Early Childhood Education

  • GU Possibilities
    • Scholarship-supported learning abroad opportunities are available with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.
    • Education majors can travel to Thailand for summer experiences teaching English to children, facilitating camp programs and learning regional culture.
    • Erie is identified by the U.S. Department of State as a refugee resettlement center. English Language Learner placements are completed at local schools as part of a required ESL course.
    • Activities outside the classroom are planned by the members of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Gannon University’s Society for Exceptional Children and the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association.
    • Gannon’s Phi Zeta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society was recognized as one of four recipients of the Community Service Chapter Program Award for its Growing Readers program.
    • The School of Education houses Gannon's Literacy Outreach Program where students work at designated after-school programs in the city to help preK-8 students develop literacy skills. 

    You Will Learn

    The world of education is dynamic, adaptive and increasingly diverse. To respond to the changing field of education and to prepare teacher candidates for today’s interdisciplinary environment, the School of Education has created a curriculum that offers opportunities to learn from expert faculty who have preK-12 teaching experience. The curriculum allows education majors to engage with students in all grade levels during field experiences that begin the first semester of freshman year.

    With this model, teacher candidates can expect a comprehensive course of study that provides a solid foundation in development and learning theory, as well as instructional strategies in content areas.    

    When combined with the special education curriculum, teacher candidates in the early childhood program are eligible for dual certification. The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently announced the increased need for special education teachers and English as a Second Language teachers. This need is not exclusive to Pennsylvania, but exists throughout the United States.

    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 arranged by the School of Education.

    Fieldwork is associated with specific courses allowing students to put theory learned in the classroom into action. Pre-service teachers experience 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 and private 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/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. 

    ECED 300 Integrated Curriculum PreK-4/90-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.


    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 educational organization. The figures listed do not include benefits which teachers receive as part of their contracts.

    • Starting salary: $33,000
    • Mid-career salary: $55,200