The Early Childhood and Family Studies program is based on well researched theories of child development and reflects the position document on Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs, adopted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC, 1997).
Children develop in sequential stages, yet are individualized in their rate of development. Constructing their own understandings through a range of integrated experiences, they are active learners. Teachers of young children should be reflective about their practice in the classroom and create environments of trust, exploration and discovery. Cultural diversity must be honored and respected, and alternative strategies to solving problems are encouraged and valued.
It is the department’s belief that families provide the primary context for young children’s learning and development. This conception of collaboration with families suggests an active role for families and places them at the center of the educational process.
The department encourages students to become life-long learners through membership in professional organizations and continuing professional education.
What we offer:
- Undergraduate and Graduate Programs.
- A faculty of dedicated professionals in the field of Early Childhood care and education.
- Flexible faculty office hours in order to meet students’ needs.
- A Dual Certification for the State of New Jersey: P-3 and K-5 (Undergraduate).
- P-3 Certification (Graduate).
- A variety of Early Childhood settings in which to do your fieldwork.
- A selection of courses offered in the day, evening, and online via the Internet.
Upon graduation, students are qualified for two New Jersey certifications (Preschool through grade 3 (P-3) and Kindergarten through grade 5 (K-5). Students must pass the Praxis II Content Knowledge Exam to qualify for K-5 certification. The emphasis of the program is preschool through third grade. Career opportunities include teaching and guiding children in infant and child care centers, pre-kindergarten programs, and primary through fifth-grade classrooms.
Students majoring in early childhood education must also choose a liberal arts or science major listed in the University catalog. To be admitted to the program as a declared major, students are required to successfully complete EC 2900 (or transfer equivalent), and as a prerequisite, achieve and maintain a 2.75 GPA or higher from Kean University and all transfer credits as well as a grade of “C” or better in BIO 1000, COMM 1402, ENG 1030 and in at least one college-level math course. Maintaining a 2.75 GPA is required for continuation in the program. Students are also required to take a Speech and Hearing Screening Examination. Students must achieve a passing score on the Academic Profile Test prior to admission into the program. NOTE: Prior to student teaching (EC 4400) students must pass the Praxis II Content Knowledge exam. Early childhood courses are only available to Kean University students who have been admitted to the department (as a declared major).
Many Early Childhood courses are offered online through the Internet. Contact the department for further information about these offerings.