Early Childhood Education

    • Study at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland and travel throughout Europe.
    • Work on creative projects such as Crayons for K.I.D.S., where used crayons are remolded for use by individuals with disabilities.
    • Take part in the internationally recognized Growing Readers community service program.
    • Travel to Jordan or Thailand during the summer to teach English to school-age children and facilitate camp experiences while being immersed in the regional culture.
    • Be an active member and leader in three student-led professional organizations.
    • Build a quality, unique professional portfolio beginning freshman year.
    • Participate in and present at local, state, and national education conferences.
    • Gain teaching experience beyond required fieldwork by providing instruction for children who participate in the Literacy Outreach or Millcreek Summer Literacy programs.

    You Will Learn

    The early childhood education and early childhood/special education programs are designed to prepare individuals to be effective teachers in preK-4 regular education and/or preK-8 special education.

    The curriculum provides a solid foundation in development and learning theory, as well as instructional strategies in content areas including language and literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, physical activity and creative arts. When combined with the special education curriculum, teacher candidates in the early childhood program will be eligible for dual certification, which increases employment opportunities.

    Gannon’s unique developmental field experiences provide a practical, hands-on application of knowledge with a diverse population of young children across all socioeconomic levels and cultural groups.

    You Will Experience

    Education students begin their fieldwork during their freshman year and spend more than 400 hours working in educational settings. They participate in multiple field experiences, including one 60-hour field experience during spring of their freshman year. A full semester of student teaching is required. 

    All field experiences are associated with specific courses allowing students to put theory learned in the classroom into action. The School of Education places pre-service teachers in diverse school settings in urban, suburban and rural areas within a 25-mile radius, some of which are within walking distance of campus. Field experience options include:

    • alternative education facilities  
    • approved childcare centers  
    • Barber National Institute  
    • charter schools  
    • Erie Roman Catholic diocesan schools  
    • public school districts  

    You Will Achieve

    Graduates are prepared for Pennsylvania Level I teaching certification in early childhood education preK-4 or early childhood education preK-4  and special education preK-8. These bachelor of science degrees can lead to a variety of career opportunities such as:

    • preK-4 teacher  
    • private preschool/daycare center owner or manager  
    • special education teacher  
    • sports coach  
    • zoo or nature center educator  

    With additional training and experience, these degrees can lead to opportunities such as:

    • autistic support educator  
    • corporate education trainer  
    • English as a Second Language teacher  
    • guidance counselor  
    • principal or superintendent  
    • reading or math coach  
    • reading specialist  
    • special education supervisor  
    • supervisor of curriculum and instruction  
    • university professor  

    You will Study

    Education majors gain a variety of experiences in public, private and diocesan schools in urban, suburban and rural locations. A number of special education courses allow students opportunities to gain strategies to successfully educate diverse populations. Some examples of coursework include:

    ECED 300: Integrated Curriculum / 90-Hr. Field

    This course provides the conceptual framework for developing and implementing appropriate curriculum for children. The integration of content is stressed as teacher candidates plan, adapt and analyze curriculum content, instructional materials and strategies to enhance learning.

    SPED 320: Literacy for Students with Exceptionalities PreK-8  

    Teacher candidates research, select, develop and practice implementing a variety of instructional strategies to enhance literacy development of children with exceptionalities.

    EDCR 302: Expressive Arts

    This course emphasizes the importance of the arts in children’s lives. Teacher candidates examine and explore how to help children use art, music, dance, drama and literature to express and communicate their developing ideas, experiences and feelings about themselves and the world.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization. 

    • Starting salary: $37,400
    • Mid-career salary: $55,200