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Early Childhood Education

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the demand for early childhood care and education programs continues to increase, not only in response to the growing demand for out-of-home child care, but also in recognition of the critical importance of educational experiences during the early years" ( This bachelor degree program in early childhood education prepares professionals who can provide high-quality educational experiences for their community’s youngest children.

This program is designed to build on associate degree competencies to enhance professionals’ ability to design and implement developmentally appropriate learning environments for children ages birth-five years. Students are usually practitioners working in preschools and other child-care and educational settings.

Graduates will be able to facilitate positive transitions of children with disabilities and special needs, to nurture early language development and early reading and writing and other growth in other domains, to build early resiliency and self-regulation and to develop as early childhood stakeholder leaders.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Required teaching experience


4 years

Admission Criteria



Distance Learning Only
21.0 - 25.0
970 - 1110


Early Childhood Learning Community
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services


361 Dyer Hall
PO Box 210105
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0105
Early Childhood Learning Community
Phone: 513-556-2336

Student Success Factors

Students who are successful demonstrate a passion for the field of early childhood education and a desire to master new challenges. Students must pass a background check, if not already required by their employer. Early childhood professionals must respect diverse children and families and be able to communicate effectively with children, parents, co-workers and supervisors. Computer skills are essential.

Career Possibilities

Graduates of this major pursue careers such as:

  • Head start teacher
  • Preschool teacher
  • Infant/toddler specialist
  • MRDD consultant trainer
  • Program administrator in an early childhood setting

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

The birth-five major is part of the early childhood education program in the School of Education located in the University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH). The main goal of the program is to provide each student with an ethical and thorough understanding of early childhood theory (birth-age five) and its application to the educational setting.

Each course teaches the relevant early childhood theory and developmentally appropriate practices. Classes are taught by faculty with experience as preschool, infant, and toddler teachers and directors, so assignments allow professionals to apply their new knowledge in their own classrooms and reflect on their own teaching practice.

The bachelor's degree requires a combination of general education courses along with early childhood courses. All degree requirements may be met online; no on-campus visit is necessary.

Almost all courses have at least one fieldwork assignment that requires access to children. For that reason, this degree option is highly desirable for working practitioners who can complete most fieldwork assignments as a part of their job duties. Likewise, the student teaching practicum and internship may be completed in the teacher’s own classroom, subject to approval by the program supervising faculty. Students videotape their own teaching and are mentored by a UC faculty and an on-site mentor who has been approved by program faculty. Students must log significant time in a preschool or an infant/toddler classroom during the internship. A video camera is necessary, because video assignments must be completed and subsequently mailed to campus for faculty review.

The successful completion of student teaching and all degree requirements may lead to faculty’s recommendation for Ohio’s pre-K license. (The minimum GPA for recommendation for an Ohio pre-K teaching license is a 2.5, with grades of "C" or higher in all required education courses.) This license is for preschool only. Students will not be licensed to teach kindergarten or elementary school. Out-of-state students should consult with their own state’s department of education to determine reciprocity, if out-of-state licensure is desirable.

Because most students have completed an associate degree prior to admission to the bachelor birth-five option, transfer credit must be reviewed and applied to degree requirements. Transfer credit is awarded from regionally accredited institutions only if it is equivalent to degree requirements. Application of all transfer credit is not guaranteed, even if it is acceptable to the university’s transfer center. To maximize the number of transfer credits awarded, the associate degree credit will be compared to the entire four-year degree. Students may be awarded credit for first-year, second-year or even third-year courses.

Students may begin the program any semester during the academic year. Each student is assigned an advisor who can assist with an academic plan based on the student’s transfer credit and career goals. Completion of the program will vary depending on each student’s course load and work schedule; most students are employed full time and enroll in two courses per semester.

Significant student support is offered through the CECH Student Services Center and the academic advisors as well as the other staff members that offer support to distance education students.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Fall 2014

Predominant Program

    Core Curriculum
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • MATHxxxx, Students may select a college level mathematics course., 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Students may select a college level natural science course., 3
    • CI1001, Educational Technology, TI, 3
    • EDST1001, Introduction to Education, DC, HP, 3
    • SPED1001, Individuals with Exceptionalities, DC, SE, 3
    • EDST1002, Educational Psychology, SS, 3
    • ECE1005, Learning Early Care & Education Online, 3
    • ECE1020, Health, Safety and Nutrition, 3
    • ECE2000, Introductory Child Development, SS, 3
    • ECE2005, Developmental Transitions: Childhood to Adulthood , SS, 3
    • ECE2015, Language Arts & Literacy in Early Care and Education, 3
    • ECE2020, Creative Arts in Early Care and Education, 3
    • ECE2025, Families, Communities, and Schools, DC, 3
    • ECE2010, Classroom Organization and Guidance, 3
    • ECE2080, Preschool Student Teaching, 3
    • ECE2040, Infant and Toddler Care and Education, 3
    • ECE3010, Foundations of Math and Science, 3
    • ECE3015, Children's Literature in Early Care and Education, 3
    • ECE3014, Developmental Concerns and Family Partnerships, 3
    • ECE3025, Assessment and Evaluation in Early Care and Education, 3
    • ECE3030, Social Issues in Early Care and Education, 3
    • ECE3035, Administration and Leadership in Early Care and Education, 3
    • ECE3040, Play and Development, 3
    • ECE4025, Language Development in Young Children, 3
    • ECE4024, Learning Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms in Early Childhood, 3
    • ECE4045, Collaborative Teaming in Early Childhood Special Education, 3
    • ECE4050, Responsive Environments for Infants and Toddlers, 3
    • ECE4055, Infant and Toddler Practicum, 3
    • ECE4090, Reflections on Teaching in Early Care and Education, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student may select any 6 courses (18 hours) of college level courses to satisfy Free Elective requirement., 18
    Pre-K Focus
    • ECE2045, Physical, Cognitive, and Language Development in Infant and Toddlers, 3
    • ECE2050, Social Emotional Development and Guidance for Infants and Toddlers, 3
    • ECE2085, Preschool Internship, 3
    Infant-Toddler Focus
    • ECE2070, Supervision and Organization of ECE Programs, 3
    • ECExxxx, ECE2045 Physical, Cognitive, and Language Development in Infant and Toddlers, 3
    • ECExxxx, ECE2050 Social Emotional Development and Guidance for Infants and Toddlers, 3
    Administration Focus
    • ECE3045, Creative and Instructional Environments for Young Children, 3
    • ECE2075, Operation of an ECE Program, 3
    • ECExxxx, ECE 2070 Supervision and Organization of ECE Programs, 3

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

This educational opportunity is only available online. The Early Childhood Learning Community (ECLC) supports over 600 students from every U.S. state and several foreign countries.

ECLC has become a worldwide model for online education in the field of early childhood; conferences sponsored by national organizations like the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) have featured ECLC as a model for effective online practices. In addition, several articles have been published about the student support system and the student teaching experience.

The online nature of this program has required an individualized approach to student support. Each student receives toll-free phone assistance prior to enrollment and extends beyond graduation in some cases. After a student decides to enroll, an orientation specialist leads each student through a program orientation and a technology orientation, so students learn Blackboard before they begin online courses. Each student is also assigned an advisor who is available via e-mail and phone for admission and registration advice and consultation.

Students are required to meet the program’s transfer criteria for admittance into the bachelor’s degree: a minimum GPA of 2.5 at the associate degree level. Students not meeting that requirement may request admittance into the associate degree program until the required transfer GPA is reached.

ECLC’s website may be accessed at for additional information on deadlines, registration and a complete list of articulation agreements.

Special Programs

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP)
Kappa Delta Pi is a prestigious international honor society that recognizes scholarship and excellence in the field of education. Members must have a college GPA of at least 3.0 for undergraduate students or 3.25 for graduate students. KDP members work on several volunteer activities that focus on education. Some of the benefits of being a member of KDP include annual scholarships, professional development, a nationwide job database and access to the ideas, research, insights and expertise of internationally renowned educators.

Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC)
SCEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities and gifted children, as well as those typically developing. If you are committed to children, focused on becoming the best educator and want to meet new people, then SCEC is for you! Membership dues permit you to receive professional development opportunities, journals and newsletters with new research and classroom practices and the opportunity to attend conventions and conferences.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

All transfer students must have a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all college work attempted. 

Changing Majors Within UC

Students changing majors from other programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as outside transfers.

International Student Requirements

International students should contact the University of Cincinnati's Office of Admission at 513-556-1100 for details.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:

  • Complete all required course work and program requirements.
  • Obtain at least a 2.8 university grade point average.
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Meet the college's residency requirement of 30 semester credit hours.
  • File formal application for the degree by the posted semester of graduation deadline.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester


  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1*
  • Confirmation Deadline: May 1

* Your application must be complete by this date in order to be considered for scholarships and the Honors Program.


  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Aug. 1

Spring Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: Nov. 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Dec. 1

Summer Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: March 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: April 1


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The early childhood education birth-5 program is accredited by the following:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Ohio Department of Education