Early Childhood Education

    • The School of Education has established a learning abroad opportunity with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.
    • Education majors can travel to Jordan or Thailand for summer experiences teaching English to children, facilitating camp programs and learning regional culture.
    • Our undergraduate programs have been identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as model programs of distinction.
    • Through a partnership with St. Peter Cathedral School, education majors take child development and reading courses at St. Peter, and then go into classrooms there to put theory into practice.
    • The Literacy Outreach program offers opportunities to gain experience by providing one-on-one and small group literacy instruction and support for children.
    • Activities outside the classroom are planned by the members of professional organizations: Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Gannon University's Society for Exceptional Children, Future Educators Association and Student Pennsylvania State Education Association.

    You Will Learn

    The early childhood education and early childhood/special education programs are designed to prepare individuals to be effective teachers in preK through grade 4 or earn a Bachelor of Science degree.

    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 preK-8 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 field work during their freshman year and spend more than 400 hours working in educational settings. They participate in multiple field experiences and a full semester of student teaching, including one 60-hour field experience during spring of their freshman year.

    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
    • The 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. Some graduates also choose to prepare for certification in special education grades preK-8.

    A degree in early childhood education preK-4/special education preK-8 can lead to a variety of career opportunities such as:

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

    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

    Students receive outstanding educational preparation through completion of courses and field experiences such as:

    ECED 300: Integrated Curriculum / 90-Hr. Field

    This course provides the framework for developing and implementing appropriate curriculum for children preK-4. The integration of content is stressed as teacher candidates plan, adapt and analyze curriculum content, instructional materials and strategies to enhance learning.

    EDCR 302: Expressive Arts

    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. Through active experiences with various media, strategies, technology and resources, teacher candidates create lesson plans to integrate the arts into the classroom.

    SPED 320: Literacy for Students with Exceptionalities/90-Hr. Field

    This course is designed to focus on specific corrective, remedial and compensatory strategies for all aspects of language, reading and writing development of children with exceptionalities. Teacher candidates research, select, develop and practice implementing a variety of literacy strategies for children with exceptionalities.

    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