Early Childhood Education Degree Programs in Spokane, WA

Oct 09, 2018

Spokane, WA, Schools with Early Childhood Education Programs

There are about five relevant schools for students seeking early childhood education programs in the Spokane area. Read about three of these schools, all of which are less than 30 minutes from downtown Spokane. The table below gives you a comparison of important school statistics, and you'll find a brief paragraph at the end of the article discussing another school option.

  • Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC), which is located nine miles from downtown, offers several early childhood education certificates, an early childhood education associate's degree and a transfer in early childhood education associate's degree. SFCC has articulation agreements with both local and neighboring state universities for those wishing to earn a bachelor's degree.
  • Students can earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education, a master's degree in Montessori education or a master's degree in special education teaching at Whitworth University, which is approximately seven miles from downtown Spokane.
  • Located about 14 miles from Spokane, Eastern Washington University (EWU) offers a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in early childhood education.

Comparison of Schools

Check out the following table for information on school types, enrollment numbers, tuition rates and more.

Spokane Falls Community College Whitworth University Eastern Washington University
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private, not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 5,589* 2,627* 12,607*
Campus Setting Midsized city Large suburb Town
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $3,460 in-state; $8,813 out-of-state* $42,186* $7,109 in-state; $23,862 out-of-state*
% of Beginning Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 63%* 99%* 92%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admission policy* 89%* 96%*
Full-time Retention Rate (2017) N/A* 85%* 76%*
Graduation Rate (for students beginning studies Fall 2011) 22%* 75%* 52%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Spokane Falls Community College

SFCC offers several certificate options in early childhood education, requiring anywhere from 12-60 credit hours to complete. The college also offers a range of associate's degree options, some of which allow students to apply credits toward a 4-year degree.

Washington State ECED Stackable Certificates

SFCC offers three certificates that allow students to meet course requirements as outlined by the state of Washington. Certificates range from 12-47 credits and include State Early Childhood Education, State Initial Early Childhood Education and State Short Early Childhood Education. In the State Short certificate program, students can choose from areas of focus in Administration, Family Child Care, General, Infant Toddler Care or School-Age Care.

Early Childhood Education Certificate

This certificate program requires students to earn 60 credits. The coursework portion of the certificate program can cover areas such as issues and trends in early childhood education, infant/toddler care, child development and learning environments. A series of practicums address nurturing relationships, infant and toddler care, and observation and assessment.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education

The AAS program prepares students for employment upon graduation. The curriculum presents educational theories on the emotional, physical and cognitive growth of children from birth through the age of eight. The program includes a capstone practicum requiring 133 hours of fieldwork and a presentation. This degree may be counted toward the first two years of a bachelor's degree in human development at Washington State University.

Associate of Applied Science - Transfer in Early Childhood Education

This 2-year program meets the specifications of the Washington State Skill standards. Students take up to 92 credits of early childhood education coursework. The core classes cover topics such as child development, learning environments, curriculum development and family communications. A student teaching practicum is conducted during the final quarter of the program.

Whitworth University

Whitworth offers a bachelor's degree program in elementary education, along with endorsements in areas such as early childhood special education. Both the Master of Education and Master of Arts programs are available for graduate students who wish to study early childhood education.

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

Students at Whitworth must apply to the teacher education program after completing introductory education classes in their first semester. Once admitted to the program, students take coursework covering science, art, math and health for elementary teachers, educational psychology, teaching methods and classroom management. Students also must complete teaching field experiences. An early education special education endorsement, which can be earned concurrently with the elementary education degree, requires the completion of classes in early intervention for behavior and motivation, autism spectrum disorders, early speech and intervention for academic learning problems.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Montessori Emphasis

Whitworth offers a master's degree program that gives students the option to focus on Montessori elementary education. Students can earn the Association Montessori Internationale elementary Montessori diploma, which focuses on children ages six to 12, simultaneously with the graduate degree. Some degree requirements can be completed online while the diploma coursework is offered on campus during the summer. Students can earn this degree within three years.

Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education

The master's degree program at Whitworth is comprised of 42 credits of coursework that lead to teacher certification. Degree candidates take required prerequisite and core courses, special education classes and elective courses. They must also complete field experiences and an exit project. Over the course of the program, candidates can study topics on exceptional learners, early intervention for special education, early speech, language and literacy, diagnosis of reading disabilities and practicum courses in early childhood education.

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University offers both bachelor's and master's degree programs with specializations in early childhood education. All candidates enrolled in EWU's programs must pass state exams and background checks prior to teaching.

Bachelor of Arts in Education in Early Childhood Education

Applicants to the Pre-K through third grade (P-3) education program at EWU must successfully complete prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 2.8, pass the Washington Educator Skills Basic Test and complete an application including a proctored essay. Once admitted, students can begin required classes in early literacy, integrated early education practices and teaching methods for language arts, math, science and social sciences. Students also complete internships, including one in early childhood education. This program can lead to P-3 certification, preparing graduates to work in school and child care settings that provide early childhood instruction.

Master of Education with an Early Childhood Education Option

This program provides graduate candidates who already have teaching certification with advanced coursework in early childhood education. Common classes for the M.Ed. program cover educational psychology, history, philosophy and research. Candidates must complete classes on curriculum design in early childhood education, positive learning environments and early childhood leadership in addition to a portfolio of their work.

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