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Online Early Education and Care (B.S.)

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The Early Education and Care (EEC) program is an online undergraduate degree provided by seven universities working in collaboration. This program will prepare an educator to work in early childhood settings with young children, especially those whose family members are highly mobile. When students complete the program they 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

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Early Education and Care major, students will be able to:

  • Use the 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;
  • value both the importance and complexities of children’s families and communities in order to understand how successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with these systems;
  • 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 the knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for every young child;
  • identify and conduct themselves 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.

Completion of Online Early Education and Care does not lead to teacher licensure.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities include:

  • Child care provider
  • Preschool teacher
  • Para-professional
  • Head Start or Early Head Start educator
  • Afterschool or Boys and Girls Club teacher

Clubs and Organizations

  • Association for the Education of Young Children - East Central Student Chapter
  • South Dakota Education Association – Student Chapter

Suggested Minors

  • Select a Modern Language
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Psychology

Great Plains IDEA Partnership

This program is offered through SDSU's partnership with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA*). Collaborative, multi-institutional online programs expand and diversify your educational opportunities. Courses led by instructors from partner universities and interactions with geographically-dispersed students will broaden your perceptions and knowledge. Learn more about GPIDEA.

*Students need to have completed at least 30 credits to include a human development course and have a GPA of at least 2.5 before taking the GPIDEA courses.

Program Contact

Ann Michelle Daniels
Wenona Hall, Rm 110 | Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-4036

SDSU GPIDEA Coordinator

Aimee Maher
Phone: 605-688-4154

SDSU Continuing and Distance Education

Phone: 605-688-4154

SDSU Admissions

Phone: 605-688-4121