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    Undergraduate Teacher Certification Program  
 
 
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
The Early Childhood program consists of 41 credits. The work may be started in the sophomore year and taken in blocks of 8-10 credits per semester. During each of the first three semesters, teacher candidates participate in a different, semester-long field placement that is linked with a three credit study group, in which theory is studied along with the Early Childhood classroom experiences. Teacher candidates spend three hours on two mornings a week in the field for a minimum of 72 hours over the course of each semester. Each field experience is supervised and every attempt is made to provide teacher candidates with culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse field experiences, with most teacher candidates having at least one urban experience. Other courses focus on literacy and curriculum.
 
The program consists of 41 credits distributed as follows:
EDUC 439 Observations and Assessments in ECE [3]
EDUC 442 Creative Media [1]
EDUC 441 Materials for Teaching and Reading [3]
EDUC 440 Field Experience in ECE [2]
EDUC 444 Integrated Curriculum in ECE [3]
EDUC 446 Processes and Acquisition of Reading [3]
EDUC 443 Math/Science Processes in ECE [2]
EDUC 445 Field Placement Pre-k or K [2]
EDUC 447 Teaching of Reading and Writing [3]
EDUC 419 Assessment for Reading Instruction [3]
EDUC 448 Internship Phase I [2]
EDUC 450 Internship Phase II [10]
EDUC 451 Internship Seminar [3]
EDUC 424 Issues in Early Childhood Curriculum [1]
 
In fulfilling UMBC's general foundation requirements, early childhood teacher candidates are advised to meet early childhood requirements simultaneously. The requirements are:
A. Fine arts/literature (6 credits)
Courses in art, dance, music, film/video, theatre, or literature, with the stipulation that
no more than three credits be in literature.

B. Social Studies (6 credits)
Courses in the general areas of contemporary world culture and American culture.
(Consult advisor in Education Department for recommended courses.)

C. Psychology (6 credits)
PSYC 100, 200 or a course in child development.

D. Science (6-8 credits)
SCIE 100 or other environmental or earth science (highly recommended)
(Two courses, one with lab)

E. Mathematics (6-8 credits)
Math 131, 132 preferred
 
FIRST SEMESTER
The first semester of the program involves study group EDUC 439, which focuses on observation and assessment of children, and appropriate curriculum. During their first semester field placement (in EDUC 440), teacher candidates observe and participate in programs for children under five years of age in settings which include infant/toddler programs, child care centers, nursery schools, Head Start and public school Pre-K programs.
 
SECOND SEMESTER
In the second semester in the sequence, teacher candidates consider early childhood curriculum in more depth in a fall study group focused on integrated curriculum (EDUC 444). In the curriculum course field (445), teacher candidates are generally placed in a public school kindergarten or pre-kindergarten (although occasionally teacher candidates request a private school experience) During their kindergarten/pre-kindergarten placement, teacher candidates observe and reflect on children participating in various components of the curriculum as well as plan, implement, and evaluate activities in several curricular areas. Selections of appropriate field placements are made on an individual basis and are chosen to complement the teacher candidates' previous experiences with children. Therefore teacher candidates who have had work experience or a previous field placement in a child care center or with a specific age group would be placed in a different early childhood setting or with children of a different age in order to expand their background.
 
While teacher candidates function as assistants in the classroom, helping the teacher in various ways, they also have study group assignments to complete while they are in the field. These assignments include completing regular, systematic observations of children focusing on child development, and planning, implementing, and evaluating activities for individual and small groups of children.
 
THIRD SEMESTER
The third semester incorporates a reading and writing study group, offered in the spring (EDUC 447), accompanied by a reading assessment course (EDUC 419). The field placement (EDUC 448) is in a primary grade classroom. As in previous placements, the study group and field experience are linked and teacher candidates complete observation and activity assignments in the field. During their primary placement, teacher candidates observe children learning to read and write, reflect on their understandings of the acquisition of literacy, and plan, implement, and evaluate a series of reading and writing activities with groups of children. By this point, teacher candidates are working with larger groups of children and considering issues of inclusion, management and guidance. Teacher candidates' experiences in the field are also the basis for many discussions in the weekly study group as teacher candidates share their impressions and experiences. This placement contributes 20 days to the required 100 Day Internship.
 
FOURTH SEMESTER
During the fourth and final semester of the program, teacher candidates complete the 100 Day Internship (EDUC 450) in a Professional Development School (PDS). Part of the Internship is spent in a kindergarten or pre-kindergarten and part in a primary grade. Teacher candidates work full time in their placement classrooms, participate in all professional development activities at their school site, and return to the university for a related seminars (EDUC 451/424) one afternoon a week. A weekly assignment in the seminar is a written reflection on experiences in the field and the documentation of growth as a teacher through the development of an electronic professional portfolio which chronicles their internship experiences in particular depth.
 
Finally, all teacher candidates must complete the Praxis I test as they enter the program and the Praxis II test to complete the program. Additionally, teacher candidates will be responsible for developing a portfolio based on NAEYC standards during the program.