Through Northwestern’s Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education + licensure program, you will be equipped to teach students from PK to third grade. Gain knowledge in child development, teaching methods, assessment, behavior and current policy to create meaningful learning experiences for every young child. Aligned with Iowa teaching license requirements, the program offers a flexible online pathway to an early childhood teaching license with a Birth through Grade Three, Inclusive Setting endorsement.
Research shows a shortage of early childhood teachers in Iowa. Northwestern's affordable teaching degree program will provide opportunities for employment, job changes and promotion while empowering educators to make a difference in their students' lives.
Earning your early childhood teaching degree opens opportunities in a variety of settings, including:
Northwestern's online program is designed for working professionals, allowing you to log into classes and complete your coursework each week when it's most convenient for you. Take one 8-week class at a time and balance work, school and life responsibilities. Courses with required field experience and student teaching offer meaningful hands-on teaching preparation. All coursework is offered on line with field experience hours and student teaching arranged in schools near the student. With flexible pace options, complete y
With flexible pace options, you can complete your teaching degree in two and a half to three years.* Interested students can begin their program in any Fall, Spring or Summer semester.
*Your enrollment counselor will help determine any additional transfer credits from your associate (AA, AS, AAS) or bachelor's degree.
After completing 12 credits in the B.A. Early Childhood program, students will apply to the education department and licensure program track.
Professional core (21 credits)
EDU 229 -
Introduction to Early Childhood (includes field experience 25 hrs)
This course examines both the typical and atypical growth and development ofchildren ages birth through grade three in the areas of cognition, languagedevelopment, physical motor, social-emotional, mental health and adaptivebehavior. Candidates will learn how these areas impact development andlearning in the first years of life and will use this knowledge to plan,develop, implement and evaluate integrated learning experiences for home,center and school environments based on knowledge of the child, the family,and the community. Candidates will also use relevant national and stateprofessional standards for designing content and informing and improvingpractices for children and their families. (3 credits; alternate years,consult department) Note: This course requires 25 hours of field experience.
EDU 230 -
Organization & Administration of Early Childhood Programs (includes field experience 25 hrs)
This course examines the principles of administration and operation ofprograms for children ages birth through grade three and their families,including program development, supervision, staff evaluation, and continuingimprovement of programs and services. Candidates will understand thesignificance of lifelong learning by participating in professionalactivities relevant to early childhood education, special education andearly intervention. Candidates are required to complete pre-student teachingexperiences in at least three settings that offer early childhood education.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Note: This course requires25 hours of field experience.
EDU 240 -
Integrating the Arts in the Elementary Classroom
This course is designed to provide basic skills for integrating music,theatre, art, and physical education in the elementary school classroom aswell as strategies for cooperative opportunities with the specializedteachers. We will concentrate on effective teaching strategies, whichinclude planning, implementing, and evaluating the teaching process. Coursecontent will include practicing teaching techniques and learning pedagogyrelated to the integration of these specials in the elementary classroom. (3 credits)
EDU 300 -
Characteristics of Young Children with Diverse Needs (includes field experience 25 hrs)
This course will examine the nature of child growth and development forchildren ages birth through grade three in the areas of languagedevelopment, social-emotional, aesthetics, cognition and adaptive behaviorand how these impact development in the first years of life. Candidates willdemonstrate a range of appropriate assessment and evaluation strategies tosupport the strengths, interests and needs of students with a range ofabilities and disabilities. Candidates are required to complete apre-student teaching experience working in at least three settings thatoffer early childhood education and with students that reflect diversefamily systems and other differentiating factors, like urban/rural,socioeconomic status, and cultural/linguistic diversity. Prerequisites: EDU102 and 206. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Note: Thiscourse requires 25 hours of field experience.
EDU 301 -
Methods of Working with Young Children with Diverse Needs (includes field experience 25 hrs)
This course examines the central concepts, structures and tools used todevelop meaningful learning progressions for individuals withexceptionalities ages birth through grade three. Candidates will develop,implement and evaluate individualized plans (IFSPs and IEPs) and utilize arange of appropriate assessment and evaluation strategies to supportindividual strengths, interests and needs. By the end of the course,candidates will be able to design curricula, assessments and interventionstrategies that align with learner and program goals. Candidates will alsounderstand the role of families in the assessment process and assist them inidentifying resources, priorities and concerns in relation to the child'sdevelopment. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Note: Thiscourse requires 25 hours of field experience.
EDU 317 -
Collaborative Partnerships with Parents and the Community
EDU 340 -
Human Relations (includes diversity experience 20 hrs)
No course description available.
Licensure requirements (25 credits)
ECE 328 -
STEM Methods for Young Children w/Practicum (includes 10 hr. practicum)
This course Integrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts, strategies, learning experiences, and instruction for young children, with a focus on activating children's innate curiosity, modeling habits of the mind, and fostering students' belief in their ability to learn. Students will explore creative problem-solving, inquiry based learning, and critical thinking. The course will focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment that are developmentally appropriate for young children (10 hr. Practicum). (3 credits)
ECE 425WI -
Children’s Health & Well Being
This course explores topics related to health and well-being and focuses onteaching practices, classroom activities, partnerships with families, andprogram policies to ensure that all children are healthy and ready to learn.Prerequisite: Admission into the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhoodprogram. (3 credits) (Writing intensive)
ECE 323 -
Methods of Early Numeracy w/Practicum (includes 10 hr. practicum)
No course description available.
PSY 221SS -
Developmental Psychology: Childhood
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) This course explores the development of the child from the prenatal period into adolescence. Children's physical, cognitive, emotional, personality, social, moral and faith development is examined. Psychological research methods for studying children are covered.
ECE 326 -
Methods of Teaching Reading & Language Arts for Young Children (includes 10 hr. practicum)
No course description available.
ECE 329 -
Methods of Teaching Social Sciences for Young Children (includes 10 hr. practicum)
No course description available.
ECE 228 -
Young Children’s Literature
Young Children's Literature provides an opportunity to study the history of children's literature and its uses in the classroom. This course provides an introduction to the criteria and selection of children's literature for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children. Various genres are reviewed, and ideas for curriculum integration are explored. A study of illustrations and authors is included. (3 credits)
ECE 320 -
Positive Behavioral Supports for Young Children
This course utilizes evidence-based strategies for promoting social and emotional development and preventing and addressing challenging behaviors in preschool-aged children. Through course readings, discussions, activities, and related experiences, participants will learn about a variety of these research-based practices. Prerequisite: Admission into the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood program. (3 credits)
Student teaching & seminar (17 credits)
EDU 429 -
Birth through Grade Three Inclusive Settings Student Teaching (14 weeks)
This experience will include the observation, engagement and instruction ofa multi-categorical elementary resource program for children from birth tograde three while under the supervision of a licensed, qualified teacher.During this practicum, candidates are required to complete supervisedstudent teaching experiences in two different settings, which can includeregistered child development homes, home visiting programs, state-accreditedchild care centers, or classrooms that include both children with andwithout disabilities in two of three age levels: infant and toddler,preprimary and primary. Using the knowledge, skills and dispositions inplanning, instruction, assessment and professionalism learned and assessedthroughout the education program, candidates will be able to schedule,evaluate, collaborate, write IEPs and IFSPs, and develop strategies toaddress special needs of children. Candidates are expected to model "Teacheras Servant" throughout the experience by serving God and society in diverseclassroom settings. Prerequisites: KIN 104 or current First Aid and infant child CPRcertification. (4-8 credits) Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis.
ECE 450SR -
The Early Childhood Professional Portfolio
In this course, students will produce a professional portfolio, aculmination of the knowledge from the required ECE courses in the BAECmajor. The portfolio will address professional standards, ethicalstandards, and a faith reflection.Prerequisites: ECE305, ECE310, ECE320,ECE325, ECE330, ECE340, ECE400, ECE420, ECE425 and ECE430. (3 credits)
Northwestern education core courses (4 credits)
Accepted as transfer credits or taken at Northwestern
BTS 150 -
Christian Story I
This course presents an overview of and orientation to the Bible, focusing on its content, character, role in the Christian faith, and covenant themes of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. This course begins the development of theological thinking for academic study in the liberal arts and equips students for the task of integrating faith and learning in their academic work. Students should complete this course by the end of their second semester. (4 credits) Note: Does not count toward a religion major or minor.
First Aid/CPR certification
Total credits: 124
124 credits are required to graduate with a bachelor's degree, which includes the total associate and bachelor credits combined.
Minimum credits from Northwestern: 30