Commonwealth University student instructs elementary students during class project.

Early Childhood Education (PK-4)

Help shape young minds and big hearts! Join us as we continue the rich tradition of preparing the finest teachers as reflective decision-makers. Our curriculum emphasizes practical, hands-on courses with child-centered approaches. Our program features school experiences throughout all four years of study in diverse classroom settings before culminating in student teaching. 

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.S.Ed.
Location
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
Department
College
Program Contact
Interim Department Chair, Early Childhood Education, Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning
Illustration of Mountain

The Early Childhood Education program at Commonwealth University is dedicated to preparing students to be certified to teach children from birth to fourth grade. Your courses will provide a solid foundation of basic child development theory and will combine real-world experience with the study of education methods taught by former classroom teachers. 

Courses and Curriculum

Degree RequirementsDegree Works

Note: Please see the CU degree requirements effective Fall 2023. All enrolled students can also review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion in Degree Works.

Degree RequirementsDegree Works

Note: Please see the CU degree requirements effective Fall 2023. All enrolled students can also review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion in Degree Works.

 

Pennsylvania  

Commonwealth University is approved to offer Education programs that lead to certification in Pennsylvania.

Out of State  

While we regularly monitor licensure and certification laws in each state, state requirements are subject to change without notice. If you are interested in certification outside of Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance and verify requirements before beginning a program and during your program of study. Please visit our state authorization page and www2.ed.gov for more information.  

New Jersey  

If you're planning to teach in New Jersey, please note you may be required to complete the edTPA, a performance-based assessment. It is strongly recommended you contact the school districts of interest and the New Jersey Department of Education for details specific to New Jersey.

  • Maintain 3.0 GPA  
  • Complete Program – Minimum 120 credits  
  • Full time student – Recommended 15 credits a semester  
  • Required: Clearances, Background Checks, TB, and Insurance  
  • Successfully completing/passing Basic Skills Test for Math, Reading and Writing (currently PDE waived) (exempt based on SAT/ACT scores)  
  • PECT (Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests)

1a. Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8. 

b. Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning 

c. Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children 

2a. Knowing about and understanding family and community characteristics 

b. Supporting and empowering families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships. 

c. Involving families and communities in their children’s development and learning. 

3a. Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment– including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for children 

b. Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection. 

c. Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities. 

d. Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments 

4a. Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children 

b. Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology

c. Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches 

d. Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child 

5a. Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the artsmusic, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies. 

b. Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines 

c. Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.

1a. Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8. 

b. Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning 

c. Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children 

2a. Knowing about and understanding family and community characteristics 

b. Supporting and empowering families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships. 

c. Involving families and communities in their children’s development and learning. 

3a. Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment– including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for children 

b. Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.

c. Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities. 

d. Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments 

4a. Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children 

b. Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology 

c. Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches 

d. Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child 

5a. 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. 

b. Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines 

c. Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.

Illustration of Mountain

Early Childhood Education at Commonwealth U

Accreditation

CAEP:  Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation  

NAEYC:  National Association of Education Preparation  

PDE:  Pennsylvania Department of Education   

Clubs and Organizations

Educational Learning Communities  

Alpha Phi Omega: Professional Service organization  

Kappa Delta Pi: National Education Honor Society  

PSEA: PA State Education Association 

Facilities

The Department of Early Childhood Education offers state-of-the-art learning facilities including small classrooms designed for student interaction and teaching activities, emerging technologies, and other tools. Faculty deliver courses in technology-enhanced classrooms with vast multimedia capabilities. 

Field Experiences

Field Experience (Stages 1-4)  

Stage 1 Observation – First year students  

Stage 2 Exploration – Sophomores & Juniors  

Stage 3 Pre-Student Teaching – Senior  

Stage 4 Student Teaching – Senior (last semester)  

The Commonwealth U Difference

CAEP logo
CAEP Accreditation
CAEP accreditation ensures we prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively.
96%+
Employment Rates
Additionally, our education majors can substitute teach in local school districts after completing 60 credits while pursuing their undergraduate degree.
College of Distinction
College of Distinction
Commonwealth University has earned national recognition as a College of Distinction for its education programs, honored for its quality and high-impact teacher preparation.
Jenna Beiter '21

The education program prepared me to be the teacher I aspire to be by ensuring experience in the classroom from freshman year through senior year. It's been incredibly beneficial to observe and participate in various classroom settings over the years as well as learn 'behind the scenes' tips from these amazing educators.

Jenna Beiter '22
Early Childhood and Special Education
Klohe Faatz '22

In high school I worked with a kindergarten class every morning and that was when I realized that it was my goal to become a teacher. I loved spending time with the students and watching them learn throughout the year. I chose early childhood education, because I think it's important students get a positive impact at a young age to create a positive school career.

Klohe Faatz '22
Early Childhood and Special Education
Cassidy Larkin '21

I've been prepared through observations, practicum experience, and student teaching. I've seen many different environments of teaching, all different than the next. All environments have inspired me to become the best educator I can.

Cassidy Larkin '21
Early Childhood and Special Education
Megan Canfield '22

The education program has helped prepare me in more ways than I could've ever hoped. The program got me into classrooms from the very first semester and has showed me what the best educators look like. I feel more confident than ever, especially after the Danville Practicum, to not only enter student teaching but also to enter the field after graduation.

Megan Canfield '22
Early Childhood and Special Education
Klohe Faatz '22
Cassidy Larkin '21
Megan Canfield '22
Jenna Beiter '21
Student teacher observing student writing

Minors, Endorsements, and Certificates

Minors : American Sign Language (ASL); Child Life Specialist; Educational Technology; Playwork; Special Education  Endorsements:  STEM; Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness (PK-12)  Certificates : English as a Second Language (ESL); Playwork 

McDowell Institute

McDowell Institute

The McDowell Institute is dedicated to supporting the facilitation of social, emotional, and behavioral wellness of children, youth, and young adults across school and community settings. This mission is accomplished through training, technical assistance, and information.

Connect with Faculty

CommonwealthU University Employee

Amy Long

  • Assistant Professor / Director of Student Teaching and Field Experience
  • Lock Haven
Molly

Molly Marnella

  • Interim Department Chair, Early Childhood Education, Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning
  • Bloomsburg
CommonwealthU University Employee

Denise Tyson

  • Professor, Director of Teacher Education, PreK-Grade 8 and Professional Studies
  • Lock Haven

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