Elementary and Early Childhood Education (PreK-4)

Elementary and Early Childhood Education (PreK-4)

Childhood and Early Adolescent Education

America’s classrooms are changing in many ways, but there are constants, too. Regardless of economic, technological, and demographic shifts, our youngest learners need teachers who are able to design and deliver high-quality instruction in a thoughtful, age-appropriate, and caring manner.

Penn State Behrend’s B.S. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education (PreK-4 Option) degree and teacher certification program prepare you to teach children in preschool through fourth grade. The degree meets or exceeds all requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Pennsylvania Level I instructional certification. (It also meets or exceeds certification requirements for any state that requires a bachelor’s degree.)

Why Penn State Behrend?

Penn State Behrend’s degree program, in affiliation with Penn State's College of Education, is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Middle States Accreditation, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

All education majors are required to participate in both a field experience and a student teaching practicum. You’ll be in a classroom as early as your first semester, complete your Introductory Field Experience in your third semester, and have work, volunteer, and observation opportunities that are unique to Penn State Behrend, including working with the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation, or CORE. CORE supports regional schools, social service agencies, nonprofits, and businesses by providing research and data-driven services that can improve those organizations’ efforts to deliver effective youth-development programs. CORE most often partners with groups trying to address the needs of at-risk children in very urban or very rural environments.

Another opportunity for hands-on learning can be found in the Prevention of Aggression Resource Center, also located on campus. PARC promotes positive developmental outcomes by offering cutting-edge research, education, training, and resources to educators, social service providers, students, and parents in the areas of bullying prevention and prosocial behavior development.

In addition, Penn State Behrend has an on-campus Early Learning Center that provides child care and preschool services to children between 6 weeks and 6 years of age. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children; only 8 percent of the country’s preschool programs earn that distinction. It also is endorsed as an Eco-Health Child Care program for its efforts to reduce or eliminate environmental health hazards.

Learn more about the Elementary and Early Childhood Education program.