Early Childhood Program Expands with Online Option: Flexible, Affordable, and Scholarship Opportunities.

Pre-k student instructor playing a game with children.

With an increasing demand for pre-kindergarten educators with additional degree qualifications, Miami University Regionals' Pre-K program has teamed up with the Office of E-Learning Initiatives to begin offering a convenient, affordable and flexible way for future educators to earn an associate degree.

Many potential Pre-K teachers are already working, full-time and part-time, out in the field, and many are non-traditional students. Sixty percent are in their mid-to-late 20s, working in a Head Start, preschool or daycare center. Many have children and aspire to earn a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education.

Many students are eligible for a TEACH scholarship through Ohio Coalition of Child Care Resource and Referral Association, a partnership with child care programs that makes it financially feasible for students to pursue their education by covering 90 percent of the tuition while the student remains working.

"We're getting a lot of interest," said Dr. Tracey Hoffman, Miami Regionals Pre-K Coordinator. "This semester, we are offering two of our core courses online. One is completely full and the other is close to full." The demand is getting greater due in part to a state-wide initiative known as Step Up to Quality, "a basic overhaul of the system to improve program standards," Hoffman said.

"There are new expectations that child care program educators will be required to have more education, such as their associate degrees. By 2020, programs receiving state funding will have to comply with the new Step Up to Quality requirements."

"It's a five-star system and the money they receive is dependent on how many stars the programs earn in four domains - Learning and Development, Administrative and Leadership Practices, Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, and Family and Community Partnerships. The new standards affects child care programs and public preschool programs." In order for the Pre-K industry to meet these program outcomes, the educational institutions have to up their game as well.

Pre-k student instructor using a stencil with a child.

Hoffman felt that partnering with Regional E-Learning would be key to her department's success in providing future well educated early childhood teachers. “This fits in with the overall strategic direction we’re going in to make Miami education accessible,” said Janet Hurn, Coordinator of Regional E-Learning Initiatives.

By "accessible" we mean offering individuals educational opportunities that are obtainable in a flexible online format and can be achieved while balancing personal and/or professional responsibilities. There should not be barriers to obtaining a high quality education if someone wants to pursue that dream. The overall strategic direction we're going is to make Miami Education accessible," said Janet Hurn, Coordinator of Regional E-Learning Initiatives.

"It's a nice option for individuals who are working," Hoffman said. "Now that they can continue to work and not have to physically come to campus, that's the kind of accessibility we're talking about."

The Pre-K program at Miami Regionals is an associate's degree program, if the student attends full-time it takes two years to complete. There are also options for students to continue on to a Bachelor's degree at the Regionals.

Hurn said that online education is not easier and does not take less time—in fact a lot of students report that it takes more time—but the flexibility makes it worth it to them, to be able to schedule education while balancing jobs and family.

The E-Learning Initiatives office successfully uses student-centered strategies to ensure students receive a Miami-quality experience rather than a stigmatized, isolated education. E-Learning collaborates with Miami faculty to design courses with interactive elements to enhance active learning, collaborative activities to build relationships with classmates, and learning experiences geared toward building an online learning community.

For more information on the Online Pre-K program, visit miamioh.edu/regionals/prek or call Dr. Tracey Hoffman at 513-727-3289.

Contact Us
Oxford
E-Campus
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
  • Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • E-Campus

    E-Campus at Miami Regionals

    Miami University Regionals' online programs are designed to offer students the richness of a premier education and the flexibility of learning at the location of their choice. Whether you are interested in a single course or an entire degree, we have a path to success for you.

    ECAMPUS Facebook ECAMPUS Twitter ECAMPUS YouTubeI am Miami

    Offices

    Hamilton: 559 Mosler Hall 
    Middletown: 101 Thesken Hall 
    Ecampus@MiamiOH.edu
    513-217-4003

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals/e-campus

  • West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

    Directions

  • Middletown

    Miami University Middletown Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Miami University Middletown Campus
    4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042

    Greentree Health Science Academy
    5757 Innovation Drive
    Middletown, Ohio 45005

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

    Directions

  • Hamilton

    Miami University Hamilton Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

    Directions