Program Overview

Students in the Early Childhood Education program at Rio Salado College are preparing to teach children from birth through third grade. This program requires 47 credits including in-person field experiences in many of the courses, an internship at the preschool level and a nine-week (45 instructional days) student teaching experience in a K-3 classroom. Students must verify content proficiency through the passage of a state-approved content exam (AEPA).

The professional subject matter of early childhood includes coursework specific to the young child from birth through grade three in the areas of child development and learning, curriculum development and implementation, family and community relationships, assessment and evaluation, professionalism, and application of technologies.

An Early Childhood Certificate (Birth-Grade 3) is valid for either regular education or special education. It is valid, also, in inclusive preschools and other programs designed to meet the developing needs of both typical and atypical young children.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Certificate

    Delivery Format: Hybrid

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


    Post-Baccalaureate courses are designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree or higher (in any area) from an accredited university.


    Many states will NOT accept Arizona Certificates if there are deficiencies listed on the certificate.

    School Overview

    Rio Salado College is a community college located in Tempe, Arizona that was originally founded in 1967 as one of the 10 Maricopa County community colleges. Since 1996, the school has offered online classes and, starting in 2006, a majority of the courses have been transferred online. The school is recognized as a leader in Higher Education with specialization in distance learning and online education. Part of the mission of Rio Salado is to aim to transform the experience of learning through offering students choice, access, and flexibility; customized high quality learning designs; and personalized services and organizational responsiveness.

    RSC offers online programs, certificates, academic certificates, and associate's degrees. Online education is one of the most prominent academic programs at the college. 


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