Oklahoma State University is No. 7 nationally among the 25 Best Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Programs for 2019, Bachelor's Degree Center recently announced. The College of Human Sciences’ Department of Human Development and Family Science are home to the early childhood education program.
OSU is one of only a few early childhood programs to offer a development learning lab — the Cleo L. Craig Child Development Laboratory (CDL) — for early childhood education students and other programs across campus. The CDL is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a distinction less than 10 percent of all preschools, kindergartens and child care centers have earned.
Dr. Amy Williamson Payton, program coordinator and Ramona Ware Emmons Paul Professor in Early Childhood, said the program has a 100 percent employment rate for their graduates.
“Our Early Childhood Education program includes over 1,200 hours of time in classrooms for students who work with children ages six weeks through third grade by the time of graduation,” Payton said. “We have a warm and welcoming faculty and a cohort model that allows students to work closely with the same peers throughout the program.”
OSU’s early childhood education program is the highest-ranked program in Oklahoma as well as among four universities from the Big 12 Conference included in the top 25. A free guide to traditional and online bachelor’s degree programs in all disciplines, Bachelors Degree Center considered all traditional early childhood education programs with accreditations from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education for this ranking. Programs in early childhood education were ranked according to cost, employment rate, graduation rate, reputation (based on student reviews) and salary expectation.
“It is vital to provide the preparation that helps future teachers understand the developmental and educational needs of young children. Our early childhood education students have the opportunity to learn, explore, and apply skills as they progress in their professional roles,” said Dr. Sissy Osteen, head of the Department of Human Development and Family Science. “Quality faculty and a caring environment influence the development of our students and the children who attend the Child Development Lab.”