Early Childhood Education Major


Beginning Autumn Quarter 2021, the School of Education offers an Early Childhood Education major with two tracks: ECE BA only, and a ECE major with P–3 certification. The track P–3 certification prepares you for licensure that allows you to teach in Washington state public preschool through third-grade classrooms.

With both tracks of this Bachelor of Arts of degree, you will be equipping our youngest learners with a solid foundation in development and early learning.

Career opportunities

  • Head Start, Early Childhood Education Assistance, or nonprofit program teacher
  • Private preschool teacher
  • Child care provider
  • Early childhood advocacy group administrator
  • Child development specialist

Note: The teacher certification route additionally prepares you for Washington state public P–3 classrooms.

Early Childhood Education: P–3 Certification (BA)

The Early Childhood Education major with Residency Certification provides licensure to teach in Washington public preschool through third grade classrooms. This major requires separate admission to the School of Education in order to complete the certification program requirements.

A minimum 103 credits are required for this major, including 42 upper-division credits. 

Once admitted to the major, you should maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. A grade of C or better is required for ECE 2100 Foundational Issues in Education and in EDU 2300 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education. Students must receive a grade of B or better in all lab and internship courses. 

Field experience, September experience, lab experiences, and internships are required and provide comprehensive experiences in local schools supervised by experienced teacher educators. 

Additionally, Residency Certification requirements must be satisfactorily completed, including testing in endorsement area through WEST-E/NES and performance assessments.

Residency Teacher Certification Program

SPU has a reputation as one of the premier teacher preparation programs in the state and region. The professional program leading to a Residency Teacher Certificate at Seattle Pacific consists of four stages of study:

  • Education Foundations
  • Early Childhood Content
  • Methods
  • Professional Year 

Each of these stages builds upon the preceding year, supporting a developmental approach to teacher preparation.

Your Foundations and Content years focus on the theory, background, and methodology of teaching. Your Methods and Professional Year focus on applying what you have learned. Learn more about becoming a teacher at SPU.

Early Childhood Education: No certification (BA)

A minimum 98 credits are required for this major, including at least 38 upper-division credits. Although this major does not result in Residency Certification, selecting the major only route will prepare students with content and instructional strategies to work in early childhood systems.

The highlight of the major is the practicum experience, which will provide comprehensive experiences in early learning centers. At least 22 practicum credits are required to complete the major. The practicum is set up in collaboration with an Early Childhood Education advisor.

Entering the major

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified a major in this department as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major. To change or add a major or minor, follow these instructions.

For more information about a major in Early Childhood Education, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

Faculty Contact

Krystle Jalalian-Chursky

Assistant Professor, Special Education; Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education
PhD, University of London, Birkbeck

Phone: 206-281-2365
Office: Peterson Hall 313

Over 100 years for SOE

For over 100 years, the School of Education has been an integral part of SPU’s vision to prepare future educators. Explore these milestones from years past to the present.

Margaret Hanscom i

Serving the Urban Community

Margaret Hanscom hadn't pictured herself teaching in a low-income, urban school until her senior internship. "I enjoyed it and hope to ... teach in that type of school. It is extremely challenging, but also rewarding and fulfilling."