Curriculum: Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education (Birth - Age 5)

July 01, 2022
August 22, 2022
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

With UC Online’s Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Care & Education (ECE), all of your coursework is completed online, providing the flexibility, accessibility, and control you need to complete your degree on your terms. With three (3) different sub-plans to choose from, UC Online allows you to really personalize your educational experience.

Our courses give you information and strategies that you can learn today and apply in the classroom tomorrow! Graduates will be able to implement developmentally appropriate integrated activities and materials across the domains, including visual arts, music, movement, science and math, and early language development.

Four Sub-plan Options:
  • Preschool: In the Preschool sub-plan, you will dive into planning developmentally appropriate curriculum experiences for children age three (3) through five (5) to ensure that they are ready for Kindergarten. This option includes two (2) semesters of practicum experiences in a preschool that may lead to the faculty’s recommendation for Ohio’s Pre-Kindergarten license.
  • Infant & Toddler: In the Infant & Toddler sub-plan, you will get an in-depth education on providing quality interactions and environments for children from birth to age three (3). This option includes a practicum experience in both infant and toddler classrooms.
  • Nature-Based Early Learning: The Nature-Based Early Learning sub-plan will provide the knowledge base or dispositions to work in Nature-Based Early Learning programs. This sub-plan is specifically targeted to students seeking ways to use their greened-up playgrounds, playscapes, and nearby green space or those planning to obtain employment in nature-based early childhood programs or forest schools.
  • Administration: The Administration sub-plan is designed specifically for those in leadership positions in the field of early care and education. This option does not require a classroom practicum but includes shadowing an administrator.

This degree does not lead to Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 5 licensure.

Learn more about which courses are taken for each concentration by reviewing the Program Map and the below descriptions for all BSEd in Early Childhood Education courses that may be taken.

Graduation Requirements:
  • Obtain at least a 2.5 University Grade Point Average.
  • Complete a minimum of 120 credit hours (at least 30 credit hours must be completed at the University of Cincinnati).
    • Electives: 24 credit hours
    • Child Development Coursework: 87 credit hours
    • Sub-plan Coursework: 9 credit hours
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Submit a formal application for the degree by the posted semester of graduation deadline.

Accreditation: The University of Cincinnati and all of its regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Rights (CECH) is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Core Course: English Composition

English Composition 1001 is a writing-centered course that emphasizes the careful reading, analytical thinking, and persuasive strategies inherent in researching and writing within an academic community. Students learn that rhetorical knowledge is the basis of composing while learning to write with purpose, audience, context, and conventions in mind. Students develop rigorous academic research practices: how to locate and evaluate primary and secondary sources relevant to their line of inquiry and position their own ideas in conversation with public writing. Students also engage in regular self-reflection: articulating what they know, what they can do, and how to apply their knowledge and skills in various contexts.

Core Course: Intermediate Composition

Intermediate Composition is a writing-centered course that builds on what students learn in first-year composition and focuses students’ attention on theoretical underpinning of how meaning is made, understood, and communicated within and across various discourse communities and genres. The course emphasizes critical reading and writing, advanced research and analysis skills, and rhetorical sensitivity to differences in academic, professional, and public composing. This course challenges students to engage in substantive projects drawing on primary research and source analysis methods and asks students to document, communicate, and reflect on their research.

Core Course: Educational Technology

This course encompasses effectively analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating educational technology as an instructional resource in the classroom as related to principles of learning and assessment. Students will develop increased classroom communication and management skills through discussions, modeling, laboratory experiences, and completion of a comprehensive project.

Core Course: Learning Early Care & Education Online

This course provides a basic overview of the skills needed to be a successful online student in Early Care & Education. Topics include: developmentally appropriate practice in preschool classrooms, national and state standards in early care and education, professional communication, academic writing, using references in writing, best practices for an online student, and study skills.

Core Course: Health, Safety, and Nutrition

The goal of this course is to explore concepts of theory and practice in early childhood education about health, safety, nutrition, and other related topics, such as gross motor development, recognition and response to maltreatment, support for the inclusion of children with disabilities, and special needs, and considerations for creating linkages between schools, families, and communities. Students must receive a C (not a C-) or better in every ECE course in order to graduate.

Core Course: Introductory Child Development

This course is a study of the growth and development of the child, prenatal through age 8 for the creation of healthy, respectful, supportive, challenging, and effective learning environments. The following domains will be addressed: physical, cognitive, language, and social/emotional development. Students develop an understanding of theories of development, current research, and influences on development such as nature and nurture. Observational techniques for assessing development are examined. Multiple and interrelated influences on the development and learning of young children will be examined. Students will need to have access to a child (birth through 8 years) for this course.

Core Course: Developmental Transitions: Childhood to Adulthood

This course focuses on the growth and development during the middle childhood, adolescent, and adult periods of development. It examines topics related to the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of individuals during these periods of development. This course also addresses the role of families, individual differences, culture, and schools in development; the impact of media on childhood development; and the challenges faced by adolescents.

Core Course: Classroom Organization and Guidance

This course provides an introduction to developmentally appropriate methods of guiding young children’s behavior including communication skills for use with young children, staff, and parents. The student will construct concepts and develop skills that will provide a foundation for classroom environmental design, organization, and guidance. During this course, students must have access to a classroom other than their own.

Core Course: Language Arts & Literacy in Early Care and Education

This course focuses on understanding how young children birth to five develop oral language and emergent reading and writing skills. It also examines ways teachers can provide developmentally appropriate, literacy-rich experiences in an integrated early childhood classroom through play, environmental design, and knowledge of children’s literature. This course requires access to children ages 2 – 5 years.

Core Course: Creative Arts in Early Care and Education

This course is an introduction to the creative arts, including visual arts, block design, sensory experiences, music, and drama. It is designed for students to explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of creative expression as they relate to young children from birth to age five. Students will construct knowledge and understanding of these creative domains as well as demonstrate the implementation of strategies and techniques for involving children in aesthetic experiences.

Core Course: Families, Communities, and Schools

This course explores educational considerations in working with young children and families from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and other diverse backgrounds. This course also addresses issues related to working with families in early care and education and to learning strategies for building partnerships, communicating about child progress, and accessing community resources.

Core Course: Infant and Toddler Care and Education

This course addresses specific caregiving of infants and toddlers in both individual and group care settings. Course content will cover environmental design, curriculum implementation, and responsive adult-child interaction. Students will need access to a child between the ages of 3-30 months who is not a child living in their home. Students will also need access to a child care center for a classroom observation.

Core Course: Preschool Student Teaching

This course is a student teaching experience where students will work with preschoolers in an early childhood setting. This is the first of two preschool experiences in a classroom setting. This course focuses on student interaction skills with children and examines how she/he uses communication and effective guidance strategies to promote children’s self-esteem and prosocial behavior and managing an effective and positive learning environment. This course also requires students to observe children, plan, and implement a curriculum that is both individually and developmentally appropriate. This course requires access to a preschool classroom, where 150 hours of in-class practice will be completed. In addition, videotaped documentation will be a reflective tool used in this course for students, mentors, and supervisors. It is required that a significant amount of appropriate coursework be completed in order to be successful in this course. Please speak with a program official for details.

Core Course: Children's Literature in Early Care and Education

This course focuses on the critical analysis of reading material for young children infants through age five. The course is designed to acquaint students with the great wealth of trade books and literary materials that are available to support young children’s reading development. Evidence-based practice using developmentally and culturally appropriate literature to support the development of early reading and writing is emphasized. A study of the literacy environment in the early childhood classroom is included. Students will need access to a childcare classroom that is not their own.

Core Course: Assessment and Evaluation in Early Care and Education

Assessment is an important and ongoing responsibility of professionals who serve young children and their families. This course fosters an in-depth study of authentic assessment practices for children ages birth to five including identification of children with special needs. Use of data for curriculum planning and measurement of quality in early childhood programs is included. Students need access to one child between the ages of 3 and five who is not their own child.

Core Course: Social Issues in Early Care and Education

In this course, students will investigate and analyze the problems and possibilities preschools and child care centers face in educating students from diverse backgrounds. The course is designed to assist pre-service and in-service infant, toddler and preschool teachers in working effectively with all children and families, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or exceptionality. This course studies the particular social issues and complexities that arise in early childhood settings. Topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to: superhero play, atypical gender play, cultural norms, and cultural and socioeconomic bias in classroom materials and pedagogical practices.

Core Course: Administration and Leadership in Early Care and Education

This course provides an overview of the principles and characteristics of leadership and administration in the early care and education profession. Students will explore the importance of leadership skills, center administration, and working with families. Students will need access to preschool children and a center for an observational interview and assessment.

Core Course: Play and Development

This course focuses on the role of play in children’s development from birth to five. Through observation of children, the focus will be on the following: ways children learn through play, play theories, developmental stages of play with typical and atypically developing children, and the teacher’s role in supporting children through their play. Students must have access to a child care center or a Family Day Care Home serving children ages three through five.

Core Course: Language Development in Young Children

This course is an introduction to typical and atypical language development in young children, birth to age 5. Emphasis will be put on ethnic, linguistic, psychological, and cultural differences for language learning as well as the role of the teacher in supporting the development of language in young children.

Core Course: Collaborative Teaming in Early Childhood Special Education

This course is designed to develop students understanding of and skills in working collaboratively with other professionals and agencies to provide services for young children. Special emphasis will be placed on collaboration with early intervention and early childhood education fields to create inclusive environments for children.

Core Course: Responsive Environments for Infants and Toddlers

This course explores the role of the environment in infant and toddler care settings. Course content will examine environmental design, emergent curriculum and implementation, and how the environment is responsive to the developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Students will need access to infant and toddler classrooms for this course.

Core Course: Reflections on Teaching in Early Care and Education

This capstone experience course is designed to provide an opportunity for pre-service and in-service teachers to reflect upon the historical foundations and the principles of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education and their own development as infant, toddler, or preschool teachers. This course serves as a reflection at the end of the teacher’s undergraduate education and challenges the teacher to analyze her own teaching practices, values, and goals. This course explores the teacher’s past development and future growth as a professional educator.

Core Course: Foundations in Early Childhood Education

This course is designed for beginning early childhood education students. The course introduces the students to the current knowledge base related to families, how young children develop and learn, and early childhood education programs. The course content includes: (a) current theories on how young children develop and learn, (b) the historical, philosophical, and social foundations of contemporary programs, (c) the role of the early childhood professional, and (d) current early childhood education issues. This is a required course for the Early Childhood Education major and there are no prerequisite courses. This course requires observations and participation in the classes at a highly rated preschool.

Core Course: Educational Psychology

This course covers the major theories of human development and learning, motivation, instructional strategies, assessment, and examines similarities and differences in learners. The role of factors in students’ development and learning are considered.

Core Course: Individuals with Exceptionalities

This is a survey course addressing identification, developmental characteristics, and intervention strategies for individuals with exceptionalities across educational and community settings.

Core Course: Math, Science and Social Studies for ECE

This course focuses on understanding the conceptual development of mathematics, science, and social studies in preschool children and aligns with Ohio Learning and Development Standards in these areas. Students learn to design and implement appropriate curriculum within an integrated curriculum.

Core Course: Developmental Concerns Birth-5 and Family Partnerships

Issues related to children birth to age 5 (who are at risk, demonstrate developmental delays, are gifted/creative/talented or have identified disabilities) and their families including the identification/placement process, IEPs, instructional considerations, parents’ rights, and family-centered practices.

Core Course: Learning Strategies for Inclusive Birth - 5

This course is designed to develop student understanding and skill in supporting children with and without disabilities in inclusive early childhood Birth to age 5 education environments (birth to age 5). In addition, the focus is on strategies and techniques to use evidence-based practices to intervene with children who challenge program integrity. The course content is predicated on the belief that all children (birth to age 5) benefit from an environment that addresses individual learning needs.

Preschool Course: Preschool Internship

This course requires students to work with preschoolers in an early childhood setting. This is the second part of the preschool experience sequence. This course emphasizes the development of interactive learning that stretches across curriculum areas. Students are expected to assume and manage the full range of teaching and caregiving responsibilities for a group of preschool children. It is an expectation that students will produce a portfolio that represents a culmination of their teaching experiences throughout the degree program. This course requires access to a preschool classroom, where students complete 200 hours of in-class practice. In addition, videotaped documentation will be a reflective tool used in this course for students, mentors, and supervisors. Successful completion of ECE2080 Pre-K Student Teaching is required for enrollment to this course.

Preschool/Infant & Toddler Course: Physical, Cognitive, and Language Development in Infant and Toddlers

This course explores the domains of physical and cognitive development, including language and pre-literacy skills, of infants and toddlers. The course provides guidance for planning experiences that enhance physical, cognitive, and language development including dual language learning.

Preschool/Infant & Toddler Course: Social Emotional Development and Guidance for Infants and Toddlers

This course explores the domains of social and emotional development of infants and toddlers including guidance strategies. It provides direction for planning experiences that promote and support social and emotional development.

Infant & Toddler Course: Infant and Toddler Practicum

This course is a practicum experience where students will work with infants and toddlers in an early childhood setting. The course content examines infant and toddler caring practices that focus on respectful, responsive, and reciprocal interactions between infants and toddlers and early care professionals. This course also emphasizes student implementation of curriculum materials captured through videotape documentation that serves as a reflective tool for students and supervisors. Students will be required to spend 70 hours in an infant classroom and 70 hours in a toddler classroom. Enrollment in this course requires successful completion of ECE4050 Responsive Environments for Infants and Toddlers.

Administration/Infant & Toddler Course: Operation of an ECE Program

This course focuses on the business and operational aspects of an early care and education program. Topics will include business practices (budgeting, financial systems, and accounting practices), program evaluation, facilities management (including equipping the center), and strategic planning to meet the needs of families and the community.

Administration/Infant & Toddler Course: Supervision and Organization of ECE Programs

This course focuses on the supervision and organizational structure of staff in early care and education programs. Topics will include recruitment and orientation of new staff, staff development, reflective supervision, and the development of systematic observation of staff to inform continuous improvement.

Administration Course: Creative and Instructional Environments for Young Children

This course will focus on creating developmentally appropriate environments, curricula, and instructional strategies to foster the intellectual, creative, and social-emotional development of young children.

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