Early Childhood Education (BA)

Program offered
  • Early Childhood Education (major and emphases)

The School of Education offers an Early Childhood Education major with two tracks: a non-certification track, and a track that leads to P–3 teacher certification. With either version of this bachelor of arts degree, you will be able to work in child care settings, private preschools, Head Start or Early Childhood Education Assistance programs, nonprofit agencies, and early childhood advocacy groups.  The track with P–3 certification prepares you for licensure that allows you to teach in Washington public preschool through third grade classrooms.

Find out more about this School’s mission, vision, and outcomes.

Early Childhood Education: No Certification (BA)

  • A minimum 98 credits are required for this major, including at least 38 upper-division credits.
  • 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.
  • A grade of B or better is required in all lab and practicum courses.
  • Lab experiences, September experience, and practicum provide comprehensive experiences in local schools.
  • At least 22 practicum credits are required to complete the major.
  • The practicum is set up in collaboration with an Early Childhood Education advisor.
  • This practicum is not for teacher certification.

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. In addition, graduates are prepared to work in many other early childhood settings such as private preschools, Head Start or Early Childhood Assistance programs, child care settings, nonprofit agencies and early childhood advocacy groups.

  • A minimum 103 credits are required for this major, including 42 upper-division credits.
  • This major requires separate admission to the School of Education, in order to complete the certification program requirements.
  • 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.
  • A grade of B or better is required in all lab and internship courses.
  • Service learning, September experience, lab experiences, and internships are required and provide comprehensive experiences in local schools supervised by experienced teacher educators.
  • Residency certification requirements must be satisfactorily completed including testing in endorsement area (WEST-E/NES and performance assessments including edTPA).

Entering and completing the major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

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.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, follow these instructions to enter a major or minor in this department.
  • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Professional Certification Disclosure

SPU’s Undergraduate Teacher Certification Program meets the educational requirements for certification in the state of Washington. Each state has different professional licensure and certification requirements. Eligibility for certification/licensure may involve more than degree completion and may include professional examinations, background checks, and fingerprinting. The requirements for certification/licensure can change without notice.

The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure. Find information here about certification/licensure in the state where you intend to teach.