Early Childhood Education

    • An agreement with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland allows students to take classes and complete field experiences abroad.
    • Students have the opportunity to travel to Jordan and Thailand for extended summer experiences teaching English to school-age children, facilitating camp experiences and learning regional culture.
    • Our undergraduate programs have been identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as model programs of distinction.
    • The Gannon-Cathedral Learning Lab is a professional development school partnership between Gannon University's School of Education and Saint Peter Cathedral School. PreK- 4 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 educational experience by providing one-on-one and small-group literacy instruction and support for children.

    You Will Learn

    The early childhood education and the early childhood/ special education program are designed to prepare individuals to be effective teachers in preschool through grade 4. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation in development and learning theory as well as instruction 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 also be qualified to work with children who have special needs.

    Gannon's unique developmental field experiences provide a practical, hands-on application of knowledge with a diverse population of young children across all socioeconomic and cultural levels. Students in the education program begin their field work during their freshman year and spend more than 400 hours working in educational settings.

    You Will Experience

    Education majors participate in multiple field experiences and a full semester of student teaching, including one 60- hour field experience during spring of their freshman year. Over the next three years, students complete four, three- week field experiences. 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 child-care centers
    • Barber National Institute
    • charter schools
    • Erie Roman Catholic diocesan schools
    • public school districts

    You Will Achieve

    A degree in early childhood education preK-4 can lead to a variety of career opportunities. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • autistic support educator
    • corporate education trainer
    • English as a second language teacher
    • guidance counselor
    • preK-4 teacher
    • principal or superintendent
    • private preschool/daycare center owner or manager
    • reading or math coach
    • reading specialist
    • special education supervisor • supervisor of curriculum and instruction
    • university professor

    You will Study

    Students will 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. Students will take various core and elective courses including:

    ECED 221: Early Care and Education

    This course emphasizes making appropriate choices to plan and implement a developmentally appropriate environment for infants and toddlers at home or in a child care center. Cognitive and psychosocial learning theories are applied to the selection and adaptation of materials and strategies to meet the particular needs of very young children, including those who are at risk.

    EDUC 358 & EDUC 359: American Sign Language I and II

    Students learn advanced vocabulary of signs used in American Sign Language (ASL) and analyze conversational settings of various deaf and hearing signers. Detailed aspects of ASL grammar and culture are taught. A major emphasis is placed on expressive signing by students. Practical issues in deaf culture and in deaf education will be discussed.

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

    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 industry vary depending on the location and type of organization.

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

    For a current curriculum listing, visit gannon.edu/academic-offerings
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).