Bloomington Programs

Early Childhood Education Program

About the Program

The undergraduate program in early childhood education is a four-year sequence of courses that prepares individuals to teach in infant/toddler and preschool programs, kindergarten through grade 3 classrooms, and work in other settings that employ early childhood professionals. The course of study is premised on the belief that students should engage in an exploration of literacy and diversity through inquiry and reflection. Literacy involves mastering a variety of symbol systems in which meaning is created and shared with others: reading, writing, art, mathematics, music, science, and others. The program enables students to acquire competence in these areas and the pedagogical expertise necessary to nurture growth and development in all young children.

Students will be actively engaged in a variety of activities, assignments, projects, and field experiences in order to: 1) acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of an effective teacher; 2) develop sensitivity to issues of diversity of all forms (e.g. race, class, culture, gender, disability); and 3) embrace ethical, social, and intellectual commitments to young children.

Admission applications for the Early Childhood Education program are considered October 1 for the Spring semester start of authorized professional education coursework. Students will be admitted in and progress through their course work in a cohort with others who have begun at the same time. The small size of the program is designed to enhance a sense of community among students, core faculty, and practicing professionals. Practitioners from a variety of early childhood settings will be involved in the teaching of courses and the design of field experiences, thereby fostering community among those inside and outside the university.

The Early Childhood Education Program is divided into three main components, as follows:

General Education 41 cr.
Electives 3 cr.
Professional Education 81 cr.
Total 125 cr.

For program requirements (program planning sheet), see:

General Education (41 credit hours)
Students who think they have the competence required in a course may contact the chairperson of the department offering the course. If the department chairperson agrees, the student will be permitted to take a credit examination. Students must submit a written appeal to the Academic Standards Committee with the chairperson’s recommendation for a waiver or substitution in the program.

Courses listed by number are either specifically required or are part of a group from which selections must be made to fill a specific requirement. See the appropriate school bulletins for course descriptions. The speech requirement may not be met by correspondence.

Electives (3 credit hours)
Three additional credit hours of course work are required to be selected from any department within the College of Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Music; or School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Professional Education (81 credit hours)
The professional component begins early in the student’s educational career. Laboratory/field experiences are initiated as soon as possible and continue throughout the student’s sprogram. This component includes full-time student teaching in preschool, kindergarten, primary, and elementary programs.

Academic Bulletins

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