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College of Education

Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 3), B.A.

As an early childhood educator, you will most likely find yourself in a preschool, kindergarten or elementary school classroom, though you might choose to work in a childcare facility or an agency that advocates for young children's needs. Your kind, patient and fun-loving demeanor will be essential as you actively support young children's growth and development to form a foundation of learning that will last a lifetime.

What will I study?

You will start right away- in your freshman and sophomore years – with courses that bring you into the worlds of young children in schools and child care settings. After your acceptance into the Professional Program (in December of your junior year), you will spend time in elementary school classrooms on a regular basis, deepening and lengthening the experience every semester. In fact, many courses take place in schools where you will work alongside your professors and practicing teachers with children.


What kinds of work will I be able to do?

Because of research demonstrating the importance of education in the early years, early childhood educators are in demand more than ever. Graduates of our program are highly sought as teachers in public and private elementary schools, preschool/child care settings, and in agencies or organizations that work on behalf of young children and their families.  Many of our students continue on to enroll in a master’s degree program during their first years of teaching. 


What kinds of research will I be able to do?

The research you will conduct through this program is the kind of work that great teachers engage in every day. The most effective teachers constantly pay attention to their teaching and to the responses of students and families. When this is formalized it becomes what is known as teacher-research, a highly valued form of study in the field of education. Thus, the research you will conduct is not merely to fulfill course requirements, but to learn practices that you will use every day as a classroom teacher: paying careful attention to children so that you can make moment-to-moment and long-term decisions about how to reach and teach them.


Will I be able to specialize?

Yes! There are several options! You may opt to take specific Special Education courses during your undergraduate program to get a head start on Special Education certification. Starting in your junior year, you will have the option to join the Early Childhood Urban Education Cohort and work toward South Carolina Urban Education endorsement. Also, all students graduating from our program fulfill the State of South Carolina Read to Succeed requirements giving you the Read to Succeed Literacy Teacher Endorsement required for all South Carolina teachers.


Typical course work

For more information about specific curriculum requirements, please visit the academic bulletin.

The Early Childhood program includes exciting, engaging course work; many of your classes will involve hands-on training in local schools. You will study techniques for teaching reading and writing, mathematics, science, and social studies to prepare you for the exciting work of making a difference for young children and the future of early childhood education.

You will learn about teaching in our diverse society with courses in culturally relevant teaching, language diversity, and family dynamics which focuses on families and community members as important resources in the life of an early childhood classroom.