Graduating from an online early childhood master’s degree program can lead students directly into teaching positions in preschools or day care centers, administrative roles, or careers as counselors, program directors or school psychologists.
Course and credit requirements
Although some online master’s programs accept current early childhood educators who want to earn additional endorsements without completing a full graduate program, all other students must complete the program’s credit hour requirements for graduation. Required courses vary by institution but likely include instruction on teaching math, building literacy and developing curricula.
Participation in group projects
Because students in an online master’s in early childhood education programs are not learning in a classroom, professors may have them demonstrate their commitment to the program by grading the quality of their contributions to discussions. Group assignments are commonplace, and students may be asked to, for instance, role-play a parent-teacher meeting or put together a presentation outlining applicable pedagogies for early learners.
Educators benefit from seeing other teachers at work and incorporating new methods into their instructional style. For this reason, many online programs include observational visits to pre-K, kindergarten and early primary classrooms, which are then followed up by classroom-based student teaching.
Licensing for early childhood ed
Some states require professionals to get additional licenses or certifications to teach or work with children. Online programs prepare their graduates for these exams with general course material, and some even run prep courses in addition to their core courses. Early childhood education students should discuss potential licenses with their program advisor so they can tailor their specializations to be relevant for these state exams.