Early Childhood Education

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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 Education for elementary teachers consists of 24 credit hours.

Dr. Peggy Thelen works with students interested in early childhood education.

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

  • 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

“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




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.