Within the state of Ohio, there are multiple schools that offer early childhood education (ECED) licensure programs approved by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Additionally, with the exception of Xavier University, all schools listed in this article are accredited by the National Center for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Bachelor's and master's degrees are available, and students may be able to choose a specialization in an area such as special education or education administration. Through the incorporation of theoretical training as well as practical teaching experiences, these programs are designed to prepare participants for teaching careers in pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade education.
Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
As its name suggests, Bowling Green State University is located in Bowling Green. Graduates may earn licensure in early childhood education license, early childhood intervention specialist, and birth to age 3 early intervention specialist. Intervention specialists are able to work with disabled and high-risk students. Additionally, Bowling Green State University provides summer courses in preparation for obtaining an Ohio 4th and 5th grade teaching endorsement. The Office of Field Experiences in participation with regional school districts arranges teacher internships. Students participate in two consecutive semesters of student teaching to fulfill ODE licensure requirements. Bowling Green State University's ECED bachelor's degree program is highly competitive, and applicants must meet an average GPA of 3.0.
Cleveland State University
Located in downtown Cleveland, Cleveland State University's 120-hour bachelor's degree program includes student teaching and coursework in teaching methods, classroom instruction, and educational technology. Students are prepared for assessment exams and can apply for Ohio's 4-year resident teacher license after completing the program. Students must be available for daytime teaching apprenticeships in area schools and manage a portfolio of academic and professional work. Maintaining a portfolio is a major focus of the program, and students are required to submit portfolios for review in order to advance further in the ECED bachelor's degree program. Students of the program have scored well on assessment exams.
Kent State University at Kent
Kent State University is located southeast of Cleveland in Kent. Students form into cohorts while completing a sequence of five blocks of teaching courses. The university requires students to complete 1,200 hours of student teaching in pre-kindergarten and primary schools that range from rural to urban settings. Applicants must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA and have completed a minimum of 12 KSU credit hours. Kent State University only enrolls approximately 100 new applicants each year. Furthermore, students enrolled in the ECED program need to complete a minimum of 123 credit hours and maintain at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA.
Miami University - Oxford
Oxford is home to Miami University, and the university enrolls more than 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually. The education department was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the nation's 5th Best Undergraduate Teaching in 2016. Miami University focuses on allowing students access to hands-on teaching experiences, and students begin gaining classroom experience during the second year of the program. Students must be accepted by Miami University and declare a pre-education major before applying to the ECED teacher program. Students must complete a liberal arts core curriculum, in addition to ECED requirements.
Ohio University - Main Campus
Founded in Athens, Ohio University is located in southeastern Ohio. In addition to an ECED undergraduate program, Ohio University offers a bachelor's degree program and a master's degree programs in special education. The ECED program is offered jointly through the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services. The College of Education is home to the Child Development Center, which is an early childhood laboratory. The Stevens Literary Center hosts outreach programs that promote literacy in the community. Ohio University is one of the few schools to offer an Honors Program in Education; however, admission into the program is competitive (minimum 3.5 GPA, 25 ACT composite score, or 1130 SAT math and reading score).
University of Akron - Main Campus
The University of Akron is 40 miles south of Cleveland in the city of Akron and offers a 135-credit-hour ECED bachelor's program. Before education majors begin student teaching during the 2nd semester of sophomore year, students must submit a teaching portfolio for review, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, pass an assessment exam, and complete 300 hours of field experience. Students need to achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA in 35 credits of program-specified general education courses and pass a Bureau of Criminal Investigation background check in order to be admitted to the program.
University of Dayton
Located in Dayton in western Ohio, the University of Dayton offers a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.E.) in Early Childhood Education through the School of Education and Allied Professions. The 124-credit-hour program allows students to specialize in various areas of study, including pre-kindergarten, special needs, foreign language, administration, or a self-designed area of focus. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in education courses in order to be approved for student teaching. The Bombeck Early Childhood Institute is part of the Center for Early Learning. The center provides care for children from six weeks old to kindergarten age and is a practicum site for students in the teaching program. The Center for Catholic Education works in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and other religious organizations to provide educational services in area Catholic schools.
Wright State University - Main Campus
Wright State University is located ten miles east of downtown Dayton. Wright State University provides a 136-credit-hour ECED bachelor's degree program, which includes 41-credit hours of Wright State University core education requirements. The university operates on a quarter-based academic calendar. Students enter the ECED program as juniors and complete five quarters of content and field experience courses, as well as one academic quarter as a student teacher. Students are assigned a faculty advisor in addition to a student services advisor, who assists with licensure guidelines and requirements.
Five miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati, Xavier University offers a 126-hour (39-48 core curriculum credits, 72 education credits) ECED bachelor's degree program through the Department of Childhood Education and Literacy. Xavier University's ECED program stresses a comprehensive learning approach focused on child development. Students are encouraged to begin the program freshman year, and speak with an academic advisor about undergraduate core curriculum courses that fulfill ECED program requirements. Additionally, students enrolled in the program must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in education courses and a 2.5 cumulative GPA in required bachelor's degree courses. Xavier University offers a Montessori education master's degree program, and there is a Montessori school located on campus.
Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University is located in Youngstown, roughly halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Students must complete prerequisite course requirements, in addition to a minimum of 60 undergraduate credit hours. Students must achieve a minimum 2.67 cumulative GPA and pass assessment exams before being admitted into the student teaching area of the program. Courses stress maintaining professional and ethical standards and practices, in accordance with state and national ECED licensure standards.
The ODE requires that individuals participate in a minimum of 100 clock hours of field experience and 12 weeks of student teaching prior to applying for an ECED teacher license. Additionally, aspiring teachers will need to pass an FBI criminal background check and the Ohio Assessments for Educators, Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Early Childhood (PK-3) test.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||ECED Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Bowling Green State University - Main Campus||4-year; public; fringe town|| Bachelor of Science in Inclusive Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Education license
|$10,796 in-state; $18,332 out-of-state|
|Cleveland State University||4-year; public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
|$9,696 in-state, $12,938 out-of-state (undergraduate); $9,625 in-state, $18,040, out-of-state (graduate)|
|Kent State University at Kent||4-year; public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
Master of Arts in Teaching in ECED
|$10,012 in-state, $18,212 out-of-state (undergraduate); $10,864 in-state, $18,380, out-of-state (graduate)|
|Miami University - Oxford||4-year; public; fringe town||Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education||$14,287 in-state; $30,987 out-of-state|
|Ohio University - Main Campus||4-year; public; distant town|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood
Master of Education in Special Education
4th-5th Grade Early Childhood Endorsement
|$11,548 in-state, $20,512 out-of-state (undergraduate); $9,010 in-state, $17,502, out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Akron - Main Campus||4-year; public; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education||$10,509 in-state; $19,040 out-of-state|
|University of Dayton||4-year; private-not-for-profit; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood License
|Wright State University - Main Campus||4-year; public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Generalist Endorsement (4-5 grades)
|$8,730 in-state, $17,098 out-of-state|
|Xavier University||4-year; private-not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Master of Education in Montessori Education
|$35,080 (undergraduate); $10,908 (graduate)|
|Youngstown State University||4-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Generalist Endorsement (4-5 grades)
|$8,317 in-state; $8,557 out-of-state|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.