Early Childhood Education Certification

Have a passion for working with young children? Want to inspire them towards a love of life-long learning? A major in Early Childhood Education could be the right choice for you. As a content generalist in several subject areas, by program completion, you’ll have a certification to teach grades Pre-K through 4th, as well as the opportunity to complete testing for add-on certifications which will allow you to teach grades 5 and 6. Candidates for certification in Early Childhood Education must complete a course of study that consists of two key elements:

The first element emphasizes critical concepts and ideas important to one’s general education and academic preparation for teaching.

education classroom

The second emphasis stresses a professional core curriculum organized in five areas:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Subject Matter Pedagogy Content (Pre-K to 4)
  • Assessments (PRAXIS, PAPA, PECT)
  • Family and Community Partnerships
  • Professionalism

Why Study Early Childhood Education?

A major in Education at Elizabethtown is a demanding undertaking. Students must excel in challenging coursework in pedagogy, learning theory, cognition, and liberal arts content.  You will repeatedly demonstrate competency in field placement classrooms by working with a variety of school systems, students, and student needs. You will exhibit the dispositions of a professional educator as defined by the PA Code of Conduct and the Department’s Teacher Dispositions Policy.  Finally, you must pass required state assessments and complete a professional portfolio for certification. But though challenging, becoming an educator is also rewarding. Learn more about the program requirements.

Breadth in field placements

As an Education major, you will have field experiences every year from your first year through your senior year. Field placements occur in urban, suburban and rural schools, and in a variety of grades within your certification guidelines, in this case Pre-K through 4th. Our program stresses the importance of quality supervised filed experiences which complement on-campus courses in education. It is the embodiment of theory into practice. You’ll have support both in and out of the classroom as your progress and grow from a student to an independent and qualified educator.

Our Partnership with U-GRO Learning Centres

From Spring 2019, our Education students will have the opportunity to experience hands-on learning at a new U-GRO Learning Centres location at Masonic Villages in Elizabethtown, only one mile from campus.

This new center expands the lab-school environment that we currently offer our students and gives them the opportunity to observe and teach in various U-GRO classrooms, with children aged six weeks to fifth grade, from their first year on campus.


Build a foundation of social justice for young learners

Integral to our programs is the department's signature attribute of social justice, exhibited through a curricular focus upon advocacy for equity, civic engagement, global citizenship, and international/comparative perspectives. Through classroom simulations, observations and common core readings, you’ll begin to appreciate the complexity diversity and social justice lend to education.

Learn more about the Early Childhood Education program