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Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

120 total credits required

Greenville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education features a curriculum that prepares you to become a licensed teacher from birth through grade 2 in Illinois. This flexible program consists of 20 core courses, which are eight or 16 weeks in duration. Because students in this program also complete courses in elementary education, you have the opportunity to add an Illinois teaching license to your studies, graduating with two valuable teaching credentials in the same amount of time.

In addition to courses needed for the early childhood education major, you will need to complete general education and elective courses for a total of 120 credits. You will also complete approximately 300+ field hours plus student teaching as part of your program.

This program is based on a 2+2 model, in which students begin their courses at the associate level and transfer the credits they earn to Greenville University. This model allows community college students to save on tuition costs by completing some courses needed for the elementary education major at lower tuition rates. Most students finish their bachelor’s degree in 2–4.5 years depending on previously earned AA or AS transfer credits and dual licensure.

Students must come from one of Greenville’s five Illinois community college partner institutions for admission to this program. Partner schools include:

  • Kaskaskia College
  • Lake Land Community College
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • Lincoln Land Community Colleg
  • Southwestern Illinois College

Greenville University’s B.S. in Early Childhood Education program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Core Courses

Students will study early childhood development. The development of children in preschools, kindergarten, and the primary grades will be explored. This course includes the history, philosophy, and theory of early childhood education. Students will complete 15 hours of field experience in an Early Childhood classroom. Prerequisite: EDUC 101.

Emphasis is on the identification and remediation of reading problems at the elementary school level. Prevention of reading problems through early intervention is addressed. Informal assessment and teaching strategies are stressed. Field experiences required. Prerequisite: EDUC 312 and admission to the Teacher Education Program.

This course explores the importance of play as a guiding principal for the development of the whole child. Students will explore strategies for teaching language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, art, music and movement in early childhood classrooms within an integrated, thematic curriculum. Emphasis on appropriate play for children ages birth to 8, including individual, pair, small group and large group play as a means of intellectual development. Students will complete 20 hours of field experience in an Early Childhood classroom. Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Teacher Education Program.

Students will be introduced to strategies in developing positive and supportive relationships with families, community agencies, and schools in a diverse society. This course explores strategies for building understanding, trust, and effective communication with all children and their families including those who have special needs, have cultural and linguistic differences, come from nontraditional family configurations, and who face poverty, health problems, and/or family dysfunction. Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program.

The content of this course focuses on using art, music, and movement to enhance student learning in the elementary classroom core curriculum. The course includes the study of tools, techniques, and technology of art, music, and movement. It provides candidates an understanding of the educational, communicative, and aesthetic values of dance, music, and visual arts and the role fine arts plays in reflecting history and culture. Field experiences required.

This course explores methods and materials used in the teaching of the reading, language arts, and literacy at the elementary level. Emphasis is placed on oral language development, early and emergent language development, critical listening skills, using literature across the curriculum, and the writing process, which includes grammar, spelling, handwriting, and word processing. The course is designed to acquaint candidates with a variety of reading programs, theories, and approaches used in contemporary elementary school classrooms. Attention is given to strategies that aide in fluency, phonics, phonemic awareness, contextual and structural analysis. Attention is given to comprehension fostering strategies. Specific strategies for Content Area Reading are examined as well as strategies to be used with ESL students and Special needs students. The integration of technology, diversity in the classroom, critical thinking skills, and assessment and evaluation are also examined.

Emphasis is on the identification and remediation of reading problems at the elementary school level. Prevention of reading problems through early intervention is addressed. Informal assessment and teaching strategies are stressed. Field experiences required. Prerequisite: EDUC 312 and admission to the Teacher Education Program.

This course will investigate the structures of a safe and healthy learning environment that facilitates cultural and linguistic responsiveness, positive social interaction, active engagement, and academic risk-taking. A three tiered level of positive behavior supports (PBS) will be explored as a framework for creating plans to accomplish a productive learning environment. Twenty hours of field experience required. Prerequisite: EDUC 280

This course is designed to explore classroom evaluation of student growth as an integral part of instruction. Candidates explore the purpose of evaluation as it relates to planning instruction. Professional, social, ethical, and philosophical considerations related to teaching/learning are also explored. Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program.

A study of social and philosophical assumptions related to curricula, materials, and methods of instruction pertinent to middle grades students. Focus is on organizing classes, making curricular decisions, determining methods and selecting learning resources along with the literacy needs of the middle grades student. Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program.

This course examines effective strategies for teaching math in the number and operation strand to elementary and middle school students. It emphasizes placing students in a role where they actively seek to make sense of mathematics and where they are extending their capacity to think, reason, and problem solve mathematically. Teaching mathematics effectively requires the development of a knowledge base and a variety of skill sets. This includes: (1) an understanding of learning progressions in the elementary math curriculum, as well as aspects of children’s cognitive development that influence these learning progressions; (2) the capacity to use research-based approaches to building foundational conceptual understanding as well as procedural fluency and problem solving skills; (3) strategies for developing academic vocabulary and language in mathematics; (4) the ability to analyze student error patterns to identify student needs and construct targeted interventions; (5) the knowledge to effectively use and sequence the use of multiple representations to make mathematical content accessible to all learners; and (6) the capacity to develop (as opposed to merely cover) concepts and skills for a variety of learners in diverse classrooms. The Common Core State Standards and the Mathematical Standards of Practice will play an important role in this course, and the Learning Progressions (authored by the Common Core Writing Team) are required reading. There are 10 hours of field experience.

This course examines effective strategies for teaching math in the algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, and data strand to elementary and middle school students. It emphasizes placing students in a role where they actively seek to make sense of mathematics and where they are extending their capacity to think, reason, and problem solve mathematically. Teaching mathematics effectively requires the development of a knowledge base and a variety of skill sets. This includes: (1) an understanding of how academic language in mathematics must be both fostered and scaffolded; (2) the capacity to merge understandings of student backgrounds and characteristics, knowledge of content and pedagogy, and assessment techniques to construct an age-appropriate and well-sequenced instructional plan; (3) the ability to analyze student error patterns to identify student needs and construct targeted interventions; (4) the knowledge to effectively use and sequence the use of multiple representations to make mathematical content accessible to all learners; and (5) the capacity to develop (as opposed to merely cover) concepts and skills for a variety of learners in diverse classrooms, and (6) the ability to analyze student work in a lesson to plan instructional next steps. The Common Core State Standards and the Mathematical Standards of Practice will play an important role in this course. There are 10 hours of field experience. Prerequisite: EDUC 347

This course provides experience in formulating individualized performance objectives, key teaching and therapy skills, and programming for specific problems in organization and administration of students with disabilities. Provides a brief review of the legislative and history of adapted physical education.

This course explores methods and techniques used in the teaching of Science and Social Studies at the elementary level. Emphasis is placed on the Science and Social Studies goals, writing objectives, lesson plans, assessment procedures, and the integration of other curricular areas. Literacy skills are examined as they apply to the goals of Social Studies and planning. Cultural diversity, differentiated instruction, integration of technology, and reflective teaching practices are also examined. This course is to provide the student with current strategies and methodologies for the teaching Science and Social Studies in conjunction with the Illinois Learning Standards and the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards.

After admission to the professional internship, candidates receive student teaching placements. Candidates work with their cooperating teachers during the first week of school. Five days of clinical experience required. Prerequisite: Admission to the Professional Internship.

This course is a general methods course to prepare candidates for teaching at the elementary level. It is conducted with a major emphasis on actual clinical experiences focusing on the role of the elementary school teacher within the community, school, and classroom. Methods and techniques of classroom management, lesson planning, student assessment, and reporting are also considered, as candidates work with clinical instructors. As part of this clinical experience, students will complete a practice edTPA. Professional ethics and dispositions are also covered. Meets the general education upper division writing intensive requirement.

For candidates completing the elementary program. Fifteen weeks of student teaching are required. Prerequisite: Admission to the Professional Internship.

Five weeks of student teaching are required in a Pre-Kindergarten program (ages birth-5). Prerequisite: Admission to the Professional Internship. Co-requisite: EDUC 405.

This course examines a biblical, historical, and theological basis of Christian ethics and acquaints the students with other ethical theories or systems such as ethics based on consequences, on social contract, or on fields of education. This course is for students completing the undergraduate teacher education program (UTEP) only. Meets the general education Christian Thought requirement.

This course introduces students to language and literacy development for young children, birth through age 8. Students will explore theories of language development and the identification of readiness factors in emergent reading and writing. Attention is given to development, evaluation and special pre-reading and beginning reading needs of individual children as well as the use of assessment to plan for individual and group instruction. Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Teacher Education Program.

The seminar addresses professional topics within the field of education. In addition, the seminar provides an opportunity for teacher candidates to focus on the required performance assessment. The performance assessment, aligned with state standards, is an authentic assessment tool that shows how teacher candidates develop and evaluate student learning. The centerpiece is a portfolio that describes and documents authentic practices from the candidate’s teaching experience. The portfolio addresses planning, instruction, assessment, analyzing teaching, and academic language to reveal the impact of a candidate’s teaching performance on student learning. As a capstone seminar, the course requires students reflect mastery of self-reflection and critical self-awareness, collaboration across disciplines, communication in multiple modes with multiple audiences, and reflection on how Christian faith impacts and guides their daily work. The seminar topics and tasks guide and support the candidate’s progress in the teaching profession. Meets the general education senior seminar requirement.

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