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Early Childhood Education (B.S.) - Birth to 8 Specialization

One teacher can help a child believe in herself, remind a child he is bright and creative, or inspire a child to chase their dream.

Research shows that quality care and education for young children is critically important, and the demand for qualified teachers of young children is great. This program prepares professionals who work in educational settings with children in order to promote their cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. In addition to being prepared to work in early childhood settings such as Head Start, preschools, and child care centers, those who successfully complete this specialization meet the requirements for a South Dakota Birth to age 8 Early Childhood teaching certificate which enables them to teach grades K-3. Candidates student teach in the Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education and a first, second, or third grade classroom.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Enjoy working with young children
  • Are interested in being a lifelong learner
  • Are a patient, positive, creative, energetic person
  • Have strong communication skills
  • Are involved in your community

Career Opportunities

  • K-3 teacher
  • Preschool teacher
  • Child development specialist
  • Child care provider
  • Director of early child care program

Recent Employers

  • SD, MN, and IA School Districts
  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Head Start & Early Head Start
  • Bright Horizons Corporate Childcare
  • Children’s Museum of SD

Internship Opportunities

  • Preschools public & private
  • Elementary schools public & private
  • Childcare centers
  • Head Start & Early Head Start
  • Boys & Girls Clubs

Suggested Minors

  • Select a Modern Language (French Studies, German, or Spanish)

Clubs and Organizations

  • Association for the Education of Young Children - East Central Student Chapter
  • South Dakota Education Association – Student Chapter

Still deciding? Reflecting on your values, interests, personality traits, and skills will provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. FOCUS 2 CAREER, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you do just that. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 CAREER by using the code: jacks. After completing FOCUS 2 CAREER, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.