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Education Early Childhood PreK-4

Education Early Childhood PreK-4

  • Bachelor of Science

This major is perfect for those looking to teach young children, preparing them for a childhood of learning and play. Graduates with an Early Childhood Pre K-4 degree are ideally prepared to make a positive difference in the lives of young children and their families.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Requirements for Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education PreK-4

    General Studies Requirements:
    HI 106 & 107 Topics in US History*- 6 credits
    EL 130 Children’s Literature and Media* - 3 credits
    AR 100 Art and Music of Western Culture* - 3 credits
    EL 102 Language and Rhetoric - 3 credits
    English writing course - 3 credits
    MA 104 Elementary Functions* - 3 credits
    Life Science Biology with lab* - 4 credits
    Earth/Space Science with lab – 4 credit

    Required Studies in Psychology (21 credits):
    ED 115 Educational Psychology* - 3 credits
    PY 212 Child Development - 3 credits
    PY 251 Family Systems - 3 credits
    ED 290 Psychology and Education for Exceptional Students - 3 credits
    ED 115 Educational Testing – 3 credits

    Required Studies in Mathematics (3 credits):
    (in addition to general studies)
    ED 142 Mathematics for Teachers - 3 credits

    Required Studies in Early Childhood Education (51 credits):
    ED 100 Educational Foundations - 3 credits* 
    ED 101 or 207 Field Experience -1 credit
    ED 109 Physical and Cultural Geography - 3 credits
    ED 122 Curriculum, Projects, and Play for the Developing Child - 3 credits
    ED 205 Strategies and techniques of Instruction - 3 credits
    ED 206 Field Experience II: Strategies and Techniques of Instruction - 1 credit
    ED 208 Classroom Partnerships and Inclusion - 3 credits
    ED 230 Social Studies for Early and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 242 Numerical and Manipulative Math for Early and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 244 Science and the Environment for Early and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 250 Reading and Writing for Early and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 308 Performance and Visual Arts for Early and Special Learners - 3 credits
    ED 317 Program Development for Infants and Toddlers - 3 credits
    ED 318 Field Experience III: Early Childhood Instruction and Theory - 1 credit
    ED 320 Composition and Language Arts for Upper Elementary - 3 credits
    ED 325 Physical Health and Wellness for Early Educators - 3 credits
    ED 330 Early Childhood Leadership and Community Advocacy - 3 credits
    ED 390 Teaching of Nonnative Speaking and Culturally Diverse Students - 3 credits
    ED 400 Field Experience IV: Pre-Student Teaching - 2 credits
    ED 410 Field Experience V: Student Teaching Internship - 9 credits

Program Highlights


Students graduating from the Early Childhood PreK-4 major are prepared for the 21st century classroom.  It is not uncommon that students take additional state exams to add certifications to their PreK-4 degree.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education allows candidates with an initial certification to “add-on” including grades 5-6 to become certified to sixth grade.  This additional certification as well as other permitted add-on opportunities are great additions for increasing marketability.  Many of our graduates elect to take exams in middle grades 4-6 and some are able to pass secondary certification exams as well.  The Saint Vincent College liberal arts degree often affords more preparation into content areas that could assist in adding certifications by taking the state exams. 

In addition to exams, students often add the Disabilities Studies minor to dual certify in PreK-8 special education and PreK–4 within four years.  Adding this minor will increase job opportunities and offer a second professional license to work with special education students.  Please see disabilities studies minor.

Graduate admissions at Saint Vincent College is guaranteed to all teacher candidates prepared by the education department.  If a student has completed student teaching internship successfully, they are permitted to enroll in graduate studies.  In addition, Saint Vincent offers a discount for alumni and convenient one-night a week course offerings to make completing a masters degree or the PA required 24 credits for professional licensure easy and simple.  The masters degrees at Saint Vincent are highly ranked and have been recognized by employers as the best in the area.

Student Work and Research

During their time at Saint Vincent College, preK-4 students are taught the most current methodologies and learning skills for the 21st century classroom.  The following are mastered skills that are expected of each candidate seeking certification.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Demonstrate thoughtful lesson and unit design including learning targets, common core alignment, technology integration, assessment, and creative strategies to conduct instruction in a meaningful way.
  • Produce and use formative and summative assessments to drive instruction and design and deliver informed content that will increase learning in a variety of classrooms.
  • Use technology to teach both synchronously and asynchronously for all students and to employ into use when needed for credit-recovery or as supplemental instruction.
  • Offer successful instruction during a 14-week internship that will result in high recommendations for employment and/or graduate study.

Each year, the education department clubs host many service and professional projects that help teachers, community members, children and others.  The clubs are very vital to the preparation of Saint Vincent education students.  Service projects such as holiday events for underprivileged children, parent workshops, and similar are central to networking and building relationships with our schools and partners.

Every student is strongly recommended to take an active role in the department’s events and services.  Through these events, all students are given unique experiences that will make them stronger and more prepared for the workplace.  Please mark your calendar to learn more about the education department’s functions, services, and curriculum at the biannual Town Hall meeting held the first Thursday of every fall and spring term at 5 PM in the Carey Center.  All students are expected to attend.

Internships and Careers

Beyond acquiring theoretical knowledge about teaching young children, students with a degree in Early Childhood PreK-4 will have an opportunity to apply what they learned in actual classrooms. In addition to participating every year in field work, the last year of the early childhood program requires students work with a cooperating teacher at a local school district to complete the teaching internship for an entire year (pre-student teaching and student teaching).

Graduates of the program typically seek employment at elementary schools or preschool programs. Candidates are also suited to apply for graduate school. Recent graduates have found employment in many of our partner school districts and agencies including Ligonier Valley, Greater Latrobe, Derry Area, Somerset, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford, Norwin, Jeannette, Dr. Robert Ketterer Charter School, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and others.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will achieve passing scores and successfully complete the teacher certification exams for each teaching area.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will demonstrate thorough knowledge of content and pedagogical skills in planning and preparation for teaching.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will establish and maintain a purposeful and equitable classroom environment for learning, in which pupils feel safe, valued and respected, by instituting routines and setting clear expectations for pupil behavior.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates, through knowledge of content, pedagogy and skill in delivering and evaluating instruction, will effectively engage students in learning by using a variety of instructional strategies.
  • Graduate/student-teacher candidates will demonstrate the desired qualities that characterize a professional person in aspects that occur in and beyond the classroom.