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Early Childhood Education, Concentration: Reading

Bachelor of Science

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Program Intro

Early childhood educators are equipped with specialized knowledge and skills to work with young children (birth through third grade) and their families.

In this program, you’ll study child development, the importance of early language experiences and the value of play. You’ll also gain the hands-on expertise you need to launch a career in the field, whether at a childcare center, at Head Start or in a school working with primary grade level students.

School of Education and Counseling

Our program is responsive to the growing need for highly-qualified early childhood professionals in Indiana and beyond. PNW faculty members have strong connections with the regional network of child care centers, Head Start and school districts. They actively promote the professionalization of early childhood education.

Curriculum Overview

The Educator Preparation Program (EPP) at PNW follows both inTASC and CAEP accreditation standards. Our curriculum includes courses in child development, literacy and special needs as well as hands-on experience in classrooms.

Start with an introduction to field-based classes and the fundamentals of working with children under age three.

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Sample Courses

  • EDST 27000 – Early Childhood Education
  • EDCI 27600 – Child, Family, School and Community Partnerships


Interview for full admission into the Educator Preparation Program and expand your knowledge of pedagogy.

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Sample Courses

  • EDPS 27800 – Field Experience in Early Childhood I
  • EDPS 27601 – Young Children with Exceptional Needs
  • EDPS 27900 – Field Experience in Early Childhood II

Explore strategies for literacy and the development of creative learning activities.

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Sample Courses

  • EDCI 31000 – Literacy and the Young Child
  • EDCI 37101 – Integrated Curriculum in Early Childhood: Creative and Affective Domains
  • EDCI 36203 – Literacy Instruction in K-3 Classrooms

Conclude your studies with hands-on teaching experience. In your seventh semester, you’ll spend three days each week in the classroom before going on to a full-time student teaching assignment during your final term.

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Sample Courses

  • EDCI 36800 – Literacy Intervention Strategies for Diverse Learners
  • EDCI 32200 – English for New Language Learners

Program Requirements

Admission requirements for this program include:

  • 2.5 GPA or above and a “C” or better in all courses
  • ACT score of 20, SAT 1030 or passing score on the CASA (or approved alternative)
  • Interview with faculty


Studying early childhood education at PNW means that you will be immersed in early learning settings right away. You’ll gain valuable experience practicing teaching strategies, observing young children and nurturing their development. You will graduate eligible for the Indiana Initial Teaching License for PreK – Grade 3.

A lion sculpture on PNW's campus PNW graduates at commencement


Because of the high demand for teachers who are qualified to meet the individual needs of exceptional students, our graduates are offered a broad variety of career opportunities. You can choose to teach in child care centers, K-3 primary grades or resource rooms in school districts across the country.


Funding opportunities available to Early Childhood Education majors include:


Beyond the Classroom

We encourage you to get involved in activities like:

  • PEL Fellows
  • Student Ambassadors
  • PNW Aspiring Educators


Career Paths

You’ll find many opportunities to make a difference for students in roles such as:

  • Primary grade (K-3) teacher
  • Head Start lead teacher
  • Child care center director
  • Developmental therapist



Our alumni are thriving in:

  • Laporte Community Schools
  • School City of Hobart
  • Duneland School Corporation


The Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) at PNW are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Being a part of the School of Education has opened up other opportunities for me. I was able to become a student ambassador, which allowed me to help others in my community.

Nicole Kelly
Early Childhood Education, Crown Point

Meet the Faculty

Mary Jane Eisenhauer

Mary Jane Eisenhauer, Ed.D.

Interim Associate Director, School of Education

As interim associate director for the SoEC, Mary Jane Eisenhauer supports faculty, candidates and community partners to create environments and experiences that positively impact human growth and learning.

Jennifer Call

Jennifer Call Jones, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jones teaches classes in the early childhood and special education programs and conducts research about teacher preparation and partnering with families in early childhood special education.

Debra Hollingsworth Pratt

Debra Hollingsworth Pratt, M.S.

Continuing Lecturer of Education

I am a Continuing Lecturer for the School of Education and Counseling. My primary responsibilities include; teaching, supervising, and engagement. Currently I chair the Student Affairs Committee.

A PNW Student in the Classroom

Take the Next Step

See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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