Best Early Childhood Education Programs: List of Top Schools
Early childhood educators focus on infants, preschoolers and children in pre-kindergarten (pre-k) through third grade. Childcare workers and preschool teachers usually have an associate or bachelor's degree, while pre-k and elementary school teachers commonly require at minimum a bachelor's degree. Some schools offer master's and doctoral programs in early childhood education that emphasize educational theory or leadership.
Top Schools with Early Childhood Education Programs
1. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt University's park-like campus, a national arboretum since 1988, is located 1.5 miles from downtown Nashville. In 2010, the university was 17th among the top values in U.S. private colleges according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
The U.S. News and World Report ranked Vanderbilt as the best education school in the country in 2011. Peabody College, which merged with Vanderbilt in 1979, offers an early childhood education major in its bachelor's program. The curriculum begins with field observation and participation in classrooms in local schools, agencies and Peabody College's experimental programs. Students are required to complete a second major in child studies, which may add courses beyond the 120 hours needed for the primary major.
In addition to study abroad programs offered by the university, Peabody students have the opportunity to spend their junior year in the U.K. at Cambridge University's Homerton College. The early childhood education program's teacher internship requirement can also be partly satisfied by a summer semester in Cambridge.
- Address: 2101 West End Ave., Nashville, TN 37240
- Phone Number: (615) 322-7311
2. The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin (UT) was ranked 25th among America's best values in public colleges by Kiplinger's Personal Finance in 2010. The UT Elementary School, a demonstration and research school founded in 2003, offers tuition-free pre-k through fifth grade education that admits students through a lottery system.
UT also tied as the second best education school in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2011. The College of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers an interdisciplinary program that leads to a Master of Arts, Master of Education or Doctor of Philosophy in Early Childhood Education. The program, which focuses on child development and research methodology, as well as early childhood education issues, is considered preparation for careers in public elementary schools, childcare centers and preschools. Available to doctoral students are specialized courses, such as inquiry in play, thinking as social construction and childhood education theory. Graduates of the program have found employment as professors, state agency researchers, school administrators and teachers.
- Address: 2400 Inner Campus Dr., Austin, TX 78712
- Phone Number: (512) 471-3434
Schools with Early Childhood Education Programs Sorted by Student Population
|School Name||Total Student Enrollment||Address||Phone Number|
|Arizona State University||68,064||Tempe, AZ 85287||(480) 965-9011|
|The University of Texas at Austin||50,995||2400 Inner Campus Dr., Austin, TX 78712||(512) 471-3434|
|University of Florida||50,691||355 Tigert Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611||(352) 392-3261|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||43,881||601 E. John St., Champaign, IL 61820||(217) 333-1000|
|New York University||43,404||70 Washington Square S., New York, NY 10012||(212) 998-1212|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||42,347||107 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana 47405||(812) 855-4848|
|Purdue University||41,052||West Lafayette, IN 47907||(765) 494-4600|
|Florida State University||39,785||600 W. College Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32306||(850) 644-2525|
|University of Georgia||34,885||Athens, GA 30602||(706) 542-3000|
|Boston University||31,960||One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215||(617) 353-2000|
|University of Missouri - Columbia||31,237||Columbia, MO 65211||(573) 882-2121|
|University of Kansas||29,242||Lawrence, KA 66045||(785) 864-2700|
|University of Iowa||28,987||Iowa City, IA 52242||(319) 335-3500|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||28,916||Chapel Hill, NC, 27599||(919) 962-2211|
|University of Oklahoma||25,881||660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019||(405) 325-0311|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||21,306||1000 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, NC 27402||(336) 334-5000|
|University of Delaware||21,138||Newark, DE 19716||(302) 831-2000|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||20,435||2500 Campus Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822||(808) 956-7651|
|Boston College||15,036||140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467||(617) 552-8000|
|Vanderbilt University||12,506||2101 West End Ave., Nashville, TN 37240||(615) 322-7311|
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