Study Early Childhood Education in Texas
A career in early childhood education can be incredibly rewarding. Your role in the development of today’s youth leaves a long-lasting imprint on students that can have significant, positive effects on the community. But, you need the proper education before you can be involved in the education of the next generation of leaders.
Early childhood education is a popular college major. As such, you can find early childhood education programs at virtually any college or university. What’s more, you can choose among many degrees, from associate to doctorates.
In Texas, the selection of early childhood education programs is perhaps more robust than in most other states. Texas has a very large population and an extensive higher education system – two factors that make studying early childhood education in Texas a great idea.
Below is a partial list of some of the best early childhood education programs for you to consider.
Early Childhood Education Programs in Texas
University of North Texas (UNT)
The University of North Texas got its start in 1890, just north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Initially, UNT was a teacher’s college. Over the years, though, it’s grown into a large public research university. In fact, UNT has ten colleges and over 42,000 students on campus, making it the fifth-largest school in Texas.
In choosing to study at UNT, you select a school that prepares you to be a leader in tomorrow’s world. To help you develop your academic and research skills, you’ll rely on expert faculty who have real-world experience in early childhood education. Additionally, you’ll benefit from small class sizes and opportunities to get real-world experience yourself!
The Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Texas is a 30-credit program designed with flexibility in mind. Many students who choose this program already work in education on a part-time or full-time basis. UNT offers this program entirely online to help you achieve your educational goals.
This program focuses on how to educate increasingly diverse student populations. Specifically, you will learn how to develop and implement an early childhood curriculum that’s culturally responsive and inclusive.
Additionally, you will gain skills pertaining to critical analysis and educational research, which will allow you to evaluate current practices and policies in early childhood education and improve them to meet the needs of today’s students.
Your coursework includes a variety of early childhood education topics, including the following:
- Assessment in Early Childhood Education
- Children’s Play and Critical Inquiry
- Curriculum Theory in Early Childhood Studies
- Educational Statistics
- Classroom Research and Inquiry
Each course in this MS program is accelerated, meaning you complete each class in just eight weeks. Additionally, the program has five start dates throughout the year to provide even greater flexibility for you to complete your studies.
To apply, you must submit the following:
- A resume or curriculum vitae
- Three letters of recommendation
- A personal statement
The admission deadline for this program is July 15 for the fall term, November 1 for the spring term, and May 1 for the summer term.
Texas Tech University
Like so many other institutions of higher learning in Texas, Texas Tech University had a humble start. Texas Tech isn’t nearly as old as other major colleges in the state – it was founded in 1925 with less than 1,000 students that academic year. However, over the years, Texas Tech has grown into a public university with over 40,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Over the years, Texas Tech has greatly expanded its educational offerings. The school is organized into more than a dozen colleges that offer hundreds of degrees and programs of study – 150 undergraduate degrees, more than 100 graduate programs, and 50 doctoral programs. This includes the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education discussed below.
This 123-credit Bachelor’s program in Early childhood Education prepares you for a career teaching in classrooms from early childhood to sixth grade. Additionally, your preparation in this program readies you to take the certification exam for an early childhood education teaching credential.
Your course of study includes many different education-related classes, including:
- Development During Childhood
- Behavior Management in General and Special Populations
- Instructional Technology
- Language Literacy Acquisition
- Designing Assessments
Furthermore, you will gain experience working with children in a classroom setting during your student-teaching experience. This field experience lasts two semesters during your senior year and places you in an on-campus early childhood classroom housed in the Tech Teach program in the College of Education.
Your student teaching experience allows you to put your classroom learning into practice. You will do so under the guidance of an experienced teacher who will help you further develop your knowledge and skills and prepare you for teaching independently in your own classroom.
You can apply to this program by applying as an undergraduate student at Texas Tech. Visit Tech’s undergraduate admissions page for specific details regarding admissions requirements. You can also find an admissions counselor and request an appointment from the admissions page.
South Texas College
Founded in 1993, South Texas College is a relatively new school. Yet, over the years, it’s grown by leaps and bounds to include more than 45,000 students. Most students – more than 95 percent – at South Texas College are Hispanic. Moreover, more than 60 percent of students are the first in their families to attend college.
If you are just beginning your higher education pathway, the small class sizes at South Texas College will help you find your footing. Likewise, the college offers a robust selection of certificate programs, associate’s degree programs, and bachelor’s degree programs to help you find your niche and get a degree that’s meaningful for your career development. This includes several early childhood education options, as discussed below.
The Child Development and Early Childhood programs at South Texas College prepare you to nurture young students’ social, emotional, and academic growth. Your coursework is designed to teach you the theoretical bases of child development and education while also giving you practical experiences to put your learning into practice.
South Texas College offers the following program options:
- Child Development/Early Childhood Specialization: Infant and Toddler Certificate
- Child Development/Early Childhood Specialization: Preschool Certificate
- Child Development/Early Childhood Associate of Applied Science
- Early Childhood Education Associate of Arts
The associate’s degree programs are two-year degrees designed to lead to entry-level work in early childhood education. These degrees also prepare you for continuing your studies in an undergraduate program in this field.
Some of the courses you can expect to take include:
- Wellness of the Young Child
- Math and Science for Early Childhood
- Emergent Literacy for Early Childhood
- Child Guidance
- Educating Young Children
The application requirements at South Texas College are straightforward. Simply fill out an online application, take any required Texas state assessment tests, and meet with an advisor to devise a program of study.
University of Texas – Austin
The University of Texas – Austin is a very large school with nearly 52,000 students taking courses offered in 18 colleges and schools. Aside from a long and storied academic history dating to 1883, UT Austin provides the amenities of being located in one of the nation’s most vibrant and creative cities. You can spend your days being intellectually stimulated in your classes and spend the evening exploring local cultural and artistic venues.
UT Austin is recognized at home and abroad for the quality of its academic programs. The university ranks 10th in the nation among national universities and public schools. It also ranks among the top 50 global universities. These accolades are borne out of UT Austin’s mission to inspire students to be creative, learn valuable scholastic skills, and use their knowledge and skills to improve the world around them.
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas – Austin offers three master’s degree programs in early childhood education. You can choose from a Master of Arts with a report, a Master of Education without a report, or a Master of Education with a report, the only difference being that the programs with a report require a research component, while the track without a report includes an additional elective course.
These programs – which are 33 or 36 credits – can be completed in about two years of full-time study. This includes coursework in early childhood education, curriculum and instruction, and elective courses.
Some of the courses you might take include:
- Parents and Education
- Theories of Childhood Education
- Early Childhood Teacher Education
- Critical Perspectives on Childhood Education
- Inquiry in Play
Regardless of the degree program you choose, you’ll gain an education that allows you to pursue many different career paths. You might become an early childhood educator, a college professor of early childhood education, or go into the educational research field, just to name a few options.
You can apply to this program if you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S.-based institution or the equivalent training at a school abroad. You must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and have teaching experience, preferably with underserved populations.
Work Opportunities in Texas
The work opportunities available to you in Texas vary on the type of training you get in college. For example, if you pursue one of the certificate or associate’s degree programs discussed above, you might qualify for entry-level positions, like a preschool teacher or elementary classroom aide in a Texas school.
However, if you get a bachelor’s degree and pursue certification as a teacher in Texas, you can work as a full classroom teacher in early childhood settings – typically pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
Once you have experience teaching, you might want to build on your education with a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Doing so can open up additional employment avenues for you in Texas. For example, with a doctoral degree, you might move out of the classroom and into an administrative role, such as designing early childhood curricula as a curriculum and instruction specialist.
Whatever educational avenue you take, these Texas-based programs will help you build the knowledge and skills to be an effective member of the early childhood education community.