Welcome to the vibrant world of early childhood education in Idaho, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the western United States! The journey of learning and development for young minds begins as we investigate the opportunities and paths open to aspiring educators. This article delves into the diverse landscape of on-ground institutions and online platforms offering degrees in early childhood education.
On-ground institutions in Idaho provide comprehensive programs that combine theory and practical application, providing aspiring educators with the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to excel in their careers. Furthermore, online institutions have become popular, providing individuals seeking a degree in early childhood education with accessible and flexible options. These online platforms provide flexibility and adaptability, allowing students to learn at their own pace while meeting personal and professional obligations.
Prepare to embark on an adventure that will empower young minds, enrich communities, and provide a solid foundation for future generations.
On-ground Associate Degree Programs for the Early Childhood Education
Here are some Idaho institutes that provide on-ground associate degree programs in Early Childhood Education:
Boise State University offers an Associate of Applied Science and Arts (AAS) degree in Early Childhood Education. This program provides students with an academic foundation while preparing them for a future major or career. Students in the AAS program can pursue either an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Science (AS) degree track.
Both options aim to provide a comprehensive education in the principles and practices of early childhood education. The Associate of Arts path emphasizes liberal arts and humanities, whereas the Associate of Science path emphasizes scientific and mathematical coursework.
Students are eligible to enroll in reduced-cost college summer courses on campus after completing and having an Associate Degree plan approved at Boise State University (BSU). These courses will cost you approximately $75 per credit. However, it is essential to note that additional costs and fees, such as textbook costs, online payments, and lab fees, may apply in addition to the lower tuition rate.
The College of Western Idaho offers an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education. This program is designed to prepare students for a career in educating and nurturing young children ages birth to eight. The goal is to help students develop their teaching skills and gain practical experience. They allow students to begin their studies in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
Classes are available during the day and evening, and some courses can also be taken online. Students can enroll part-time or full-time based on their preferences and schedule. The program’s curriculum covers various topics related to child development and teaching practice.
Students will not only learn how to teach young children but also how to create a safe and healthy learning environment. They will learn how to work effectively with parents in the care of their children and create professional policies to guide center and classroom procedures. Practical experience is an integral part of the program, and students have the opportunity to gain hands-on training in early childhood Preschool.
North Idaho College’s Child Development program offers three options for students interested in working with young children ages birth to eight. These options include an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, a 10-credit Academic Certificate in the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Preparation program, or a 21-credit Academic Certificate in Child Development.
- Associate of Applied Science Degree:
The Associate of Applied Science degree is suitable for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university. It also provides entry-level career opportunities, provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to work with young children, and prepares them for further studies.
- 10- Credit Acedemic Certificate:
This Preparation program is best for students who do not intend to transfer or are taking classes part-time. This program includes all coursework required for the National CDA Credential, a nationally recognized non-degree credential in Child Development.
- 21- Credit Acedemic Certificate:
The 21-credit Academic Certificate in Child Development is a state-approved certificate recognized by the IdahoSTARS Professional Development System and Head Start. This certificate is applicable for entry-level positions in the field of Child Development. Nine of the ten credits earned in the CDA Credential Preparation program can be applied directly toward this certificate.
The Associate of arts in Early Childhood Education program at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho, aims to provide students with the skills, competencies, and knowledge needed to provide high-quality care and education for children aged 0 to 8.
They combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training. One of the program’s goals is to prepare students for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential exam, a nationally recognized certification in early childhood education. Students who complete this program will be eligible to pursue the CDA credential.
Graduates will have various job opportunities after completing the program, including child care, preschool teaching, kindergarten, primary school teacher’s aid, and Head Start family educator. These positions entail working with children of various ages and abilities.
On-ground Bachelor’s Degree Program for the Early Childhood Education
In Idaho, several institutes offer on-campus bachelor’s degree programs in Early Childhood Education. Here are a few of them:
Boise State University – Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education and Elementary Education
Boise State University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early and Special Education. This program is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching and supporting young children with special needs in educational settings.
One distinguishing feature of Boise State University is its dedication to providing an affordable and high-quality education. The university works hard to make education accessible to students from all walks of life. Scholarships are available for residents and non-residents, reducing the financial burden and making quality education more affordable.
Students learn about various disabilities and inclusive teaching strategies, assessment techniques, and intervention methods. The program combines classroom instruction with practical field experiences to give students hands-on experience and real-world application of their knowledge.
Idaho State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development and Education program is suitable for professionals with an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in early childhood education. The program aims to prepare individuals to work in early childhood education, focusing on children from birth to third grade.
Students can pursue a certificate in Blended Early Childhood Special Education. This competency- and field-based certificate program allows students to apply their classroom learning to practical experiences in approved early childhood education centers and private and public school settings. These settings serve children with and without disabilities, allowing them to gain valuable hands-on experience.
The University of Idaho’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development and Education program is an excellent opportunity to prepare students for a career teaching young children.
Throughout the program, students will learn about various effective teaching methods for early childhood education. They will gain knowledge of different instructional strategies and approaches for engaging and supporting young learners.
The program also emphasizes child development and family relationships, giving students a better understanding of how children grow, learn, and interact in their families and communities. Students will also have hands-on learning opportunities through field placements, internships, and student teaching. Under the supervision of experienced educators, these experiences allow students to apply their knowledge and gain valuable practical skills.
On-ground Master’s Degree Program for the Early Childhood Education
Here are a few Idaho institutes that provide on-campus Master’s degree programs in Early Childhood Education:
This program is designed to prepare students for early childhood education careers. Students in this program will gain the knowledge and skills needed to teach students with special needs. Specifically, it deals with those students with mild to moderate physical, mental, or other disabling conditions that necessitate specialized equipment, materials, and teaching approaches, through a combination of coursework and practicum experiences.
Students will gain a strong understanding of early childhood special education principles, assessment and intervention strategies, and inclusive classroom practices. Moreover, they will also learn collaboration with families and other professionals and the legal and ethical aspects of special education by completing this program’s coursework and practical experiences.
The program aims to provide graduates with the skills and competencies needed to support and educate young children with special needs in various educational environments.
Idaho State University’s Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Education program is designed to improve students’ understanding, knowledge, and skills in three key areas related to early childhood development. The program is suitable for people who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and want to expand their knowledge of early childhood education.
All candidates must meet specific requirements for the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education program. Completing a written comprehensive examination is one of the requirements. This exam measures the candidate’s comprehension and mastery of the knowledge and skills gained throughout the program, and others are oral examination, thesis, internship combination, case study, and more.
Online Associate Degree Programs for the Early Childhood Education
Here are a few online options to consider:
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education program is designed to prepare students for careers working with children aged birth to eight. It focuses on acquiring essential skills and knowledge in areas such as child development and growth, curriculum planning, behavior guidance, family involvement, and observation and assessment.
This online program allows students to complete their coursework from anywhere globally. This flexibility will benefit individuals with work or personal obligations that prevent them from attending traditional on-campus classes. In addition to online coursework, most programs include field experience components that allow students to gain hands-on experience in an actual early childhood education setting.
This hands-on experience will enable students to apply their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. Graduates of the Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) in Early Childhood Education program can pursue various careers in early childhood education. They could be preschool teachers, childcare providers, teacher assistants, or early intervention specialists, amongst other things.
North Idaho College (NIC) offers associate degree programs such as the Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Educators can choose from a variety of programs at the college, including collision repair technology, anthropology, child development, nursing, and American Indian studies, among others.
The Adult Basic Education (ABE) program, which assists individuals without a high school diploma in improving their reading, writing, and mathematics skills in preparation for the General Educational Development (GED) test, is one of the notable programs offered. North Idaho College recognizes the value of flexibility in education and caters to students’ diverse needs by providing online courses. These courses are available in various formats to accommodate students’ preferences.
Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) offers several online degree programs, including the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Development, which prepares students for careers in early childhood education. This program typically requires 60 credits and can be completed in two years.
LCSC also offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Marketing, a 60-credit, two-year online program. This program gives students a solid foundation in marketing principles and strategies. Students can pursue a Sports Marketing Certificate in addition to their Associate of Science (AS) degree.
All undergraduate students with a minimum GPA of 2.0 are eligible for this course. It provides a seamless transfer pathway to articulation partners such as Boise State University, Brigham Young University, Idaho State University, and Concordia University. Lewis-Clark State College offers several other online degrees. Among these are:
- Business Administration Associate of Science: The primary goal of this program is to provide students with a solid foundation in business principles and practices.
- Liberal Arts Associate of Arts: The Liberal Arts Associate of Arts program provides students with a diverse range of courses in various disciplines, allowing them to explore a variety of fields of study.
Earning an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Idaho College (EIC) has several advantages. First and foremost, completing the requirements for an associate degree at EIC will satisfy the Idaho State Board of Education’s general education requirement. It means that if you transfer to an Idaho public university or college, you will not have to fulfill any additional general education requirements. Your EIC credits will transfer to any Idaho public university or college.
This streamlined transfer process ensures that you can continue your education without repeating general education courses, allowing you to concentrate on your major while saving time and money. Even if you only completed a few General Education Matrix courses without completing the entire General Education Framework of an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree, those GEM courses will still count toward the associated GEM competency requirements at the receiving institution in Idaho.
Furthermore, earning an associate degree at EIC is frequently less expensive than acquiring the same credits at a four-year institution or college. Tuition fees at community colleges, such as EIC, are typically lower than those at universities, allowing you to save money while receiving a quality education.
Idaho State University (ISU) has an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in Early Childhood Care and Education that is available online. Students in this program will be prepared for careers in early childhood education and childcare settings. Students can complete the program online, allowing them to participate in classes without traveling to the campus.
ISU’s online AAS includes asynchronous or synchronous classes. Asynchronous classes have no set class times, so students can access course materials and complete assignments at their own pace. On the other hand, synchronous classes require students to attend online sessions on specific days and times where they can interact in real-time with instructors and classmates.
While most coursework can be completed online, some programs may have clinical or other activities requiring students to participate in hands-on experiences at their location.
Online Bachelor Degree Programs for the Early Childhood Education
The following Idaho institutions are offering online bachelor’s degree programs in Early Childhood Education:
Boise State University – College of Education | Online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood and Special Education
The Online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies program prepares students to work with young children from birth through age 8 in various educational settings. The coursework covers child development, early literacy, curriculum planning, assessment, and working with diverse populations.
The program aims to develop professionals who can promote young children’s healthy development and learning. It’s important to note that the College of Education at Boise State University also offers four Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programs that lead to single or dual Idaho teaching certifications. These programs provide specialized training for individuals interested in becoming certified teachers in Idaho schools.
Furthermore, the department provides six graduate certificate programs corresponding to various early intervention and special education professional roles. These certificate programs help professionals in these fields improve their knowledge and skills. Individuals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree who want to gain specialized expertise in areas such as early intervention, autism spectrum disorders, applied behavior analysis, and others can pursue the certificates.
Online Master Degree Programs in the Early Childhood Education
In Idaho, the following institutions are known to offer online Master’s programs in Early Childhood Education:
Northwest Nazarene University’s (NNU) Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education program suits current classroom teachers with elementary, secondary, or special education certifications. The program is entirely online, giving working professionals flexibility. The curriculum aims to improve teachers’ special education and early childhood education knowledge and skills.
Assessment and intervention strategies, instructional methods for students with disabilities, collaboration with families and other professionals, and legal and ethical considerations in special education are all covered in the coursework. One of the program’s key components is a hands-on practicum experience that allows students to apply their learning in an actual classroom setting.
This practicum provides valuable opportunities to work directly with special needs children under the supervision of experienced educators. Graduates who complete the program are eligible for recommendation to the State of Idaho for a special education teaching endorsement. It’s important to note that certification requirements in other states may differ, so anyone interested in teaching outside of Idaho should look into the specific requirements for certification in their desired state.
Individuals interested in expanding their knowledge and expertise in early and special education will find the M.Ed. program in Idaho Early Childhood Studies at Boise State University a convenient and flexible option. Students can complete their degrees online from any location around the globe.
The accelerated master’s degree option is suitable for undergraduate students pursuing a master’s degree after finishing their bachelor’s degree. This option allows qualified undergraduate students to enroll in up to nine graduate credits during their senior year. These courses will count for both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, saving them time and allowing them to finish their master’s degrees faster.
It offers three master’s degree programs. These options allow students to tailor their education to their specific career goals. Because each program’s specific details and requirements may differ, it is best to visit the university’s website or contact the department directly for more information.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program at Idaho State University offers several specialization options to enhance your teaching career and leadership skills. Here are the three programs mentioned:
- M.Ed. in Idaho Early Childhood Studies:
This program focuses on early childhood education, specifically for children in Idaho. It is designed to provide educators with the necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively with children ages 0-8 in various educational settings.
- M.Ed. in Educational Leadership:
This program is suitable for individuals interested in becoming influential leaders in educational institutions. Whether you aspire to lead in post-secondary settings or other educational contexts, this program will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to lead faculty, staff, and students toward achieving academic and student success goals.
- 3- M.Ed. in P-12 Education Administration:
Aligned with the standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, this program is tailored for those interested in pursuing a career as a principal or in other leadership roles within P-12 educational settings.
Based on our exploration of both on-ground and online institutions offering early childhood education in Idaho, it is evident that the state is dedicated to providing quality educational opportunities for its youngest learners. We have discovered a diverse range of programs and initiatives catering to children’s unique needs during their formative years.
The on-ground institutions we reviewed showcased a commitment to creating stimulating learning environments and employing highly qualified educators. These institutions prioritize individualized instruction and emphasize early literacy and numeracy skills.
Additionally, the emergence of online institutions has expanded access to early childhood education in Idaho. These institutions offer the convenience of remote learning while maintaining a strong focus on interactive and engaging experiences for children. Through technology, online platforms facilitate educational activities, virtual interactions, and personalized learning plans.