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Early Childhood Education

Overview of Program

Educators play an important role in shaping children's futures. Today more than ever, children need the encouragement and guidance of dedicated teachers who truly want to make a difference. Hood's early childhood education program prepares its students to be such teachers! It is recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and gives students the broad-based liberal arts background and practical training needed to excel.

In the Classroom

Early childhood education majors can earn a double major in the liberal arts. The academic work prepares students for Maryland certification to teach preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-3. Maryland teaching certification entitles the bearer to reciprocal initial certification in many other states. Courses give students practical insight into classroom management, child development and the most recent issues and research findings in education.

Real-world Experience

Classroom concepts are reinforced through practical training at Hood's Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory. Established in 1929, this highly regarded preschool, where students observe and teach three- and four-year-old children on campus, is a valuable resource most other colleges and universities do not have. And, of course, teaching internships throughout the program—from the prerequisite phase through the yearlong internship—enable students to develop teaching skills and strategies while learning from exceptional practicing teachers in local public schools.

Students can participate in local community service activities that focus on children and youth through Hood's Student Education Association. Members also have the opportunity to meet with some of the area's leading education specialists to discuss new concepts in education. Students may also be invited to enroll in a summer reading practicum, assisting graduate students who work in Hood's reading clinic.

Benefits of Hood's Education Programs

Hood College's early childhood education program prepares highly effective teachers. By partnering with mentor teachers in the Professional Development Schools (PDSs) and working with Hood faculty, education students are guided by experienced professionals who prepare students to work with a variety of students who have diverse learning styles and needs.

What Our Students Say About the Program

Students provide the best insight into the strengths of Hood's program:

"The internship experiences, starting with the first class, are some of the best things. They let you try out your major to confirm this is the career path you want to take."

"You're prepared and confident to be a teacher."

"Hood's faculty members are willing to mentor students (review lesson plans, make suggestions, answer questions, help with job applications). There is a strong support network for students."

Portfolio Development

Students develop entry and exit folios as part of the education program at Hood. The entry folio helps students discover areas for improvement and establishes topics or plans for gaining needed knowledge and experience. The exit folio is a tool for students to present what they have learned and can do as a teacher of young children. Students can showcase the range of experiences and abilities developed as a result of work in the field.

Requirements for the Early Childhood Education Program

All students must complete 9 credits in English, 9 credits in social sciences, 12 credits in science and 12 credits in mathematics. Additionally, students complete 12 credits of prerequisite education courses and complete field experiences in a PDS. After successfully completing the prerequisite courses, field placement and achieving the minimum passing score on Maryland's Praxis I assessment or combined SAT reading and math scores of 1100, students move into Phase I of the program. This phase includes coursework in reading instruction, science and social science curricula and early childhood teaching methods and theory. Students must also participate in field placements one half day each week at a designated Professional Development School (PDS).

Phase I

Entry to Phase I is contingent upon 1) successful completion of prerequisite courses, 2) maintaining a 2.75 GPA in education courses and overall GPA, 3) successful performance in prerequisite field experiences, 4) meeting Maryland's minimum passing score on Praxis I or MSDE acceptable equivalent (e.g., SAT, ACT), 5) submission of the Phase I application and 6) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. By the end of Phase I, students submit their entry folio and apply for entrance into Phase II.

Phase II

Entry to Phase II is contingent upon 1) successful completion of Phase I courses, 2) successful performance in Phase I field placements, 3) maintaining a 2.75 GPA overall and in education courses, 4) a score of "Emergent" or higher on the entry folio, 5) submission of the Phase II application and 6) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. Phase II is the initial semester of the yearlong internship. Students participate in full-time course work and field experiences in a designated PDS. Phase II courses are open only to students admitted to the yearlong internship. Phase II courses must be taken concurrently. When Phase II students are not in class, they are interning in a PDS. While in Phase II, students should be completing their PRAXIS II tests specific to early childhood education certification.

Phase III

Entry into Phase III is contingent upon 1) successful completion of Phase II courses, 2) successful performance in Phase II internship, 3) maintaining a 2.75 GPA overall and in education courses, 4) submission of the Phase III application and 5) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. Students will be engaged in a full-time teaching internship in designated PDSs. Phase III courses are open only to students who have successfully completed Phase II and have been approved to continue in the yearlong internship. Toward the end of Phase III and in partial fulfillment of program requirements, the student submits the exit folio, which must meet the rating score of "Proficient" or higher. Completion of Phase III and the certification program is contingent upon meeting Maryland's minimum passing score on Praxis II tests specific to early childhood education.

Alumni Success Stories

Hood's early childhood education graduates are in high demand because of Hood's well-established reputation for preparing outstanding educators. Recent graduates currently teach in classrooms from Maine to California. Hood alumni have advanced professionally and are employed as master teachers, counselors, reading and curriculum specialists, principals and school superintendents.

Learn more about the major and the department.