Early Childhood Education for Working Adults

An Affordable Difference

  • 18-23 months to complete the major = keep your dreams
  • One night per week + some online = keep your job
  • Parking, bookstore, library, computer resources available in the evening = keep your sanity
  • Be part of a cohort group going through the program together = keep a support system
  • Get a free Personalized Degree Plan = keep your credit
  • Tuition is lower than state university = keep your money
  • Quality curriculum, nationally respected college, caring faculty = keep your reputation
  • NCATE (now CAEP) accreditation means your degree is instantly recognized nationwide for quality = keep your standards


Finish your degree and/or add PreK-3 or K-5 licensure!

If you want to teach at the PreK-3, PreK-3 Special Education, or K-5 level in public or private schools OR serve in a leadership position in a child development center or church-related preschool, consider Milligan. In 18 -23 months you can complete the Child and Youth Development major, and even opt to certify to teach PreK-3 or K-5 with an additional semester of full-time student teaching. Classes meet only one night per week and tuition is affordable and within your reach.

Personalized Degree Plan

We offer an upfront free Personalized Degree Plan that reviews your transcripts and past credit to determine exactly what your degree plan will be and how long it will take you. This ultimately saves you time and money by making sure you stay on track to complete your degree without any surprises and as quickly as you can. Email to get your process started.


Tuition for the program is one of the most economical programs in our region and is even priced below the local state university rate. Financial aid is available for degree completion students. Students in this program are eligible to apply for state and federal tuition assistance programs and for employer reimbursement when applicable. Read more about cost and financial aid here »


The Child and Youth Development major can be completed in 18 months. The curriculum includes courses in literacy, technology, assessment and intervention, psychology, teaching, administration, curriculum, media effects, and more. Certification to teach requires an additional full-time semester of student teaching, for a total of 23 months. Students must also complete the college’s general education requirements, but often these have been completed in a student’s prior coursework. We are happy to review your transcript and provide a degree plan.

Personal Attention

You’ll progress through the program in small classes, giving you an opportunity to develop relationships, learn from diverse experiences and approaches, and benefit from a built-in support network. This also allows professors to interact closely with students for individual attention and supervision throughout the program. Teaching you is more than a job to our faculty – it’s a mission. They are dedicated teachers, experienced professionals, and trusted mentors who invest time, energy, and ideas to inspire you and help you reach your highest potential. It’s not just a degree. It’s your future.

Outstanding Reputation

For many decades, Milligan has enjoyed a strong partnership with area school systems. The college’s reputation for producing well-prepared, creative, commited teachers is unparalleled. School administrators consistently look to Milligan as a resource for both hiring and training, regularly calling on faculty to lead workshops for in-services and to collaborate on various education issues. Thousands of our graduates are serving as teachers, coaches, counselors, and administrators in schools across the United States.

NCATE (now CAEP) accreditation means your degree from Milligan is instantly recognized in Tennessee and the nation for its quality. Milligan’s commitment to meet NCATE quality standards means we take great care in seeing you gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for success as a professional educator. Read more about our accreditation below.

Christian Worldview

Today’s schools are challenged as never before. Now more than ever, children need teachers and leaders who are committed to excellence in the classroom and Christian principles. Educators prepared in such a way can make a real difference in the school and community where they live and serve. Our primary goal at Milligan is to prepare caring and reflective educators who will affect the lives of children in a markedly positive manner.

Classroom Experience

If you decide to pursue PreK-3 or K-5 licensure, you’ll get extensive field experience in teaching, assessment, and classroom management through a capstone course and semester-long student teaching experience in our community partner schools. You’ll work directly with master teachers as mentors. You’ll also complete a portfolio documenting mastery of program outcomes to prepare you for board certification by the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS).


By scheduling classes only one night per week with an on-line component running through the entire term, our degree completion program allows you to work toward your degree even if you’re working full-time. Campus resources, such as the bookstore, library, and computer labs, are available in the evening and parking is easy to find. We know that working full-time, caring for a family, and going to school can be hectic. Our competent and friendly staff are ready to help you with the administrative details of the program so you can focus on learning. Additional online courses offer even easier access to this opportunity. Also, you may begin the program during any term.


NCATEFully approved by the Tennessee Department of Education, Milligan’s teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) (2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-466-7496). This accreditation covers initial teacher and advanced educator preparation programs. This accreditation means your degree from Milligan is instantly recognized in Tennessee and the nation for its quality. We take great care in seeing you gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for success as a professional educator.

In 2013, NCATE and TEAC consolidated into CAEP as the new accrediting body for educator preparation, and Milligan is recognized as a CAEP approved provider. CAEP is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. See



Getting Started

You need to have approximately 52 semester hours (about two years) of college work which can be transferred to Milligan. We offer a free Personalized Degree Plan to determine exactly what your degree plan will be and how long it will take you. If you’re currently working toward the 52 hours, let us help you prepare to transfer to Milligan. We can help determine what courses you need and where you can obtain them. Contact Melissa Dillow or call 423.461.8306.

We’ll work with you from your first question to graduation, and we’ll help you develop a degree plan upfront that makes the most of your time and money.


Our application process is simple. You can apply online or download a paper application. Just call us and we’ll walk you through it. Cohorts begin each February and August.


Community College Grads

Milligan College maintains articulation agreements with many regional community colleges to help insure that your credits transfer smoothly into Milligan’s bachelor’s degree program. If you are a community college graduate, Milligan will develop a degree plan sheet showing you exactly how your existing college credits will transfer. Call us today to set up a meeting with our academic advisor, and find out how close you are to earning your bachelor’s degree!

Expectations and Responsibilities

All students at Milligan are expected to uphold the expectations and responsibilities for student lifestyles of Milligan College. We at Milligan adopt specific rules on the basis of our belief that God’s Word, as the final rule of faith and practice, speaks on many matters pertaining to personal conduct. Specifically, the Milligan College adult student agrees to abide by a lifestyle commitment in which he or she refrains from illegal drugs, pornography, profanity, dishonesty, sexual immorality, unethical conduct, vandalism, and immodest dress. Students are expected to seek to serve Christ in an atmosphere of trust, encouragement, and respect for one another.

Apply today!

Get started online »

Call us at 423.461.8306 or email


The Child and Youth Development Major can be completed in 18 months and includes courses such as:

  • Child Development
  • Family
  • Technology in Education
  • Child Guidance
  • Literacy Development
  • Children’s Literature
  • Reading Processes with Assessment and Intervention
  • Early Childhood and Elementary Curriculum and Methods
  • Creative Activities for Children
  • Media Effects on Children and Adolescents
  • Psychology of the Exceptional Child
  • Health and Physical Education Methods
  • Teaching Methods
  • Early Childhood Administration
  • Fifteen hours of field experience included per term









Degree Requirements

  1. Child & Youth Development Major: Click here to review the degree requirements for the major, as well as the additional student teaching requirements.  Click here to see course descriptions.
  2. Certification to teach requires an additional full-time semester of student teaching, for a total of 23 months. Click here to review the additional student teaching requirements.
  3. General Education: Students must also complete the college’s general education requirements as outlined in the College Catalog, but often these have been completed in a student’s prior coursework. Click here for a helpful chart showing the courses that have demonstrated equivalency to Milligan’s courses.

We are happy to review your transcript and provide a degree plan. Call us at 423.461.8306 or email


The growing field of early childhood education includes many different job opportunities. Regardless of the position you seek, if you are considering a degree in early childhood education, you should enjoy children and have a strong desire to help them learn and succeed.

As an early childhood education major, you might enjoy a variety of career options after you graduate. Professionals may work with children of different age groups, depending on their specialty; the age range covered usually goes from birth to age 8 or so (third grade). An early childhood education major enjoys the opportunity for employment in a field that dramatically shapes and influences the lives of children. Early childhood educators enjoy teaching and are capable of teaching skills using a variety of instructional methods. They are flexible, and enjoy an autonomous work environment. Above all, professionals in the field of early childhood education must have a true love of young people.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects favorable growth in the early childhood education field over the next ten years. As Baby Boomer teachers retire and school enrollment increases, the need for educators and child care workers will increase as well. In some areas, where the need for teachers is high, schools are offering bonuses and higher than average pay.

Praxis® Overview

Students enter the program in the non-licensure Child and Youth Development major. Students must pass the “Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics” by the end of TERM 1 to enter the licensure track and be admitted to the teacher education program. If the PPST is passed at a later date, students may reapply for admission to the teacher education program.

Licensure students must also successfully complete the following Praxis II exams (early completion is strongly recommended) before they are eligible for licensure:

  • 0521 Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood
  • 0021 Education of Young Children
  • 0014 Elementary Education: Content Knowledge
  • 0201 Reading Across the Curriculum: Elementary

Non-licensure students must successfully complete Praxis II 0021 Education of Young Children.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Praxis I® Tests?

Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST®) are designed to measure basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. The reading, writing, and mathematics assessments are available in two formats: paper-based or computer-based.

Who Takes the Tests and Why?

Colleges and universities may use Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Tests to evaluate individuals for entry into teacher education programs. The assessments are generally taken early in your college career.

Where Do People Take the Tests?

Computer-based tests are offered by appointment through a national network of Prometric™ Testing Centers (many Prometric Testing Centers are located inside Sylvan Learning Centers) and select colleges and universities. Or you can select paper-based tests when you register. Visit and click on “Test Centers & Dates” for testing locations in your area.

How Does the Computer-based Test Work?

Each part of the computer-based test is two hours long (to allow for tutorials and the collection of background information from test takers). However, the actual testing time for each part of the test is as follows:

Test No. of Questions No. of Minutes
Reading 46 75
Mathematics 46 75
Writing 44 38
Writing 1 essay 30

The Computerized PPST in Reading, Mathematics and Writing is also offered as a combined test that will be delivered as a single testing session. The combined test will consist of four separately timed sections: Reading, Mathematics, Multiple-Choice Writing and Essay Writing. There will be an optional 15-minute break between the Mathematics and Writing Sections of the test. Individual scores will be reported for Reading, Mathematics and Writing.

The testing session for the combined test is set for 4-1/2 hours. This allows enough time for tutorials and the collection of background information. The actual testing time for each section is the same as the individual tests.

By using a special tool that marks answers, you can proceed without answering a question and go back to it, or mark a question you have answered and go back to review or change it. A review screen will tell you if a question has been answered, not yet seen, or marked for review.

Pay close attention to the number of questions and the amount of time remaining to be sure you are making good progress through the test. If a question is difficult or unfamiliar, try to eliminate some of the possible answer choices and make an educated guess based on the remaining options.

How Does the Paper-based Test Work?

The Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST®) in Reading and Mathematics consist of 40 multiple-choice questions with 60 minutes of testing time. The Writing test consists of 38 multiple-choice questions and 1 essay question with two 30-minute sections of testing time.

Can I Prepare Before Taking Either Type of Test?

  • Before taking the test, we suggest you review the materials available from the Praxis website.
  • The Tests at a Glance contains information about test content and provides sample test questions.
  • Study guides are available in the CASE Center in the Clark Teacher Education Center. Milligan also offers tutoring and test preparation. Ask your advisor.

What Is My Score Based On?

In either type of test, all test takers receive a score regardless of the number of questions answered. Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, with no penalty incurred or subtraction for answering a question incorrectly. It is to your advantage to pace yourself so that you have enough time to carefully consider every question

What Are the Score Requirements?

Candidates seeking admission to approved teacher education programs in Tennessee colleges and universities shall attain scores as follows on either the Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST®) or the Computer-Based Academic Skills Assessments.

Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST®) Computer-Based Academic Skills Assessments (CBT)
Mathematics 173 318
Reading 174 321
Writing 173 319

What are the Fees for the Tests and Related Services?

The Paper Based Test includes a $50 registration fee charged once per testing year plus $40 for each Praxis I (PPST®) test.

The Computer-based (PPST®) test can be taken as separate tests or as a combined test in a single testing session. Cost is $80 for 1 test, $120 for 2 tests, $160 for 3 tests, or $130 for a combined test.

For detailed registration and fee information, visit



Dr. Rich Aubrey

Rich Aubrey

Women's Basketball Coach; Adjunct Instructor of Education; Apartment Manager

Phone: 423.975.8029
Office: Steve Lacy Fieldhouse


Dr. Tausha Clay

Tausha Clay

Associate Professor of Education; Paul Clark Chair of Teacher Education; Coordinator of Field Experience-Teacher Education

Phone: 423.461.8427
Office: Clark Education Center 099


Dr. Angela Hilton-Prillhart

Angela Hilton-Prillhart

Associate Professor of Education; Area Chair of Education; Director of the M.Ed. Program; Director of Teacher Certification

Phone: 423.461.8769
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 105


Dr. Lyn Howell

Lyn Howell

The Paul Clark Chair Emerita of Teacher Education; Director of Instructional Leadership

Phone: 423.461.8484
Office: Clark Education Center, 104


Karen Presnell

Karen Presnell

Office Manager and Certification Officer for Teacher Education

Phone: 423.461.8927
Office: Clark Education Center, 103