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Online Colleges for Child Development

In recent years, there have been incredible advances in understanding how the brain develops as it matures, and one of the things we have come to understand is that early childhood is one of the most important periods of development for this highly complex organ. If you love children and want to foster their growth and development at a time and place of your own choosing, online child development degrees may be worth considering. Online child development programs can help you understand those first crucial years of growth, and apply your knowledge across a number of occupations.

Before you start that application process for any old school, it helps to know what some of the best colleges in the field are and why. The following list features ten online colleges for childhood development, any of which might be the ideal college for your needs. We selected the schools to feature on this list by analyzing data gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) with our unique methodology, which you can learn more about at the bottom of this page. By attending one of the best online colleges for childhood development, you can study the way children grow and learn, gain valuable insight into childhood behavior, and make an lifelong impact in children's lives.

1

Western Oklahoma State College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,977
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
7
Accredited
School Type
2-year

If you're a non-traditional student who needs to get started on a career path, consider Western Oklahoma State College and its accessible Associate in Applied Science in childhood development degree program. Western Oklahoma State has an open admissions policy, which means that they accept any applicant who has a high school diploma or a GED certificate, making their programs easily accessible to a wide range of people.

Coursework for the AAS in childhood development includes an array of introductory lessons, ranging from the study of childhood nutrition, safety and learning methods, to the stages of child development. The program appears to be a popular one, as Western Oklahoma State awarded the second highest percentage of childhood development degrees in 2015, out of all ten schools featured on this list.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

Location:

2801 N Main St
Altus, Oklahoma 73521-1397
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2

Tulsa Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,183
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
26
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Tulsa Community College makes a point of tailoring its educational offerings to the needs of its student body. To this end, the college offers its students a wealth of options for pursuing an education in child development: an Associate of Science program, an Associate of Applied Science program, or one of two certificate programs:

  • Child Development, CDA Preparation
  • Child Development Certificate of Mastery

The Associate of Science degree program is particularly interesting, as Tulsa recommends a specific order of courses for the program that can help you transfer to one of three four-year universities with a head start on a child development bachelor's degree. Tulsa has recommendations for transferring to Oklahoma State University, Northeastern State University and the University of Oklahoma. You can see the schools' website or set up an appointment with one of the child development faculty members if you'd like to learn more about these options.

Accreditation:

  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

6111 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6198
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3

Craven Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,728
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
21
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Rather than a full associate or bachelor's degree, Craven Community College offers a certificate in early childhood education with a focus in child development. Consisting of only five courses, for a total of 16 credit hours, this certificate is a quick way for the working professional to improve their education in their chosen field or to acquire new knowledge in order to make a career change. The courses involved in this program focus primarily on child development, with one course in psychology in order to provide background for the cognitive side of the child development courses.

This certificate program can be completed online, from the comfort of your own home. If the sound of it is interesting to you, you'll also be glad to know that Craven boasts an open admissions policy, making this program highly accessible to a wide range of candidates.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

800 College Ct
New Bern, North Carolina 28562-4900
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4

Union Institute & University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$12,000
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
15
Accredited
School Type
4-year

Union Institute & University has the highest percentage of degrees awarded in child development in 2015 out of all ten schools on this list, all awarded through a single program: a Bachelor's of Science with a major in child and adolescent development. Interestingly, this is a hybrid program, blending some physical presence at the school's Los Angeles or Sacramento classrooms with an online learning element. The goal of the program is to provide a comprehensive perspective of all aspects of the development of children, from birth through adolescence, in order to prepare students for helping children at any of those stages.

With its high percentage of child development degrees and an open admissions policy, Union Institute & University is an option well worth exploring.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

#115, 160 Promenade Cir
Sacramento, CA 95834
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5

Hennepin Technical College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,701
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
5
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Hennepin Technical College offers programs for both an Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science in child development. According to the school's website, most courses can be completed during the day, evening, or online. While you may be able to complete all your coursework in a web-based format, Hennepin Technical College does require in-person practicums that ensure you gain hands-on experience working with children -- a valuable addition to one's education.

In addition to an open admissions policy, Hennepin Technical College had one of the better graduation rates out of the online colleges for child development we profiled -- No.4 out of the ten on this list. The school also features one other interesting offering: a child development program that, upon completion, awards a diploma in the subject. If degrees and certificates are not quite what you're looking for, learning more about Hennepin's diploma program might be just what you need.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Member of the HLC Academic Quality Improvement Program

Location:

9000 Brooklyn Blvd
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445
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6

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,216
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
2
Accredited
School Type
4-year

West Virginia University at Parkersburg offers three tiers of online learning within the field of child development: a Certificate, Associate or Bachelor's of Applied Science. If you already attend the school, it's worth pointing out that you can take the school's general education courses in person and then transition online for the aforementioned programs. This can be quite convenient if you're expecting a coming change in your lifestyle, such as the birth of a child, a workday-lengthening promotion or a move to another city.

It's important to note, however, that the school's AAS and BAS degree programs still require some face-to-face presence in the classroom; if you need the courses to be completely online, consider the certificate program instead. Further, the school is only authorized to offer online learning in 38 states. Make sure your state of residence is included before you devote yourself to this school's programs.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg earned a spot on this list not only due to its accessibility and open admissions policy, but also its relatively high graduation rate. The fact that you have three different degree programs to choose from based on your educational needs and goals is certainly worth featuring as well.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Location:

300 Campus Drive
Parkersburg, West Virginia 26104
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7

Post University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$15,258
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
49
Accredited
School Type
4-year

With Post University's Bachelor's of Science in child studies degree program, you can learn how to create helpful and nurturing educational environments for children while also improving your job prospects. This degree program focuses on understanding the development of children between the ages of newborn and eight, in both private or school environments. When it comes to goals, the program has a wide variety of topics it wishes to impart to its students:

  • Development of learning environments
  • Exposure to and understanding of diverse families and communities
  • Observation and assessment of children's learning
  • Construction of a classroom curriculum
  • Efficient and professional communication

Post University notably achieved the fourth-highest percentage of degrees awarded in child development during 2015, out of all the schools on this list. If you want to earn a bachelor's degree online, make sure to explore the opportunities afforded through this program.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Location:

800 Country Club Rd
Waterbury, Connecticut 06708
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8

Concordia University - Saint Paul

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$20,750
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
36
Accredited
School Type
4-year

Concordia University of Saint Paul, a Christian liberal arts university founded in 1893, offers a Bachelor of Arts in child development that can be completed online. The online portion of the degree program requires only 47 credits. However, a full 120 credits are needed to earn a bachelor's degree. In other words, this degree program was created for students who already have some of their college coursework completed.

Students of this program are required to complete fieldwork in a licensed child care or early childhood learning center. This fieldwork may consist of observing children and staff; interviewing teachers and program administrators; or many other activities related to the topics of coursework. Students are not required to be employed in a licensed child care or early childhood learning center. Your Enrollment Counselor can provide more details.

One interesting aspect of Concordia University from our data is that it has the second-highest graduation rate of all ten schools featured on this list. Another interesting aspect, stated directly by university itself, is that 92 percent of their graduates find jobs after graduation -- an encouraging number for a prospective career-minded student.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104-5494
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9

Grayson College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,088
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
4
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Grayson College offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Child Development. This program is perfect for students who want to earn a two-year degree around their busy schedules. You can even get started on enrollment and orientation right from their website, without ever needing to visit the campus!

Grayson College's open admissions policy ensures that, so long as you have a high school diploma or GED certificate, you can qualify to get started in their program. Another feature that helped Grayson College earn a spot on this list is the array of important features their degree programs offer. Once you sign up, you'll gain access to online academic advising, online video chat with advisers and other helpful resources.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

6101 Grayson Drive
Denison, Texas 75020-8299
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10

Southern New Hampshire University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$30,006
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
109
Accredited
School Type
4-year

SNHU offers a dynamic bachelor's degree program that is perfect for students interested in child development and psychology. Earning this school's online Bachelor's of Arts in psychology with a concentration in child & adolescent development can start you on a fulfilling path toward understanding children's development and improving their lives. Not only does this program feature courses intended to teach you about traditional childcare and learning settings, but its psychology courses could help you to start a career in a clinic or hospital setting.

A high admissions rate -- the highest of any school on this list that does not have an open admissions policy -- made including Southern New Hampshire University on this list an easy decision. Further, this school earned the No.1 spot for graduation rates among all other child development programs featured on this page.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)

Location:

2500 North River Road
Manchester, New Hampshire, 03106-1045
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Sources and Methodologies

Sources:

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Concordia University - Saint Paul, http://online.csp.edu/academics/bachelor-of-arts-in-child-development
  2. Bachelor of Science in Child Studies, Post University, http://post.edu/academics/bachelor-degree-in-child-studies
  3. Child and Adolescent Development, BS, Union Institute & University, http://programs.myunion.edu/education?mb=1&lead_source=&lead_medium=&lead_distro=&clickid=&campaign=&ad_group=&network=&device=&keyword=&match_type=&leadfreeform1=&leadfreeform2=
  4. Child Development and Education, Tulsa Community College, http://www.tulsacc.edu/programs-courses/academic-schools/child-development-education
  5. Child Development Careers, Hennepin Technical College, https://www.hennepintech.edu/programs/overview/Child_Development
  6. Child Development Online, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, http://www.wvup.edu/academics/education-and-humanities/child-development-online/
  7. Online Bachelor's Degree, BA in Psychology, Child & Adolescent Development, Southern New Hampshire University, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/ba-in-psychology/child-and-adolescent-development
  8. Online Education, Western Oklahoma State College, https://www.wosc.edu/index.php?page=Sessions-Home
  9. Online Programs and Classes, Grayson College, http://grayson.edu/Pathways/online-programs-and-classes.html
  10. Programs Available Online, Craven Community College, http://cravencc.edu/distance-learning/programs-available-online/
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Sources and Methodologies