This post is in partnership with ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a StraighterLine Company.
When I travel around the country and speak to early childhood educators, one thing always comes up: many of us teaching in early childhood classrooms didn’t study early childhood education in college, at least not initially. I started teaching PreK in 2003 with two university degrees… neither of which were in ECE. Back then, I believed that my elementary education degree was sufficient, but I soon learned I needed to study ECE specifically to be a true professional. This idea of professionalism is so important and relevant to our field. The National Association for The Education of Young Children ( NAEYC) has been focusing on this in recent years, defining what it means to be an ECE professional and unifying standards for the field. One of those foundational pillars is education, and no matter what pathway an educator chooses, they all require a strong foundation in general education beyond regular professional development. This is where StraighterLine steps up to the plate! Professional development is a must, but so is a solid foundation to build that continued education.
Start Your ECE Degree Online
Thanks to ChildCare Education Institute and StraighterLine’s partnership, early childhood educators, no matter where they are on their professional journey, can seamlessly bridge the gap between required professional development hours and a college degree. Start earning your associate’s or bachelor’s degree by enrolling in StraighterLine’s five early childhood education college courses for a total of 15 college credits, all online at your own pace.
I wanted to see if StraighterLine’s courses deliver what they promise. I enrolled in one to find out. I decided to enroll in Teaching Students with Exceptionalities because it is a course similar to the ones I have taken at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I wanted to see how this self-paced online format would compare. This course is designed to help educators create compelling learning experiences for students with exceptionalities and make clear the general education teacher’s role in interventions from identification to implementation. The textbook the course uses includes case studies that help explain the content in applicable ways and allow educators to reflect on their personal experiences. The course syllabus is clear, the units of study have a variety of assignments, and you can go at your own pace.
This is an essential part of the delivery of this course because most taking it, like me, can’t work on it daily because of the demands of classroom teaching, but on weekend mornings, I could do a few hours of classwork in my PJs and complete multiple assignments at once. If I was forced to attend an in-person class, I don’t think I would have been able to make the schedule work, but because it’s completely self-paced, I could fit it in, and if I can, you can, too.
Want a little peek inside what a StraighterLine course looks like?
I like that it’s not just all reading and quizzes from the textbook. There are videos and other types of assignments, too!
See that 100%? It was 98% because I made an error on a quiz, but I had the chance to go back and retake it. The quiz was different, though; I couldn’t just textbook dive for answers. I had to read the content. This course isn’t a cakewalk. It’s comprehensive and focuses on learning content that is practical and relevant. Overall, I was impressed with the quality and user experience. CCEI and StraighterLine have done a fantastic job making education accessible for early childhood educators who want to take the next step in their professional lives and work on their degrees!
- Courses are online and self-paced, so you have the control to complete them on your schedule.
- Courses start at only $79 plus a $99 monthly membership fee. And you can start and stop when needed then pick back up right where you left off.
- StraighterLine courses include eTextbooks, 24/7 on-demand tutoring, live student support 7 days a week, and final exam proctoring.
- Typical course completion time is around 45 days.
Learn more about how you can start this journey towards your degree in ECE with CCEI and StraighterLine or find excellent professional development all at your own pace with CCEI.