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Top University in Hartford, CT, for an Early Childhood Education Degree

Students interested in studying early childhood education in Hartford, Connecticut, have a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' tuition, degree programs, and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

There are few schools in Hartford, CT, area that offer early childhood education programs. The following schools are considered the top three based on rankings, degree levels and graduation rates:

  • Winner: University of Hartford is the top overall pick because U.S. News & World Report ranked it highest of the three schools listed (2013). Designed for current teachers, the University of Hartford offers several degree programs in early childhood education, including an accelerated early childhood education master's degree program. In 2012, this school also awarded the most early childhood education degrees.
  • 1st Runner-up: University of Saint Joseph is 1st runner-up due to its No. 94 ranking in the Regional University in the North category in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report. The University of St. Joseph also has the highest graduation rate of students in early childhood education.
  • 2nd Runner-up: Central Connecticut State University secured third place because it was ranked No. 37 in the Top Public Schools in the North category by U.S. News & World Report. Central Connecticut State University offers a Master of Science in early childhood education.

In order for a public school teacher to be licensed in Connecticut, they must complete a state-approved education program and must pass the Praxis I and Praxis II educator exams.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Hartford University of Saint Joseph Central Connecticut State University
Ranking Ranked as 79th regional university in the North in 2013* Ranked as 94th regional university in the North in 2013* Ranked as 116th regional university in the North in 2013*
Location West Hartford, CT (3.5 miles from Hartford) West Hartford, CT (2.9 miles from Hartford) New Britain, CT (9.5 miles from Hartford)
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $32,172 (undergraduate), $13,030 (graduate)** $17,040 (graduate)** $9,307 (in-state, graduate), $18,839 (out-of-state, graduate)**
Early Childhood Education Degrees Offered Bachelor's and master's Master's Master's
Early Childhood Education Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 23** 17** 0**
Most Popular Early Childhood Education Degree Level in 2011-2012 Master's (13)** Master's (17)** N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 55%** 56%** 47%**
Noteworthy Early childhood education program approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Accelerated early childhood education master's program Some on-campus housing is available for graduate students

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), College Navigator

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Winner: University of Hartford

  • Multiple degree offerings in early childhood education
  • Student-to-faculty ratio was 9 to 1 in 2011, according to NCES

The University of Hartford's College of Education, Nursing, and Health Professions offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in early childhood education. These programs prepare students to plan and assess educational strategies, adapt instruction, establish a philosophy of education, and follow ethical guidelines. Coursework and student teaching placements are required for both the bachelor's and master's programs. Students in the bachelor's program are first placed in a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten classroom and then choose a second student teaching placement with infants and toddlers or with students in grades 1-3. The graduate program can be completed with or without teacher certification, and students in this program can choose a Montessori specialization. The University of Hartford's early childhood education program is approved by the State of Connecticut Department of Education.

Runner-Up #1: University of Saint Joseph

  • Student-to-faculty ratio was 12 to 1 in 2011, according to NCES
  • Student teaching sites at lab schools

The University of Saint Joseph is a Catholic women's college that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in education, including a master's degree program in early childhood special education. Although most undergraduate programs are only open to women, graduate programs at this school are coeducational. The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education/Special Education program can be completed with a concentration in teaching students from birth to kindergarten or teaching students from nursery school to grade 3. Additionally, this school offers these concentration groups with a focus on children with autism disorders. The master's degree program is also available in an accelerated format. Students gain experience teaching at local schools, including the University of Saint Joseph School for Young Children in West Hartford.

Runner-Up #2: Central Connecticut State University

  • Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #37 among top public schools in the North in 2013
  • Student-to-faulty ratio was 16 to 1 in 2011, according to NCES

The graduate program in early childhood education at Central Connecticut State University has a 33-credit requirement and is designed for current teachers. Students take introductory courses, curriculum and instruction courses, and specialization courses. Specializations include leadership/directorship, working with families, and diversity in education. A capstone requirement includes conducting on-the-job research. Upon completion of the required coursework, students graduate with a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education.

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