Suppliers of Education for Early Educators

Earning College Courses in High School

College course credits may be earned while in high school as well as from an accredited institution of higher education.

Community College (two-year degrees, certificates & diplomas)

In North Carolina, 58 community colleges and over 20 universities provide college credits and degree programs in early childhood education, school age and other related fields.

  • Child Development Association Credential (CDA): College Credit Option . Candidates can now earn the national CDA credential by taking 17-18 hours of curriculum course credits in the North Carolina Community College System and completing additional CDA requirements.

School-Age Degree Options

The school-age credential (5 semester credit hours), is required by the NC Division of Child Development & Early Education for school age group leaders working in regulated child care facilities. The number and type of credit-bearing professional development opportunities for Early Educators working with school age children is increasing in North Carolina.

In 2009,

  • 21 community college early childhood programs have filed a School Age Degree course of study with the NC Community College System Office.
  • 22 community colleges offer a school age certificate

Universities (four-year degrees)

In 2012, a total of 18 public colleges/universities and 36 private colleges/universities provide college education options for early educators.

Source: DCDEE Presentation (June 2012)

University of North Carolina (UNC) System

  • institutions)
  • (independent institutions)
  • UNCOnline provides access to course listings on its 16 campuses. The listing currently provides an online listing for programs which are designed for individuals interested in becoming K-12 teachers, administrators, counselors, and specialists in areas such as special education, reading, and academically gifted instruction.
  • Lateral entry for active licensed teachers who seek add-on licensure; and college graduates who seek to enter the teaching profession.

Graduate Degree Programs






Consumer Beware  Accreditation Varies

All NC early childhood systems require coursework be taken at a regionally accredited institution of higher education (college or university).

All public community colleges and universities in North Carolina are regionally accredited.

Degree program accreditation systems in other states, offered online or in other countries may not be regionally accredited. This means you may not be allowed to transfer college credits you paid for from into a North Carolina college to complete a certificate or degree or use toward a different or ann advanced degree.

Read the fine print carefully and review the list of regionally accredited postsecondary institutions and programs before enrolling.

Search for Quality

Nationally Accredited Associate Early Childhood Degree Programs (ECADA)

©AWS - 2010 NC Institute for Child Development Professionals, PO Box 959, Chapel Hill, NC 27514