Make a Lasting Impression on Children's Lives

Qualified students who have their CDA® credential could earn their ECE Associate’s degree for around $10,000. 4 5

An Early Childhood Education (ECE) Associate’s degree for around $10,000 means right now is the perfect time to continue your education and increase your ability to impact children’s lives. 4 With Rasmussen University, you can apply what you already know to maximize savings toward earning your ECE Associate’s degree fully online. Earn up to 30 credits by successfully completing self-directed assessments to show you don’t need to take a specific course. 4 If you already have your CDA credential, you can obtain a course waiver for up to an additional 12 credits. 4

Don’t have your CDA credential? Rasmussen University's program offers flexible online courses that prepare you for the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential application while you earn your ECE Associate’s degree. 5

Finish in as few as 15 months if you already have your CDA credential, or as few as 18 months if you don’t have your CDA credential yet. 1

Let's Get Started

Two Specialization Options

  • Child Development—Plan activities, materials and interactions that promote healthy development.

    Children with Special Needs—Equip children with special needs to be successful in the early childhood setting.

Our ECE programs do not prepare students for licensed teaching positions in any public school setting, but students will have the opportunity to help shape the futures of young children from birth to age six in a non-public school setting or leadership role.

Around $10,000 tuition for qualified students 4

Flexible online courses

Graduate in as few as 15 months 1 with a CDA credential

Kayla S., ECE Graduate

“Rasmussen had the most flexible and fast-paced option for someone with a family lifestyle. My goal is to help prepare children to give them a head start. The more I learn, the better I can do that.”

Kayla S.
ECE Graduate

Learn More

Additional Support

Supporting Your Education

Rasmussen University makes it easy to navigate the ins and outs of taking college courses. With support services, you’re connected to the answers, planning and resources you need to be successful. Count on our peer tutors, mentors, librarians, financial aid experts and others on your support team.

Still Have Questions?

Your admissions advisor can answer any questions and offer more details about program options for all of our Early Childhood Education offerings.

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Attend an ECE Information Session

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It all starts with completing the form. A Rasmussen University admissions advisor can then answer your questions and walk you through the application process.

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  1. Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and number of courses completed each term.

  2. Rasmussen University Start Strong Tuition Savings Terms and Conditions

    • Students who enroll through the Corporate Channel are eligible for a $149 grant toward each unique self-directed assessment attempt within their degree program.
    • Student must maintain continuous enrollment to remain eligible. A student who withdraws and re-enrolls later will not be eligible for the grant.
    • All self-directed assessment requirements and restrictions specified in the Rasmussen University Catalog and Enrollment Agreement apply.
    • Students must meet entrance requirements for the academic program in which they are enrolling.
    • Students must attempt a minimum of six faculty-led credits per quarter in order to gain access to the self-directed assessment options.
    • Employees of Rasmussen College, LLC and their family members are eligible for the grant.
    • Grant recipients who also qualify for other grants and scholarships such as Military, Corporate Alliance, or Change A Life may use both.
    • Grant is awarded quarterly, with no expiration date. (Once a self-directed assessment is accessed, students have 45 days to complete each assessment.)
    • Grant is non-transferrable, and no substitution or cash equivalent/refund is allowed.
    • Credits earned through self-directed assessment offerings will likely not transfer to another institution; acceptance of transfer credit is always at the discretion of the receiving institution.
    Start Strong Tuition Savings Disclosure
    • The savings claims referenced here represent the total amount of tuition and fees saved by successfully completing self-directed assessment attempts at no charge, in lieu of completing the faculty-led equivalent courses at standard tuition and fee rates.
      • i.e., “almost $7,000” is based on 5 successful assessments replacing 5, 4-credit hour courses @$295/credit hour.
        • $5,900 in tuition, plus $925 Course Technology and Resource Fees, plus $150 book fees = $6,975.
      • The Start Strong Tuition Savings is available to students who enroll through the Corporate Channel.
      • All other students pay $149 for each self-directed assessment attempt.
  3. Students with tuition rates at or lower than $248 per credit for full-time rates and $321 per credit for part-time rates are not eligible for any grants or scholarships offered by the University. Students enrolling in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program on or after January 2, 2023, may be eligible for institutional grants regardless of program or course tuition rate provided they meet all other applicable terms and conditions for the grants. Students enrolled in the Nursing Post-Graduate Certificates in Nursing Education, Healthcare Technology, Simulation and Informatics or Nursing Leadership and Administration are not eligible for any grants or scholarships offered by the University. In order to qualify for the grant, all admission requirements must be completed, and enrolling students must provide proof of eligibility by submitting proof of employment. Students cannot receive both corporate and military grants. For additional details visit:

  4. Tuition for the ECE Associate’s degree program is $210 per credit for qualified students. A student who withdraws and re-enrolls will be required to pay the tuition price offered at the time of their re-enrollment. Students who receive the tuition price of $210 per credit cannot use any additional Rasmussen University discounts, grants and/or scholarships. If a student needs to retake one or more courses in the degree program, the total cost of the program will exceed $19,395. Program cost and estimated time to completion assume successful completion of up to eight self-directed assessments and the 12-credit CDA waiver, totaling up to 42 credits taken off the original 90 credits, bringing the total credits to 48 and total estimated cost to $10,290. Breakdown: $10,080 in tuition (48 credits) + $210 in book fees = $10,290 in estimated program cost. Program availability varies by campus and state; please see the Rasmussen University Catalog for details.
  5. CDA and Child Development Associate are registered trademarks of the Council for Professional Recognition.