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Bachelor's Degree in Educational Studies - Early Childhood Development

Why Earn Your Early Childhood Development Degree at Saint Leo University?

Saint Leo’s BA in Educational Studies specialization in Early Childhood Development and Education degree prepares graduates with conceptual and practical skills needed to design, implement, and evaluate educational experiences in traditional contexts within a variety of other environments. The primary goal of this program is to provide a curriculum for graduates to make a positive impact on learning environments and outcomes for both children and adult learners.

This hands-on program prepares individuals who want to deepen their understanding of the learning and teaching processes, yet may choose to seek careers in non-traditional education settings that do not require state licensure. Graduates will have the ability to effectively work with children, parents, families, and communities in a variety of settings.

The B.A. in educational studies major offers three specializations: (1) Education and Children, (2) Education and Adolescents, and (3) Education and Early Childhood Development.  Students who graduate with this major are not immediately eligible for certification with the Florida Department of Education.  The educational studies major prepares students for employment with agencies and educational institutions that do not require graduation from an initial certification program as a term of employment.  

Learning Experience:
Est. Time to Complete:
4 years
Credit Hours:
120 hours
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Undergraduate Educational Studies Program Details

Students will actively make connections between subject area content and real-world application through fieldwork in early childhood settings. Opportunities to observe, participate, and teach in early childhood settings and various community organizations working with young children, provide students an opportunity to link their course work to real-world environments.

Instructors for this bachelor’s degree program come from a wide range of educational backgrounds in the field of early childhood education, and have a wealth of practical experience in early education settings, allowing them to communicate this valuable practice to students. Small class sizes offer personal attention from instructors, enabling students to flourish in an online environment and gain top-notch skills to work in various educational settings.

Learn Your Way: 
Online, On Campus, or Near You

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  • What are the on-campus facilities like?

    Students who pursue their degrees at Saint Leo’s main campus near sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, join a community of enthusiastic learners just like them.

    Learn about the On-Campus Experience

  • What are the benefits of earning your degree online?

    Saint Leo University’s online learning experience provides a well-rounded education with the flexibility to tailor your course of study to meet your individual needs. We know our students have lives outside school, and we seek to meet them where they are. Online students can count on receiving excellent academics as well as opportunities for hands-on learning.

    Learn about the Online Experience

    Visit Online Admissions

  • Taking online classes has afforded me the opportunity to learn while maintaining a job. They give me some flexibility to study at times that work more cohesively with my schedule and allow me to utilize resources such as the library 24 hours a day.

    Bentley Streat | Hayes, VA

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Are education centers near you offering educational studies degree programs?

You may also choose to pursue your degree through one of our education centers, which merge a traditional in-person education with the flexibility to match your lifestyle. Education centers offer eight-week academic terms as well as evening and weekend classes.

Explore Education Centers

Career Outlook

No matter which learning experience you choose, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, industry knowledge from expert professors, and support from the Saint Leo community. All this together means that you will be ready for a successful career or continued studies upon graduation.

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  • How will you gain real experience?


    Within early learning settings, students will learn the practical teaching experiences while working with young children while developing their ethical responsibilities as practitioners. Students will be responsible for securing their own fieldwork placement and submit placement information to course instructor each semester.


    Work with faculty on research and present at conferences

Guest Speakers

Meet recruiters, alumni, and professionals working in the field.

Professional Development

Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to further develop teaching pedagogy and efficacy.

Co-curricular activities

Join the Early Learning Club, which has quarterly meetings that meet virtually.

Career-ready prep

Learn essential skills such as resume writing, presenting, and interviewing with early childhood administrators and personnel.

What can you do with an undergraduate early childhood development degree?

Most program graduates seek employment positions in profit, and not-for-profit educational settings. Career paths may include:

  • Community Outreach Programmers for Children and Families (Preschool Services, Literacy Programs, Parks and Recreation Programs, etc.)
  • Programs for Children and Youth (YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Sports Programs, etc.)
  • Not-for-profits (Homeless/Transitional Programs, Programs for At-risk Children and Youth, etc.)
  • For Profit or Non-for-profit Early Learning Institutions
  • Entrepreneurial (Start up After School Program, Child Care, Youth Leadership Program, Tutoring, etc.)

College of Education & Social Services

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  • Saint Leo University’s College of Education and Social Services couples a transformative liberal arts tradition with highly specialized training in the education and social services fields. Through close faculty mentorships, practical field internships, and applied learning experiences, we prepare students for careers in education, social work, criminal justice, and human services. Our faculty remain active in their respective fields as researchers and practitioners, giving students close access to a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience.

    With the ever-changing needs of today's students, we provide flexible degree programs. These include programs at University Campus and education centers with evening and weekend options, as well as online offerings. These degree programs are grooming the next generation of educators and social service specialists—a new breed of professionals with the talent and resolve to make a difference in the world.

    Explore the College of Education & Social Services