Early Childhood Education Degree Programs in Arkansas

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Arkansas is a state with a variety of natural and geographic features and the accredited education degree programs in Arkansas also vary in their focus. The Early Childhood programs featured in this list differ in the grades they address; some deal with P-4 and some K-6. The content is similar, though, because most of the programs intend to prepare students to become licensed teachers in the state of Arkansas. Students who choose to attend college or university in Arkansas will find a variety of learning environments as well. Some of the schools listed in this article are rural and some, like those located in Little Rock, are urban and diverse. Because most of the schools in this list are state universities, the cost of attending is lower and mitigated by state grants and scholarships.

Arkansas State University

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

This school is the second largest by student population in the state. It was founded in 1909 as the First District Agricultural School and it merged with the Arkansas State University System in 1967. The US News and World Report ranks the school as #53 of Regional Universities South. Arkansas State University offers 150 fields of study. The average class has 27 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The stated mission of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences is to “generate and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research and service, and to apply that knowledge. “The Education department partners with a number of schools to collaborate on programs and projects that are in the best interest of both. This would especially apply to internships and student teaching opportunities as well as research.

Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education

This degree program focuses on education from preschool through grade four. The students in the program have several diverse field experiences built into the curriculum to allow them to develop a strong base of skills, best practices and knowledge of child development. There are a total of 123 credit hours in the program, which is completed in eight semesters. Students with low ACT, SAT or other entrance exams may not finish the program in that time, however. A minimum of 45 credits must be earned in upper division courses. There are also mandatory state and school assessment examinations built into the program. The first year of study is spent in satisfying the general education portion of the degree program. The second year, students begin to take some education courses. In the junior year, students tackle advanced subjects and the fourth year is a continuation of advanced professional curriculum plus preparation for internships which are takes full-time during the last semester.

Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education

The purpose of this program is to offer “educators and educators-in-training a planned program of study focused on the developmental and educational needs of young children.” To be admitted to the program, students must have an undergraduate degree in early childhood education or a related field and at least one year of practical teaching experience. The program, in itself, does not lead to a teaching certificate in the state of Arkansas.

Accreditations
North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
Council for the Accreditation of Education Programs
NCATE

Contact
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Arkansas State University
2105 East Aggie Road
Jonesboro, AR. 72401
870-972-3057
coe@astate.edu
http://www.astate.edu/college/education/

Arkansas Tech University

College of Education

This university is ranked by the US News and World Report as #87 of regional Universities South. It was founded in 1909 by Act 100 of the Arkansas general Assembly. Several buildings on the campus are listed on the National Registry of Historical Places. Most of the classes at the school have less than twenty students and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. There are six colleges and seven academic centers. The College of Education Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers three undergraduate programs that lead to licensure in Arkansas: Early Childhood, Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence and Secondary Education.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

This degree program is offered through a partnership with North Arkansas Community College and Ozarka Community College. It is delivered in three stages: stage one is the liberal arts component of the degree along with introductory teaching classes. Stage two consists of intensive advanced courses and stage three is a continuation of those professional courses and a preparation for the internships which occur during the last semester of the degree program. Students must first be admitted to the university, and then to the college. There are 120 total credit hours in the degree.

Accreditations
North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
NCATE
NCATE-SPA

Contact
College of Education
Arkansas Tech University
1605 Coliseum Drive
Russellville, AR, 72801
479-498-6006
japple@atu.edu
http://www.atu.edu/education/

John Brown University

College of Education and Human Services

This private Christian university is ranked as #2 of Regional Colleges South by the US News and World Report. It was founded in 1919 with the goal of providing Christian educations to needy students. It is small; in the 2011-2012 school year there were less than 2,200 students enrolled, with 1.270 of them traditional undergraduates. There are 47 undergraduate degrees and programs. All students must complete a liberal arts core that contains several Bible classes. The College of Education and hu8man Services contains the departments of: Family and Human Services; Kinesiology; Nursing, Psychology and Teacher Education plus a graduate department that grants degrees in Counseling; Education and Higher Education. The mission of the school is to provide professional preparation for students who plan to teach in public or private schools, including religious and international institutions.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

This degree program is delivered to candidates in three steps. The first step, or Transition I, is actual admission to the program, including prerequisite courses and field experiences required for this section. The second step, Transition II, is foundational English, math and speech courses as well as section 2 field experiences. Transition III is formal admission to the department and advanced courses including the required internships. The degree program actually focuses on children in K-6 grades, omitting the preschool component. It contains 124 credit hours with the emphasis. Forty-six of those hours are in university core, six are in CPR/first aid, public speaking and Arkansas history, and seventy-two hours are in professional studies.

Accreditations
North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
NCATE/ TEAC

Contact
College of Education and Human Services
John Brown University
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
872-528-4636
TeacherEd@jbu.edu
http://www.jbu.edu/majors/early_childhood_education/showcase/

Ouachita Baptist University

Huckabee School of Education

Ouachita, pronounced wash-uh-taw, Baptist University is named for the nearby river. It is, as the name implies, affiliated with the Baptist church and was founded in 1886 as the Ouachita Baptist College. There are 64 degree programs that are offered through eight schools. The student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. The Huckabee School of Education is divided into two departments: Department of Education with Early Childhood, Middle Childhood and Secondary Education leading to teacher licensure in Arkansas, and the Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies. The school motto is “Love of God and Love of Learning.”

BS in Education, Early Childhood Major

This degree program begins with foundation courses like Introduction to Education, Foundations of Education, Instructional Technology, Child Development, Professional Writing, Student teaching Seminars and Student Teaching. There are 28 hours in required core classes, 32 in flexible and related core classes, 33 in professional education curriculum, 27 in teaching field experiences and 12 hours of electives in Early Childhood such as Techniques and Assessment in Early Childhood Education, Curriculum Principals for Early Childhood Education and a required Practicum for Early Childhood Education. The program contains a total of 120 hours.

Accreditations
North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
NCATE

Contact
Huckabee School of Education
Ouachita Baptist University
410 Ouachita Street
Arkadelphia, AR, 71998
820-230-5470
bruningm@obu.edu
http://www.obu.edu/education/

Philander Smith College

Division of Education

This private, historically black college is ranked by the US News and World Report as #47 of regional Colleges South. It is a four-year, undergraduate school that was a charter member of the United Negro College Fund. Philander Smith college was founded in 1877 as Walden Seminary to give freed slaves an opportunity to get a higher education. The school says they often accept talented students who were overlooked by other colleges; many of the school’s students have great financial need and often are the first in their families to attend college. Philander Smith College currently offers four degree programs: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Social Work and the Bachelor of Business Administration. Its mission is to graduate “academically accomplished students who are grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to intentionally change the world for the better.”

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

This degree program, which focuses on the educational needs of children in grades K-6, begins with a general education component of English and math courses. The student is placed into the courses indicated by their ACT scores. There is also a physical education component. The program offers an intensive study of child development and the implications that development has on their educational needs and the teaching strategies used in their education. The degree courses consist of foundational skills; required core classes, including Arkansas history; Foundations of Literacy and Level One Field Experiences. A second level addressed more advanced learning, including educational psychology; child development; exceptional learners and other courses. The third level focuses on application of the skills and knowledge base. The program contains 126 hours.

Accreditations
North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
NCATE

Contact
Division of Education
Philander Smith College
800 Daisy Bates Drive
Little Frock AR, 72202
501-975-8553
Pwalker-swinton@philander.edu
http://www.philander.edu/divisions/education/

Southern Arkansas University

College of Education

SAU was founded in 1909 as the Third District Agricultural School. It has also been known as Magnolia A&M and Southern State College. The public, four-year school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. There are 70 undergraduate programs and degrees and 19 graduate programs which are housed in four colleges. The university offers several programs, like game and animation design with an emphasis in computer science, which are unique in this region. The school is ranked by US News and World Report in the Second Tier of Regional Universities South. The College of Education was approved in 1976 for teacher education in grades P-12.

Bachelor of Science In Education, Early Childhood Education

This degree program focuses on the educational needs of children in grades K-6. It leads to an Arkansas teaching certificate. The program contains core professional knowledge that combines theory and “pedagogical content” with experiential opportunities and classroom observation. Students who graduate from the program will have basic knowledge of early childhood development and be able to incorporate that knowledge into teaching practice. The program stresses the uniqueness of every child. It is a traditional on-campus degree program that contains 122 hours. The first year is concentrated in foundational liberal arts classes and requisites such as first aid and CPR. Classes in education are introduced at the end of the second year. The fall semester of the junior year, students take the PRAXIS CORE and are admitted to the Teacher Education program. The junior year also contains advanced education courses. In the last year, students continue the intensive study, take the remaining PRAXIS exams and advance to student teaching.

Accreditations
Higher Learning Commission
NCATE

Contact
College of Education
Southern Arkansas University
100 East University
Magnolia, AR 71753
870-235-4185
cndobbins@saumag.edu
https://web.saumag.edu/academics/files/2015/08/Elementary-Ed-K-6-2015-2016.pdf

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

College of Education and Health Professions

The university was founded in 1927 as Little Rock Junior College. In 1957, it became Little Rock University and in 1969 it joined the University of Arkansas system. The school offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees and 60 graduate programs. Classes are offered traditionally and online. The US News and World Report ranks the school in the Second Tier of National Universities. Most classes have less than 20 students and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. The College of Education and Health professions houses the departments of: Audiology and Speech Pathology; Health and Human Performance and Sports Management; Counseling, Adult and Rehabilitation Learning; Educational Leadership; Teacher Education; Nursing and Social Work.

Bachelor of Science in Education, in Elementary Education

This degree is built upon a general education core curriculum. There are 120 hours of which 45 credit hours are in upper –level courses at the 3000-4000 designation. There are a required 30 hours in residence. The first year, all students take a First Year Colloquium that focuses on collegiate learning. Students must complete 35 credit hours and pass the PRAXIS I exam before they are admitted to the Education Program. There are 85 hours in the major and 10 hours in “floating block” classes such as Teaching PE, Music for Elementary Classes, Art for Elementary Classes and the History of Arkansas. There are also field experiences and internships in the program, and students take electives, if needed, to meet the 120 hour graduation requirement.

Master of Education in Early Childhood Education

This is a general education program. There is no actual early childhood program at this level, but students may take a M.ED in Curriculum and Instruction that allows 12 to 15 hours of concentrations like Early Childhood. The program stresses a commitment to students and their methods of learning. There are advanced courses in human development, mastery of content, technology and monitoring and managing student learning.

Accreditations

North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission
NCATE

Contact
College of Education and Health Professions
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 South University Drive
Little Rock, AR 72204
501-569-3124
JakuyKendall@ualr.edu
http://ualr.edu/teachered/

This is not an in-depth study of the colleges and universities included here. Students interested in a school should research it more fully on the school website. This list, however, is a valuable tool for students who are looking for accredited education degree programs in Arkansas.

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