Early Childhood Education Degree Programs in Connecticut

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If you’re interested in teaching youth from birth through third grade, there are several accredited education degree programs in Connecticut to choose from. Lying at the southern tip of New England, Connecticut is the 29th most populous state with over 3.5 million residents. Although it’s best known for finance and insurance, Connecticut’s economy has a strong education sector. There are 166 public PreK-12 school districts operated by the Connecticut State Board of Education. Private schools like the Southfield Children’s Center, St. Gabriel School, KinderCare, and Canaan Ridge School are also abundant. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metropolitan area ranks as America’s 10th top-paying metro for preschool teachers at an average yearly salary of $43,920. Fulfill your dream of making young children’s dreams grow by reviewing the following early childhood education programs in Connecticut.

Central Connecticut State University

School of Education & Professional Studies

Nestled on a 314-acre suburban campus in New Britain in the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor, Central Connecticut State University serves over 12,100 students each year as a regional four-year public teaching institution. Named one of the 16 “Leadership Institutions” by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, CCSU is ranked the 106th best college, 33th top public school, and 75th best university for veterans in the North by the USNWR. The School of Education & Professional Studies is split into eight departments to educate leaders for ethical service in our communities.

M.S. Early Childhood Education

Last reaffirmed by the NCATE in 2014, the M.S. Early Childhood Education program at CCSU is designed to expand the pedagogical skills of licensed teachers working with young children from birth through third grade. The 33-credit program begins with an introductory block in education research, school diversity, curriculum design, and learning assessment. Teachers then select a specialization in Leadership/Directorship, Working With Families, or Urban Education. The capstone block is devoted to an action research project where graduates design and implement solutions in local elementary schools. All M.S. students create a Taskstream account to develop an online e-portfolio. For admissions, applicants must already hold a bachelor’s degree with an education major and minimum GPA of 2.7.

Accreditations

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact

1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2101
SchlenkC@ccsu.edu
http://web.ccsu.edu/teachered/programsoffered/earlychildhood.asp

Eastern Connecticut State University

Department of Education

Established in 1889, Eastern Connecticut State University is the state’s second oldest public, co-educational liberal arts institution located on a 182-acre suburban campus along the Willimantic River in Windham County. Crowned the 281st best bang for the buck in Washington Monthly magazine, Eastern is ranked the 92nd top college, 27th best public school, and 66th top university for veterans in the North by the USNWR. The Department of Education offers evidence-based teacher training that reflects state regulations to foster PreK-12 student achievement. The NCTQ rated Eastern 50th in the United States for teacher preparation.

Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

At Eastern, the NCATE-accredited Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education program leads to state teaching credentials for undergraduate students interested in serving youth from birth through age eight in childcare centers, preschools, and elementary schools. Teacher candidates select a subject matter major, such as sociology, psychology, English, mathematics, or liberal studies. Students must successfully apply for the Committee on Admission and Retention in Education (CARE) for admission. Early childhood education students develop the competence to create supportive learning environments aligned with the Connecticut Common Core. The 38-credit credential will cover courses like play therapy, literacy, primary writing, child development, and inclusive special education. Passing the CT-Early Childhood Test is required upon exit.

Accreditations

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact

83 Windham Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
(860) 465-4532
dayj@easternct.edu
http://www1.easternct.edu/education/early-childhood-education/

Southern Connecticut State University

School of Education

As one of the Provisions State’s four senior public higher learning institutions, Southern Connecticut State University is home to over 11,600 students on its beautiful 168-acre urban campus in the West Rock neighborhood of New Haven near the Long Island Sound. Honored in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to 353 Green Colleges,” SCSU is ranked the 125th best regional college and 40th top public school in the North by the U.S. News. The School of Education is distinguished for being the largest teacher producer in Connecticut with over 30 degree programs accredited by the NCATE.

B.A. in Early Childhood Education

SCSU’s B.A. in Early Childhood Education program builds upon a rigorous liberal arts core to produce competent teachers capable of positively shaping the most critical time in a young child’s development. Aspiring educators are given the knowledge, skills, and attributes to effectively teach fundamental literacy and numeracy to foster lifelong academic success. The 44-credit major satisfies the requirements to take state exams for PreK-3 licensing. Coursework will explore beginning reading, children’s literature, early STEM education, family-school partnership, academic assessment, and exceptionalities. The final year will include two full-day, 10-week student teaching experiences. Past ECE majors have taught at sites like Fair Haven School, August Lewis Troup School, Lincoln-Bassett School, and Truman School.

Accreditations

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact

501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 392-5900
SCSUTeacherEd@southernct.edu
http://southernct.edu/academics/schools/education/departments/elementaryeducation/undergraduate/earlychildhoodnursery-3/index.html

University of Hartford

College of Education, Nursing and Health Professionals

Located on a 320-acre suburban campus in West Hartford just five miles from Connecticut’s capital city, the University of Hartford is a private non-profit, non-sectarian higher learning institution enrolling more than 7,000 learners with a student-faculty ratio of 14:1. Since being founded by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1877, Hartford has developed into the 92nd best regional college and 66th top school for veterans in the North by the USNWR. Featuring a job placement rate of 93 percent, the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professionals is also lauded nationally for the 180th best graduate teaching programs.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

For students preparing for endorsement in birth to age 5 or in nursery through grade 3, the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education program at Hartford offers an inclusion-focused core of pedagogical knowledge. Students shape their beginning professional identity for educating young children in public or private schools and childcare centers. Real-world teaching experience is available at the University of Hartford Magnet School and local placements. Those with a minimum GPA of 3.5 can participate in the Honors Program for mentoring, research, and internships. Online classes can be taken during the Summer Term to get ahead in ECE major coursework. Before graduation, new teachers must complete at least 122 semester credits.

Master of Education in Early Childhood Education

Featuring convenient evening classes either in-person or online, the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program allows Hartford graduates to become well-rounded teachers of infants and young children. The 39-credit curriculum is designed for individuals who are interested in teaching but didn’t earn an undergraduate degree in education. Using the inclusion model, graduate students are trained to work with children, families, school staff, and administrators. The program requires spending at least one day per week teaching in a PreK-3 classroom. If desired, MEd students can pursue a Montessori concentration offered by the Montessori Training Center of New England. Tuition is currently capped under $550 per credit.

Accreditations

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact

200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
(860) 768-4553
ecegrad@hartford.edu
http://www.hartford.edu/enhp/academics/education/

University of Connecticut

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Initially founded in 1881 as Storrs Agricultural School, the University of Connecticut is a premier flagship public land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant research institution enrolling over 31,100 students annually on its sprawling 4,400-acre rural campus in eastern Tolland County. Lauded as the 28th best public value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, UConn is ranked the 57th best national university, 19th top public school, and 46th best college for veterans by the U.S. News. Even more importantly, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences houses 73rd best NCATE-accredited education programs in the United States.

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE)

Available at the Storrs or Stamford location, the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) at UConn is structured to build the foundational knowledge for students to develop into infant/toddler or preschool teachers. Undergraduates are trained as educational specialists for serving in public or private birth to three programs. The 120-credit curriculum consists of courses in child development, curriculum methods, emergent literacy, early childhood advocacy, and school leadership. Students can gain real-life practice at the University of Connecticut Child Development Center. The program is rooted in the guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). With a GPA of 3.4 or above, students can join the HDFS Honors Program.

Accreditations

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact

348 Mansfield Road, Unit 1058
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-4049
kim.larrabee@uconn.edu
http://familystudies.uconn.edu/ecde/

University of Saint Joseph

School of Education

Affiliated with the Sisters of Mercy, the University of Saint Joseph is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts institution offering women’s undergraduate and co-educational graduate studies to over 1,100 students from its 84-acre suburban campus in West Hartford. Named the Northeast’s 172nd best bang for the buck in Washington Monthly magazine, USJ is ranked the 79th best regional college and 58th top school for veterans in the North by the U.S. News. The School of Education is approved by the NCATE to actively engage students in preparation for a lifelong of designing valuable learning experiences.

Accelerated Master’s in Early Childhood

Post-baccalaureate students can pursue the Accelerated Master’s in Early Childhood program at USJ to simultaneously earn a Master of Arts and teacher licensure. The degree fulfill Connecticut’s new mandate that new licensed teachers must hold the Nursery-Grade 3 license for teaching kindergarten. The 30-credit curriculum can be conveniently completed in one calendar year with a five-week practicum and 10-week student teaching session. Up to 15 aspiring teachers are accepted into the cohort-based program for small, interactive class sizes. Classroom experience can be gained at the University of Saint Joseph School for Young Children or partnering Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School. 100 percent of graduates pass the Praxis II exams for licensing.

Accreditations

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact

1678 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
(860) 232-4571
annmonroe@usj.edu
http://www.usj.edu/academics/schools/school-of-education/department-of-education/graduate/post-baccalaurate-teacher-license-ma/

There’s currently a critical shortage of licensed early childhood educators in the “Land of Steady Habits.” According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, there will be a 25 percent increase in demand for PreK-3 teachers through 2021. Early childhood is one of the state’s 10 fastest-growing service sectors. Having at least a bachelor’s degree is required to teach the basic skills young children will need for optimal development. Attending a college that’s accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is suggested for high-quality, transferrable teacher preparation. Start your career fostering the learning of infants and toddlers by considering one of these accredited education degree programs in Connecticut.

Related Resource: The 30 Most Innovative People in Education Alive Today

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