How to Get Your M.A. in Early Childhood Education

Obtaining an M.A. early childhood education degree can be a challenging, but worthwhile, task.  Since there is an ever growing need for qualified and caring educators, jobs can be quite plentiful in certain areas.

The first step when looking into an early childhood education masters program is to determine which type of degree is best for you.  This may be decided by the time and money you can invest in your education right now, and the type of job you hope to receive. A basic certificate program typically requires one year’s time, an associate’s degree takes one and a half to two year’s time, and a bachelor’s degree requires three to four years to complete.

Next, you should look into the various early childhood education masters program options to determine if you would rather attend an online setting, a four year college, a community college, or a specialty training school.  Online programs offer a great deal of flexibility; however they can lack personal interaction.  Community colleges may offer a bit wider scope of degrees, and offer alternative options should you decide not to pursue an MA early childhood education degree.  Specialty training schools typically focus on very specific course material.  No matter which academic setting you choose, always speak with a guidance counselor to find out what is offered, if financial assistance is available, and if there are off hours classes for working professionals.

When you have chosen and been accepted to a program, find out what loans, financial aid, and scholarships are available.  There is now a variety of government assistance programs offered for teachers, so look into those in your state.  Always be sure you meet all of the required prerequisites, and plan for any extra training or tutoring you may need.

If you have extra time off, such as the summer, volunteer to work with children in a real world education setting.  If you can get a part time job in this area, even better, but be aware there are many different camps, mentoring, and tutoring programs out there who desperately need people to volunteer to work with children.  This extra bit of experience not only looks good on an application, it can also provide you with valuable skills that you cannot acquire in a classroom.

About Pacific Oaks College

Pacific Oaks College is a nonprofit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor's-completion and master's programs in human development, counseling, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialing. The school offers classes at its main campus in Pasadena and at a number of convenient instructional sites throughout California, as well as online.

Founded nearly 70 years ago by a small group of Quaker families, Pacific Oaks College has remained dedicated to the fundamental Quaker principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being.