Northern Arizona University is also featured in our ranking Top 50 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Elementary Education or Early Childhood
Northern Arizona University Early Childhood Education
The College of Education at Northern Arizona University offers a combined early childhood education and early childhood special education bachelor’s of science degree. Graduates from the program are prepared to teach children from birth to age eight and are eligible for Arizona state teaching certification. During the coursework, students complete a total of 120 credit hours, 89 of which are specific to the major. These include subject-specific courses like Principles Of Mathematics, Structured English Immersion In Early Childhood Settings, and Social Studies, Child, Family And Cultural Relationships. In addition, students take a series of educational theory courses including Play Education, Educational Psychology In Elementary And Middle-school Education, and Behavior Practices In Early Childhood. After completing the didactic portion of the program, there are six experiential courses composed of practicums and more independent supervised teaching internships in local classrooms. In addition, all students demonstrate their understanding of the field by finishing a capstone project.
About Northern Arizona University
Starting in 1899, Northern Arizona University began as a teaching college and remained specialized until after World War II when it began offering a variety of degrees in the arts and sciences, finally achieving university status in 1966. Today, the school is still located on its original campus in Flagstaff, a college town located in central Arizona, but also offers courses at satellite campuses throughout the state. NAU is one of the first schools to offer online competency-based degree programs. Overall, the school now offers over 150 academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
The school has a history of welcoming individuals from all backgrounds and celebrating diversity, in part due to the school’s history of proximity to the Hopi people. Additionally, throughout its history, NAU has always emphasized the importance of environmental concerns and sustainability. This can be seen in areas throughout campus from community gardens, compost and recycling centers, use of renewable energy sources, and sustainable transportation. The campus is even part of the national initiative, Tree Campus USA, which recognizes schools that have taken steps to establish and contribute to existing forests. Students in all disciplines have an opportunity to participate in the Sustainable Citizen Program as well.
Northern Arizona University Accreditation Details
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provides accreditation for colleges and universities in its region consisting of 19 states in central and southwest United States. The HLC routinely evaluates these schools to ensure that they meet certain standards in academic and business-related areas. There are five specific categories studied including Mission, Integrity, Teaching and Learning, Improvement, and Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness. The accreditation cycle takes place over a period of ten years with the school receiving recertification after successful completion of each step. This involves peer evaluations, submission of reports, and campus improvement projects. Regional accreditation signifies that a college or university provides a quality education and has the necessary resources and infrastructure to remain solvent.
In addition, students must attend accredited schools in order to be eligible for federal financial aid as well as many private scholarships and grants. Northern Arizona University has maintained regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission since 1930 and is next due for recertification during the 2027-2028 academic year. Another benefit of accreditation is that students can transfer credits between schools more easily. While the HLC provides accreditation for the university as a whole, there are other organizations that evaluate specific colleges and programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has developed standards for college-level education programs. Forty different programs at NAU including the bachelor’s in early childhood education are accredited by the CAEP.
Northern Arizona University Application Requirements
Admission to the College of Education at NAU is a two-step process, first involving undergraduate admission to the school. Prior to applying, freshmen applicants must have completed four years each of English and math courses as well as three years of science, two social studies and foreign language, and one year of art. Along with completing an online application, prospective students also need to submit official high school transcripts along with ACT or SAT scores. In order to be admitted to the specific program within the College of Education, NAU students can apply once they have successfully completed 45 credit hours including two sciences courses, two math courses, and Introduction to Education with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Plus, candidates need to attend an early childhood education orientation and pass a fingerprint background check to ensure eligibility for an Arizona teaching license.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition at Northern Arizona University depends on residency status. For in-state students, tuition costs approximately $10,000 per year, while out-of-state students can expect to pay about $24,654. NAU does participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program which provides discounted tuition to students from fourteen other western states at a rate of $15,585 per year. The university also offers a Four-Year Pledge Rate to all students which guarantees that they will pay the same tuition costs for their first four years of enrollment even if tuition increases for new students. Staff in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid work with each student to determine eligibility for different types of tuition assistance. All students are encouraged to complete a FAFSA to determine if they will receive any type of federal financial aid in the form of grants. Additionally, there are a variety of scholarships available through NAU based on different metrics including academic achievement, community service, and need. Students automatically are considered for many of these when they first apply to the university; however, some private and donor-funded awards may require additional application material including things like essays, references, or a resume. If students need to take out federal student loans to pay for their education, those entering the teaching profession have some options for loan forgiveness programs. The government, both on a federal and state level, offers programs that cancel the remainder of student debt in exchange for a designated number of years working in high-need areas and on-time loan payments. Students can enroll in these programs before they graduate. Northern Arizona University also provides students with many opportunities to work on campus which can provide valuable field experience as well as a tuition reduction.