Wondering why our ECE program is one of the best teacher education programs in Pennsylvania? Check out our answers to the TOP 9 MOST IMPORTANT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM QUESTIONS…
1. What careers will an early childhood education degree prepare me for?
After you receive your early childhood education degree, you will be fully prepared to take on an array of potential careers including pre-school teacher, family support specialist, teacher's assistant, childcare director or home-based service provider.
2. How soon will I be able to spend time in an actual classroom?
Your first semester on campus!
You will be placed in a classroom as early as the first week of October of your freshman year. As part of our Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP), Early Education and/or Special Education students gain first-hand insight into how the real world of education works through classroom observations that begin in your first semester.
In all, you will spend 8 semesters in actual classrooms! Your final two semesters will be dedicated to pre-student teaching and student teaching experiences where you can take your turn at the head of the class.
BONUS: In addition to outside classroom placements, as an ECE major you will also gain hands-on experience at Hobbit House, GMercyU’s licensed Private Academic Lab School. Here, you will be able to gain real-world teaching experience and develop core teaching competencies without ever leaving campus.
3. Where will I student teach?
GMercyU has field placements throughout many districts across the region – in both private and public schools.
BONUS: Cheryl Malfi will serve as your dedicated Field Placement Director to ensure you have a successful student teaching experience. If you have a particular school in mind and it isn’t on list, she will work with you to try and make it a possibility.
4. What teaching skills will I learn by actively participating in a classroom setting?
While it is important to be knowledgeable about your curriculum, it is also important to develop your personal teaching style for the classroom. Through GMercyU's hands-on approach in the classroom, you will learn effective classroom management styles, an array of communication methods, and will be able to handle conflicts within the classroom. Our real-world approach to teaching will prepare you to better understand your students in a dynamic setting with your ECE degree.
5. Who will be my advisor?
An Education faculty member in GMercyU’s School of Business and Education will be your personal advisor throughout all four years as an ECE major.
6. Is there assistance with meeting teacher certification requirements?
Once you’re on the teacher certification track, your advisor and Dr. William Warner will serve as your Education and Certification Officer to ensure you meet all requirements to become a certified teacher in Pennsylvania.
BONUS: GMercyU’s Academic Resource Center (ARC) is another great resource for you as you earn your ECE degree and prepare to take your certification tests. The ARC is your one-stop-shop for your academic and professional needs with services such as test prep and tutoring.
7. How long does it take to complete a degree in Early Education?
GMercyU’s Early Childhood Education Degree, Pre-K-4 (Bachelor of Science) will prepare you for a successful career working with children in only four years!
8. How long does it take to complete a dual degree in Early Education and Special Education?
GMercyU’s dual degree in Early Education and Special Education can be completed in only four years!
9. How many classes are taught by Teaching Assistants?
Every class at GMercyU, no matter your major, is taught by a full-time or part-time GMercyU instructor. The professors in our School of Education, including early childhood education programs, have more than a combined 110 years of experience as educators!
Meet the Dean of the School of Business and Education
Dr. Heather Pfleger, EdD
Heather Pfleger is Professor and Dean of the School of Business and Education at Gwynedd Mercy University, a position she has held since the fall of 2011. Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Pfleger worked in the banking industry as an economist.
Increase the value of your early childhood education degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.