You’re nearly ready to take the plunge; you’re mere clicks away from signing yourself up for your first semester of early childhood education (ECE) classes. You know you’re passionate about the ECE field, but when it comes to matching the right school and degree program to your hopes and dreams, you’ve got to be sure.
And who can blame you? Taking the first steps toward a college degree is like taking your first step on dry land after a month at sea—it can be a shaky one.
To help you determine if you’re making the decision that makes the most sense for you, here are 10 ways Rasmussen College sets itself apart from other ECE programs.
1. Professional development courses fulfill state requirement
If you’re going to spend the money to get a degree, you should be getting the education and experience to make yourself marketable. In order to receive a childcare license in most states, students need professional development hours. Rasmussen College offers outside-the-classroom courses as a way for students to fulfill this state requirement while furthering their degree. ECE graduates can rest assured they have everything they need once it’s time to begin their careers.
2. Campuses host “Week of the Young Child” (WOYC) events
Each year, many of Rasmussen College’s campuses host events to celebrate WOYC. The goal is to highlight the needs of young children and their families while also applauding those who serve them. This year’s theme was “Investing in Young Children Benefits All,” which focused on the importance of quality early childhood education. Activities like “Pajama Jam” and a table set up with a sensory take-home-activity were just part of the fun of WOYC week.
3. The college offers a bachelor’s degree in leadership
Maybe you’re interested in the business side of early childhood education. The ECE leadership bachelor’s degree can be earned online in as little as 18 months. It blends business and ECE principles to pave the way for students to build careers in childcare leadership and administrative positions within ECE.
4. The college offers 4 specializations for associate degree students
Rasmussen College students can to choose to specialize in one of four categories: child development, english language learner (ELL), child and family studies and special needs. These specializations equip graduates with the right tools to fill the needs of many different employers and, most importantly, the children they serve.
5. ECE courses are developed using feedback from experts
It’s understandably frustrating to be part of a program that clearly wasn’t designed by professionals in the field. This is why Rasmussen College takes the time to create coursework based on input and advice from experts. The college develops its curriculum based on consultations with parents of young children, employers in the field and ECE professionals including nannies, child care directors and teachers.
6. Externships offer ECE students the opportunity to earn while they learn
Other ECE programs want to determine where they place students during their externship. But if you’re already working, gaining experience in the ECE field, Rasmussen College says “More power to you!” Continue to work where you are and achieve your externship credits while doing so. The college’s philosophy is to encourage students to gain professional experience while they’re getting a degree.
7. Rasmussen College instructors are seasoned professionals
Rasmussen College instructors come from a variety of diverse professional backgrounds. Instructors like Mary Muhs—who began her career as a child care center director—and Deidra Boodoo—originally a Head Start teacher—bring their real-world expertise into their classrooms. Before teaching ECE classes at Rasmussen College, Nancy Kaczrowski worked to promote early childhood literacy both with Minnesota Reading Corps and Bloomington Public schools.
8. Already have your CDA? Rasmussen College waves up to 12 credits
Some students come to the program with previous ECE experience and, sometimes, they’ve already received their child development associate (CDA) credential. Rasmussen College makes certain not to overlook the work and experience they already have, which is why the college waves 12 credits if you have a current CDA. If you don’t have your CDA, don’t worry. Rasmussen partners with the CDA and Council for Professional Recognition, and the curriculum prepares students to apply for their CDA.
9. Online students benefit from real-time classroom learning
Rasmussen strives to offer a valuable experience for all of their students, online students included. This means that each week, online students meet face-to-face with other students and their professor via a virtual classroom.
10. ECE students will graduate with a professional quality portfolio
All students will build a professional portfolio based on national education standards during the degree program. This portfolio is also the same portfolio of work students build within their CDA prep work. Though taking the CDA is strongly recommended, it is up to each individual student for completion.
Where to go from here?
If these 10 reasons have helped you see why Rasmussen College’s ECE program is right for you, you know where to go. Visit the early childhood education degree page and get yourself signed up for a program that was developed with you in mind.