What does a career in early childhood education look like?
In this field, you will most often find yourself in preschool, kindergarten and elementary school classroom settings. 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. Additional opportunities for early childhood professionals can be found in a variety of childcare settings and in agencies that advocate for the needs of young children.
- Our faculty, programs and clinical experiences all make the connection between theory, practice and research.
- Clinical faculty members in these programs are exceptional and experienced teachers who are very grounded in practice.
- Students are placed in school settings very early in their academic careers, often during their first or second semester.
- Many of our methods courses in science and math are taught on-site at partner schools.
- Many of our world-class faculty members have been recognized with awards from the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
- Our early childhood program students can do their school placement at the Center for Inquiry, a leading K-5 elementary magnet school.
- Early childhood teacher candidates benefit from our relationship with the USC Children's Center through our Children's Development and Research Center, which is located at the same site.
Your course work
As an early childhood education major, you must first fulfill core curriculum requirements, which are typically completed during your first two years. As you narrow your focus, you will learn how to teach math, science, social studies, reading and writing in early childhood education settings. Other courses will include play and early learning, classroom management and parent/family dynamics. You must also complete an internship, known traditionally as a student teaching experience.
Ultimately, you will understand how to effectively engage children in learning activities while also addressing a broad spectrum of developmental skills, including cognitive skills such as attention and memory, motor skills like balance and social skills including sharing and group participation. Visit the academic bulletin entry for early childhood education for more details.