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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. Have completed a minimum of 6 post-high school college credits
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.75

General Education Requirements

CORE101: Developing Academic and Professional Strengths

How does higher education help create the type of person that businesses want to hire? Learners will explore the answer to this question, and in doing so, help lay the foundation for academic and professional success. Each learner will develop a core set of skills needed to be both an effective college student and a successful professional in the 21st‐century workplace. Learners will develop and practice practical strategies with which to become more efficient and effective learners, while also developing higher‐order learning skills to reflect on critical issues relevant to both academic and professional environments such as personal responsibility and ethics.

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 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.

PSY252: 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.

HUM499: Responsibility for the Future

Seniors from various majors will share approaches from their different disciplines towards dealing holistically with issues that shape the future, seeking to integrate disciplines and to synthesize knowing, ca* ring and doing.

Exploratory Education Coursework

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.
Prerequisite: ENGL102.

EDUC329: Children’s and Adolescents’ Literature

This is a survey of literature K‐12. It explores literature and relevant contemporary issues regarding literary works and pedagogy for pre‐K through 12th grade.

Pre-Professional Education Requirements

EDUC311: Introduction to Early Childhood Education

This is an introductory course for those preparing for licensure to teach in the early childhood area. This course is designed to assist each prospective teacher in gaining a valid and comprehensive knowledge of what is involved in early childhood education. Emphasis is placed upon reflection, inquiry and personal involvement in planning an effective and successful career in early childhood, and developing an understanding of how children develop and learn successfully. Current trends, issues, developmental theories, and research findings related to the education of young children will be explored.

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.

EDUC333: Teaching Young Children with Disabilities

This course is designed to prepare prospective early childhood teachers in the understanding and appreciation of young children with exceptionalities. It will provide an overview of early childhood special education including service delivery models, atypical infant/toddler development, the effects of early intervention, and characteristics and etiologies of disabilities in young children. Appropriate delivery systems, assessment, curriculum, and intervention strategies will be considered.

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.

EDUC339: Assessment Strategies in Early Childhood

This course is designed to prepare teachers to conduct reliable and valid assessments of children’s growth and development in the early childhood arena. Students are introduced to and have an opportunity to practice developing formal and informal assessment devices. Practice in developing and evaluating both open and closed assessment format is also provided. Special attention is given to performance‐based assessments, particularly in the context of instruction that is developmentally appropriate.

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.
Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education.

EDUC343: Home, School, and 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.

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.

EDUC429: Assessment in Early Childhood Intervention

This course will focus upon the administration and interpretation of test instruments including screening tests, formal and informal tests, norm and criterion‐ referenced tests, and diagnostic and achievement tests. Individual assessment of developmental skills, academic achievement, adaptive behavior, and processes will be included.

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.

EDUC435: Science and Math

This course will prepare prospective teachers to teach science and mathematics in the early childhood (birth through eight) setting. Theories and methodologies will be explored. Special attention will be given to developmentally appropriate activities, with significant emphasis placed on integrating subject matter. Technology issues also will be covered.

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: 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.

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.

Capstone Student Teaching Courses

EDUC440: Student Teaching Seminar

A seminar course designed to be taken in conjunction with the student teaching block. This course focuses on the theory and application of educational philosophies for the student’s use in both classroom and personal professional life. Candidates practice reflection and problem solving of professional issues and tasks which may be encountered by the beginning teacher. Students are also prepared to seek professional positions.
Prerequisites: Unconditional admission into student teaching. Concurrent enrollment with either EDUC446, 447, 448, or 449.

EDUC446: Observation and Supervised Teaching in Early Childhood Programs

Clinical experiences in kindergarten through third grade public school classrooms for teacher licensure candidates.
Prerequisites: Unconditional admission into student teaching.Concurrent enrollment with EDUC440.

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.

Early Childhood Ed PDF

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