Early Childhood Education (ECE) majors join the fast growing field of early care and education. There is great demand for certified early childhood and early childhood special education teachers. By combining intensive coursework with multiple field placements, our students graduate with the skills necessary to succeed in inclusive classrooms. Students enrolled in the ECE program learn to:

  • teach children birth through second grade in inclusive and special education classrooms, develop curriculum, and collaborate with families and specialists in the community;
  • be an early interventionist, working with children with developmental disabilities
  • teach children by assessing their skills and using interventions to help them learn how to develop fully and to be successful; the program’s developmental emphasis teaches students how to match instructional strategies and materials to children’s social-psychological, cognitive and physical maturity.
  • apply for a 4+1 program, earning graduates an ECE undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in a specialty area.

What makes our program unique?

Our program is accredited through the National Council of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a blended early childhood and early childhood special education program, one of very few nationally accredited blended programs in the United States. Students are endorsed for dual certification in early childhood education and early childhood special education. The Office of Certification and Accreditation can help students with questions about the certification process and state requirements.

Beginning in the first year, early childhood education majors complete over 200 hours of field experiences, observing or working with children in schools and early childhood programs. During the senior year, students complete a full-year of student teaching with the opportunity to do one semester in an international placement.

ECE students partner with Engineering students to complete a collaborative toy project. ECE students serve as consultants, providing child development information to engineering students who design age-appropriate toys for the Laboratory School.

ECE majors frequently visit UD’s Childrens Campus, where the Early Learning Center and Laboratory School service children and families in Delaware. Students can complete classroom observations and placements at these sites, where they are supported by exceptional teachers and classroom technology.

Early childhood education students are welcome to use the HDFS Advisement Center for support. The center is open every weekday from 10:00 am-3:00 pm, when an academic advisor is always available to help with things like course selection, transfer credit processes, career opportunities, etc. In addition, faculty members are also available to provide advisement support to students.

Early childhood education majors have the opportunity to complete a full-semester of student teaching abroad, through partnerships with highly recognized schools in Athens, Greece and the Cayman Islands. In spring 2017, two student teachers were placed at the American Community Schools (ACS) in Greece for the first time. Visit the ECE in Greece blog to learn about their experience and UD’s partnership with ACS.

Alumna Spotlight: Ellen Kropiewnicki

I am a teacher in a multi-age classroom at First State Montessori Academy. My students are 5 to 7 years old, so I get to teach both Kindergarten and 1st grade curriculum. I am currently in my practicum year as a Montessori teacher and could not have made it here without UD. I student taught at FSMA and fell in love with the school on day 1! Being an ECE major at UD was an amazing opportunity. I got to see classrooms with children from infancy to 2nd grade. This gave me the chance to find what I was most passionate about and helped me get to where I am today, a third year teacher in my dream school! Best of luck to all who decide to join the ECE field, it is a rewarding one to say the least.

Program Contact Information:

Dr. Lynn Worden
Program Coordinator, Associate Professor