The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early Childhood Education is a program in the School of Education (SOE) that prepares Head Start teachers, preschool teachers, and other learning professionals to work in early care and education settings, including the public school system, agencies, and hospitals. The program prepares candidates to work with young children from birth to eight years. Unique features of the program include a foundation in content with coursework in child development, culturally responsive curriculum practices, and family engagement. Candidates engage in field experiences throughout their coursework to directly apply teaching and learning principles. In addition, candidates complete a formative semester-long practicum experience midway through the program and a culminating year-long internship.
Licensure and/or Certification
All professionals who are new to the teaching profession or are new to teaching in Alaska must apply for Initial teacher certification (Type A license) from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. The licensure concentration of the BA in Early Childhood Education is provisionally approved by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED) for teacher licensure in PK-3. The following requirements must be met in order to receive a State Approved Verification form for teacher certification:
- Complete the graduation requirements, with a minimum grade of C in all courses.
- Cumulative GPA of 2.75.
- Passing scores on the Praxis Core for Academic Skills for Educators (CASE).
- Passing scores on Praxis II Content Knowledge Exam (See Alaska Department of Education).
Please visit UAA's Authorization by State website for information about licensure or certification in a state other than Alaska.
- Complete the Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Most courses in the Professional Requirements include a clinical field experience expectation. Candidates must complete and clear a background check from the Alaska Department of Health within the first semester of enrollment to participate in these experiences. The SOE Office of Student Services will facilitate this process.
- Candidates must submit an application to the SOE Office of Student Services for placement in the Early Childhood Practicum. The SOE Office of Student Services will facilitate this process.
- Candidates must submit an application, including the DEED Student Teaching Authorization, to the SOE Office of Student Services for placement in Early Childhood Student Teaching 1. The SOE Office of Student Services will facilitate this process.
- Candidates must demonstrate professional behaviors and dispositions consistent with the School of Education’s Core Values and abide by the UAA Student Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics and Professional Teaching Standards adopted by the Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commission. Candidates are formally assessed on professional dispositions separately from academic assessments for the purposes of quality monitoring.
- Some schools and agencies may require a tuberculosis (TB) test before entering their facility.
- Practica, internships, and other field placements are made only in partnering school districts and agencies. Placements outside of partner facilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The school districts and agencies partnering with the School of Education reserve the right to request additional information and/or preparation from candidates as determined by their established policies and practices. Cooperating districts and agencies also determine the available spaces and placements for candidates. Placements may become competitive if the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces. Districts and agencies also reserve the right to refuse or terminate placements when candidates do not meet an acceptable standard of performance. Thus, while the university makes every effort to find appropriate field placements for candidates, admittance to a degree/certificate/endorsement program does not guarantee acceptance by cooperating school districts or agencies. Unacceptable academic performance, an unprofessional attitude, unsatisfactory field reports, violation of professional ethics or other factors may result in removal from the field placement.
- Candidates who have taken all or part of an approved program at another university must take at least 9 credits of approved education courses at the University of Alaska prior to being admitted to an advanced practicum or internship.
- Complete the General University Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Complete the General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- For the Quantitative Skills GER, MATH A121, MATH A151 or STAT A200 are recommended.
- For the Social Sciences GER, ANTH A200 is recommended for the Licensure and Professional concentrations; PSY A111 or PSY A150 are recommended for the Child Life Specialist concentration.
- For the Humanities GER, HIST A132 is recommended
- Complete the following major requirements with a minimum grade of C:
|EDEC A105||Introduction to the Field of Early Childhood Education||3|
|EDEC A106||Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood||3|
|EDEC A107||Child Development and Learning||3|
|EDEC A108||Health, Nutrition and Wellness for Children Birth-12||3|
|EDEC A206||Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Young Children||3|
|EDEC A210||Guiding Young Children||3|
|EDEC A241||Infant and Toddler Development||3|
|EDEC A242||Culturally Responsive Family Engagement||3|
|EDEC A292||Early Childhood Practicum Seminar||3|
|EDEC A295||Early Childhood Practicum||3|
|EDEC A303||Young Children in Inclusive Settings||3|
|EDEC A320||Foundations of Literacy and Language Development||3|
|EDEC A321||Language, Reading and Culture||3|
|EDEC A407||Observation, Documentation, and Assessment of Young Children||3|
|EDEC A408||Children's Literature: Early Childhood Years||3|
|EDEC A490||Selected Topics in Early Childhood Education||3|
|EDFN A300||Philosophical and Social Context of American Education||3|
|or EDFN A304||Comparative Education|
|Complete one of the tracks outlined below.|
Licensed Birth-3rd grade Teacher Track
A teaching certificate is required for students who wish to teach in public schools from Preschool through Third grade, or who desire to work with the Alaska Infant Learning Programs through the Department of Health and Social Services and require a teaching license in early childhood education.
In addition to the Internship and Seminar requirements, the following foundation courses are selected to provide future early childhood educators with the skills and background knowledge in the various subjects they will be expected to teach. The selection is based on national and state standards for content preparation.
|Humanities (Select one of the following)||3|
|History of the United States I|
|History of the United States II|
|Quantitative Skills (Select one of the following or higher)||3|
|College Algebra for Managerial and Social Sciences|
|College Algebra for Calculus|
|Quantitative Reasoning (Select one of the following)||3|
|Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I|
|Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II|
|Alaska Studies (Select one of the following)||3|
|Alaska Native Perspectives|
|Alaska Native Cultural Orientation - Alutiiq/Sugpiaq|
|Tribes, Nations and Peoples|
|Alaska Native Politics|
|Alaska Native Cultures|
|Issues in Alaska Native Education, K-12|
|History of Alaska|
|Alaska Government and Politics|
|Internship and Seminar Requirements|
|EDEC A403||Mathematics and Science in Early Childhood||3|
|EDEC A404||Literacy Methods for Young Children||3|
|EDEC A492Y||Early Childhood Student Teaching 1 Seminar||3|
|EDEC A492Z||Early Childhood Capstone Seminar||3|
|EDEC A495Y||Early Childhood Student Teaching 1||3|
|EDEC A495Z||Early Childhood Student Teaching 2||9|
Child Life Specialist Track
The Child Life Specialist track is for students who wish to help infants, children, youth, and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss, and bereavement in both hospital and community settings. This program can lead to becoming a certified Child Life Specialist.
|EDEC A190||Selected Topics in Early Childhood (Selected topic must be "Child Life Specialist" and taught by a certified Child Life Specialist)||3|
|EDEC A492||Early Childhood Professional Seminar||3|
|EDEC A495||Early Childhood Internship||9|
|PSY A143||Death and Dying||3|
|PSY A348||Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health||3|
|PSY A365||Child and Adolescent Development||3|
Early Childhood Education Professional Track
The Early Childhood Education Professional track is for students who wish to work with infants, children, youth and families in public, private, and community settings as leaders in the field. Leadership opportunities may include becoming a director, manager, or cultural leader in settings such as Head Start, local preschools and childcares, public agencies, and the Alaska Native Studies Language Nests programs.
|EDEC A492||Early Childhood Professional Seminar||3|
|EDEC A495||Early Childhood Internship||9|
|Advisor approved electives||12|
A minimum of 120 credits is required for the degree, of which 39 must be upper division.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Student outcomes for the early childhood programs are based on the Standards for Alaska Beginning Teachers. Outcomes are also based on the professional preparation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Department of Education and Early Development Core Knowledge and Competencies Students will demonstrate the following outcomes:
- Create a healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environment based on knowledge of child development and learning to meet diverse children's needs.
- Create respectful, culturally responsive relationships that support and empower families, and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
- Use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development and learning.
- Design effective approaches to teaching and learning, implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children.
- Incorporate knowledge of content areas to create appropriate experiences for young children.
- Use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice.
- Demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on professional practice, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources.