Early Childhood Education

This major includes four certifications:

  • Early Childhood Education (Preschool–third grade)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (Preschool–third grade)
  • Elementary Education (K–6th grade)
  • Elementary Collaborative Education (K–6th grade)

The curriculum consists of four integrated semesters called "blocks." Each block includes significant applications of problem-based learning strategies, technology and clinical experiences. Woven throughout the program are emphases on assessment strategies and planning for grades preschool-6th students from diverse backgrounds and with special learning needs.

Companies for Internships

All local schools, as well as external international placements

Things to Note

  • Only accredited program in Alabama to include 4 teacher certifications in 1 program
  • 100 % job placement for May 2014 graduates
  • 100% pass rate on national Praxis II licensure tests
  • With over 1,000 clinical hours prior to student teaching, our students feel at home when they enter the classroom their junior year. 

The curriculum consists of four integrated semesters called “blocks.­” Each block includes significant applications of problem-based learning strategies, technology and clinical experiences. Woven throughout the program are emphases on assessment strategies and planning for grades preschool–sixth students from diverse backgrounds and with special learning needs.

FOUR

Teacher Certifications

ONE

Program

This major includes 4 certifications:


• Early Childhood Education (preschool–third grade)
• Early Childhood Special Education (preschool–third grade)
• Elementary Education (K–sixth grade)
• Elementary Collaborative Education (K–sixth grade)

Block Curriculum+

Semester 1: Introductory Block

  • EDUC 221: Issues Within the Educational Culture
    The focus of the course is to help teacher candidates develop insight into contemporary educational issues. Candidates examine philosophy and historical bases of education as a profession.
  • EDUC 222: Clinical Experiences in the Educational Culture
    Candidates spend 45 clock hours in an urban school setting. Candidates work with individual and small groups of children, and with the teacher as an aide. Candidates observe, interact, and reflect on child development, and best teaching and learning practices. This is an opportunity for candidates to experience the classroom from the other side of the desk and to determine whether they wish to pursue formal admittance to Teacher Education.
  • EDUC 223: Introduction to Technology
    The focus of the course is to introduce teacher candidates to currently available technologies and to prepare them to use various media for their own education as well as
    in their professional careers.

Semester 2: Early Childhood Education Block

In semester two, candidates take a 16-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with early childhood education, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

  • EDUC 311: The Development of the Young Child
    The focus of the course is the developmental characteristics of the child from birth to age eight.
  • EDUC 312: Principles of Early Learning
    The focus of the course is the development of an integrated curriculum in the content areas, assessment, classroom management, teaching to divergent cultures, and inclusion of special needs students in preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades.
  • EDUC 313: Application of Early Learning
    Application of early learning principles through problem-based decision cases that focus on self-reflection and decision-making, plus the technology that supports the instructional process. Includes seminars with classroom teachers and interactive clinical experiences.
  • EDUC 316: Practical Teaching and Learning
    Emphasis is on curriculum development and implementation, plus reflective decision-making and integrated teaching/learning strategies within the framework of a multicultural educational and special needs setting.

Clinical component

Candidates spend one full week at the beginning of the semester working in an Alabama Reading Initiative school. The purpose of this experience is for students to experience school during the opening weeks and to provide help for teachers who are administering individual reading tests to children. Later in the semester, candidates spend three full weeks, 8 a.m. to noon in a rural school. Candidates observe, work with individual and small groups of students, and teach whole class lessons, including lessons from an author study developed by the students.

Semester 3: Elementary Education Block

In semester three, candidates take a 16-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with elementary education, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.  to noon.

  • EDUC 323: Overview of Child Development
    The focus of the course is the physical, cognitive, language and social development of children ages 8–12.
  • EDUC 324: The Arts
    The focus of the course is methodological training in the teaching of elementary reading and remedial reading and language arts. This course contains an assessment and special education strand.
  • EDUC 329: The Sciences
    The focus of the course is methodological training in the teaching of science and social studies with an assessment and special education strand.
  • EDUC 414W: Reading, Writing & Assessing Across the Curriculum
    The focus of the course is to assist with the identification of problems related to educational assessment, including the assessment of reading and writing levels and abilities, strategies for effective measurement of teacher performance, and an understanding of standardized testing. This course is fully integrated within the other courses.

Clinical Component

Candidates spend two days at the beginning of the semester getting to know K–5 teachers and students and working with the teacher to determine a topic for a unit that the student will write and teach. Toward the end of the semester, candidates spend three full weeks, 8 a.m. to noon, in the classroom. Students observe, work with individual and small groups of children, teach whole class lessons, and teach and assess a unit.

Semester 4: Special Education/Pre-professional Block

In semester four, candidates spend three days a week in a K–5 classroom and two days a week in class at Samford, focusing on seminars and class discussions dealing with a wide variety of educational topics.

  • EDUC 413: Classroom Management
    The focus of the course is to establish a foundation of content and application relative to classroom management and discipline emphasizing reflective decision-making and integrated teaching/learning strategies.
  • EDUC 415: Technology Across the Curriculum
    The focus of this course is to provide ways in which technology can be used effectively to teach a wide variety of subjects to diverse learners and to develop an electronic portfolio for reflection and assessment.
  • EDUC 416: The Professional Educator
    The focus of this course is on major issued related to becoming a professional educator.
  • EDUC 418: Collaboration in Educational Practices
    The focus of the course is on the principles of early childhood special education and elementary collaborative teaching.

Clinical Component

Candidates spend 12 weeks in inclusion classrooms, three rotations of four weeks in each placement. Candidates spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. until noon in a K–5 classroom. Candidates observe, work with individual and small groups of children, and teach whole-class lessons, which include modifications and accommodations for children with special needs. Candidates research a topic of interest for each teacher and observe and implement classroom management techniques. In addition, candidates begin developing their electronic portfolio, to be used in the final assessment of their teacher education program.

Course Requirements+

In addition to the university-required 62 credits of core curriculum and general education courses, these are the courses all required for ESEC majors.

Total required credits for major: 78 (in addition to General Education and Core Curriculum requirements)

* A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required.
** While KINE 321 is sometimes offered as a one-credit course, ESEC majors must take it for two credits.
*** These are the only courses that can be taken prior to formal admittance.
NOTE: Program subject to change if state and/or federal requirements are revised.

Departmental Scholarships+

The following department scholarships are available for current majors. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis through an application process during the spring semester.

Some examples of these scholarships are:

  • Beeson Education Scholarships—A number of $1,000 scholarships are available to undergraduate education majors in early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education due to the generosity of the Orlean Bullard Beeson family.
  • Velma Wright Irons Memorial Scholarship—Will assist a student in the School of Education who is pursuing a vocational goal in elementary education and who has attained junior class rank.
  • Kathryn Abercrombie Award—Based on scholarship, character, worthiness, and need with an emphasis on worthiness. Need is not necessary. Winner to come from sophomore, junior, or senior who is enrolled in the School of Education.
  • Brookwood Baptist / Campbell Scholarship—The Brookwood Scholarship guidelines state the recipient should be an undergraduate with a preference to early childhood education majors.
 

Program Information+

Certifications or Proficiencies

A summary of special requirements for teacher education undergraduate students in general may be noted:

  • ESEC majors are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
  • Those earning P–12 certification in world languages or music and those earning secondary certification in English, or history are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
  • All ESEC majors must take additional math and science courses.
  • All students earning certification must successfully pass an exit examination, currently Praxis II in content area.
  • All students earning certification must successfully pass the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP).

Admission to Curriculum and Instruction

Requirements for admission to curriculum and instruction undergraduate programs are:

  • Minimum ACT score of 20.
  • Grade of C- or better required in all courses.
  • Formal application for admission.
  • Successful completion of EDUC 221 and EDUC 222.
  • Completion of 60 credits of coursework with a GPA of at least 3.00 for ESEC majors and 2.80 for secondary and P–12 majors.
  • Completion of projected schedule and agreement form.
  • Completion of an interview with a faculty member in the OBB School of Education and Professional Studies.
  • Two letters of recommendation for ESEC majors.
  • Two letters of recommendation for secondary education or P–12 from a professor in the student's major department and a professor in the teacher education department.
  • Completion of signed document verifying ABI and FBI criminal background checks.
  • Passing score on the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP) examination.
  • Demonstration of satisfactory potential for teaching, including evidence of emotional stability and a satisfactory record as to conduct, character, and mental health, to the effect that the applicant does not have any personal qualities prejudicial to satisfactory performance as a teacher.

Acceptance is contingent upon the recommendation of the admissions panel, which meets twice yearly. Applicants will be notified in writing of their acceptance or rejection. Transfer students follow the same admission policies. Education courses may not be transferred into the teacher education program without permission from the department chair.

Retention in Curriculum and Instruction

Once admitted into the program, the minimum GPA requirement (3.00 for ESEC majors; 2.80 for secondary and P–12 majors) must be maintained in all of the following three areas: cumulative, major courses, and professional courses. Failure to maintain the required minimum cumulative GPA and the required minimum GPA in the major teaching and professional fields prevents a student from enrolling in specific education courses until that GPA is met. No grade below C- in any course is permitted; in case of a lower grade, the course must be repeated. These GPA requirements also pertain to graduation and certification.

Any student who, in the opinion of the OBB School of Education Hearing Board, is judged to have developed dispositions or characteristics, academic or otherwise, deemed undesirable for the profession may, after appropriate review, be dropped from the program.

Students wishing to take courses from other colleges must obtain permission beforehand. Please note that education courses may not be transferred into the teacher education program, and independent studies will not be offered. Also, if students take a course through the Adult Degree Program, they will be billed additional tuition equivalent to the day rate per credit.

Students must complete their program within four years of being admitted to teacher education or must reapply for admission to the program. Grievances related to grades may be brought before the Teacher Education Academic Review Board. See the department chair in OBB Room 338 for specific procedures.

Clinical Requirements

All curriculum and instruction majors are required to complete a wide variety of clinical experiences. These begin in the first semester of the education curriculum and extend throughout the program. ESEC majors will complete a minimum of 30 weeks. This includes one three-week Jan Term experience and observing a first day of school. Secondary majors will complete a minimum of 24 weeks. This includes one three-week Jan Term experience and observing a first day of school. Students must maintain satisfactory evaluations of performance in all clinical experiences in order to progress through the teacher education program.

Professional Semester

The student-teaching semester is the final experience in teacher education. The internship experience includes 15 weeks of student teaching and may be taken in the fall or spring semester.

Students planning on student teaching in the fall must submit the student-teaching application during the preregistration period of the preceding fall. Students planning on student teaching in the spring must submit the student-teaching application during the preregistration period of the preceding spring. Applications must be turned in to the Office of Clinical Experience in OBB Room 322.

To be eligible for student teaching, a student must have been admitted to teacher education, be in good academic standing, have demonstrated necessary dispositions to be a successful teacher, have successfully completed the required clinical experience, completed 56 of the required 64 convocation credits, and must have had a complete records check. To be in good academic standing, a student must have completed all EDUC-prefix courses and all essential teaching-field courses, have removed all Incompletes from all courses, and have maintained a 3.00 (ESEC majors) or 2.80 (secondary and P–12 majors) GPA overall and in each teaching field. Students are referred to the Clinical Handbook for a complete explanation of the required clinical experience.

Student teachers must observe the guidelines established by Samford University and all the rules set by the school in which the student teaching is done. Failure to do so can result in the student being dropped from the professional semester or removed from his/her school placement. A student may only repeat the student-teaching semester one time.

Students should consult the Clinical Handbook for additional information.

Completion of Program

Students who successfully complete a prescribed program at the baccalaureate level in teacher education will be eligible for the Alabama Class B teacher certificate in their area(s) of specialization. Completion of the program is contingent upon achieving a 3.00 (ESEC majors) or 2.80 (secondary and P–12 majors) GPA in the area or areas of specialization, in the professional components, in the higher education GPA, and performing satisfactorily as a teacher during the professional semester. Students must also demonstrate professional dispositions as explained in the departmental dispositions policy. In order to receive certification, all students must be fingerprinted. Students enrolled in EDUC 221/222 will be informed of the ABI and FBI fingerprinting procedures.

Students must also pass an exit examination (currently PRAXIS II) and the APTTP in order to receive certification. If a student successfully completes all program requirements, he/she may graduate, but certification may not be received until both exams are passed.

University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

See University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences introductory pages for a list of required courses. General education requirements are detailed in the individual degree tables, with some exceptions. In those cases where a requirement is not specified, consult pp. 64 and 185 for a list of applicable courses. For ESEC and history majors, INTL 202 is an acceptable substitution for the fine arts general education requirement.

Suggested Sequences

Teacher Education Sequence