The Polk State Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree program is a state-approved educator preparation program that prepares the graduate 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, the participant integrates theory with teaching practice to demonstrate competencies related to evidence-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 Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education graduate is eligible for Florida Pre-Kindergarten Primary Teacher certification (Age 3 to Grade 3), as well as endorsements in Reading (K-12) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL, K-12).
The graduate of this program may seek employment opportunities teaching in pre-kindergarten through third grade settings, including within a Head Start program, voluntary pre-K program, (VPK), or a Florida public or private school. This degree can also lead to an administrative or leadership position in an early childhood education program or agency, such as a voluntary pre-K lead teacher, Head Start lead teacher, Head Start mentor teacher, Head Start family service worker, or Head Start home-visitor manager.
Program admission requires an Associate in Science in Early Childhood Education (or a related field), or an Associate of Arts degree (or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited school or college, with a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0-point scale in all previous coursework. If the student's associate 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.
The following additional admission requirements are set forth by the State of Florida:
- A passing score on the General Knowledge (GK) Exam of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE).
- Completion of EDF 1005 Introduction to the Teaching Profession with a grade of C or better.
(The program also strongly recommends completion of EME 2040 Introduction to Technology for Educators and EDF 2085 Introduction to Diversity for Educators.)
Note: Fingerprinting and a Level-2 criminal background check are required before the student may enroll in courses with mandatory field experiences in local schools.
Course Progression for the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education:
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education curriculum is provided in a flexible format. The student is not required to complete all lower-division courses before enrolling in upper-division courses; however, a preferred pathway is designed for the program. This format accommodates the working adult who typically enrolls part time and must balance class enrollment with work and family responsibilities.
Note: Three courses must be taken concurrently in the last semester prior to graduation: EEC 4940 Internship in Early Childhood Education, EEC 4936 Senior Seminar in Early Childhood Education, and RED 4940 Final Reading Internship. A full-time classroom internship is required for 12 weeks of the final semester.
The student 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 (and its co-requisite courses) is granted.
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):
Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate is able to:
PLO 1: Demonstrate Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs).
PLO 2: Demonstrate Competencies and Skills for Teacher Certification (Pre-Kindergarten to Grade Three).
PLO 3: Demonstrate Florida Reading Endorsement Competencies.
PLO 4: Demonstrate Florida Teacher Standards for ESOL Endorsement.