College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions
BS in Early Childhood Education
Our bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education will give you the knowledge and training to pursue a variety of careers in public and private schools as well as child care centers and community programs. The degree leads to preparation for Connecticut teacher certification with a focus in birth to age 5/kindergarten or nursery/preschool through grade 3.
About the Major
Our program in Early Childhood Education prepares students for careers working in school settings (including as certified public school teachers) with children between birth and kindergarten or nursery and third grade. The program addresses the theories and the physical, cognitive, language, social, emotional, and creative development of young children.
In our Early Childhood program, you’ll receive extensive professional preparation including site-based observations, real-world fieldwork experiences, and two student teaching semesters in area schools. A key focus of our Early Childhood program is the integration of services for children, including the needs of the family and collaboration with other professions.
- Learning focuses on the complete early childhood span from infants through age 8.
- The program integrates understanding of typical and atypical child development to prepare students to teach children across the learning spectrum.
- Cross-disciplinary coursework includes early childhood development, psychology, sociology, and teacher preparation.
- Our small class sizes allow students to receive plenty of individual mentoring from our experienced faculty.
Students have placements with children in pre-k or kindergarten and then, depending upon areas of interest, complete another placement in either birth to pre-k or grades 1, 2, and 3.
Accelerated 4+1 Program
Fast-track your education by earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in only five years in our 4+1 option. You can earn a BS in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education (MEd) in Special Education Cross-Endorsement in one program. The entire curriculum can be completed in five years, including summer classes after your senior year.
Connecticut and many other states require teachers to complete a master’s degree in order to maintain their teaching certification. In addition, teachers with master’s degrees typically earn higher salaries than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
The MEd in Special Education Cross-Endorsement is a 36-credit program and includes 14 weeks of student teaching.
- Direct admission to the master’s degree program without re-applying.
- Earn a second certification in Special Education that can give you additional career options.
- See the full curriculum here:
The UHart Difference
- Real-world learning begins right away - you’ll have supervised classroom experience beginning your first semester.
- With five schools on campus or within walking distance, we have multiple opportunities for teacher training right in our backyard.
- Undergraduates can pursue research with our experienced faculty members.
- In our honors program you can complete an honors thesis or independent project. You can also join the UHart chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education.
- Class sizes are small, and you’ll receive ample individual mentoring from our faculty.
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education is a 125 credit program. In addition to General Education Requirements, students must complete additional courses in the following areas. This is just a sample of available courses; view the complete curriculum here.
Professional Education Courses - 27 credits
Introduction to Education: Schooling and Human Services
Psychology of Exceptionalities
Assessment of the Whole Child
Working with Families and Community Services
Human Growth and Development - 15 credits
Infant and Child Development
The Sociology of the Family
Option 1: Birth-Kindergarten Endorsement - 18 credits
Birth-3: Early Identification and Intervention
Student Teaching: Nursery-Kindergarten
Student Teaching: Infant/Toddler
Programs and Curriculum for Exceptional Children
Option 2: PreK-Grade 3 Endorsement - 19 credits
Reading and Language Arts Instruction
Foundations of Literacy Learning
Student Teaching: Nursery-Kindergarten
Student Teaching: Grades 1-3
Option 3: Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC) - 18 credits
Birth-3: Early Identification & Intervention
Programs and Curriculum for Exceptional Children
Job growth for preschool teachers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026 according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected due to a continued focus on the important of early childhood education.
Real-world learning from the start
All of UHart's education programs get students out into the classroom starting in your first semester, giving you hands-on experience with children right from the start. Hear more from student Brian Durocher '21 and Department Chair Sheetal Sood in this short video.
Students applying to the early childhood education program are accepted for admission in either the fall or the spring semester. Although there are no strict application deadlines, we recommend that you apply by December 1 for entrance in January and by March 1 for entrance in September.
For admission to programs in the Department of Education, 16 units of secondary subjects are expected and should include the following at a minimum:
- English, 4 units
- Social studies, 2 units
- Foreign language, 2 units
- Science, 2 units
- Mathematics, 2 units (including 1 unit of algebra)
- Other academic subjects, 4 units
Professional Program Requirements
Education students must apply for admission to the professional program during the fall of sophomore year. Professional program admission requirements include:
- SAT, ACT or Praxis Core scores. Although the University does not require SAT, ACT or Praxis scores for admission, the State of Connecticut requires these scores for teaching certification.
- Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
- Completed dispositions interview form
To transfer into a teacher education program as a college junior (48 credits or more), you must show evidence of having taken the SAT, ACT, or the Praxis Core. In addition, you must have obtained a minimum of a 3.0 (B) grade point average (GPA) in your previous coursework. Your ability to complete the program in two calendar years will depend on the specific courses required and your flexibility regarding summer coursework. Once admitted you must immediately complete the Professional Program Application. We would be happy to review your records and map out a sample plan of study. Please contact the Office of Admission:
Office of Admission
Upon completion of the program, candidates will:
PLANNING: Apply a variety of developmentally appropriate strategies and differentiation techniques when planning for educational and caring environments for young children birth to age 8.
ASSESSMENT: Assess young children in the classroom environment using non-invasive, developmentally appropriate strategies for collecting, organizing, and analyzing information.
ADAPT INSTRUCTION: Plan and adapt instruction for all children between the ages of birth through age 8, taking into account each child’s diversity.
INSTRUCTION: Utilize teacher inquiry inclusive of student work sampling to inform an effective teaching practice that reflects appropriate instructional strategies respectful of all forms of diversity in order to achieve successful student outcomes.
PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: Effectively articulate a philosophy of working with children and families, communities and community agencies, and related educational and support professionals.PROFESSIONAL ETHICS: Knowing the ethical guidelines for early childhood practice includes the following: Reflect on their practice in light of research on teaching and resources available for professional learning. Connect to the professional community through professional associations and opportunities for ongoing professional development. Be Informed advocates acting on behalf of children and their families.
If you are a full-time undergraduate student applying to the early childhood education program, you will be considered for financial aid programs that the University administers. In addition to our own funds, the University participates in all Federal Title IV programs and Federal Family Education Loan programs. Residents of Connecticut and those states with reciprocal agreements with the State of Connecticut may also be eligible to receive state scholarships or grants.
View detailed Information on tuition and fees here
View financial aid information here
Department of Education
Accreditation and State of Connecticut Certification
Certification programs in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions are accredited based on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) through the CAEP Accreditation System (CAEP), as well as the State of Connecticut Department of Education. The Educational Testing Service's Praxis II exam is utilized for certification of teachers in Connecticut. See Pass rate.
Professional Licensing Disclosure
Visit Out-of-State Educators to see the Connecticut State Department of Education reciprocity agreement. The NASDTEC website details the interstate reciprocity agreement across states.