When Degree Programs For Pre-K Teachers Go Online


Given the skills and knowledge required for pre-K teaching, pre-K teachers are increasingly expected to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood or a related field. Many experts and policymakers—as well as regulations in a majority of states—have pushed for teachers in publicly funded pre-K programs to attain a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. But many barriers exist, including the unlikelihood that current teachers can afford the tuition, let alone take years off from work to complete a traditional degree. Could hybrid and exclusively online degree programs provide a new pathway? What do we know about these programs and their quality? 

Please join us for a presentation and panel discussion of New America’s new report, When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online: Challenges and Opportunities. The report highlights the policy and practice changes needed to make high-quality online bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education or a related major accessible to all lead pre-K teachers across the United States. 

The report, written by Shayna Cook, shows how online degrees can provide teachers with greater access to programs, but points to the need for better higher education data. It also showcases the benefits of degree programs that provide teachers with financial supports. 

Lunch will be provided. 

Follow the conversation online with #ECEOnlineDegrees and @NewAmericaEd


Shayna Cook, @cook_shayna
Policy Analyst in the Education Policy Program, New America

Gail Joseph, @gailejoseph
Associate Professor and Founding Director, EarlyEdU Alliance

Karen Bales
Alumna of Ball State University’s Early Childhood Online Completer Program 

Katie Benson
Program Director of the Early Childhood Completer Program in the Department of Elementary Education, Ball State University  


Michael Alison Chandler, @michaelalison
Reporter, Washington Post