Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Science in Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
College of Education
This degree prepares the next wave of early childhood educators—people who will dramatically shape and influence the lives of children. The program includes a firm grounding in curriculum development and teaching, as well as in a content concentration.
This program is nationally recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
- All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
- At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
- At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
The full policy can be viewed here.
In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 68 units of major requirements
- At least 12 units of concentration requirements
- Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.
- Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.
Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements.
Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):
Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 155|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|Progression Plan Link||Not Available|
Student Learning Outcomes
Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
- Knowing and understanding young children's characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8.
- Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning
- Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
- Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
- Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
- Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning.
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
- Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment – including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children
- Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.
- Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.
- Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments.
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
- Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children
- Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology
- Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches
- Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
- Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
- Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
- Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
- Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field
- Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines
- Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.
- Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
- Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.
FIELD EXPERIENCES AND CLINICAL PRACTICE STANDARD
Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
- Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3-5, 5-8)
Additional Admission Requirements
Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
To be eligible for admission to the program, candidates must meet the following requirements:
45 units of coursework which includes:
- EDF 200, MAT 150, and MAT 155 with grades of "C" or better
- Two lab science courses with grades of "C" or better
- The English foundations requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0. (If your English GPA is below 3.0, you may take an approved writing course to achieve the 3.0 GPA.)
- One of the following GPA requirements:
- A cumulative 2.5 GPA in Liberal Studies courses
- A cumulative 2.5 GPA in all courses
- Completion of a teacher orientation for Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, or Special Education
- Submission of:
- A positive endorsement from someone who has directly observed your work with children or adolescents within the ages of pre-school through high school. Such work experience can be either voluntary or paid, but must have occurred in a structured setting for a minimum of fifteen hours. Examples of acceptable experience may include work as a camp counselor, swimming instructor, Sunday school teacher, volunteer in a classroom, or other similar settings.
- A copy of your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279).
Take the following 68 units with a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5 with no course lower than a "C":
- ECI 308 Practicum, Infant-Toddler (1 unit)
- ESE 308 Practicum, Early Childhood Special Education (1 unit)
- ECI 490C, K-3 setting (6 units)
- ECI 492, Birth - Pre-K setting, which meets early childhood teaching licensing requirements (6 units)
Note: You must earn a "C" or better in all concentration courses.
History/Social Studies (12 units)
- Select any coursework with the following prefixes: HIS, POS, ANT, GSP
- Select any coursework with the following prefixes: ENG, HUM TH, MUS, ARH, ART
- Select any coursework with the following prefixes: BME, FRE, GER, SPA, ASL, NAV, Navajo Culture and Navajo Language (taken from Dine College)
- Select any coursework with the following prefixes: GLG, GSP, BIO, ENV, AST, PHS, PHY, CHM, FOR
- History/Social Studies (12 units)
In all of our teacher education programs, you are required to complete a student teaching or internship experience. In addition, a minimum number of units of practicum is required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher.
Before being accepted to student teaching, the following criteria must be met:
- Admission to the teacher education program
- NAU GPA must be at least 2.5, with a GPA of 3.0 in all teacher preparation courses, with no grade lower than a "C."
- Complete all plan requirements.
- All major coursework, with the exception of EDF 200, must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching.
- All candidates must demonstrate social and emotional maturity consistent with professional standards of classroom instruction as well as adequate physical health for teaching.
AZ Teacher Certification Requirements
In order to obtain an AZ teaching certificate, you must pass the following required Arizona Educator exams:
- Subject Knowledge Early Childhood Education (#36) Exam
- Professional Knowledge - Early Childhood (#93) Exam.
Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.
We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.
- Please note that you may take as an elective POS 220 (or POS 110 and POS 241), which satisfies the state and federal constitution requirement for Arizona certification, or you may meet the requirement by demonstrating proficiency on a special exam.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.