Online Early Care and Education for a Mobile Society Bachelor's Degree Completion Program

Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2020-2021: $420
2021-2022: $420

Average time to complete: 33 months

51 Hours

What do you mean by "a mobile society"?

Today, children and families are increasingly mobile. This is especially true for military families, immigrant families, families who must travel to make a living, homeless families, and families living in poverty. Young children and their families need professional support from individuals who are interested in working with them in a society that is always "on the go." That person could be you.

Student Handbook
  Activities & Resources
for Teachers & Parents

How does this program work?

Early Care and Education for a Mobile Society (ECEMS) is a completely online undergraduate program provided by seven universities working in collaboration. This bachelor's degree completion program will prepare you to work in early childhood settings with young children, especially those whose family members are highly mobile. 

Still have questions? Read more about how the Alliance works or watch this short video.

Ready to get started?  Learn more about how to apply through Great Plains IDEA.  The ECEMS Student Handbook also has information about the two-step process for admission.

Follow us on social media.

Facebook logo Twitter logo Pinterest logo


What can I do with this degree?

When you complete the program you will be qualified to work in a variety of programs that offer early care and education in the community and on military installations. Read about how this degree can provide job security for military spouses. This degree program does not lead to licensure.  Some of these programs are:

  • Childcare centers and homes
  • Infant/toddler and preschool programs
  • Head Start programs
  • Before and after-school programs for children ages birth to eight
  • There are over 700 childcare facilities located on military installations around the world

"After graduation, I was hired as the preschool teacher and onsite supervisor/team leader at the center where I did my last practicum.  After a year-and-a-half at that center, I became the Assistant Director as a KinderCare.  I love my new position and balancing time in the classroom with administrative work."

Sunshine Huisman, ECEME student, Iowa State University


Faculty in the ECEMS program have put together informational briefs with best practices and activity ideas to use in early childhood settings.

Great activities to try today!

Listen to Jacy explain how this program's flexibility allowed her to balance all of her responsibilities.

What will I learn in this program?

You will learn to:

  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  • Recognize and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.
  • Use child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment to positively influence the development of every child.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for every young child.
  • Identify and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice.
  • Participate in practicum experiences that provide hands-on opportunities.

Great Plains IDEA Student Handbook

Tell me more about the practicum experiences.

The ECEMS program requires three (3) practicum experiences.  These placements need to be:

  • In at least three (3) different settings
  • With three (3) different age groups and
  • With three (3) different Cooperating Teachers

Visit the course planner to see how the practicum experiences fit within the coursework.

Practicum 1 Waiver:  A Practicum 1 waiver is available for those with qualifying work experience.  To qualify you must:

  • Be a full-time, paid lead teacher, instructional assistant, or paraprofessional
  • Have one (1) or more years of experience in an early childhood setting in the last three (3) years
  • Have approval from your academic advisor at your home university
  • Submit forms at least 8 weeks prior to the semester in which Practicum 1 is to be completed

Contact Practicum Coordinator, Dr. Linda Sheeran, to learn more about the waiver.

The decision will be based on the supporting documentation and is made by a committee of faculty members.


Practicum I Cooperating Teacher Handbook (PDF)

Practicum II Cooperating Teacher Handbook (PDF)

Practicum III Cooperating Teacher Handbook (PDF)

Early Care and Education for a Mobile Society highlights:

  • 30 credit hours must be previously completed.
  • 51 credit hours will be completed in the program.
  • There are three practicum experiences.
  • This degree program does not lead to licensure.

Course List for the Bachelor's Degree

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Katie Mott
Meagan Rau
Karla Sisco
Aimee Maher
Tristin Campbell
Janice Clawson
Kaelie Kellner
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

– – Katie Zueger, Merchandising Student
See more testimonials »