Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rio Salado College Partners With the University of Washington for New Early Childhood Degree

Online degree completion format increases flexibility and affordability of education in high-demand field.

Tempe, Ariz., and Seattle, Wash. – July 10, 2013 – Rio Salado College has partnered with the University of Washington (UW) to offer a new, low-cost online bachelor's degree completion program in early childhood education. 

This flexible degree helps students earn the credits they need to qualify for admission to the new UW Undergraduate Online Degree Completion program in Early Childhood & Family Studies (ECFS) while saving money. Presented by the UW College of Education, the degree is geared toward students with at least 70 transferable quarter credits who are interested in analyzing and applying the latest evidence-based research in early learning. 

The UW courses in the ECFS major will cost $160 per credit for the 2013–2014 academic year, for both in-state and out-of-state students. This is a significant cost reduction from other UW undergraduate degrees, providing affordability for populations that can benefit from degree completion in early childhood education. UW pricing is based on an academic quarter schedule; courses typically last eleven weeks. 

“Rio Salado College is excited to partner with the University of Washington, and to expand degree pathway options for our students,” said Dr. Dana Offerman, vice president of academic affairs at Rio Salado. 

This new pathway allows reverse transfer credit, meaning students can apply credit earned at the UW toward an associate degree at Rio Salado College. 

Selected for its online strengths and track record, Rio Salado is one of only five community colleges chosen by the UW to participate in its innovative reverse transfer offerings. The four other partner colleges are located in the Seattle area. 

"This is a very exciting development in the use of technology to meet critical educational needs that otherwise might be difficult to do in a more traditional educational setting," said UW President Michael K. Young. 

The format of traditional degree programs can present obstacles for some students, particularly for early care and education workers who work long hours and must commute to on-campus classes. 

“Offering online classes and degrees addresses those barriers, and the low cost allows the program to be affordable to students in early childhood programs,” Offerman said. 

The early childhood degree pathway will prepare individuals to work in child care, preschools, social and mental health services, arts organizations and parent and family support. For more information see Rio Salado College Transfer Partnerships.

About Rio Salado College 

Rio Salado College was established in 1978 by the Maricopa County Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, Rio Salado is one of the largest online public community colleges in the nation and serves more than 67,000 students annually. Rio Salado offers 100+ degree and certificate pathways and provides flexible, affordable access to education through college bridge pathways, collaborative partnerships, early college initiatives and online learning. 

About the University of Washington’s Online Programs 

A large, top-ranked public research university, the UW continues to be a leader in online education and innovative programs that increase access to education for non-traditional students. The UW launched 15 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Coursera in 2012–2013, with four additional MOOCs coming to edX in January 2014. The UW also offers 15 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, 40 online certificate programs, 58 online undergraduate courses and 15 other free courses for the public made available during the last decade.