Top School in Louisville for an Early Childhood Education Degree

School and Ranking Information

Within a 50-mile radius of Louisville, there are only about three colleges that offer programs in early childhood education. In order to obtain a teaching certificate in Kentucky, students must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program in addition to passing an exam in teaching skills and an exam focused on the intended subject area. Candidates are also required to have teaching experience in the grades they wish to teach, and all three of the top schools in Louisville provide relevant student-teaching or externship opportunities. The following schools are considered the top three in the area as judged by their U.S. News & World Report rankings and graduation rates:

  • Winner: The University of Louisville's graduate education program holds a national ranking and is approved by the state. An accredited teacher education program and impressive levels of financial aid assistance to incoming undergraduate students solidify the school's placement at the top of the list. It offers bachelor's and master's degrees related to early childhood education.
  • Runner Up #2: Sullivan University boasts the highest graduation rate among the three schools, and its availability of online classes and high levels of financial aid support earn its position in second place. Its early childhood education programs take the form of associate's degrees.
  • Runner Up #3: Jefferson Community and Technical College, which also offers associate's degrees in the field, comes in third as an ideal option for those who prefer to begin at a smaller 2-year school with a low student-teacher ratio.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Louisville Sullivan University Jefferson Community and Technical College
Rankings Graduate education program ranked 74th nationwide in 2013*
Ranked #161 among national universities in 2014*
Named 88th best public national university in 2014*
Location Louisville, KY Louisville, KY Louisville, KY
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $9,662 (undergraduate, in-state),
$23,146 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$10,470 (graduate, in-state),
$21,574 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$17,970 (undergraduate);
$12,180 (graduate)**
$3,440 (undergraduate, in-state),
$11,840 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Early Childhood Education Degrees and Certificates Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Associate's degree Associate's degree
Early Childhood Education Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 2** 29** N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 52%** 51%** 15%; 15% transfer-out rate (for 2009 entering class)**

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator.

Winner: The University of Louisville

  • 97% of full-time beginning undergraduates received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
  • The teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • The teacher education programs belong to the Association of Colleges and Schools of Education and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

The University of Louisville offers bachelor's and master's degree programs that prepare students to earn a state certificate in early childhood education. Those who want to earn a bachelor's degree in the subject should enter the elementary education program and choose the early childhood education concentration. The undergraduate early childhood education courses include methods for teaching young children, infant and toddler development, teaching content to young children, day care administration, and family intervention. Those who already hold an associate's degree in early childhood education can choose to take the certificate-only program, which does not result in a degree. The master's program in early childhood education requires similar classes to the bachelor's program. After completing all of the courses in early childhood education, students in both programs are required to take student teaching classes and gain experience teaching at the early childhood and early elementary levels.

Runner-Up #1: Sullivan University

  • Almost 100% of full-time beginning undergraduates received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
  • The school has an open enrollment policy.
  • All courses in the early childhood education program can be taken online

Sullivan University offers an associate's degree in early childhood education that prepares students to teach and care for young children. The program also prepares students to open or manage a child care center, and to earn a state credential for child care directors. Courses explore child development, teaching young children, nutrition and safety, special education, child care management, communicating with children and their families, and child care laws. The year-long program includes five externships totaling 300 hours of experience working with children.

Runner-Up #2: Jefferson Community and Technical College

  • 93% of full-time beginning undergraduates received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
  • The school has an open enrollment policy
  • Student-faculty ratio of 12:1

Jefferson Community and Technical College offers two associate's degree programs for those who want to teach at the early childhood level. One of the programs is designed for those who do not plan to go on to a 4-year school to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. Students who plan to become teacher's assistants would opt for this program. The other option is for those who plan to transfer to a 4-year school and complete a program that prepares them to obtain a teaching certificate. Jefferson works with other schools in the area to ensure that course credits in the program are transferable to most teacher education programs in Kentucky. The early childhood education programs include classes in early childhood development, early childhood education curriculum, inclusive education, teaching content to young children, infant and toddler education, child guidance, and student teaching.

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