About Early Childhood Education
Early childhood and childhood education majors are prepared to teach children from birth through sixth grade. They develop expertise in child development, oral and written communication, instructional design and delivery, assessment of student learning, collaboration with families and other professionals, and classroom management. Through their coursework and fieldwork, early education/childhood education majors develop a strong work ethic, organization and management skills, experience interacting with people from diverse backgrounds, flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Early childhood and childhood education program graduates have been employed in childcare centers, Head Start and universal pre-K classrooms, and public, private, and charter elementary schools across the globe. School districts in New York City, Texas, and others states in the Southwest eagerly hire our graduates. Locally, our graduates are teaching in every school district in Western New York.
Once certified in early childhood and childhood education you may choose to add on additional certifications at the master’s or post-master’s level including literacy, special education, educational leadership and teaching English to speakers of other languages.
If you eventually decide that teaching in a classroom setting is not for you, alternative career options include:
- Adoption Agency/Foster Care Administrator
- Childcare Center Employee/Manager/Director
- Childcare Provider at a Religious Organization
- Educator to Adults in Corporate or Nonprofit Settings
- Home-based Service Provider (“Nanny”)
- Nonprofit Child Services Specialist
- Park/Community Center Activities Coordinator
- Summer Camp Counselor/Manager
Elementary Education Club: This organization enables elementary education students to socialize, discuss current issues in education, plan and implement service projects, and participate in professional development activities.
Global Book Hour (GBH): Global Book Hour integrates geography, vocabulary, music, visual arts, and healthy eating in a weekly session for neighborhood children from many diverse cultures.
Kappa Delta Pi: The International Honor Society in education is a prestigious organization dedicated to scholarship and excellence in education.
Tutoring in Area Schools: Multiple opportunities are available for students, staff, and faculty to engage PK-12 students through one-on-one tutoring in schools throughout Western New York.
TeachLivE™: A computer-simulated, immersive, virtual reality classroom that provides teachers the opportunity to develop their skills in a safe, digital environment.
International Initiatives: Students have the option of teaching in foreign countries, including Chile, Zambia, Italy, and Germany.
Undergraduate research opportunities are plentiful in local Professional Development School (PDS) sites and in combination with travel opportunities as faculty collaborate with students to conduct applied research in school settings. Each year, the department sponsors student travel to the National Association of Professional Development School (NAPDS) annual meeting to present their undergraduate research to a national audience.
All students majoring in early childhood education complete student teacher placements in settings for infants/toddlers, prekindergarten/kindergarten and grades one and two. Many of the courses in our professional sequence are taught in authentic settings for clinically rich mentored experiences. As a result, the teacher candidates will have observation, tutoring, and teaching experiences in a variety of placements in our PDS Consortium.
You Can Make a Difference
Have you always had a special place in your heart for children? Do you want to plan fun, hands-on lessons that teach children basic skills through exploration and play? Are you patient, flexible, and enthusiastic? Early Childhood Education might be perfect for you.
Our education programs have received awards from the National Association of Professional Development Schools for outstanding work in collaborating with school partners to provide exemplary teacher preparation programs.
Candidates emerge from our education programs with quality clinical experiences to ensure success in the field.
Classes required for the major have a typical class size of 12-25, with the field-based courses having a maximum class size of 15, which means plenty of individualized attention from professors.
All faculty members are certified, experienced classroom teachers who have continued their own professional development through research, professional presentations and/or publications.
The rich tradition of teacher education at Buffalo State has nurtured relationships with many generous alumni who have sponsored scholarships for our majors