Early Childhood Education

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Are you interested in working with young children? Our early childhood program may be just what you’re looking for!

What can I do with an Early Childhood endorsement?

Early Childhood Education focuses on the education and care of children of all abilities from birth to age 8. This includes working with young children in child care centers, preschools, or lower elementary grades. Graduates are also prepared to work with young children and families in early intervention programs.

What certification will I have?

Graduates with an Elementary Education major and an Early Childhood General and Special Education endorsement will be certified to teach in an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program, in a general education preschool program, an early childhood special education (0-5) classroom, kindergarten through fifth grade in a self-contained classroom, be a lead teacher or director in a child care program, and have the foundational knowledge to start a child care business.

Why get an Early Childhood General and Special Education Endorsement?

Many programs require or prefer that child care, preschool, and lower elementary (K-3) teachers have the Early Childhood General and Special Education endorsement, including state-funded preschool programs (Great Start Readiness Program), and nationally-funded programs (Head Start). Employers are looking for candidates who have experience with young children and are highly qualified with an Elementary Education major and an endorsement in Early Childhood General and Special Education.

What opportunities are there to work with young children while I am at Alma College?

Students in the Early Childhood program have a minimum of two placements specifically in early childhood program settings. This is in addition to three required placements in the Elementary Education program. Students may also qualify for work-study in one of our local early childhood programs or classrooms. There are also opportunities to work or volunteer in local child care programs and early elementary classrooms. Alma College hosts a Head Start preschool program within walking distance from the campus.

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