Have you always had a special place in your heart for children? Do you want to plan fun, hands-on lessons that teach children basic skills through exploration and play? Are you patient, flexible, and enthusiastic? If so, you may be an excellent candidate for Buffalo State College’s Early Childhood Education program.
Early childhood and childhood education majors are prepared to teach children from birth through sixth grade. They develop expertise in child development, oral and written communication, instructional design and delivery, assessment of student learning, collaboration with families and other professionals, and classroom management. Through their coursework and fieldwork, early education/childhood education majors develop a strong work ethic, organization and management skills, experience interacting with people from diverse backgrounds, flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Renee, a graduate student in the childhood and early childhood education program, wrote of her experience in Chile, “I’m going to a foreign country to become a well-rounded educator and experience a totally different culture! It’s basically a dream come true.”
Laura Klenk, assistant professor of Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership, said that children engaging in play are developing academic skills as well as the emotional and behavioral skills that will enable them to succeed as they continue through childhood. “If they are playing among themselves, they have to learn how to talk to each other, and that’s developing language skills.”
Buffalo State offers a unique combined program of early childhood education and childhood education. As an early childhood and childhood education major, you will be trained to care for and teach children from birth to grade two, and children from grades one through six. Highlights of the Buffalo State program include:
As an early childhood and childhood education major, you will have many opportunities to participate in various clubs and activities beyond the classroom, such as:
Undergraduate research opportunities are plentiful in local Professional Development School (PDS) sites and in combination with travel opportunities as faculty collaborate with students to conduct applied research in school settings. Each year, the department sponsors student travel to the National Association of Professional Development School (NAPDS) annual meeting to present their undergraduate research to a national audience.
All students majoring in early childhood education complete student teacher placements in settings for infants/toddlers, prekindergarten/kindergarten and grades one and two. Many of the courses in our professional sequence are taught in authentic settings for clinically rich mentored experiences. As a result, the teacher candidates will have observation, tutoring, and teaching experiences in a variety of placements in our PDS Consortium.
Early childhood and childhood education program graduates have been employed in childcare centers, Head Start and universal pre-K classrooms, and public, private, and charter elementary schools across the globe. School districts in New York City, Texas, and others states in the Southwest eagerly hire our graduates. Locally, our graduates are teaching in every school district in Western New York.
Once certified in early childhood and childhood education you may choose to add on additional certifications at the master’s or post-master’s level including literacy, special education, educational leadership and teaching English to speakers of other languages.
If you eventually decide that teaching in a classroom setting is not for you, alternative career options include:
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