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Early Childhood Education Major

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The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with Early Childhood Education Licensure (birth to grade 6) is designed for students who want a wide range of professional options upon graduation. Coursework, field experiences, and student teaching provide opportunities to work with infants, toddlers, preschool-aged children, students in the elementary grades, and parents.

Why should I study elementary education with early childhood?

Early childhood education is in the national spotlight because of the research that has confirmed critical development takes place in a child’s earliest years. Early childhood education and elementary teachers provide an essential foundation for young children’s current and future learning. Policy makers and funders are responding by creating and funding pre-K programs, thus creating new employment opportunities.

As an elementary education major with early childhood education licensure, you gain all of the benefits of Bethel's nationally acclaimed elementary education program along with the individualized instruction you need to thrive as an educator licensed to work with children from birth to grade 6. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) ranks Bethel the top elementary teacher program in the Midwest due to our rigorous structure, diverse student population, and the effectiveness of our teachers upon graduation. You'll have many opportunities work alongside experienced early childhood educators while also having time to reflect on your progress as an aspiring early childhood education professional.

What can I do with this degree?

This degree program prepares you to work with children ages birth through grade 6, offering a wide range of opportunities. Our graduates have found work in:

  • Public and private pre-school education and care programs
  • Head Start—home-based services or preschool classrooms
  • Early childhood family education
  • Therapeutic preschool programs for children with special needs
  • Social service programs with early childhood programs

What skills will I develop?

  • Learn how to support the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive
  • Monitoring and assessing a child’s development through program development, lesson planning, formative assessment, and organizational strategies to track child growth
  • Develop skills in supporting, coaching, and communicating with coworkers, parents, and child care services
  • Creating and delivering high quality, evidence-based curriculum
  • Classroom management
  • Developmentally-appropriate teaching strategies
  • How to cater to individual differences in ability, personality, interests, learning styles, and motivation
  • An understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to early childhood education

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Experience—a program specifically designed to help you gain the relevant, hands-on experience employers desire—so that when you graduate, you’ll be as impressive in practice as you are on paper.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Gain hands-on learning on and off campus

Bethel supports two innovative child development centers and has crafted partnerships with public and private child care centers to provide you a wide range of locations and populations that will give you a sense of the profession. You will also have a wide range of field experiences to prepare you to work with diverse populations of students and programs. Broadening your capacity to work with all kinds of children, we pursue Christ’s vision to serve the world.

Benefit from departmental support

Our department is personally invested in your success. That's why we've organized groups and events to help support you, including:

  • Delta student group—organizes events to welcome new students into the department, giving them a chance to interact with upperclassmen.
  • Department lecture series—five annual "just for fun" presentations to help students expand their learning. Recent lecture topics included: “Games and Learning,” and “What Schools in Finland Look Like."
  • Monthly support groups for alumni—keep our graduates connected to other professionals in their field who can help them network, discuss challenges, and brainstorm innovative new teaching methods.

Our instructors are passionate and experienced and have been recognized for their excellence. Most recently, the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures presented Donna LeGrand with the 2017 Emma Birkmaier Award for Outstanding Language Educator—a lifetime achievement award given to outstanding Minnesota language educators. 

Academic Plans and Course Catalog

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2017 grads reported being employed as teachers

98th percentile in nation for elementary ed teacher preparation.

- National Council on Teacher Quality

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Program Distinctives

Approved by Minnesota Board of Teaching

The Board of Teaching governs the teacher licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota. The undergraduate Education program at Bethel meets these requirements.

Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Bethel’s undergraduate teacher education program is accredited under the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Accreditation System for a period of 7 years, from October 2015 through December 2022. Our teacher education program will seek accreditation under the CAEP Standards in fall of 2022. Formed in 2013, CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers TEAC accreditation. See our candidate performance data (pdf).

Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative

Bethel’s Education program is part of a Bush Foundation funded collaboration with five other higher education institutions called the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative (TC2).

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