Early Childhood Education Certificate

Our Early Childhood Education Certificate can help you lay the foundation for a career as an educator working with young children in as little as nine to 12 months. Throughout your Certificate curriculum, you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to create a positive and thriving learning environment for your students. 

Our expedited and foundational Certificate curriculum is designed to give you the skills you need to help you successfully start your career as an educator in a short amount of time.

View courses and cost per credit for our Early Childhood Education Certificate. Courses, course names, and cost per credit may vary by location. Download your state specific catalog for more information.

  • Courses

Choose your state or online to see your full course listing:

Course listings are subject to change. Please see our course catalog and/or addendum for most current listings.


Early Childhood Education Certificate Course List

Major and Core Courses

  • Career Development
  • Foundations of Child Development
  • Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application
  • Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education

This course is designed to study the personal and professional characteristics necessary for obtaining and maintaining suitable employment. The student will assemble a complete jobseeking portfolio including his/her resume and references, letters of application and appreciation, documentation of work and educational history, and demonstration of skills through examples of student work. The course includes an indepth study of self-marketing approaches, job interviewing techniques and professionalism as well as participation in a mock interview.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: E242
Credits: 2


This course will explore characteristics of children at different ages, children's developmental needs, and the foundation of early childhood education. Students will learn the fundamentals of developmentally appropriate practice as it relates to child development, individual needs, building self-esteem in children, and using interpersonal skills and communication within the classroom and center. Students will study the function of the family, and the cultural, social, class, and ethnic variations in the family as a social system.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: EC100
Credits: 4


This course promotes the development of young children in the academic, social, and emotional domains. It examines developmentally appropriate methods for writing and assessing behavioral objectives, lesson plans, and activity goals. Various curriculum models will be reviewed. Strategies to enhance parent and family involvement will be emphasized.

Prerequisite:Foundations of Child Development

Course ID: EC110
Credits: 4


This course examines the role of early childhood professionals working in the field via the policies and procedures governed by the state. Students will learn guidelines for establishing safe environments. They will also learn strategies for implementing health policies, controlling disease, establishing proper nutrition, and responding to children's special health concerns. Students will carry out a 2-hour field observation in the field of education.

Prerequisite:Foundations of Child Development

Course ID: EC121
Credits: 4


Students will explore effective strategies for observation and assessment in early childhood education. They will understand the observation, assessment, and planning cycle and its impact on promoting children's development.

Prerequisites:Foundations of Child Development; Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction; Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application

Course ID: EC200
Credits: 4

Choose either Track I ** or Track II

Track I * Students must be enrolled through a campus and live in FL/IL/KS/MN/ND/WI

  • Knowledge: Externship I
  • Application: Externship II
  • Reflection: Externship III

Under externship supervision, the student will observe and implement developmentally appropriate practices while interacting with children and adults.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: EC180
Credits: 6


Students continue their externship experience in an early childhood setting. The focus is on developmentally appropriate practices and leadership.

Prerequisite:Knowledge: Externship I

Course ID: EC181
Credits: 6


Students will complete their externship experience in an early childhood setting. The focus is on developmentally appropriate practices and leadership.

Prerequisite:Application: Externship II

Course ID: EC182
Credits: 6

Track II ** Students must be enrolled through the National Online Campus and not be eligible for Track 1

  • Teacher Reflection I: Early Childhood Education as a Profession
  • Teacher Reflection II: Morality and Ethics in Early Childhood Education
  • Teacher Reflection III: The Intentional Teacher

This course is an introduction to the field of early childhood development as a profession and examines historical influences on the field. The identification of early childhood educator's personal attributes, knowledge, skills, and professional codes of conduct are included.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: EC183
Credits: 6


This course will provide an examination of morality and ethics in early childhood development. Topics include childhood ethics, ideals, and principles. Professional values and teaching styles will be explored.

Prerequisite:Teacher Reflection I: Early Childhood Education as a Profession

Course ID: EC184
Credits: 6


Students will learn about intentionality in teaching and selecting best practices for young children's learning and development. Both child-guided and adult-guided methods will be examined in the areas of language and literacy, mathematics and scientific inquiry, social skills and understandings, physical movement and visual arts.

Prerequisite:Teacher Reflection II: Morality and Ethics in Early Childhood Education

Course ID: EC185
Credits: 6

Foundation Courses

  • Reading and Writing Strategies
  • Practical Math

This course develops students' reading and writing skills in preparation for college-level coursework. Through review of grammar, punctuation, and the writing process, students will enhance their ability to compose sentences, paragraphs, and short essays. The study of active reading strategies will provide students with the tools necessary for comprehending collegiate level texts.

Prerequisite:Placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: B080
Credits: 4


Mathematics is learned through communication. In this course, students will learn to communicate how problems are solved and how solving problems can be applied in real-world settings. Students will have opportunities to learn multiple problem solving strategies. This course also provides practice and skill problems.

Course ID: B087
Credits: 4

Total Certificate Credits: 36*

* Credit totals do not include Foundation Courses. Students must either demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in Foundation Courses through a Rasmussen College entrance placement exam or by successful completion of Foundation Courses.

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