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Total Credit Hours: 124

Transfer Credits: Up to 94

Prepare yourself to shape and guide the next generation with your early childhood education degree from Southwestern College. Graduate qualified to teach children from birth through the age of eight. Classes are taught completely online, leaving you the ability to juggle work, family, coursework, and eventual student teaching obligations. Course instructors are experienced experts in the field of education who bring hands-on application and real-life scenarios to the virtual classroom.

  • Graduates prepared for licensure to teach in state of Kansas ages birth to eight years
  • Receive same diploma as traditional students from our physical campus
  • Discover more reasons to choose SC!

Recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report for its online bachelor’s degree programs, Southwestern College offers quality online degrees to adult learners. With courses taught by expert faculty and access to a variety of student resources, SC learners are provided with the tools and flexibility needed to succeed in their education while preparing for professional advancement.

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Projected Job Growth (BLS): 7%

Average Salary (PayScale): $47k

Graduates of the online early childhood education program at Southwestern College will be prepared for a variety of careers, including:

  • Preschool teacher
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Daycare director
  • Family support specialist
  • Consultant


“My experience was very suitable for my needs. I have three children that are very active… so carting them here and there and being able to finish what I started 20 years ago was absolutely wonderful.”
Shari, 2015 Graduate


Visit our faculty page to view current early childhood education instructors.

View Courses & Program Details


Elementary Education


The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education program of study combines early childhood education and early childhood special education into one license birth through age 8. Early Childhood pre-service teachers have experiences with children birth through the age of 8 (third grade). Southwestern College operates an early learning center for children ages 2-5 and an after school program for children up to age 13, which provides opportunities to observe innovative teaching practices. Southwestern College also partners with several special education programs in the country such as PALS (Preschool and Language Stimulation), REACH program, and other early child care centers. In-classroom experiences and student teaching are planned and sequenced to develop candidates’ knowledge skills, and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire development period of early childhood.

Anyone interested in the program who resides in a state other than Kansas must check with that state’s department of education to determine specific licensure requirements for teaching within that state and the acceptability of out-of-state licensure.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must be graduates of an accredited high school or have completed a GED®
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.75

Core Major Requirements

EDUC212: Education Entrance Seminar

Education Entrance Seminar provides an introduction to education as a career for second career and delayed start undergraduate learners . This course is designed to assist each prospective teacher in gaining a valid and comprehensive knowledge of what is involved in a teaching career. Emphasis is placed upon inquiry and personal involvement in planning an effective and successful career in education. This course is only for second career and delayed start learners.

EDUC215: Foundations of Education

This course explores the theories and applications of educational philosophies for students’ use in both the classroom and their personal and professional lives. Additionally, educational institutions will be examined from historical, economic, sociological, and political perspectives.

EDUC216: Diversity Field Experience

This course provides an opportunity for prospective teachers to observe, tutor, or mentor students in a school where there is a diverse population. Students must complete at least 20 hours of work in a school with a diverse population.
Prerequisite: EDUC215 (or concurrent enrollment).

EDUC220: Educational Technology

Students will investigate and evaluate the significant impact technology has on learning, motivation, and pedagogy. Students will interpret and implement the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS‐T) and for students (NETS‐S) and apply the NETS‐T to construct valuable teaching experiences, as well as experiences to highlight student learning that reflect the NETS‐S. Technology integration across the curriculum will be explored and students will develop and design lessons and use technology tools to support learning in an educational environment.

EDUC280: The Other Literacies

Students will familiarize themselves with the literacy components of writing, speaking, and listening. Students will refine their own writing skills, explore the writing process, understand the role of grammar in writing, and identify strategies to helppre‐K through 12th grade learners develop their own skills. The skills needed to view and comprehend material, arrange it, and aid pre‐K through 12th grade learners in the various ways information can be processed will also be addressed. Additionally, students will examine the benefits of cooperative learning in enhancing the speaking and listening skills of pre‐K through 12th grade learners, as well as the characteristics of exemplary speakers and listeners in the classroom.

EDUC312: Introduction to Inclusive Early Childhood Education

This is an introductory course for those preparing for licensure to teach in inclusive early childhood setting. This course is designed to assist each prospective teacher education candidates in gaining a valid and comprehensive knowledge of what is involved in early childhood inclusive education. Emphasis is placed upon reflection, inquiry and personal involvement in planning an effective and successful career in early childhood education, and developing an understanding of how all children develop and learn successfully. Candidates will be grounded in a child development knowledge base and will understand and value learner differences. They will use their understanding of young children’s development and learning to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each learner.

EDUC318: Numbers, Computation, and Mathematical Processes

A course focusing on number sense, number systems, and their properties with an emphasis on analyzing the age-appropriate standards (State Early Learning Standards and State Math Standards). An introduction of theorist, theories, and developmental stages will be addressed and integrated into activities and lessons. This course includes development and understanding of the five process standards, connections, and applications with number sense in the classroom. All methods, concepts and strategies will be applied to a classroom environment and differentiated for all learners.

EDUC322: Educational Psychology

A course designed specifically to study the behavior of individuals and groups in educational settings. Emphases are placed upon development, motivation, assessment, individual differences, teaching modalities and learning preferences. Attention is also given to character education and attitudes. Directed observation and participation in the public schools provide practical application of course theory. Twenty hours of observation/participation in a public school classroom is required.
Prerequisite: PSY 110 and Admission to Teacher Education.

EDUC323: Introduction to Exceptionalities

A course designed to prepare prospective elementary and secondary teachers in the understanding and appreciation of students with exceptionalities. Emphases are placed upon characteristics and categories of exceptionality, processes of referral, assessment, and placement of exceptional students. Effective teaching practices and observation in the public schools provide practical application of course theory. Twenty hours of observation/participation in a public school classroom is required.
Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education.

EDUC325: Motor Development, Expressive Arts, Social Studies

This course will examine the curricula, instructional strategies, and classroom organization for motor development, expressive arts, and social studies relevant to children ages birth through 8. Emphasis will be placed on the uniqueness as well as interrelatedness of the content areas, teaching methodology, and their successful implementation in the classroom environment. The course is designed as lecture with a co‐requisite 45 hours lab practice with children in an early childhood setting.

EDUC329: Children’s and Adolescent’s Literature

This is a survey of literature K-12. It explores literature and relevant contemporary issues regarding literary works and pedagogy pre-K through 12th grade. Students will also become familiar with text complexity and its use in helping readers progress into more challenging levels of literature.

EDUC335: Infant Development

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to growth and development issues related to infants and toddlers and to provide experiences with the organization and management of high quality environments for infants. Appropriate play activities will be introduced.

EDUC336: Introduction to the Reading Process

This course introduces prospective early childhood and elementary teachers to children’s speech and language development, the recognition and development of emergent literacy, and the foundational knowledge of the reading process. This will include an understanding of basic literacy development and the cultural and linguistic diversity issues related to this development, knowledge of the major components of reading, appropriate methodologies for building an effective balanced reading program, and a variety of assessment tools and practices used to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction.

EDUC337: Science in the Elementary School

A course focusing on age-appropriate standards (State Early Learning Standards and State Science Standards) with the methods of science instruction, organizing and presenting science materials for instruction, observation of classroom science presentation, familiarization with current trends in science education, and the development of a background in the content areas of science.

EDUC338: Math in the Elementary School

A course focusing on principles and methods of mathematics instruction at the elementary level organized around the (State Early Learning Standards and State Math Standards). Development and presentation of math materials and units of instruction, familiarization with current trends in math curriculum and instructional methodology, and attention to evaluating and adapting instructional materials and delivery methods to the needs and learning styles of students are components of this course.
Prerequisite: EDUC318.

EDUC340: Assessment Strategies in Inclusive Early Childhood

This course prepares early childhood teacher candidates to understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They will know about and understand the goals, benefits and use of assessment. They will know about and use systematic observations, documents, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of each and every learner.

EDUC343: Home, School, and The Community

The purpose of this class is to promote the understanding that quality services for young children and their families are best ensured by establishing collaborative relationships between the home, school, program, and community. A portion of the course focuses on techniques for establishing collaborative relationships with parents and involving family members in the growth and development of the young child. Health, nutrition, and safety issues also will be explored.

EDUC349: Reading in the Elementary School

This course will emphasize the various methods of teaching and assessing reading in the elementary school. It will prepare prospective teachers to develop programs to strengthen vocabulary and comprehension skills, assess growth in reading skills, diagnose reading problems, and adapt instructional materials and delivery methods to meet the special needs and learning styles of students. In conjunction with regular course work, the prospective teacher will gain experience through practical application with a required 20 hour practicum in the public schools.

EDUC420: Oral Language Development

This course introduces prospective educators to children’s speech and language development, recognition and development of readiness skills, and appropriate methodologies for developing the communications skills of young children.

EDUC425: Administration, Guidance, and Behavior

This course will provide an overview of the responsibilities of administrators, directors, and teachers in school and program management. Legal and financial issues also will be covered, as well as ethical aspects of early childhood programs. Additionally, students will be introduced to successful classroom management strategies.

EDUC432: Technology in Special Education

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of assistive technology and what it can do for learners with special needs. In addition, students will be able to implement a framework for identifying student needs and determining desired outcomes when choosing technological solutions.

EDUC436: Early Childhood Methods and Management

This course focuses on the development of professional teaching skills for the early childhood teacher, including a personal philosophy of education; classroom management procedures; a discipline plan; and instructional methods. This course is for online learners only.

EDUC440: Student Teaching Seminar

A seminar course designed to be taken in conjunction with the student teaching block. This course focuses on the development and completion of the Kansas Performance Teaching Portfolio as well as the practical steps needed for obtaining a teaching position. Candidates practice reflection and problem solving of professional issues and tasks which may be encountered by the beginning teacher. Prerequisites: Unconditional admission into student teaching. Concurrent enrollment with either EDUC 446, 447, 448, 449. Course graded S/U.

EDUC446: Observation and Supervised Teaching in Early Childhood

Clinical experiences in Pre-K through third grade accredited schools for teacher licensure candidates. Concurrent enrollment with EDUC 440. Prerequisites: Unconditional admission into student teaching.

Cognate Requirements

MASC110: Statistics and Probability

This course acquaints learners with the tools and major components of statistics. Learners will apply technology to analyze data. The course also includes the foundational terminology and practices used in contemporary statistics, such as data collection, metrics, score interpretation, and experimental design. Additionally, this course will promote the skills that learners need to be able to take information from the world around them and use it to make sound decisions based on solid evidence.

PSY 110: General Psychology

This course explores major perspectives, principles, theories, and methods that govern the study of mental processes and behaviors. Learners will trace psychology’s historical roots, scientific basis, and major perspectives and consider contemporary and historical theories of how biological, cognitive, and environmental factors underlie and influence human development, sensation and perception, consciousness, intelligence, and social dynamics. Learners will also examine the theories and processes essential to learning, memory, motivation, and personality, identify psychological disorders and their treatments, and discuss application of psychological principles to everyday experiences and real-life examples.

PSY 252: Developmental Psychology

Learners in this course will gain a basic understanding of the biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial development in humans from birth through adolescence, with additional emphasis on young adult through death.

General Education Requirements*

Basic Skills

ENGL101: Composition 1

This course helps learners develop writing skills that are transferable to any academic or workplace writing task. The course guides learners through the process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading academic and workplace writing. Learners will develop skills necessary to craft coherent sentences and paragraphs, to edit editing their writing for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will learn about narrative structure and techniques as well as the elements of successful argumentation and persuasive discourse. This course also guides learners through every stage of the research process. Learners will develop a research plan, conduct research, organize and draft a research paper, and then revise, edit, and proofread that research paper.

ENGL102: Composition 2

This course builds on the thinking and writing skills introduced in Composition 1. Learners will write critical, argumentative essays based on their interpretations of nonfictional texts, including literary, film, and cultural texts, and in doing so, will recognize the role of rhetoric in the writing situation as they craft persuasive discourse. In doing so, they will learn methods of questioning, analyzing, and evaluating their own beliefs as well as the perceptions and perspectives of others. These methods of critical thinking are intended to improve the quality and organization of learners’ writing for any purpose, including academic and workplace purposes. In addition to writing essays, learners will develop more advanced research strategies, as well greater proficiency in APA style.
Prerequisite: ENGL101

COM125: Speech

This course helps learners majoring in any discipline strengthen communication skills essential for success in academics and the workplace. Learners will focus on listening, evaluating, and delivering spoken discourse based on audience and purpose. Learners will evaluate why some people are more effective than others as public speakers, analyze speeches and audiences, study ethical considerations for speakers, research and organize findings on a topic, and present findings before an audience, and learn techniques for identifying and reducing speech anxiety.

MASC110 Statistics & Probability or MASC115 College Algebra

MASC110 Statistics & Probability, or MASC115 College Algebra, or more advanced college credit bearing mathematics course requiring college algebra or higher as a prerequisite.

Ethical Reasoning

HUM201: Ethics

Ethics introduces learners to moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy that questions what is good and bad. The course surveys a number of important ethical theories—ethical relativism, objectivism, egoism, altruism, utilitarianism, duty‐based moral theory, natural law, natural rights, and virtue ethics—as they examine reasons why certain actions are morally right or wrong. Learners will apply ethical theories in the evaluation and analysis of current controversial issues, question ethical matters from a variety of angles, and acquire new tools to assist them in making ethically sound, well‐informed decisions throughout their lives.

Disciplinary Perspectives

Natural Science (3 or more credit hours)
Social Science (3 or more credit hours)
Humanities (3 or more credit hours)
The Arts (3 or more credit hours)
Other Cultures (3 or more credit hours)


CAPS495 Senior Capstone

Senior capstone or major capstone course.

*Most general education requirements are waived for students with an AA, AS, or AAS degree. Speak to your admissions counselor for details.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete all foundation and major courses with an overall GPA of 2.75
  2. Complete a minimum of 124 credit hours, with at least 60 hours at a bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  3. Complete at least 30 credit hours with a C average or above from Southwestern College

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Catalog for the most current degree requirements.

*Online courses are six weeks long with the exception of some RN to BSN and Education courses. Please review the course catalogs for more information.

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