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Early Childhood Studies

Why Major in Early Childhood Studies?

The early years are a critical time in the life of a young child. During this time children develop physically, socially and cognitively at a phenomenal rate. Children and their families need the support and expertise of skilled professionals who understand this stage of early childhood.

The BA in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) program is designed for both first-time freshman and transfer students. The ECS coursework focuses on young children's growth and development including cognitive, social, emotional and perceptual-motor development. Students will also become familiar with various assessments and developmentally appropriate learning environments for young children.  This major also provides an excellent foundation for the special education teaching credential and Early Childhood Special Education Added Authorization (ECSE). The Early Childhood Studies degree will open up other careers beyond teaching and will prepare students to be leaders in those fields, leaders in early intervention, leaders in research, leaders in early childhood advocacy and county offices of education.   

Frequently asked questions about the ECS major

Question: What is the difference between the Liberal Studies major and the Early Childhood Studies major?

Answer: The Liberal Studies major is designed to offer both depth and breadth of content. The Elementary Subject Matter Liberal Studies major's specific purpose is to provide courses aligned with state standards and prepare students for the demands of the classroom. Conceptual, the LBS program is to give students the opportunity to see the big picture, i.e., think well, write well. While the LBS major covers general knowledge, the Early Childhood Studies major focuses on coursework in both early childhood studies and early childhood intervention. This is a very specific major that prepares students to not only teach young children but also grooms them for other fields outside of education.

Question: Are there any prerequisites?

Answer: Yes, students must take English 113 and English 123.

Question: Do students in the EC Studies major have to take the CBEST?

Answer: Only if they want to go into public K-12 teaching.

Question: What about the CSET? I heard the LBS major prepares students for the CSET. Will the EC Studies major prepare them as well?

Answer:The LBS major, specifically ESM majors, may be better prepared to take the CSET, but remember, not all EC Studies will be interested in public school teaching.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Interpret, analyze, evaluate and apply various theories of developmental learning in order to design a theoretically-based learning environment that supports young children including children with disabilities.

2. Compare, contrast and evaluate current world view with a Christian worldview to inform lifestyle and decision making especially in the area of early childhood development and care giving.

3. Identify and reflect upon personal strengths and weaknesses as they apply to complex social identities including the importance of collaboration both in the university setting, community and work environment.

4. Using the skill of discernment evaluate and construct reasoned ethical judgments, showing awareness of multiple value systems and apply these judgments, using collaboration and leadership skills to create ways to promote social justice and child advocacy in local, national, and global communities.