There are 13 schools in Louisiana that offer degree programs for early childhood education. In nearly all states, early childhood education teachers require the minimum of a bachelor's degree and a teaching license to find employment. Many states have additional requirements as well. For example, Louisiana requires teachers to be certified in their field of expertise. Below are short overviews of the 10 largest schools that offer early childhood education degree programs, and there is also a comparison table that shows individual school offerings and tuition info.
Delgado Community College
Delgado Community College in New Orleans offers an associate's degree focused on the care and development of young children. The curriculum requires 60 credit hours of coursework, including required courses in classroom management, dramatic expression, children's literature and human growth and development. Completion of a practicum is also necessary to earn this degree, which is not designed for transfer to a four-year institution; however, graduates can complete additional courses to become eligible for certification in Early Childhood Education. Graduates can also pursue the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Careers in licensed childcare centers and schools are options with this degree.
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
Louisiana State University (LSU) is located in the state capital of Baton Rouge and offers training in early childhood education through the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice. Undergraduate students may pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree leading to PK-3 teacher certification, while current education professionals can earn a post-master's specialist certificate or pursue a doctorate in early childhood education.
The bachelor's degree program is offered in collaboration with the LSU College of Agriculture's School of Human Ecology. Students become part of a cohort, which fosters close relationships throughout student teaching and seminar-based learning.
The curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary study and features courses in biology, geology, math, political science, English, art, music and history. Education classes in the program cover topics such as student development, classroom culture and educational leadership. Students are prepared for certification as teachers for pre-kindergarten through third grade.
A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction is also available. This 36-credit hour program offers a specialization in early childhood education, and requires courses in research, applied statistics, computer technology and educational telecommunications. Students can choose to either complete a thesis or a non-thesis research project, but to earn the degree students must pass a comprehensive final examination.
The 60-hour Certificate of Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Early Childhood Education program is designed for current elementary school teachers, counselors and administrators who want to develop a professional specialization beyond their master's degree. Students explore issues in instruction, curriculum and counseling during the intensive Ed.S. in Early Childhood Education program.
During the LSU doctoral program, students may take at least 50 hours of upper-level courses in an area of specialization, including early childhood education. Students also pursue rigorous coursework in a broad range of liberal arts and sciences, qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as complete a dissertation.
Louisiana Tech University
This school in Ruston offers a bachelor's and master's degree for the study of early childhood education. The Bachelor of Science degree program requires 126 credit hours and includes opportunities to teach through clinical and field experiences. Graduates are eligible to teach grades prekindergarten through third. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Education, Curriculum and Instruction program requires 36 credit hours, and students can choose to focus on early childhood. Professional core courses include the study of curriculum planning, teacher leadership, school improvement and educational telecommunications.
McNeese State University
Located in Lake Charles, McNeese State University offers a bachelor's degree, post-baccalaureate certificate (PBC) and master's degree programs focused on early childhood education. The bachelor's degree program requires 120 credit hours, and students can expect to study child development, teaching methods for various subjects, elementary mathematics and the history of Louisiana. Field experiences focus on classroom management and early childhood assessment.
The PBC program requires between 30 and 33 credit hours to complete. Required courses focus on the foundations of early childhood education, methods for teaching reading and elementary mathematics, classroom management and child psychology. Practicums focus on early childhood assessment, and students can either participate in an internship or student teaching experience.
Students interested in a master's degree program can pursue the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in early childhood education. Applicants must have valid teaching certificates and a minimum GRE score of 800. Required courses include the study of educational research, cognition and advanced teaching foundations. The concentration includes 18 credit hours of coursework dealing with teaching methods for early childhood education, as well as a practicum. A total of 36 credit hours are required to earn the degree.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in early childhood education. The bachelor's degree program involves a total of 124 credit hours. The curriculum includes coursework in health education, human performance, family and consumer sciences and art.
The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education program at this university is the only one of its kind in the state. It is recognized by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The curriculum for this program focuses on curriculum development, instructional improvement, educational research and advanced child development. Students can choose between completing either a thesis or a research project on school improvement to earn this degree.
Southeastern Louisiana University
Located in Hammond, Southeastern Louisiana University offers a bachelor's degree in early childhood education that requires 120 credit hours. The curriculum provides students with a strong background in instructional methodology, child development and educational content courses, such as the humanities and mathematics. Students must also complete 180 hours of hands-on field experiences.
Southern University and A&M College
Located in Baton Rouge, this college offers a Bachelor of Science in Curriculum and Instruction that may be of interest to students in Louisiana. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction allows students to focus on grades one through five. In addition, participants can concentrate in either mathematics or the language arts.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette - located in the south-central portion of the state - includes nine colleges and schools. Education programs are offered through the College of Education, which has partnerships with seven school systems in Louisiana. The school offers degree programs in a wide array of specialties, including early childhood education.
Students must complete 124 credits for the bachelor's degree. A knowledge base in geography, chemistry, math, biology and English is developed first, followed by courses in children's literature, classroom management, working with families and child psychology. Degree seekers have the opportunity to exercise skills learned in the classroom during student-teaching experiences.
Students who already possess a bachelor's degree can pursue a non-master's program leading to certification in early childhood education. During the curriculum's 27 hours of classroom study, students learn about classroom management, assessment methods, prescriptive teaching and special education. Teaching techniques in elementary school math, science and social studies are also covered, as well as student teaching experiences and an internship.
The master's program focuses on elementary language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. This program is designed for candidates already certified in early childhood, elementary or middle school education. Students can use this upgraded certification towards a teaching career or to prepare for doctoral studies.
University of Louisiana-Monroe
The University of Louisiana in Monroe offers a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood Education. Students must complete 36 credit hours to earn this degree through the College of Education and Human Development. Students can also pursue a bachelor's degree focused on elementary education at this university, but must complete additional hours to gain certification in early childhood education. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) have accredited all programs.
University of New Orleans
The University of New Orleans offer's a Master of Teaching in Teaching (MAT) which is available for applicants who currently hold a bachelor's degree but desire teacher certification. Students must complete the curriculum, as well as either a student teaching experience or internship, to earn this degree. Graduates can gain certification in a number of areas, including early childhood education.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Early Childhood Education Degree Programs||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Delgado Community College||Two-year; public; large city||Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Care and Development of Young Children||$4,079 in-state; $8,368 out-of-state*|
|Louisiana State University||Four-year; public; fringe rural|| Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education - PK-3 Teacher Certification,
Master of Education (M. Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education,
Certificate of Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Early Childhood Education,
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Curriculum & Instruction - Early Childhood Education
| $11,950 in-state; $28,627 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$9,132 (graduate tuition)*
|Louisiana Tech University||Four-year; public; distant town|| BS in Early Childhood Education,
M.Ed. of Education, Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood
| $9,645 in-state; $18,558 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$6,592 in-state tuition; $13,333 out-of-state tuition (graduate)*
|McNeese State University||Four-year; public; small city|| BS in Early Childhood Education - Grades PK-3,
Post-baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Early Childhood Education - Grade PK-3,
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood Concentration
| $7,860 in-state; $15,898 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$5,703 in-state tuition; $13,740 out-of-state tuition (graduate)*
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||Four-year; public; remote town|| BS in Early Childhood Education,
M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education
| $7,922 in-state; $18,710 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$5,738 in-state tuition; $16,526 out-of-state tuition (graduate)*
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Four-year; public; small city||BS in Early Childhood Education||$8,165 in-state; $20,643 out-of-state*|
|Southern University and A&M College||Four-year; public; midsize city||BS in Curriculum and Instruction||$9,122 in-state; $16,472 out-of-state*|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Early Childhood Education (PK-3),
Non-Master's Certification-Only Program in Early Childhood Education (PK-3),
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction - Elementary Education Concentration
| $9,912 in-state; $23,640 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$5,511 in-state tuition; $19,239 out-of-state tuition (graduate)*
|University of Louisiana-Monroe||Four-year; public; small city||M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Early Childhood Education||$6,490 in-state tuition; $18,590 out-of-state tuition (graduate)*|
|University of New Orleans||Four-year; public; large city||Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)||$6,090 in-state tuition; $10,660 out-of-state tuition (graduate)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)