Early Childhood Education Diploma and Degree Programs in San Diego

Nov 08, 2018

San Diego Early Childhood Education Schools

While no schools near San Diego offer diploma programs in early childhood education, there are several that offer degree and certificate programs in either child development or early childhood education. Read about the practicum and coursework requirements at three colleges, and look over a table of stats on the schools. An alternative school option is discussed, as well.

  • San Diego City College offers child development certificate and associate's degree programs, all of which focus on the education of young children. The campus is situated less than a mile from downtown.
  • Located about 30 miles from central San Diego, Palomar College in San Marcos offers an associate's degree program in the field.
  • San Diego State University offers education specialist credential and certificate programs focusing on early childhood. The school is around six miles from the downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

Get to know more facts about the profiled schools as you narrow down your list of prospects. This table has details on tuition, acceptance rates, student enrollment numbers and more.

San Diego City College Palomar College San Diego State University
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 15,569 23,848 35,158
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $1,142 in-state
$5,894 out-of-state
$1,338 in-state
$7,386 out-of-state
$7,460 in-state
$19,340 out-of-state
Percent of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017)* 87% 63% 59%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* Open admissions Open admissions 35%
Retention Rate (2017)* 66% full-time 71% full-time 89% full-time
Graduation Rate 23% (students began 2014) 29% (students began 2014) 74% (students began 2011)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator

San Diego City College

San Diego City College's child development programs are offered through its Institute for Human Development. This institute houses many of the school's programs, including those focusing on social work, counseling and education, thereby allowing students and faculty from multiple disciplines to interact and discuss advancements and issues related to human development.

Associate in Science in Child Development

This 60-credit hour program is available with or without a focus in site supervision. Required classes include creative art, human growth and development and program planning. Students focusing on site supervision take additional coursework in topics like nutrition for children, administration, supervision of early childhood programs and mentoring in early childhood settings. All students participate in either a supervised field study or work experience.

Certificates of Achievement in Child Development

Certificates are available in many different areas of focus, including associate teacher, teacher and master teacher. They prepare graduates to provide instruction to young children.

The 18-19 credit hour associate teacher program prepares graduates to supervise assistant teachers. Classes in this program focus on safety for children, human growth and development and the child and community. The curriculum also includes a practicum or work experience.

The teacher program requires a minimum of 26-29 credit hours of study and prepares students to supervise assistant and associate teachers. Courses in this program cover topics like language and science curricula, creative art and program planning. Students must also complete a supervised field experience or work-study.

The master teacher program prepares graduates to supervise all levels of teachers. Coursework covers adult supervision and mentoring in early childhood settings and program planning. Students must also choose a specialization in one of the following areas: guiding young children, school age, family life, special needs or infant/toddler. Students must complete 34-39 credits.

Palomar College

This school's associate's degree program in early childhood education is offered through the Child Development Department of its Social and Behavioral Science Division. The department also offers an associate's degree in child and adolescent development, along with a variety of certificates in child development and teaching.

Associate in Science in Early Childhood Education - Transfer

Students in this program must complete 60 units of study in the early childhood education major. Classes cover topics such as diversity in society, child growth and development, introduction to curriculum and assessments. A supervised field experience is included in the curriculum. Upon completion, students may transfer to many 4-year schools in the California State University system to earn a bachelor's degree in the field.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University's early childhood education programs are offered through the Department of Special Education of the College of Education. In addition to the following credential programs meant for those who already hold a bachelor's degree, this school also offers several certificates and master's degrees in the early childhood field.

Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Early Childhood Special Education

Students in this program may elect to complete in two or four semesters of study. The curriculum and credit hours are the same regardless of the length of time taken for completion. Classes cover topics such as teaching and learning in content areas, adapting communication systems for students with severe disabilities, typical and atypical learning processes and services for young children with disabilities. Several practicums are also required.

Level II/Clear Induction Education Specialist Credential in Special Education

This credential satisfies requirements for education specialists who wish to earn a clear teaching credential through an induction program, and students must have already completed the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Early Childhood Special Education in order to enroll in this program. The 12-unit program covers advanced assessment, instruction and management in special education. Students not currently employed in a teaching position also need to complete a clinical practicum prior to graduation. This credential can be earned in conjunction with a Master of Arts in Special Education.

Other School

Situated approximately 34 miles from downtown San Diego, MiraCosta College offers associate's degree and certificate programs in child development for prospective teachers, master teachers and site directors.

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