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

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

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 eight 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

  • South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa school districts
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Bright Horizons Corporate Childcare
  • Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Internship Opportunities

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

Clubs and Organizations

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

Undecided or still deciding on a major and future career?

If you are uncertain about your major and have questions about career planning, you are not alone. Choosing a major or career can be a very difficult decision. The exploratory studies program may be a good fit if you are unsure of your major and career focus. Entering the university in the exploratory studies program will help you gain confidence and valuable insights on majors and minors available at SDSU and future career choices. 

In addition, FOCUS 2 Career, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you reflect on your values, interests, personality traits and skills to provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 Career by using their student email and password. After completing FOCUS 2 Career, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.