Bachelor of Arts inEarly Childhood Education

Majoring in Early Childhood Education involves the study of pedagogy, or the method and practice of teaching. You’ll develop the skills and insights to become an effective early childhood educator and lifelong learner. Concordia offers specializations in Birth-Grade 3 Early Childhood Education, Child Learning and Development or Parent and Family Education. You’ll gain knowledge and skills that are important for any teaching career as you take 63 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the early childhood education curriculum meets the Minnesota Department of Education requirement for a teaching credential.

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Early Childhood Education Curriculum Overview

Majoring in Early Childhood Education involves the study of pedagogy, or the method and practice of teaching. You’ll develop the skills and insights to become an effective early childhood educator and lifelong learner. Concordia offers specializations in Birth-Grade 3 Early Childhood Education, Child Learning and Development or Parent and Family Education. You’ll gain knowledge and skills that are important for any teaching career as you take 64 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the early childhood education curriculum meets the Minnesota Department of Education requirements for a teaching credential (passage of standardized examinations of content and pedagogy are also required).

You’ll also have real opportunities to learn in a series of classes, field experiences and student teaching opportunities that make for an effective blend of theory and practice. Because we design our early childhood education program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant degree if you’re considering a career as an early childhood education administrator, early childhood teacher, elementary school teacher (Pre-K through 3 grade), parent educator or early childhood family education educator.

The Teacher Education program at Concordia has been the pride of Concordia for nearly 60 years. It is widely recognized for excellence in its programs, faculty, staff, and candidates, and regarded as among the finest in the state of Minnesota and in the Concordia University System. The program is fully accredited by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (continuously since 1969) and the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Because of Minnesota’s rigorous teacher licensure standards, students graduating from Minnesota’s colleges and universities are favorably regarded nationwide.

 

Prerequisites from General Education Required: 64 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MAT - 200 Found of Elem Math 3
PSY - 101 Introduction to Psychology 4

This course gives students the mathematical foundation necessary to teach K-6 mathematics and to prepare for the Minnesota Teaching Licensure Basic Skills Exam. Topics include basic algebra, set theory, probability, statistics, geometry, and problem-solving techniques. (Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in MAT100 or MAT105 or level 4 placement on the Math Placement Exam.)

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This course introduces the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic and social-cultural perspectives are explored. Topics such as scientific method, statistical reasoning, neuroscience, learning, cognitive processes, development, psychological adjustment, therapy, social psychology, diversity and community are studied.

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Prerequisites to Admission to Teacher Education: 10 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
ED - 201 Foundations & Intro to Edu 3
PSY - 210 Child Psychology and Dev 4
ED - 336 Educational Psychology 3
ECE - 325 Ed of Infants & Toddlers 3
ED - 371 Teaching Practicum 4
FAS - 400 Family Systems 4

Concordia's teacher education program and its conceptual framework are introduced to students in this course. This course introduces students to the philosophical, historical, sociological, and legal foundations upon which current educational theory and practice is constructed. During the duration of the course students need to register for required MTLE Basic Skills Test (additional fee). A 15-hour field experience that satisfies a portion of the university's human relations requirement is included. Admission to Program is an outcome including development of efolio and admittance to program interview.

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A broad sketch of human growth and development is provided from the prenatal stages to the adolescent years. Developmental processes are studied from both a biological and social-cultural perspective to understand physical and perceptual development, cognition and language, personality and social development. Child studies of children at the studentsÀ projected levels of teacher certification are required. (Prerequisite: PSY101)

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This course applies the basic principles of human development and behavior to the classroom situation. Emphasis is given to the teacher education conceptual framework, theoretical backgrounds in learning, and their application to the classroom. Topics include the characteristics of children, student variability, educational planning and instructional objectives, classroom management and assessment. A 15 hour field experience that satisfies a portion of the university's human relations requirement is included.

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This course includes the study of the emerging skills and developmental characteristics of infants and toddlers (birth to age three) and how to create an educational environment to promote their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. This course is designed to provide the skills for working with young children in a variety of settings. Course topics include the impact of the early years, behavior and guidance, health and safety issues, program and teacher licensure, and work with parents. This course, like all early childhood courses, includes the themes of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices, play, behavior guidance and partnerships with parents. (Prerequisite: PSY210)

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This course provides an early field experience for students prior to student teaching. Students are assigned to work with a cooperating teacher at a grade level appropriate to their license. The course is taken concurrently with methods courses to relate theory to practice. Students are usually placed in diverse, urban classrooms. (Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education Program)

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This course is an analysis of the family. It investigates the family as a system of relationships which interacts across the family life cycle. It includes a survey of current developments in the study of the family and an analysis of changes in American society and their influence on family life. Also included is a focus on marriage and family therapy from a systems framework.

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Prerequisites to Student Teaching: 26 credits Complete all four Human Relations Activity Reports
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
ECE - 321 Pre-Primary Education 3
ECE - 324 Lang Dev & Emergent Literacy 3
ECE - 326 Build Creatve Primry Classroom 3
ECE - 425 Young Child with Special Need 2
ECE - 427 Auth Assess/Guidance in ECE 2
ED - 330 Human Diversity and Relations 2
ED - 342 Teaching Literacy 4
ED - 345 Effective Elementary Teacher 2
FRM - 360 Applied Food Retail Finance 4
KHS - 470 Health Education for Teachers 2
ED - 471 Student Teaching 4

Emphasis is placed on an understanding of history and current trends for three, four, and five year olds in early childhood and kindergarten. The focus of the course includes the development of appropriate learning environments and teaching strategies for skilled, foundational, and impressional treatment of all curricular areas. This course, like all early childhood courses, includes the themes of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices, play, behavior guidance and partnerships with parents. This course includes 30 hours of practicum time with young children. (Prerequisite: PSY210)

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This course is designed to prepare educators and allied professionals to guide young children through the process of language acquisition and emergent literacy. The research and stages of language development from birth through age seven are extensively explored. Literacy strategies are explained, modeled, and experienced. The process of acquiring English as a second language and supportive strategies from adults and peers is also explored. This course, like all early childhood courses, includes the themes of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices, play, behavior guidance and partnerships with parents. Twenty-five hours working with young children is required. (Prerequisite: PSY210)

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Emphasis is placed on an understanding of the history, goals, and current trends in the education of primary children. The focus of the course includes the development of a creative primary learning environment and strategies in achieving the standards set by the State of Minnesota.

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This course is designed to introduce students to the laws and techniques needed to develop curricula and instruction to meet the unique needs of individual children in the early childhood setting. Emphasis is given to the integration of theories, research, practical application, and promotion of collaboration between early childhood professionals, special educators, and parents. Particular attention is given to authentic assessment which informs instruction, program planning, and individualization of activities. Also included is the presentation and discussion of the theory of behavior guidance in an inclusive early childhood classroom. May be taken in lieu of ED439. If so, 25+ human relations hours working with students with disabilities are required. This course, like all early childhood courses, includes the themes of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices, play, behavior guidance and partnerships with parents. (Prerequisite: PSY210)

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Students will examine the various methods of child study, observation, portfolio development, and other authentic assessment strategies as a way to assess children's growth and the development of knowledge and skills. Classroom management strategies will be explored including the effect of classroom practices and learning environments on children's behavior.

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This course helps students experience, understand and become sensitive to human diversity and presents strategies for teaching human relations skills in the classroom setting. A 15-hour field experience that satisfies a portion of the university's human relations requirement is included.

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The important connection between all the literacy skills: reading, writing, listening, thinking and speaking is addressed. An understanding of a balanced reading approach is emphasized. The approach includes methods of embedding a wide variety of children's literature in the classroom through literature circles, thematic units, reading and writing conferences, reading and writing workshops, process writing and authentic assessment. Teaching strategies for building comprehension, word recognition and word analysis skills are presented as well as appropriate developmental and instructional orientation to spelling, grammar and punctuation. (Prerequisite: admission to Teacher Education Program) Enrollment is concurrent with ED371 Teaching Practicum.

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Instructional methods and materials that have wide application to the elementary grade levels are examined. Particular emphasis is given to such topics as the decision-making inherent in teaching (CSP model), effective instruction (planning, critical presentation skills, student interest, motivation, and involvement, etc.) and effective classroom management. (Prerequisite: admission to Teacher Education Program) Enrollment is concurrent with ED371 Teaching Practicum.

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This course will examine the framework and systems of current accounting and finance principles specific to the food retail industry including gross profit margins, demand, forecasting, pricing, cost analysis, sourcing and promotional activities. Students will apply these principles, along with ethical responsibility and critical thinking skills, to management practices of business decision making. In the final project the students will evaluate an ethical accounting case study and determine how the issues could have been averted in the analysis.

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This course investigates personal and community health issues facing society and especially children. The National Health Education Standards and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Priority Health Risk Behaviors are addressed. (Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education Program)

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Student teaching provides direct teaching experience for students to develop the understanding, skills, and dispositions necessary for implementing developmentally appropriate practices in classrooms for young children. Typically, students are assigned to work with two cooperating teachers in two different classrooms for one full semester. Seminars are held on campus and a capstone portfolio is required. (Birth-Grade 3 Practicum.)

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Bachelor of Arts degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.

Meet Your Professors

Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akinde Fakuajo Term Faculty of Education

Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinde Fakuajo brings a practical approach to Leadership in Education.

Dr. Sally Baas Director of SEAT Program, Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Baas has devoted her teaching to preparing future educators for diversity in the classroom and developing teaching methods to best serve students of various ethnic backgrounds.

Richard Benson Instructor of Kinesiology and Health Sciences and Teacher Education

Rick has been a faculty member at Concordia University St. Paul since 1999 serving as an Instructor in both the Undergraduate Teacher Education Department and the Kinesiology

Dr. James Brooks Term Faculty of Education
Diane Harr Assistant Professor of Special Education, Coordinator of Special Education and Chair of Undergraduate/Initial Licensure Programs

Harr coordinates and teaches in graduate special education programs and undergraduate criminal justice.

Dr. Donald Helmstetter Dean of the College of Education and Science, Associate Professor of Education

In addition to his administrative duties at Concordia, Dr. Helmstetter continues to teach leadership courses at the graduate and post-graduate level.

Lonn Maly Associate Dean of the School of Education, Assistant Professor of Education

Lonn Maly is a graduate of Concordia University who worked for 14 years as a teacher and a principal in Lutheran schools in Michigan and Southern California.

Mr. Jerry Robicheau Term Faculty of Education

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