The Early Childhood program is designed to prepare competent and thoughtful professionals for a career in a variety of school settings. Opportunities positions at childcare centers, Pre-Kindergarten, public schools K-2nd grade, Head Start, infant and toddler programs, nursery schools, and in family child day care.
Early Childhood core courses, field experiences, and seminars enable students to think about ways to support the complex needs of today’s families in school and child care settings. Liberal Arts courses expand the students’ understanding and knowledge and help to provide a solid foundation for students who plan to further their educations as well as for those who seek employment in the field upon completion of the program.
Through supervised fieldwork and class seminars, students are supported in translating theory into practice. Cooperating teachers in the field help students to scaffold their understandings, to reflect, to question, and to come to a deeper understanding of the values that underlie their work with children. Students leave the program with a solid philosophy and experiences upon which to reflect and build.
Knowledge of children through observation, description and reflection as well as the most current research in the field are the basis for creating and implementing curriculum that meets the diverse needs of the individuals within the group. Students learn to apply this knowledge to creating environments that support the emotional, social, physical, and intellectual growth of young children.
The Early Childhood curriculum is flexible. Classes are held during the day and evening, providing those who are already working in the field an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and to use job experience for field credit. Classes are held both on the main campus in Valhalla and at extension centers throughout the county.