The Early Childhood Education curriculum prepares individuals to work with children from infancy through middle childhood in diverse learning environments. Students will combine learned theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers.
Course work includes child growth and development; physical/nutritional needs of children; care and guidance of children; and communication skills with parents and children. Students will foster the cognitive/ language, physical/motor, social/emotional and creative development of young children.
Graduates are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings. Employment opportunities include child development and child care programs, preschools, public and private schools, recreational centers, Head Start Programs, and school age programs.
Early Childhood Education: A program that prepares individuals to promote child development and learning, work with diverse families and children, observe, document, and access to support young children and families, use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum, and use developmentally effective approaches in collaboration with other early childhood professions. Potential course work includes instruction in all areas of child development such as emotional/social/health/physical/language/communication, approaches to play and learning, working with diverse families, and related observations/student teaching experiences.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Promoting child development and learning:
a. Knowing and understanding young children's characteristics and needs.
b. Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning.
c. Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments.
- Building family and community relationships by knowing about and understanding family and community characteristics.
a. Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics.
b. Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
c. Involving families and communities and their children's development and learning.
- Observing, documenting and assessing to support young children and families:
a. Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and other professionals.
b. Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches.
c. Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child.
d. Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and other professional colleagues.
- Using developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and families:
a. Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of working with children.
b. Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education.
c. Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches.
d. Reflecting on one's own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.
- Using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum:
a. Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines.
b. Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
c. Using one's knowledge, appropriate learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum.
- Becoming a professional:
a. Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field.
b. Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other professional guidelines.
c. Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice.
d. Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education.