Program Overview

A major in early childhood education provides graduates with the foundation needed to successfully enter the field with initial licensure from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE): Teacher: Early Childhood PreK-2. 

Comprehensive and Career-Focused

The three pillars of the Early Childhood Education program include:

  1. a comprehensive curriculum focused on research-based, best practices in the education and care of young children (prekindergarten through grade two)
  2. a comprehensive pre-practicum / practicum sequence including opportunities for field-based experiences beginning as early as their first semester in the program
  3. career-focused mentoring from a dedicated faculty and staff with decades of experience across the PreK-12 spectrum, as classroom teachers, educational leaders and researchers.  

A Broad Curriculum Supported By Seasoned Instructors

The comprehensive curriculum in the Early Childhood Education program is child-focused and provides our students with the knowledge base and practical skills to enter the field ready to teach. Coursework includes an emphasis on developmentally appropriate practices that enable our graduates to meet each student where they are, while simultaneously setting high standards for all students.

  • EDU 104 Early Care & Education
  • EDU 202 Reading: Theory & Instruction
  • EDU 207 English Language Learners in the Classroom
  • EDU 210 Children in Preschools and Kindergarten
  • EDU 213 Inclusive Learning in Early Education
  • EDU 220 Children’s Literature
  • EDU 301 Assessment & Analysis in Education
  • EDU 306 Speech & Language Development
  • EDU 312 Art, Music and Movement
  • EDU 315 Curriculum & Instruction Design
  • EDU 430 Practicum: Early Childhood Education
  • EDU 440 Practicum Reflective Seminar 
  • EDU 201 Developmental Theories 

Education Department earns endorsement for undergraduate programs

The College is recognized for its commitment to the importance of experiential learning to prepare for future careers in education.

Recent Accolades

Organizations involved in assessing U.S. colleges and universities continually cite Stonehill as being among the best in the nation when it comes to value, outcomes and a commitment to making the world a better place. See full list of accolades.

Featured Early Education Courses

Early Care & Education

EDU 104
This covers historical, social and philosophical foundations of early childhood education and the integrated preschool. It examines a variety of instructional models in the field and looks at developmentally appropriate practice in terms of classroom environments, classroom management and constructivist learning theories.

Inclusive Learning in Early Education

EDU 213
This course provides students with a comprehensive study of issues surrounding children (ages birth to school age) who have special needs. Focus includes legislation, early intervention and the role of the family in the education of a young exceptional child. Fieldwork with preschool/ kindergarten students with special needs is required.

Curriculum & Instructional Design

EDU 315
This course familiarizes PreK-12 pre-service teachers with instructional and pedagogical approaches and materials for teaching. It develops beginning competence in designing and evaluating curricular programs and activities. The course emphasizes lesson planning, unit planning and implementation in the PreK-12 classroom. Computer literacy skills are addressed throughout the course.

Creating Connections Between Theory and Practice

To complement their coursework, the Early Childhood Education program includes a comprehensive pre-practicum / practicum sequence designed to ensure that our graduates have experience working with students and teachers across the grade levels covered by their licensure. All early childhood education majors have the opportunity as early as their first semester in the program to complete field placements alongside general education and special education teachers in a variety of school and community settings.

Students also complete pre-practica alongside specific courses to enhance their connections between the theory of the college classroom and the reality of the PreK-2 practice. These experiences more than prepare our students to complete a full semester practicum (student teaching) alongside a supervising practitioner during their senior year.

  • Jones Early Childhood Center Stoughton Public Schools 
  • Blue Hill Montessori School 
  • Easton Public Schools, Early Childhood Buildings  
  • Trinity Catholic Elementary School, Brockton 
  • Brockton Public Schools 

Career-focused Mentoring

Stonehill’s small class sizes allow licensure candidates to receive career-focused mentoring. Through experiences both inside and outside the classroom, dedicated faculty and staff with decades of experience across the PreK-12 spectrum work with licensure candidates to individualize their program to meet their interests and future career goals. 

Faculty teaching in the Early Childhood Education program have extensive teaching experience in public and private PreK-12 settings; deliver professional development to  teachers, schools, and districts across the Commonwealth and across the nation; present their research at local, regional, and national conferences; work in the field in places such as Boston Children’s Hospital; and serve on the boards of several professional organizations. This wealth of experience and connection to PreK-12 schools and teachers enables the faculty to provide high quality, practical educational experiences to Stonehill students.

Bolstering Professional Experience, Making an Impact

Elementary education students also have access to other opportunities that bolster their professional experience before they even graduate. The Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is an opportunity for students who have completed their first year at Stonehill to perform significant, publishable full time research under the guidance of and in collaboration with an experienced faculty researcher.

The experience helps to solidify and define students' career choices, both through graduate school decisions and in post-college employment. All SURE Scholars and faculty mentors receive a stipend for an 8- or 10-week full-time summer session.

Career Development Resources for Students

The Stonehill Career Development offers extensive assistance to students seeking employment, pursuing advanced studies or participating in postgraduate service opportunities. By working with our mentors, students are empowered to build lifelong career management skills.

Education Studies Specific Career Resources

  • Education Mock Interview Week – Alumni in administrative positions in school districts prepare students for job interviews.
  • Externships and internships in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles (weeklong and semesterlong programs) give students critical field experiences.
  • Career Development staff members regularly work with Education Department faculty to present programs on preparing for teaching jobs from resume and cover letters to interviewing.

Graduate Outcomes

Whether learning in a Stonehill classroom or working in the field as student teachers, early childhood education candidates learn to navigate the intricacies of today’s classrooms, from inclusivity to highly effective teaching practices to social-emotional learning.

Our early childhood education graduates have gone on to teach across the country. Recent graduates have been hired to teach in places such as: 

  • Developmental Specialist, South Bay Mental Health Center 
  • Barrett Russell Early Childhood Center Brockton Public Schools 
  • Stoughton Public Schools 
  • Long Island School for the Gifted  

Outside Partnerships & Special Programs

Stonehill College has developed academic affiliations with colleges and universities that enable our students to augment the degree they earn at Stonehill with graduate and undergraduate degrees that further enhance their opportunities.

Complete Your B.A. and Master's in Education in 5 Years

The Skyhawk Accelerated Dual Degree allows undergraduate students in Stonehill’s Education Studies Department to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in five years. The final year of undergraduate study is integrated with coursework at the graduate level. This opportunity is a good fit for students who wish to obtain dual licensure or who wish to have more time with licensing exams. Teacher residency options available.

Contact Information

Donna Lehr

Visiting Professor of Education, Education Studies Department Chair

Lisa Biederwolf

Administrative Assistant II