Early Childhood Education

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Early Childhood Education at Alma College:

Considering a career in teaching young children?

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

The endorsement in Early Childhood (ZS) Education for elementary teachers consists of 24 credit hours. Due to changes mandated by the Michigan Department of Education, this endorsement (ZS) is being discontinued. Students interested in this program must enroll in EDC 283 in Fall 2019 and EDC 282 in Winter 2020. No new admissions to the program after Fall 2019.

Dr. Peggy Thelen is the Director of the ZS endorsement program. For more information, email her at thelen@alma.edu

Experiential Learning
  • You will have two early childhood classroom placements in the local area. The first placement is typically the first semester of your second year, and the second placement is typically the first semester of your third year. 

  • The early childhood student teaching term is 7 weeks long, and is done in either an infant, toddler, or preschool general or special education classroom. You may do your EC student teaching near your hometown (except in the Upper Peninsula). 

  • Service Learning opportunities are available and change with the community need. 

  • You will have opportunities for international teaching experiences through Spring Terms as well as with a P-Global grant and/or a Venture Grant.

    Service Learning Project Examples:

    Partnership with Alma College Head Start  
    The EDC 183 Introduction to Early Childhood class partnered with Child Advocacy for a Service Learning Project during the Winter 2015 term. With the help of a Gratiot Community Foundation grant, students created 5 Literacy Kits and 5 Story Stretcher bags that are now used to promote and support literacy development in children who live in Gratiot County. Students researched appropriate themes and ideas for children ages 3 to 10, and purchased what they thought was most supportive of literacy development. Students learned about developmentally appropriate books, activities, and materials for young children while contributing to on-going support of children in the community.


    Partnership service project with Child Advocacy
Get Involved

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Forms (Link to Almapedia)

Information Regarding Certification

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Test Prep Resources

Graduate Success

“I am so thankful for Alma College for giving me the opportunity to be placed in numerous classrooms during my four years. As a first year teacher I felt prepared and excited to use the teaching strategies and skills I had learned.”

~Gillian Young ’17, Kindergarten Teacher, Alma Public Schools


“Alma prepared me with the tools and knowledge to tackle my first year teaching and beyond. My learning at Alma was framed by what it takes to be an educator, both in and out of the classroom environment. I know that the skills I attained at Alma will continue to help me shape the minds of every student that walks through my classroom door.” 

~Katie Westmoreland  ’15, 4th Grade Teacher, Bishop Kelley, Lapeer

“I believe that Alma College has truly shaped who I am as an educator today! Through the Education Program at Alma, I spent numerous hours in a real classroom observing and learning in a hands on setting. This experience was extremely beneficial to my development as an educator. The Education Program’s high standards taught me about professionalism, curriculum, and classroom management. All three of these things benefited me greatly as a first year teacher, and continues to help me seven years later! Go Scots! 

~Tara Leddy DeLine, ’2011, Young Fives Teacher, Swan Valley Public Schools


Higher Learning Commission Annual Report 


The Alma College teacher education program accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). This accreditation certifies that our education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles.

Mission Statement 

The Education department at Alma College is committed to the preparation of knowledgeable, competent, and caring education professionals who reflect critically, serve ethically, and lead intentionally in a diverse world.