Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Education
For more than a century, the University of Northern Iowa has educated teachers of young children. Because of their preparation and dedication, these teachers have assumed leadership roles in the education field. Today, the early childhood education program, based in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, continues to prepare its graduates to assume leadership roles in education in Iowa, the United States and in countries throughout the world.
Our early childhood education majors engage in a blended curriculum that features both regular education and special education for early childhood, called the Unified Program. Teaching positions in this field include the following: infant and toddler teacher, early interventionist, public or private inclusive preschool, kindergarten and primary teacher, and early childhood special education teacher. Other careers that early childhood education graduates choose are those of child-care director, resource and referred consultants, and early childhood coordinator of programs for young children.
The undergraduate sequence of courses in early childhood education is based on an understanding of the development of young children who are typically developing and those with exceptionalities, working with children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and promoting meaningful participation in inclusive classrooms. The program of study is a planned series of academic courses in conjunction with practical experiences with young children and families in diverse programs in the Cedar Valley.
Be sure to take the pre-elementary sequence of courses while at community college to maximize the number of courses you transfer.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Multiple hands-on teaching opportunities
Beginning in their second year, students observe master teachers and participate in classrooms with children of diverse backgrounds and abilities in highly regarded early childhood programs including the UNI Child Development Center for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. As students progress through the program they gain experience teaching children with disabilities and dual language learners.
Hands-on learning and classroom experiences
Students have a variety of opportunities to gain the knowledge, skills and professional attitudes to become outstanding teachers, including:
Excellence in leadership
Students are encouraged to participate in the UNI Student Elementary and Early Childhood Association (SEECA) to gain leadership experiences. Faculty members provided strong leadership in developing and revising Iowa's licensing requirements for early childhood education. The division also sponsored statewide Early Childhood Education Summits for educators in two- and four-year institutions and others involved in Iowa's statewide voluntary preschool programs.
COMMON CAREER AREAS
Early childhood special education teacher
Elementary teacher (K-3rd grade)
Early intervention home instructor
Child care director
Infant and toddler teacher
FIND OUT MORE
Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form below and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please click on ‘Request More Info About UNI’.