Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance
Early Child Care
About the Program
The Bachelor of Science in Early Child Care at Texas Tech (listed as Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society on the GPIDEA website) prepares you to work in early childhood settings with young children whose family members are highly mobile. When you complete the program you will be qualified to work in a variety of programs that offer early care and education for children birth - age 8 and particularly those with highly mobile populations such as military installations.
Early Care in a Society that is Always "On the Go"
Today, children and families are increasingly mobile. This is especially true for military families, immigrant families, families who must travel to make a living, homeless families and families living in poverty. Young children and their families need professional support from individuals who are interested in working with them in a society that is always "on the go". That person could be you.
The Bachelor of Science in Early Child Care is an online, non-teaching certification, undergraduate program provided by seven universities working in collaboration. This bachelor's degree program will prepare you to work in early childhood settings with young children, especially those whose family members are highly mobile. When you complete the program you will be qualified to work in a variety of programs that offer early care and education in the community and on military installations. Some of these programs are:
- Childcare centers and homes
- Infant/toddler and preschool programs
- Head Start programs
- Before and after-school programs for children ages birth to eight.
Upon successful completion of the Early Child Care bachelor's degree program, you will be able to:
- use your understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child;
- understand how successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children's families and communities and value the importance and complex characteristics of children's families and communities;
- use child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child;
- use your knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for every young child;
- identify and conduct yourself as a member of the early childhood profession, using ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice; and
- demonstrate, through sequential practicum experiences and clinical practice the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood.
Benefits of Online Courses
The format of online courses is flexible and convenient and allows distance education students the opportunity to take courses that fit into their work and home schedules. Instructors will include interactive learning experiences, such as e-mail, online chats, and threaded discussions.*
* Also known as "asynchronous web-talk," threaded discussions are a form of discussion-over-time allowing students to develop critical thinking skills, reflect on questions more carefully, and respond in an assertive and thoughtful manner.
In addition to Texas Tech University, the following Great Plains IDEA institutions participate in the program: Iowa State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students may be admitted to the program at any one of the participating universities. This university becomes the student's "home" (degree-granting) university. Students will register for all courses at the home institution, although graduate faculty at any of the member institutions may teach courses.
Early Child Care Curriculum
Block One Courses:
- These must be taken prior to enrollment in Block Two courses
- Child Development - Birth to 3 (Infant/Toddler)
- Child Development - 4 to 8 (Early Childhood)
- Professional Development
- Child Guidance and Classroom Environments
- Health, Safety, and Nutrition
- Practicum I can only be taken after successful completion of Block One Courses
Block Two Courses:
- Development of Curriculum for Children Ages Birth to 3
- Development of Curriculum for Children Ages 4 to 8
- Understanding and Adapting for Developmental Differences
- Assessing Young Children and their Environments to Enhance Development
- Practicum II can only be taken after successful completion of Block One Courses, Block Two Courses, and Practicum
Additional Background Courses:
- These required courses may be taken anytime during the program.
- Administration and Supervision in Early Childhood Settings
- Technology and Young Children
- Diversity in the Lives of Young Children and Families
- Working with Families
Block Three/Capstone Experience:
- Practicum III - can only be taken after successful completion of all other courses
Degree and course titles will vary by institution. This degree program does not lead to teacher licensure.
Course Information and Descriptions
You need a computer meeting the minimum specifications, the capability to access and download materials from the Internet and a browser equivalent to Netscape/Explorer 6.0 or newer. An e-mail address is essential as well as access to a VCR (VHS) and FAX. In order to access classes, you must set up an e-mail address using the email system at each teaching institution. For example, if you take a course taught at Iowa State, the faculty member will send email to your Iowa State email account, not to your Texas Tech (called: "e-Raider") address or to a local Internet service provide account (i.e. AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail).
Application Requirements & Process
To be admitted, you must already have completed at least 30 credits (applicable to graduation requirements) earning at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA). These hours must include a Human Lifespan Development course. Following your admission to the Early Child Care program, you will complete 51 credit hours in 12 core courses and three practica through Great Plains IDEA plus any remaining credit hours required by the admitting institution for completion of a bachelor's degree. Each of your courses will be taught entirely on line by the partner institutions. The Early Child Care program is designed to ensure that you will meet the professional preparation standards endorsed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC; 2011)
To qualify for financial aid, all graduate students must be enrolled as fulltime students in the fall, spring, (6 hours) and summer semesters (5 hours).
FAFSA forms must be filled out for all government loan programs. This form uses last year's income. If you've had a change in circumstances (i.e., quit work to go to school, have large moving or medical expenses) contact the Texas Tech Financial Aid Office. They may be able to adjust your aid package based on this information which could not be conveyed on the forms.
Tuition and Fees
Students admitted to the program at Texas Tech University enroll at TTU for all courses, whether they are taught at TTU or by a participating university. All courses will have a common price of $565 per credit hour for graduate courses and $405 per credit hour for undergraduate courses*. There is no in-state or out-of-state tuition. This price will cover all course costs except textbook or course packet purchases.
*Common tuition rate set by Great Plains IDEA Board of Directors in connection and cooperation with participating institutions.
Students enroll for all courses through their home institution by contacting the Great Plains IDEA Coordinator. Students will have only one enrollment process to complete and one check to write. All coursework completed will be recorded on your home institution's transcript.
Students who have not been admitted to the Great Plains IDEA program may enroll in a course if space is available. Each course has a maximum enrollment; and those who have been admitted to a degree program at one of the participating universities will be given preference.
Courses are taught online using a course management system accessed through your web browser. Some courses have supplemental materials on videos or CDs and others may require telephone conferencing.
The format of online courses is flexible and convenient and allows distance education students the opportunity to take courses that fit into their work and schedules. Instructors will include interactive learning experiences, such as e-mail, online chats, and threaded discussions that allow students to develop critical thinking skills, reflect on questions more carefully, and respond in an assertive and thoughtful manner.
As is true for other courses, textbooks and supplemental materials required for each course are the responsibility of the students.