom community

The faculty do this amazing balance of being supportive, being there, offering feedback, but also being very intentional in standing back and letting us craft and explore and assess our own ideas."