Education - Early Childhood Education, PreK-4 Major

What a child learns and how a child is taught during the early stages of development influences who they become and what they achieve later in life. A thorough, supportive and engaging early childhood education prepares young students for later grades, and has been shown to have positive effects on a child's lifelong economic and social situations -- leading to higher educational goals, higher earnings as an adult, and fewer instances of involvement in criminal activity.

Early childhood education encompasses pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. At Saint Joseph's, education is approached as a vocation rather than a career. Aspiring teachers not only learn how to manage a classroom and effectively teach, but also how their roles as educators make a difference in their communities. In-class coursework is combined with field experiences in local classrooms from the first year of study through the fourth, and graduates move forward with a strong background of hands-on experience.

Students who major in early childhood education focus their studies on child development, building educational foundations, the role of schools in society and the assessment and evaluation of learning and progress. In addition, the Office of Student Teaching and Field Experiences helps students coordinate the three required field experiences or labs, as well as their full-time, 14-week student-teaching placement. Students who successfully complete the early childhood education program, maintain a GPA of 3.0 and pass the required Praxis exams - knowledge and skill assessment exams required for certification - can apply for Pennsylvania Level 1 teacher certification; certification is good for six years of teaching before renewal.