Early childhood education prepares a teaching candidate to work with children ages 3 through 8, or preschool through grade three. The course of study has child development at the core of pedagogical decisions. The approach is holistic, with a strong emphasis on an integrated learning approach. Developmentally appropriate practice and intense reading instruction are integral to the program. Field experience and student teaching occur at both the preschool and primary level.
To allow for graduation in four years, students are encouraged to begin the program during their freshman year. Some of the core curriculum courses will cross count with the major requirements, and therefore need to be chosen carefully and with the assistance of an education advisor.
The student enrolls in the first education course during the spring semester, freshman year. EDEL 100: Introduction to Education, provides the student with field experience in both early and middle childhood, allowing the student to investigate each level before declaring a program. Introduction to Education also addresses suitability for the teaching field.