During the early childhood span from birth through third grade, children go through a rapid phase of growth and development. These formative years are critical for supporting cognitive, social, emotional, physical and faith development which lay the foundation for children to achieve their fullest learning potential. With a career in early childhood education, you can guide children through the most crucial stage in their development.
The early childhood education program at Concordia University, Nebraska equips teacher candidates with a current and well-researched curriculum to help you teach children at a critical stage in their growth and development by creating an education program specific to their needs. In addition to adding the supplemental early childhood endorsement to an elementary teaching degree, Concordia Nebraska also offers a stand-alone, birth through third grade inclusive program. With this degree, you will be able to teach and provide services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten through third grade children, including those with special developmental or learning needs. Concordia’s early childhood inclusive program teaches students the most current research and best practices to help young children learn and grow.
A degree in early childhood education can benefit you if you plan to teach in a pre-k to third grade classroom, work as a teaching assistant, special education assistant, in a childcare program or as a nanny. If you have a passion for young children and want a career that helps give them the best possible start in life, then early childhood education might be the right choice for you.
Faculty with terminal degree
In our education classes, we go do observations and fieldwork every day and get to be with the kids and do the same things we'll do when we're teachers, which really helps prepare us for that next step.
Early childhood education is one of the most important indicators of future achievement in young children. Development during a child’s formative years lays the foundation for lifelong learning and development. Research shows that children enrolled in high-quality preschool programs are better prepared for the expectations in elementary school than children who didn’t attend preschool before kindergarten.
Children who receive early childhood education also benefit from improved social skills and enhanced attention spans and tend to have fewer behavioral problems later in life. You can be a part of giving children the best possible start in life with your degree in early childhood education.
An early childhood educator has the unique role of serving as a nurturer and educator for children during their formative years. You will learn strategies for teaching children one-on-one and in groups in inclusive classrooms. You will receive training in early childhood development, health, safety and nutrition for young children.
At Concordia University, Nebraska, you will learn methodology, best practices, assessment and curriculum development to assist you in creating developmentally appropriate lesson plans and learning environments for diverse birth through third grade classrooms.
You’ll also learn how to help families, schools and communities assist in the development of early childhood learners.
At Concordia Nebraska you will experience a hands-on approach in your education courses. You will go into infant and toddler, preschool and K-3rd grade classrooms to observe and network with professional early childhood teachers before implementing your own methods and ideas.
All students completing the early childhood education program at Concordia University, Nebraska will apply for a Nebraska State Teaching License to begin their career in early childhood education.
Although each state has different requirements for becoming a licensed teacher, early childhood education teachers must pass a state certification exam after completing their bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Most certifications require a certain number of hours spent student teaching in classrooms, which you will be prepared for in your coursework at Concordia.
If you wish to utilize your early childhood education by serving as a rostered member of the teaching ministry, Concordia Nebraska can help you obtain a Lutheran Teacher Diploma, which will make you eligible for a Call to a Lutheran school.
If you are a confirmed member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and wish to use your early childhood education degree as a rostered member of the teaching ministry, Concordia Nebraska can help you obtain a Lutheran Teacher Diploma, which will make you eligible for a Call to a Lutheran school.
If you would like to be able to teach early childhood education in a Christian school that is not associated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, you may choose to receive a Christian Teacher Diploma, which will prepare you for your teaching ministry.
If you are interested in teaching in an international school, you also have the opportunity to earn an International Teaching Diploma to prepare you for teaching in an English-speaking school overseas.
Concordia Nebraska’s early childhood education program includes a student teaching requirement in order to finish your degree. That ensures that you are fully prepared to deal with the types of situations and students you will encounter in a real-world early childhood inclusive classroom, while also offering you the support of professors who are experts in their field, as well as veteran teachers in the school where you student teach.
If you’re interested in international student teaching, Concordia Nebraska students have the opportunity to student teach at Lutheran or Christian international schools in places like Viet Nam, China, Ecuador, Slovakia and Australia. Concordia can also help you with summer internships and practicum experiences that fit your early childhood education interests.
Concordia also offers you the opportunity to gain valuable early childhood field experience outside of your student teaching in local schools, camps and as part of outreach programs. That exposure can give you additional chances to practice your educational skills and equips you to be a minister for the Gospel.
The early childhood inclusive education program at Concordia University, Nebraska seeks to prepare students to work with children and families in diverse and inclusive early care and education settings. The program will help prepare educators to help young children develop into confident individuals who can succeed in today’s rapidly changing society. Students are equipped to serve as professional early childhood inclusive educators in the schools of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, public schools and other private and parochial schools.
Concordia NebraskaEarly Childhood Education: Learning Objectives
Students studying early childhood education at Concordia University, Nebraska will learn the basic principles of early childhood methodology, including history, philosophy, careers, leaders, curriculum, current trends and models and print and technological resources.
In more advanced early childhood education courses, students will study industry standards, curriculum development, instructional practices and assessment appropriate for birth through third grade children.
Students can also enroll in classes that focus on early childhood education literacy development, instructional technology, teaching the Christian faith, art and music education and more.
Concordia NebraskaEarly Childhood Education: Program Goals
Students will demonstrate the ability to plan a developmentally appropriate curriculum for an inclusive early childhood classroom.
Students will develop strong interpersonal skills, self-awareness of teaching methods, critical thinking and the flexibility and care needed to be a successful early childhood educator.
Students will be able to identify major theories and theorists in the field of early childhood education as well as social and ethical issues that affect children and their families.
Students will demonstrate the ability to express themselves professionally in writing and oral communication, particularly as it pertains to communicating with young children.
Concordia Nebraska Early Childhood Education: Career Outcomes
Child and Family Advocate
Some families need assistance with childcare and parenting strategies to help navigate them through times of crisis and difficult situations. Families enduring problems with their health, an emotional crisis, a divorce or other issues where the care of their children is in jeopardy often require assistance from a family advocate. As a child and family advocate, you would use your knowledge of early childhood education to provide information to families, assess their eligibility for community services and help them find the right support systems to support their children.
Childcare Center Director
If you choose a career serving as a childcare center administrator, you will need knowledge and skills as an early childhood educator and manager. You would use the early childhood education degree to oversee the day-to-day operations of a preschoolor childcare center. You would be responsible for legal and fiscal planning, training and supervising staff, setting program goals, maintaining licensing and accreditation standards for the facility and developing strong relationships with parents. As an administrator of a childcare center, you would also be a leader in your community as you advocate for best practices and market your program. While you are eligible in most states to be a center director with an undergraduate degree, it is recommended that you earn a master’s degree in early childhood education to gain the experience and credentials that you would require on the job.
Early Childhood Teacher
Early childhood brings on significant developmental changes in children. Early childhood teachers need to understand how children develop so they can plan appropriate activities and effective lessons in a creative environment to support and encourage young children. As an early childhood teacher, you would be responsible for creating inclusive lesson plans, implementing a curriculum and working with each student to discover the most effective way of teaching and nurturing.
Concordia NebraskaEarly Childhood Education: Related Programs
A degree in art education from Concordia University, Nebraska gives you a broad range of skills with studio- and design-based courses that provide models for both learning and leading in a classroom. Coupled with course work in art history, you will gain exposure to a variety of media, technology, and art methods, all of which prepare you to be an art educator in a classroom or any number of other settings.
A degree in music education from Concordia University, Nebraska prepares you to teach vocal and instrumental music to students K-12 in Lutheran, Christian, private or public schools. Some music teachers instruct students in a certain instrument, while others teach general music classes.
People who feel a calling toward working in special education will find a career that is emotionally fulfilling and personally meaningful. In addition, there is a shortage of qualified special education professionals in the United States, which means that if you decide to major in special education, you will find a wide array of career options to choose from. Most of Concordia Nebraska’s special education graduates go on to work as special education teachers. However, you can also build an exciting and meaningful career outside a typical school setting, if you would rather go that route.
As an elementary educator, you are certified to teach children in kindergarten through sixth grade. You will typically spend the day with the same group of students, teaching them foundational skills in a wide variety of subjects. The liberal arts education you will receive at Concordia University, Nebraska, along with subject-specific methodology courses in the education department, will prepare you to be an outstanding elementary school teacher.
1 Recent graduates attending graduate school or employed within six months of graduation.
2 Career salary and wages sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.