Sue Brokmeier, ECE Coordinator
Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Pugsley Hall 143, Box 2203
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This program prepares professionals who work in educational settings with children in order to promote their cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. Program content includes the theory and practice of working with children and their families and communities. In addition to being prepared to work in early childhood settings such as Head Start, preschools, and child care centers, those who successfully complete this specialization meet the requirements for a South Dakota Birth to age 8 Early Childhood teaching certificate which enables them to teach grades K-3. Students student teach in the Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education and a first, second, or third grade classroom.
Student Learning Outcomes
Early Childhood Education follows student learning outcomes as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Standard 1. Promoting child development and learning
1a: Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through Age 8.
1b: Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning.
1c: Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.
Standard 2. Building family and community relationships
2a: Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics.
2b: Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
2c: Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning.
Standard 3. Observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families
3a: Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment – including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children.
3b: Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments.
3c: Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.
3d: Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.
Standard 4. Using developmentally effective approaches
4a: Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children.
4b: Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology.
4c: Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches.
4d: Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.
Standard 5. Using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
5a: Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
5b: Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
5c: Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.
Standard 6. Becoming a professional
6a: Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field.
6b: Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines.
6c: Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.
6d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education.
6e: Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.
Standard 7. Early childhood field experiences
7a. Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3-5, 5-8).
7b. Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure
National Association of the Education of Young Children
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
South Dakota Department of Education
Certification and Licensure
With this major and the accompanying teacher education coursework required for teaching licensure, candidates are eligible to take the Praxis content tests, and apply for a teaching license in South Dakota. Students are required to take the PRAXIS II content test, as well as the PRAXIS II Principles of Learning and Teaching test. The minimum score for the Praxis II PLT must be obtained for teaching licensure and varies by state.
Course Delivery Format
Courses in Early Childhood Education are delivered face to face, online and hybrid (face to face and online combination). All ECE courses have practical applications in field experience settings in childcare and Pre-K-Grade 3.