2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Early Childhood Education (B.S.) - Birth to 8 Specialization

Program Coordinator/Contact

Mary Bowne, Professor/ECE Coordinator
Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Pugsley Hall 139

Program Information

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. Complete two student teaching experiences, one in a Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom and another in 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).

Academic Requirements

  • Entry into the major academic courses in all ECE program tracks include passing scores in Praxis I: Core Reading (140), Writing (150), and Math (132). Students will work their academic advisor for registering for the Praxis exams.
  • A grade of “C” or better is required in SPCM 101 , ENGL 101 , PSYC 101 , and MATH 103  or higher, and all courses for the major (classes with department/program prefix).
  • An overall GPA of 2.5 is required to enroll in any education courses.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
South Dakota Department of Education

Certification and Licensure

  • Completion of an approved bachelor’s Early Childhood Education Birth – Age 8 preparation program.
  • Completion of an approved Indian Studies course.
  • Pass the state designated content knowledge test.
  • Pass the state designated pedagogy test.
  • Completion of a Suicide Awareness and Prevention training, available free online through the South Dakota Department of Education.
  • Apply online with the South Dakota Department of Education.
  • Written recommendation from institution of higher education (SDSU) verifying program completion.

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.

Requirements for Early Childhood Education Major - Birth to 8 Specialization: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Sciences

System General Education Requirements

College of Education and Human Sciences Requirements


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120


  • Entry into the major academic courses in all ECE program tracks include passing scores in Praxis I: Core Reading (140), Writing (150), and Math (132). Students will work their academic advisor for registering for the Praxis exams.                                                           
  • A pre-graduate check is required 2 semesters before graduation semester. At beginning of graduation semester, a graduation application must be completed.
  • A grade of “C” or better is required in PSYC 101 , ENGL 101 , SPCM 101 , MATH 103 , and all major courses with an EDFN, HDFS or ECE prefix.
  • Students must meet all GPA Requirements (2.6 for graduation, 2.8 in major courses including ECE, HDFS, and EDFN) and be accepted into the ECE Teacher Education program/ECE-PSI and ECE-PS II.
  • Students will be required to pass the PRAXIS content and Principles of Teaching and Learning exams in order to be considered a Highly Qualified Teacher.

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Sciences

System General Education Requirements 31 Credit Hours
College of Education and Human Sciences Requirements 4 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 60 Credit Hours
Supporting Coursework 24-25 Credit Hours
Electives** 0-1 Credit Hours

**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.