Gain the knowledge and experience to become an effective early childhood educator. Field experiences allow you to practice the application of your coursework under the supervision of highly qualified practitioners.
A degree in Early Childhood Education leads to initial licensure as a teacher of early childhood, grades Pre-K-2. After completing this program you may qualify for a variety of positions working with young children in pre-school, kindergarten, and grades one through two. Within the major, students are prepared to meet children’s special and unique needs in regular early childhood settings.
Students in the Early Childhood Education major must also choose a Liberal Arts major to complement their professional studies:
You will be in the field each year of your educational program to gain experience in a variety of settings with an array of age groups, learning abilities, and populations. In your first and second year, you will be in the classroom one day a week over the course of a semester. During your junior year you are required to complete a minimum of 150 hours of practicum work at the preschool/kindergarten level OR a minimum of 200 hours of practicum work in grades 1 or 2.
The senior practicum is a semester long experience at the level not chosen for the junior year. In addition, Early Childhood majors who specialize in Early Intervention may apply for certification with advanced standing as Early Intervention Specialists through the Department of Public Health.
You will have the opportunity to pursue optional education specializations, which provide in-depth study in the teaching of specific curricula, subject matter, and/or populations. These specializations are designed to enhance your professional qualifications, but they do not lead to additional teacher licenses. These specializations include:
“Having placements all four years of college was a great experience. It made me learn a tremendous amount about myself, teaching, children, working with parents, etc. Being able to work in a classroom as a freshman and sophomore allowed me to make a decision if this career was the right path for me. There is a great variety of settings. I liked that I was put into urban and rural school districts, private and public schools, etc.”
- Veronica Halen (Class of 2014)
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