May 30, 2023  
Catalog/Handbook 2015-2016 
Catalog/Handbook 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education, BS

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Program: S6300
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education Program at Polk State College prepares students to teach children ages three to eight years old, with emphasis on the social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic components of child development. Through coursework and associated field experiences in early childhood settings, students integrate theory with teaching practice to demonstrate competencies related to research-based instructional techniques that are appropriate for all students, including those from diverse cultures, of varying exceptionalities, and across all performance levels in a variety of educational settings. The Polk State College BS in Early Childhood Education graduate is eligible for Florida Pre-Kindergarten/Primary teacher certification (Age 3 - Grade 3), and endorsements in Reading (K-12) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL, K-12).

Employment opportunities for graduates of this program include teaching classes in pre-kindergarten through third grade in a variety of settings, including Head Start and voluntary pre-K programs (VPK), in Florida public and private schools. This degree can also lead to administrative or leadership positions in early childhood education programs and agencies, such as voluntary pre-K lead teachers, Head Start lead teachers, Head Start mentor teachers, Head Start family service workers, and Head Start home visitor managers.


Admission Criteria:
Program admission requires an AS degree in Early Childhood Education (or related field), or an AA degree (or the equivalent) from a regionally-accredited school or college, with a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale in all previous coursework. If the student’s associate’s degree is from a non-regionally accredited institution, but one that is accredited by a body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, a course-by-course evaluation is done according to Polk State College’s transfer practices and policies.

Additional admission requirements set forth by the State of Florida

  • Passing score on the General Knowledge (GK) Exam of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE)
  • Education Prerequisites - Grade of “C” or higher required
  • EDF 2085 - Introduction to Diversity for Educators
  • EME 2040 - Introduction to Technology for Educators
  • EDF 1005 - Introduction to the Teaching Profession

Note: Fingerprinting and a Level 2 criminal background check are required before students may enroll in courses with mandatory field experience in local schools or early childhood learning centers.


Course Progression for BS in Early Childhood Education:
The BS in Early Childhood Education curriculum is provided in a flexible format. Students are not required to complete all lower-division courses before enrolling in upper-division courses; they may take most upper-division courses in any order. Although a preferred order is designed for the program and prerequisites exist for some of the courses, there is sufficient reinforcement of key concepts across the curriculum, without redundancy of material, to enable students to be successful if courses are taken in a variable order. This format accommodates working adults who typically enroll part time and must balance class enrollment with work and family responsibilities. The internship course, EEC 4940 Internship in Early Childhood Education, must be taken in the last semester prior to graduation.

Note: Students must receive a passing score on the Professional Education (PEd) and the Prekindergarten/Primary Pre-K-Grade 3 Subject Area Examination (SAE) components of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) before permission to register for EEC 4940 Internship in Early Childhood Education will be granted.

General Education Requirements (36 Credits Required)

Note: Students who have completed an AA degree at a public Florida college will have met the General Education requirements. Students who have completed an AA degree outside of Florida, or those who have earned an AS degree, but have General Education courses that vary from the requirements below, should consult with an advisor to determine if acceptable substitutions may satisfy some or all of Polk State College’s General Education requirements.

Mathematics (6 Credits Required)

One course must be from List A; the other can be from List A or B.

Program Requirements

AS Students  
Technical Credits from AS degree   42
General Education Credits from most AS degrees 18
Additional General Education Credits   18
AA Students  
Elective Credits from AA degree 24
General Education Credits from AA degree 36
Technical Credits in Early Childhood Education 18

Total Credits for BS Degree: 120

Graduation Requirements for the BS in Early Childhood Education Degree Program:

  • Receive a passing score on the all three components of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE): General Knowledge (GK),  Professional Education (PEd) and the Prekindergarten/Primary Pre-K-Grade 3 Subject Area Examination (SAE) 
  • Complete credits as outlined above, including a professional portfolio demonstrating the program outcomes and the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices.
  • Earn an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher.
  • Earn a C or better in all upper-division coursework.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through any of the following means: completion of two years of high school instruction in the same foreign language, completion of a minimum of eight college-level credits in one foreign language, achievement of minimum scores on a foreign language proficiency exam approved by the Registrar’s Office, or completion of a high school diploma in a foreign country where the student studied in a language other than English.
  • Complete 25 percent (30 credit hours) of the degree program at Polk State College.
  • Complete at least 25 percent (10 -11 credit hours) of the upper-division courses required for the program at Polk State College, including EEC 4940 Internship in Early Childhood Education.

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