The Birth-Kindergarten Education program offers students the choice of three concentrations, the Birth through Kindergarten Education Teacher Licensure Concentration, the Birth through Kindergarten Business Optional Concentration, and the Early Intervention and Preschool Concentration. The Birth-Kindergarten Education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the NC State Board of Education.
It is the mission of the Birth-Kindergarten Education Program to prepare prospective educators with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to work with typical and atypical children, ages birth through five years, in a variety of settings, such as public schools, developmental centers, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, day-care agencies, infant, and nursery schools, and other agencies serving children and families. Consistent with the guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and NCATE, the program is designed to prepare professionals committed to working in collaboration with families and other partners serving children and families.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the program, the student will:
- Promote child development and learning for all young children with and without disabilities, including those at-risk.
- Demonstrate an understanding of assessment processes, including their goals, benefits and uses.
- Conduct appropriate on-going formal and informal assessments to facilitate children’s learning and development.
- Work collaboratively with family and community partnerships.
- Provide a safe and appropriate learning environment in which children experience positive and nurturing relationships with caring adults.
- Demonstrate preparedness for teaching and learning by creating an integrated curriculum and responsive environment.
- Recognize and respect individual differences in program planning and implementation.
The course of study for the Birth-Kindergarten Education program has an interdisciplinary focus and includes course work from birth-kindergarten education, special education, education, psychology, sociology, and physical education. The program of study includes courses in general education, professional education, specialty area, and interdisciplinary core courses. For admission into teacher education, Birth-Kindergarten Education majors must complete the general education core curriculum and all other requirements during the first two years of enrollment.
Majors in the Birth-Kindergarten Education (BKE) Program are encouraged to become active in professional organizations to give them a focus outside the classroom. Suggested organizations include the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI), National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC.
Specialized Admission Requirements for the Birth-Kindergarten Teacher Licensure Major
Admission to the Teacher Education Program
Students wishing to pursue any of the Teacher Education programs must be formally admitted to the teacher education program at WSSU at the end of the sophomore year if they plan to complete the program on schedule. The criteria for admission into Teacher Education include but are not limited to:
- Official ETS passing test scores on PRAXIS I (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) or acceptable ACT/SAT scores.
- Candidate’s signed statement of commitment regarding dispositions expected from all teacher education candidates.
- Official transcript(s) of all postsecondary education
- Three professional references, one of which must be from a faculty member in the candidate’s program of study.
- Writing an acceptable essay or presenting other approved evidence of sound writing skills
- Completing a satisfactory virtual introduction (videotape)
- Completion of general education student credit hours (Exit of General Education)
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and at least a grade of C in all General Education courses in English, Mathematics, and Speech.
- Recommendation of the Teacher Education Advisement and Partnership (TEAP) Center.
Admission to teacher education program is a prerequisite for taking all 4000-level courses and selected 3000-level courses in certain program areas. Applications for admission into teacher education programs are due by the last day of classes each term. Admission decisions are made at monthly meetings of the Professional Education Council during the fall and spring semesters.
Progression Requirements (Teacher Licensure Program)
All students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and earn a grade of “C” or better in all major courses.
In the BKE Teacher Licensure program, All BKE and education courses above the 3000 level require admission to Teacher Education and completion of the requirements listed in the admissions requirements. Some of the courses have prerequisites and students should make sure they have met the requirements before enrolling in the course(s).
Students take the PRAXIS II—-test during student teaching.
Teacher Licensure Program Course of Study
Professional Education Courses
SPE 3200 Exceptional Children in the Regular Classroom
EDU 2304 Sociological/Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Education
EDU 4339 Integrating Media and Technology in P-12 Settings
BKE 4333 Responsive Pedagogy
EDU 4338 Psychological Foundations of Education
EDU 4981 Student Teaching
BKE 2322 Cultural and Individual Variations in Children and Families
BKE 3329 Early Language and Literacy II
BKE 3331 Creative Environments of Young Children
BKE 3336 Family Lifespan Development
PED 2340 Developmental and Perceptual Motor Learning Lab
SOC 3306 Child Welfare
SPE 3322 Parent-School Community Relations in Special Education…
SPE 3323 Language and Communication Disorders
Specialty Area Courses
BKE 2321 Foundations of Early Childhood Education
BKE 2323 Child Development I: Infant/Toddler Development
BKE 2325 Child Development II: Preschool/Kindergarten Development
BKE 3339 Child and Family Assessment
BKE 4312 Mathematics and Science for Young Children
BKE 4334 Creative Expressions of Young Children
BKE 4336 Classroom Management and Preclinical
BKE 4338 Family Studies/ Practicum
Administration and Leadership in Early Childhood Education Optional Concentration in Birth to Kindergarten
The optional non-teaching certification in Birth through Kindergarten Education provides a course of study in management and leadership skills needed to effectively administer an early childhood program. The target audience for this program is comprised of current early childcare program operators, directors and assistant directors of childcare centers and home-based programs.
The focus and variety of the courses offered could potentially attract others in the field that have supervisory or managerial positions such as preschool owners, Head Start and Smart Start component coordinators, and others who work with early childhood programs. The program curriculum is based on the premise that, in addition to administering a program, effective administrators must have knowledge of how young children grow and develop and how to guide them in their development. Therefore, directors need a solid base in the areas of child development, curriculum, literacy, family systems, assessment, social and cultural diversity, and professional ethics. This program offers courses in these areas to provide for acquisition of these core concepts. The management courses will facilitate development of essential competencies in management and administration, including staff supervision, accounting, marketing, program planning/evaluation, leadership, advocacy, and technology.
Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate administrative skills and competencies in leadership, program planning and evaluation, rules and regulations for early childhood programs, financial management, staff and organizational management, public relations, and community outreach. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible to apply for the North Carolina Childhood Administration Credential from the Division of Child Development.
This is an optional degree in birth-kindergarten education. Students who wish to receive teacher certification must select a program that leads to teacher certification and follow the guidelines for admissions into the teacher education program.
Early Intervention and Preschool Concentration in Birth to Kindergarten
The field of early childhood education is growing across the nation. The need for degrees in child Development, birth through kindergarten, or closely related fields are high in demand, not only in North Carolina, but in early childhood classrooms across the nation. New legislation from the Office of Head Start states that at least 50% of all Head Start teachers must have an appropriate bachelor’s degree. North Carolina’s More at Four classrooms require a BK teaching license. Other states require bachelor degrees which may, or may not, be teaching licensure specific. Also, with the redesign of Early Intervention services, as well as the reauthorization of IDEA, there is a need for more degrees which address the younger child, including those with significant disabilities. The Early Intervention and Preschool concentration addresses all of the needs defined in this paragraph.