Bachelor’s in Early Childhood and Elementary Education

Turn your love for children into a rigorous and rewarding career with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from PennWest University.

With a combination of research-based instruction and hands-on experience, this bachelor’s degree program will give you the knowledge, skills and tools you need to become a successful classroom leader for young students.

Get ready to make a world of difference, teaching students in grades PreK-4. PennWest University’s comprehensive teacher training program is rooted in the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It provides you with a competitive advantage in early childhood education, elementary education, human development and learning.

You’ll learn from highly qualified teachers who are also experienced PreK-4 teachers. They will help you explore child development and its impact in the early learning years. Through carefully designed coursework, extensive field experiences and a full semester of student teaching, you’ll gain insights into early childhood education and best practices in the classroom. Along the way you will build a professional, electronic portfolio that will impress future employers.

You will also receive the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Integrative STEM Education Endorsement. This valuable credential provides you with a competitive advantage and documents your ability to integrate science, technology, engineering and math concepts into the early childhood and elementary education curricula.

Upon successful completion of your bachelor’s degree, you will be eligible to sit for a qualifying exam and earn a Pennsylvania teaching certificate for pre-Kindergarten to grade 4.

View courses

Credits: 120

Michael Perrotti

Top accreditation

Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which promotes excellence through quality assurance and continuous improvement.

Learn by doing

Put theory into practice by completing one semester of student teaching in addition to field experience in at least two grade levels.

A legacy of excellence

PennWest University has a legacy of excellence, providing the highest quality teacher education since 1857.

Early Childhood and Elementary Education (BSED)
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Careers and Salaries

There’s a steady demand for well-qualified PreK and elementary school teachers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be approximately 120,300 job openings for these teachers each year, over the next decade. Many of these openings will result from workers who transfer to different occupations, or who leave the workforce for retirement and other reasons. Salaries for teachers vary from district to district and can be based on your credentials, but the annual median salary for elementary teachers in 2021 was $61,400.  

In addition to teaching in the classroom, PennWest alumni are finding success as workers, owners or directors in childcare facilities, in organizations that provide children and youth services, as remediation or substitute teachers, and as curriculum authors.

Program Outcomes

  1. Learner Development - The teacher candidate understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
  2. Learning Differences - The teacher candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  3. Learning Environments - The teacher candidate creates environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  4. Content Knowledge - The teacher candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the Pre-K - 4 curriculum and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  5. Application of Content - The teacher candidate engages learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  6. Assessment - The teacher candidate understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
  7. Planning for Instruction - The teacher candidate plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  8. Instructional Strategies - The teacher candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
  9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice - The teacher candidate engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  10. Leadership and Collaboration - The teacher candidate seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.