Early childhood education specialists prepare young students through literacy, development and creative play. Educators who pursue master’s degrees in this profession become effective leaders and experts in curriculum and instruction.
Edinboro University’s Early Childhood Education graduate program received a top national ranking for providing in-depth, online programming for pre-service and active educators. This month, Online Masters ranked Edinboro No. 41 among the Top 50 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education programs – granting Edinboro additional honors for “Best in Early Childhood Studies.”
“Educators have a significant responsibility for preparing young children to become lifelong learners and the leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Karen Lindeman, head of the Early Childhood Education graduate program. “I’m extremely proud of our faculty and students for meeting this challenge and dedicating their lives to the service of children.”
Online Masters recognized Edinboro for creating an online environment that fosters growth for tomorrow’s leaders. Edinboro’s rigorous curriculum and instruction allows students to emerge with a better understanding of early childhood education and the skills to excel in their careers.
“The online master’s in Early Childhood Education has wonderful professors that are so helpful in pursuing your degree,” said Amber Rice-Hannes, 42, a Fairview, Pa., native who anticipates completion of the program in May. “The format of the online courses are easy to follow and the coursework is manageable while having a teaching position in an elementary school and raising two children.”
The graduate-level degree will prepare practicing and pre-service teachers to work with children – birth through grade 3 – by aligning their work to best practices and research. The master's degree is offered online with a 1-week summer residency on campus. Students in the Early Childhood master’s program may also pursue Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood certification.
Students interested in the 30-credit program must have obtained a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education.
Online Masters considers three specific areas when ranking national online programs. Academic quality accounts for 40 percent of an institutions grade – including graduation rate, retention rate and enrollment percentage. Another 40 percent features student success measures, including polling and assessment of current students and alumni and the quality of instructors.
The final 20 percent relates to the affordability of an institution. Graduate-level tuition for Pennsylvania residents is $516 per credit hour, while non-PA resident tuition for off-campus courses (student-teaching and internships) is $774 per credit hour and non-PA resident online courses cost $568 per credit hour.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical entry-level education for early childhood educators is a bachelor’s degree. However, as further education is obtained, the median pay for teachers also increases. In 2017, the median pay for preschool and elementary school teachers was $56,900 with 116,300 teachers expected to be hired by 2026.
For more information about Edinboro’s Early Childhood Education graduate program and a complete program fact sheet, visit www.edinboro.edu/ece.