The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Studies is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to work effectively with children in early childhood (birth to age 8). Students study multi-disciplinary theories, research, and best practices, with an emphasis on socio-cultural factors that affect learning and development. They learn how to use theories and research from anthropology, child development, education, health, psychology, sociology, and multicultural studies to promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of diverse young children. Students study the science of assessing children’s growth and development, and they acquire skills in effectively communicating these findings to families and community partners. The program also prepares professionals to be leaders and advocates on behalf of all children and families.
When students declare a major in Early Childhood Studies, they must choose a concentration. Concentration options include:
Students who are interested in the ITEP Education Specialist concentrations should see the program description for the Early Childhood Studies Integrated Teacher Education Program-Special Education.
Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education concentration prepares students for a career in an early education setting, including:
- Infant, toddler, and preschool teacher
- Administrator of an early education program
- Support services in agencies that serve young children and families
- Elementary teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Multiple Subject credential program
- Special Education teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Special Education credential program)
Early Childhood Development
The Early Childhood Development concentration prepares students for a career working with young children and families in non-education settings. Students work with an advisor to prepare for a career in entry-level positions in social services or for graduate school in counseling, social work, child life specialist, etc.
For admissions to the major, students must have a GPA of 2.5.
Goals of the Early Childhood Studies Major
The goals of the Early Childhood Studies major are aligned with the mission of the SSU School of Education and the mission of the Department of Early Childhood Studies. The Early Childhood program seeks to prepare graduates who:
- Are agents of individual growth and social change as well as models and advocates of the broader intellectual and social values of a democratic society.
- Are knowledgeable and thoughtful about the field of early childhood studies.
- Promote physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and moral growth and learning in their professional work with young children, as well as respecting and encouraging the contributions of families and caregivers in the care and education of children and youth.
- Design and carry out inclusive practices that respect human differences and aim to include all children and families.
- Continually use inquiry, observation, study, and reflection to improve their professional practices.