The early childhood education program is designed to prepare and certify teacher candidates to teach young children. Successful completion of the early childhood education program with the Phase II and Phase III yearlong internship and attainment of Maryland state minimum passing scores on Praxis I and II leads to Maryland state initial teaching certification to teach preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-3. The Phase III teaching internship requires two placements, one in prekindergarten or kindergarten and one in a primary classroom. Beginning in the prerequisite phase, students have the unique opportunity to observe in the Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory School on campus, which offers preschool for children ages 3-4. The ECE program includes many field experiences and is based conceptually on the InTASC Standards and the NAEYC Standards.
Requirements for the Early Childhood Education Program
Three phases comprise the teacher certification program in ECE, each of which has specific course requirements and field experiences.
The ECE certification program requires students to demonstrate multidisciplinary breadth by completing:
- 9 credits in English
- 12 credits in science (at least one course in biological science and at least one course in physical science)
- 12 credits in mathematics (to include MATH 111, MATH 120 or MATH 201or MATH 207; MATH 106; MATH 107; and MATH 112 or PSY 211)
- 9 credits in social sciences to include U.S. History and Introduction to Psychology
Some Core Curriculum courses may satisfy the requirements for multidisciplinary breadth.
The early childhood education major is divided into sequential steps consisting of Prerequisite, Phase I, Phase II and Phase III. The departmental unit assessment plan features a checkpoint at each step through which students must pass before advancing to the next phase.
The courses in the prerequisite portion of the early childhood education program prepare students for the professional sequences in Phases I, II and III. Along with these prerequisite courses, students must complete field experiences in designated Professional Development Schools (PDSs) and at the Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory School (OPCDLS). While completing prerequisite courses, students must obtain Maryland’s minimum passing score on Praxis I.
- EDUC 204 Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society (3 credits)
- EDUC 223 Childhood Development (3 credits)
- EDUC 224 Processes and Acquisition of Reading (3 credits)
- EDUC 236 Children and Youth with Exceptionalities (3 credits)
Entry to Phase I is contingent upon (1) successful completion of prerequisite courses, (2) successful performance in prerequisite field experiences, including observations in the Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory School, (3) minimum 2.75 G.P.A. overall and in education courses, (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 application for entrance into Phase II.
- EDUC 302 Differentiating Instruction in the Primary Classroom (K-3) (elective, 3 credits)
- EDUC 316 Reading Instruction (3 credits)
- EDUC 320 Science Curriculum, Methods, Materials, and Assessment (3 credits)
- EDUC 323 Infants and Toddlers: Foundations and Methods (4 credits)
- EDUC 324 Theory and Practice in Early Childhood Education (4 credits)
- EDUC 330 Social Studies Curriculum, Methods, Materials, and Assessment (3 credits)
Entry to Phase II is contingent upon (1) successful completion of Phase I courses, (2) successful performance in Phase I field experiences, (3) minimum 2.75 G.P.A. 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 only open 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.
- EDUC 317 Materials for Teaching Reading (3 credits)
- EDUC 321 Mathematics Curriculum, Methods, Materials, and Assessment (4 credits)
- EDUC 340 Assessment for Reading Instruction (3 credits)
- EDUC 347 Classroom Organization and Management (3 credits)
- EDUC 360 Introduction to Teaching Seminar and Internship (3 credits)
Entry into Phase III is contingent upon (1) successful completion of Phase II courses, (2) successful performance in Phase II internship, (3) minimum 2.75 G.P.A. overall and in education courses, (4) submission of the Phase III application, and (5) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. The student will be engaged in a full-time teaching internship in designated PDSs. Phase III courses are only open 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 overall rating of “Proficient” or higher. Completion of Phase III and the certification program is contingent upon meeting Maryland’s minimum passing score on the ECE Praxis II tests specific to early childhood education certification.
- EDUC 459 Teaching Internship in Kindergarten and Primary Grade (12 credits)
- EDUC 460 Professional Development Seminar (3 credits)