Graduate Education Literacy student, Kim Lotocki, works with children at Dunkirk School No. 3.

Initial Teacher Preparation Programs: Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Overview and Description of Program

The Early Childhood Education program prepares teacher candidates to work with children from birth through age 8. Graduates are eligible for initial certification in early childhood education, Birth-Grade 2. By exploring child development and developmentally appropriate practices, the Early Childhood Education program prepares candidates to understand the specific nature and the unique educational needs of young children.  Additionally, the Early Childhood Education program stresses how young children learn and develop through play, and the impact that hands-on experiences have in their learning and development. Students of the program are prepared to link and apply knowledge of child development, curriculum content, and teaching strategies to match young children’s ways of learning.

As part of our teacher preparation program, teacher candidates complete a series of four field-based experiences in local schools. Each field experience is taught in conjunction with a required educational course to clearly connect educational theory and practice. During these field experiences, candidates spend a minimum of four hours per week, for approximately eight weeks, in a classroom working as instructional assistants. Each of these field experiences is highly structured, well-supervised, and intended to provide multiple opportunities for teacher candidates to plan, instruct, reflect, and respond to students in general education classroom settings.  

Instruction in the program is engaging and hands-on.  Smaller class sizes allow for more interaction between students and instructors; leading to a deeper understanding of the material discussed in class.  All class assignments are designed to deepen understanding as well as provide experiential learning that will benefit students when they enter the job force as a classroom teacher.

The career paths available to our students are as varied as the students themselves.   An education at Fredonia can open doors and lead you to paths that students didn’t even know were available.

Graduates from the program have gone on to many different career paths.  Some of those include:

  • Early Childhood Center Teacher
  • Early Childhood Center Director
  • Public and Private Elementary Teacher
  • School Building and District Administrator
  • College Professor
  • Researcher at a toy manufacturer
  • Child related business owner
  • Children’s museum Educational Coordinator

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